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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 36 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Chanbara Part 2, Characters  (Read 1435 times)
masqueradeball
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« on: December 31, 2010, 02:48:36 PM »

Over in this thread: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forge/index.php?topic=30807.0 I started talking about a session/scenario framework for a chanbara game that's currently nameless. When Ron pointed out the documentation requirements, I realized I hadn't yet written anything down and I ran into the problem that gives me the most grief in game design, namely, deciding how to differentiate characters.

The tentative chargen system is at the beginning of this document: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10738325/Chabara%20v%200.1.pdf

I have a  few things I'd like to discuss:

1) Does anyone actually know anything about Bushido and how to interpret its virtues. I want to do more research, but finding some real folks to talk to about it would be great, especially if they have ideas on how to translate Bushido tenets into game stats, or if such a thing is even a good idea in the first place.

2) Handing off part of chargen to someone else? Does it violate ownership to heavily? What, to you, does it add or subtract.

3) In regards to the session generation. Would you, as a GM, be able to come up with Dilemmas for these characters based solely on the information provided on their character sheet?
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Dan Maruschak
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 09:06:48 AM »

Nolan,
  It's hard to give feedback on the stuff in here without context. Have you figured out how the various values you're putting on the character sheet will be used in play? Answering your questions 2 and 3 would depend on that.
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Callan S.
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 02:33:40 PM »

Hi Nolan,

One of my usual approaches is to pick out a key assumption and question it, usually to transmogrify it from 'MUST do this' to 'Oh, I want to do this cause I like X/Y/Z...ah, now I've teased out what I like to have, I can make rules to embed what I like into the game'. That, or perhaps discover it may be something like a legacy rule/thing, where perhaps your just trying to 'differentiate' simply out of habit rather than it being any source of enjoyment for you. It could be the former or latter (or perhaps a third thing).

Okay, so why must characters be 'differentiated'?
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 12:52:20 AM »

Dan, Honestly I have no idea how the numbers will be used, I've meant to go back and re-work this thing but RL has gotten in the way. The basic assumption is that they'll me metrics for how well and what your samurai will succeed at in a traditional "I want to hit him with my sword" kind of way.

Callan, Differentiation is happening purely for its own sake here, mostly, I would say, to give the players greater stock in their characters and because the scenario creation rules, which are the crux of this thing, need to give the GM something to challenge. It seems impossible to design a scenario to block or frustrate a character, without some concept of the character's internal limitations.
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Dan Maruschak
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 08:46:00 AM »

Then my advice to you is to not worry about a chargen subsystem until you figure out what moment-to-moment gameplay will look like. You're going to have to revise it anyway once you realize what stats, etc., you actually need, so trying to get one you're happy with now is probably wasted effort, especially if this is a subsystem you're likely to struggle with.
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masqueradeball
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 12:22:29 PM »

Maybe... chargen is always the hardest part of game design for me and I'm generally content to build a resolution mechanic that fits around a character creation system that hits the right beats, i.e. that gets the players in the right mind set to play this game. I know what I want play to look like, and I could (and should) write that up in the document, but the question is... how do we get there.
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