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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Nolan's Game Thread  (Read 8014 times)
masqueradeball
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2010, 01:43:15 PM »

Does it make any fucking sense?

The main thing I was really worried about was the narrative and the game play feeding into one another in meaningful ways. I was really struggling with the feeling that I was making a little card game and not an RPG.

Also, the fictional content. Is it appealing? Is the game too structured? How do the Game Chef ingredients work within the game.
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Tomas HVM
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 03:01:31 PM »

Nolan; the introduction seems to be failing to me. It has great elements (figures loosing their feathers and being cast out, and then being guided by God), but those elements is drowned in technical information about the game. I believe the game would grow by having these elements, the premise for the whole game, being told to the players first and foremost, to make them have that premise in mind while reading the rest of the game.

Will come back to you on the rest. Too tired to read it all now, sry.
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Tomas HVM
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www.fabula.no
dindenver
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« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 04:30:48 PM »

Quote
If they think the hero addressed their tribulation, then the HP will be asked to give a number. If this number is less than the number (- Edge) on the card, than the hero is harmed. If its equal to the number on the card (+/- any Edge possessed by the HP and the Trial), than the tribulation is overcome and if its greater than the number (+ Edge) that's on the card, then the tribulation runs its course.
  This phrasing is confusing to me. Since someone calls a number and counts down, you have a good idea what the number is and isn't. I mean, you know it is not higher than your card, since your card is the highest. Even if the card is randomly drawn, always picking 10, seems to be a safe bet. I know Edges modify this number, but still.
  The rest of it seems cool. It is a little tough to read, but that may just be related to it being such a rough draft.
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 04:55:09 PM »

Thomas: Yeah, on earlier drafts there was more fiction. I hope to revise this and then write out the rules for the other two Sessions, which are similar but have added complications. Hopefully in the finalized text there will be 1) a strong description of the elements established by the fiction, 2) examples of all the steps with specific examples of how the basic conceits can be used to create a story and slightly unrelated, clear statements of how to game the cards to make the system less opaque.

Dindenver: picking a 10 is the worst thing that you can do. If you guess higher than the tribulation card than you fail to get the card and you are harmed and you can't guess again. To gain the card you have to guess the number exactly. If you guess too low, you get harmed but get to keep guessing.

And yes, you know that all the tribulations cards have a value less than that of the card that HP discards at the beginning, this is on purpose, the countdown at the beginning ends when the hero player is determined.
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dindenver
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2010, 05:23:55 PM »

Nolanm
  Gotcha. So, if there are 4 players, does the HP have to face 4 tribulations?
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Dave M
Author of Legends of Lanasia RPG (Still in beta)
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2010, 04:48:12 PM »

3 because he won't be creating a tribulation, and in the later sessions, less...
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David Berg
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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2010, 05:09:19 PM »

Hi Nolan,

To me, the two sections seem like two games.  The only commonality is the world and the characters.  Since you're going to want each sub-game to work on its own merits anyway, I'd just pick one of them for Game Chef.

Both sound workable.  It's harder for me to envision Section 2 in play, so I'll respond re: Section 1.

The main thing I was really worried about was the narrative and the game play feeding into one another in meaningful ways.

I think the mechanics sound fine as a partial situation generator.  I dig the idea of the Trials.  The rules for resolving a hero's success and costs for each Trial seems predicated partly on guessing what mechanical quantity describes the fiction.  I'm not sure how meaningful that activity is unless it somehow reflects the character's experience.  Is there somethign about these trials that makes guessing how tough they are important?  Like, you only have so much energy to spend on all of them, so you try not to spend more than you have to?  Or is there someone judging your accuracy?

The dynamic of "narrate how you overcome them and see what the Trials think of that" is fuzzy to me.  Is it collaborative, where everyone's interested in seeing the hero win, and it's just a matter of engaging description?  Or is it a creative challenge, and Hero players who can't think of a good solution or narrate it in an engaging way will lose? 

If that latter, then there needs to be a fun outcome for, "I can't think of anything, I guess my Hero is screwed on this one."  Even then, a game that so fundamentally rewards player skill would need to be framed in a more competitive context to make that performance fully rewarding.  Like, y'know, if I narrate better solutions to problems than you do, I beat you.  And maybe there's a clock involved, so you can't just muddle your way until inspiration strikes. 

