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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 181 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: With combined race and class, choose from 7 unique character types!  (Read 10640 times)
lumpley
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« on: December 14, 2007, 08:03:40 AM »

I've been playing D&D with some kids, ages 7-12. It's fun, but, well, there are a couple of ways D&D works that I wish it worked differently. So I set about to make a game that does D&D just the way I'd like. Yesterday me, Meg, Sebastian (11) and Elliot (7) gave its first draft a shot.

Verdict: very good first test, needs refinement, will be easy to complete and fun to play. It uses Mechaton's dice (similar to but different in important ways from Otherkind's dice) and I need to fiddle with the numbers of dice you roll and stuff like that. I can tell more about that if anyone's interested.

I'm looking forward to making ads for it. "With combined race and class, choose from 7 unique character types!" "Anyone can cast a spell, not just a wizard!" "An innovative system for religious magic that brings your priest characters to life!" Funny stuff.

On the GM side, it'll use something a lot like Poison'd's cruel fortunes. There'll be a list of things the GM can bring into play, like monsters and traps and various barriers and challenges; to bring it into play you write it on a card and put it on the table. Unlike in Poison'd, and suiting this game's creative agenda, you'll bring some things into play face down and then spring them on the players with a "gotcha!" One of my design goals is for it to be so fun and easy to GM that Sebastian will run it for his friends.

Along those lines, its biggest success (and what I want to tell you about) is just how frickin' cool the monster creation rules are. Here's how they work. There's a list of things that monsters can be made of - glass, steel, flesh, wood, shadow, etc. Each one comes with some attacks you can choose from - like, for a monster made of bone, you can choose from club, impale, tear, frighten, and maybe a couple others. To create a monster, you roll or choose two things it's made of and then choose three or four attacks from those two lists combined. (Then it gets dice and hit points, but that's not the frickin' cool part.) The combination of what it's made of and how it attacks creates fun and compelling monsters with practically no effort.

I made a monster that's a storm elemental in the form of a stag, a whirlwind with antlers and hooves of ice. Sebastian made a monster that's a hive of undead bees, their exoskeletons, that swarm and tear into you. Elliot made a monster that's a plain old army of undead (he rolled that it was made of flesh and bone, and for its attacks he chose strangle, club, frighten and overrun). Meg made a monster that's a giant wooden spider that spins webs of razor-sharp glass, it spins them out at you and they bind and slice.

Their characters fought the storm stag and kicked its butt. Meg was gushing. She was like, "I haven't had this much fun since I played D&D as a kid!"

-Vincent
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Meguey
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 09:33:02 AM »

The numbers need a little tweaking, but the adversary creation is so cool we didn't want to stop after the test encounter.

Vincent just came home for lunch, and Seb has jumped right into asking him questions and details about the game. It's totally captured the kid's imagination.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2007, 09:35:29 AM »

Verdict: very good first test, needs refinement, will be easy to complete and fun to play. It uses Mechaton's dice (similar to but different in important ways from Otherkind's dice) and I need to fiddle with the numbers of dice you roll and stuff like that. I can tell more about that if anyone's interested.

I'm interested.  Tell us more!

And does this game have a name yet?
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Jason Morningstar
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2007, 10:06:41 AM »

That sounds cool.  Is making choices about what your monster is going to be like part of the fun?  I mean, are the razor-webs leading to different tactical choices than the army of zombies?  Would you be all "they've got a holy man so I'm going to hit them with a storm demon instead of zombies"?
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lumpley
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2007, 01:42:07 PM »

No name yet. I call it "storming the wizard's tower" but that's just what you (sometimes) do, not its title.

-Vincent
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Nev the Deranged
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Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2007, 06:46:46 PM »

Sounds like a bit of Pokethulhu, which is a charming little game that I've considered tweaking myself. I like your version better, though.

Anybody remember Battle Beasts? Those things go for a lot on eBay now.

So, what about character creation? Your post title talks about 7 unique character types, what the heck are they?

D.
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Paul T
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2007, 10:06:58 PM »

It uses Mechaton's dice (similar to but different in important ways from Otherkind's dice) and I need to fiddle with the numbers of dice you roll and stuff like that. I can tell more about that if anyone's interested.

