*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 06, 2021, 09:53:06 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
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)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Transparent Game System  (Read 12606 times)
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« on: April 06, 2002, 02:05:10 PM »

A system that allows one to take a character description from a book, and play that as a character. So there is no game system numbers, no "hit points", no calculation of "points", no "derived" attributes, no skill numbers, no classes and no levels. Expressing an attribute in terms of dice, cards or game system numbers is just plain wrong. Naturally, the system should support a wide variety of styles of play, and allow players to control the game system/world/setting, as well as their characters. What would such a system be like? How would interaction between a PC and a NPC be governed? What about crafting things? Personality interaction? Any other considerations?
Logged

Andrew Martin
mallninja0088
Member

Posts: 30


« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2002, 02:52:49 PM »

How would you resolve action checks etc.?  This type of system doesn't really need a "rulebook" or sorts but would be nice if the "rules" were layed out.  Would you like to work on a game like that Andrew?
Logged

~Brad~   :-) 8-)
Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2002, 03:01:27 PM »

Hey,

  I've seen a lot of really innovative systems here, from ones which have no set amount of damage a character can take (Cola Wars, unless I misunderstood what I was reading) to those with little to no numbers involved in the character at all (I don't remember the game, but he was asking about wound levels). While you have a concept of what your game will not have, I think the first thing to do is figure out what it *will* have. If you're not going to express attributes in terms of numbers, you'll have to express it in terms of something. Whether it be descriptive adjectives (my character is Tremendously strong, but he's only got Limited intelligence). For that matter, you'll have to determine what traits (attributes, skills, etc.) that your game will have.

  As a suggestion for something so potentially wide-open, you might want a varied list of traits, which the characters can choose from, then a range of measurement for those traits that they choose. If you do it this way, you'll then have to decide if it's Fortune-Based (dice, cards, paper-rock-scissors, etc.) Karma based (I think this is where you just compare the ratings, and the higher wins.. I'd have to check to be certain) or whatever.
  Any way you do it, if you wish to design this game, you're going to have to put in quite a bit of work. From my experience asking questions here, the Forgites are better at giving specific feedback than answers to vague questions. We're not going to design your game for you, but I'm sure that constructive criticism will be forthcoming if you ask again once you've put together a system.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2002, 03:04:58 PM »

Brad wrote:
> How would you resolve action checks etc.?

I'd like to hear people's opinion on this, before I go off and blather my own nonsense. That way, we're more likely to get a variety of good ideas.

> This type of system doesn't really need a "rulebook" or sorts but would be nice if the "rules" were laid out.

It wouldn't need a rule book in the conventional sense of a RPG book or wargames ruleset. It would be more like a guidebook, I think. Perhaps like a book on how to ride horses, craft fine wooden furniture and so on.

> Would you like to work on a game like that Andrew?

I'd really like someone else to produce it in a nice coffee table book and a small book I could put in my pocket. It would also be great for it to be online as well. I'm lazy. :) I've done some work on it, it's the Zero System section on my site.

I'd really like to hear people's ideas in general on what's needed, what to avoid, what's good and what's bad, how to make an invisible system that suits a wide variety of play, and so on.

Here's what I've got so far: http://valley.150m.com/Zero%20System/Zero%20System.html.
Logged

Andrew Martin
mallninja0088
Member

Posts: 30


« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2002, 03:33:34 PM »

Alright.  That is cool that you want to get it published into a pocket sized book!!!  I think I will try and make the "guide book" anyways for myself!!!  If anyone would like to help me with it just send me a private message or email me at mallninja0088@aol.com.  Although it would be nice to have a totally free form system, I think some numbers should be involved.  What little numbers involved should describe parts of the character and can be compared to make a check or something.  And yes, for those who are wondering, I am going to leave it generic for now.
Logged

~Brad~   :-) 8-)
Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2002, 04:10:35 PM »

Brad -

I was completely serious on the other thread when I brought up Story Engine. This doesn't really do it justice, but look at Story Bones, the free introductory version of the rules. I think they're pretty close to what you want.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2002, 04:40:13 PM »

Clinton R Nixon wrote:
> I was completely serious on the other thread when I brought up Story Engine. This doesn't really do it justice, but look at Story Bones, the free introductory version of the rules. I think they're pretty close to what you want.

