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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: My eternal hunt for Planescape  (Read 6215 times)
Eric J.
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« on: November 09, 2003, 08:48:09 PM »

I'm in an eternal hunt for a working Planescape RPG.  I want something that will facilitate the type of gameplay that Planescape, in my view, should provide.  I've made countless systems to this end.  I don't know why it is so hard.  However, I will continue this persuit to its end. I've done a lot of work to this end.  I've read almost every RPG.net post with Planescape in its title.  I've started inumerous threads about it.  I'm obsessed.  I need to either convert it to something viable or get a system working.  Either one would work. All I need is help, as much as anyone is willing to give.  

Here is what my view of Planescape as a setting is.  It is influenced by almost every sourcebook ever published, by the computer game by Bioware and by other peoples' views who I've met.

Planescape is a borderline high fantasy and steampunk setting.  What makes it special is that it shows a place where each character can be remarkable, a place of infinite superdiverse worlds, where belief can affect anything.  Yet it retains a small amount of the D&D element.

What I want from the system is this:

I want each character to have a number of traits and abilities.  These can be subject from race and special conditions.  In the game many of the characters are given special abilities unachievable in standerd D&D and the main character has one that would be unthinkable, immortality.  Each character should have the oppertunity to have something special about it.  I want the Mages to have different types of magic based upon source and belief.  I want the teiflings to have demonic powers and inner evil drawbacks.  I want the Githzeri to be able to shape chaos.  I want your faction membership to mean something.

I was thinking a class (no level), attribute, skill system, clipped with a trait and power system.  I don't want the super-advancement seen in D&D, nor many of the gamist properties such as mass item hoarding (finding lots of items to customize your character), or pre-planned advancement.

I'm not asking for you to make the system for me (unless you already have one).  I'm just wondering what basic things you would do if you were making the system, or what conversion you would make and why.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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ethan_greer
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2003, 07:05:08 AM »

Hi Eric,
Now, take this with a grain of salt, because I don't know anything about either, but your talk of Planescape and your vision of what it is reminds me strongly of what I've heard about HeroQuest.  Might be worth looking into.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2003, 08:20:33 AM »

Hello,

HeroQuest, HeroQuest, HeroQuest! Do not take this with a grain of salt. It's hard to believe this game system was written without the intention of applying it to Planescape.

I have extensive notes for prepping a game of this type, which is best described as "HeroQuest in the Planescape setting," as opposed to "converting Planescape to HeroQuest." These are two very different things, and as I say, I am only interested in the former.

Those notes are currently only in hard copy form, which makes it hard for me to get them publicly posted. But when I do, it will be a major document.

Eric, buy HeroQuest and learn it - you'll wonder what the hell you were doing with D&D of any kind, in trying to play Planescape.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2003, 11:38:32 AM »

Eric,

To be pessimistic, there may be a reason why you've not gotten your other homebrew systems to do what you want in this setting. Yes, "System Does Matter", but so does tradition. And chance that you're playing the game with your normal D&D players? Because, if so, there's every chance that they're ignoring what the system is telling them and just playing by their expectations. It might not be that your systems aren't designed to do what you want, and it might not matter if you play HQ. Even a game like HQ can be bent back into D&D play by determined players.

You need to have the players on your side for this to work. Are they? Or do they just want to play D&D?

Mike
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Eric J.
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2003, 02:51:02 PM »

First- Alright.  Heroquest. If I find it and it works, I'm going to slap myself.  Anything you could tell me about Hero Quest  would be very useful.  Just as little as link.  All I know is that there was a boardgame called Hero's Quest and they sued Sierra into changing their game by the same name to "Quest for Glory."

Second- THANK YOU!!!

Now I'll adress Mikes point.  That's the interesting thing.  We're all playing the game and it's progressing as I think planescpe should.  Here's a rundown of the system and the party-

System: I might have described it before.  There are the original 6 attributes: Strength, Dex, Con etc.  They are represented by a D4-D12  Then there are skills, which add to your ability.  Each skill is just a bonus. For example, my Casting skill is 1d12+6.  So whenever I cast a spell, I roll a d12 (my intelligance) and add 6.  If the spell's casting DC is that number or less, I cast it.  Whoo for me.  (Actually, I allowed spells to be variable and there is also the mana factor.  I actually like the mage part of the system.)  In anycase, it simply doesn't work.  I originally designed it to be compatible with the original source material, since my friend has so much.  He doesn't take from the source material in the first place, and rarelly uses stats for monsters, so I scratched that idea.  *shrug*

The great thing is that all of the sessions (after the first two, which sucked IMHO)  have been very good.  We haven't been constant in the advancement system, and it still works.  This shows that it at least give you something to roll, which can be half the game sometimes.

