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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: "No name, steriotypical, fantasy, RPG"  (Read 12227 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2002, 06:19:46 AM »

Hey,

I also think we're getting off track. The purpose of this thread is for Eric to hash out some ideas he has regarding play. I think those ideas - primarily, what is the game - have been largely resolved.

If not, then I think this thread needs to be clarified: Eric, what are you asking, at this point? Anything specific? Or is it time to hit the notebook and write up some rules ideas?

Best,
Ron
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Matt Machell
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« Reply #31 on: May 24, 2002, 06:26:01 AM »

The issue is not that combat isn't an element in this kind of fantasy setting, it's that many games focus on it to the detriment of other equally important aspects. This focus is definitely a holdover from wargames.

To give you an example, consider how combat always seems to get it's own framework (rounds, attacks, damage etc) whereas something like diplomacy often gets one skill if you're lucky.

You mentioned combat often being the province of special powers, I'd suggest looking at something like Exalted, which extends it's special powers to all arenas of conflict. (gotta love that bureaucratic overload power).

Not that you shouldn't go with a combat focus, just that you should consider why you want it.


Matt
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #32 on: May 24, 2002, 10:52:01 AM »

Quote from: Pyron
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.  
...
Thoes are the current plans.


I don't want to burst your bubble for plans, but you may want to look at Ron's Fantasy Heartbreakers article. It may offer some good insight, if your game is heading where I'm imagining it.

Quote from: Pryon
2.  Combat has always been a focus in games
...
 Combat is an unavoidable theme for fantasy.   No need to fight it.


I'd dispute this, but that's not the issue here. If you want Combat to be a main feature, and it's a magic/monster fantasy game, you're going to have to really work to make it something other than a D&D-clone "Hearbreaker".

I agree with Ron: You know your large-scale design goals. Now try picturing _how_ you would want your game to play out. Write down a sample transcript (you can find some examples on the Forge here, somewhere) between GM and Players. Put a star or note where you'd think a mechanic would go. Fiddle with different mechanics.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2002, 12:53:23 PM »

As always, much to respond to. Anyway:

1. I want to clarify my ideas about conflict and combat.  Conflict is a common theme in humanity.  Combat could also be considered a common theme in humanity.  I am making the skill system the main mechanic, because that would and should lead to more conflict and resolution than combat.   I also believe that more special abilites and skills could be used in combat than diplomacy.  I believe that this is so, because of combat's neccecity to human survival throughout the ages. As for the connection to wargaming: I believe that in 500 years (in a universe where humanity survives) if RPGing survives, that it will still incorperate a large quantity of combat mechanics.  It is just that combat is used by so many people for combat resolution and that it IS a theme of humanity (how many wars have we had?) that it will continue all but perpetually.

2. Proffesor Edwards: I have spent the last few posts answering questions. I now, ask the Forgites (or whatever you prefer to be called) to give advice on how to improve my system, and the world.  If you don't feel like giving me the benefit of your experience, just make an entire post with links to articles that would help me.  That's fine. I'm just trying to survive in an industry that's controlled by brains like you.  The only logical way to do this is to mooch off of your knowledge, so here I am.

3. I've done this, as requested, and want to know if you want what I wrote to be posted here. Thanks.

Also, if you want to quote me, it would be appreciated if you would put everything I put, as it would make things clearer whithin my statements.

Thanks.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2002, 01:15:11 PM »

Hey Eric,

Calling me "Professor" isn't necessary, or even appropriate. I'm not a prof for purposes of interacting at the Forge. Similarly, "Doctor," etc. I have no special social rank here beyond Forum Moderator, which is for content-appropriateness and shouldn't enter debates.

Let's get practical with the game, then. No one will design it for you, but as you say, perhaps some experience can come to your aid.

Let's see ... an RPG is composed of Character, System, Setting, Situation, and Color, in no particular order. Also, any of these may be simple or complex or in-between, as well as fixed or flexible or in-between.

