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Author Topic: Miniatures-Driven Roleplaying Rules  (Read 11399 times)
komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2007, 09:49:45 PM »

There are a variety of very cool things that can be done with different types of movement. As a suggestion, consider using string movement rather than measuring stick movement. You can get very literal with strings in all three dimensions, and skip unnecessary math. It's a great way to speed things up and you can play with lots of variations.

One thing that I cannot emphasize enough that I want to mention:

Toy Soldiers In=War Games Out.

I honestly don't think you'll ever get any other outcome.

Which isn't the worst thing that could happen, to be sure.

It is, however, something that even old HG Wells recognized almost 100 years ago, wwhen he was writing Floor Games.

I'd honestly suggest taking a look at the multi-packs that MegaMinis puts out, particularly the animals, townsfolk, king's court and the arabian fantasy packs. I'm not saying run out and get them. Just take a look at what's in them, and then consider how different adventures based on those sets of figures would be compared to the sorts of adventures you get when you're using a bunch of wargaming or more common combinations of frpg figures.

Also, Calithena: You mentioned that you were largely planning to use dungeon terrain, right? Have you considered other sorts of terrain as well? For example, when my daughter and I play, we almost always play outdoors stuff ( village and countryside-ironically my wargaming stuff Wink  ). This is another big Wellsian sort of thing. You could do some awfully cool "Explore the wilderness" type adventures that way, especially if you don't limit yourself to the tabletop ( which neither Wells nor Robert Louis Stevenson did with their miniatures gaming a century ago).
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Calithena
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 336

aka Sean


« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2007, 06:12:02 AM »

Hi all -

komradebob, I agree with you about the toy soldiers thing if I understand you correctly. Definitely multiple types of terrain are cool - and there's all kinds of outdoor wargame terrain easily available to serve as cool, evocative sites for RPG play.

There is a lot of fertile exchange on this thread about the general idea, which is great. I think it might be time for some of us to start posting more game-specific design threads though, maybe with links to this one so we can all critique each others' designs. I think we've got the potential for a cool little mini-community (pun welcome if unintended) around this idea, based on discussions here and elsewhere. I've pretty much got my first game along these lines written in my head already, but it's definitely much less ambitious than most of the ideas here - the bulk of everything in my game is on the GM as with traditional designs.

So, more soon.
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komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2007, 09:29:45 AM »

mratomek, who has his superheroes minis game discussions up around here in a couple of different forums, actually started a website for discussing the peculiarities of designing with minis at the center of play. I'll see if I can get him to join the thread and post a link to that site if you'd like.
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Calithena
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 336

aka Sean


« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2007, 09:37:04 AM »

'twoud be great. Thanks! Still owe you a PM.
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komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2007, 09:58:17 AM »

I just pm'ed MrAtomek and hopefully he'll join with his info and site url.

If you don't mind letting this thread wander, maybe we could brainstorm some (sort of) specifically minis related stuff and see where people go with it.

I'll throw one out there to start:

Limited space/table surface

Usually, minis games are played on a tabletop. This can be a smallish kitchen table or a full-on wargaming board, but no matter what, you'll likely be dealing with a smaller amount of space in scale than even a modest dungeon complex would take up. So, how can you deal with this is procedural terms? Multiple small boards/areas with handwaved between points -of-interest movenment rules ? Readjusting the terrain pieces as needed? Some other way I haven't thought of yet?
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Calithena
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 336

aka Sean


« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2007, 10:42:49 AM »

Two points about that:

1) Most modern dungeons are too big to effectively play in an evening. The (large) tabletop is actually a good limiter for classic-style play. Furthermore, this also allows mid-level strategy to get into play effectively: the GM and players look at the map, and it's sort of like drawing up plays in football, you run your creepy behemoth around the back, PCs come up the middle, etc. You could even design very chess-style moves, with the wandering monsters as the pieces the GM has at the beginning of play, more activations depending on player actions, etc., if that floated yer boat.

