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Started by Hayslin, May 28, 2003, 03:55:53 PM

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I am currently in the process of making one of my pet ideas into a full-fledged game.  the game is called HAcK.  it revolves around a few individuals with the ability to bend reality to their will, or "hack" it (much like in a combonation of White Wolf's Mage: The Ascension and The Matrix).  i have no background information to post at this time, but when i get some, i will post it to where you can check it out.  Ihave decided that the game will be run on an Alternity-like system, with a new component of my own design.   the current way to run the hacking ability is to have a triangle on each sheet, representing the Triad (the three styles of hacking reality: Form- to make new objects or life, Alter- to change what exists, and Shred- to destroy what is).  You place a dot on this sheet, showing you disposition of certain hacking abilities (for example, getiing +2 to all shred rolls while getting -1 to all alter and form)  Then there are modifiers for each: Life Matter, Esscence, and Energy.  So if you wanted to fire a lightning bolt, you would roll Form Energy(to make the bolt) and then Alter Energy (to send it flying to your target.  this is just how i envision the Hacking system to go.  Any suggestions, comments, praise or ridicule are accepted. Also post if you would like to see more information on background and such, or e-mail me if you want to help.

Mike Holmes

You'll find that you'll get a better response if you have particular questions. Id there anything that you're finding problematic? More info is almost always better. It's hard to say anything about a mechanic in a vaccum.

In any case, the one thing I will say is that you're about the tenth person here to announce this game or something like it. I say that to point out that it's a hot topic right now, and that for some reason nobody's been able to make it work yet that I'm aware of (although it looks like Matt Snyder's goingto put his similar concept to bed soon).

So good luck, and welcome aboard.

Member of Indie Netgaming
-Get your indie game fix online.


Welcome to the Forge!

Not being familiar with Alternity, I can't divine any better what you're getting at, but here are my uninformed thoughts.

The triangle idea is visually stimulating; however, doesn't the visual representation get compromised by adding "elements" (or can anyone affect any element such as lightning or flesh, with set modifiers)?

Ars Magica is probably something you've seen; if not, the 4th edition is now available as a free download. Their verb-noun system of magic is elegant.

Another path you may want to follow is an article or two on on coincidental magic.

I was dismayed by how much Mage sucked at what it was meant to do, and am fascinated by modern magic systems that work.

Dave Panchyk
Mandrake Games

Spooky Fanboy


Please flesh out the ideas you're presenting here. Yes, we have a number of games out here that are Mage-esque, and we need a few more. In fact, lots more. Mage came up with the idea, but it seems to me that old horse ain't dead by a long stretch.

How is your system Alternity-like? I played Alternity, and am having difficulty reconciling this concept with that sci-fi game. Is it Attribute + Skill based? Percentile-based? Are the dice simple randomizers, or is the key to the game resource-management, ie. how much effort you expend that determines the outcome?

Does your game tend to promote straightforward action? Exploration? Strategy? How do you see a typical session going, and what reasons do people have to involve their characters in it? Are there ready-made bad-guys, or do the players decide who is good and evil as they go? Do characters just weild magic, or are they beyond-human in their own right, like in Amber or the upcoming Nine Worlds?

Sorry for the cluster-assault, but there's whole lot of questions your initial post did not answer. Questions I would very much like the answer to, as Mage-style games are my first love.
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!

John Kirk

You might want to take a look at the game I wrote.  I put a great deal of folklore research into the development of its magic system.  Basically, any time I read about a new folklorish monster, I wrote up any magical powers it possessed as spells to flesh out the mage system.  I also wrote up any actual wizard/ witch/ sorcerer type spells I could find in historical literature.  It might give you some ideas, although it may be a bit more Simulationist than what you're seeking.  (I get the impression you're designing a Narrative game.)

You can download it for free at //  The The Lexicon of Lore is the mage spell book.  You might also want to look at The Grimoire of Game Rules, which contains all of classes, including mages.

In any case, your triangle idea strikes particularly close to home, since LQ magic is based on the lores of Triangle, Tetrangle, Pentacle, and Star.  These were the lores supposedly studied by the Thaumaturgists of long ago.  So, you might want to consider shapes other than just the triangle.

I would definately like to see what you come up with.  Please, keep us informed.
John Kirk

Check out Legendary Quest.  It's free!


sorry for not replying sooner, i just got internet in my house.  having to go to the library to check your e-mail stinks.  anyway, The system is Alternity like in the sense that you have 6-7 statistics (Strength Dexterity Stamina Will Personality Knowledge, and, for the HAcKers Attunement) you figure these by getting 70 points to start with (working number)  then i could buy a Firearms skill.  This is known as a broad skill.  The skill would have three values: the ordinary good and amazing values.  The broad skill's ordinary value is the statistic it was based on, the good is half of the ordinary, and the amazing half of the good (round down as always).  Broad skills cannot be upgraded.  Then if you want you character to be really good at pistols, then you buy the pistols specialty skill.  It has the same stats as the broad, but may be upgraded by advancement points.  this is the way alternity does it.  to get a success, you roll a 20d and check it to your values. although i do like the idea of effort management.  also, i have not seen ars magica (i don't like caps, if you can tell).  BTW this game is not futuristic, just modern.  i may not have much else posted on here about it, because i have been making games for a few years now, and are dismayed when i invest time in a system and people don't like it, so i'm judging the initial reaction of people about this game before i commit myself to fully making it.


I'm sorry, I must ask.
Exactly what does this have to do with HAcKing, and why is it even called HAcK.
"Oh, thems me brain meats." - Fighter, after being stabbed by Black Mage.


um, linux, read the first topic


Quote from: Hayslini may not have much else posted on here about it, because i have been making games for a few years now, and are dismayed when i invest time in a system and people don't like it, so i'm judging the initial reaction of people about this game before i commit myself to fully making it.
please tell me what you think of what i'm proposing, as i am bored and can commit myself to any game at this point.  So if you would like to see more of the game, or the game itself, post or e-mail me, as i will be happy to oblige.

Mark Johnson

Is there any thought on how you handle "preservation."  You can create, change and destroy reality, but no way to preserve.

As an aside, announcing that you are not committed to your project is going to kill your chance at getting much good feedback here.  Rather than post your ideas, how about write up what you have into actual game text,  perhaps even a 16 page quick play preview document.  This would give everyone a real taste of what you want with your game, it would show folks that you aren't going to flake out on this project and it might inspire you to write the game in full.

Look at some of the 24 hour games from a month or two ago to see what you can do in a very little amount of time.

Spooky Fanboy

Here's one vote for "yes, dammit, do something! We're dying out here, man!" ;-)
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!


look for a quick play booklet within the next few days (2 or 3)


The Quick-Play Booklet is going to take longer than expected (mainly because of waking-up at one and going to the YMCA).  But there is a site. Click here to visit and download the base rules.  These are the rules the quick-play will be built off of.  NOTE: the rules assume you have played any other RPG. (So i didn't explain what a Story-teller game is)

Spooky Fanboy

It would be easier to read this as a text file, or .pdf. It's hard to format as HTML. And the sentences are all squished together.
Proudly having no idea what he's doing since 1970!


Do not know what happened (tripod confuses me) but i will fix it.