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Author Topic: [Nevercast] - Truth through Mastery  (Read 4491 times)
dindenver
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 09:52:25 AM »

RE: 1. If you were to play this game, what player role would you most likely choose and why?
  This is a neat setting. I like how you are not trying to depict the game as one thing, but actually being another thing. I would play this and I am torn between the Tech Hunter and the Martial Artist.
  Really, I just want to play the Tech Hunter, but my fear is that their technology knowledge comes at a price of being paper thin in the combat arena. If they have a passable role in combat, then this would be my ideal class. For instance in Jeremiah, the nerds had the lowest HPs, lowest AC and the worst BAB (It was OGL d20). They were almost the only ones who could figure out tech, but it didn't matter because they couldn't live long enough to take advantage of it.

RE: 2. How do you feel about a game that expects your character to die, but gives you the opportunity to swiftly create a new one?
  OK, this is a big issue with me, so I will do my best to answer honestly and give you insight into how I would want this dealt with.
  I hate it when my character (or anyone's character really) dies. The problem revolves around a couple of issues for me:
1) Character Death is almost always treated as an indictment on the skill or thoughtfulness of the player controlling that character. In other words, many GMs say, "I am not trying to kill your character, if they die, it is because the player did something stupid." There is really only one way to interpret this statement after your character dies.
2) Even with fast character generation, there are several issues outside of that, that hamper the players ability to play the game at the table. For instance, the fictional restriction of how the one character got out to a place where, apparently, an entire party couldn't get to safely.
3) And how can the existing PCs trust and accept a total stranger into their midst. Much less trust them and give them a fair share of the money, tech, etc found at the site? And if they don't then how can that character be expected to face their fair share of the danger?
4) All of these issues breaks immersion (a stated goal of the design), and is really hard to overcome without a lot of hand-waving or GM interference.

  All that being said, if your game successfully answers these questions, I would dive in head first without a care in the world about character death.
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Dave M
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2010, 04:08:38 PM »

Masqueradeball, 
Thanks for the feedback.  These are exactly the kinds of thoughts I'm looking for to critically analyze my work and ideas.

Favored role would hands down be the Emissary, but I would be warily of actually playing one, its a bad habit from being burned to often in the past by similar character types. In a game when so much combat is floating around, I find that social characters, though I'm drawn to them, tend to be overshadowed.
- By virtue of mechanics, the game does not support combat in volume.  You will die.  It is one of my design goals that combat be a GM’s tool for precisely calibrating pace - after tension has built up to its limit, a spectacular crescendo at the end of a second or third play session - not as a substitute for a lack of color or meaningful interaction within the game world.  Thus, any role’s main function, reflected by concrete design, will be to interact with the setting as a whole - not to kill things.


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The Mastermind looks pretty sweet at first, and then I realized that I have no idea what they would do in play or how.
- Neither do I!  I should probably make that role NPC only.


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Death sucks and would disappoint me unless:
1) I got to choose when I actually died so that it happened while doing something cool and heroic.
- I’m certain that would break immersion, so that option is off the table for me.


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2) Something about what character did while alive would have an immediate impact on what was going on with each subsequent character.
- In another sim game of mine, which uses the same core system, the idea was for your “character” to actually be a few generations of a family (Forge members seemed to be very receptive to the concept).  Considering the social structure of Renaissance Europe, I can see how that would work well, but I’ll need to approach this from a different angle if the design were to be congruent with Nevercast’s tone.
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010, 08:06:57 PM »

Ron,
Your insights are powerfully thought-provoking.

I'd like to play the Master of Martial Arts if my experience of play really would include some sort of attainment of truth, for that character... I would be very interested in whether and how your game rewards and expresses seeking and attaining truth, for these characters.
Then this game was made exactly for someone like you.
The method in which players act out this role will be enforced partly through mechanics and partly through setting design.
Setting Design – You are not formally a master until you complete your medicine walk and successfully pass an evaluation of your journey by a group of established masters.  Recognized masters wield very tangible measurements of power (i.e. legal privileges) within Outworlder society and, most applicably, amongst technology cults (e.g. access to advanced equipment and heavy-handed allies).  Furthermore, specialized training is typically only available to recognized masters.
Mechanics – If the GM uses an NPC proxy to exercise his personal opinion on a player-character’s personal growth*, then he directly exercises it when it comes to concrete character development.  However, breaking immersion is a cardinal sin in this game, and the GM is encouraged to come up with creative in-game ways to goad a character into revealing his personal insights.  It is only when the GM is satisfied with these insights that he will grant the character the ability to develop advanced skills within the “Internal Arts” discipline**.  Again, the GM must reveal this ability without breaking immersion.

