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Author Topic: The Broken Realms - Necromancy, Steampunk, and Psychotic Gods  (Read 2635 times)
Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« on: October 01, 2011, 11:55:28 AM »

WHEW!  Been busting my posterior on this one for a while now, and I think I've finally come as far as I can without outside feedback.  My first obvious question is, is it comprehensible?  Especially the rules pdf.  Do you get it?  I've been immersed in these documents for so long now that I've lost all sense of first-time reader's perspective utterly and completely.

Secondly, of course, criticism on any of my mechanics is more than welcome.  Although I've played quite a few tabletops, and homebrewed board games with rpg elements before (a chess spin-off being one of them), this is my first tabletop rpg design project.  Personally, I think the system works.  My friends and I have playtested earlier versions of the game with moderate success, both on the dining room table with area maps, and over chat, but as I said, I'm lacking fresh perspective at this point.

http://rubbermancer.wordpress.com/the-broken-realms/


I realize that, for a humble beta, it's a monolithic work of Brobdingnagian proportions, so anybody that actually makes the time and effort to dive into this is my freakin' hero.  Much love,

-Joe
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Mike Sugarbaker
Member

Posts: 150

|>


« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 03:42:36 PM »

Your core rules doc is actually pretty easy to read. Best of all, your core mechanic is right in the front!

...which is a good thing, because if I were considering this game, I'd want to know up front that basically any control that anyone tries to assert on ongoing events via the rules is going to be meaningless. Difficulty is always a roll of a d20? Really?

I mean, if you're going for a really madcap feel where effectiveness is basically always a fantasy except when it's not, then that works fine. But your setting material doesn't suggest that.
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Callan S.
Member

Posts: 4268


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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 05:13:04 PM »

Hi Joe,

It seems like players affect ongoing events indirectly, via someone attempting something, requiring a roll, failing and then other players can bid on failure narration. This is essentially the point where players speak into the fiction/story, with a strong directive that it's a failure were adding (which generally tend to expand a story (barring absolute death) - success often contracts a story, towards an ending).

Also, although the example situation certain explains process, the scope of narration seems stiffled? A broken bow string? Only on a natural twenty fate roll can we actually have a real twist occuring? To me, it seems like bidding will naturally gravitate to mostly only happen on natural 20 fate rolls. Is this what your shooting for? Because it'll be about 20 rolls before that happens and if there's, say, five minutes between each roll then it'll be about an hour and a half between each bidding session. So those mechanics wont get deployed all that much? The rules on weak rolls being narrated by the GM will further aggrivate this situation. If you know that because that's what your shooting for, okay, just thought I'd note it in case.

Quote
This secretive bidding system serves to a) prevent metagaming in the
form of “oh, he’s bidding, I should bid too”, and b) add a layer of
suspense to the gaming experience.
I think you may have a hang up on 'metagaming' - does this really matter? Or will it really make it more dramatic? Sometimes no one bids - okay, we just move on?

Quote
If at least 2, and more than 50%, of the player’s results are 4s, the
Attempt Quality is “exceptional”. The player with Narrative Focus is
then free to describe an Indirect Success, in such cases.
I'm not sure what this means? If he suceeds he gets to narrate?

Quote
(as if I could stop you from stripping them down anyway if you wanted to
Just a side note, but this is a bit of a gamer myth. If they want to play your game, then they cannot just strip out stuff. Unless you've caved in and say they are still playing your game even if they strip out 90%+ of your material. The myth comes from a wide range of RPG's, starting with D&D, that just don't have a complete, start to end, procedure.
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 10:03:54 PM »

Thanks for the replies, guys.  All valid concerns, and I can tell by the fact that you're raising them that my writing has failed to emphasize the important, balancing aspects of the system.

