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[Conflict: Eridani / The War For Eridani] Power 19, Second Version

Started by ElliottBelser MKII, August 17, 2006, 08:24:51 PM

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ElliottBelser MKII

My old game ideas are rising from the grave and eating my brains.  This is Not Good.  I only hope some cool gamenosity will result.

1) What is your game about?
Having fun while asking if you can win The War for Eridani and remain a decent human being.

2) What do the characters do?
Try to capture colonies for resources and convince the Eridani colonists to support the Confed Space Force, through any means they deem needful. Advise thier superiors in terms of overall strategy.  Try to destroy the Draconian mothership.  If the Mothership is destroyed, the Dracs cannot hold thier position and you've kicked thier ass- military victory.  If the people want this - political victory.  One does not imply the other.

3) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
The players direct squadrons of Dragonslayers (named for thier mecha and thier mission: sort of a cross between the Psi Corps of Babylon Five and the Mobile Infantry of Starship Troopers) by portraying thier squadleader, and possibly the squadmates of other squadleaders (thank you, Matt Wilson.  It was so OBVIOUS after seeing Galactic in action).  They also win and spend Resources and Influence on raising Armies, warping in Fleets (of starships), and convincing prominent colonial groups and terroris... freedom fighters, excuse me, to join your cause.

Whether or not this results in them changing thier character's Views on the war and his or her own humanity is entirely up to the player.  Of course.

The GM controls the Draconian invaders and the Cast of Thousands.  He creates dynamic colonies weakened by the war itself using what I affectionately refer to as a Heartbreaker In The Vineyard system, and attacks them, making sure that there is a broad spread of resource types across them.  He forces the PC'S into action by portraying a cast of characters that, even if they are friendly to the PCs, are at cross purposes.  He reinforces his fleets and armies with resources and spends his own Influence.

4) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
This space fantasy setting has warmachines that make doing foolishly brave things deadly but worthwhile.  The need for resources explains why they don't just bomb the planet, blast apart the space stations, and be done with it.  There is no (small, convenient) FTL radio, meaning that the players cannot just ask thier mothership for advice.  The psionics give a good reason to say either "He's lying" or "He's hiding the truth" or even "He's psychically sheilding his thoughts - he has something to hide!"  The isolated colonies, resentful of thier old Solar Confederation control and willing to listen to the Draconians, provide juicy adventure seeds.

5) How does the character creation of your game reinforce what it's about?
You create a (four-man?) squadron, spending the most attention and points on it's Commander, encouraging you to sacrifice one of them or even the commander if it's needful (ouch).  The way that thier abilities stack encourages you to give them different abilities, however, and the process is streamlined, with a few example Traits but no set ones - plus if your leader bites it (as there is, sometimes, no way to prevent) there's the "I am assuming command of this squadron" rule, where one of your underlings steps up to the plate.  There are three stats you set - Charisma, Wits, and Stamina - plus Bravery which applies to all actions and fluctuates throughout play.  These stats serve as both hit points and dice pools.

6) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary?)
7) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in this game?
The game rewards tactical and strategic thinking through it's wargame elements.  It rewards bravery by increasing the Bravery stat through Motivations and through players saying "damn, that takes guts".  It rewards acting like a good leader to your underlings by the players judging if you're acting like one and giving you back points that let you take control of your underlings.  In addition, you can always retreat from conflicts, or from a colony entirely.

8) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
First off, players are in control of thier Squadleaders at all times.  Period.  Players might not always be in charge of other people's squadmates, though.  During the more RP heavy, "we're here to save this colony" segments, the GM provides adversity and provides a situation that's about to crumble.  Players can invent minor details that help them out with successful die rolls: "I herd us towards cover." "Roll Wits+Bravery against twice the Tension."  "Rawk!  3 successes!" "Your squad dives behind a rock formation!  +2 dice against attack!"  However, they cannot invent ships and war machines: those MUST be made present through negotiation and resource allocation before the RP part by having a Fleet or Army present.

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?)
It shows how screwed up the colonies are because of the war and what opportunistic bastards the Draconians are.  The GM can also win a political victory, a military victory, or both, over the players.  Never mind the moral questions.

10) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?

During conflict, say what's at stake.  ("Do I win the war" and "Do I save the colony" are not kosher.)  Describe your methods of getting this, then roll Bravery+Other Stat+Trait+Equipment, trying for 5's and 6's on d6.  Roll either against twice the apparent Tension (how screwed up/mentally invaded the colony is) or an opponents Bravery+Other Stat+Trait+Equipment+Tension.  Multiple individuals may roll together if and only if they spend points in thier Relationships to get underlings to help them in a specific way: otherwise the leader of the mob gets their stats and everyone else contributes thier stats, minus 2. (Yes, this applies to the squadrons.  Yes, this means someone with a 1 in a stat is actually hindering the mob).  Multiple people can have different compatible Stakes, in which case they all roll against twice Tension!

If fighting against someone, then the winner inflicts Consequence on the loser equal to the number of successes they have above yours.  Each Stat but Bravery has a linked number of "fail notches" under it.  You may take Consequence by subtracting Bravery (it demoralizes you) or by checking off the appropriate stat's Fail Notches.  You then roll again with new actions relating to the conflict.  Subtracted bravery lowers your dice pool.  If all the Fail Notches on the appropriate stat are filled in, then... you lose the conflict and gain a d6 to contribute to Traits.  If it's all your Stamina fail notches, you fall unconsious and if you or the GM consider it appropriate roll against twice Tension or die.

During any conflict, you may give a View die to the GM to use against the party to gain a point of Bravery back for doing something courageous related to your View.

11) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?

12) Do characters in your game advance?  If so, how?
When they do brave things, they gain Bravery.  When they do inspiring things, they gain Relationship points.  When they fail, they gain Traits.  When they succeed in thier mission, they get resources and hence equipment and NPC allies.  When they finish a mission, they may swap around and change points in Views.

13) How does the character advancement or lack thereof reinforce what the game is about?
It makes them occasionally lose battles; it rewards bravery and inspiring leadership; and it rewards military and tactical success on a strategic level.

14) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
Besides fun?  I want them to get PISSED at the Draconians.  I want to make them conflicted over which colonies to help and how to help - the more screwed up one where people are dying?  Or the one with more Titanium alloy deposits?  Do they dare associate with the anti alien terrorists?  Are they only asking that because the Suil aliens promised them bigger guns for a share of the metal they mine from Eridani?

15) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Colony creation, to screw up the colonies and make the players really want to save them all.  Technology - what it can and can't do - especially can't.  Various Earther, colonial and alien groups, to plop into a colony or into the more wargamy phase to keep it Roleplayey and to make you win some and lose some no matter who you ally with.  The psionics receive little color deliberately, it's up to the players to decide if "I go Akira on thier ass, throwing one of thier tanks at them with telekinesis!" is kosher: save that they're all telepaths.  Honestly, psi is just a stakes-raising devise.

16) Which part of your game are you most excited about? Why?
The moral questions. The leadership system and the idea of I Am Assuming Command.  The fact that you're manipulating the fate of a planet. 

17) Where does your game take the players that other games can't, don't, or won't?
To a place where your weapon and purpose is the manipulation of societies and thier militaries on a scale a star system's width.

18) What are your publishing goals for your game?
PDF it at first.  If people bite in enough numbers, perhaps a digest paperback.

19) Who is your target audience?
Narrativists.  Gamists.  You-Got-My-Narrativism-In-My-Gamism-ists.  Wargamers.  Space Opera fans.