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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 28 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Uncanny Underworld] powerz test  (Read 2809 times)
Marshall Burns
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Posts: 573

American Wizard


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« on: October 12, 2010, 03:20:25 PM »

Uncanny Underworld is an urban fantasy game I've been working on for a while, but has only recently been stirring after it became clear through testing that a major overhaul was necessary. The basic premise is that, simultaneous with the world we all live in, there is a second world populated strictly by beings with uncanny powers, who constantly vie with each other for dominance and power. This uncanny side of the world isn't *hidden* per se, but ordinary folks just don't usually intersect with it because they limit themselves to the physical and rational aspects of things -- although the uncanny can intersect with the mundane at will. Stylistically, the game is a lot like Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Simon R. Green's Nightside series, and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. It's modern times, you've got cities, lights, long coats, suits, people in leather, nightclubs, and so on. Y'know, the sort of urban fantasy vibe that's been with us since Shadowrun (at least), although UU doesn't have any "magical races" like elves and such (but it does have demons and non-physical beings).

The game's resolution systems are all about simulating metaphysics. All physical interactions are just expressions of metaphysical phenomena. The capacity of a thing to cause an effect is termed a "virtue" in the jargon, because it is "by virtue of" such a quality that an effect may be produced.

Initially, virtues were custom written, but I tested that and it didn't work at all like I wanted it to. The Color got all borked, and conflict was a mess. So I came up with a list of virtues from which appropriate powerz can be constructed, similar to Sorcerer's demon abilities list (and, as I understand it, therefore derived by extension from Champions, although I haven't had the pleasure of checking out Champions myself). The way it works is every virtue is invested with a certain measure of power, and that power can be committed towards creating an effect. If someone wants a mutually exclusive effect to happen instead, they must commit more power than you did. So, it's a Karma system. Positioning is also very important: every virtue comes with a custom-written "modus," which is the specific manner in which it can be employed. The modus may depend on certain resources or circumstances, and Positioning your character such that these are available is important if you want to be able to use your stuff.

What this thread is about is testing my virtues list. What I need from you readers are some cool urban fantasy powerz that, if you were playing this game, you'd like your guy to have. Then I'm going to try to model that with the stuff I've already got. Hopefully this will reveal any holes in the schema. Along the way, if you've got any questions about how any of them work, please ask; answering questions helps me figure things out.

-Marshall
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Roan
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2010, 04:21:02 PM »

In a urban setting, if I had metaphysical powers, I would love to be able to control electricity. This could either be a skill with many specialties or many skills. Such as the ability to dim or shut off street lights or blow bulbs to create a distraction, not to mention just electrocuting people.  I could feed a lot more if I knew what you already had or were trying to "flavor" your abilities as. Are you going specifically for the dark back-street feel, or night clubs and skyscrapers? Is this modern or future?
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adam m
Member

Posts: 8


« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 12:58:22 PM »

I feel like urban settings are all about access.  Where you can/can't go, either because you aren't allowed or because you just don't know about it.

I want the ability to enter locked buildings.
I want the ability to magically know where places are in the city.
I want to be authorized personnel anywhere.
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Marshall Burns
Member

Posts: 573

American Wizard


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2010, 02:34:46 PM »

Roan,
It's a mixture of backstreet darkness and nightclubs and skyscrapers. It just depends on what orders you belong to and what you're up to. For instance, the order called CRUSADE established and control Wall Street as a construct to create money (in a metaphysical, absolute sense), so they hang out in penthouses and wear suits. The Redhooks, whose claim to fame is removing their hearts with stevedore's hooks to render themselves unkillable, favor old warehouses and waterfronts.

The electricity thing would have to be several different virtues (Harm to do damage, Obscure or Disrupt for messing around with light levels -- depending on whether you're trying to keep people from noticing things, or just mess up their focus)

help im a bug,
Yup, gotcha covered there. Access and Perceive, mostly, with some Transport.

(As I said earlier, feel free to ask if you're curious about how any of this works. It helps me figure out things.)

-Marshall
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