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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)
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Author Topic: "No name, steriotypical, fantasy, RPG"  (Read 12186 times)
Eric J.
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« on: May 20, 2002, 02:58:11 PM »

I'm creating an RPG without a name.  Being of relativilley young age, my experience is very small.  This is my third try, where every try seemed like moving through the last 20 years of the industry. I've talked to my friends about it and they just get annoyed, so I've finally come to you people.  (exhale) (inhale).  Now: My RPG is different in few respects.  It is based upon a fantasy world, on the continent of Odin, in the Soverign States.  They are bordered by obstacles of expansion: The Dwarven inhabited Crescent Mountains, Elven Forests, and Serpent infested seas to the south.  My idea is to incorperate this into a scratchware game which will be sold over the internet.  Anyway, it's based upon D6 legends D6 system, but will have another name (It's trademarked).  This is NOT STAR WARS DONE A DIFFERENT WAY. Anyway, it is based upon 8 attributes (ability scores, ect.) Strength, Constitution, Coordination, Agility, Intelligance, Intuition, Perception, Charisma. There are combat abilities, which are modified by the appropriate attributes, level, and skills. There is total experience, which determines your level, and allocatable experience, which is allocated to skills. HP, Stamina, and even mana, are represented by D6's.  Anyway, another aspect, is the original chart which gives you abilities (magic potential, Super-intelligance,Paladin calling) which makes magic a very special thing.  Combat will be made with opposed rolls, rather than how it is handled in other systems, adding a new element of flexability.  I could go on for a long time, but I'd like to hear some CONSTRUCTIVE criticism concerning concept and some insight on what I'm assuming that shouldn't.  I am far from publishing (-Leaving that to my mom.  Yes I still live with my mom.) so don't send me to another thread about that. Anyway, this is where I will make allusions to, whenever I talk about my RPG in other threads. Let the tearing apart and manipulation of what I've stated begin...
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2002, 03:20:21 PM »

Pyron,

I think the fact that you're going to the effort to do this and that you've come to ask other's opinions before jumping into a huge project says a lot, and I applaud you for both.

That said, I think you're aiming for failure. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but - the game you described is available in every hobby store under a couple of different names. There's scads of fantasy games with the name Odin in them somewhere that use dice pools and opposed rolls in combat. (Hell, I wrote one - and it has levels, too.)

I do think you'll probably create a game that you, and hopefully, your group, will really enjoy playing.

We have kind of a tradition around here: when we're working on a new game, we tell what we want play to be like and about. Lists of stats or whatever is great, but I couldn't really see from your post what your game is going to be like. Is it gritty? Is it fantastic? Is it about something in particular?

Last thing:
Quote

Let the tearing apart and manipulation of what I've stated begin...


This deserves a new thread, almost, but I see more self-deprecation and negativity among gamers than any other group of people I hang out with. I can think of one designer right now that will do an incredible job with his games if he can manage to not put himself down in every statement he makes, which he currently does.

Anyway, I've found that you get your expectations. Expect more.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2002, 03:22:58 PM »

Hey,

I think you might be working from a lot of assumptions about game mechanics that may not ultimately serve your design goals. Roy Penrod started a thread recently that lays out a design approach I think you should consider. Essentially, it starts with you writing an example of play like you see in most non-indie roleplaying games. Read his thread here:

http://indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1896

Someone who goes by "Pale Fire" actually tried Roy's method, and I for one was impressed with how well it worked to expose what his priorities were and get people talking about mechanics that support them. Read it here:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1926

I think it might be just the technique for you. You could do the example of play and post it here in Indie Game Design and hope incisive Forge regulars are motivated by it to help you get under the hood and produce some mechanics that support your goals. If you do that, certainly mention and refer people to Roy's thread so they know what you're hoping for.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Eric J.
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2002, 08:03:25 PM »

Thank you. When I said:

Quote
Let the tearing apart and manipulation of what I've stated begin...


I was feeling sinical form that one guy who tore apart my "Classes vs. Reality" thread. Your feelings of depression on gamers would be accurate in the sense that studies show (even the Christian ones) that RPGs and stuff in general attract an audience with high intelligance, thought to be due to the abstract nature of the game.  Giftedness and being a first born are very high factors of perfectionism, and of course quoting Lisa Simpson:
Quote
"I've seen that as intelligance increases, happiness decreases. I make lots of graphs."
Anyway...