I've had a look at Story Bones and I've got Story Engine as well. I feel that both have too much calculation in it and require players to keep track of "points", and allocate those points to the character. Plus the descriptors of matter and chaos seem like an obvious RPG system, instead of an invisible system. I wrote Zero System to get rid of these problems.
Logged

Andrew Martin
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2002, 04:46:55 PM »

Hi Andrew,

I'm thinkin' that I need some videotape. What in purely descriptive terms of real play engaged in play, does a "transparent system" role-playing experience look like?

I'm pretty sure that you, I, and most others here are familiar with what it's like to play (say) a hefty combat scene in Vampire, RuneQuest, D&D of whatever vintage, and Champions. I can definitely see why their systems would not be called "transparent."

But what would such a scene look like, if we are talking strictly about the real people, what they say to one another, and what they do?

Best,
Ron
Logged
Bill_White
Member

Posts: 202


WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2002, 05:16:02 PM »

Ron asks...

Quote
But what would such a scene look like, if we are talking strictly about the real people, what they say to one another, and what they do?


Funny you should ask.  I've been asking myself the same question.  Please let me share with you a portion of a message I sent to my brother and fellow gamer talking about that same question.  I'd be interested in any comments anyone had.  

Quote
I've been thinking a lot about "narrative gaming" with the model of our e-mail campaigns as a guide.  It occurs to me that there has to be a way to structure the game so that it doesn't put so much onus on the GM but at the same time allows the GM to maintain control of the mystery of the game, so that players feel like they're uncovering the secrets of the game-world.

Since it's a narrative game, "character generation" boils down to creating a character narrative that can serve as the basis for deciding what's reasonable to expect from and about the character.  After each adventure, the player can add one or two sentences to reflect the changes to the character.  So, for example:

COL. HEINRICH VON OSCHENKOSCH
Character Narrative:  Heinrich von Oschenkosch is the scion of an aristocratic Prussian military family who served with great distinction as an aviator during the Great War.  Turning to politics after the war, he became an outspoken critic of the Nazi party.  His life was threatened several times, and he was assaulted by party thugs, but continued to organize against the Nazis.  After his home was firebombed and his family killed in the resulting fire, he left Germany for England, and spent several years there attempting to persuade politicians to take stiff action against Hitler. There he fell afoul of the Star Cult, foiling an attempt on the life of the American ambassador. Eventually, he moved on to the United States.   He believes that war with Germany will ultimately break out, and wishes to ensure that America falls in on the side of freedom. He believes that the Nazis will do all they can to weaken America, and seeks to prevent this.   Ultimately he hopes to muster a force of "flying volunteers" to take the battle to the Nazis. In the meantime, he lives off his savings and the royalties from his memoirs, cultivating contacts in American business, politics, and the military.   His old Great War enemy, Capt. Pierre Ledroit, believes that he was libelled in the Colonel's memoirs, and is waiting for an opportunity to avenge himself against the Prussian aviator, preferably in a duel in the skies.


Based on the character narrative, the player gets to determine an Aspect (essentially a character archetype) and Attributes (skills or traits), Possessions (gear and such), and Bonds (ties to other characters).  These can be modified during play.  Von Oschenkosch's Aspect, Attributes, and Possessions might look like this:

Aspect:  stiff-necked Prussian exile
Attributes:  veteran pilot, political savvy
Possessions:  sword-cane
Bonds:  contacts in German military, nemesis in Pierre Ledroit


How would combat work? Let me give an example of how I've been thinking about it, and you tell me what you think:

GM:  "You're in a biplane over the English countryside, blanketed in fog.  You hear the sound of gigantic motors humming.  Looming through the mist in front of you is a giant grinning skull painted on the nose of a swastika-bedecked zeppelin!  To your left and right you hear the sound of smaller engines, which you recognize as those of Fokker biplanes.  The chop-chop-chop of machine gun fire sounds noisily in your ears.  WHAT DO YOU DO?"

