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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 59 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Knights of Twilight] revisioned  (Read 7573 times)

Posts: 37

« on: March 17, 2011, 05:39:07 AM »

Alpha version 0.2
For those who never read this game rules, this is a game about fencing.
It explores the actions of Knights, corrupted by some dark power that helps them fight a desperate war against hellish forces.

I made some update after Ron's feedback, so the rule set made a step ahead from the Ronnies version.
I definetly need some playtest, so if anybody wants to try the game out, they more than welcome.

- I changed the way the values of the fudge die are read after the assault, which added one main feature (Torments) and modified another (death is a true possibility now)
- Torments are a new feature and measure how the stress of constant war presses onto Knights. If they grow too high, a Knight must unleash them, and they are unleashed onto Affections, who becomes victim of Violence or Hatred; they bring to fictional scene in the game, in which the Knight harms (physically or not) his Affections because Torments send him out of control.
This loss of control is represented in the game with a switch on who is playing the Knight, so the player is not anymore "in control" of his Knight actions, but he plays the role of his Affection.
The idea behind this is the put the player in front of the consequences of his character's Torments.
There is not a mechanic for this, simply the player frames the scene according to the Torment he is going to unleash and then the GM will play the Knight and the player will play the Affection designed to be the victim. I need feedbacks on this particular game feature.
There's also Madness, which is a self-related Torment and may lead to new, deadly, impossible quests.
Also, a Demon or Champion of Darkness may use a Knight's Torments point during combat as a resource.
- Sequence fight has been removed, now there's team fight.
- I added some details about color elements (the Fortresses and the Cinder Plains, and some minor details over the demons nature).
- The weapon list has been replaced by "stances list", which represent fighting styles. Knights only use one weapon, the Sword. That now has a name, it's a "Judicator".
- Affections now have agendas (decided by the GM), which are plans and goals for their personal life in the Fortress, and the Knights Honor now also measure their success. Affections may ask for specific quests, in order to bring shine to their careers and agendas through the Knight's success. Fellow Knights may decide to helps for these specific quests or not, as it may happen (and actually it's strongly suggested) to give the same agendas to the Affections of different Knights.
- It is not stated in the rules, but a Knight may challenge another Knight in a duel, if they feel like.

Thanks in advance for your comments :)

Posts: 37

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 05:10:30 PM »

I made a playtest and some major modification to the rules set.
The game now officially enters "beta" state and require massive playtest.

- Knights have no more a Corruption score. Mechanics that were generating Corruption for the Knights, now generate an appropriate color of Torments.
- Affection can now be used to soak Pain Points, sacrificing them for survival if Resistance is going too fast down.
- Demons now have a Corruption score that works in the same way Affections do for a Knight, for fight meaning (soaking Pain Points).
- Betrayal is now a call that players decide to do, based on what they think of a Knight behaviour. It brings to a Knight vs. Knight duel.
- The three classes of enemies are now equal in power and a Mission or Quest will only have a Knight facing one of them.
- Each type of Enemy has been characterized to have a specific behaviour prior, during and after a fight, and a guideline of what they do if the WIN a fight against Knights.
- If a Knight dies, a switch in DM role occurs and the previous DM will generate a new Knight who will take the place of the old one.
- Rules now explain how to generate Lands around the Fortress and how to manage them.
- The game is now divided in 4 Acts, first 2 dealing with Land conquering and tactical expansion of the territory controlled by the Fortress. Act 3 is The War, Act 4 is the aftermath. Beta version is currently covering ONLY the first 2 Acts.

Here it is Knights of Twilight - Beta

Thanks to Rafu for this evolutionary step.

Posts: 64

Raffaele, from Italy

« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 10:25:23 AM »

Downloaded for later reading.

I'd be very interested in talking about setting & color for the game, related with thematic content, after some declarations you made in other venues.
Would you prefer such a conversation to happen on the Forge, somewhere else or not at all right now (i.e. you only want to focus on the mechanics currently)?

Raffaele Manzo, or "Rafu" for short. From (and in) Italy. Here's where I blog about games (English posts). Here's where I micro-blog about everything.

Posts: 37

« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 11:39:01 PM »

It's ok to talk here on the Forge.
Setting and Color are important to a game like any other aspect of the exploration, so let's discuss them

Posts: 37

« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 01:52:23 PM »

I have playtested the game twice this few weeks and I came to some conclusions.

