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General Forge Forums => Game Development => Topic started by: BubbaBrown on August 25, 2011, 10:07:08 PM



Title: Saecula Mutata & D10/0
Post by: BubbaBrown on August 25, 2011, 10:07:08 PM
These are two projects I've been working on for some time. One is a setting and the other is the game system. I've been trying to move development along, but it's a bit hard to do so without some kind of feedback to give you direction and motivation.

I've come to discover that getting people to read your homebrew setting and system (especially when they are in alpha and beta stages) is much the same as getting people to read the unabridged multi-book collection of your angst ridden teenage years poetry. There are a few brave one who do, but, while greatly appreciated, are few and far between.

So... here it is: http://www.bestwithstuff.com/index.php/rpg-projects

The focus of development is currently on functional potholes to fix. Background and story fodder will come later, but I want to address anything that are expressed show stoppers.

The system reference document is a decent beta, but the setting material is very alpha. Fair warning. Anyone who trudges through this mess, I'll return the favor and take a honest look at anything you want another pair of eyes to look at. Only fair.


Title: Re: Saecula Mutata & D10/0
Post by: Daniel36 on August 26, 2011, 02:26:39 AM
Hey Bubba,

I am not commenting because I am dying for some comments on my own system, honestly! :P
Seriously though, I gave the system a quick read and the setting a more thorough one.

The system feels like it is a watered down D20/D&D type system, which in my book is a good thing. It is still more complicated than the system I am working on, but my system is for a different demographic. I guess it has enough "crunch" for the people who like systems where you can basically do anything, but with all the fat from D20 removed. It is too complicated for me still, but I am sure that anyone wholly familiar with complex systems will find this a breath of fresh air while still giving them enough depth to go to town with.

What I really liked was the Progression Points deal. The amounts are kept manageable. I hate the ridiculous amounts of exp you have to dish out in so many RPGs.

About the setting. It felt familiar enough to understand immediately, with enough new things in it to be fresh. It was descriptive enough to get a good idea of what it is about, but it still gave you more than enough room for your own interpretation. Honestly, in that sense it is quite genius. It felt like a very nice mix of Fallout, S.T.A.L.K.E.R and Necromunda. Pure win.

The TABs thing seems very much like how character creation is going to work in my system, which is quite cool. I call them Perks and Handicaps right now, but I only just decided to overthrow my pre-generated characters idea, so I might change the names, but it boils down to the same thing. Anyways, it seems you too decided to forego “stat rolling” in favor of actual character development, and I am happy to see it. Do you mind if I take some inspiration from it?

The only thing I am missing in this is a solid explanation on how to use it. It gives us plenty of different traits and whatnot to choose from, but I couldn't find out how many I am getting, and how many Burdens I need to take in exchange. That is my main issue right now.

Also, the Items section is still a bit barren. Not many weapons to be found, and the items that are there have good descriptions, but not too much info in the sense of how they work mechanically, or am I wrong? This could use some clarification. For example, for the Concussion Rod you write “it amplifies the swing force of the user by double.

I think this section would benefit if you would take that away from the description and put it in a seperate box much like you did with the price. So for example:
“Concussion” Rod
Looks to be a simple club, bat, or rod. When
swung, it amplifies the user's swing force.
Effect: Swing force x 2
Price: 50 Script

Something like this.

One more positive note to end with, I love how you made life for the GM real easy by giving him or her set prices for everything, from a simple beer and lodging to weaponry, and even some roleplay things like a movie or “company”. That is something that I always find so difficult to determine in games like D&D, that is just one thing that I personally find great!

I feel you are very much on the right track. They're both big enough documents to work with but not so big as to be confusing. Hope I helped!


Title: Re: Saecula Mutata & D10/0
Post by: Kyles Games on August 26, 2011, 06:58:05 PM
Other than making me want to divide by zero, it looks good. I especially like the ratio modifiers, though I'm not sure how well they'd work in play, just on the basis of having to mess around with math, since I've been in sessions where at the beginning math is fine, but by the end of the night everyone's tired and caffeinated and incapable of thinking straight, much less division and subtraction/addition.

