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Author Topic: [The Beast Within] Ideas  (Read 17097 times)
Elishar
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Posts: 46


« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2006, 05:06:05 PM »

The forum seems to have hiccuped because I posted and it didn't show up.

Thunder:
I like that idea.

Additionally, I think I should explain how humans are infected better.  Infection is not automatic.  Anytime a human is in proximity of a demon for an extended period of time (yet to be determined) they have to make a check against the power level of the demon.  If they fail the check they lose a point of humanity.  This basically means that the demon has chipped away some of the human's defenses against being infected (just like how a human's immune system can also be weakened after it fights off an infection.)  If the human's humanity is lowered to some critical level, they are no longer able to fight off the demon and they become infected (and become a Marked.)

Taking you idea I think I might make it that the demon has to consciously try to infect a human.  Doing so would not really distract the demon or require any additional effort short but I might include some disadvantage the demon could get if the human fights him off.

Anders:
Those are some good ideas but I'm thinking of defining demons more by how they screw with humans, not by what powers they have.  How they screw with humans will influence their power selection but I want each demon clan to have a couple dozen powers to choose from.
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TroyLovesRPG
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Posts: 150


« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2006, 07:38:34 PM »

Elishar,

Maybe you should look at the power19 and answer those questions. I think the members (including myself) could get a better view of what your game is about. In turn, you may be able to define some details that work with a solid overall plan. Otherwise, this sounds a lot like Vampire the Masquerade except the word demon is replacing vampire.

Troy
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Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2006, 08:45:29 PM »

Elishar,

Maybe you should look at the power19 and answer those questions. I think the members (including myself) could get a better view of what your game is about. In turn, you may be able to define some details that work with a solid overall plan. Otherwise, this sounds a lot like Vampire the Masquerade except the word demon is replacing vampire.

Troy

power19?

Vampire is definitely a strong influence in my game, I won't deny that, but the game plays very differently.  Everything from the feel to how the system works is distinctly my own, though I absolutely love White Wolf's writting style and hope that eventually I will be able to write as well as they do.  So far I've only worked out a skeletal rules system for the game but once I add some flesh to the game I'll post it and you can get a better feel for how it differs from Vampire as it would take me pages and pages to go into all the details here.
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dindenver
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2006, 09:12:53 PM »

Hi!
  Here is a link:
http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-1.html
  The point of answering the Power 19 questions is to focus your design on what you want, not necesarily what you have. It's also a high level discussion, like when they say what is your game about, they mean like thematically or philosophically.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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TroyLovesRPG
Member

Posts: 150


« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2006, 09:17:18 PM »

The Power 19 is a list of questions to answer when designing a game. The questions are simple but thought provoking. It helps create a framework of ideas concerning many aspects from beginning to completion. I think this would be a good exercise for you.

http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-1.html
http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-2.html

Search on the forge for "power 19" and you can see how members have answered these questions when developing their games.

Troy
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Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2006, 12:19:21 PM »

Okay, here it is.  I answered everything as best I could without going on for pages and pages.  I had a bit of difficulty answering some of the questions because the game really differs depending on what faction you are playing.  If you need more explaination on a specific question just ask and I'll try to clear it up.

1.) What is your game about?
ĎThe Beast Withiní is about the hidden war between demons and a select number of humans for the souls of humanity and the future of the world.

2.) What do the characters do?
The characters play a role in one of the three factions in the game.  Depending on which faction the players choose to play greatly affects what they do.  The Hunters, who are humans that fight the demons, must fight in a losing battle even though society hates them because they know in their hearts that it is the right thing to do and that the demons must be opposed, whatever the cost.  The Marked, those who have been infected by a demonic soul but have not turned evil yet, must battle the demon within themselves and struggle to maintain their humanity while dealing with the amazing (and evil) powers that the demon bestows upon them.  The Demons, the prime evil in the game, work to further the downfall of humanity and increase their power in their clan through cutthroat tactics and cunning.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
There is a GM in my game and he acts as the storyteller and world-creator for the game as well as the controller of both enemies and allies of the character.  It is his responsibility to keep the game moving and interesting while weaving a convincing story and world through descriptive dialogue and realistic reactions to the characters actions.  The players each play a character in the GMís world that belongs to one of the three factions in the game.  The players, through their characters, must face encounters that will challenge both their mind and their conscious.