The game needs a pitch phase in which the players can decide which setting to play in. Imposing of forcing one and only specific setting may limit players fun.
Today's game was played in a Wuxia-like setting, with shaolin warriors fighting against a foreign empire army. It was fun, with players wiling to go beyond the time limits of our gaming slot to see how the plot was going to develop.
We started late actually, and we had just 2 hours of gaming in which we could play both characters First Blood and almost the entire First Act.
We had a in-monastery born Shaolin, with his beloved fiancÚ as Affection, and a Nomad with her Grand Father Merchant as Affection.
First Blood scenes were quite... interesting.
The Shaoling one laster three assaults. He was fighting against an empire infiltrator, revealed by a tattoo exposed during a training fight (equivalent to the just-born demon, in the current written rules).
Choosing Stances is very important, especially at low dice level. It looks like on first assaults at lower Honor Rating, Tactical stance is quite a no-brain choice, as it definitely gives more choices during the assault; while on next assaults, if a player got 3 or 5 dice from the first assault, Aggressive stance may reveal as vital. Don't take this as any than a mere statistic.
The player won after the third assault, exactly when he understood that the most powerful move in this game is "think tactical". There is no "good" or "best" move, there is only a consequence to what you choose. And I like it.
The Nomad player instead, won in one assault. She probably got the right sequence or actually forced me to those specific moves by choice, I don't know, but it just worked fine for her and got her hit on target at first try. Amazing.
We then started the first Act, with the 5 Lands, and their content decided by all players together. I will write down the exact procedure in the next rule script, but in the end it's just a phase in which the players decide what content is in the Lands, and gives it a value in Dice (1 Reaction, 1 Movement, 1 Power); we had a Mine, that could assign 1 Power Die if won; a Rice field assigning 1 Reaction; a Mountain Peaks land assigning 1 Movement; a Road assigning no dice but granting free movement through the land, if the Land remains uncontrolled (normally, you need control on a Land to move through it); and a Archeological Site, containing something that may be of interest to the Shaoling fiancÚ.
What I liked especially was that the player made their first mission, conquering the Road exactly because they wanted to avoid the empire army to have an easy way to the Monastery and then they dedicated their second Mission to personal affairs, actually promoting the Affection agendas.
The Nomad refused the second Mission to go and gain the Rice Land for her Grand Father (Agenda: becoming the most prominent rice merchant of the area) and the Shaolin refused it to go exploring the archeological site in search of a sigil that could prove the noble birth of her girlfriend (Agenda: regain control of the monastery and they whole land, that belonged to her family).
First mission was fought together against an empire scout. The rules that set the enemy scores to the sum of all playing characters involved works quite fine, and the outnumbered foe was indeed able to reply to both the warriors fighting him together.
They won, but I was able to bring one of the two almost near taking Scars.
During the second mission, the game started to come out and it was engaging. Both players stressed their characters, using almost all their Resistance and generating Torments, both by choosing to use the "-" results, and deliberating generating it to gain more dice.
The Nomad won the Rice Land for her Grand Father, winning a long fight against a group of angry empire farmers, while the Shaolin won the sigil by fighting against a savage tiger that made its liar into the archeological site.
At the end of their quests, the Shaolin had 2 Torments of Hatred and 2 of Violence, and the Nomad had 3 Torments of Hatred and 1 of Madness.
This means that on the third mission (or quest), one of the two would have Unleashed something.
Having a scene of Unleash at the end of the First Act was more than I hoped.

I will try and make another playtest before writing a rule update.
Maybe set in Ancient Greek... something like... 300.

Posts: 37

« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 02:54:39 PM »

Major update incoming.
The fencing combat system has been upgraded to a "two-tempos" exchange symulation.
What does this mean?

Fighters start with 1 square measure of distance. Like this: [  ][A][  ][  ] (it was a "in measure" start before: [  ][A][  ])
Each player can perform TWO moves per turn.
These moves cannot be of the same type.
There is a brand new concept in the fighting system: the contiguous moves; these are the final move of Player A and the initial move of Player B.
[ first tempo A ][ second tempo A ]<-|->[ first tempo B ][ second tempo B ]

[ second tempo A ]<-|->[ first tempo B ] these are CONTIGUOUS; the adjective refers to a relation between the last player A's move that is CONTINUOUS to the first player B's move.
A player can reply ONLY to a contiguous move.

It works like this:
Player A makes a In Measure movement technique, going in measure  [  ][->][A][  ]
He then makes a Cleave.

Player B replies to the contiguous move, the Cleave. He Parries (defense) it, and then strikes back with a Cleave (attack) himself.
Player A Dodges (movement) the Cleave and make Player B Stumble (attack).
Player B rises a Line (defense - Lines now assign a White die On Target; some moves have been updated) and then goes Out of Measure (movement).
Player A CANNOT reply to the Line, because it is not contiguous. So the White die REMAINS On Target. It cannot be removed and it will score a hit.
This resolves a bug causing everlasting no-hit fights.
It makes the game damn deadly. Which is GOOD, as this evening's playtest proved that the story moves and become engaging exactly when a Knight dies and its affections bring forward a new champion for their cause.

Hits now are scored with every die of any color that is assigned On Target. There are moves that may assign dice On Target.
Damage is still calculated with 1 for each die On Target, +1 for each "+" die assigned, +Optional 1 for each "-" assigned that generates a torment of the proper color.
A fight ends when one of the combatant dies, or when he surrenders.
The check on death of a fencer is made at the end of each assault (a complete turn of 4 moves, 2 from Player A, and 2 from Player B).

