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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 32 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Verne characters  (Read 650 times)
btrc
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Posts: 328


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« on: March 04, 2011, 06:55:18 AM »

I'm posting this as a game development item as an example of how to take crunchy rules and push them into the background:

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=88917

This is a question & answer interactive pdf that is a front-end for the Verne steampunk supplement for EABA. EABA is a pretty crunchy system, at least by Forge standards, but the pdf means that someone who has never even seen the rules can make up a fully stat'd character with a handful of mouse clicks, while someone familiar with the system can use it as a customization tool.

With more and more people doing downloads for their games and the increasing prevalence of thick, expensive character sheets (aka tablet PC's), the same idea could be applied to just about any RPG. I love me my detailed game mechanics, but the less they intrude into the play experience, the better.

Greg
BTRC
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contracycle
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 07:49:48 AM »

Well, clearly tastes differ.  I would point out that for very many computer games, the players and fans go to extraordinary lengths to extract the underlying, concealed mechanics from the programme.  Some, perhaps many, won't do this and won't be interested in the results, but for others understanding the precise consequences of their decisions enhances play rather than detracting from it.

Sure, handling time is a concern and can be a pain.  I'm not opposed to automation, and indeed it will be interesting to see whether tablet machines can be exploited for tabletop RPG (although I'd think they'd need to be able to talk to each other to really do this).  But I'm unconvinced that making the system more opaque is universally desirable.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
btrc
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Posts: 328


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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 09:56:03 AM »

I agree with just about everything you said. The point was not to opaque or hide the system from everyone, just those who don't want to see it. Or, the "friend stops by and you're running a game" situation. They don't have to spend a lot of time hammering out a character that they are only going to use once. Presto! It's done.

It is just an extension of things like the Hero System Grimoire. Sure, you can design up a hundred spells yourself, and some people prefer to, or you can just take advantage of someone else's labor to save you a lot of time. All the nuts and bolts are still there for whose who want them.
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