Quote
the scope of narration seems stiffled? A broken bow string? Only on a natural twenty fate roll can we actually have a real twist occuring? To me, it seems like bidding will naturally gravitate to mostly only happen on natural 20 fate rolls. Is this what your shooting for? Because it'll be about 20 rolls before that happens and if there's, say, five minutes between each roll then it'll be about an hour and a half between each bidding session. So those mechanics wont get deployed all that much? The rules on weak rolls being narrated by the GM will further aggrivate this situation. If you know that because that's what your shooting for, okay, just thought I'd note it in case.

I should make it clearer right from the get-go that Narrative Focus is generally held by one of the players for an extended period, and that they can Narrate many things, not just failures.  Failures are an opportunity for Narrative Focus to change hands, that it doesn't rest with the GM as often as it rests with any one player, and that different character types (Heretic/Realist/Zealot) will have more varied options for assuming Narrative Focus; hence, when it is natural for a certain "style" of character to have Narrative Focus, he has that opportunity.  It ought to change hands more often than you'd think.

Quote
If at least 2, and more than 50%, of the player’s results are 4s, the
Attempt Quality is “exceptional”. The player with Narrative Focus is
then free to describe an Indirect Success, in such cases.
I'm not sure what this means? If he suceeds he gets to narrate?

Yeah, that is rather unclear.  The original idea was that, whether the player's attempt succeeded or not, the current narrator could introduce positive secondary consequences of the action (ie: falling on your ass, you land on a pressure plate that opens a door).  I'm considering changing this, in light of Mike's issue with the (currently extremely variable) difficulty mechanic, to say that Exceptional Attempt Quality overrides the Die of Fate, in that the attempt succeeds, but Fate still throws a curveball, and therefore still provides an opportunity for Token-bidding.  And yeah Mike, thank you!  I'd definitely like a player's Attempt Quality to count for more, in terms of actual success.  I'll have to fiddle with that.  The Die of Fate was never meant to be a straight-up difficulty die.

Quote
(as if I could stop you from stripping them down anyway if you wanted to)
Just a side note, but this is a bit of a gamer myth. If they want to play your game, then they cannot just strip out stuff. Unless you've caved in and say they are still playing your game even if they strip out 90%+ of your material. The myth comes from a wide range of RPG's, starting with D&D, that just don't have a complete, start to end, procedure.

Good point, it's probably a weak way to start a writeup.  Thanks for that!

Quote
This secretive bidding system serves to a) prevent metagaming in the
form of “oh, he’s bidding, I should bid too”, and b) add a layer of
suspense to the gaming experience.
I think you may have a hang up on 'metagaming' - does this really matter? Or will it really make it more dramatic? Sometimes no one bids - okay, we just move on?

In the case of nobody bidding, the current Narrator would describe the failure, (or the GM, if it's the Narrator that has failed).  I do hope it will make it more dramatic, yes, but it could prove to just be clunky.  I don't know yet!  And yeah, I'm all hung up on metagaming, hehe.  The rules might harp a bit, in that respect.  Another thing to work on.

Thanks very much for the great feedback, guys!  It's given me a lot of things to consider, and I hope you, and others, have more issues to bring to the table.  (I know they're there! :P )
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 03:36:25 PM »

Hey Rubbs,

Sorry for late reply. Even though I wasn't given a deadline (... well, not that I know of...) I still would've liked to have responded sooner!

On that note, this post is less of a response than it is a prompting question. You mentioned (in ASH V1.00 thread) that you consider our systems to be either identical or inverted. Could you elaborate on that?

I believe this exercise in contrasting will encourage both general (design choices) and specific (system mechanics) discussions that will help refine Broken Realms (use this as a working title?)

This contrast with ASH is for illustrative purposes, I want to focus this discussion on refining Broken Realms "BR" (your thread).

Big Picture: I like many of the mechanics in BR but am confused by some others. Very few things I take issue with. I'll post more details ASAP.

T
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 11:43:39 AM »

Rubbs,

Glad I’ve finally got the time to write up my notes into a post for Broken Realms.

