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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 41 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Gryffudd's Game Thread  (Read 2612 times)
Gryffudd
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Posts: 81

Just another designer


« on: September 12, 2010, 03:16:56 AM »

Well, looks like lots of interest this year. Lots of neat ideas I see. Figured I should put up one of my own while I have a moment before sleep. :).

Before the theme and ingredients appeared I was thinking about what I wanted to do for a game. I've always wanted to work on a post apocalyptic fantasy, so I was mulling that over at work. Thankfully City, Desert, and Edge fit into what I was thinking, so I'm going to go with it. I have a few ideas for making Journey work too.

Imagine a world, similar to ours, but one where magic, of a sort, exists. It's societies evolve and eventually reach a level of technology similar to our late Victorian/cowboy era, but with magical involvement. Something runepunk or steampunk-like. Then something very, very bad happens. A cataclysmic event that almost destroys the world. The City, the name of which has been lost in the century since the event, is ravaged, leaving ruins that stretch for dozens of miles. The world is devastated. Life itself in most of the world is gone. All that is left after the years pass is a desert, dotted with the occasional oasis where water was plentiful and life was too hardy to die off. Humanity survives, but barely. A century passes. Towns develop in these oases. Some areas are large enough to support several small towns or one large one. Towns fight over resources. Bandits raid. Some brave folk take caravans between towns, looking to trade for things needed in other areas. Life is hard, but people survive.

You are one of these people, someone with an ability most lack, the ability to contact otherworldly entities and bargain with them for their assistance. Maybe you're a priest, with a connection to one of the 7 gods/goddesses. If you show them devotion and follow their edicts in your life, they will grant you abilities to help your town flourish. Maybe you're a shaman, able to converse with the spirits of nature and of the dead. If you help them, they will help you in return, when you are in need. Or maybe you're just someone who has found themselves a kindred spirit. A strange spirit, bound to a weapon. If you do what it likes, it will give you great power in combat. Whoever you are, your town relies in part on you for its existence. But there's a dark side. Just as there are 7 gods and goddesses, there are 7 demons. For every virtue, there is a vice. You have a strength, but also a weakness. Sometimes you may need to slip towards the dark side to get that edge you need to keep your town, your family, alive. If you don't, people you care about may suffer. The choice is yours. You are one of those who must walk the edge.

I'm thinking that the basic theme will be 'How far are you willing to go to help your friends?' 'How much are you willing to sacrifice?' I think maybe I can fit that into the contest theme of Journey as in the journey the character takes morally as the game goes on. Mechanics-wise, the game is going to be a fairly traditional type of game, but I have some ideas for making it more cooperative. I'd also like to have the whole 'dark side/light side' thing be something that takes place in the roleplaying rather than in any sort of 'dark side points', if that makes any sense. If you're a demon-bargainer, and you need something powerful from them, they may want a sacrifice you're not willing to make. If you decide to make it and it saves the town, you don't gain dark-side xp, your character is darker because they just did something horrible, even if it was to save people. That should have an effect on the character's behaviour. I'd also like to work in an idea of each person having a vice and a virtue. Not the cardinal virtues, exactly, but virtues of survival, with the sins being things that make it harder for your town to get by: cowardliness, greed, laziness, wastefulness, and such. They can lean on their virtue or vice to get an extra die on a roll, and that may affect the outcome of the action. It should certainly affect how they're seen by others. Maybe it should affect them spiritually as well.

I'd also like to work a town or caravan creation system into character creation, similar to things in Blood and Honour and Smallville. The idea being to make the characters and their surroundings as one unit, so that they care about that which their characters are tasked with defending/helping.

That's the basics, anyway. I see it as a dark fantasy setting, but with steampunk-y artifacts appearing occasionally. Partly the idea was inspired by hearing a bit about the main character in Stephen King's Dark Tower books, a 'knight' who wields a pistol. Hence the 1870's tech before the apocalypse hit.

Wish I could take a week off work to devote to this. Just have work around it, I guess. :)

Pat
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2010, 04:39:30 PM »

Are you looking at each character functioning as a signature character for their own Caravan...each interacting as representatives from their people within a single town?

Or will the caravan generation rules create a communal caravan to which all of the characters belong?

I've thought about both of these options in the past, so I'd be interested in seeing where someone else might take these ideas.
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Gryffudd
Member

Posts: 81

Just another designer


« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 04:58:16 PM »

Originally I was thinking of making town creation part of character creation, so that the assembled players made the town that they were defending/aiding. Once the Journey theme came up, I started thinking of a caravan-oriented game as an alternate to a town-oriented one. A communal caravan, with npcs, benefits and needs that the PC's interact with, much as if they were a mobile town (but with different resources than a town would have).

