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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [CyberCross](Preliminary name)  (Read 3144 times)

Posts: 169

« on: February 02, 2011, 10:49:24 AM »

Ok, here goes .....

Hi, i am trying to make a game that mixes Cyberpunk, Furries, and Goth.
Even though the basic parts of the rules are testplayed, and working, i cannot say that the rest is.
In the below link, You'll find any proper CyberCross files i currently have.
(Currently, it's just 1.)
Yes, i know i  currently have no section about Bionics.
That is because i'm still unsure about how detailed i should do it.

I'm honestly unsure about how to further develop this game, so i need suggestions on how to continue, what may be missing, and so on.
However, i cannot "specialize" this game, i cannot build it on solely "Furry Goth CyberPunk" (It actually has a touch of military as well, i just noticed), it has to be at least a bit generic.
If i manage to complete this game, i'll try making another game as well, that will be compatible with this, ruleswise, but it may focus on Neon Faeries and Magic instead ..... or perhaps Masked Heroes .... or something else. (I have so many alternatives i'd like to see made.)
If you want to discuss the rules, or the world, or even the layout with me, you are welcome.
(However, the Basics, like the Skill System and the Combat System, i will probably not touch.)

So, any comments?
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 08:41:30 AM »

Hi Kim,

Oooohh! Cyberpunk + furry + goth ... any one or even two of those, I'm not that interested, but somehow, the overlap looks like fun. I recommend looking up the 1989 game Justifiers, which included a brilliant setting with some similarities to yours, with a wretched system. I have a Justifiers handout available at my Science Fiction RPG Project page explaining that setting as well as a system that works well for it, at my website.

I think that we can set aside your concerns about designing a generic vs. single-setting, as long as people replying to the thread recognize the difference. As I see it, it means that the basic mechanics like how to fight be specialized (perhaps only in terms of certain options and equipment). That means that for the specific setting to matter, it has to include compelling content which leads to understandable and engaging situations of play.

In your case, that includes a certain bitterness concerning exploitation with a certain fetish-y enjoyment of violence, which is a well-known, widely-enjoyed combination in movies, and especially science fiction of all kinds.

Let's start with Color. I mean, nothing but Color, just the fun and image-rich description of some topic or genre or whatever that you'd like to play. In fact, try to forget anything you ever knew about what role-playing games are about. Never mind how we roll to hit things. I'm interested in what you'd perceive as a moment of play that matters.

In fact, let's pick three such moments. The first moment would come when I have made up my character. My character is Gavin. He's a bighorn sheep anthro who works for, which is to say owned, by Caenendro Inc.

Strength 3, Body 3, Agility 3, Charm 2, Senses 3, Thought 3, Will 2, Ki 1
Brawl (unarmed) 3, Melee (armed) 2, Firearms 2, Domination 1, Security 3, Medicine 2, Academics 1
I am disappointed to discover few Animal Traits that match my image of the bighorn sheep anthro, as apparently you were a little bit fixated on cats. So I take Feral Bite and define it instead as Butting Horns, removing the Grab sub-rule and replacing it with Knockback. I also take Wild Move as written. I wish there were a couple more traits that seemed to match, but as written, I'm left with 8 Merits. I don't really want all of those, but I do take Equipment, Ranking, Backing, and Contacts. I figure in a real game I could lobby for a few more traits to be added to the list.
He'd certainly have a motorcycle, a leather jacket, and a chain, in addition to standard gear like a gun and so on.

All right, I hope you are getting the image of a bit of a bruiser-type character who has a strong intellectual side. My first question: do you immediately find the bighorn sheep idea OK? Or would you much rather than I choose a puma or snow leopard or something more in line with the list of traits? Do you have a limited view of what animals are suitable for the setting? (and if you do, that's OK - but the suitable range should be included).

And now for that second moment, the very first few sentences which begin actual play. Here we are, with two or three other people who also have characters, and you are Game Master. what do you say? What do you describe? What is the first thing I, as a player in action, imagine? Where is Gavin? What does he see? At what point do you open the door for me to say what he says and does?

