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Author Topic: Clinton's Fourth Axiom of Game Design  (Read 24940 times)
Clinton R. Nixon
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« on: November 18, 2004, 12:31:11 PM »

Any good RPG can, with a minimum of effort, be used to play Jedi.

I thought of this yesterday after sending the following e-mail to a friend:
Quote

Dude,

I was just reading this thread:

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=157235

And I realized, man, I want to play Star Wars with The Shadow of Yesterday.

Key of the Calm Sea
Your character keeps his anger in check, no matter what harm is done
to him. Gain 1 XP whenever someone makes a cutting remark to your
character and you do nothing. Gain 2 XP whenever someone does your
character harm and you do nothing in anger. (Bringing them calmly to
justice for a crime does not count.) Gain 5 XP whenever someone does
your family or friends harm and you do nothing in anger.
Buyoff: Attack, in your full angry glory, one who slights you or does you harm.

The Dark Side does bring much power, much quicker, it seems.


So, as an experiment, anyone can mention their favorite game in this thread. If I'm familiar with it, I'll tell you how to run Jedi with it. My credentials: my first defining experience with narrativism was in a year-long Star Wars campaign that basically was about the rise in power of my character and his subsequent fall into the Dark Side as his anger at the Empire grew.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2004, 01:07:10 PM »

Nobilis.
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2004, 01:19:04 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Nobilis.


Man, first one out's a hard one. Thanks, Ben. I've not played Nobilis, and read it once, so I expect corrections on this.

Nobilis would be great for a super-weird far-future (for Star Wars) game of Jedi. The Empire won long ago. The populace is ruled with an iron fist. You play the Jedi of the past. Like Obi-Wan, when you were struck down, you became more powerful than they could have conceived, and joined with the Force.

The Force, however, is balance, neither good nor evil. So, characters are embodiments of ideals both Light and Dark, empowered with the Force, locked in a struggle for the fate of the Universe. I'm imagining fights over solar systems.

Alternately, the Nobilis system would work really well for a straight-up game of Jedi of the Old Republic, where they were quite powerful and unsubtle.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
inky
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2004, 01:37:49 PM »

To me, the interesting parallel between Nobilis and Jedi is how they both have this idea of "you're a semi-ordinary person who can do stuff at a mortal level, or you can call on your power and leap to superhuman effect". I think you could probably do a pretty decent movie-level-of-power SW game with Nobilis if you kept the "doing mortal stuff", "using your power" and "luck & defending against the power" attributes, and found some suitable replacement for the "power in your stronghold" attribute. Tony did a superhero conversion of Nobilis, maybe he's got a suggestion.

Oh, right, probably the thing to do is to have two force attributes, "Control of the force" and "Power of the force", and let people get extra tokens when using the latter by turning towards the dark side.
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Dan Shiovitz
rafial
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2004, 02:20:13 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Any good RPG can, with a minimum of effort, be used to play Jedi.

I thought of this yesterday after sending the following e-mail to a friend


Prior art!  I advanced this very thesis in an email to the UGAX list back in August, in which it was learned that you can't use PTA to play Jedi, not because the structure of the game doesn't fit, but because Matt will reach out with the Force and choke you to death if you try.  So be warned.

But now I challenge your Jedi-Fu (with a tip 'o the pin to Johnzo) -> Play Jedi with KPFS
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2004, 02:25:22 PM »

I was going to toss you a softball and say Dust Devils. That's too easy, so I'll be a bitch. It may not qualify if you're not familiar, but what the hell. I'm so close to it I can't see it a Star Wars (but maybe ... ) -- Nine Worlds.

See, now you've got me thinking on it. What if The Choice isn't about natural vs. supernatural, but rather about patience, good, understanding vs. anger, violence and rage? That might work. Still, there the urges to worry about... hmmm...

Clever axiom.
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Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2004, 02:33:09 PM »

Quote from: rafial
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon
Any good RPG can, with a minimum of effort, be used to play Jedi.