Also, Bubba, how's it going? Small world.


Title: Re: Saecula Mutata & D10/0
Post by: BubbaBrown on August 26, 2011, 11:35:12 PM
The system feels like it is a watered down D20/D&D type system, which in my book is a good thing. It is still more complicated than the system I am working on, but my system is for a different demographic. I guess it has enough "crunch" for the people who like systems where you can basically do anything, but with all the fat from D20 removed. It is too complicated for me still, but I am sure that anyone wholly familiar with complex systems will find this a breath of fresh air while still giving them enough depth to go to town with.

What parts were a bit more complicated then you cared for?  Just curious... I'm trying to figure out if my wording of the concept is to blame.

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What I really liked was the Progression Points deal. The amounts are kept manageable. I hate the ridiculous amounts of exp you have to dish out in so many RPGs.

I know what you mean.  I tried to find a balance point in granularity to where the economy of the points felt right.  It seems in a lot of systems the experience economy is suffering from hellish inflation.  Experience points in d20 and DnD can downright feel like Zimbabwe dollars after a few levels.

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About the setting. It felt familiar enough to understand immediately, with enough new things in it to be fresh. It was descriptive enough to get a good idea of what it is about, but it still gave you more than enough room for your own interpretation. Honestly, in that sense it is quite genius. It felt like a very nice mix of Fallout, S.T.A.L.K.E.R and Necromunda. Pure win.

Fallout was honestly the first RPG I ever cut my teeth on.  Many kids started out on fantasy stuff, I got my start in the post-apoc.  S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is my second love.  I'm trying to provide enough set pieces and "standards" to allow game masters to come up with their own things and have enough examples to fit them into the world.  Still got some more content to place in for Pre-Fall items.  I'm having to simulate and generate a serious amount of history, so I can believably place certain elements of the game.  A good portion of it will not be put into the material...  A whole load of answers to mysterious elements of the world that I want to keep out for now.  I will say this...  trying to figure out believable ways that scientists could misinterpret a geological record ain't easy.

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Anyways, it seems you too decided to forego “stat rolling” in favor of actual character development, and I am happy to see it. Do you mind if I take some inspiration from it?
Rock and roll, take whatever guides you to your design goals.

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The only thing I am missing in this is a solid explanation on how to use it. It gives us plenty of different traits and whatnot to choose from, but I couldn't find out how many I am getting, and how many Burdens I need to take in exchange. That is my main issue right now.
Presently, I'm trying to be careful with Burdens.  I've seen it too often used as a min-maxing tool.  So, I'm only making use of them in Mutant generation and may present opportunities in character advancement.  I'm trying to give players a fairly level starting point.  So, right now Traits are the main focus for character creation.  (Unless you are mutant then you have a mix match of Asset and Burdens.)  I don't know what a good Trait limit would be at this point.

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Also, the Items section is still a bit barren. Not many weapons to be found, and the items that are there have good descriptions, but not too much info in the sense of how they work mechanically, or am I wrong? This could use some clarification.
Need to put in some examples.  The weapons are pretty formulaic.  The Damage section of the system shows a damage scale.  Typical action point cost is 2 for a standard weapon.  Static damage is based on the "frame" of the weapon.  Variable (dice rolling) damage is based on the ammunition or power behind it.

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On more positive note to end with, I love how you made life for the GM real easy by giving him or her set prices for everything, from a simple beer and lodging to weaponry, and even some roleplay things like a movie or “company”. That is something that I always find so difficult to determine in games like D&D, that is just one thing that I personally find great!
I tried to be very careful with the economy of the world.  It's REALLY easy to throw in arbitrary weapon and adventuring gear costs and it seem workable.  The trouble comes when the rest of the world is factored it.  It felts weird when you realize that you CANNOT sell the powerful, but not useful for you, item you found... because it's worth the entire town's GDP for the year.  So in a strange way... powerful items that should be valuable are actually... pretty damn worthless.