* Separation of Shior Ah – If your character manages to fool the masters, then Pio Mon will certainly know your guilt!  Although the Ancestors of Nature are purely allegorical, the effects of spiritual dishonesty are real.  All beginning characters of this role will be given the label “Separation of Shior Ah”, which means they cannot progress beyond rudimentary levels in certain skills.  This is not an arbitrary mechanic – the skills you may not develop can only be understood though intuition, not intellectualization, and only the GM has the capacity to determine if your character possesses such a quality.

** This is the point when a master begins to understand that he and everything else are not truly separate; that distinctions and identities are only a function of perception.  Advanced skills associated with Internal Arts reflect this understanding, including skills that directly influence combat effectiveness. 



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The Soldier / Mercenary, Technology Hunter, and Mastermind all appear to me to be uninteresting door-opener, orc-killing, utility devices… The Emissary would be fun to play if and only if his or her activities generated genuine consequences in the local setting of play. I would have no interest in merely posturing about in scenes which have no function except to set up future fight scenes.
 
I intend to give all player-character roles a primary role-playing function.  This is not merely cosmetic; like the explanation of Masters I presented to you above, I will utilize the same framework to model the other roles.  As demonstrated with the previous point, it is in my opinion that both setting “pushback” and mechanical design will enforce that role-playing function without breaking immersion or making the player feel pigeonholed.  By that I mean the player still has considerable freedom to interact with the game world (after all, a PC role is professional-level to start).


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I think you might be interested in my breakdown of how characters are categorized in The class issue. This thread cleared a lot of air at the time. What you're calling "player role" appears to be my #3 and #4 in my little scheme, and it strikes me that you might be seeking #2 instead, which #3 and #4 cannot do. But I'll hold off on that until you check out the thread, if you want to.
I’ve read it, but I don’t understand it enough to form an adequate response.  For example, you say, “…you get what might be called "concept Currency" breakdown,” without elaborating on what concept currency is or how it may negatively affect my design.  Could you reiterate in a digested format using my player roles to provide context?


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The short answer to your question is that I love and welcome character death as a feature of play insofar as it's fun. For it to be fun ...

1. I have to be able to keep playing. There are lots of ways to do this, but in the case of your game, I think I might like to have a couple of characters already made up, such that when one falls, another can be brought in. (And to do this well, not "stepping out from behind the corner" to join the same fight, but rather, entering the scenario from an entirely different angle.)
This seems to be the most logical course of action.  I’ve conjured a feasible framework for how to achieve this in my Renaissance game, which suits the same creative agenda, but I’m still trying to think of a good way to implement this in the Nevercast setting.
The main reason why I want to mechanically provide a means for this concept is because I want to prevent GMs from resorting to a Deus ex Machina, which can break immersion.


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3. The death should be the kind of death that works in this setting, in this situation, and in this kind of story. If bullets are dangerous and feared by PC and NPC alike, then a bullet can kill my guy. If bullets are dramatic Color serving mainly as mood music and a means to dispose of nameless mooks, then a bullet shouldn't kill my guy.
The latter trivializes death.  That is not to say that trivialized death cannot or does not make for good fiction.  However, I don’t want to steer the game-play towards frequent, mindless fights.  Yes, I DO intend to create a spectacular combat system, but that’s because I want combat to be introduced in a spectacular manner.  Aside from resolution mechanics, it is important to this setting that combat be relatively infrequent - most importantly: coherent - to achieve that effect.


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What's more, instead of providing hope through allowing humanity to start all over again (as with many science fiction disaster stories), hope is only available through
I created the damn setting and I have no idea how you intended to finish that incomplete sentence!  I was like, “Through…?  Through what?!  Damn you computer!  Damn youuuuuu!”


