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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 174 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: d20 and narratavism  (Read 9225 times)
MongoosePaul
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Posts: 11


« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2003, 09:19:25 AM »

Hi Ron
Quote from: Ron Edwards

I think it's the former, such that if I wanted to publish a D20 game in which everyone starts at "8th level," and just ... you know ... stays there forever, with the reward system being about something else entirely, that would work in legal terms.


You can do that easily enough under the OGL.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

I don't want to get into a discussion of D20 and OGL legalities, though. What I'm driving at is trying to understand your design leeway for this or another D20 product in terms of the reward system. If you're stuck with the notion of "gotta level up," then that's pretty limiting. If not, then I have a few subversive notions for you to consider.


Subversive's good for me.

As the developer, my design leeway is 'produce the best game I can'. In terms of revoking the 'holy trinity' of D20 - classes, levels and experience, with regard to this project I'm pretty set on keeping the former two, with the latter being something i'm open to changing - our oft-stated mandate for licensed products is 'change the system, not the setting'. That said of course there is the concept of d20 drift in that the further you drift away from its core system, the less market penetration you have.

However, in terms of other ideas we have in mind for the future, I'm more than open (as discussed at GC) to new ideas.  Pushing the envelope is, afterall, something to strive for wherever possible, particularly with new games design.

I've already got an outline pencilled in for this in terms of playing around with time and the linear 1st-20th progression of characters. Namely evoking Howard's sequence of story writing. So, you might start at 7th, play a few sessions, then do a backstory game at 3rd-4th, then jump to 9th. Then jump to 15th. Whether people will do it or not is another matter, but I figure offering the outline and explanation is better than not.
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Paul Tucker
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2003, 10:03:41 AM »

Hi Paul,

Excellent.

I'm not sure whether you've finished reading Sorcerer & Sword or not, but what you're describing is exactly what I proposed there. Levels provide a perfect variable to treat as a "dial" for such purposes (in Sorcerer, it's "Past," which is essentially a set of relationships and skills), and the key to managing this dial is Destiny.

So if you combine (a) the ability to gain power over Destiny (i.e. Fate points, perhaps even limited to that purpose) with (b) the ability to manage these levels in some way, whether to strip them for the purposes of playing "earlier" or to add them for playing "later," then you're really going somewhere.

Editing in: oh yeah! Also, check out our discussions in Self-serving eunuchs go hiking initiated by the inimitable Mearls.

Best,
Ron
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MongoosePaul
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2003, 10:09:05 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I'm not sure whether you've finished reading Sorcerer & Sword or not, but what you're describing is exactly what I proposed there. Levels provide a perfect variable to treat as a "dial" for such purposes (in Sorcerer, it's "Past," which is essentially a set of relationships and skills), and the key to managing this dial is Destiny.


Annoyingly i'm still waiting for it to arrive. Which reminds me to go shout at the store I ordered it from.

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Editing in: oh yeah! Also, check out our discussions in Self-serving eunuchs go hiking initiated by the inimitable Mearls.

I'll take a look when i get back from dinner and add comments/review my thoughts on it.
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Paul Tucker
joshua neff
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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2003, 11:50:35 AM »

Paul--

Back when Sorcerer & Sword was coming out in print form, Ron & I were talking about the whole nonlinear approach to sword & sorcery gaming--first you play Conan as King, then you play an earlier form of Conan as he learns the lessons that will one day serve him in his role as King. I commented that, "Levels in d20 would work for that, because at any level you know pretty much what you're character should be like. So, you could write up your character at various levels & play that character at different levels, nonlinearly."

Just something to think about.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2003, 12:24:36 PM »

Not to be completely commercially crass, but this could make the first d20 character sheet product I'd buy. Here's what I imagine: a 16 or so page booklet to use as your character portfolio. The first page is done much like any d20 character sheet, but your skills section is left with only blank lines, and you write in every skill your character will ever have. Write your 1st level character here.

The following pages are half-page character sheets, with summaries up top:
Level, current Attributes, current Hit Points, current saves, current combat bonuses, current Feats, current skill scores. The lower half is an open lined box to write up a description of what your character did/is doing at that level.

As you go along in the game, you might need a 15th level version of your character. You refer to the front page, add everything you might need on a summary page, and write down who your character is at that level.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Ben Morgan
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2003, 01:42:43 PM »

I haven't delved into a lot of d20 material, so I don't know if anyone's done it yet, but I think it would be really advantageous to point out that you don't need to start characters at Level 1 and slog your way up the ladder to get to the good stuff.

Story Now. Start characters at 7th level, or whatever level the good stuff starts happening.

-- Ben
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-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
MongoosePaul
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2003, 01:56:03 PM »

Quote from: Ben Morgan
I haven't delved into a lot of d20 material, so I don't know if anyone's done it yet, but I think it would be really advantageous to point out that you don't need to start characters at Level 1 and slog your way up the ladder to get to the good stuff.

Story Now. Start characters at 7th level, or whatever level the good stuff starts happening.

-- Ben


I'm pretty much set on putting this in, and the varied level/timeline play as a campaign option in both the creation and campaigns/games mastering session. It's not going to be the only one, or the 'default' but it is going to be in there. I'm also going to be putting reasoning into my developer's notes, assuming I can squeeze them into the book and will probably put a link to the forge into them for those who want to read further into other ideas on gaming than the standard monster bash.
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Paul Tucker
RaconteurX
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Posts: 262


« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2003, 11:00:07 PM »

Quote from: Rob Donoghue
The mechanic is simple - you take a thematic feat that has some sort of behavior associatited with it, and when you follow that behavior, you gain an action point (one per session).   The action point can be spent for a roll bonus, or can be turned in at the end of the session for xp for the whole party.


Genius indeed. This might render d20 actually palatable to my Method Actor airs.
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MongoosePaul
Member

Posts: 11


« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2003, 12:46:05 AM »

Irritatingly, despite several weeks it seems Sorcerer and Sword isn't orderable over here at the moment (at least not via the two main UK distributors) so i'm going to have to do a phone around of stores to find one with a copy.
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Paul Tucker
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