2) Multiple sites on multiple tables is a way to set this up in advance, maybe not at home but at a library/hobby shop/coffee shop etc. with sufficient space.


Here's a problem I know Samael has some thoughts about: character/entity change over time. You get old, fat, gain a new magic staff, whatever. Replace the mini? Repaint? Green goo? What are the options?
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komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2007, 11:17:27 AM »

You know, it's going to sound horrible, but my first instinct on the Change isssue is to cheat and work around it entirely by creating rules/ssytems that ignore the issue.

The other easy one is the old GW Necromunda one of having rings, necklaces and pouches come into play, rather than stuff like staffs or whatever, since the figures are probably too small to show that stuff much. I suppose a whole bunch of stuff could end up being translated to a smaller easily-unseen item.

Weirdly, one of the most common, not-magic items can be a problem: Armor ( although, I suppose that again magical protection in the form of potions, scrolls, luck, aura-of-toughness, or something similar could substitute).

Getting older is a bit easier: A couple of white/grey streaks in the hair and beard does the trick.

Incidently, there are a couple of pulp minis semi-rpgs that use a sseveral-seperate sets/locations style of play that I've seen. they tend to get away with 3-4  2' x 2' mini boards and it seems to work well, much better than I'd've guessed. OTOH, this works well for a co-operative mind set, in that the mini-boards will be used sequentially rather than in a more sandbox style of play.
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
mratomek
Member

Posts: 165


WWW
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2007, 12:48:59 PM »

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MrAtomek

Once upon a time ... the Earth needed to be saved ... on a regular basis.

Super Force Seven
Tactical RPG / Miniatures Wargame

www.superforceseven.com
komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2007, 04:34:05 PM »

Oh, yeah-
Here's the link to the Astounding Tales! Yahoo group. The author ( Howard Whitehouse, who I just discovered worked on Space 1889 with Frank Chadwick) is currently writing and testing a variant of the pulp game called Chainmail Bikini, which is a light, minis oriented rpg set in a more Conan/ Fafyrd and Grey Mouser sort of setting. Y'all may want to check that file and the related discussions out.

Here's the link:http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/astounding-tales/
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Thenomain
Member

Posts: 42


« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2007, 06:01:25 PM »

Chainmail Bikini, which is a light, minis oriented rpg

The thought of this tickles me.
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Kent Jenkins / Professional Lurker
Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2007, 06:03:18 PM »

An interesting work-around for the scale problem could be to do what the New Zealand WWII wargame, Flames of War does: Use a decreasing scale of range.  So, your first three or so movement points move you two inches, the next ones one and a half inches, the next ones, one inch, and so on.  The further away something is, the greater the scale.  That way, you can have tactical maneuvering in combat, but things on the far side of the table are still a long way off.  It's easy to make up a ruler that looks like this:

|____|____|____|___|___|___|__|__|__|_|_|_|

I actually think it's a little confusing in Flames of War, but it might work well for this game?
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komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2007, 06:42:11 PM »

Interesting Simon. I wasn't aware FoW worked that way. I played with an idea that sort of worked around a similar idea, albeit with a slightly different approach.

Keep in mind that I was trying to compress a bigger space representaion onto a table top.

My concept was to have locations that were larger scale, but tied together with compressed in-between space.

Let's say each "location" was an area of interest and used something closer to a more traditional tactical scale of movement. The location might be at most 24" in diameter, maybe smaller- A few buildings surroundinga townsquare representing a town, for example ( or perhaps the most interesting bits of the town).

Between those areas were "wilderness" divisions, tied together by roads and trails ( sort of a clasic frpg set up).

Anyway, the civillized and adventure areas would be tied together with bits of road terrain pieces, somewhere between 4" and 8" long. The actual size didn't really matter, as they worked more like "spaces" in a board game. They were mostly meant as a means of representing much longer distances. Part of the idea was also to leave the area around the road vague, so that encounters while travelling could occur with players adding stuff surrounding the road or adjusting the terrain as necessary for the encounter. When the encounter was finished, the wilderness reverted ( unless some more permanent area was created on the fly, in which case the previously connected road piece was moved to another edge of the new location).

