*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 16, 2021, 03:45:40 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 94 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: "All's quiet" playable draft  (Read 5098 times)
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« on: September 19, 2005, 05:49:01 PM »

I loved the Thief pc games by looking glass and I've never agreed with how thieving is presented in tabletop RPGs --relying on a player's ability to continue to role-play their character's failure (that being, unaware of it).  I've always thought that a thief's die-rolls should be made for the potential opponent's ability to detect the thief --not the other way around.  More sense and less breaking of the suspension of disbelief.

Anyway, here is my broken world game that is centered upon thieving.

http://www.orbit-rpg.com/alls_quiet.pdf

Please try it out and let me know how it works (or doesn't work).  I'll respond to any posts and answer any questions here when I get home since I don't cruise the net while at work.  Or if you like, you are certainly welcome to contact me via email. 

Thanks,
Jeff
Logged

JSDiamond
mutex
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2005, 10:35:37 PM »

I like all of the tactical focus on thieving.  I'd basically ignore PC rules for fighters and sorcerors unless you wanted hybrids (like a swashbuckler, or Aladdin, or Grey Mouser) and concentrate on the rogue's arts.  There are plenty of games for fighters and mages.

A couple notes:

I would think it more likely that the range for a curious guard would be larger than 1.  I would hedge a couple points on either side (one from success and one from failure) to broaden the probability of a guard becoming curious.  That just seems a bit more likely.  Other than that, I like that there are three potential outcomes: success, failure, and a not-quite-failure-but-increases-the-likelihood-of-future-failure.

Also, I think you might be missing out on a great opportunity here with missing information.  While a player is rolling for his opponent's perception instead of his stealth, it seems mechanically the same.  I would probably go one step further and conceal the success or failure of the stealth roll.  Say he's sneaking through a garden, and he's being perfectly quiet, but a guard on patrol is standing right behind him.  Certainly, the guard wouldn't announce himself, but the thief would be in for a sudden, nasty conflict :D

Perhaps if you wanted to be fair, you could check against the thief's perception to let the player know if the stealth roll really succeeded or not.  You could weigh this heavily in the player's favor, but I think the chance of having bad information would create some interesting tension.  Of course, a player could choose tactics like looking over his shoulder or hiding inside foliage, but these would have their own disadvantages.  It then becomes a gamble for the player to see how much safety they are willing to sacrifice in order to move more quickly and whatnot.

Also, have you checked around for any ray-casting tools?  If you haven't used them for your maps, it might be interesting to find one to use (basically automatically creates shadows and Line of Site (LoS)).

Cool game.
Logged
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 07:52:08 PM »

Thank you for posting.  Here are my replies.

Quote
I like all of the tactical focus on thieving.  I'd basically ignore PC rules for fighters and sorcerors unless you wanted hybrids (like a swashbuckler, or Aladdin, or Grey Mouser) and concentrate on the rogue's arts.  There are plenty of games for fighters and mages.

Melee seems inevitable, so it simply must be in there.  The magic stuff is not intended to be role-played.  I want the city of Ruin and its inhabitants to be mysterious.  For example, I want warlocks to be almost alien in their motivations --as opposed to being just another type (read: "class") of wizard, or whatever.  Equally, the thieving arts are completely apart from the knowledge of wizards, warlocks, knights, druids, shop keeps, nobles, etc.

More stuff for me to flesh out!         
 

Quote
I would think it more likely that the range for a curious guard would be larger than 1.  I would hedge a couple points on either side (one from success and one from failure) to broaden the probability of a guard becoming curious.  That just seems a bit more likely.

The values are somewhat fluid at this point, but I quite agree with you.  Originally I kept thinking of the dice scale and what minimal and significant modifiers could exist within that range (that being 2d6) of possible results, without throwing a wrench into game play by slamming results to one or the other extreme too quickly.  I believe you hit the nail on the head about the likelyhood of a guard becoming curious.  It will require some more testing and thought to get the values ironed out.

Quote
While a player is rolling for his opponent's perception instead of his stealth, it seems mechanically the same.

