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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 12187 times)
Bankuei
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2002, 08:33:12 PM »

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Any way, when you ask what adventuring means, I say, "Good point. I really hadn't considered that."


Ok, so it seems that combat is a major focus of your game, as opposed to adventure being, "We hired a team of rangers and mountain climbers to deliver this message".  But the question returns; what is the experience of your game that makes it unique?  

You can stop a villian's plot in far too many systems, what makes it worthwhile to 1) design a system to do what a lot others do, 2) learn a new set of rules?  How is your system fundamentally different than, GURPS, Fudge, or the Window?

For example, if you get a chance, you may wish to see Ron's GNS article and try to define your game within its ideas.  Is the experience of foiling the evil plot supposed to be a tactical challenge, a moving story, or a gritty realistic simulation?  


Chris

PS-

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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...


This aspect has less to do with "stupid PC's" as much as either stupid players, insufficient clues/information given by the GM, railroading, or simply bad communication.  I suggest you split this as a seperate thread if you want to discuss it.
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Matt Machell
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2002, 04:21:45 AM »

Pyron a quick suggestion. Go and look at a variety of the games in the resource library.

People here can get pretty deep into theory, pretty quickly and a lot of this will be easier if you see some of the theory in practice. Look at games like Inspectres, Sorcerer, The Pool and others. Look at the systems in them and how they encourage a style of play.

Matt
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Eric J.
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2002, 04:37:17 AM »

I've done a little bit of that.   Anyway I meant to say stupid players, not PCs.  I know the difference, but I made a slight mess up.  I'll try to clarify the feel of my RPG in the next few sentences.

1.  The focus will be on fantasy and awe of the setting.  I will in no way try to make my RPG mythos resemble any part of a single culture.  Cyclopeses battle trolls where I come from.  The games will be rich and plot driven.  The GM has the ultimate power and tries to use the players as his pawns.  The players will be able to impact the story.  It will come out in different ways, but the GM desides on what the main conflict is since the beginning of the game.

2.Combat will be quick, in most cases.  You will have a large amount of combat options, each effecting gameplay.  However, combat will not last longer than a minute on most occasions (about 20 rounds.)  The players will have many more options than most other games.  This includes the entire synergy effect of the skill system and the 8 attributes that a player has. Sorry, mechanically I'm going off again.  Combat will still be important, actually drilled into your character, instead of skills.

3. Campaigns will have a single objective throughout: Liberate a continent, or stop the threat of the plague, or establish your faith in a new land.  Each time a campaign is succesfully completed (you don't die), you are led into a larger campaign, finding that what you've done is just a minute factor of something bigger.

It should be fast, the players should feel small, and they should have fun throughout the adventures which encourage a variety of environments and experiences.

What else should I elaborate on?
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Joe Murphy (Broin)
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2002, 04:48:50 AM »

Pyron,

What did you mean by 'Combat will still be important, actually drilled into your character, instead of skills'?

Thanks,

Joe.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2002, 04:55:14 AM »

Characters will actually have combat statisitics instead of each combat action being a skill.

Example: A characters M.D. (Mellee Defense) will be based off of the attribute: Agility and will be modified by coordination.  It will not be a skill that you purchased for 10 character points.
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Bankuei
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2002, 10:38:18 AM »

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The games will be rich and plot driven. The GM has the ultimate power and tries to use the players as his pawns


So will you have anything specifically that will encourage/ensure a plot driven game, as opposed to mindless combat?  If the GM has ultimate power, what, if any control do the players have over the game?  Or is the game to encourage players into thinking they're making choices(ala illusionism)?

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The focus will be on fantasy and awe of the setting. I will in no way try to make my RPG mythos resemble any part of a single culture.


And, similar to the other thread I have in RPG Theory, how do you intend to communicate the fantastical elements, the sense of awe?

Chris
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2002, 12:23:02 PM »

I think the big issue is that you're trying to design a game to accomodate participants with different goals. By this I mean, GM wants to go one direction, Players want to go another (or some Players want to go X, others go Y). Is this what you mean by stupid?

If this is the case, it is a fundamental problem with the group, not the game. I believe you will have trouble designing a game to solve this problem. Try starting a new gaming group or talking with your group about what you all want out of gaming. If this is not possible, or I'm wrong, let me know!

To address your summary (though I would like to see it condensed further):

Focus on fantasy & setting: So the focus will be on a fantasy setting? How so? Will the Players have a chance to change the setting? Is it a mystery for them to explore? How will your game cause the participants to focus?

GM has ultimate power and tries to use the Players as his pawns: Do you mean the Players and GM are competing for control? If the GM has ultimate power, she won't need to try.