4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
There is no specific setting set for my game though I do provide guidelines for any setting the GM might create.  The setting is supposed to be dark, reflecting the dark nature of the game.  The world seems to be unraveling, with wars brewing and violence springing up all over the globe.  Diplomacy seems to be a thing of the past and all empathy of society has been completely destroyed.  Overall, the setting is meant to reflect the growing evil in the world because this is truly what the game is about, the losing battle between good and evil.

5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?
Character Creation has two parts: the numerical side and the narrative side.  The numerical side acts as the skeleton of the character, showing how strong or smart they are and what skills or talents they specialize in  The numerical side also emphasizes the combat side of the game, because all of the characters are (perhaps unwilling) soldiers in this war.  The narrative side acts as the flesh and skin of the character, the side that brings the character off the page and makes them a real person.  This side heavily influences how the character will react to scenarios or challenges the GM throws at the character as well as what their sense of morality is.  This can greatly affect the flow and the outcome of the game.

6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
The game favors those who are cautious and think out their actions before acting, both in and out of combat.  In combat, tactical and intelligent play is highly rewarded and is often the difference between character survival and death.  Out of combat, narrative dialogue and character conflict are rewarded while a player simply having their character rest until the next battle comes around is punished by not having their character advance.

7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
Players can be rewarded by receiving points that help to further increase or augment their characterís abilities or they can be rewarded by given a specific piece of desired information, a promotion within their clan, or a desired outcome of a situation.

8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
The GM acts as the source of narration about the campaign setting or things that happen to the characters (as a results either of dice rolls or plot design.)  The players are encouraged to narrate their characterís actions in combat as well as the direct result of their actions should they succeed and as long as it is conforms with the outcome of the dice roll.  The GM can overrule any playerís narration if he deems it unrealistic give the die result and can even remove the playerís narration power to narrate the result of his actions if the player continually presents unrealistic narrations.

9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
Different players desire different things from role-playing games and depending on what that is will influence what faction they want to play so that they enjoy the game as much as possible.  Those that desire power will be most drawn to the Demons.  Those that desire character conflict will be drawn most to the Marked.  Those that desire to be heroes will be most drawn to the Hunters.

10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
The game revolves around the d6, specifically 3d6.  Whenever the character tries to do something where there is doubt as to if they can do it (jump across a chasm, hit an enemy in combat, etc) they must roll 3d6.  As long as they donít roll a 6 they simply add up the d6s and add to the total whatever attribute applies to their action.  If they roll a 6 on one or more of their d6s they treat it as if they rolled a 5 but they also get to roll an additional d6.  If the players resulting roll is higher than either the difficulty or the opposed roll of another player (or the GM if applicable) then the character succeeds.  How much higher their resulting roll is determines by how successful they are, such as if the attack just causes a glancing blow or if it connects squarely with the enemyís jaw and sends them flying backwards.

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
Well, first of all the game revolves are 3d6 which has demonic connotations (666.)  The other thing I wanted to include in how I resolve conflicts is that nothing is impossible.  Thatís a big thing that could kill this game for the players regardless of what faction they are playing.  That they are too weak to really do anything important so why bother?  This resolution mechanic makes it so that nothing is impossible.  If you need to roll a 100 to succeed you can do it.  The chances are slim but there is never this sense of automatic failure that I have encountered in some other games.

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
Yes.  There are several different ways characters advance based on which faction they are playing.  Hunters can either advance because they gain more resources to make more or better weaponry or they can gain experience though combat or other significant encounters that allows them to hone skills and abilities or learn how to create new weaponry or gadgets.  Marked can either advance by raising their humanity through selfless actions, learning sacred knowledge, or anything else the GM feels warrants an increase in their humanity and thus fight off the demonic soul that is trying to take control of them or they can gain experience though combat or other significant encounters that allows them to hone skills, abilities, and their demonic powers or allows them to learn new demonic powers.  Demons advance being either gaining status in their clan through brown-nosing or completion of tasks or they can gain power by slaying other demons and devouring their souls.  Demons also have the ability to create more demons and thus can create a band of lesser demons that they have some control over as another form of advancement.

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
This depends on which faction we are talking about.  For the demons the goal is power and character advancement is a direct result for that quest for power.  For the Marked, the main goal is maintaining your humanity (which raising your humanity reflects.)  Additionally, Marked often become more in tune with the demonic soul that resides in them the longer their souls inhabit the same body which reflects the increase in power that a Marked gains.  Hunterís dedicate their lives to hunting and killing demons.  They do this by creating incredible weaponry and items that allow them to take down superior foes.  As the Hunter becomes a veteran in the hidden war he hones his skills and develops new ways of killing his foes.  This is what experience gain portrays.  Additionally, Hunters sustain their war by selling valuable possessions of the demons they slay, allowing them to create weapons or single use items that were destroyed in the battle.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
Like with the other questions this varies with faction.  For the Demons, the game allows the players to play a completely evil and incredibly powerful character from the start of the game.  For the Marked, the game should bring up great character conflict, ethical questions, and character building moments that appeal to players interested in a more mental game.  For the Hunters, the words duty and morality pop out in my head.  Overall though, I want the game to be exciting and fast.  I donít ever want the game to lag.

