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Author Topic: Chronicles - Tabletop Roleplaying - Development Thread  (Read 3123 times)
Daniel36
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Posts: 63


« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2011, 12:42:12 AM »

I am not going to pre-determine them... I AM however going to pre-determine stats once again... The questionnaire deal is pretty cool and a fun way of creating characters, but it doesn't work well enough for what I have in mind.

I will upload the file of what I wrote so far for character creation so others may use it if they so feel inclined. It's pretty neat and would be a waste not to use it, so maybe I can make someone else happy with it.

I suppose no questions for now...
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Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2011, 07:39:10 AM »

I really need some help guys. I am not happy enough with the basic action table yet. These are the actions I have:
Running and Jumping
Climbing
Swimming
Hiding and Moving Silently
Eavesdropping and Listening
Lockpicking and Trap Disarming
Using a Wand

But I find this list too small. I still feel against including conversational actions, but perhaps you guys have different thoughts on that. If anything, please help me come up with more "basic" actions that normally any person would be able to do, to a varying degree of success.
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bosky
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« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2011, 02:14:39 PM »

Backing up a tiny bit, the whole scale of 4+, 5+, and 7+ on 2D6 almost seems like it could be simplified (or changed) to different die sizes. A common technique I've seen is to have the lowest skill a D4, then D6, D8, D10, D12, etc. So if they are really weak at something they only get a D4 or a D6, which could parallel to the idea of needing 10+ compared to 4+.

In terms of character generation I think more options and flexibility for the player is a good route. It helps differentiate their character from other Dwarves and Elves and so forth.

Also the list of actions seem like they are begging to be put into separate categories. Maybe a "Movement" category for the first four, since they are basically different modes of getting from point A to B. If you're going to allow some of the actions to be increased/decreased then they sort of need to match up to each other in terms of power, since some players might think "Why would I improve Lockpicking, which I use once per game, for the same as improving Running which I use a ton?".

Do you have a general overview in terms of the scale of the game? Is it one Adventurer per player, or do they have multiple, or what? When you say tabletop do you envision one-off standalone games or an ongoing campaign?
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2011, 01:43:51 AM »

Fresh thoughts. Very good.

You say "Simplified" when talking about different die sizes. However, as I continued work on Chronicles, I wanted things to be simple in different areas. One of those is the availability and ease of use of dice. But perhaps it is foolish for me to assume that this game will be played or even appeal to "new" gamers, as it is a miniature game which is often played by people already familiar with many concepts, so perhaps wanting to stick to D6 only is stupid. I am interested to hear about what other people think.

I do like your idea. It was an idea a friend of mine also came up with, he played a game in which this system is used and it is nice, but... I need to think it over a little I suppose.  I kind of like the simplicity of one type of die. Again, I am interested in other people’s thoughts.

I have since changed things up a slight bit. For starters the 4+ 5+ 7+ 9+ 10+ deal is slightly upped to 5+ 6+ 8+ 10+ 11+ because it was just too easy to roll high enough. It may seem like a small change, but it had an impact.

I also changed back to pre-generated stats BUT retained the ability to modify any of these through the use of Perks and Handicaps, so players are still able to differentiate their Elf with any other Elf. The questionnaire deal was just too big and complicated.

Also the list of actions seem like they are begging to be put into separate categories. Maybe a "Movement" category for the first four, since they are basically different modes of getting from point A to B. If you're going to allow some of the actions to be increased/decreased then they sort of need to match up to each other in terms of power, since some players might think "Why would I improve Lockpicking, which I use once per game, for the same as improving Running which I use a ton?".

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of each action only being used when failing and succeeding have a profound effect. So it’s not like they are running all the time and only open a chest every now and then. Running and Jumping would be used when the adventurers are on a natural stone bridge that is falling down because the Balrog is smashing up the place. Climbing is only used when they are with their backs against a wall and their last resort is trying to climb up. Hiding and Moving Silently is really only an option when you are beaten half to death and the Minotaur is running around the maze trying to tear you to pieces. In fact, they will probably use Lockpicking and Trap Disarming more often than those…

Perhaps a rogue character may use climb and running and jumping a little more often, as he may be stealing from rich folk and such, but all in all, skills are really only used when there is a profound effect on the characters between success and failure.

The only exception would be Using a Wand, which is used during battle, and only has the effect of not being able to use it that turn when you fail the roll.

I did come up with a new “basic action”, which is React. In essence, any character that is affected by something aimed at another character (think explosions, poison gas clouds, trap doors) can make a roll to “react”, therefore being able to move away 1 inch or far enough, not sure yet, to avoid the effect that would befall them otherwise. Second, this skill could also be used to “save” another Adventurer that fails a basic action, but I need to work that out a little. Again, this one will be an exception in that it can be used both in and out of battle, so perhaps it is indeed a good idea to make categories as we come up with more actions.