Combat will be quick, in most cases: Sounds like you have a concrete design goal in place. Quick combat with lots of options. Why just combat? Is this a focus of your game?

Each time a campaign is succesfully completed (you don't die), you are led into a larger campaign: Wait, so if you die are you out of the campaign? Or do you mean the PCs achieve the current campaign goal? I see another concrete design goal here: Each campaign (I'm guessing you mean campaign = interconnected series of adventures) leads to a larger-scale campaign.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2002, 01:34:49 PM »

Most of what you say is true. And I hope that you guys are asking questions about my RPG due to the value of the questions and not a void of answers whitin my short posts. Anyway:

1. I'm a strong believer in illusionism.  The player will have complete controll on HOW they accomplish their campaign objectives, but the GM will have complete controll over the objectives.

2. I'm not shure on how specifically to give the sense of awe, except in the design of the world and the listed descriptions whitin the material. I'm not as far into the design of the game as you would think, so any help here would be hot.

3. Zak, you are entirelly correct.  The problem is in the group and I've started another thread to discuss it. (Sorry for posting all of my problems but they've been building up for a while)

4. Combat is a focus of my game, as it is a very realistic way of solving problems and interacting with the environment.  I don't think that this is so bad if it's done right.

5. You overanalized what I said, and in so doing, infered that if you died you were out of the campaign.  I meant that to no degree.  I meant that each campaign would elevate you into an even larger campaign.  If you died, you would be forced to create a new character, but I think that I speak truthfully that not all campaigns are completed.

That answers some of your questions. Now do you have any suggestions on how I accomlish any of this?
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2002, 07:03:20 PM »

Oop. Hit a nerve.

 
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4. Combat is a focus of my game, as it is a very realistic way of solving problems and interacting with the environment. I don't think that this is so bad if it's done right.


You're right, it's not bad if done right. But...how often have you actually been in combat?

Diplomacy is also a very realistic way of solving problems and interacting with the environment. Is this also a focus of your game? Do you have as many rules for Diplomacy as you do combat? How about commerce? Religion? Art? Are these also focuses of your game?

A better question. Why is Combat a focus in your game, as opposed to other things? Why is it more important than these other things, and given more rules to cover it?

BTW, do you have magic?

Also, I'm getting a real Final Fantasy vibe, here (especially the part about the escallating campaign). You mentioned something about a CRPG. Are you discussing two different things, or are you just designing a CRPG?

Mike
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Eric J.
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2002, 07:59:02 PM »

{chuckle} I'm sorry, but with the limited information I've given you, you still are getting a final fantasy vibe.  That is remarkably funny, as that is what everyone says.  Anyway, to answer more questions:

1. First and foremost. This is my third attempt at a practical RPG.  I am creating it for personal use and we are planning to make it into a CRPG.  I know how impractical it sounds, but there might be a larger potential market.  If everything goes well, we are looking at marketing the RPG on the web.  If thoes fail, we could make a local market and sell it somehow, here in town.  If ALL ELSE fails, then we plan to give it away in PDF format over the web.  Thoes are the current plans.

2.  Combat has always been a focus in games, perhaps it's what's leftover from miniratures battles which is what this is based on.  But I see it as an ultimate form of cometition.  It is such a common theme in humanity that recieves some attention from all people.  It also allowes for such a wide array of skills to be used, while allowing a form of an engine that can be a basis for much gameplay.  And don't get me wrong.  I've said that the MAIN focus of my RPG, in terms of statistics, will be the skill system.  I will allow versatility in diplomacy, art and other stuff.  It's just that at least 30% of major conflict is combat (feel free to dissagree on this, for I'll support my statement by saying, "Well I meant MAJOR conflict).  Combat is an unavoidable theme for fantasy.   No need to fight it.

3. Magic: Yes, for god's sake, I have magic... I am trying for a non-magic based universe as much as possible.  Magic should be viewed as non-casually as possible.  See further details in earlier posts.

(Strictly my opinion)
Eric
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Bankuei
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2002, 10:52:18 PM »

Please excuse the line by line, this isn't for the sake of debate, but clarification, so please bear with me...

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1. I'm a strong believer in illusionism. The player will have complete controll on HOW they accomplish their campaign objectives, but the GM will have complete controll over the objectives.


Why not make it clear to the players what the objectives are?  In this way, you eliminate the conflict between players and GM over objectives.  Most floundering and railroading comes because of a miscommunication or lack of communication as the "what to do" part of the game.

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2. I'm not shure on how specifically to give the sense of awe, except in the design of the world and the listed descriptions whitin the material.


I have found in every game that this idea is very hard to work out.  On one level you want to provide enough information that the GM and the players have a sense of what you're talking about, but if you go as far as giving things stats, ecology, etc, then the sense of wonder is lost.  Again, if you give more power to the players to add color to your game, everyone will be left in wonder.  