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There's a tension between motifs that strikes me as interesting material for play. It's probably familiar to most people reading this through films like Princess Mononuke, but can also be found throughout science fiction and fantasy ... it's love/hate for technology…When it's genuinely raised as an issue, and thrown to a system of authorship allowing for protagonism and consequences, well, maybe there's a chance to make a story which is compelling, exciting, and thought-provoking.

I don't know if that's what you're after. The detail and care of your setting work suggests that you might be.
This tension is portrayed most prominently by two Outworlder religious factions: the Traditionalists and the relatively young Progressivists.  Both seek the same thing: returning to ultimate reality.  At the very least, they seek to respect the Ancestors of Nature. 

As a result, Traditionalists do not trust technology; they believe it creates comfort and desire, obscuring ultimate reality through over-identification of a self (i.e. an excessively isolated point of reference). 

However, the Progressivists believe that the best way to do this is through a proactive approach.  According to their doctrine, by controlling the means of production, Progressivists may therefore dictate the direction of conscientious technological advancement.  It is in their opinion that the International Committee on the Ethical use of Technology (ICET), led by the Urs Prime Republic, has a distorted viewpoint on the subject: they stonewall research for universally beneficial technology (like helium-3 powered fusion) and back the development of technology supported by weak science – essentially, they fund what’s popular.  This is how technology cults came into existence, and because religion is conducive to organization (and hyper-focused combatants who do not fear death), the Progressivists have demonstrated to be extremely effective in their endeavor.  Today, technology cults have taken over Vanaq Ir, and it is only a matter of time before they completely cut off Urs Prime’s power source: pre-Nevercast weapons tech.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 06:04:15 AM »

Hello!

It would be funny if my unfinished sentence were merely a cruel trap for you, but the fact is I missed it before posting the final text.

The passage in full should read:

What's more, instead of providing hope through allowing humanity to start all over again (as with many science fiction disaster stories), hope is only available through seeking genuine alternatives - alternatives not only for the characters in the fiction, but for us, today, here and now. If this feature were relevant in the fictional situations of play, instead of being, for instance, just colorful back-story so we can seek a McGuffin, then I think you are on track toward a notable, exciting science fiction setting.

I'm glad my comments were helpful. I'll follow up on the "concept currency" thing later, but for now, I hoped you would consider my main point in that thread: that the content of any given "character level" cannot account for or prompt content at any other level. A game can be built such that the various levels are squished together in any combination, and that's cool, but you can't leave instruction/guidance about a given level out entirely and hope that the details in the others will somehow fill the gap.

Best, Ron
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 04:54:20 PM »

Chris,
Thank you for your input.  These are inquiries I can respond to in a definite manner.

The Martial Artist could be a lot of fun, if there's actual choices to be made in combat that have tactical significance. There has to be some element of actual choice and strategy.
Every weapon or method of personal combat has its own unique numerical makeup along a spectrum of mechanically individual attributes (speed, maneuverability, lethality, etc.).  This is a method I’ve developed for my Renaissance game, and although I don’t have a play-testing foundation to know for sure, simulations of the system have led me to believe that this is an excellent way to model real-life methods of combat. 
What ends up happening in these simulations is that the various forms and tools of combat fit together like puzzle pieces, meaning your character has a strong incentive to switch general strategies based directly on the situation in front of him. 
In order to power this engine, I’ve introduced what I call “skilled maneuvers”.  Skilled maneuvers are general tactics derived from technical proficiency that specifically favor a single weapon-attribute, and it follows that each individual weapon will favor certain tactics.  Therefore, since each combat situation will favor certain tactics and attributes (armor penetration, for example, is a good one to have when fighting against heavily armored opponents; high speed allows you to take aim faster in close-quarters situations), each combatant needs to carefully choose his weapons and avoid situations that will favor weapons or tactics they are not skilled in.
When it comes to the Master of Martial Arts in particular, the speed and maneuverability attributes of the hands and many melee weapons are superior to firearms.  That translates to a greater combative advantage the closer a Master gets to his opponents.  The tools he utilizes to close the distance are stealth, applied athletics (remaining exposed for as little as possible when moving out of cover), body armor (the modern stuff allows great protection and mobility), and small arms fire (while opponents take cover, he safely jockeys for position).  Furthermore, closely-packed units will be heavily compromised once the Master gets inside because they risk friendly-fire casualties.