The player has to figure out how his character is going to beat the bad guys, or avoid them, or otherwise overcome this trial.  The player has a stack of "Fortune" counters that he uses to stipulate additional "facts of the matter." For each stipulation, the player stakes 1 Fortune.

S1.  Von Oschenkosch's biplane is more manueverable than the enemy biplanes.
S2.  The zeppelin is moving very slowly and not manuevering.
S3.  A veteran pilot, von Oschenkosch is more skilled than his opponents [this costs 0 Fortune because it is draws upon one of von Oh's attributes].

Now, if the GM doesn't like one of these stipulations (or thinks that it requires more Fortune to be true -- i.e. that the character would have to be much luckier), he can match the Fortune that the player has staked for it.  If the player likes, he can take back both his original stake and the GM's matching Fortune, and the stipulation goes away.  Otherwise, he can "raise" (stake more Fortune) in order to keep the stipulation.  The GM can then either accede (taking the stake) or raise.  Whoever doesn't get the Fortune decides what happens to the stipulation, in other words.

Assume that the GM allows all these stipulations.  Now the player can declare his action(s), using the format [Location] [Actor] [Action] [Object] and providing support for those actions in narrative terms (supporting aspects, attributes, and stipulations)

The flow of events is sort of tracked on a scale like this --
-15 or less -- hero at critical disadvantage.
-14 to -10 -- hero at major disadvantage.
-9 to -6 -- hero at minor disadvantage.
-5 to -3 -- hero at nominal disadvantage.
-2 to 2 -- hero and opponent at parity.
3 to 5 -- hero at nominal advantage.
6 to 9 -- hero at minor advantage.
10 to 14 -- hero at major advantage.
15 or more -- hero at major advantage.

The GM decides that the starting level is -8 (a minor disadvantage to von Oh reflecting the fact that he's outnumbered).  In this case, the GM decides that this means the player will subtract 2 from his plot dice rolls.

A1.  "In the skies above the English countryside, Von Oschenkosch  outmaneuvers the enemy biplanes."
Support -- more manueverable biplane (S1), veteran pilot (S3) --> 2 plot dice

The player rolls the plot dice and gets 6, 2 for a total of 8 - 2 = +6

The total of the dice is used to modify the level of advantage (or
disadvantage) the player possesses.  A +6 change makes the new level -2, putting von Oschenkosch on equal footing with the bad guys.

GM:  "The enemy biplanes zoom past von Oschenkosch, tracer rounds zipping past his cockpit."

The player also accumulates 1 Fate counter because a 6 showed up on his dice (the GM gets Fate counters when the player rolls a '1').  Fate counters can be used to impose effects on characters (1 Fate = nominal effect, 2 Fate = minor effect, 3 Fate = major effect, 4 Fate = critical effect).  Von Oh's player decides to save his Fate, intending to use it against the zeppelin later.

Do you see the outlines of the system I'm talking about?  Once von Oh gets 4 Fate counters, he can use them to blow up the zeppelin. In the meantime, the referee will use whatever Fate counters he gets to damage von Oh's airplane.  The zeppelin will act to move closer to where it will start its bombardment, rolling 1 plot die per turn and reaching the start of its bombing run when the plot points total to a critical advantage for it.  If the player does something clever, the GM can decide to subtract a penalty from the zeppelin's roll, and so forth.