The general idea was to be able to get say, Bree and the Shire on the same tabletop and perhaps even be able to get all the way to Rivendell in a reasonable space to play ( for example). Scale, of course, could be played with. That huge of an amount of space need not be covered. Different parts of a city, for example might work, too. For other stuff, like a pirate game, sea lane spaces might be used, and likewise for a SF games, "space lanes" might do the same thing.
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
Simon C
Member

Posts: 495


« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2007, 07:08:25 PM »

Yeah, I used to go to the same games club as a lot of the developers of FoW, and they were always frustrated that I didn't get the scale measurement idea, which they were super proud of.  It's their way of dealing with the problem that modern warfare takes place over huge distances, but 15mm scale models are much more pretty than 6mm.  I think I get it now.  It's a little odd when you're well inside range of a long distance gun, and then you can move a (relatively) short distance to get out of range, but it works very well for representing having to move a long way to cross the battlefield.

I think we're both on the same page, in terms of wanting a way to have a larger amount of "in game" space represented on the tabletop.  Your way would work as well.  I guess what I was going for is something that had a fluid transition from "combat" to "overland" movement, so that, for example, archers can ambush the party from a long way off, and the relative positions of things on the tabletop are relevant at any range.  Of course, if you want to go from the Shire to Rivendell, yours is a better idea.  I especially like the idea of road sections aquiring this special meaning in the game.  It ties very well to what I think is the most important element here - making the models relevant to the SIS. 

I really like the idea of a few people presenting different takes on this concept.  What's the best way to do this? My feeling is that one thread is going to get pretty chaotic pretty soon (I think we're already taking this in directions that aren't neccesarily useful to the OP), but posting lots of threads in AP might clog up that forum, as well, since there are already a lot of new threads there at the moment.  What do y'all think?
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komradebob
Member

Posts: 462


« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2007, 07:40:46 PM »

Simon C.
Well, what we could do ( if it's okay with Calithena and the mods) is use this as a core thread and link stuff back to it. That would allow folks interested in minis driven rpg play to post both older thread-links and new stuff here, and if other folks come in with stuff for minis play ( which happens fairly regularly) to have a one-stop place to see what other folks are doing or have considered doing.

As for other, new threads, a tag of [minis] in the title will make searches easier.

We could also go through old threads and check out who participated and see if they want to join the current conversations. I know there are a number of folks around these parts who have played with minis before and enjoy it, so it would be cool to give a heads-up to them since I think they have some interesting perspectives.

Calithena- What do you think of the idea, since you started this thread?
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Robert Earley-Clark

currently developing:The Village Game:Family storytelling with toys
TroyLovesRPG
Member

Posts: 150


« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2007, 08:47:08 PM »

Hello,

I've watched this thread and there are two paths it could have taken:
 1. create a rich RPG game based on what the miniature represents
 2. create a new miniatures skirmish rules

It looks like it has taken the second path. There are a tremendous number of games that follow the second path and I know of none that actually are an RPG based on miniatures. There are games that have a line of miniatures based on the characters in the story. However, I've not seen a game where you bring your miniatures and use methods to define them in an RPG setting. Perhaps the subjectivity is too great and the players see different things in the features of the miniatures. Everybody wants to win and I'll be the first to announce "my toad can leap 100ft horizontally, has a 20ft long razor tongue and squirts acid from its warts when it takes damage."

It seems like the first thing that develops is how the miniature operates in combat. It's more of "my miniature can whip your miniature's butt". That's part of an RPG, but not the focus. Maybe the first step is to define certain types of RPG scenes. Look at how the miniature's features can affect the scene. It's quite possible that this type of "miniature driven RPG" is actually an attempt to uplift make-believe with Transformers, GI-Joes and LEGO figs.. All of that was fun when I was a child with a creative mind. I'm not sure adults can handle the open-mindedness and playfulness that is required to pick up a fig and really see something fantastic beyond the strategic value in competition.

Good luck,

Troy
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