I do understand your point --I could see the same thing.  It felt the same way when I was testing it.  So, you are correct, it is the same --however, only in a strictly mechanics way of looking at it.  Because what is really happening is that we (from our viewpoint as the players) are accepting the fact that we typically think OoC (out-of-character) because it's "our guy" whose life is at stake.  But, we don't have to think OoC on his behalf all of the time, or worry about watching the history channel so we can convince the GM that an action should be allowed because we saw an episode where "back in 1367 it was a common practice for rogues to..." --do whatever. 

Instead "our guy" knows things that we don't (as players) and we accept this, and the GM accepts it too.  In fact, the GM accepts our guy's expertise because he too (the GM) is not there in the world and he must accept that all of the characters, NPCs and everyone else know things that he cannot.  BTW I wish Ron would jump in here because he can explain this better than I ever could.  Even better I wish we could conference call and we could sift through my conversation for the kernel of what I am trying to say!   
   
Quote
I would probably go one step further and conceal the success or failure of the stealth roll.  Say he's sneaking through a garden, and he's being perfectly quiet, but a guard on patrol is standing right behind him.  Certainly, the guard wouldn't announce himself, but the thief would be in for a sudden, nasty conflict :D

I hadn't thought of that.  You are correct.  I must figure out something that will keep the single die-roll/simultaneous actions in place.  Certainly a guard standing behind the thief character would pose a problem for the thief   > , <      However, in play with the GM telling you the target number for success in that area will reveal little if anything.  Even if you are thinking OoC and doing very quick little mental calculations, the outcome is still dependent on the guard detecting the thief character since we are rolling for them, not our guy.  The only break in the suspension of disbelief might come if the GM says the target number is greater, or lesser, than it was a moment ago while the environment appears to be the same.  In that instance --yes, you (the player) would be trying to think of "why" this is. 

But does it really matter?  The dice are the dice afterall.  Thinking OoC you might prepare yourself for the danger about to erupt after the die-roll.  But it's not going to happen (the die-roll and all results) until your character moves through that area.  The actions are simultaneous.       

Quote
Perhaps if you wanted to be fair, you could check against the thief's perception to let the player know if the stealth roll really succeeded or not.  You could weigh this heavily in the player's favor, but I think the chance of having bad information would create some interesting tension.

Ah... but the thief character is being stealthy according to his efforts and the environment.  Remember, you are die-rolling for the guard.  A thief (and the player) have no reason to doubt the almost certain success of creeping through deep shadows.  But, the gamble is that we do not know the scope of attention, eyesight, hearing of the guard at the door.  We cannot know if he is groggy, or alert.  We must sneak through to find out!  That certainly represents the tension of a lack of information does it not?

Quote
Of course, a player could choose tactics like looking over his shoulder or hiding inside foliage, but these would have their own disadvantages.  It then becomes a gamble for the player to see how much safety they are willing to sacrifice in order to move more quickly and whatnot.

You're right --I must add some risk-taking things into this system.  The gamble of certain actions is something I enjoy in RPGs.  I thought of it in passing but never got around to it. 

Quote
Also, have you checked around for any ray-casting tools?  If you haven't used them for your maps, it might be interesting to find one to use (basically automatically creates shadows and Line of Site (LoS)).

I have not.  But I will look into them. 

Quote
Cool game.

Thank you.  Hopefully I understood your queries and answered them well.  I really wish I could talk on the phone or what-not as my typing and comprehension of what is meant vs. what is typed, is spotty.  Please test the game out and see how things develop.  I would love to hear about/discuss them.

Best,
Jeff
 







       
   


       


Logged

JSDiamond
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2005, 08:51:19 PM »

Quote from: Mutex
Also, I think you might be missing out on a great opportunity here with missing information.  While a player is rolling for his opponent's perception instead of his stealth, it seems mechanically the same.  I would probably go one step further and conceal the success or failure of the stealth roll.
I think it'd be better if the dice roll was open, but the GM held a set of cards he could apply to the dice roll if he whishes to. That way you wouldn't really know if the roll passed, and the GM could bluff you at times when he doesn't actually have any way to change the stealth roll. Also, if the GM draws from a small deck, the player can attempt to card count, to try and figure out his chances.