Now, please excuse the muddledness of the mechanics, but that's my vision of what a "transparent" system looks like:  it's transparent to the player, but not to the GM.  The GM has some notion of an "objective" system that constrains her descriptions of events, but all the player sees is what the GM tells him.  It's almost like real life ;-)

Bill
Logged
Sidhain
Member

Posts: 160


« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2002, 12:25:48 AM »

Of course, I run into a problem with most attempts to be transparent...because it's a failure of human languages--



Many try and get rid of game speak, some do so with words--like Fudge and Story Engine.... but they still create a language of their own that isn't really "English" or even transparent anymore in those attempts--for example "Fair" "Good" Good is better than Fair in Fudge IIRC, by being better than Fair, it creates a numeric effect as in Good is Fair+ it ceases to be transparent because you've got a scale coded into that language.

On the other hand the old Marvel Comic book Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (OHATMU) had ratings like

"Such and Such possesses the strength of a man his height and weight who engages in intensive regular exercise."  Well what the heck does that mean? Can he lift 300lbs? 100lbs?

Or possesses reflexes far superior to Olympic athletes...

Again "What does that mean?" it's /so/ transparent that it is no longer gameable.

Common English language fails to create a completely common set of imagery anyway.

We see it all the time in books, where two people reading the same book will get very different impressions of a character, whose is correct?
Both?
Neither?
In the end the idea of less than transparent game mechanics is to provide a solid mechanical basis for their images--both people can learn to understand that 6 is good, and 2 is bad in they too can learn that Good is better than Fair but when it becomes "learned" that essentially makes them interchangeable for gaming purposes.

Like which is better Incredible, Amazing, or Remarkable?

I want a game to be /mostly/ transparent. But I see it all the time where my vision of a character is nowhere near someone else’s who read the same books. So, I want a common set of "fallback" structure that can help to prop up a particular image, or another when I make a character.
Logged
C. Edwards
Member

Posts: 558

savage / sublime


« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2002, 12:29:30 AM »

Transparency is synonymous, in my mind, to simplicity.  

 A transparent game would have mechanics that are incredibly simple and elegant for both the Players and the GM.  The more time and effort required of the GM during play due to the mechanics the less transparent the system becomes for the players.

 Andrew suggested pulling our player characters whole cloth from literary works.  Since trying to wedge any product of the imagination into a quantitive framework often ends with unsatisfying results we need a method of conflict resolution that is divorced completely from a character's actual abilities.  The same method should work just as well for our own imagined characters since a literary character, even in a non-fiction story, is simply the author's perception of someone put into words.

 A method of conflict resolution having nothing to do with a character's abilities?  Yes.  Consider that what we often refer to as "realistic" is simply a set of probabilities based upon past performance and circumstances.  Consider that an expert rider can get thrown from a horse and become paralyzed from the neck down.  Consider that an unassuming house cat can attack and thwart the advances of a child molester. Consider that evil, greedy people often live long lives and go peacefully to their graves without recieving any comeuppance (any afterlife aside).  Consider that Galactus, Eater of Planets, still hasn't managed to devour Earth (parallel dimensions and What If? stories don't count).  Consider that you might choke to death on a Dorito tomorrow (don't worry, they'll make more!).

 On paper a character would consist of some descriptive text.  This would be the character's style, their modus operandi, and any background info.  It would also be wise to give the character some kicker-like investment in the story, some goals and dreams.

 Since we're aiming for simplicity and ease of play each character has one, and only one, numerically rated trait.  This trait has nothing to do with any of the characters skills or abilities.  I'm going to call this trait Desire.

 Desire is everything.  It can be used for conflict resolution, narrative privelages, character "advancement", player reward, etc.