I read the posts and I'll try them. Thoes concepts are remarkable, and will help me immenselley.  Still getting acquainted with the Forge.... It's really intimidating, so I'll stay here as timid as I am, but It's the only help I've got (I have). Thanks.
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Paganini
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2002, 06:48:37 AM »

Quote from: Pyron
Anyway, it's based upon D6 legends D6 system, but will have another name (It's trademarked).  This is NOT STAR WARS DONE A DIFFERENT WAY.


Actually, the last time I checked, WEG was encouraging people to use the Legend systems in their own games. Fans can write games and give them away for free (there are quite a few decent fan offerings out there, including the Matrix RPG, Appleseed D6, Evil Dead D6, and so on). If you actually want to charge for the game, you'll need a liscense from WEG. However, I don't believe acquiring one involves a great deal, especially if you have a good cover and a more or less organized presentation.

However, I think you need to do a little more thinking before you get started. Designing a complete game to the point of publication is a *lot* of work. You don't want to do all the sweating and hair tearing only to find out that nobody wants to buy it. So, the first thing you need to think about is this: What's going to set your game apart? What will make people want to play it enough to buy it? What's interesting / unique about it in such a way that it will catch people's interest?

Is it the system? From your comments, I'm going to hazard a guess that the answer is "no." As I mentioned, you can get well-done D6 games for free on the internet. Plus, the real deal commercial WEG games can be gotten quite cheaply... I purchased the Xena / Herc game from Half.com for about $11 last month. This is a boxed set... it comes with dice, GM guide, adventures, the whole works. I think we can safely say that system won't be a big draw for your game.

So, if it's not the system, then I suggest that your setting had better be pretty unique and interesting. If your game comes across as "just another fantasy game using the D6 system" then no one will buy it. Don't get me wrong - that doesn't mean that it won't be a good game, even so. It just means that you might be better off designing and writing the game for your own personal use and posting it for free on the net along the lines of the other fan D6 games I mentioned.

So, I would examine your system closely, and try to objectively determine what it has to offer when compared to other fantasy games out there like D&D, Sovereign Stone, Herc & Xena, and so on.

Hope that helps. :)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2002, 07:28:48 AM »

Hey there,

Welcome to the madness that is game design. One thing that impressed me was your acknowledgment that a person's early design efforts usually mirror the history of actual game design through the years, which is true.

My question is very basic: what do the main characters actually do in play? All of the following are generalizations and don't apply to 100% of the cases, but they provide good models for my questions.

In The Whispering Vault, they put a stop to the activities of Unbidden Beings who have invaded human history.

In Tunnels & Trolls, they explore underground complexes and dangerous cityscapes, fighting and killing most of what they encounter.

In Star Wars, they get enmeshed in the missions and counter-missions of Rebels and Empire.

In Orkworld, they hunt and quest to keep their tribe and clan alive.

In Shadowrun, they are paid to carry out espionage and assassinations among a multitude of scheming corporations.

So, in your game, what do they do?

Best,
Ron
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Eric J.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2002, 02:02:59 PM »

Well... The problem is that I'm designing it for a CRPG right now, and only one continent has been created, and it's very closed. O.K. The players options are to do anything.  I believe that what you are looking for are conflict points.  The main ones that I've created are kinda bad but I'l post them anyway.

Empire: The human empire known as the Soverign States came over from some stupid continent in rebellion, to be rid of oppression and overpopulation. (Kinda like the U.S. really.) They are ruled by a King and is made up of several districts, each with his/her own goal in mind.  The king's power comes form the Council of The Wise.  That's made up of individuals with power, coming from each of the 5 districts.  This could lead to endless power struggles between each of the districts and the political situations concerning everyone else.  Another part is the conflict between the States and other races.  The humans are trying to expand but are blocked on all sides by different obsticles.  North: Elves and their defensive divine magic. East: They came from there. South: The dragon sea is home to many serpents who make expansion cost inefective, and the deadlands past that are home to little life.  West: The humans, forcing the Dwarves back as they came, are repeadedly destroyed in ambushes every time they make their way through a pass.  So over the centuries (yes centuries) the citizens of each race grow more histile with the stalemate.  Could there be peace? Heck if I know.