And finally, I would also like to know a little bit about a moment later in play. This moment would be considered the most dramatic and entertaining climax of the situation that began play, for Gavin specifically. What would it be about? Simply the success or failure of an op against a rival corporation? A confrontation with team members about the mission or company policy? A confrontation with the company itself? And whatever it is, what are the possible outcomes of such a scene for Gavin? Could he be removed from play because he disagrees with the company about something? Or is that the desired beginning of the "real" arc of play, as you see it? Does this moment come in the first session, do you think? Would it occur even in the first "scenario" we play?

I ask this because role-playing begins with Color, and it is effective only insofar as the content deep within the Color - a highly personal thing - finds expression through the processes of play. The essence of Exploration, or if we talk in terms of process, Shared Imagined Space, is giving the primal and initial Color some kind of weight among as a group of people who are talking and listening to one another.

In your case, I see some glimmers of Color in the setting description, but not much; it's mostly present in the list of gear, where the sexy outfit and bullwhip, but especially the stiletto heels and combat flute catch my eye. It's also my prompt for saying that that the Terror Grid rules don't seem to fit well with the rest of the game.

Are you sure the Terror Grid is not merely a legacy item? In other words, you're familiar with it and used to it from other games, and are perhaps including it because "a game has to have rules for that." I have seen this to be the case for these particular rules in many European games, probably based on the introduction of Shadowrun as the first game most role-players there encountered. As I see it, such a thing is perfectly OK as a feature of your generic system, but it's not at all clear what it's doing in or with this particular setting. Is play really supposed to be about how scared the characters are?

Best, Ron

Posts: 169

« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »

Thank you, Ron, for asking some of the initially neccesary questions.

I will actually start wih your last comments and question(s) first, about the current Equipment List, and the Terror Grid.

Really, i thought i had removed the "Combat Flute", since that is far more of a "carry over" than the Terror Grid.
The Terror grid, if i get so far in my development, will be used, mainly if the characters encounter some of the worse bio-constructions of Neuforie Amalgated, or possibly if they are supposed to make a 'run against a place that is rumored that no one has escaped from.
It may also work when a lone character is forced to face a "Destroyer Borg"(name made up, but i assume you understand what i mean).

I also have a kind of fancy for mixing genres, possibly even in a single adventure, so the Terror Grid is useful for bringing something terrifying when the Players really aren't expecting it.
It's mere prescence adds a bit to the "Goth" mood as well.

Now to the beginning of the reply.
I'll look up Justifiers, it might be interesting.
Ok, Colour.
The Bighorn Gavin.
The current Animal Traits list is a carry over from Ferals, were the focus were on Feline, Wolves, and similar.
However, there is another game i have made a more extensive list to, but it is currently on a different site, so i'll have to copy over some from there, then.

However, one could raise the question about why a corporation would make a Ram-type, when they might settle for the alleged more agressive wolf-types.
Although, the Charge/Knockback ability may be interesting on strategical grounds, so perhaps.
After this argument, as a GM, i'd accept it, and as maker of the game, i'd like a little discussion about how the attack "Butting Horns" really should be defined.

The start.
I would normally go for a debriefing sequence, or perhaps leting them start on target site, giving the Players, through their characters or directly, the info for a more or less basic 'run.
It depends much on the players, their characters, and the complexity of the 'run.
If i just grab an example ....
You are all gathered in the debriefing room. (Players describe their Characters shortly.)
The Security officcer comes in, tidy as always, and towards a scribbled down map on the blackboard, saying "This is your next target".

Some may not count this as "Action".
In their case, it is some talk, and they wait a bit until i say they are outside the place, that is surrounded with a wirefence.

It could be encountering a huge monster of a kind, it could be finding info that Canendro once had connections within Neuforie, or refusing to execute a scientist.
Confrontations about the Corporate policy and such would preferably be later in the story arc, unless the player want to play a kind of renegade to begin with, and it fits the rest of the story.

A confrontation with the company for Gavin ..... for an NPC, it would usually mean death, or perhaps "correction".
But, for a Player Character, he may manage to become a renegade instead.
Hmm, his intelligence might actually allow him some informal ranking, giving him some more freedom himself .... at least in Canendro, that you actually did pick for him. (Canendro do have some ... odd viewpoints.)