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Feel, ethics, and combat.  The game revolves around building a tense and dreadful environment as a constant reminder of the war that the characters are involved in.  For the Hunters and the Marked, ethical decisions come into play often.  Is it right to kill a child who has been infected with a demonic seed?  Is it justified to use demonic powers that are inherently evil to protect or save innocents?  Finally, I placed a huge emphasis on combat because my game is about a war so combat is going to come into play sooner or later.

16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
The ethical decision and character conflict because I love situations where there is no right answer and the combat because the system Iíve devised is very tactical with loads of special attacks and options available to characters.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games canít, donít, or wonít?
Demons have been done before.  Monster hunters have been done before.  However, Iíve never seen a game that deals with a situation like that of the Marked.  Additionally, Iíve never played a game that has no limit on what a character could possibly do like my resolution system does.  Finally, I think my approach to combat is a unique method that will set my game apart from others.

18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?
Once Iíve done significant beta testing for my game I hope to eventually market it to a publishing company because I donít foresee me being able to keep updating my game after I graduate college.

19.) Who is your target audience?
The game is geared more towards experienced role-players who like dark games with an emphasis on tactical combat and tough decisions.
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2006, 12:24:53 PM »

Regarding #5, the narrative side seems to be purely colour, since you create a distinction between it and the numerical side.
Why not have the character's goals be represented by a number? The slider we've discussed earlier in the thread?
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2006, 12:33:31 PM »

Regarding #5, the narrative side seems to be purely colour, since you create a distinction between it and the numerical side.
Why not have the character's goals be represented by a number? The slider we've discussed earlier in the thread?

Did we discuss that in this thread?  I'm having trouble finding it.

Some goals are quantified by a number.  A Marked's goal is often to maintain their humanity, which is quantified by their humanity score.  A Demon's power will be quantified by their power rank.  The Hunter's goal is killing demons, which is quantified by the experience they gain.

The narrative side is more to describe the personality and appearance of the character.  How tall are they?  What do they wear?  What is their outlook on life?  What's their personality like?  What has happened in their life?  The questions go on and on.  These type of things can't be expressed with a number.
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2006, 12:39:26 PM »

So it's pure colour.
It's important to note that motivations belong in the Numerical section, so people won't mistake their character's worldview to be just that.
They're that and they also drag the game kicking.

And you're right, I seem to have mentioned it on another thread. It still applies, a Slider should be there.
Hunter: Duty Vs. Humanity.
Marked: Power Vs. Humanity.
Demon: Self Vs. Community.

Or something like that. In a way, when the Demon works for Demonic community he can become Marked, when a Marked does nothing with his powers he can become Human, when a Hunter does his Duty to off Demons and Marked at the expanse of helping humans he can become Marked...
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2006, 03:45:58 PM »

So it's pure colour.
It's important to note that motivations belong in the Numerical section, so people won't mistake their character's worldview to be just that.
They're that and they also drag the game kicking.

And you're right, I seem to have mentioned it on another thread. It still applies, a Slider should be there.
Hunter: Duty Vs. Humanity.
Marked: Power Vs. Humanity.
Demon: Self Vs. Community.

Or something like that. In a way, when the Demon works for Demonic community he can become Marked, when a Marked does nothing with his powers he can become Human, when a Hunter does his Duty to off Demons and Marked at the expanse of helping humans he can become Marked...

I like the slider idea and have already thought about incorporating something like it into my game (that was one of the things I wanted to have to distinguish my game from others.)