I hope this post doesn’t feel too choppy. I wanted to touch on details that I really liked, was confused by, and would suggest changing.

Don’t feel obligated to respond to everything, just latch onto any point you want and discussion away!

Likes!

Thanks for changing site.

I like the tone of your writing; it provides for an entertaining read, “klondike bar” and “deities don’t like you” come to mind. However, this fun-first writing style can sometimes detract from understanding the core rules—don’t take this to mean that I am suggesting a “serious-only” rulebook (my writing has that niche all filled up anyway :P!), just try to find a balance between humour and clear rules. I suspect that organization may be more at fault than the writing style. A table of contents, numbered sections, and organizing the ideas in a natural order will help. Your game is trying to do some thing very particular (that you should be pinpoint aware of) so “natural order” will depend on that.

Czege Principle “narrating your own failure is boring”. I like that you’ve included it in your game.

Deity tokens are (I think) the stand-out feature of this game. Why? I like that they bind the setting to the system and provide other players a filtered means of narrating events. The “filter” is important because it restricts the winning bidder to be creative around the deity token, as opposed to being able to say anything.

Having the Die of Fate roll high=PC failure makes sense if you are trying to emphasize the position Fate plays in this world. This makes it an ever-present force that holds the authority. If this is not the feeling you want then I suggest inverting it such that a high roll=success. (I suspect you did this on purpose though, so I feel like it adds to the game’s tone)

The secret bidding is interesting. I agree that a secret bid will heighten suspense (a good thing), but I’m not sure about the “meta-game” argument.

I really like the “classes” of Heretic/Realist/Zealot “HRZ”. Really. They are a super-pleasant change from warrior/rogue/mage.  I mostly understood RZ, but H was tricky. I have no idea what the word “deiclast” means, so it was difficult to infer what those tokens represented. I will want to talk about HRZ later, but as of now their exact mechanics are murky to me.

I love the Mojo/Mettle/Marbles “MMM” titles. They are a clever and accurate alliteration. They do not “bleed” into one another, which is great when you are trying to define 3 exclusive aspects of a character. Well done!

I like that you distinguished between trials and checks. And the definintion of checks: “Whenever a player wants to attempt something the
outcome of which is both uncertain and dramatically significant”

I like how you define weapon damage as: take a D20 and split it into 3 categories of damage based on the nature of the weapon. It’s simple and adaptable.

I like the character sheet. Once it’s drawn professionally I think it will look very cool and be very practical.

Confusion!

I was most confused by the conflict system. What dice can I apply and what will their sizes be? Yes, I could read the thing a few more times and likely figure more out, but it just seems unnecessarily complicated (may be a personal taste for simplicity… but I’m doubting that).

“character development” and “storytelling immersion” are vague design goals (they’re not labeled as such, but I’m assuming that’s what they are). Many of your mechanics stray away from these goals. Cores/Talents/Skills all being separate mechanics that can be applied independantly, keeping track of boo-boos, the many variables for weapons (weight, rate of fire, range…), memories as a one-time use bonus…

Why is XP acquisition/spending so confusing? And how do you determine what deserves XP? That wasn’t mentioned so far as I know.

“boo-boos” fits with your writing style, but is that the tone of game you want to promote? Are you going to change this term, or is this the tone of your setting?

Why “Peril” instead of “situational modifier”? This is one of those terms that confused me as a reader, because I had to keep re-translating “peril” to “situational modifier”. Unless there’s a reason for using the specific word “peril”?

Still confused about conflict stages. Could you write up a single conflict were all dice are used? It’d be good to have in your core rules.

Who has narrative control once the failure and upcoming events have been narrated by the victor in a deity token bid? Does that same person continue narrating until the next conflict, or does the GM take over?

Suggestions

The Talent Depths were over-explained, I felt the chart was sufficient.