 Since I'm making this up as I go there isn't going to be much detail here but I do have a couple ideas on how this "system" should operate:

  -Conflict Resolution: This is the tricky one.  I see the basic chance of success being 50% for all characters.  Desire could function several different ways.  The main factor to consider before deciding exactly how Desire will work is probably how you want the game to simulate character advancement. This could be done by expanding the character's description or by making the character more "numerically powerfull".  With text based character advancement I would most likely use Desire as one big reservoir and bid (or burn) Desire points in attempt to gain an advantage over an obstacle or opponent resulting in an increased chance of success (Burning Desire, that's a catchy name for a game).  With numerical advancement I would give Desire a numerical rank that could be improved in addition to the reservoir.  This rank would act as the character's level in a sense and when compared to the difficulty of a task or an opponent's Desire rank it would equate directly into a resolution modifier.

  -Checks and Balances: Since such a simple system has no inherent limits set on the actions of characters I would create them based upon player rewards.  I would reward the players for playing "in character".  Hold them to what is written in the character's description.  Reward them for interesting and imaginative play and for achieving, or failing to achieve, their characters goals in a manner dramatically appropriate to the character.

  That's my $1.50, albeit simple and incomplete.  Since this has got my gears spinning I'm going to try and develop this more, give it some flavor and see how it turns out.

 -Chris Edwards
Logged
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2002, 12:46:11 AM »

Here's some imaginary videotape of a session with a perfected Zero System and hopefully transparent mechanics. I'll quote what Bill White wrote as a good starting point, with only a few minor changes. I've also included my own best guess as to what a transparent system could use as mechanics. I hope Bill doesn't mind too much.

COL. HEINRICH VON OSCHENKOSCH
Heinrich von Oschenkosch is the scion of an aristocratic Prussian military family who served with great distinction as an aviator during the Great War. Turning to politics after the war, he became an outspoken critic of the Nazi party. His life was threatened several times, and he was assaulted by party thugs, but continued to organize against the Nazis. After his home was firebombed and his family killed in the resulting fire, he left Germany for England, and spent several years there attempting to persuade politicians to take stiff action against Hitler. There he fell afoul of the Star Cult, foiling an attempt on the life of the American ambassador. Eventually, he moved on to the United States. He believes that war with Germany will ultimately break out, and wishes to ensure that America falls in on the side of freedom. He believes that the Nazis will do all they can to weaken America, and seeks to prevent this. Ultimately he hopes to muster a force of "flying volunteers" to take the battle to the Nazis. In the meantime, he lives off his savings and the royalties from his memoirs, cultivating contacts in American business, politics, and the military. His old Great War enemy, Capt. Pierre Ledroit, believes that he was libelled in the Colonel's memoirs, and is waiting for an opportunity to avenge himself against the Prussian aviator, preferably in a duel in the skies.

Amongst Von Oschenkosch's notable possesions is a sword-cane and manouverable biplane.

GM: "You're in your biplane over the English countryside, blanketed in fog. You hear the sound of gigantic motors humming. Looming through the mist in front of you is a giant grinning skull painted on the nose of a swastika-bedecked zeppelin! To your left and right you hear the sound of smaller engines, which you recognize as those of Fokker biplanes. The chop-chop-chop of machine gun fire sounds noisily in your ears. WHAT DO YOU DO?"

Player: "Von Oschenkosch throws his manouverable biplane into a sudden dive and bank to the left, trying to throw off the aim of the firers, and cross their field of fire. He aims to come up on the underneath and going away from the zeppelin, to it's right."

GM interjects, out of character: "That's a chancy manouever, he might not be able to dodge all those bullets."

Player replies, out of character: "Von Oschenkosch served with great disctinction in the Great War, and has a manouverable biplane, which should be enough to do it."

GM states: "let's roll dice to determine the outcome of the shooting, as we don't agree and the situation is risky."

GM rolls one dice for each of the firer's accuracy, (I assume) two Fokker pilots and one Zeppelin bow gunner, as they are all competent. The dice are rolled by the GM and aren't summed at all.

Player rolls one dice for each applicable descriptor and sums them, which are pilot skill (Von Oschenkosch is competent pilot), experienced (he survived the Great War!), distinction and great distinction, and manouverable biplane; a total of five dice to roll and sum as all the descriptors aid each other.

