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Author Topic: Orchestra- Cyberpunk Action  (Read 1093 times)
Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« on: August 22, 2011, 07:39:55 AM »

Yeah, I know that the title's lame as all get out, but it's truthful.

Orchestra's my first released game, and has a handful of things. I'm currently working on the second draft and typesetting, but I figured I'd put out the first draft here to get some more feedback while I work.

Here's a quick summary of the mechanics- usually 2d6+xd6, with the top two dice (by result) being kept and the lower ones getting half of their value (rounding down) added to that total (so rolling five dice, all 4's would give 4+4+2+2+2). Characters determine the dice they get beyond the initial two by choosing Category, Attribute, and Skill specializations, then adding one die for each.

The setting is a little of everything, with post-apocalyptic-esque "Cataclysm Zones" being rampant near the shining cities of the oppressive World League. There are various anti-World League factions, including the reformist Swordsman Foundation. You have, in essence, the Wild West next to shiny cities next to corporate enclaves. Humanity can augment themselves, with cheap therapy and implants ranging from the trivial to the exorbitantly expensive, and though there's no hard science to back it up several scientists claim that psychics exist, though the extent of their abilities is unknown.

As far as changes go, the second draft will redo the setting section, making the Swordsman area less lame (I wrote it as an introductory blurb, and I wanted the factions to seem neutral to the player). The scene section's been revamped, switching over to High Energy and Low Energy scenes instead of using "combat", "social", and "search" scenes. Typesetting is being done, though I may release the second draft without it.

The game itself is being released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, so feel free to redistribute or modify it.

You can find the pdf here: http://kylesgamestabletop.yolasite.com/resources/OrchestraFirstDraft.pdf
Visit my site here (info for other [still in development] games or Orchestra): http://kylesgamessite.co.cc
Visit the 1km1kt main discussion thread here: http://www.1km1kt.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3753
Visit the 1km1kt draft review thread here: http://www.1km1kt.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3762
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Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 05:02:46 PM »

Here's some (early) ideas for co-operative maneuvers (and "masteries") if you guys want them:

Quote
   Maneuvers are things that allow a character to be very effective for a short while, but burn through Stamina at a rapid rate, meaning that while they help a character succeed, they also can cripple them in the long run.

   Masteries are passive effects. They do not burn stamina and they are always active, but they tend to be subtle or highly specialized.

Players are allowed to pick from three Maneuvers and Masteries, though this current selection is just a fragment of what will be available in a more polished version of Orchestra.

Maneuvers:

"The Beauty and the Beast": This maneuver requires two people, each of whom must have it for it to be used. One character is "the Beauty", who distracts the target, and the other is "the Beast", who takes advantage of a distracted target to deal more damage. "The Beauty" makes any social roll (except intimidation or negotiation), and the target loses a quarter of their result from their Evasion Rating or next defensive roll (which can go down to 2) or from thresholds for resisting interrogation. "The Beast" may then intimidate the opponent or negotiate with them on a better position, or attack them while they're vulnerable. There is no stamina cost to initiate "The Beauty and the Beast", though a failed attack from "the Beast" loses stamina as normal.

"Two of You!": This maneuver allows a pair of characters to surprise foes. When two characters who have this maneuver attempt to use it together, only one needs to make Athletics rolls for stealth or maneuvers. Should the characters be spotted, only the one who was rolling Athletics is spotted, and the other can continue sneaking onward, or attack from the shadows with the advantage of surprise (a free combat turn). Activating "Two of You!" requires 3 stamina, and it does not negate stamina loss by botched athletics rolls.

Masteries:

"Hitman": You automatically counter-attack when discovered before guards can make a sound. This is primarily useful if you have a silent weapon (like a Stunner or knives). You get the advantage of surprise (a free combat turn) whenever you are discovered, and if you incapacitate the guard with anything but a firearm (Stunner Guns are silent, so they can be used) you may continue using Athletics to sneak. Hitman does not reduce stamina loss from failing athletics rolls.

"Tough as Nails": You get two free points of Health and Stamina, not to exceed the limit of 24. Otherwise, there's no strings attached.

"Can't Keep Me Down!": Once per High-Energy Scene you can attempt a Red action even if you have no stamina (which is normally impossible), or ignore the stamina loss from one skill failure (but not weapon hits).

"Tank": Tanks treat one point of Conversion damage on their armor as being totally blocked.
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Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 12:29:01 PM »

Ok, sorry to be the only one posting, but there have been some updates, including, but not limited to, a "Character Spreadsheet" that lets you calculate everything for your character (except Masteries and Maneuvers, which are still too formative to get a spot yet) right off the bat. This helps with the skill system, which will be explained in more detail via a helpful table when I get typesetting set up.

http://orchestragame.wikidot.com/start
http://orchestragame.wikidot.com/local--files/orchestra-core/Orchestra1.2.pdf
http://orchestragame.wikidot.com/local--files/orchestra-core/OrchestraCharacterSpreadsheet.ods
http://orchestragame.wikidot.com/local--files/orchestra-core/OrchestraCharacterSpreadsheet.xls
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Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 07:43:58 AM »



Ok, here's a link to a propaganda poster I'm working on. It's not done yet (needs more busy stuff and filling up of some of the space), but it sorta shows the art style I'll be going for.
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Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 07:44:50 AM »

Ah crap, forgot to add that the text isn't final, nor really anything. Blaurgh.
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aryus
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 10:22:41 AM »

Looks pretty good from what I've read so far. Cyberpunk is always a fun genre.

I was wondering about the dice mechanic and whether you have considered different dice rather than having the player halve dice results beyond the first two dice. For example, the first two dice would be d12 and any others added would be d6. Might speed up play a bit, especially for anyone who is poor at math.