Do you have a general overview in terms of the scale of the game? Is it one Adventurer per player, or do they have multiple, or what? When you say tabletop do you envision one-off standalone games or an ongoing campaign?

Yes. Players usually have one Adventurer per player, but there is nothing holding them from taking more. I am implementing a points system, where each Adventurer starts out with being 5 points, and each upgrade also has a points value. This is used to determine a good encounter, as Enemies also have points values, so you can level it out a bit, Warhammer style.

Games can be standalone affairs but the system for improving a character (with treasure, new skills, better weapon, better armour) encourages continual play. It really depends on the wishes of the players, though. In fact, there isn’t much holding them back starting out with a fully kitted Adventurer to start battling those daemon lords right away.

Also of note, Chronicles is a game system, not a setting. Sure, I provide the races that we all know and love from our high fantasy games, but there isn’t a story, a country, a specific attitude for each race, or even a description of the races. This is all left for the GM and the players. If they wish to create a world with no Dwarves, then omit them. I used to love settings such as Forgotten Realms, until I felt that whatever we did, it wouldn’t have any impact because the writers wrote the stories themselves without our actions making any differences. Also, as I continue with new races and careers, there will eventually be other “flavours” such as Steampunk introduced, but that is something for the future.

Thanks for your thoughts. I am definitely taking everything in consideration.
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bosky
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2011, 11:42:59 AM »

Hmm I can understand wanting to appeal to new gamers, but I think anyone who would have miniatures and terrain and the interest in playing anything besides Monopoly probably have access to non-D6 dice. I guess playtesting is the best solution to see whether the scaling X+ is smoother than die types. I do think if you go with X+ you should at least make sure it rises consistently; in the list you posted it jumps from 6+ to 8+ and then 10+. Was there a reason for no 7+ or 9+?

The questionnaire was a fun idea and reminded me of some earlier CRPGs, but I agree that it could be seen as a bit long. It might be good for first time players but anyone after that will want a way to "power build" the statistics directly without having to hassle with the questions.

Ah okay I didn't realize the Actions were special cases, I thought they were used pretty commonly. Maybe rename Running to Sprinting then to give a better hint that it's a short term action? Maybe that's just my preconceived notions but to me Running is like a double move, so probably pretty common.

I think adding "React" is a slippery slope because then Adventurer's can perform actions when it's not their turn, but it doesn't seem like the game is built from the ground up to accommodate that (like how Infinity is, for example).

I read your other post where you introduced yourself and you mentioned Mordheim. I was just wondering if maybe the game should focus on either pure RPG or pure skirmish elements, so either have 1 Adventurer or have a party of Adventurers. You can still tie in the advancement and campaign feel, but I think the rules will end up more cohesive if you have a narrower idea of what size of game people will use the rules for. I speak a bit from experience here with my own project Dinosaur Cowboys as I started it as a "light RPG/skirmish" (I aimed for a 50/50 split), but then it ended up doing neither well. So I re-tooled it to 90/10 skirmish/RPG and am much happier with the result.

Having a "default" setting might be good, since it can add flavor and uniqueness that is harder to achieve with a generic ruleset just for fantasy. I think there are two camps to this though as a lot of people like systems that allow you to pit whatever against whatever without being tied to a setting, so take that with a grain of salt.

I'll be interested to see if you get a working copy posted as I think it'll help with feedback, since right now it's hard to visualize how some of the pieces tie together.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2011, 12:38:41 PM »

Yeah I shouldn't focus on "new" players, but I am still keeping the focus on simplicity (which is a different thing, really...)

The reason there I went for 5+ 6+ 8+ 10+ 11+ is that 8 in this sense is the middle (not 50% btw), and the first jump is two, the next jump adds another (either to easier or harder), really for sake of simplicity. Aside from that, this opens up the way for items that can boost another 1+.

I will need to make sure everyone knows that the basic actions are there for "cinematic" moments (for lack of a better term). You are right about running / sprinting. I will change the name. You are also right about the react action... I hadn't thought about that.

I am glad to hear about your experiences. The game is mostly going to be focused on the skirmish aspect, which is also apparent in the rulesets. The "RPG" aspect is basically those cinematic moments where the basic actions may come into play. I chose to omit conversational skillsets altogether, further walking away from the RPG aspect. I guess what I want is a skirmish game where people CAN use the battles to tell a story, but one that isn't focused on how the story goes from A to B, but rather how the story goes from battle to battle. A bit like how Final Fantasy Tactics worked, I suppose... Thanks for the heads-up though, I am sure it will affect the continuation of the project.

I deliberatly stay away from any setting. I personally hate it because it limits me when someone else wrote out everything for me. So I decided that this is left for the GM and the players. They are perfectly capable of coming up with stuff themselves...