I do like the 3-0, 2-1, 1-2 split for Core Strengths-Weaknesses. But I don’t like that players will have to repeatedly penalize themselves by checking if any weaknesses must be applied. It’s just not fun to have to take the time to check if you need to penalize your own character. Perhaps find a way of using weaknesses to give a bonus (if even indirectly). Something similar to Compulsions I’d (biasedly) say.

Remove the definition “attempt quality”. It seems intuitive to me that I personally did well, but Fate intervened—thus something very special had to have happened. The attempt quality designations just seemed unnecessary.

I don’t see much advantage to formalizing “memories” as a mechanic. Especially if they are only one-time-use.

Tracking conditions just seems like too much accounting.

More examples. For everything. Even if you think it’s obvious.

Cease ye use of “rolling definitions”! The rules often mention a term and then state it will be described later. Just don’t mention the term until it’s necessary! Be specific with your word choices so that the sentence will still make sense without introducing (then grabbing away) a new term.

Perhaps have “switch any 2 stats once” instead of being able to transfer 5 points. This would promote a more authentic “chancey” feel to charcreation.

I feel like Core, Talent, Skill get redundant after a while. Seems like you could cut out one (skills perhaps?) so that players don’t have to track so many different things.

Table of Contents. Useful Section titles. “How, you ask?” makes perfect sense when you’re reading through the first time, but if you need to look up information it is an absolutely useless section title. Move “How, you ask?” to the first sentence of the section but give the section a useful title such as “Deity Tokens”.

Summary

I like the writing style, but the rules are not as clear as they need to be. Table of Contents, Useful (numbered!) section titles, a natural order for the sections, and balancing out humour and clarity in the sentences will help the reader.

I think Deity Tokens and the MMM are my favourite aspects of this game. I think these two mechanics are the most direct means of achieving this game’s goals of “character development”, “player-driven narrative”, and “storytelling immersion”. [Perhaps also spend some time thinking about what you meant by those three vague terms]

I noticed some setting info on your site (haven’t read it), but I sure hope you have lots of info on the Deities, they seem like they’ll be stealing the show (in a good way).

HRZ are very interesting, but I think those can be reserved for a later discussion because they really only need (1) to be explained clearer and (2) may require some numerical adjustments for their token maximums etc.

Conflict and XP seem over-complicated for what your stated goals are.
 
Core Weaknesses need to give some benefit to the player to justify having players self-penalize themselves with Weaknesses in conflict.

Hope this helps,

T
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 01:57:17 AM »

Dude!  Huge thanks are in order.  This clears up some issues for me, bringing them into a nice, Robot Pancake Hooker 3000-defying, orderly list, where before they were just swimming vaguely and ominously in the back of my mind.  I will attempt to defy her once more, with an orderly reply.

1)  I, too, thought there might be one too many jokes in there.  But yes, I'll see if cleaning it up helps before I start cutting back on the humour.  Organization isn't my strong point.

2)  I'd never heard of Czege until now.  Cool!

3)  The filter was exactly the intention of Deity Tokens.  I find that restrictions help creativity in narration, a lot more often than they hurt.

4)  I've dropped the secret bid, actually, in favour of simultaneously bidding players facing off in a porcelain-eating competition.  It seems less clunky.

5) "Deiclast" means, literally, "god-breaker".  And yeah, the numbers are peri-fiddle, soon to be post-fiddle.

6)  Thanks for that!  It was recently brought to my attention that the Stats are rather similar to those in an MMO called Kingdom of Loathing.  I was considering changing them to Knuckles, Knack, and Know-How, but I rejected that idea.  Originality is a silly holy grail anyway.  Not much point in being different in absolutely every respect.

7)  *preens* I rather liked that definition myself.  However, I'm not the first one to use it:  It's paraphrased from Don't Rest Your Head, which is an awesome game.

8)  Example weapons are on the way, in that regard.  I hope the average scale illustrated in the rules helps?