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That said, you mentioned highest rate of death for these guys.  Is that due to the number of combats or are they built weak, or do they do the D&D wizard thing where they start weak and become awesome later?   Those issues could also impact how fun they'd be to play.
A successful medicine walk demands that they become one with the Nature of death and violence (Pio Mon).  This kind of medicine walk only applies to Masters of Martial Arts, in particular.  You cannot be the master of something you don’t fully understand, so their journey will undoubtedly lead to more lethal situations than other roles.  In contrast, a foreign services agent is capable of handling a deadly combat encounter and is likely to end up in one, but actively seeking those situations runs contrary to his purpose as well as his sense of self-preservation and the preservation of those he leads.


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The Tech hunter doesn't appeal to me at all, but that's my personal taste of dungeon crawling and traps.
When I said, “post-modern dungeon crawling”, I was making more of an analogy than a literal statement.  Traps and puzzles don’t belong in this setting.  Neither does treasure; there’s no reason why you *should* find anything of value to your character.  Furthermore, since every character role has a primary “role-playing” function, the Technology Hunter can find avenues other than sticking his nose in an abandoned laboratory to achieve his goals; he is not equivalent to a Rogue.


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A major pitfall to avoid is what I call the Shadowrun Hacker problem- where players are left twiddling their thumbs while a single player or two players get deep into a subgame of mechanics only their characters can do, and then, during the rest of the game, those players are left twiddling their thumbs.
After reading all the responses, I probably won’t have the Mastermind as a PC role.  It does not possess enough dimensions to be playable in this setting.


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If your game rewards via character advancement, you may want to look at what that means in long term play, since, as you note, some characters have longer life expectancies than others- it means some characters will end up entrenched at higher ability than others... and also that players will invest differently depending on character type.
Via conscious mechanical design, level of ability does not directly translate into a greater capacity to interact with the game world.  The outcome of events is heavily dependent upon a player’s choices rather than his character’s numerical makeup. 
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2010, 09:53:02 PM »

Dindenver,

  Really, I just want to play the Tech Hunter, but my fear is that their technology knowledge comes at a price of being paper thin in the combat arena. If they have a passable role in combat, then this would be my ideal class. For instance in Jeremiah, the nerds had the lowest HPs, lowest AC and the worst BAB (It was OGL d20). They were almost the only ones who could figure out tech, but it didn't matter because they couldn't live long enough to take advantage of it.
Every character in the game possesses professional-level skills.  If danger is a common aspect of their profession, then it follows that such a character can handle danger.  In my next immediate post, I will give the full explanation of the tech hunter in order to fully answer your inquiry.


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1) Character Death is almost always treated as an indictment on the skill or thoughtfulness of the player controlling that character. In other words, many GMs say, "I am not trying to kill your character, if they die, it is because the player did something stupid." There is really only one way to interpret this statement after your character dies.
All it takes is one shot to kill your character.  I can understand this logic in games where it takes about 15 hits to die, AND you can heal, but in Nevercast, a bad roll will eventually catch up to you no matter how clever you are.  Pray that you’re wearing good armor when that happens.
I would like to be clear on the nature of character death in my game, but rather than insult my audience’s intelligence and state it explicitly, I trust that they will grasp this concept after a few sessions.  This includes the GM; he’ll learn on his own not to mindlessly throw violent situations at his characters (making players feel powerless as their characters constantly get cut down), but to carefully set up events so that character roles have an opportunity to demonstrate all of their functions in a meaningful way. 


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2) Even with fast character generation, there are several issues outside of that, that hamper the players ability to play the game at the table. For instance, the fictional restriction of how the one character got out to a place where, apparently, an entire party couldn't get to safely.
3) And how can the existing PCs trust and accept a total stranger into their midst. Much less trust them and give them a fair share of the money, tech, etc found at the site? And if they don't then how can that character be expected to face their fair share of the danger?
These two issues appear to be outside of a system’s jurisdiction and inside that of the GM.  At best, the manual can provide guidelines of engagement for difficult player situations so that the GM’s actions do not appear to be arbitrary or contrived.
This may not answer your questions in the manner you were hoping for, but the character death concept has not been fully fleshed out yet.  Perhaps only playtesting will grant me the insight I require. 
What I am hoping for is that the PC experience will be so rich that death will not be perceived for the drudgery in making a new character and waiting to get back in the game, but as an exciting climax before the actor bows out.  I doubt that will happen, but if it does, then it would be superfluous for me to introduce any mechanics or guidelines to address the subject.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2010, 11:54:41 PM »