Here's an example: most of the above are firmly fixed in my game Elfs, except for Character, which is only a little flexible; and Situation, which is intended to be wildly variable according to certain parameters. All of them are intended to be very simple, especially System.

Let's start there - if I'm reading you right so far, System is going to be fairly solidly fixed. Anything else? For instance ...

Is the game going to be setting-specific, like (say) Earthdawn? Or setting-customized, like early D&D?

Are character types (if there's more than one) going to use different sets of rules or the same single set of rules?

What sort of Color are we talking about? Color includes stuff like Tone - or really anything that heightens the imagination about the other components (Setting, etc). It's best thought of in terms of adjectives: gritty vs. light-hearted, depressing vs. inspiring, funny vs. serious, etc.

Answering all of these is intended to be practical - I'm focusing as well as I can on the needs you've raised, so let us know your answers.

Best,
Ron

P.S. "Control the industry?" Oh, I wish ...
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Zak Arntson
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« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2002, 10:47:34 PM »

Quote from: Pyron
1. I want to clarify my ideas about conflict and combat.  Conflict is a common theme in humanity.


This would be a ripe discussion for the RPG Theory forum. Combat surely is part of human existence, but you may be surprised at how many RPGs don't explicitly handle it. Of the 13 RPGs I've written up at Harlekin-Maus, only one of them has explicit combat rules (Fungeon).

Quote from: Pyron
I have spent the last few posts answering questions.
...
I'm just trying to survive in an industry that's controlled by brains like you.  The only logical way to do this is to mooch off of your knowledge, so here I am.


And we'll keep asking questions. I'm not understanding your stance here. I don't feel like my question has yet been answered: Summarize your game in one or two sentences.

Examples:
D&D: Heroes battling evil foes in pseudo-medieval dungeons, with an ever-increasing power balanced by ever-toughening odds.
(Ron's) Sorcerer: How far will your Sorcerer pay her demon's price to achieve power? Is it worth the cost?
(My own) Metal Opera: How awesomely and bad-ass can you rock against the oppression of Religion, Industry and Goverment?
(Clinton R. Nixon & my own's) Donjon: Given D&D-style adventures, how can the Players make their encounters even more interesting?
(Jared Sorensen's) InSpectres: A bunch of average joes working against supernatural forces, a la Ghostbusters meets the .com industry.

Also, I'm with Ron: I wish we controlled it. You'll find that indie designers are a fringe group of a fringe hobby. You're going to have to define Survival for yourself. (For me, it's writing a monthly free game for this year; next year I plan on a possible commercial route)

Quote from: Pyron
Also, if you want to quote me, it would be appreciated if you would put everything I put, as it would make things clearer whithin my statements.


I hate cluttering up the thread, since all the messages are readily available. On the reply-to html page, you can scroll below your message textbox and see the "Topic Review" containing previous posts. This helps me a ton when I'm working on replies.
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Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2002, 04:27:45 PM »

Quote from: Pyron
1. I want to clarify my ideas about conflict and combat.  Conflict is a common theme in humanity.  Combat could also be considered a common theme in humanity.  I am making the skill system the main mechanic, because that would and should lead to more conflict and resolution than combat.   I also believe that more special abilites and skills could be used in combat than diplomacy.  I believe that this is so, because of combat's neccecity to human survival throughout the ages. As for the connection to wargaming: I believe that in 500 years (in a universe where humanity survives) if RPGing survives, that it will still incorperate a large quantity of combat mechanics.  It is just that combat is used by so many people for combat resolution and that it IS a theme of humanity (how many wars have we had?) that it will continue all but perpetually.


OK, let's look at this a minute.

First of all, combat is a form of conflict, not the other way around nor are they separate entities. That is combat = physical conflict. You're treating them like they are separate. They are not.

Also, so you've done diplomacy,then? I've never negotiated a peace treaty so I don't know what that would entail. But then, I've never been in a fight either, like most gamers, so we've been taking most things at face value. It's a matter of what sounds good or what's important in the game. If physical conflict isn't that important, then the game should not have detailed rules for it.