It's highly likely that the player's 5D6 dice roll total will be higher than any of the opposition dice, so the Colonel manages to dodge the MG fire.

GM: "The bullets miss, but two of the Fokkers pull around and follow, coordinating their fire on your biplane."

Player: "Von Oschenkosch weaves his biplane in a corkscrew, slowing and allowing the two Fokkers to overshoot him. The Zeppelin gunners aren't firing as they risk hitting their fighters."

GM and player again agree to roll dice as the situation is risky. GM rolls 2 dice and sums them as the two Fokker pilots are coordinating their fire; and informs the player that he must drop one dice as he's doing one more action than the Fokker pilots are. Player rolls 4D6 (5D6 - 1D6 for two actions). Again, it's quite likely that the Player's roll of 4D6 is higher than the GM's roll of 2D6.

GM: "The fokkers miss again, their bullets flying no where near you. You're now behind the two Fokkers, though both pilots are desperately trying to slow their 'planes to get behind you."

Player: "I use my manouverable biplane and skill to maintain my position, and trigger a long burst into the right Fokker."

GM and Player agree that the Fokker's are average biplanes, and that the Colonel's manouverable biplane has the edge in going slower than an average biplane. GM rules one contest for position and then a second contest for the shooting. GM rolls one dice for each Fokker pilot, and Player divides 5D6 into 2D6 against the left Fokker and 3D6 for the right Fokker. (I'll assume that the player's roll wins versus the right Fokker and looses to the Left Fokker.)

GM: "The left Fokker manages to get on your tail as you concentrate on the right Fokker, as he desparately tries to dodge your attack."

GM and Player roll second contest, 5D6 for the Colonel against 1D6 for the Fokker pilot, with the player's roll easily being higher than the GM's roll.

Player: "The long burst hits the Fokker through the fuselage,..."

GM and Player agree that a burst or short burst of MG fire is 1D6 versus a Fokker's 1D6 structure, and that a long burst is 2D6. Player and GM roll with result that the player's 2D6 is 3 while the 1D6 roll is 5, resulting in a failure to appreciably damage the Fokker.

Player: "... and the Colonel frowns as nothing vital is hit."

GM: "The Fokker in front of you pulls up into a stall, trying to force you to overfly him, while the Fokker behind you has the initiative."

Player, out of character and out of player skill, states: "Von Oschenkosh flies a tricky manouver and gets on both their tails again."

GM: "The tail Fokker shoots and tries to keep on your tail."

Player: "Von Oschenkosh is good enough pilot to be able to dodge this!"

GM agrees, stating that the Colonel must divide his skill between the dodge and the tricky manouver. Player decides on discretion and puts 3D6 into the dodge and 2D6 into the tricky manouver. Note that the player chooses to put an even number of dice into tricky manouver as this is likely to be split up.

And so on.
Logged

Andrew Martin
Demonspahn
Member

Posts: 158


WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2002, 02:16:54 AM »

Quote

                  -Conflict Resolution: This is the tricky one. I see the basic chance of success being 50% for all
                  characters. Desire could function several different ways. The main factor to consider before
                  deciding exactly how Desire will work is probably how you want the game to simulate character
                  advancement. This could be done by expanding the character's description or by making the
                  character more "numerically powerfull". With text based character advancement I would most
                  likely use Desire as one big reservoir and bid (or burn) Desire points in attempt to gain an
                  advantage over an obstacle or opponent resulting in an increased chance of success (Burning
                  Desire, that's a catchy name for a game). With numerical advancement I would give Desire a
                  numerical rank that could be improved in addition to the reservoir. This rank would act as the
                  character's level in a sense and when compared to the difficulty of a task or an opponent's
                  Desire rank it would equate directly into a resolution modifier.