Sorry if that was a tangent.  If you're going instead for collaboration, then I'm not sure what's really at stake besides "can we agree on what Tribulation Level 8 looks like in terms of fiction?"

Sorry I don't have any solutions to offer!  Hope this was helpful,
-David
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JeffR
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 01:39:44 PM »

So, I'm trying to digest your rules and I'm having a bit of trouble.
First, what happens if all of the Hero players have the same card?  Is there a scene without any Tribulations after that?

Next,Going down through the "Passages" section:
1 and 2: What's going on here?  I don't know what the "if there are no Traits that have been tagged" is doing, but following the rules as read traits are never going to get un-tagged, I think.
3: Is there any limit to the number of Traits that a Hero can have, or can pick up during a single Passage? SHould a trait never/always/sometimes be tagged at the same time it is introduced?
6.1.2: Does this also apply if the number guessed is greater than the value on the card?
I suspect that this mechanic is, overall, too easy to succeed.  Remember that the initial countdown is going to greatly restrain the possibilities for the Tribulation, and that it's going to have been descirbed in its strength according to its number as well.  Having an active Opposition makes things more difficult, but you have to lose an oppositionless Tribulation first for that the happen, and that's not going to happen a lot of the time.
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2010, 03:02:52 PM »

Dave 1, the game is fixed at four players, so there will always be 1 or more Hero Players, and 4 less that many Tribulations, for a maximum of three.

Dave 2, The two sections are different systems but they use the same resources, basically, section 1 is about building resources to use in section two (the number and type of cards that everyone possesses) while section two is about building resources for next session's section 1.

The reason the Trials determine if the Hero's actions address their Tribulation is to make sure that everyone's listening, sort of, and to provide the real challenge of the game. People have to learn to read each other in order to make the game functional. Seeing if they think you addressed their Tribulation is basically part of an unstated rule that you can't talk game... what I mean by that is, the Hero player should never have to say, okay, so your Tribulation is a plague of locusts, I'm addressing that like this, instead he just states what his Hero does and the other players respond in kind. The narrations are important because they should be the players only way to communicate with each other. Outside of the countdown and guessing a number, all "game actions" are handled with the passing of the cards, and all speech is supposed to be a description of something within the fiction... I guess I need to make this more clear in the text... man, this game was so not ready for submission....

Jeff...

The rules are written in order of what needs to happen at the table, not in the order in which the concepts are introduced (more like the style of an old Avalon Hill manual than most RPGs), since un-tagging Traits is the first thing that you do, this would need to happen. Honestly, I don't know if it will ever happen or not, considering the number of Traits being generated throughout the course of the game, but there's no limit to the number of Traits that a description can tag, so clever players could probably rack up a lot of Edge really fast. The lack of playtesting and the strangeness of the rules (compared to other games I've played before) left me way to fuzzy on where the numbers should be exactly.

Anything can possess Traits, not just Heroes, but no, there is no limit. An infinite number of Traits can apply to the Hero. A Trait cannot be tagged in the description that generated it because the creation and tagging are happening simultaneously... I should make that explicit in the text.

Um, no, guessing under causes Harm, guessing over causes Harm and requires the Tribulation to discard his card to the Lost Pile.

Yeah, the first Chapter of the first Book is suppose to be a place to showcase the player's Heroes running around and being cool mythic hero types. Three tribulations. The Hero's will always get three cards, maybe picking up some Harm along the way and most importanyly racking up their Edge, which acts as their "hit points" for Chapter 2. Also, remember that the player with the most cards at the end of Chapter 1 is the one that has his Hero removed from play, so, unless a player wants to become part of the Opposition, he'll be shooting quite strongly for second place, which mechanically is the safest position for a player who wants to maintain his Hero.
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David Berg
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 07:29:51 PM »

Nolan,

Let me see if I get this right.  The Hero player and the Trial players are not competing.  They're collaborating on a story, and the "see if you find this narration acceptable" rule exists for the sake of getting all the players on the same wavelength about how the story should go.  Is that correct?

If so, I think you might be going a little soft, checking for "plausible" without actually checking for "cool".  But maybe I'm off base with "how the story should go" as the group goal being facilitated.

Ps,
-David
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2010, 10:47:20 PM »

Its not even checking for plausability: heres an example.