Other than making me want to divide by zero, it looks good. I especially like the ratio modifiers, though I'm not sure how well they'd work in play, just on the basis of having to mess around with math, since I've been in sessions where at the beginning math is fine, but by the end of the night everyone's tired and caffeinated and incapable of thinking straight, much less division and subtraction/addition.
It's a lot better than what I had.  I'm certain some will just stick with flat adjustments, but the ratio is handy for simulating many soft armors.  I've been trying to figure out the best way to explain to take the number in the tens place of the damage received, multiply it by the ratio adjustment, and subtract that from damage.  I've tried different shortcuts in the simulation of this, but the math always diverged too much from original intent after a certain point.

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Also, Bubba, how's it going? Small world.
Par for the course.


Title: Re: Saecula Mutata & D10/0
Post by: Daniel36 on August 27, 2011, 01:52:15 AM
What parts were a bit more complicated then you cared for?  Just curious... I'm trying to figure out if my wording of the concept is to blame.
Oh no no! When I said my game is for a different demographic that includes me. I am way too lazy to learn rules that are just a tad more intricate than I care for. So it's not your game, it's my lazy ass. Like I said, it feels like it would be a breath of fresh air while still enabling enough depth for anyone who likes intricate rulesets. I am not one of those people.

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I know what you mean.  I tried to find a balance point in granularity to where the economy of the points felt right.  It seems in a lot of systems the experience economy is suffering from hellish inflation.  Experience points in d20 and DnD can downright feel like Zimbabwe dollars after a few levels.
My thoughts exactly. It never made sense. How come I can become smarter by killing ten goblins (a notion I find silly to begin with) and get my PhD in one go from killing a  vampire? I mean... a beer isn't a hundred dollars just because I can only use it after I am (level) 21, and baby food isn't dirt cheap either... Okay, silly analogy, but still...

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Rock and roll, take whatever guides you to your design goals.
I am very grateful!


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Presently, I'm trying to be careful with Burdens.  I've seen it too often used as a min-maxing tool.  So, I'm only making use of them in Mutant generation and may present opportunities in character advancement.  I'm trying to give players a fairly level starting point.  So, right now Traits are the main focus for character creation.  (Unless you are mutant then you have a mix match of Asset and Burdens.)  I don't know what a good Trait limit would be at this point.
I guess it depends how you look at it. I guess if you make a clear distinction between traits that aid adventure (be it combat, healing, disarming traps, repairing items or anything else that aids you on the road) and traits that aid roleplay, I guess you could give them like 3 adventure traits and like a maximum of 5 roleplay traits or something. The roleplay ones really just add flavour, but I personally find them a very important aspect.

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Need to put in some examples.  The weapons are pretty formulaic.  The Damage section of the system shows a damage scale.  Typical action point cost is 2 for a standard weapon.  Static damage is based on the "frame" of the weapon.  Variable (dice rolling) damage is based on the ammunition or power behind it.
I would add the relevant dice roll and bonuses/penalties with the weapon description. It is not redundant if it speeds things up and clarifies.

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  It felts weird when you realize that you CANNOT sell the powerful, but not useful for you, item you found... because it's worth the entire town's GDP for the year.  So in a strange way... powerful items that should be valuable are actually... pretty damn worthless.
I would add a short GM note that weapons are only worth something when sold to the right person. I started playing a PC game a couple days ago. In the first version you could sell anything anywhere for the same price. When I updated it, small villages suddenly only paid a couple of coins for strong weapons. It made the game a lot more difficult, but also much more satisfying.

Make it an easy rule though. You could, for example, make the selling price half of the buying price, but only 10% of the selling price if not sold to the right person. Easy to remember rule, easy to enforce by the GM, makes for a more realistic approach without throwing “realistic” tables at it.

So a weapon worth 1000gp can be sold for 500gp to the right person but 50gp to any other merchant who only cares for cash.