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Thugs and Thieves: A summary

Started by ethan_greer, April 08, 2003, 01:51:14 AM

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Quote from: Thomas TamblynNot to be a smartass but what does rules-heavy have to do with simming the hell out of it?
Nothing, actually.  Well spotted.  I was referring to Dave's endorsement of crunchiness, rather than the suggestion to go with a Sim design.


Quote from: Tar MarkvarI like the idea that the character's Vice might take away from the "score" of XPs the character gets from the job (if you go with the system I blabbed earlier). It would encourage players to try to remove the Vice. If you do that, though, make sure that removing Vice has some more rules support than just RPing. Some characters may just decide one day to give up the bottle, so to speak, in favor of keeping more of their score to put toward new equipment and training.
This will be covered in the draft.  Thanks for the input here; you've gotten some gears turning.

QuoteStill, it seems like the frustration between buying what you want (special items, advancement stuff, etc.) and buying what you NEEEEEED (Vice) is a major theme for the game. What if the character doesn't have what he needs to buy in order to satisfy the Vice in the first place? Do you have a system for covering that? What if the thief gets tossed in prison and comes out without most of his worldly possessions? It then becomes a tale of him "working" just to get his needs met. What happens to a Thug/Thief when he can't get his Vice?
I want to make it clear that the characters are not addicts in the traditional sense.  Perhaps some word other than "vice" needs to be used to remove that connotation.  I envision the characters to be more hedonistic than addicted.  So what you're talking about here wouldn't necessarily be frustration when wants and needs conflict.  Rather, it a question of maturity vs. instant gratification.  When characters don't have access to their vice, they may get irritable, but I don't plan on having any formalized withdrawal side effects.  That's an RP decision made by the player.  I'll make a note of that in the document.

QuoteI really like the survival aspects of this, especially the problem presented when a vice becomes as important as food and shelter. Faced with the choice between one's vice and one's food and shelter, a disturbing number of people choose the vice.
That's a theme I wasn't particularly focused on exploring.  The flavor I envision is more along the lines of 80's B-grade fantasy movies like Conan the Barbarian and Sword and the Sorcerer.  However, I'll definitely be thinking about that theme now, and it will probably worm its way in one way or another... It's becoming clear to me that a mixture of these darker and lighter themes will make the game better.

QuoteAwesome, powerful idea, Ethan.
Thanks!  That's really gratifying.  When I first coughed it out, it was almost an aside, and now it's quickly becoming a major focus of the whole game.  I'm really enjoying the fleshing out process.

Stay tuned!

Thomas Tamblyn

Quote from: EthanI want to make it clear that the characters are not addicts in the traditional sense. Perhaps some word other than "vice" needs to be used to remove that connotation.

Nah - Vice works just fine for what you want, it just means a bad habit you compulsively pursue and (in to me at least) doesn't necessarily include addiciton - certainlyyou CAN go that route, but there's no need for you too - Hmm.  That guves me an idea - hopefully you can adapt it to whatever system you're working on (if you like the idea that is)

Whenever you indulge in your vice, you get a bonus for the next scene.
You spend your loot to indulge in your vice.  Your vice for (say) booze is at a certain level, you need to spend that much loot or its just not worth it - you're too innured to it all.
Actually - better yet, you still spend the loot, but if its under your vice rating you don't get any in-game benfit, so you're still lusting after more beer (how many times do Fafhrd and the gry mouser get into trouble by running out of booze and looking for more?)
On the other hand, if you spend MORE loot than you have to (overindulging) then you get some kind of extra bonus but it raises your minimum expenditure for that vice.

Since you want rules-lite, I'd go with having a single vice minimum with a couple of descriptors rather than keeping track of them or - hmm.  Another idea.  Sorry, these are just popping up.

You're generic vice stat has descriptors, thee are what you spend your money on when you indulge yourself.  Characters start with (x) descriptors and may get new ones/lose old ones by (insert interesting and revolutionary way yet to be invented).
Unless you indulge in all of your vices, you cannot get any bonus from indulgence (so a character with vices of Booze and Women is in trouble if he's in the middle of the desert with only a jug of wine for company).
unfortunatly that means that more vice = bad, WAY out of sync with the source.  Perhaps you get one bonus per vice sated?  
You're always paying the base rate of loot, not once per specific vice in case that wasn't clear.

Addiction would be a possibile consequence of overindulging or partaking in particularly risky activities and means that you get no bonus from that vice, but instead get a penalty when you HAVEN'T indulged in it.

And to finish off this far-too-long-post - example vices, or at least the kind of stuff I see this working for.  I'm sure someone creative can come up with some interesting and unusual ideas for the list.

The fine life
Common drugs
Rare drugs (addictive)
Consorting with demons (addictive)

Hope something there's of use to you.

Oh yeah, one more idea - if indulgence is ONLY a bonus, some people won't bother so, since vice seems like something that happens between hectic adventure, say you can only spend xp to improve your character if you indulge properly? (yes I know there's not much evident change in abilities in the source literature - its just an idea, ok?)

Thomas Tamblyn

Oops, after all that I forgot to comment on this:

QuoteIt's becoming clear to me that a mixture of these darker and lighter themes will make the game better.

I agree wholeheartedly, the contrast here, I see as part of the fundamental character of those novels.

Blake Hutchins


If y'all do want to emphasis the "Thugs" part - and I think that's a big part of what makes this concept really cool for me - you might want to throw each character a Fatal Flaw, a central personality trait that adds complication to the mix.  Along this line, you might have "Blinding Rage," "Misogyny," "Casually Brutal," "Overweening Pride," or something like that.  Otherwise you might stray too close to the "lovable rogue" archetype.  If that last is where you want to go, of course, go for it.





Rough rough draft is done.  Proofing and hammering into shape proceeds.  Rough draft will be posted to my website early this week.

Thomas:  Don't know how much of your ideas I'll be able to use, but I appreciate the input.

Blake:  I sorta see the Vice itself filling that role.  Basically, if you want that sort of thing, the freedom to customize your Vice in that sort of negative vein is certainly there.

Thanks to all for the input.

Thomas Tamblyn

Quote from: EthanThomas: Don't know how much of your ideas I'll be able to use, but I appreciate the input.

Sorry, I kinda got carried away there.


Quote from: Thomas TamblynSorry, I kinda got carried away there.
Heh!  Not a problem! :)


Some great ideas here! One thing I'd be interested in, though, is a sort of double-edged sword approach to the vices. OK, they have the bad effect of draining your money supply (maybe they can have other bad effects too). But what about benefits from pursuing your vice? Psychologically self satisfying vices could give you additional dice/bonuses/whatever for a certain period of time (?perhaps?) after having used a certain amount of money pursuing your vice, for example. This will probably necessitate more player choice in whether to resist spending those beautiful golden florins on Gigmalian Roseweed, perhaps by selecting the number of dice (up to a given maximum) which are to be rolled...

Just some ideas. Hope it helps.


I'm just throwing in an idea...kinda in line with a few other comments...

What if the practice of your vice is what truly 'heals' you?

Sure, you got bandaged up by the physician, but you just don't feel like your old self until you've hit the tavern.