9)  Yeah, I need an illustrator hehe.

10)  The conflict system you're referring to is Ultraviolence?  This chapter is very much optional, and need not ever come into play.  Conflict can be narrated and responded to as simply as any other part in the story, if that's what the player group wants.  The purpose of Ultraviolence was to invoke a cinematic feel for combat scenes, where everything happens really fast, and to allow people that are more focused on kicking ass to have a scene in which they excel, and which they can relish.  Checks normally wouldn't enter into Ultraviolence:  If you're trained with your weapon, you'll just be rolling the Die of Carnage and the Die of Trials.  I think you might be reading an older version of the pdf.  Perhaps the newer one is clearer...

11)  Yeah, since I started on this project, my design goals have become much clearer.  Yes, I want story and character development, but I also want a sort of over-the-top, heavy-metal horror feel to the game.  Ultraviolence, and all the nitpicky complications that arise from that, were supposed to be the answer to that.  As far as weapon variables go, those aren't really mechanics.  They're to serve as descriptive elements, in order to make a weapon more "real" in the hands of the players.  The more information available about a weapon, the easier it should be to play with realistically.  I should define this better.

Booboos don't really have to be kept track of.  It's assumed that they disappear over a short amount of time, and when the player has had the chance to rest.  As far as other wounds go, I think that they should absolutely be kept track of, and I don't feel that this goes against narrative simplicity.  I don't want to read a book where the hero just ignores all grievous injury.

About Memories:  You're probably right, and it's one of the elements I'm considering dropping at this point.

XP:  Ah, another thing I forgot to include when I copied from loose leaf to computer.  The reasoning behind the complex XP system is that we don't necessarily learn from everything:  It's a gamble.  In my playtesting experience, players seemed to enjoy gambling their XP.  Plus, it makes it harder to "plan out" a character's progression in power, which is a good thing, in my books.  "Leveling up" always served to distance me from a character, turning it more into a math formula than a tangible increase in ability.

Overall, I don't feel that heavy mechanics and storytelling focus are mutually exclusive.  One of the things I like about more complex games is that they tend to have interesting resolution possibilities for conflicts.  I've attempted to make this an important aspect of gameplay in Broken Realms.

12)  Yeah, the setting is pretty serious in tone, and it might seem to jar with the silliness of the rules.  As I mentioned before, I dig the over-the-top, heavy-metal horror thing, hence "Die of Carnage" and "Gratuitous Splatter" and "Ultraviolence".  That said, I'm not sure if injecting humour into the setting is something I want to do.  You've filled me with doubt and uncertainty!  I shall sit and think on this...

13)  Peril is Peril because it's applicable to more than just a situation.  A very powerful weapon could, for example, have a Peril bonus, simply because it's Perilous; it'll blow your freakin' head off.  An improvised weapon, like a duck, would probably have a Peril penalty, and it would be up to the strengths of the character wielding it to ante up the Peril and make it work.  And if Peril drops below -5, it's no longer Perilous.  This should be described in greater detail in the rules.  Thank you!

14)  Examples, yes.  Good idea.

15)  Yes, the current Narrator continues to narrate, by right of dramatic impetus.  This, too, should be clarified, thanks.

16)  I feel that my Talents writeup was necessary material for reconciling Talents with the essence of a character.  Point of contention there.  Care to elaborate?

17)  Certainly, Weaknesses will incur bonuses now and again.  Being blind is a plus when you're fighting Gorgons.  And it'll be the GM's job to penalize weaknesses in Checks and Trials, not the player's job.  I like your compulsions system, absolutely, but I don't see anything wrong with a player having to roleplay character weaknesses as a matter of course.  In every playtest I've conducted so far, people enjoy their Weaknesses; they created them, after all.