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I would like to be clear on the nature of character death in my game, but rather than insult my audience’s intelligence and state it explicitly, I trust that they will grasp this concept after a few sessions.  This includes the GM; he’ll learn on his own not to mindlessly throw violent situations at his characters (making players feel powerless as their characters constantly get cut down), but to carefully set up events so that character roles have an opportunity to demonstrate all of their functions in a meaningful way.
It wouldn't insult my intelligence to outline explicitly - to me that process has me learning some illusionism, where I learn all sorts of skills to make the players fear for their characters lives, while really they'll live or die simply as I dictate. That might be entirely wrong, but I don't mind it being stated explicitly to clear up how I'm wrong on that.

Death is an interesting subject. One approach is use a variant of luck from warhammer, where the GM rolls your luck for the day and as a player you don't know how much there is. Switch the idea to the GM rolling your survival points for the game week, which you don't know. Suddenly find your out of points? Your characters dead. And the GM doesn't secretly adjust the number of survival points, neither. It gives play to it all, but also engenders that fear of the unknown. Without illusionism.

There's a quote I came across recently. It's about writing books, but it could apply to anything
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Since implicit rules are generally invisible, the tendency is to always think that the guy who follows explicit rules is the one constrained
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2010, 12:53:55 PM »

Hopefully I can strike a balance of survivability by calibrating the numerical value of weapons vs. armor instead of resorting to, uh...metagaming I suppose.

I'm certainly not opposed to the idea, as the actual effects will be disguised from the players, but I want the concrete in-game logic to be enough to fully carry play (this has to do with my aesthetic design preferences more than anything).  In my opinion, this can be accomplished with precision.  Using well-defined character functions (what tools are available interact with the world), well-defined setting objects (exactly what areas and character functions are particularly dangerous), and finely-tuned combat mechanics, I intend for gameplay to reliably allow an average death rate of one in five sessions (or two violent encounters).
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dindenver
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« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2010, 04:05:44 PM »

RK,
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I would like to be clear on the nature of character death in my game, but rather than insult my audience’s intelligence and state it explicitly, I trust that they will grasp this concept after a few sessions.
  So, I played a game like this before, FASA Star Trek. It was horrible. Because we tried to play like D&D in space (this was the 80s after all). So, naturally, we busted out the fight rules, because that is what you do. We were all trek fans and, of course, getting shot by a disruptor is serious business, But nothing in the rules (except a bunch of numbers that we didn't understand because we hadn't played yet) told us to steer away from combat. The point is, please be explicit. It sounds like you are trying to come up with a new approach to adventure gaming. And if that is the case, you will have to teach people the skills to engage your game successfully.

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This includes the GM; he’ll learn on his own not to mindlessly throw violent situations at his characters (making players feel powerless as their characters constantly get cut down), but to carefully set up events so that character roles have an opportunity to demonstrate all of their functions in a meaningful way. 
  This is a difficult skill to learn, for any game system. If your game is at all new or different, any help you can provide to the GM will be invaluable. It will mean extra work and writing, but it may mean the difference between success and failure for your game. Imagine you are trying a new game. You bust out the rules, make characters and do a quick encounter. Everything goes horribly wrong. The GM checks the rules and as far as he can tell, he is running the game correctly. Some players will soldier on and try and figure out your rules. The rest will drop the game like a hot rock and bad mouth it to anyone who brings it up.

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These two issues appear to be outside of a system’s jurisdiction and inside that of the GM.  At best, the manual can provide guidelines of engagement for difficult player situations so that the GM’s actions do not appear to be arbitrary or contrived.
  OK, well, if your intention is to make a highly lethal game, you need to solve these questions. This can be solved simply by having the adventure groups consist of pools of NPCs that are pretty much useless until they get promoted to PCs. Or by setting up extreme setting elements that would encourage the PCs to trust each other (they are all members of the same guild, religion or are being attacked by an external force that is killing all the NeverCast characters without exception).