To me, these kinds of color depend much on the GamesMaster, the Players, and their chosen Characters.
It is especially so for me, since i adlib, make up, improvise, very easily, as the story progresses.
If i'm the GM, i can, for instance, either force characters towards the storyline, or i can make up a different storyline in the meantime, until they return to the main story.

I wonder if these answers were sufficient.

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 05:58:41 PM »

Hi Kim,

Your answers have informed me quite a bit. What I am not seeing, however, are the answers to two crucial questions that Vincent (lumpley) and I worked up in a seminar we were speaking in.

1. Why a goth + cyber + furries exploitation/mission game? Your answer should express why this particular combination of colorful elements excites you, personally. It should include absolutely nothing about the mechanics or details of play - just the subject. After I read it, I should be saying, "I get it! That sounds fun!"

2. Why a new goth + cyber + furries exploitation/mission game? Your answer should address why White Wolf, Shadowrun, or for that matter, GURPS or D20 are not sufficient or good enough for what you would like to accomplish with your design. Or more positively, what your design brings forward that no other game has managed to do in your experience. After I read it, I should be saying, "I get it! I want to play that game!"

Now, please don't let me discourage you. I'm not asking these to stump you but rather to arrive, I hope, at some solid answers. But to be effective, the answers cannot be the same as what Shadowrun, for instance, already does.

Best, Ron

Posts: 169

« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 03:37:49 AM »

Hmmm .... i go direct to the questions:
1: Yes, it is a good question ... but you already know that ..
I have a lot of ideas, and i really burn equally hot for Superheroes, Mystic beings, Manga/Anime-style, touch of Horror, and the touch of Warfare, as i do for Cybergoth and Anthrosploitation. Only one thing holds a special part in my interest, and that is Furries/Anthros, and humans that reaches into that area.
So why did i choose Cybergoth Anthrosploitation this time?
The answer is: Since i am equally excited by them all, i have chosen the variant that may be easiest, and fastest, to actually complete(not including potential expansions and supplements).

Now another question arises: Why the simplest?
Another simple answer: I need support, at least someone who i can frequently discuss genre, rules and what to do next with, or i grind to a standstill, no matter how much i want to complete the game.
So, by choosing the seemingly easiest to complete, i try to get it done without needing very much support(i haven't managed to get very much support before).
But, if i were to get solid support, i might instead go for a Manga- & Superhero- styled game. (Perhaps i burn a bit more for that.)

I just realized, perhaps you expected this answer to be more like a kind of "flavor text"?
In that case:
A world where industrial espionage has gone too far, and to get their own kind of "corporate slaves", the corporations has, through bionics and bio-genetics, made beings that is something between human and animal. These are called "Anthros", and are aften used to attack rival coorporations.
There are a few "free" ones as well, and humans that are anthro-like, but even they tend to get involved in either corporate activities, .... or Ganger activities.

2: The answer is The World, and the Rules.
If i had felt the Rules to be no problem, i would have settled for Palladium Books' TMNT, and Heroes Unlimited, a long time ago.
With White Wolf's variants of their Storytelling system, it's the world that is fused into each' game's system instead, that is the problem.
Most here at the Forge seems to have no problem with such things, but i think of those who pick up a game, and is caught by the flavor, and want to play it.
So, i wanted the rules to be as easy as they can be, without becoming freeform.
I think i have succeeded with the basics, at least.
Also, there aren't that many Cybergoth Anthrosploitation games around, as i see it.
You may be able to mention 5 directly, and 10 more after thinking a little, but i go on what i see in the gameshops here in Sweden, and the only one i've seen recently, is Shadowrun, and only because i heard they actually added some "Furries" in the latest edition.
I can also express it like this:
"Dogs in the vineyard" may be a classic by now, but if you haven't searched for Rpg's on the net, you have probably not heard of it.

As for how well my game would "stand up" against other Rpg's with similar settings ......
I really have no idea.
But, there may be people who like my mix of detailed, yet simple rules, combined with the Setting, and easy way to make a fairly detailed character.

I like these questions, they do make me think a bit. But then, it is also becase they works like support, to me.

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