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Author Topic: Foreign Element - Playtesting Is On  (Read 5231 times)
Nathan
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Posts: 313


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« on: April 23, 2003, 12:24:49 PM »

Howdy,

Foreign Element is Mystic Ages' very own science fiction game. The old version was available from here: http://www.actionroll.com/fe, but I am not sure if that URL is working anymore. In any event, I have a new PDF of the latest copy w/ updated material and rules. I'd love to hear comments about it here in the forum.

Here is the skinny:
- uses the 2d10 action system (like EAK)
- shoots for a tongue-in-cheek, trigger happy feel
- meant to run scifi like the isolation style science fiction movies -- ala Screamers, Alien, and so on
- is going to be sold for about $3-5 a pop

The overall theme of the game is -- "The players must create their own opportunities to survive." I am not giving the GM any "powers" to aid the players. But, the players have "powers" to aid themselves. Of course, I am going to focus on that theme in future rough drafts. This sort of drifts along with the idea that the heroes are in a tough, hostile world and won't get any breaks. If they want to survive, they must take the initiative.

For now, feel free to take a gander:

http://www.mysticages.com/fe/pcver_fe.pdf

So anyone have any good mechanic suggestions to bring out this feel in play? I already have Special Effects and Dealing With Wounds. How about some sort of mechanic which allows the players to trump problems with their own answers? I don't know. Any thoughts are welcome.

Thanks,
Nathan Hill
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Andrew Martin
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Posts: 785


« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2003, 10:51:16 PM »

Quote from: Nathan
I'd love to hear comments about it here in the forum.


What do you mean by "Second, chunk the dice." on page 8? Do you really mean "chuck"?

Another on page 9: "The only drawback to Luck is that a hero cannot gain them back organically." Do you really mean that once Luck points are used, they only return at the rate of one per mission?

Perhaps a grammar check would be a good idea?

Armor on page 10 is described badly as adding to the hero's life points, when instead armour merely reduces damage by it's rating or armour value.

If a player can only have 50 points to spend on equipment, why is there equipment which costs 100 points?

If the player chooses to have their PC "find" expensive points cost gear (with a good roll), do the points have effect in game play? Wouldn't it be easier and better to describe gear as being worth a price (in dollars or credits) rather than game system "points"?

Superficially, it would seem easier to use, say, GURPS to run the suggested setting. What make Foreign Element a better system?
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Andrew Martin
Nathan
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Posts: 313


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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2003, 09:08:15 AM »

Thanks for the comments. I am going to be releasing FE as a free game, so I'm not putting as much effort into it as I'd like.. but still...

Quote from: Andrew Martin


What do you mean by "Second, chunk the dice." on page 8? Do you really mean "chuck"?



Chunk equals roll. I don't know. It may be local slang. Chuck works too -- but you aren't the only person who had problems with that word. I'll just change it to "roll." :)

Quote from: Andrew Martin

Another on page 9: "The only drawback to Luck is that a hero cannot gain them back organically." Do you really mean that once Luck points are used, they only return at the rate of one per mission?

Perhaps a grammar check would be a good idea?


I was typing this rough draft in a program w/o the grammar check stuff. It isn't edited yet.

And yes, I mean what I mean there... It may seem "harsh" or "wrong", but I don't intend this game as a longterm type game -- more of a -- if you survive the first mission, you probably won't survive the next. Brave souls facing overwhelming odds in space.

The other way I could see it would be to encourage folks to spend their luck points in the game -- instead of saving them. The current way may encourage them to hold out on them -- frugal thinking. So maybe I should it change so that you must spend all of your luck points by the end of the adventure or you will lose the remainder -- the ones you spent you get back + 1 new one... Sound interesting?

Quote from: Andrew Martin

Armor on page 10 is described badly as adding to the hero's life points, when instead armour merely reduces damage by it's rating or armour value.

If a player can only have 50 points to spend on equipment, why is there equipment which costs 100 points?

If the player chooses to have their PC "find" expensive points cost gear (with a good roll), do the points have effect in game play? Wouldn't it be easier and better to describe gear as being worth a price (in dollars or credits) rather than game system "points"?

Superficially, it would seem easier to use, say, GURPS to run the suggested setting. What make Foreign Element a better system?


Armor: It does just add to the heroes life points. Think Unreal Tournament as opposed to a roleplaying game. You get armor, you get hit, and your armor is reduced but gives your life points a break.

Equipment Points: I might add a little chart that gives the GM more options in giving starting points -- like, if it is a mission to save a bunch of corporate fat cats on a distant vacation world, they might be given better equipment, more weapons, and so on. The base start is to assume a sort of investigation mission where the heroes are given a bit of help but are essentially on their own. That is a good hole there I missed.

And no, the points do not have an effect in gameplay -- maybe I will switch to the generic credits. Perhaps in the game they might have an opportunity to order new items through the Super Space Package Delivery System or something... To sort of refuel so to speak... :)

Wow. Great bits of stuff.

If you want, run the setting with GURPS or another system -- I don't mind. This came out of an initial rough draft that was 4 pages long. I don't think it is great enough to be sold, but hey -- it might be fun for a free download. I just want to fill it out a little bit and make it a nice little tight scifi game of joy.

Thanks,
Nathan
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http://www.mysticages.com/
Serving imagination since '99
Eldritch Ass Kicking:
http://www.eldritchasskicking.com/
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2003, 09:37:38 AM »

Quote
Chunk equals roll. I don't know. It may be local slang. Chuck works too -- but you aren't the only person who had problems with that word. I'll just change it to "roll." :)

I can speak as an authority on this issue. I spent my basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. And, yes, "chunk" is Okie for throw. They also tend to use a lot of other similar okieisms like "hunker" and "yonder". As in "Let's go ta yonder tree and hunker down 'neeth er". Hunkering being a distinctly Okie tradition where a circle of men will crouch down, some on one knee, but all about at that level. Not sure what it's about, but it sure is creepy.

All sorta true, but just kidding.

Hey, where I'm from in SE Wisconsin, a drinking fountain is a "bubbler". And if you're not boiling your brats in beer before cooking 'em you're doing it all wrong.

Mike
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2003, 11:24:59 AM »

Quote from: Nathan
The other way I could see it would be to encourage folks to spend their luck points in the game -- instead of saving them. The current way may encourage them to hold out on them -- frugal thinking. So maybe I should it change so that you must spend all of your luck points by the end of the adventure or you will lose the remainder -- the ones you spent you get back + 1 new one... Sound interesting?

Or how about this:  Keep track of the character's completed missions, at the start of each session, the character gets Luck Points equal to Luck + # of completed missions.  These points may be spent during the session, and do not accumulate between sessions.
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