Magic: In theory, magic was much more powerful, long ago. After time went on, a White Mage (or whatever) decided to stop the Chaos and imprisoned it whithin a stone.  This allowed progress to be made, and legends about powerful sorcerers that rulled the world (Sorcerers are powerhouses).  Needless to say, if humans can enslave other humans because they are a different color (in real history), what would they do to Mages? Outcasts and rogues, mages are few and weak compared to other RPGs.

This is a very small part of what has been done on the first continent.  It's meant to be limited in player action and detail, because it's for our CRPG. I am not saying that I'm creating a CRPG.  I'm saying that it might be made into a CRPG. I would not be here otherwise.  Oh, and don't be fooled by the psudo-tolkein attitude I've conveyed. Thoes are the ONLY demi-human races I'm using, and I've created others so far.  They are the main political conflicts on 1/3 of the first continent of our first world, so don't state the obvious (the obviouse being, that it's too limited).  It's still open for change, which is why I'm here.  I also know that I didn't directly answer your question, but now I will: The players adventure, mainly in the heartlands which I've not explained here.  I'm going for Person vs. Person conflict over person vs. nature (monster or dungeon) conflict. I'm making a strict NO SUPER "YOUR RACE" philosophy.  And finally I'm making the skill system the heavy focus. Any questions?

Be here next time as I describe how I went from Classes but without Levels, to Levels without classes...
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Bankuei
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2002, 02:35:40 PM »

Quote
The players adventure, mainly in the heartlands which I've not explained here. I'm going for Person vs. Person conflict over person vs. nature (monster or dungeon) conflict.


For clarification: "adventure"=  explore strange places(Indiana Jones), meet new people(Star Trek NG), negotiate, fight, all the above, none of the above?

You have several conflicts, but I'm not quite sure what you see a "standard" gaming group doing with your game.  What is the experience you want players to experience?  For example, people could play out the political negotiation and intrigue from Star Wars, but why would you?  The Star Wars experience is about an epic space opera, not Dune level backstabbing.  With your background described, it seems that the conflict is ultimately political, but if the players are "adventuring" what does that mean?

Thanks,
Chris
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JSDiamond
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2002, 03:25:23 PM »

...by specifying that adventuring in your game setting is more 'character-centric' for lack of a better word, I assume that you mean that the environment is one of isolation?  That is, so far out there in the wilds that it forces the characters to *rely* so much upon each other that they occasionally conflict with each other.  Is that correct (or close)?

And since the heartlands are a focus of what it means to adventure, I will also guess that exploration is one of the main premises of the game?

Jeff
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JSDiamond
Eric J.
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2002, 05:08:23 PM »

I'm sorry. What do you mean? I meant that the conflicts in my game are person vs. person instead of the traditional person vs. monster.  It seams more realistic and interesting.  Monsters will be used as plot devices and person-controlled enemies insead as villians.  A large portion of my game could be exploration.  Let me be more concise.  My game is designed to work with almost all environments, but my campaign setting is, as of now, set on a snake shaped continent.  The humans are stuck in one region, and much of the game will take place where it isn't stuck.  My company has a web-sight but my Administrator is Scratchware.  He doesn't really want to do anything untill the summer (in the U.S. it's in about a month). Anyway, once we work on the web sight, I'll post a link and you'll be able to get more access to information about my game.
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Valamir
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2002, 05:28:40 PM »

Pyron, what is being asked is "what do you do".

Forget for the moment (we can come back to it later) what shape your continent is, what kind of mechanics you use, any reference to classes or levels, or any thing similiar to that.

Picture in your head the ideal game.  You are the GM, several of your best gaming friends are sitting around the table, and you're mid way through the best evening of gaming you've ever had.  What are your doing?

What kind of adventure are you embarked upon?
Who is driving the story forward?
Is the GM in charge of the story and all of the "secret" information which the players gradually uncover and experience at the GM's direction?
Are the players influencing the story, beyond simply saying "my character does X"?  

Imagine the coolest scene of the whole night.