Kon Darkwind- Half-Baatazu Teifling "Ninja-Mage"  He is my charcter, skilled in the use of staves and plansemagic.  Right now I have a ring of 'binding wish' on.  It stays on my finger allways, so the instant I make a wish...  My character is very Lawful Good.  I love this character.  I set up this conflict which is vagelly Inu Yashaish (Alright, maybe a little more than vagelley).  I'm trying to experiment with the demonic nature of humanity.  How evil can your power be while still retaining your humanity?  He also comes into constant conflict with his family, which is part of a backstory...  Uh... my problems are that the system (D&D or mine) doesn't let me experiment with higher demonic powers.  There just isn't a mechanic for special abilities.  My demonic claws do the exact same thing as my quarterstaff (except my staff can block better).  I also want to be weak to anti-demonic stuff, like divine magic.  So I would have a faster healing rate or something, but priest spells would only harm me.  Just to symbolise how my existance is sin by nature.  Or something like that.

Vek Hazzard: He's some crazy guy who has 'planar affinity' for chaos.  He's chaotic neutral by second editions definition.  Planar Affinity: Chaos supposidly give him power of chaos and some spiffy random abilities, but all we have right now is him rolling his wisdom attribute (d6) and Anthony telling him what affect he has.

Cletus or something: I can't remember this characters name.  He's a thief or something.  However, he really doens't have any special abilities.  This kindof makes it unfair for him IMHO.  He gets by though ;).

Miroku: He's a monk with a big Katana.  The player pretty much plays him like he plays most of his character (Which he names Miroku).  I dunno.  No problems here.  This guy's pretty fun, usually.

In conclusion (I only use these words when I'm concluding and what I've written so far doesn't reseble a body or introduction with any coherent meaning), I would blame the system because I have a problem with the mechanical part of gameplay, and not the gameplay itself.  I would still argue that, in its falicy, it works better than second edition has in the past.

I'm sorry for being rantish.  It's just hard to talk about Planescape (Which is driving me mad, as I've told you) without pulling out my hear and hitting the keyboard really hard.
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C. Edwards
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Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2003, 05:02:51 PM »

Hey Eric,

http://www.glorantha.com is the link, I believe. Also, you may want to check out the HeroQuest forum in the Independent Games section of the Forge.

-Chris
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Eric J.
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2003, 06:46:13 PM »

Excellent.  Thank you.  I get HeroQuest and HeroWars confused...  Good to know I'll be supporting independent gaming.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2003, 12:53:39 PM »

My mistake. I'd assumed from your tone in the first post that you were frustrated by the play produced while using the system. But the play is satisfying despite the system, right? That's good news for your group. Or are you playing with new personell?

Well in any case, then I can only chime in with the others here. Hero Quest (was Hero Wars in it's last edition; has no relation to the boardgame of the same name) will suit you perfectly, especially in terms of the factions for example. There are a ton of other facets that work between the HQ system and the Planescape setting, too...I could go on.

Heck, D&D Planescape doesn't interest me one bit (I played a Hobgoblin priest in Planescape a while back that totally rocke, conceptually; but I couldn't get past the system), but HQ Planescape: now there's a game I'd play. I eagerly await Ron's notes on the subject.

Mike
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Andrew Martin
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2003, 08:17:08 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
...HQ Planescape: now there's a game I'd play. I eagerly await Ron's notes on the subject.


Me, too! :)

This would be great! I found it sooooo difficult trying to do hero questing on the god plane with RuneQuest 3 rules. Basically I had to discard the RQ3 rules as they encouraged players to go into "turtle" mode so as to protect their substantial investment in the character.
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Andrew Martin
Scripty
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Posts: 286


« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2003, 02:44:46 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
...I eagerly await Ron's notes on the subject.

Mike


Me too. Ron, I'll trade you Midnight and, possibly, Dark Sun for Planescape. Of course, I only have the original boxed version of Dark Sun...
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Eric J.
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2003, 05:26:03 PM »

Fine.  Me too. =)

May the wind be always at your back,
-Pyron
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Jeff Powers
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2003, 09:35:47 AM »

I've been seriously considering running www.faterpg.com">Fate with the Planescape setting.  Alas, I just moved and lost my gaming crew, so I'll have to hunt down a new batch of gamers.  I attempted a homebrew system specifically for PS a while back, before I became enamored of Nobilis and forgot all about it.  When I stumbled across Fate, the first thing I thought of was Planescape... Fate did everything I was trying to do, only better.  ;)

I still haven't read HeroQuest... need to pick that one up now that I'm close to a real FLGS.
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