Oh, yes! Definitely interested. I've designed a game based on the modified Otherkind mechanic you have at Anyway, and have been wondering about other applications of the idea. It's not immediately apparent to me how it would fit in an old-school D&D sort of game, especially if (as another poster asked) it ties in to monster abilities, vulnerabilities, etc.

So, please do go on. Smiley

Best,


Paul

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Meguey
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2007, 12:00:10 PM »

Character types:
Warrior, Scholar, Treasure-hunter, Priest, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling.

It's a bit driven by what you roll, in that if you've got a high strength and endurance but no perception, you're going to make a lousy treasure-hunter.
Then everyone gets some combination of two of: Arms, Gear, Spells, Maps, and Blessings.

One thing I really liked is that once you choose most of your things from your combo, you get to choose a couple from the other groups too.

My Treasure-hunter, Glaznotz the Magnificent, has Maps: treasure map, local legend, astrological chart; Gear: prybar, provisions, rope, mirror+lens; Spells: Fire.
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Nev the Deranged
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2007, 10:35:37 PM »

So, essentially you've renamed the original Basic D&D classes; IE. Fighter, MU, Thief, Cleric, and the demi-humans. Hm. Not what I was expecting based on the thread title- it read to me like you got to choose combinations of race and class. Although it'd be tough to come up with a set of races and classes that only offered 7 combinations. I never really grokked why humans were the only race with different professions, but I guess it's enough for a kid's game.

What are "Blessings", that don't fit into any of the other categories?
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lumpley
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2007, 05:49:43 AM »

Meg was like, but can't I be an elf warrior? And I was like, sure. Just write "elf" on your character sheet, you're an elf warrior. But what about an elf priest? Sure, just write "elf" on your character sheet, you're an elf priest.

She was skeptical, but whatever. Being an elf trumps having a job.
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2007, 07:20:20 AM »

How does rolling your character work-- do you go straight down the stats, or do you roll the values first and then put the numbers where you want them?

This sounds really great-- I love that race is just color, and not something you have to fiddle with. Simplicity makes for awesomeness.

Man, kids these days are so spoiled. Why, when I was a kid, I had to bribe someone with cookies just to get him to calculate my THAC0 for me!
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2007, 07:37:49 AM »

Hey, this sounds fun!

I never had a chance to play Basic D&D, but I always wanted to play something with such straight archetypes. Even though it's so unrealistic Smiley

Makes me think about Shadows Over Mystara.

So, what does the choice of race/class affect? The combinations are assigned to archetypes or chosen by the player?
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lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2007, 11:58:26 AM »

You roll your stats in order. The stats are in a little bit of flux right this second, but there will be like eight of them, they'll be stuff like Knowledge, Strength, Willpower, Quickness, Perception, you know.

Your stat results give you your combat pool, your magic pool, your skill pool, maybe another one or two.

Your character type gives you a selection of stuff (arms, blessings, gear, maps, spells). For instance, a wizard gets maps and spells, a warrior gets arms and gear, a treasure hunter gets maps and gear, and a dwarf gets arms and blessings. You pick from lists. Then everybody gets a couple things from any lists - so if you're a warrior, you choose your arms and your gear, and then maybe you choose also a spell and a map, or whatever.

Now, say you have a high magic pool. You MAY choose, therefore, to be a wizard - this'll maximize the effectiveness of your high magic pool, by giving you a bunch of spells to cast with it. Or maybe you'll choose to be a warrior instead, in which case you'll choose one or two spells to go with your arms and your gear, and you'll be able to cast them plenty hard.

Oh and - no, YOU don't get to combine race and class. The GAME combines race and class, into character type. There are 7 character types! This is totally just D&D.
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Christoph Boeckle
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2007, 12:58:09 PM »

Yay Vincent!

Maybe I'm getting ahead of what you'd like to discuss, so I'll readily wait if you want to keep it for later, but when you talk about maps, it looks as if they're just as important as spells and gear and weapons. This makes me very curious!
Is some funky dungeon revelation technique on the way? Big-picture strategy and planning? Possibility to get a sneak view at the GM's hidden "gotcha-cards"?
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Regards,
Christoph
lumpley
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2007, 01:55:59 PM »

Oh so very much yes.

-Vincent
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