JSDiamond, I'd be interested to know if card counting would be too blatant a real world skill effecting the game, for your tastes. It'll tell me more about what you like and stuff. Though I will say, I think players counting cards to get ahead in a thief game is very thematically appropriate, IMO! :)
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
mutex
Member

Posts: 59


« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2005, 10:11:43 PM »

Quote
However, in play with the GM telling you the target number for success in that area will reveal little if anything.

Actually, I was implying that you might not want the GM to tell them the TN.  Instead the GM might have the player roll, and then the player can spend some resource (e.g. Caution or Luck) to improve the result if they think it's necessary.  Of course, this resource refreshes under some circumstances (There must be a reason Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser spent so much time at the Silver Eel :D), but can be expended during an adventure.  Sometimes, the GM could even have them make a Stealth roll just to spook them into wasting their resource.  So, the players get to see the dice results, and they can even modify them from a resource pool, but they can only estimate the TN.  That's what I was implying.

Quote
I'd basically ignore PC rules for fighters and sorcerors unless you wanted hybrids

Let me clarify...  I mean that I'd ignore making rules for plain PC fighters and sorcerors.  Of course the thieves will fight and use magic, but I really, really like that your game focuses so much on thieving.
Logged
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2005, 05:41:48 AM »

Quote
Actually, I was implying that you might not want the GM to tell them the TN.  Instead the GM might have the player roll, and then the player can spend some resource (e.g. Caution or Luck) to improve the result if they think it's necessary.  Of course, this resource refreshes under some circumstances (There must be a reason Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser spent so much time at the Silver Eel :D), but can be expended during an adventure.  Sometimes, the GM could even have them make a Stealth roll just to spook them into wasting their resource.  So, the players get to see the dice results, and they can even modify them from a resource pool, but they can only estimate the TN.  That's what I was implying.

I understand now.  That is a very good idea as I definitely want to keep the dice out in the open.  Because it eliminates the Monty Pythonesque silliness of so-called "hiding in shadows" as something to invoke at any time, and in any environment --even when we know better.  Even Drizz't shouldn't be able to go stealth in a crowded city square at high noon.  The only thing is that this will transfer more responsibility upon the GM to be thorough in his or her descriptions of the environment the characters are in.  I'm all for that, but some may find it too daunting.  In groups where we play with the same people this is not so difficult, because we know that when our long time gaming pal Bob the GM says "deep shadows" he means a +5 modifier.  But someone else may use different terms, or simply wish to let the players treat each adventure as a "thief mission" wherein knowing the TNs is part of the mission briefing (provided the location has been cased ahead of time and there is some intel).     

It may be possible to combine the optional risk factor with Callan's suggestion for a deck of cards used to represent additional tactics, or circumstances, that could affect the die-roll outcome.  This does appear to have serious potential to raise the tension factor.

Quote
I mean that I'd ignore making rules for plain PC fighters and sorcerors.  Of course the thieves will fight and use magic

That is exactly my intention.  The draft isn't completely clear on it, but the player's characters will only be thieves.  If I do drift, it will be only in the slightest interpretation of what a thief might become particularly good at --but within the realm and reach of his professional skill.   
   

Quote
...but the GM held a set of cards he could apply to the dice roll if he whishes to. That way you wouldn't really know if the roll passed, and the GM could bluff you at times when he doesn't actually have any way to change the stealth roll. Also, if the GM draws from a small deck, the player can attempt to card count, to try and figure out his chances.  JSDiamond, I'd be interested to know if card counting would be too blatant a real world skill effecting the game, for your tastes. It'll tell me more about what you like and stuff. Though I will say, I think players counting cards to get ahead in a thief game is very thematically appropriate, IMO! :)

This too is a good idea.  In fact, this makes me wonder if the GM is strictly necessary.  Let's say we have this deck of cards and let's say everyone at the table is a thief character.  Since the die-roll is considered to represent a simultaneous action/reaction from sneaking through a given area, even treating each adventure as a mission and knowing the TNs ahead of time, a card could be drawn per area (this would be the x-factor) and the players could also have a choice to make regarding the risk (or card) they were willing to spend, to increase the likelihood of success.

Apologies...I am drifting here mechanics-wise.

Thank you for refining my thoughts on this.  I will have to spend some time revising the system slightly to include a trial set of cards.  Any suggestions would be appreciated as I would be creating card values/definitions based upon my own literary, gaming and film influences which may be degrees diferent than someone else's.