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What I am hoping for is that the PC experience will be so rich that death will not be perceived for the drudgery in making a new character and waiting to get back in the game, but as an exciting climax before the actor bows out.
  OK, to be clear, I love to make characters, short-changing the Character creation process is a con, not a pro. Admittedly, if I am pretty much guaranteed to lose a character once per 4 hour session, then a 2-hour character creation process is probably a bad idea. But still, there are other consequences of character death than having to make a character.

  Anyways, all of this is to say, sounds like a cool game, I'd like to hear more about it.
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Dave M
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Ar Kayon
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« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2010, 09:31:18 PM »

Dindenver,
I'll respond to your post first before I get to the other character role stuff.  I promise I'll move on, but I believe this particular issue - that of PC death - needs to reach some satisfactory conclusion.  I have not game mastered for real in years, and it seems like most people here have more insight than I do on character death.  Furthermore, I was almost never a player, so I can only make conjectures on how certain aspects of gameplay will turn out until I get down to the playtesting stage.


But nothing in the rules (except a bunch of numbers that we didn't understand because we hadn't played yet) told us to steer away from combat. The point is, please be explicit. It sounds like you are trying to come up with a new approach to adventure gaming. And if that is the case, you will have to teach people the skills to engage your game successfully.
So what you're saying is that if the idea is not explicitly understood, gamers will continue to dive into the same habits, getting annihilated, and not knowing why?  I think I get it.  Players may have habits derived from games with radically different creative agendas, and by default they will invoke those habits, expecting to be as successful.


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Imagine you are trying a new game. You bust out the rules, make characters and do a quick encounter. Everything goes horribly wrong. The GM checks the rules and as far as he can tell, he is running the game correctly. Some players will soldier on and try and figure out your rules. The rest will drop the game like a hot rock and bad mouth it to anyone who brings it up.
Ok, you’ve made your point.  Give the GM all the tools he needs to recognize and run the game the way it was intended to be played - as if the characters were real and the world is always pushing back.  I should make this understanding concrete.


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  OK, well, if your intention is to make a highly lethal game, you need to solve these questions. This can be solved simply by having the adventure groups consist of pools of NPCs that are pretty much useless until they get promoted to PCs. Or by setting up extreme setting elements that would encourage the PCs to trust each other (they are all members of the same guild, religion or are being attacked by an external force that is killing all the NeverCast characters without exception).
I wouldn’t want trust to be a granted quality of play between player-characters.  Yes the game is lethal, but it’s not machine-gun lethal; death isn’t chasing you every second and a highwayman on every mile-marker.  Instead, there should be large blocks of role-playing and exploring and very short bursts of terrifying danger in-between (tasting oh-so-sweet should you prevail).  Thus, player-characters should have a good amount of time to establish trust before something bad happens.


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  OK, to be clear, I love to make characters, short-changing the Character creation process is a con, not a pro. Admittedly, if I am pretty much guaranteed to lose a character once per 4 hour session, then a 2-hour character creation process is probably a bad idea.
The reason why character creation is swift is because the system this game is based on streamlines the process.  There is only one mechanical subsystem to address upon creation - skills - and the actual background and persona of the character itself are intended to be developed during play.  Also, the skilled maneuvers/abilities that are based upon skills are not cherry-picked by the players the way a similar system (feats) would be.  Furthermore, I doubt that I will introduce a granular point-buy method.  For example, instead of distributing X amount of skill points all over the place, you pick, say, Y amount of level 4 skill types (within pre-determined skill categories), Z amount of level 3, etc.  This is to ensure that a character is actually a professional-level in his chosen role while still maintaining a decent gradient of functional variability between characters of the same role.  I’ll elaborate on character creation later when the details will be fleshed out more completely.
Finally, I don’t intend for characters to die once per session.  In my opinion, such an overblown level of violent conflict will compromise suspension of disbelief as well as create the subtext that this game favors combat over other aspects of play.  Also, I believe that one 4 hour session is not enough time to build the necessary dimensions of a player-character.  How do I intend to goad players into building these dimensions?  I have no idea yet, and I may have to start a new thread specifically devoted to emergent character design tailored to a simulationist agenda (if anyone has links to existing threads, I would appreciate it).
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dindenver
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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2010, 10:14:25 AM »

RK,
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I wouldn’t want trust to be a granted quality of play between player-characters.
  And to be clear, when I say trust I just mean willing to fight side by side and share in the rewards of adventuring. Not like, a deeper trust that involves secrets and opens a character up to deeper betrayals.