Hope this helps.
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bosky
Member

Posts: 38


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 10:45:01 AM »

I'm going to try to do more than skim through the rulebook so I can give you some feedback sometime soon. Looks good from what I've seen and seems nice and crunchy. At a first pass I like the pop culture references in the Maneuvers (it reminds me of the skill names in Guild Wars) and the idea of moves that take 2+ people is great and really unique.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 10:58:55 AM »

Looks pretty good from what I've read so far. Cyberpunk is always a fun genre.

I was wondering about the dice mechanic and whether you have considered different dice rather than having the player halve dice results beyond the first two dice. For example, the first two dice would be d12 and any others added would be d6. Might speed up play a bit, especially for anyone who is poor at math.

Hope this helps.

I contemplated the different dice, but one of the things I wanted to do was make it easy to play with limited numbers. There's a dice roller at anydice.com/program/a37/ that handles everything but modifiers (you can choose to roll 1-5 dice using the Orchestra method), and it'll work on smartphones (tested with Android's standard browser).

I'm going to try to do more than skim through the rulebook so I can give you some feedback sometime soon. Looks good from what I've seen and seems nice and crunchy. At a first pass I like the pop culture references in the Maneuvers (it reminds me of the skill names in Guild Wars) and the idea of moves that take 2+ people is great and really unique.

Thanks. That's part of the idea of Orchestra as a name- not only does it require cooperation but it also requires diverse characters. Maneuvers and Masteries attempt to provide a little lightening up of the text (hence the informal names), as well as a more diverse set of characters.

Unrelatedly, I'm an identical twin, and that's where the "Two of You!" name comes from because I used to know a guy who'd shout "There's two of you!" whenever he saw us (alone or together).
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bosky
Member

Posts: 38


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 02:12:34 PM »

Thanks. That's part of the idea of Orchestra as a name- not only does it require cooperation but it also requires diverse characters. Maneuvers and Masteries attempt to provide a little lightening up of the text (hence the informal names), as well as a more diverse set of characters.

Unrelatedly, I'm an identical twin, and that's where the "Two of You!" name comes from because I used to know a guy who'd shout "There's two of you!" whenever he saw us (alone or together).

Hah kind of funny about the origin of "There's Two of You!". Also the more I read of it the more I get a vaguely Judge Dredd feel, which is good news to me because the whole idea of large locked down cities with wild wastelands outside is super appealing.

Definitely detailed though. I just finished reading through the weapon section and there certainly is a lot of realism going on there, but also a lot of custom rules (like around Shotguns) that might be tough to manage during play.

Do you have any idea on when you'll make a pass at formatting/typesetting the doc?
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
Kyles Games
Member

Posts: 24


« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 02:46:49 PM »

I'm shifting development over to a wiki (so that I don't need to update stuff to get new feedback, it's just possible as part of the writing process), and once that's done I'll start up Scribus and start working. I've started working on some prototype typesettings but I hate them all. I may end up going like a hybrid of Corporation and Eclipse Phase in terms of the typesetting- background image, white center for two-column text, so on so forth, but with a different image (propaganda poster background) for each chapter. I've been using mock-ups made in Minecraft as a source for the propaganda posters, so it takes me a while (but it's a lot better than trying without).

Yeah, there's a lot of house rules on the Weapons section. I'm planning to make a lot of that into a chart, and any "final" release will have a quick reference chart (and there will be a quick reference section on the wiki).

The really funny thing about the setting is that I'm very limited in my inspirations- there's Firefly there, some Eclipse Phase, Shadowrun, Matrix, Equilibrium, etc, but people always say it reminds them of things I've heard of but never really read/watched. I was listening to a lot of heavy metal while writing it, so there's definitely a little extra misanthropy in it. Since, however, I've been listening to mind.in.a.box, which influences the theme a lot more (since they're a cyberpunk techno band).

I'm hoping to get it worked on a lot more soon (unfortunately, my professors wish I'd be working on my papers due next week). I'm hoping to get work done on my transhuman zombie survival game next, then a quick break from the over-the-top with a gritty "Biblepunk" game set in a realistic Christ era Palestine (interesting note: that's how they called it back then, Israel as a name of a country is more recent). I will then return to over the top with my more long-term but less worked on action-movie/Jagged Alliance/Just Cause-alike 1-800-Regime-Change. This should keep me writing new games for most of my college career. Oh yeah, and each has their own rule systems.

Green Dawn (the transhuman zombie game) will use a 2d20 (low roll preferred) system, with the final target numbers for a character being determined via a set of "templates" representing character background, current body, condition, and advancement during play (quick character creation due to mixing templates for the majority of it)

The Biblepunk game will use a hybrid of dice and a point pool (each player gets a number of "shekels" for various actions which are more likely to resolve conflicts than the dice, shekels replenish each session), and it'll be short and sweet. It may not actually come in any specific chronological order, but it'll be short and sweet.

1-800-Regime-Change is going to use a simple d100 system, but will have intrigue in its character creation system, which will rely on a sort of sliding scale point-based system (deficit spending allowed, but it temporarily prevents future growth, expensive purchases require deficit spending or the player will have to save up points which are increasingly harder to earn). 1-800-Regime-Change is actually going to be interesting because player character death (heroic sacrifices) not only grant bonus points for the next character, but allow a more efficient and planned allocation of points (basically you can make the same character with minimal "stagnation").

GMH:2098 (basically think The Island meets even more dystopian stuff, akin to SLA Industries without some of the more over the top stuff, focusing more on the ethics of genetic modification of humans to create servants and superhumans) may follow 1-800-Regime-Change, but I'm thinking about canning it and putting in its more radical elements into an alternate setting for Orchestra or 1-800-Regime-Change.
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