I was thinking of having a very long slider that was just called humanity (name might change.)  It would look something like this:

           Demon         Marked        Hunter
oooooooooOoooooooooOoooooooooOooooooooo

The big 'O's would represent the neutral point for each of the different factions.  If you move either up (right) or down (left) in the humanity scale to the neutral point of the next faction then you become a member of that faction.  For instance, if a Hunter gets steadily corrupted by demons (though continuous interaction with them) or if he does selfish actions his humanity decreases.  If it reaches the neutral point for the Marked then he becomes infected with a demonic soul and he become a Marked.  This provides some really great plot twists or character conflicts for the game because the characters might have to end up with either having to kill one of their friends or let a potential demon live.  For the Marked, it would be an indicator of how much they are under the influence of the demonic soul within them.  If they can raise their humanity through good actions or not using their powers to the neutral level of a Hunter then they successfully exorcise the demon within them.  Conversely, if they overuse their powers or engage in evil behavior their humanity would drop and once they reach the neutral point of the Demons the demon inside them would take complete control and they would become a demon.  For the demons, I'm thinking of making their humanity scale relate to their power within the clan and their commitment to the demonic cause (which makes it harder and harder for them to become human again.)  How a demon would raise their humanity I'm not exactly sure.  I like the 'Community' idea but I'm not sure if it fits in with what I have going right now.  Maybe anytime the demon shows compassion or mercy or some other type of good emotion they would have their humanity raised.
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dindenver
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« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2006, 04:34:31 PM »

Hi!
  I dunno, last I heard, the hunters get their power from gadgets, not the peresence or absence of seed/sin.
  I think an a;lignment bar would be appropriate for this game though. Maybe have the powers/etc. Key off of the current value of that alignment?
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Dave M
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Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2006, 07:25:28 AM »

Hi!
  I dunno, last I heard, the hunters get their power from gadgets, not the peresence or absence of seed/sin.
  I think an a;lignment bar would be appropriate for this game though. Maybe have the powers/etc. Key off of the current value of that alignment?


They do get their power from gadgets.  Humanity is a completely different thing that deals with how close they are to switching factions, which has serious and often deadly consequences (especially if you are a Hunter.)
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dindenver
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2006, 09:31:46 AM »

Hi!
  OK, I get that an organization of Hunters would want someone that had a certain alignment score.
 BUT, being good doesn't mysteriously alter you physically or give you powers. So, how can they tell who gets the gadgets? Furthermore, what's to stop the Demons from stealing the gadgets from fallen Hunters? Finally, if a Huner's job is to slay demons, and you lose resistance to getting infected by being near demons, then, what prevents hunters from ecoming demons (Demons that already have gadgets along with training and experience using those gadgets)?
  To put it another way, imagine for a sec, that you are the leader of a group of Hunters. A human approaches your group to join. how can you tell if they are earnest or just want some cool gadgets?
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Dave M
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2006, 10:55:38 AM »

Also, they don't become Demons overnight, they first go through being Marked.

Marked with Hunter mindsets and more power, do note that a Marked with a Hunter mindset will rather quickly become a Demon it seems.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Elishar
Member

Posts: 46


« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2006, 04:26:09 PM »

Hi!
  OK, I get that an organization of Hunters would want someone that had a certain alignment score.
 BUT, being good doesn't mysteriously alter you physically or give you powers. So, how can they tell who gets the gadgets? Furthermore, what's to stop the Demons from stealing the gadgets from fallen Hunters? Finally, if a Huner's job is to slay demons, and you lose resistance to getting infected by being near demons, then, what prevents hunters from ecoming demons (Demons that already have gadgets along with training and experience using those gadgets)?
  To put it another way, imagine for a sec, that you are the leader of a group of Hunters. A human approaches your group to join. how can you tell if they are earnest or just want some cool gadgets?


Alignment does not determine power in any way.  Power is determined from gaining experience which translates into either the Hunter improving their abilities, learning how to make new gadgets, or being able to  create more single use gadgets to kill more demon.

Yes, Hunters can become Marked.  If this happens they can still use Hunter gadgets but they can no longer advance as a Hunter or learn how to make new gadgets.  A Demon who slays a Hunter could use Hunter gadgets but they would need to figure out how they would work.  Additionally, many Hunters install failsafes in items they use just in case their weapons get in the wrong hands (think of the sword in Blade.)

However, even if faction change occurs it shouldn't throw game balance off very much.  Let's say a Hunter who is has a lot of cool gadgets finally succumbs to demonic influences and becomes a Marked.  When this happens the only thing that changes about their character is that they can no longer learn how to make new gadgets but they also gain access to a single power at the lowest rank possible and the human cap on attributes is removed.  Now instead of being able to learn how to make new gadget they can learn new powers or improve powers they already have.  They can still use the gadgets they have made in the past or even create gadgets they knew how to make as a Hunter by spending experience points that they gain (as a normal Hunter does.)

To use an example we can all relate to, changing factions is similar to multiclassing in D&D except that it carries far greater role-playing and story implications when it is done and the character cannot choose to switch back and forth between factions as they please.
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