  The trick is, roleplaying is a group activity. So, you need to have something for the group to do together.

  Now, that might be PC vs PC conflicts over rights and resources. Or that might be PC vs NPC rivalry or hostility. One of these two require trust between PCs and the other does not.

  I won't go out on a limb and say you have to address this issue. But, I will suggest that you consider how it should be if people are playing your game correctly and then design the game to produce that sort of play.

  I hope my comments are helping you with your design, that is my intention. Again, I have read other posts about it and it seems to be shaping up to be pretty cool.
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Dave M
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horomancer
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2010, 10:48:49 PM »

I'm happy to see you're back working on Nevercast. I look forward to when you'll have something play test-able.
Couple of thoughts-
It seems so far that only the martial artists has any true systematic regulation on what skills/powers they are allowed to access. Systematic may not be the right word even, as it is really upto GM discretion from you description of the medicine walk.
All other archetypes seem to boil down to skill selection. Are you weighting the skills in such a way that characters specialized in different fields will have different skill point totals? Will the merc have fewer skills total than the emissary, but have a much higher cap on combat related skills?

I ask this, since archetypes that do not impose some mechanical constrictions (like the martial artists) seem pointless.
It has been my observation that the archetypes for any game goes as Special 1, Special 2, Rouge, where S1 caters to what ever combat system is in place and S2 caters to what ever special sub-system the game has (magic use, technology, diplomacy, etc.). Rouge then takes up all the slack on all perfectly viable actions that don't fall directly into these two Special categories, but the system does not have an adequate sub-system to regulate. This can lead to interesting results when you think about what goes into having a '4' for stealth and a '4' for Metalworking. Ones a fairly straight forward skill that has very real limitations and most people (players and GM) can make reasonable assumptions about, the other is a trade someone can spend  lifetime in and never fully master, and most people really don't have a clue on how it actually works.

I do not know enough about your system to say it will have such a short coming, but I feel it needs to be a point you address. You do not need a complex system of crafting-time/resource management for that one player that is hell bent on being a gunsmith, but you need some way to address various skill values for the time and energy it would take to have 'x' in one skill as opposed to another. You will also need something akin to combat maneuvers for various non-combat actions, or you will be shortchanging any character that is not combat centric.

It is my view that players and Gm's will twist character concepts and intentions to what ever suits their desire, and building a character type with play restrictions (such as paladins from D&D and Martial artists from your game) is futile. The only reason for making a character type is to confine their actions with numbers.
I've played with alot of powergaming dicks, so my perception may be slanted.
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Ar Kayon
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Posts: 438


« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2011, 09:17:52 PM »

It seems so far that only the martial artists has any true systematic regulation on what skills/powers they are allowed to access. Systematic may not be the right word even, as it is really upto GM discretion from you description of the medicine walk.
All other archetypes seem to boil down to skill selection. Are you weighting the skills in such a way that characters specialized in different fields will have different skill point totals? Will the merc have fewer skills total than the emissary, but have a much higher cap on combat related skills?
If the Master of Martial Arts seems more conceptually developed than the other roles, then that is because it is!  I’ve spent over a decade developing the game, and they are essentially a refinement of all those years of rules development and redevelopment.
However, I intend to make the other roles more elastic as well, meaning that the system will prevent a player from expanding past certain levels of tension without first developing his character in some meaningful way.  Therefore, existing roles that prevent me from devising such a dynamic will be scrapped or re-imagined.


Quote
I do not know enough about your system to say it will have such a short coming, but I feel it needs to be a point you address. You do not need a complex system of crafting-time/resource management for that one player that is hell bent on being a gunsmith, but you need some way to address various skill values for the time and energy it would take to have 'x' in one skill as opposed to another. You will also need something akin to combat maneuvers for various non-combat actions, or you will be shortchanging any character that is not combat centric.
Maneuvers don’t apply to just combat.  For other skills, you have abilities, which is the same concept but with a different name.  I’ll provide a more detailed description of how skills work in my Mechanics Reference thread.
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