Hope I did that quote right.  :)

Chris,

If I am reading this right, what you are basically saying is that all actions come down to a coin flip (50%) modified by Desire points.  Instead of adding and subtracting Desire points then, why not have the number of Desire points equal the amount of additional flips (or rerolls, if you are using dice, or new games of scissor-paper-rocks, or draw of the cards, etc.) the character is allowed?  Depending on how frequent you wanted to allow rerolls, you could have the Desire point pools replenish every Turn, every new scenario,  every nightly session, etc.

Another option is to use an Experience or Karma point pool instead of the Desire pool (I suppose you could still call it Desire, though).  Characters get Experience points or the equivalent at the end of a session.  They then use these to either directly augment chances or allow for additional rerolls  (as listed above).

Just some thoughts.

Pete
Logged
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2002, 02:45:20 AM »

Continuing...

Continually foiled in the air, the Nazis decide to change tactics, and assault the poor Colonel on the ground. As the Colonel is walking home after a dinner reception in his honour for foiling the Zeppelin attack, four thugs step out of the shadows in front of him.

GM: "Four Nazi thugs step out of the shadows, the lead one clicking his heels and stating in German, "Good evening, Colonel Von Oschenkosch, please come with us." The other three look menacing at you, while flexing their muscles and forming fists."

Player, in character: "I state: "I regret I must give my apologies," and I bow. Then I whip out my sword cane and slash at the lead thug as I rise back up, completely unexpectedly."

GM states that this is risky and requires a dice roll. Player looks at the character description and states that as Von Oschenkosh regularly carries his swordcane, he must have trained in it's use. The GM agrees with this and as this is the only descriptor applicable, the player has only one dice to roll.

The Player asks for a contest to ensure surprise, reasoning that Von Oschenkosch being a Colonel is expected to be diplomatic and polite and so changing the expectations of politeness and attacking suddenly is surprising to the Nazi thugs. GM agrees, but reminds the player that there's four thugs to surprise. The Player decides that "Aristocrat" and "Colonel" are applicable descriptors for the deceptive politeness, as both would apply for politeness. The GM agrees that both would combine. Player then states that, "my anger at the Nazi's for killing my family, lends speed to my action." GM agrees as the Colonel is facing Nazi foes and so is worth another D6.

The Player rolls 3D6 versus the awareness of the thugs, which the GM states is 1D6 each, with the result that the player wins against all the thugs.

GM: "The speed and anger of your slash catches the thugs by surprise, so your attack hits the lead thug automatically; there's no need to roll."

The Player describes: "I slash upwards with the sword cane, slashing his shirt and chest and cutting his face." GM agrees that it's reasonable, and states: " the lead thug staggers backwards in shock, while the other thugs just stand there for a moment."

Player: "I step closer to the next thug and lunge my sword-cane through his chest, cursing them in German, Nazi swine!", and out of character, "I'm using my anger to strike as fast as I can."

GM: "This could be risky, as they're starting to recover from surprise." GM rolls 1D6 for the three remaining thugs (no special attributes) and the player rolls 2D6, one for normal speed and the other for his anger. Player keeps the initiative as 2D6 is quite likely to be higher than the thug.

GM: "The sword-cane penetrates the thug's body and he staggers backwards in sudden shock." The GM knows that these thugs have no armour versus sword cane and have no sword defence training. "Then the other two thugs step towards you, raising fists to punch."

Player: "As the other two thugs step forward, I use my sword-cane training to keep away from one and aviation strategy & tactics to aid in this, keeping them lined up one behind the other, so only one thug can attack me at a time." The GM is a little perturbed at this cunning use of aircraft tactics in a brawl, and disallows the piloting and experience descriptors as they're more for flying. The Player agrees, so has Distinction and Great Distinction as applicable descriptors, along with sword-cane training, so giving a 3D6 roll. The thugs rolls 1D6 each for brawling experience, not added together as they haven't had time to coordinate. The end result is that the player wins, and narrates: "The Colonel has the two thugs lined up, and dodges the first thug's left fist and parries the thug's right fist with the sword-cane scabbard-case." The player is narrating that the thug is attacking because the timing of movement would let the thugs have time to attack.