There's a new subsystem that let players use free dice according to their Affection status, up to the total Affection Rank for each Act.
There's also a new side-abilities, assigned in a thematic way, according to the chosen Origin. Nobles have access to the Military ability tree, Low-rimmers have access to the Subtlety tree and Nomads have access to the Merchant tree.
These tree gives 1xAct* SKILL that may either grant a free die (of any color) during a fight, or may be flagged to complete a Quest (personal affections related missions) without fighting.
Completing a Quest with this skill grants no Honor (but still grants the affection +1 rank).
Using this die in a official Mission must be narrated according to the Skill.
* = during Act 1, players may use 1 ability, once. During Act 2, players may use 2 abilities (once, each). During Act 3, players may use 3 abilites (once, each). There is no abilities list; players propose theirs.

I have a convention to attend to this weekend, so the updated rules will be posted next week.

I would like to know if anyone out there tried to read or test the game and if they have any feedback, so far.

Posts: 37

« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 02:56:55 PM »

hmm... all that format mess is caused by my use of square brakets.
This teach me to use PREVIEW before posting... if someone may correct the post, the incriminated line is this:

Fighters start with 1 square measure of distance. Like this: [    ][ A ][   ][ B ][    ] (it was a "in measure" start before: [    ][ A ][ B ][    ])

Posts: 37

« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 02:58:04 PM »

And this

Player A makes a In Measure movement technique, going in measure  [    ][ -> ][ A ][ B ][    ]

Posts: 37

« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2011, 03:36:58 PM »

I saw a movie tonight, called Season of the Witch (although some genius in Italy translated it to The Last Templar...) which really fits into the fiction I am trying to build with this game.
I will be back soon with some tune-up, after this fruitful night.

Posts: 11

« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2011, 04:25:31 PM »

I read through this game and really like the idea and the thought put into the mechanics.  I do find that the wording is hard to follow and I was a little confused trying to follow the flow of battle examples.  I will admit an unfamiliarity with Fudge and its unique dice, but after some quick research I was up to speed.  I think if you take this idea and really clean it up you might have an A+ game here.  I say keep up the good work and I can't wait to see the final product.

Posts: 37

« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 11:18:29 AM »

Thanks for your comment, Voidgere!

By "the wording is hard to follow" do you mean the specific fencing terminology or the whole text?
I know I need proof-reading, as english is not my native language.
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 17707

« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 11:51:37 AM »

Hi Davide,

I am looking forward to the next textual update, as I really like the design decisions you've outlined in this thread. My favorite is removing the Corruption score, and letting corruption become a non-quantitative, emergent outcome of what Torments the knight is inflicting. To put it differently, you're giving the people at the table the decision to decide how much suffering the knight inflicts is worth calling "corruption."

I'm still fond of the Polaris-like weirdness of the original Ronnies setting, so I might use that or a personal version of it when I get around to playtesting the system.

Best, Ron

Posts: 37

« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 01:22:41 PM »

Thanks Ron.
I am waiting for the end month's event, EtrusCON here in Tuscany, when I will playtest the updated game.
Probably with Ben Lehman... so we will have a closer view on the Polaris-like mood, from a Polaris point of view ^^

Posts: 37

« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2011, 08:26:12 AM »

Another playtest done and more updates!

(sometimes I wonder why I don't think to things before playtests... but, hey... the game is developing so I think it's the good way to go).

RESISTENCE has been totally removed from the game.
Now all the game actions that players could perform with RESISTENCE have been assigned to... AFFECTIONS.
Do you want a new die (before producing Torments)? Hold that feeling that links you to your Affection and take another breath to go further!
Are you getting hit from a burning demon? Close your eyes and remember of your promised who is waiting for you on the High Rim, and soak it.

As a consequence, there is a new mechanic and scene-type related to Affection: the Promise.
When an Affection asks you for something and demands for a quest, you can PROMISE you will do that quest and flag a PROMISE near your Affection.
You must attempt that quest in either the first or second act, still by renouncing to a Mission.
An Affection cannot rank up until you complete the promised quest.
An Affection cannot rank down either, until you at least attempt the quest.

During the quest, that promise counts as if it were a full rank for that Affection, for the in-game mechanics of soaking hits and generating die.
I will need time to properly define how these scenes with Affections work. They are basically Free-rp scenes where the Affection insist in obtaining something (a promise) from the Knight.
There will probably be some kind of flag to keep track about the Affection feelings, like "Demanding", "Hating", "in Love", "Furious"... I don't want to have a game with emotional "triggers", but I think that keeping track of the Affection relation may help building these scenes and making the whole relation more vivid and alive.

DEMONS can now generate dice themselves, according to a Knight's torments. This mechanic adds to the one that grant Demons the ability to turn "-" to "+", during fight, so a Demon Master may chose either.

FIGHT: a Player now retains for the next assault only the dice that he assigned On Target, and that are not RED.
This helps having faster fights.
Paolo D.

Posts: 78

« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 04:50:40 AM »

Hi guys,

Davide, did you changed the text from the version you linked at this post? I ask you this because many of my usual players are going to vacation, and so there's a chance that we might be able to run some playtest with the remaining players, and in that case I'd like to try your latest draft.
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