18)  Ah, yes, you're definitely reading an older pdf.  My above references to Die of Carnage will probably have bamboozled you, yes?  In the newer pdf, Attempt Quality has everything to say regarding success/failure.  (Thanks to Mike Sugarbaker for that!)  I feel it plays an important role in the system as it now stands.

19)  Yes, rolling definitions must be destroyed!  As you know, me and organization... working on that.  Struggling, in fact.

20)  Cores, Talents, and Skills serve 3 very different purposes, and are 3 very different ways to flesh out a character.  You're the first person to suggest that they're too complex or distracting.  I don't think I'll be doing away with any of them.  Memories, however, is probably going out the window.


(rewinding one post here)  As far as the similarities to Ash, I feel I might have been too hasty in saying that.  They really are quite different, haha.  That doesn't mean that we can't compare, contrast, and learn, though.

One thing I like about your system is that it goes into much greater detail about how narration is handled.  My little Narrative Focus writeup will leave people unfamiliar with storytelling games somewhat mystified.  This is something I need to work on.

Also, character creation is arranged in a much better way in your system.  It's even got its own chapter and everything!  Again, me and organization...

You and I have approached the role of fate in the game from two opposite ends of the corridor.  Your game assumes that "expiration" is inevitable, and encourages the fostering of associative lineages for continuing story.  Players know where they're going, and the narrative pleasure is found in how they choose to get there.  In my system, Fate with a capital F is about the most unpredictable thing in the game:  It's on a d20, and it can screw you over pretty hard.  The narrative pleasure is derived from taking the reins as a player and describing how Fate screws over the characters.  It's overall a more improvised, spur-of-the-moment affair, and character death is a possibility, but by no means certain.

Now I'm braindead, so I'll stop here.  Thanks again, and I eagerly await your reply.
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 01:32:05 AM »

Rubbs,

What language is deiclast from? I like the definition, fits really well.

The average scale for weapon damage helps.

I’ll have to switch Designer hats to look at Ultraviolence. It’s not a feature I’d include in ASH (personal taste) and since I’m so used to simply scanning games for features I’d want to adopt I didn’t invest much mental energy into understanding it. I’ll look into it.

I can see how deity tokens and narrative control are used to encourage story, but what mechanics encourage “character development”? Yes you have XP that increases stats, but I struggle with perceiving “increase stats=character development” in a literal sense. I would expect some sort of mechanic that challenges characters to confront their desires/fears to be a means of character development [perhaps I’ve made a very embarrassing omission here, but I’m trying to churn out posts quicker—so sorry if I’m ignorant of something in your text].

The over-the-top heavy-metal horror feel didn’t come through in the version I read. Knowing that was a goal helps me orient myself. Knowing this will, I suspect, help me understand why you’ve chosen to emphasize details such as keeping tracks of Conditions and a detailed combat system. Those make sense now.

I agree, ignoring all injuries would be boring.

I like the premise behind making XP a risk and your reasons for implementing such a system.

I agree that heavy mechanics and storytelling are not mutually exclusive, and I think you’ll succeed at melding the two within BR.

Agree with Peril (now that I know about the over-the-top tone).

You’re right about the Talents write-up. It’s important. Just be clear that a bunch of that text is examples.

My main concern with weaknesses was the necessity of player self-penalization. If the GM must determine a detriment due to a Weakness then they are great. And ya, if someone makes a weakness they’ll be fine with seeing it rear its head later. And I’m glad to see that weaknesses could be used as boons.

I strongly suspect you’re right on Cores-Talents-Skills “CTS”. I just need to re-read it.

Excellent analogy between ASH and BR. I agree with that assessment but am still glad to take ASH in the direction I”ve chosen for it. Your mechanic does exactly what you want it to do.

Ya, well I’m brain-deader. So there.

[I’d eagerly await your reply if I actually believed I could avoid you. You’re everywhere! :P (that’s a good thing)]

Looking forward to the new version! Perhaps you could lead me through the character creation process?

T
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 06:45:47 AM »

Quote
What language is deiclast from? I like the definition, fits really well.

