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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 37 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: LARP Ruleset Development - Quickdraw  (Read 2580 times)

Posts: 4

« on: January 31, 2012, 11:39:02 AM »

I'm working on a LARP ruleset that simpifies rules interactions within the game format. As such, I'm drawing from a FATE-esque narrative thing which I am calling 'Threads'  which make up the flavor or advantage/flaw system. All interactions use a slight variation on the same randomization mechanic to keep the rules easy for everyone to interact with live.

Here's a link to the current rules: http://tehnameless.com/rpg/Quickdraw Beta.pdf

Right now I'm developing it as a rules-lite universal system, essentially a live-action Savage Worlds that could get some molding in the future for certain genre mechanics. I'm trying to get a feel for whether or not more explanation of some concepts is necessary, and whether the shifting pool mechanic (Stress, in the document) is as intuitive as I hope it is.

I played quite a bit of Mind's Eye Theatre back in the day, and the amount of extra things you had to keep on you (Blood traits, status cards, influence cards, character sheet, etc.) begins to get in the way, and the complex interaction of some of the books begins to make it a nightmare for crossover stuff. This was a lot of my inspiration for this system being as accessible as I hope it is.

So, my concerns:
1) Does the system rely too strongly on Narrator fiat? I can provide guidelines in assessing thresholds, but I would like to avoid the loophole gamer thing of phrasing all of your requests carefully to avoid the system key words for difficulty.
2) Does the "losing red stones to mark Stress" work within the system? I've got the numbers on the base probabilities for each draw (one stone to seven) and am working on further examination of if that system gets weird as you lose more and more potential successes.
3) In trying to strip it down, have I gone too far? I think the catch-all skill system has a lot of possibility to define the gray areas that most folks expect from a game, but is it too free-form? I like to think that the fuzziest "but I said so" parts mostly just happen with Narrators.
4) Weapons and equipment. I'm generally opposed, as it muddies the stat/skill combo thing, but I can be convinced otherwise. It may work better as a genre thing in some alternate version of the rules (a humans vs. zombies game might want that distinction), but I'm comfortable making the suggestion that game-changing equipment be added as a Thread and affect the game in that way.

So, those are my main concerns. Let me know how the project strikes you.

Posts: 68

« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 03:43:34 PM »

Hey Jal,

Well done.

I think this game would work quite well as a table-top as well as a LARP. Many of the mechanics make it quite transferable. But yes, the main achievement is that this would be very easy to LARP!

1.) Marbles. Great idea. Nice ratios in them too.
2.) The whole stress mechanic and removing success marbles. Great!
3.) The threads to differentiate characters that would otherwise just be a list of stats, good idea. I like the thread “bidding” that will help with immersion.
4.) 5 Stats, ok. But… how many skills? I think that list would be tough to memorize during a LARP. Tabletop? Sure, just use a sheet… but your goal seems to be LARP here…
5.) The examples throughout helped but some of the wording within the sections could be made clearer. (I’m thinking touch ups, don’t worry that they can’t be understood. They can be.)
6.) The example chars at the end helped.
7.) XP mechanic seems thought out but I’m growing fond of Rubbermancer’s idea of gambling on successfully leveling up. Basically you gain XP and have a certain chance of successfully improving the character’s stats. Adds a lot of flair to the otherwise account-like XP allocation. Of course you’d have to scale up the current XP given out to compensate… but I think that’s a small price to pay for the liveliness of such a mechanism.

Most impressive mechanic was (1) stress and (2) threads. Congrats.

Hope this helps,



Posts: 4

« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 02:19:25 PM »

Thanks for having a look over it.

re: Skills. A character sheet is still going to be necessary, I think. I can probably get it down to a quarter-sheet double-sided thing that can be laminated or put into a sleeve to protect it. The number of skills is smaller than a lot of games, but there may be a few that can be eliminated. I'll see which ones get no love during playtesting and see if we really need them.

re: Examples. Editing will catch anything that seems wonky. Any stand out to you? I think the Threads mechanics need the most explanation by way of example so someone can see it all come together. Folks familiar with Aspects from FATE or Dresden Files will see it as a relative to that mechanic, but new folks might not see it coming.

re: XP. I agree that making advancement a game in itself is a good idea, and I've seen systems that use it to their advantage. I've had a thought regarding implementing it as follows:

Advancement with XP: Once awarded experience points, you may apply them to your stats and skills or keep some in reserve to replenish your success pool mid-game as noted below. Once you have distributed your points, make a draw using a pool equal to the number of XPs applied to that skill against a threshold of your current rank in that skill. If you succeed, congratulations. Strike off the number of experience points applied and raise your skill by one. If you fail, keep the number of points applied to the skill written down and save them. You will use this pool to draw for advancement after the next session plus any more points you wish to apply in the future.

Raising stats (or the Weird skill) uses the same rules except you pay two points per stone in your pool.

EXAMPLE: Vaughn's player is looking to raise Vaughn's Spirit Stat (2) as well as his Notice Skill (also 2). He tried to raise Spirit last session and applied 6 XP to it (pool of 3, threshold 2) and failed. He spends another four points and draws again (pool 5, threshold 2) and draws 3 red, 2 white. Success! He erases the number of XP applied to his Spirit score and raises it to 3. He now looks to his Notice Skill and spends four points (pool 4, threshold 2). He draws 2 red, a white and a black for a result of 1. No good. His skill doesn't go up, but he doesn't lose those points and can draw again next session at pool 4, threshold 2 or he can keep spending XP to raise his pool for that advancement challenge.

So if someone desperately wants to raise a skill, they can spend 7 points a level and maximize their chances, or they can spread the points around and possibly luck out and raise lots of skills with smaller chances of success. This just adds a blank near that skill on the character sheet to note how many XP have been applied to it as a way of remembering how large your pool is for advancement challenges.
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