The GM states that this is risky, so player rolls 1D6 for dodge and 1D6 for parry, while the thug rolls 1D6 for left fist and 1D6 for right fist. The player's rolls aren't lucky enough and the thug's fists hit the Colonel. As both the colonel and the thugs are both reasonably normal humans, it's fifty/fifty whether the Colonel gets injured. The dice are rolled with a bruise for the left fist (failure), and a stun for the right fist (success). It's been determined by earlier game sessions for fisticuffs in this setting that wound levels are bruise, stun, unconsciousness, wound, death.

The player quicky states: "My burning anger against Nazis drives me onwards, so I ignore the stunning blow of the thug." GM disagrees with this, so the player rolls D6 for anger versus the Thug's D6, with the player winning the contest.

GM reviews the situation and decides that there's a chance the lead thug could come back into the fight, as he's only been slashed. The player disagrees, stating: "the slash is too much for the thug to bear at this moment." The GM and Player each roll D6, with the GM winning, and stating: "the lead thug grits his teeth and approaches the brawl, obviously dedicated to Nazi ideals."

GM decides that initiative should be determined again as it could have changed, due to injuries or random influence. The first thug just rolls 1D6, as the second thug is behind the first thug and is in an ineffectual position, the lead thug is still moving towards the brawl, and the impaled thug is still out of the fight. The player, unwilling to chance loosing initiative, asks, "can I use my anger to go faster?" The GM replies, "No, as that's asking, not stating!" and smiles. Both Player and GM roll D6 with the player loosing initiative.

The player: "I curse the lead thug, "Nazi swine!", ready to parry with scabbard and riposte with sword-cane." and rolls D6 for the taunt.

GM: "The first thug tries to resist your taunt..." and rolls D6 for common sense. The taunt is ineffectual, "... and he punches one, two." GM rolls D6 for left and D6 for right, while Player rolls D6 for left parry and 1D6 divided by two for the parry part of the riposte. The left parry is unsuccessful, but the result is only a bruise, while the right parry is unsuccessful, but again the result is only a bruise. The riposte is D6 / 2 and is 1.5, which rounds down to 1. As brawling doesn't give one defence against sword riposte, and the roll is greater than zero, the thug is hit. The Player rolls D6 for damage verus the thug's body of D6, with the result of failure and so the thug is wounded. The player and GM roll for the thug staying in the fight (again 50/50) and the thug stays.

GM, continuing: "...The second thugs circles to your left as the lead thug approaches from your right."

Things are looking bad for the colonel.
Logged

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
Member

Posts: 785


« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2002, 03:05:41 AM »

I've incorporated a lot of my own knowledge of what cinematic fights are like, based on my own experience of watching movies. I don't claim any expertise in this area, beyond just watching movie combat, and reading Sun Tzu's Art of War and Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings, a couple of books on oriental martial arts, and some of the western martial arts sites on the web. For the aircraft dogfight example, I just used my computer flight simulator experience and computer game experience; it's unlikely that my tactics would work in real life.

Looking closer at my two examples, I've noticed that I'm comparing "weights" of descriptors on each side, with insignificant NPC's having one or zero applicable descriptors for the most part. PC descriptors are generally more as I'm assuming a heroic and cinematic setting. I've also though that I should use a better system than D6 per descriptor, as the D6 system leads to problems when a descriptor must be divided, and also involves the GM having to roll against the player. I think that a variant of my Swift system would work well here, and permit player only rolling. This would then allow faster play, with multiple characters.

I'd need to check if one descriptor versus no descriptor should be automatic success, and what happens if the one descriptor needs to be divided. Any ideas?
Logged

Andrew Martin
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!