It's Latin, or, basically English.


Quote
I’ll have to switch Designer hats to look at Ultraviolence. It’s not a feature I’d include in ASH (personal taste) and since I’m so used to simply scanning games for features I’d want to adopt I didn’t invest much mental energy into understanding it. I’ll look into it.


Ultraviolence is now out.  I thought it was pretty badass, but yeah, it really interrupted the narrative flow in playtests, and it turned out to be a bit too tiresome, even as an optional rule.  So I'll be filing that away for another game in the future, for sure.  Something with more combat emphasis and less player input.


Quote
I can see how deity tokens and narrative control are used to encourage story, but what mechanics encourage “character development”? Yes you have XP that increases stats, but I struggle with perceiving “increase stats=character development” in a literal sense. I would expect some sort of mechanic that challenges characters to confront their desires/fears to be a means of character development [perhaps I’ve made a very embarrassing omission here, but I’m trying to churn out posts quicker—so sorry if I’m ignorant of something in your text].

This is very true.  XP is, mostly, a simple player reward in this system.  I do like having elements of advancement, even though I've been shying away from the level-up thing.  It is important to note, however, that XP gives you a shot at Deity Tokens, and that different character actions will attract the attention of different Deities, thereby influencing story according to Deity Aspects when the Tokens are spent.  So it's more of a story development thing than a character development thing.  My hope is that, with the admittedly long-winded, personality-focused character creation system, characters will be fleshed-out enough that people will develop them more intuitively, and according to a story's flow, without the need for a supporting mechanic in that regard.

Quote
You’re right about the Talents write-up. It’s important. Just be clear that a bunch of that text is examples.

Yes, I'm busily italicizing even as I write this!


Regarding our skype chats, they have been very rewarding, and the fine-tuning process for BR has happened a lot quicker with you as a wall off of which I can bounce ideas and methods.  I think that the system, in its entirety, is basically there and as it should be in the pdf.  A rewrite might be in order at this point, just to get it organized, because it's still kind of a mess, with rolling definitions, and sections bleeding into each other and such.  RPH3000 won't leave me alone...  Thanks again!
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Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2447


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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 04:23:16 PM »

Hi,

I should make it clearer right from the get-go that Narrative Focus is generally held by one of the players for an extended period, and that they can Narrate many things, not just failures.  Failures are an opportunity for Narrative Focus to change hands, that it doesn't rest with the GM as often as it rests with any one player, and that different character types (Heretic/Realist/Zealot) will have more varied options for assuming Narrative Focus; hence, when it is natural for a certain "style" of character to have Narrative Focus, he has that opportunity.  It ought to change hands more often than you'd think.

I can see that being a lot of fun.

Czege Principle “narrating your own failure is boring”. I like that you’ve included it in your game.

The principle comes from something I observed and posted about after playing one of Vincent's games: if the mechanics have a player both create and resolve the adversity facing his/her character, it's boring. It isn't about the failure or success in the resolution. It's about gameplay lacking creative tension.

I'm not finding the reference in the text either.

Paul
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"[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
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Posts: 51


« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 10:05:33 PM »

Why, it's Czege himself!  Thanks for giving it an eyeballing!  I haven't quoted you directly in any part of the text.  Thriff mentioned early on that parts of it seem to ring with your philosophy about some things.  Or something.  So it's cool to meet you.  Got any writeups or theory rants or anything?  I'm sure I'd find them useful.

Quote
if the mechanics have a player both create and resolve the adversity facing his/her character, it's boring. It isn't about the failure or success in the resolution. It's about gameplay lacking creative tension.

I can definitely see the truth in that.  Hopefully BR will provide the framework for players and GM all slinging a lot of shit at each other's characters, hehe.  Matter of fact, I might refer to the players, GM included, as Shit-Slinging Apes in the rules.  Joking.  Maybe.
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