Is it a combat scene?
Is it a scene where one of the players introduced something into the plot that mind bogglingly cool.
Is it a scene where a player's character just came to life and really took the lime light?

This is what the questions are getting at.  Basically what sort of gaming experience is your game meant to convey.  Every gamer has developed his own "world" populated by cultures that are "kind of like Vikings", or "a cross between the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt", etc.  Every gamer has played with designing or modifying game mechanics to highlight some area better than their favorite system does.  

What makes your game special is not what shape the continent is, or how many unique cultures you populate it with.  Its the type of experience that is to be had while playing, and how your rules accomplish achieving that experience.

Once you have a clear vision of that "ideal game session" your goal becomes to dump everything you *think* you know about the "right" way to design game mechanics and instead dedicate your game mechanics to recreating that ideal game session.  

Once we know what your vision for the game is we can help evaluate whether the mechanics you come up with are helping or hindering that goal.  There is no such thing as a good mechanic or a bad mechanic taken out of the context of what you're trying to accomplish.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2002, 05:38:51 PM »

Sorry for not seeing you post, Chris.  I described the political background because that seemed to be a foundation for other posts.  Diplomacy is not centeral in any way.  I just wanted to describe the human race for you.  Political intrigue is very important to a good campaign, and starting out as a diplomat could be an option.  Any way, when you ask what adventuring means, I say, "Good point.  I really hadn't considered that."  Average: Stop a plot created by a main villian.  They would adventure through different territories and interact with the environment so that they could create the circumstances for his/her defeat.  The conflict in our CRPG, at this point, is this villian guy and a bunch of other people are trying to get a crystal together so that it could realease all of the demonds it posseses from the past.  I didn't write it.  This was created about 3 days ago, so it's open for edit.  Very open.  Example of another story: The humans have discovered one of their colonies beyond the mountains, is under attack.  They send your regiment.  This would consist of you and 3 other PC soldiers (they could all be unique with different values since there isn't a class system).  You travel there, by airship but you're shot down.  You then come to the town and it's being destroyed by another race.  You help defend, but you also find that they are just trying to take back land that had been stolen form them, and they had tried negociations.  The other race had actually tried defending your airship and is being opposed by another race.  You save the race but now you have the journey home.  Something along thoes lines would be what I'm talking about when I say adventure.  I understand that making games too imperial, really limits what can be accomplished, but this is for a CRPG and the system will be designed mainly for another campaign setting.
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2002, 05:57:36 PM »

It sounds like "what you do" is something along the lines of "Fight against terrible odds against grand opposition." And you're leaning towards the PCs being very effective in the great scheme of things (as in World-Changing Heroes).

Pyron, try laying out a few sample games in one or two sentences each. For example:
D&D
- Fight through a dungeon brimming with undead to defeat the lich king.
- The goblin tribes are being brought together by some unknown menace; stop them before they destroy the neighboring human towns.
- Demons, unseen in generations, are rising from the bay. Investigate and put a stop to them.

These sentences lead to a game that focuses on combat, heroicism and fighting against evil.

Call of Cthulhu
- A haunted house, initially thought to be an urban legend, proves to house an ancient, burbling evil. Try and survive the awful discovery and subsequent escape.

Shadowrun
- Mr. Johnson hires a band of shady runners to infiltrate a corporate warehouse and steal a DNA sample.

In short, answer Valamir's question: What do you do?
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Eric J.
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2002, 06:22:40 PM »

Sorry.  He typed his post at the same time as me.

O.K. To simplify things: I've tried to run through the ideal scenerio thing that was posted (ingenious) and ran into a small problem: I am used to PCs being too stupid...  When you mean idealistic, what kinds of things do you mean to be ideal, the GM or the players as well?
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2002, 08:13:08 PM »

I think by ideal he means the whole gaming experience, rather than GMs or Players. Also, you say that you are used to "stupid PCs." I don't understand what you mean by "stupid."

Quote from: Pyron
Stop a plot created by a main villian


That doesn't say "fantasy." What kind of plots? What kind of villains? You're going to have to narrow your focus! Try listing about 5 different plots, 1-2 sentences. Try to capture a) the feel of your rpg, b) the big picture, rather than "players do a then b then c then d."
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