Trial: "The desert winds are blowing so fiercely that you cannot travel by day, at this rate, you'll never get to the oasis on time." (7 of Clubs)

Hero Player: "My Hero calls to the heavens and asks the sky crocodiles to cry so that the winds will stop."

Trial: "That addresses my Tribulation, say a number."

There is no point in which the mechanics ask or let the players comment on the quality of other people's contributions... not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I want to try designs that aggressively award participation and then let table level social rewards handle everything else.

Plus, the style of the fiction in the game is suppose to represent mythic prehistory, so I want players to be able to address Tribulations with magic and dream logic, without necessarily encouraging it.
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David Berg
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2010, 11:06:25 PM »

Oh!  So, basically, as soon as the Hero player comes up with a solution that he/she thinks will work, the Trial just says, "Sure"?

I guess "that addresses my Tribulation" is just kind of the segue from Hero narration to the "guess a number" instruction, right?

I hear ya on table-level social rewards.  My turn to narrate is my turn to see people enjoy my contribution.  Personally, I think the keys to enabling that are (1) inspiration for me to uses as a springboard for cool narration, and (2) group agreement on what sorts of contribution the players enjoy.  Dunno if I'm derailing, so I'll stop there.
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JeffR
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2010, 07:35:56 AM »


Jeff...

The rules are written in order of what needs to happen at the table, not in the order in which the concepts are introduced (more like the style of an old Avalon Hill manual than most RPGs), since un-tagging Traits is the first thing that you do, this would need to happen. Honestly, I don't know if it will ever happen or not, considering the number of Traits being generated throughout the course of the game, but there's no limit to the number of Traits that a description can tag, so clever players could probably rack up a lot of Edge really fast. The lack of playtesting and the strangeness of the rules (compared to other games I've played before) left me way to fuzzy on where the numbers should be exactly.

Anything can possess Traits, not just Heroes, but no, there is no limit. An infinite number of Traits can apply to the Hero. A Trait cannot be tagged in the description that generated it because the creation and tagging are happening simultaneously... I should make that explicit in the text.

Um, no, guessing under causes Harm, guessing over causes Harm and requires the Tribulation to discard his card to the Lost Pile.

Yeah, the first Chapter of the first Book is suppose to be a place to showcase the player's Heroes running around and being cool mythic hero types. Three tribulations. The Hero's will always get three cards, maybe picking up some Harm along the way and most importantly racking up their Edge, which acts as their "hit points" for Chapter 2. Also, remember that the player with the most cards at the end of Chapter 1 is the one that has his Hero removed from play, so, unless a player wants to become part of the Opposition, he'll be shooting quite strongly for second place, which mechanically is the safest position for a player who wants to maintain his Hero.

I get why you clear tags there, but as written you seem to only clear tags if there are no tags that need clearing, so nothing always happens.    (I also think that you probably should unconditionally untag Harm rather than wait until it's all tagged to do it, but I could easily be wrong about that.)

Anyhow, but problem here is that I don't see the Opposition as doing much in any Chapter 1, because (1) Unopposed Tribulations seem really easy to beat in a risk-free manner, since, due to the countdown, you can limit them to, on average, half of the full range of numbers and thus it only takes a little edge to be sure you've got a number in the right range, and (2) the only way that cards get into the Adversity Pile that I can see is by a failure in a Tribulation, which isn't going to happen with any regularity because of (1).
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2010, 09:58:00 AM »

Failure in a Tribulation as a result of the Opposition tagging your Harm to reduce your Edge, which should cause failures to happen more readily, but I completely agree that there might be way to much Edge being accrued. I was thinking of making it an expendable resource, where you'd spend Edge to increase the range before you guessed, but i didn't have time to think this through and add it to the rules.

Just to be clear, step 1: If there are no untagged Traits, untag all Traits. So, if 1) Traits do exist, and 2) none are usable, than 3) make all Traits usable. Not sure if there would ever be a moment when all of the Traits will be tagged. Its possible.

If Harm doesn't get tagged, than the Opposition can reduce the Champion's Edge indefinitely as long as his Hero has any Harm.
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JeffR
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« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2010, 10:43:50 AM »

Okay, I see what you're doing with the untag steps now.  Seems awfully swingy, though; the difference between ending with one untagged Trait (or Harm) and ending with zero is so huge that it may generate  some unnatural play.
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