I need to re-write the core book to accommodate the changes and I am nearly done with the first basic classes and careers, so I will post those as soon as possible. Again, thanks for the feedback.
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bosky
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2011, 01:21:02 PM »

That makes more sense, and I 100% agree that simplicity is critical for skirmish games. You don't exactly want to be bogged down with unnecessary details when dealing with a dozen figures on the table. I'm a big fan of streamlining and rules lightness in that regard, which is kind of funny because I used to like the most detailed and complex games I could find.

It's a bit hard to visualize how the X+ will be tracked, but I'm sure you have a good system figured out for keeping it clear on what needs to be rolled. Also another option (aside for scaling die types) would be a different die type in the first place compared to 2D6. I'm a fan of the D12 myself, but again that's project bias because I use it in my game :)

Definitely fun to link standalone games together into a story, as it really gives depth and meaning to each character and the conflicts they have. That was (and is) one of the biggest draws of Necromunda and Mordheim I think, let alone some of the more modern skirmish games.

Like I said I'm looking forward to a posted doc and to see how the project develops. But even if you have something rough I'd post it up as I think that helps feedback a lot and puts everyone more or less on the same page.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2011, 05:26:21 AM »

If you ask me, simplicity is best in any game, be they skirmish or RPG. But I suppose that too is a matter of taste.

I actually have the "Core Rules" document in my first post, but as you can imagine several things are outdated by now. But you can see how X+ will be tracked from there. It is actually quite easy. Which race you choose defines what an adventurer needs to roll to succeed. A Dwarf isn't very good at jumping, so he might need an 11+. an Elf isn't very good at lockpicking, but jumping isn't too hard for them. Humans just have 8+ (will change that back to 7 if I go for D12) for everything, but as a free Perk they may level up one... Aye, I couldn't get myself to steer away from D&D completely there... But anyways, it's quite negeralized. With the Perk and Handicap system, you can change these, so you could in theory build a Dwarf that is an excellent jumper, a "rogue" Elf, etcetera.

Perhaps I should indeed think about this game as a sort of Mordheim/Necro (and Warhammer Quest, my original inspiration) when dealing with the roleplaying bit. It really is up to the GM and players how they go about... If you ask me, roleplaying doesn't, in essence, need rules, so you can throw it in if you want. Thanks for the thoughts. My first draft was centered around an "Adventurer's Guild" idea, handing out missions (think Warhammer Quest). Perhaps I should return to that idea...

Perhaps you are right... Maybe I should just use D12 for the to hit phases and the actions. I am starting to like the notion more and more... The chance of rolling a 7 is the same as rolling a 2, which is not the case with 2D6. I learned that lesson when I playtested. My mates almost never failed a roll... But I won't go any further than D6 and D12... None of the other dice...

Thanks a lot for the thoughts and interest. Helps me to continue!!
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bosky
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2011, 08:47:13 AM »

Yeah it certainly makes learning and playing a lot faster. I think the only genre I still like complex is games involving spaceships...they just seem to flow better if you really feel like a technical engineer playing the game, haha.

I had just skimmed the doc originally but I took a second look. I can see some of the Warhammer Quest inspiration in the Event Phase, since that's kind of similar to it's predecessor Advanced Heroquest. And yeah trying to make rules for roleplaying can be tough, although providing the framework (in the sense of resolving skill checks or the like) can help when the GM/players need it. Personally I think a lot of the flavor just develops from the personalities and events involved, and can turn a boring 1vs1 fight into an epic conflict with lots of history behind it.

I really like the idea of Skill Points, they kind of remind me of "Heroic Effort" or "Fate Points" seen in other games. Having to balance saving SP and using it at key moments is always fun and tense and helps add a cinematic feel so that Adventurers don't awkwardly fail at basic tasks because they rolled poorly.

I think the Fighting Skill has changed a bit so I'm not sure if it still uses the chart? The idea of 3 values is kind of interesting though and reminds me of the Weapon Skill vs Weapon Skill chart from GW games.

Anyways I'll be interested to see if you keep with D6s or go with D12s and how you continue to evolve the game.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Daniel36
Member

Posts: 63


« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2011, 01:46:22 PM »

Yeah... The Event Phase... I actually just deleted that segment from the core book an hour ago...
I am actually thinking of returning to creating loose documents for "missions" or "quests" which might have Event Phases, but since it's going to depend on the scenario, I decided to leave it out of the core rules.

I am glad you like the Skill Points idea. I liked it a lot as well.

The idea behind the three values is actually really simple. It is now four lower and four higher, left and right from the middle value, and basically, if your value is the same, you roll an 8+ (may change if I go to D12), is your FS lower, a 10+, if the Enemy's FS matches or exceeds the right value, an 11+, and the other way around. It is indeed a simplified GW Weapon Skill idea, but I think it works really well.

I am leaning towards the D12 more and more. I am afraid though that the "evolution" might actually mean I am going back to my original idea of pre-generated race/class combos, with the choices of Perks and Handicaps to flesh them out... I got completely stuck with what I am working on right now, but it has been a very good lesson on rules writing, so I am not that sad.

Thanks again for the interest.
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