I'm thinking of a cross between Blood and Honour's clan generation and Smallville's character map. Maybe there are several rounds and in each of those, each player, but one, has a point to put into some resource or feature for the town//caravan, while the remaining player must put a point in a weakness/shortfall for it. Each round it's a different player who must pick a weakness for the town. Maybe each player picks what kind of role/class/whatever they are going to want to play, then the players construct the town/caravan, and lastly they finish making their characters now that they know the details of where they will be playing.

Since I want to go with a virtues and vices thing too, for characters, maybe each town/caravan has a virtue and a vice as well. A town with Bravery and Wrathfulness might be renowned for standing up to bandits, but it also has a violet side, like a rowdy cowboy-era town. Kind and cowardly would be a town that is willing to take in and aid travellers, but won't stand up well to an armed band. Something like that, maybe.

I think each character having their own caravan would work for a larger-scale game, with time passing between caravans meeting up and each player focussed on their caravan. I think mine will be more oriented to small-group stuff, with players working together to survive.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 03:52:12 PM »

I do like the idea of a larger community sharing the same basic attribute structure as a character.

Even if the names of the attributes vary between scales...

Example...Charisma in a character maps across to "Morale" for a group, Intelligence in a character maps across to "Technology level" for a group...etc.

That way you can use the same kinds of die rolls when a character deals with a character...or when a character deals with a generic member of a group (just use the default group attribute)...or when two groups deal with one another.

The virtues and vices could reflect stereotypical members of the group, or attitudes about the group in general.

I also think the idea of making each virtue and vice an opposing pair.

Are you specifically making a certain virtue match a certain vice (such as the cardinal sins and cardinal virtues of catholic dogma), or are you allowing a player to mix and match virtues and vices for a higher range of variability in their characters? 
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Gryffudd
Member

Posts: 81

Just another designer


« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 06:50:46 PM »

Hm, I hadn't thought about actual stats for the towns. I was more thinking player 1 spends thier point to give the town a blacksmith, player 2 spends thier point on a basic wall for the town, player 3 also spends their point on blacksmith making it a really good blacksmith, something like that. If the town (or caravan, for those so inclined) had stats itself similar to character stats, they could be rolled to see how the town in general survives or deals with emergencies/attacks. Interesting. Maybe a combination of both, putting a point in the town's Endurance allows you to give the town something appropriate, like a defensive wall or a secret well. Something to think about tonight while I work on the character creation section.

Pat
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Gryffudd
Member

Posts: 81

Just another designer


« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 10:51:41 PM »

Almost forgot go answer your last question. The perils of responding from work. : )

I do have the 7 vices paired off with 7 opposing virtues. For characters, players can pick any combination of vice and virtue except an opposed pair. It's partly for variety, but also because I want each of them to be a core part of the character's personality. It's pretty difficult to be both wrathful and merciful (one of the opposed pairs), but someone could easily be both wrathful and brave. The seven pairings I have are:

Cowardly - Brave
Cruel - Kind
Deceitful - Truthful
Greedy - Generous
Lazy - Diligent
Wasteful - Restrained (Needs a new term)
Wrathful - Merciful

A couple remnants from Christian dogma. Most are things I see as hated/valued by a civilization trying to survive. Cowardice may help personal survival, but it's a detriment to the rest of the group.

Pat
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2010, 10:59:06 PM »

Wasteful - Restrained (Needs a new term)

Wasteful - Thrifty/Frugal??
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Gryffudd
Member

Posts: 81

Just another designer


« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 10:54:56 AM »

Ah, Thesaurus.com, how I love thee. Looked up thrifty, found austere. Definitions, nonindulgence or strict economy. Works for me. :)

Pat
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Gryffudd
Member

Posts: 81

Just another designer


« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2010, 05:42:16 PM »

Well, after a few really bad days I think I'm finally back on track. Changed the game somewhat, replacing the town/caravan idea with airships. Kind of a sky pirate idea, but with the crew searching the world for the food, water, and other resources the few remaining cities need in order to survive. I'll be keeping the idea of town/caravan traits, but they'll become ship traits instead. Not incredibly ground-breaking to those who've been at this for very long, but it's stuff I haven't delved into myself. Here's hoping I can make it useable by Sunday night.

Pat
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