Jeff


 
   


Logged

JSDiamond
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2005, 07:47:28 AM »

Hello,

A Diamond game! Yes!

(Everyone should buy and play Orbit. I was just re-reading it the other day and kicking myself for not playing more often.)

Jeff, the single thing that's really jumping out at me about this one, right now, is the Reward Points thing. I guess if I were playing one of these fun thieves, I'd want to have a really solid, overt, no-judgment set of points I know I'd be earning, by the rules. Let me know if that's off-base in some way.

I recognize that the game relies a lot on GM judgments, in terms of situations, but that rules-tangible reward feels right to me at the moment - kind of like the character gets loot, yes, but I get Points - wahoo!

Best,
Ron
Logged
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2005, 06:41:53 PM »

Quote
A Diamond game! Yes! (Everyone should buy and play Orbit. I was just re-reading it the other day and kicking myself for not playing more often.)
 

Hi Ron!  Thank you very much.

Quote
Jeff, the single thing that's really jumping out at me about this one, right now, is the Reward Points thing. I guess if I were playing one of these fun thieves, I'd want to have a really solid, overt, no-judgment set of points I know I'd be earning, by the rules. Let me know if that's off-base in some way.

You're absolutely right.  Upon re-reading I can see that tweaking it that way, the rewards for the player *feel* parallel to the character's.  Maybe the additon of the cards could be the physical reward?  They would have actual in-game use and would define the character according to the player's likes. 

I'm sensing a player *cool factor* being born...

       
Logged

JSDiamond
Callan S.
Member

Posts: 3588


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2005, 07:02:14 PM »

On the GM-less card thing: What might be interesting is if each player chooses some of the cards that goes in the deck that works against PC's, but they do it secretly. Then it's shuffled and the resulting combination...well, it'd be an interesting mix! Actually...I think I might like to use this myself! (As usual, replying to someone else's query helps me figure out my own stuff...it's wierd that way).

With what Rons saying...I'm thinking that's "trophy" points. You have them for admiration purposes. You might even like to have some sort of actual trophy that are tied to the game and each game session players vie for possession of the trophy (until next session), by collecting the most point.

On a side note, it's really tempting to always tie such trophies back into system effectiveness somehow. I think it might be a good idea to try and resist.. Trophies that increase system effectiveness...well, it's like rewarding the person who has the most money with more money. It just makes winning easier for him next time his money is counted/tested.

Ranty PS: This is partly why I dislike advice like "Everyone should sit around and talk about what they like". Unless your really carefully brainstorming (and who's going to do that when it's night you've set aside for fun?), people will introduce things like this because they like it, even though it undercuts their agenda in the long run.

PPS: Diamond games?...Oh, I get it. That would make games made by me, Sweet Games.
Logged

Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
JSDiamond
Member

Posts: 276


WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2005, 12:37:17 AM »

Quote
As usual, replying to someone else's query helps me figure out my own stuff...it's wierd that way

It's the same for me, too.   : D

Quote
With what Rons saying...I'm thinking that's "trophy" points. You have them for admiration purposes.

I see... I was thinking in the usual middle-of-the-road RPG xps sense. 

Quote
On a side note, it's really tempting to always tie such trophies back into system effectiveness somehow. I think it might be a good idea to try and resist.. Trophies that increase system effectiveness...well, it's like rewarding the person who has the most money with more money. It just makes winning easier for him next time his money is counted/tested.

I agree.  By the way, your card idea is grand --thank you very much!  I've already started designing some.  The cards will be of various senses of role-play style.  Melee cards to be risked during melee, defensive thief cards, NPC cards that serve as plot hooks, and so on.  As trophies they could work because players could choose their reward by choosing a type of card based upon how they play, what they want for their character, and with a sense of strategy in mind.  Ranks will be limited to 12 maximum per player.  So, the biggest and baddest character (or NPC) would max out at 12 Ranks no matter what.  And the player of such a character could hold a maximum of 12 cards.  The character gains the Rank which is also a (+) modifier.  And the player gains a card that gives them temprorary director power over the game when the card is played.

Of course, I have yet to blend it together. 

   





Logged

JSDiamond
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!