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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13298 Members Latest Member: - Nicholas Mizer Most online today: 66 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: ICO  (Read 1162 times)

Posts: 17

« on: January 21, 2012, 10:54:39 PM »

So I'm creating a game. This started as a trickle in my mind a while back while working on an OGL-based Kickstarter which didn't turn out. Between then and now I've conceived of pretty much what I want to do. I have a three stage plan.

Stage 1: ICO Core20
This is a small, utterly pamplhet-sized version of the core mechanics that gives you just enough to play a game with. It will contain a few pages of rules, three sample characters (medieval warrior, gunslinger, and thief) and a handful of representative challenges and opponents. Although technically playable, it's not really complete in any real sense... imagine something like OD&D but without genre-specific tropes baked in or an assumed genre. The point is to feedback on the system itself and find out whether the basic, very basic parts work, and to build up to creating a set of core game mechanics that can be used freely, by anyone, to write games.

Stange 2: The ICO role-playing game
This would be a commercial project, although, again, the final product would be freely available. The goal would be to write a complete, playable RPG with numerous controls to alter narrative tropes and mechanical approaches. Although definitely playable, the idea would be that ICO would port easily into games of your own design, or as a core set of mechanics to customize other published games around. Coinciding with this would be some kind of free licensing scheme for ICO-compatible games.

Stage 3: ICO games
That done, my plan would be to release a few ICO-powered games set in specific genres, probably starting with a high fantasy game and a space operatic game. This is the trajectory I see for the publishing side of what I'm doing.

As for the game itself, it's the opposite of revolutionary. It's essentially a recreation of how established games get established, starting with a simple core and then adding modules. The core mechanics are going to be very similar to the mathematics of d20-based games and other similar approaches of mid 80s to later 90s game, 3 to 18 or 1 to 20 for primary attributes, unified resolution mechanic using a d20, and hit points as the default option. It's going to have a version of luck points, as well as a codified way of adding stunt style bonuses somewhat inspired by Fate as well as the old (and strange) Marvel Universe game with its "stones" economy. I'm calling it Panache, and it's going to be exceedingly straightforward and simple. So rather than revolutionary, I'll say my approach is sort more of a distillation. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, this is going to be my version of what I think is a very damned fine wheel. And I want to share this wheel with a lot of other people, and in the process, use its wheeliness to put some of my ideas into publication. In addition to writing a new game engine, I am making my first stab at unique branding. My previous work has been mostly OGL stuff.

I will be happy to field any questions, by and by. Although my involvement with the Forge has been pretty peripheral, I will do my best to respond to questions phrased in Forgie formulations to the best of my ability. If I misapprehend, feel free to correct me.

Just to throw some discussion points out in the open:
- This is a game in which a sword does 1d8 damage
- Saving throws and defenses: Saving throws are attribute checks and are used to overcome or take less effect from things, while defenses are how attacks are avoided. Part of this is to rationalize things like the hero not meeting Medusa's gaze, while knowing that no amount of natural grit will save you if you look her right in the eye. So Medusa has to "hit" Perseus with her gaze, but if he gets hit, he has to make a series of steep saving throws. In some ways this is a callback to some stuff in AD&D where things were quite deadly even to high level characters.
- Skills are things that require training, but which anyone can attempt
- I'm classifying other traits as Powers, Resources, Techniques and Schticks. A power is something most people can't do. A resource is something you have, control, or can access. A technique is an application of a skill that requires special training to attempt. A Schtick is a trait that really relates more to the game world than something intrinsic to the character, like a character who somehow always escapes certain death from crashing vehicles or who can just about always access a weapon that would be difficult to rationalize showing up in every scene. Some of this stuff is still coming into focus.
- The one thing stylistically differena about this game is explicltl labeled System tools. While other games have dials or qualities that can be used to adjust how the game works, I'm modularizing lots of things, so the game will have lots of (pick one of) types of options for mechanics. So there might be a bit about how hit points work, and then a few Systools right after, each of which specifies a different method for determining how many hit points you have. There might be several tools for dealing with going below 0 hp, and so forth. These options would probably be baked into the final versions of most full games, like the Stage 3 stuff. they exist to make the Stage 3 stuff easy to build.

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