*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 27, 2014, 11:03:32 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
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)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: How do mechanics influence the focus of a system?  (Read 1166 times)
Kashlaor
Member

Posts: 9


« on: August 22, 2011, 12:19:35 AM »

Currently I am in the process of developing (the very early stages mind you) of a game called the Ace of Singularities.  The game concerns itself with creating a sandbox style space adventure focused around exploring the galaxy.  While I'm sure that given enough time I will be able to flesh out the setting I cam across some ideas while working on the actual mechanics of the game.

Currently the basic model for the game is to take a deck of 40 cards (ace through ten, face cards removed), draw two cards, then add a modifier to this result.  This would then be compared to a set DC (threshold) for a given task.  If you fail by one, then you can draw a third card from the deck and compare this to the number of "expertise points" you have in the particular skill.

For example if I have 5 ranks in Relativity Manipulation (the ability to distort time) and 4 expertise points and I wish to squeeze out a few more seconds before my impending doom I would have to meet a DC of 15.  I draw from the deck an 8 and an ace (8 + 1 + 5 rank = 15), barely failing.  I struggle and attempt to make the close shave and draw a third card.  Because I have 4 expertise points then any card between an ace and a four will result in barely succeeding.  I draw a 3, success, and manage to barely alter the flow of time in my frame of reference.

This mechanic seems to be simple enough for most tasks, but I was considering using a different mechanic for combat.  I have not fully fleshed the idea out but the basic concept is that during combat each player is dealt a number of cards (this being somehow dependent on their particular attributes and situation) which they then distribute facedown into two different piles.  One of these piles represents their defense and the other their capability of taking actions.  This would allow all participants to see the relative amounts which each participant has devoted to attack and defense (they can count the cards while they are still facedown) but they will not have total information until all cards are revealed.  The resolution would work something like the value of the attackers card being compared to the value of the defender's highest card to see if a hit is scored, then comparing the largest set (pair, triple...) to the defenders number of pairs/triples... in order to determine how much damage was done on a hit.  Eventually I considered working in mechanics to remove cards from a defenders pile (perhaps as a result of suffering a crippling attack or being flanked by an overwhelming number of combatants).

This raised a question however, why should I make the combat mechanic more complex than any other mechanic in the game?  It seems that the amount of attention paid to a given portion of the game in the system would somehow correlate to how important it would be at the game table.  Perhaps since I intend the game to be focused around exploration I should have an equally unique system for astrometrics, or piloting a starship?  Thoughts would be appreciated on this, as well as on the mechanic itself.

Kashlavor
   -I noticed that new systems were supposed to have a link to an external document, what is the easiest service for that sort of thing which everyone uses?  I should be able to put up a link to an external document as soon as I find a decent place to host.
Logged
Christoph Boeckle
Member

Posts: 545

Yverdon, Switzerland


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 04:24:34 AM »

Hello Kashla(v)or

Welcome to the Forge! Any real name we can call you by? Have you tried the public folder of your Dropbox account (assuming you have one, it's free otherwise)?
Logged

Regards,
Christoph
Kashlaor
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 04:16:44 PM »

Well seems a bit silly having missed a V in the username, but you can also call me Jordan if you like.  Ill try out dropbox then.
Logged
Josh Porter
Member

Posts: 58

I want to be old.


« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 08:58:03 PM »

I will say that many systems give combat more detailed mechanics because it is the most important thing in the game.  This doesn't necessarily sound true for your game.  Is your game purely about exploration, or are there fighty bits that drive the game as well?

How important is combat?  That's the real question.  Is it 4th edition D&D important?  Shadowrun important?  Dogs important?  Fiasco important, perhaps?

Also, is time manipulation a normal thing in the system?  Because that's fucking sweet.  How do you handle the crazy time travel paradoxes?
Logged

I am playtesting Flawed and Caterpillar.
I am playing Dresden Files.
Kashlaor
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 02:03:53 PM »

I'd agree, mostly I'm just musing trying to figure out where to lay emphasis in my system.  I like how Dark Heresy works if you've ever played it, and was inspired partially by the idea of a sandbox game (http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/).  I think it may be that I want combat, but not to create a tactical game or a game about combat (like DND).  Instead I think I wish to make combat important because violence is an inherent risk in pushing the boundaries of society.

Time manipulation, I wouldn't exactly call it "normal" but I am planning on making it a possibility for the players (a think a Relativity Manipulator class more or less).  I'm trying to make it as unique/original (like everyone isn't TRYING to do that too lol) as possible so I'm going more in a bending of spacetime direction.  It would be possible for one to slow down the progress of time for themselves or another individual, or to travel great distances.  However going backwards in time would be impossible, at least without some exceptional circumstances.

I figured that would be a good example to use because its one of the more cool sounding things.  I made up a mini-game to help me come up with things for my setting.