Prior art!  I advanced this very thesis in an email to the UGAX list back in August, in which it was learned that you can't use PTA to play Jedi, not because the structure of the game doesn't fit, but because Matt will reach out with the Force and choke you to death if you try.  So be warned.

But now I challenge your Jedi-Fu (with a tip 'o the pin to Johnzo) -> Play Jedi with KPFS


I knew I'd seen it before. It makes sense it was you. KPFS? Quit sending me softballs, man.

Kill Rebels for Palpatine
You're a Dark Jedi, one of hundreds turned out by the Sith Academy in the rising days of the Empire. Almost every one of you has minimal power, but that's the way evil empires work: churn out a hundred expendables instead of one good soldier. Because you're not powerful enough to actually use, you get a mid-level Empire job. Maybe you're a Stormtrooper, or maybe an overseer of a colonized village. Either way, it blows, and being you ain't so great either, so you use the little power you have to lord it over everyone around you.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2004, 02:37:08 PM »

Quote from: Matt Snyder
I was going to toss you a softball and say Dust Devils. That's too easy, so I'll be a bitch. It may not qualify if you're not familiar, but what the hell. I'm so close to it I can't see it a Star Wars (but maybe ... ) -- Nine Worlds.

See, now you've got me thinking on it. What if The Choice isn't about natural vs. supernatural, but rather about patience, good, understanding vs. anger, violence and rage? That might work. Still, there the urges to worry about... hmmm...

Clever axiom.


Matt,

You're right - Dust Devils doesn't need changing. (Man, I still want to run my Firefly Dust Devils campaign. Why can't I make it happen?)

As for Nine Worlds, I hate to admit this, but I haven't read the whole thing. Here's my observations: natural vs. supernatural works great. In the real movies (i.e. not that recent dreck), good Jedi barely ever use their supernatural powers. They're good guys with a lot of power that they keep in check, because overusing it is the downfall of them. (The two that do throw fucking lightning and stuff? The bad guys.)

Given that, playing Jedi in Nine Worlds is a struggle of choosing to be human over being a dark god.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
rafial
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 02:41:25 PM »

Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

Kill Rebels for Palpatine


Dude.  Ewok village massacre.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2004, 02:44:06 PM »

Quote from: rafial
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

Kill Rebels for Palpatine


Dude.  Ewok village massacre.


This must be made to happen.

yrs--
--Ben
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2004, 02:51:35 PM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Quote from: rafial
Quote from: Clinton R. Nixon

Kill Rebels for Palpatine


Dude.  Ewok village massacre.


This must be made to happen.

--Ben


Aren't all three of us going to be at GenCon SoCal? Hmm.

And, yeah, eviserating Ewoks for Dark Force Points is making me giggle uncontrollably.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
rafial
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2004, 02:52:41 PM »

So what really are the defining elements that provide "Jediness" ?

    [*]You stand apart from others
    [*]You have k3wl powerZ
    [*]At some point, you must make a choice(tm)
    [/list:u]

    Damn, that's pretty much the standard isssue RPG character right there...  To not do Jedi, you'd have to find a game that explicitly disavows one of those elements.  Maybe Elfs?

    Aw, damn, nope: Gungan Jedi
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    hix
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    Steve Hickey


    « Reply #12 on: November 18, 2004, 04:56:31 PM »

    The Farm. If you're familiar with it. (And maybe this'll help me get a grip on the rules).
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    Cheers,
    Steve

    Gametime: a New Zealand blog about RPGs
    Blankshield
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    « Reply #13 on: November 18, 2004, 09:42:44 PM »

    Breaking the Ice

    James
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    I write games. My games don't have much in common with each other, except that I wrote them.

    http://www.blankshieldpress.com/
    Clinton R. Nixon
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    « Reply #14 on: November 18, 2004, 09:46:18 PM »

    Quote from: Blankshield
    Breaking the Ice

    James


    Apologies - no idea what that is. Hook me up with a link, though, and I'll be glad to check it out.
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    Clinton R. Nixon
    CRN Games
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