Example:  "As I mount my blue shaagarth, I glance over the hill at the flying zenarths, and begin loping toward the 3 suns"  What the hell am I talking about?  I don't know, but it sounds cool and adds that color to the game.  From a gamist point of view, does it give me any bonuses? Not really, so it's just for show.

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4. Combat is a focus of my game, as it is a very realistic way of solving problems and interacting with the environment. I don't think that this is so bad if it's done right.


Combat is one way of solving problems.  Often the threat of combat can be much more efficient.  Evasion, running away, and political manipulation are also other means.  But, if you want that to be the focus of your game, that is fine, but make sure that is made clear in the rules.  Legend of the 5 Rings is a game that did this very well.

Quote
4. Combat is a focus of my game, as it is a very realistic way of solving problems and interacting with the environment. I don't think that this is so bad if it's done right.
......
Combat is an unavoidable theme for fantasy.


The first part is fine.  I have to differ with you on the second, though.  If you've seen the Dark Crystal, there really wasn't combat in that movie, and it poured over with awe and wonder.  There was a contest of cutting a stone with swords, and later a mass kidnapping, but no real fighting per se.  There are many fairy tales and folk stories that involve serious conflict, but no combat.  I'm even reading Serbian folk tales full of violence and treachery, with more than a few without combat.  

I daresay fantasy is the only way you can have nations without war.....  Combat is an unavoidable theme for politics in this world, not necessarily so in fantasy.

Chris
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Eric J.
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« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2002, 04:36:59 AM »

O.K. I agree with you.  Combat is a nearly unavoidable theme in pseudo-pseudo-tolkein fantasy (which is kinda what I'm going for).
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2002, 05:25:00 AM »

Just to add my $3.37.

Don't confuse Conflict with Combat.
Don't confuse Fights with Combat.
Don't confuse Violence with Combat (see the film Chopper or any of Takeshi Kitano's movies for some perfect examples).

"Combat" (regardless of how it's defined at M-W.com) is a holdover from the hoary days of wargaming (you know, moving Patton and Rommel around on a big map of Africa or whatever). In a roleplaying game, there's going to be some level of identification with the character (unlike Clue or Monopoly or the aforementioned wargame, where the "character" is just a piece denoting your position on the playing field). Even in the most hardcore gamist example of roleplaying, there's going to be some identification (compare and contrast actual play of D&D with actual play of the Dungeon! boardgame).

Combat is an abstract exercise in games. Fights, conflicts and violence are far more visceral and dramatic. To bring up a game with a lot of buzz around it, The Riddle of Steel sounds real visceral to me (which is why I just ordered it). You don't do "combats" in that game...you get caught up in the blood and sweat and stink of fighting. That appeals to me (I already have a character idea in mind for it...).
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Eric J.
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2002, 05:44:28 AM »

I dissagree with much of that.  I don't believe that it's a hold-over of war-gaming.  It's such a common theme in humanity, that it is commonly used un RPGs.  I am also setting up a reallativiley versitile combat system, in which more often you can dissable your oponents rather than kill them.  Combat is a fun conflict resolution in RPGs because it can be influenced by many special abilities, and can highlight certain plot twists.
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Paganini
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2002, 06:17:14 AM »

Quote from: Pyron
I dissagree with much of that.  I don't believe that it's a hold-over of war-gaming.  It's such a common theme in humanity, that it is commonly used un RPGs.  I am also setting up a reallativiley versitile combat system, in which more often you can dissable your oponents rather than kill them.  Combat is a fun conflict resolution in RPGs because it can be influenced by many special abilities, and can highlight certain plot twists.


I think you've missed Jared's point. "Combat" is not a common theme in humanity, "conflict" is. "Combat," in the way that Jared's using it, means the player treating the character as a pawn to manipulate tacticaly via a system in such a way that he achieves a favorable mechanical outcome. Manipulating your character, equipment, magic spells, and so on, so that your chances of winning an attack roll are maximized, while your chances of failing a defense roll are minimized. (Jared, please correct me if this is not what you meant.) There's a word for this "characters as pawns" stance in Ron's essay, but I can't think of it right now (only one cup of coffee so far today :). Anyway, I think this is why Jared is saying that combat is a holdover from wargames: in a wargame, your pawns are your cardboard or miniature soldiers on the battlefield. There's nothing particularly special about them... they're just tokens for you to manipulate by means of the system. In other words, an abstract mathematical exercise.

I believe Jared's point is that conflict is very important for an RPG, but that you don't necessarily want your conflict to be handled by a combat system, which can actually deemphasize the importance of conflict by reducing it to an abstract mathematical exercise.
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