Shuffle the deck, (jokers optional) and deal out 4 cards and consult the chart.  Come up with some sort of sci-fi science which fits all of the categories and try to come up with some implications (how its used, legality, what sort of society has this?...)

      Principle     Device    Training/Manufacture  Technology
A   Biology       Creature      Easy to use              Weapon
2    Chemistry   Substance    Keyed to individual    Transportation
3  Magnetism     Handheld   Mass Producible       Communication
4  Relativity       Building      Wealth of Nations     Manufacturing/Agriculture
5  Light waves   Modification    Rigorous Training    Commodity
6  Statistics     Body Part    Requires trait to use    Academic
7  Psychology   Book/Guide   Needs rare element   Exploration/Navigation
8 Anatomy       Program          Unstable                 Espionage
9 Computers     Formula          self-replicating            Religion
10 Meteorology   Clothing        Made in 0-g             Defense/Protection
J  Quantam        Everday object   Requires sci degree   Security
Q  Thermodynamics    Vehicle      by-product           Medical
K   *draw twice, its both*

Joker means that category is "unkown" or "not understood"

Try it, I've come up with some interesting ones.

ace two eight nine (biological substance which is unstable and used for religion)
  A eugenics cult desires to perfect the human form, all initiates must drink from the Grail in order to perfect their DNA and become the ideal human

7532 (psychological program which can be massed produced for transportation)
   Public transit uses hypnosis to make travel seem shorter and pacify angry workers.

   A group of highly trained drivers acts as body guards, the psychological training makes them unable to remember past jobs, the ultimate in discretion.
Logged
Josh Porter
Member

Posts: 58

I want to be old.


« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 05:29:58 PM »

      Principle     Device    Training/Manufacture  Technology
A   Biology       Creature      Easy to use              Weapon
2    Chemistry   Substance    Keyed to individual    Transportation
3  Magnetism     Handheld   Mass Producible       Communication
4  Relativity       Building      Wealth of Nations     Manufacturing/Agriculture
5  Light waves   Modification    Rigorous Training    Commodity
6  Statistics     Body Part    Requires trait to use    Academic
7  Psychology   Book/Guide   Needs rare element   Exploration/Navigation
8 Anatomy       Program          Unstable                 Espionage
9 Computers     Formula          self-replicating            Religion
10 Meteorology   Clothing        Made in 0-g             Defense/Protection
J  Quantam        Everday object   Requires sci degree   Security
Q  Thermodynamics    Vehicle      by-product           Medical
K   *draw twice, its both*

Joker means that category is "unkown" or "not understood"

Fuck yes to this.

You have tapped into one of my deepest RPG loves: procedurally-generated anything.  Creating planets in Traveler engendered this love in me.  I will never forget the planet with the toxic atmosphere, ruled by a feudal technocracy who let you breathe their air if you would work for them.

Seriously.  This is the hotness.  I think tools like this are one of the finest ways to create player buy-in, as everyone has to justify the description of the weird combinations.  Sold.
Logged

I am playtesting Flawed and Caterpillar.
I am playing Dresden Files.
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2447


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 03:58:23 AM »

      Principle     Device    Training/Manufacture  Technology
A   Biology       Creature      Easy to use              Weapon
2    Chemistry   Substance    Keyed to individual    Transportation
3  Magnetism     Handheld   Mass Producible       Communication
4  Relativity       Building      Wealth of Nations     Manufacturing/Agriculture
5  Light waves   Modification    Rigorous Training    Commodity
6  Statistics     Body Part    Requires trait to use    Academic
7  Psychology   Book/Guide   Needs rare element   Exploration/Navigation
8 Anatomy       Program          Unstable                 Espionage
9 Computers     Formula          self-replicating            Religion
10 Meteorology   Clothing        Made in 0-g             Defense/Protection
J  Quantam        Everday object   Requires sci degree   Security
Q  Thermodynamics    Vehicle      by-product           Medical
K   *draw twice, its both*

Joker means that category is "unkown" or "not understood"

Fuck yes to this.

You have tapped into one of my deepest RPG loves: procedurally-generated anything.  Creating planets in Traveler engendered this love in me.  I will never forget the planet with the toxic atmosphere, ruled by a feudal technocracy who let you breathe their air if you would work for them.

Seriously.  This is the hotness.  I think tools like this are one of the finest ways to create player buy-in, as everyone has to justify the description of the weird combinations.  Sold.

I agree. Jordan, don't create a whole universe behind closed doors and deliver it as a canonical setting in your game text. Create the essential core of the setting and then make elaborating it part of preparing for play with your setting creation tools and methods.

Paul
Logged

"[My Life with Master] is anything but a safe game to have designed. It has balls, and then some. It is as bold, as fresh, and as incisive  now as it was when it came out." -- Gregor Hutton
Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2011, 12:10:07 PM »

I've been lurking and browsing this place for a little while, waiting to register.  This made me register.  Kudos!
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.16 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!