I think that RPG will continue to contain rules for conflict, or a means for handling conflict well into the next millenium because conflict is an important theme of humanity.

This does not mean physical conflict per se, but it will probably be addressed. The more wargame-like aspects will be greatly reduced in favor of more thematic concerns because we want to know if our character will kill the man who killed his father, not how many inches per turn he can move or if the minion gets an attack of opportunity or any of that sort of thing.

Not that that sort of thing isn't fun in its own right, but after a while it gets boring in typical RPG combat sitting around waiting for your turn to miss.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2002, 08:36:54 AM »

O.K. If any one wants to, move the topic about Conflict vs. Combat to a new thread, do so.  I agree not to speak of it, once more here. Anyway:

Quote
Calling me "Professor" isn't necessary, or even appropriate. I'm not a prof for purposes of interacting at the Forge. Similarly, "Doctor," etc. I have no special social rank here beyond Forum Moderator, which is for content-appropriateness and shouldn't enter debates.


I'm sorry. I know this bio-chemistry proffesor and he laughed every time I called him proffessor.  Some one said that "Some call you proffesor", on another board. I meant no offense, and promise not to do so again.

Quote
Let's get practical with the game, then. No one will design it for you, but as you say, perhaps some experience can come to your aid.


It's definitley going to be setting specific, with player guidlines to create their own worlds. As for the tone; it's one of the things that I've actually though of.

I never implied that.  I just want your opinions.

Light vs. Dark: I'm looking for versatile, for this conflict is one of the most important ones in RPG design.

Funny vs. Humerous: Serious, with it's funny moments, such as a magical tree bark known as "threepwood" allowing you to breathe underwater for 10 minutes.

Depressing vs. inpiring: Can't exactly answer this one. Please give examples of each.  I can understand it, but I don't know what way you mean.  Would this not be a direct effect between light vs. dark?

Slow vs. Fast: Most of the game is designed to be played fast, including plot and situations.

Traveling:  You could argue against this being part of the tone, but I'd dissagree.  Most of the game will be set up with a conflict in a certain area, that has to be solved.

These are some basics, that I've thought about.  And to summerize my RPG, I'll state this," The players, in a pseudo-pseudo-tolkein world use their creativity to get through (mostly people created) problems to solve a political conflict." This could easily change, but that is how I'd summerise it, to this point.
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Jack Spencer Jr
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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2002, 10:06:25 AM »

Quote from: Pyron
And to summerize my RPG, I'll state this," The players, in a pseudo-pseudo-tolkein world use their creativity to get through (mostly people created) problems to solve a political conflict." This could easily change, but that is how I'd summerise it, to this point.


OK, I'll leave the "pseudo-pseudo-tolkien world" idea over here for a minute.

Let's expand on this other stuff. You game is about traveling, but I get the feeling that's just a McGuffin that brings them into an area with problems for the PC's to solve.

So, who, exactly, are the PC. Just people wandering around? Church sponsered do-gooders? Questing knights? Pokemon trainers? (just kidding with that one)

And what sort of problems are they faced with? Is it a movie of the week, A-Team kind of problem or is the a big overaching problem and the PCs pick away at it one town at a time?
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Eric J.
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2002, 05:03:55 PM »

I have reviewed what you've said, and respond simply with this: It's a simulationist game :).  I have, in light of your opinions, decided to integrate the combat into the skill system. I have more, but await your responses.
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Eric J.
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« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2002, 08:02:53 AM »

I am also have created a chart that you use to create your character's attributes (ability scores).  Each race has "Base scores" which you use, with the chart, to modify.  This allows for other races to have a tendency for other races to have different attributes, and allows all races about equal cost when the attribute is at higher levels.  This allows different races to be very unuque statistically and not to effect game balance much.
And before you say anything: Yes, it uses a complex chart, but it's just about the only one in character creation.  I WILL NOT use complex charts for in-game purposes.
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