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Author Topic: Opinions requested on indie RPG/skirmish  (Read 1700 times)
infected
Member

Posts: 5


« on: February 08, 2012, 04:18:34 AM »

Hey guys (and gals)
I’m new here and found the forum/site because I was looking though Google for advice with testing/publishing my own RPG/skirmish game. I have had a read though some posts and hopefully you guys can help me with feedback/testing. Firstly I will go through a summary of my aims, the storuy catalyst, where I am currently in development and in a few days (once I have compiled all my rules and done a final batch of proof readings, probably in the weekend) I will provide a link to download the rules.
I would appreciate it if you would let me know at the very least if the ideals of the game are something that people could find fun, I have no problems with any type of feedback as long as it is constructive.

AIM:
The main aim is to create a game that allows for players to be able to play an RPG game that gives character progression into a “larger” or alternate game setting.

My reasoning on this was because I liked playing DnD and inquisitor (games workshop) as my main RPG/skirmish games, but I felt that the systems only enabled me to level a character and not make any sort of worldly change/progression. I wanted to make a game that will allow a singular character to progress into a team character then into a faction or group leader, all depending on decisions and actions taken by the group or a player individually.

Development status:
Currently I am concentrating on getting a working RPG game out there before I plan to make any “bigger” content available, I have many ideas about town construction, different factions etc. but mainly I want to find out if people enjoy the game before I put in more ideas and rules.
The state the RPG game is in currently is:
                All of the core rules have been written, however based on testing feedback I may need to implement more to make the game smooth feeling.
                Weapons/armour have been implemented but values will change based upon tests and combat results.
                I have MOST of the skills written into the game, as well as the skill up system. I do plan to implement more skills, but I would like feedback on what I have first.

Background In short

It’s about zombies, big nasty creatures and the collapse of the world as we know it ( although I use the word infected not zombies, as it’s not just about zombies). As players, people need to survive in this world, or rebuild and make it their own.
The worlds governments conducted research into nanites, as these nanites where released they infected any living thing. As the infected come in contact with humans they have different effects, allowing for fast/slow zombies, or head/body shot kills, allowing for bigger mutations as the characters progress allowing for more specialist and difficult enemies to be found.
EG if a dog gets infected, it would get stronger and faster. When it bites/infects a human, the human could then take traits from the dog and become a wolfman who would want to spread the infection also.
I do have an extensive story, but I don’t want to bore people, or make an epic post with mainly story. If you want a full story upto the outbreak, please let me know.


P.S i don't know if i am underselling it, i just don't want to put too much in a single thread post.
Oh and thanks for reading this far :)
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dugfromthearth
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 01:10:15 AM »

I don't really understand what you are trying to do.

You want the game to be skirmishes, but the skirmishes to affect a bigger picture? So basically a wargame with a campaign mode?

Does the larger world create the skirmishes, or is it really just an excuse for and way of tallying victories of the skirmishes?

I.E. We need food. There is food in that town. We go to that town and have a fight to get food.
vs. We fight some zombies. Look we found some food. Our food total went up.
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infected
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 01:49:28 AM »

Evidently i didn’t describe my aim very well, and thanks for letting me know.

The idea is to have the character/player shape the world, so the first set of games they play are classic rpg games… focuses on character development, character background and character decisions to shape the game and story.
As the character survives in the apocalyptic world longer, they will gain more skills and possibly rescue more survivors, at which point if the player chooses they can move into a skirmish like game still with RP elements (using the same character that they may have used for the past 10 games, or 100) This will then focus on giving the player multiple characters to control with the perspective moving towards the team rather than the individual character.
As the skirmish mode progresses the players may have acquired or built a true defendable safe house, at which point any survival supplies can be made rather than found. This will then move the game into more of a small war game, where you as a player would control multiple squads or teams. Your original characters at this point, could be the leader of these squads, or the leader of this settlement…

To make writing the rules easier for me, I have made a rule system for the RPG part… and I am yet to make a full rule system for the other two sections of my aim. But that’s what I want this game to achieve.
My overall want for this game (depends on its success) would be different players groups, potentially trading, making alliances in a “grand campaign” where two groups come together once a month or so, playing together to destroy a greater threat. But meaning the weekly or even daily groups can still get along with their campaign set in their territory. Or those two factions could go to war based upon a difference in opinion or territory disputes.

I hope that explains it a little better.
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Sp4m
Member

Posts: 61


WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 09:28:45 AM »

This sounds like a really interesting idea. My advice is don't get caught up in the details yet. Start big, and work your way down.
Why write your own rules system? That will require hours of troubleshooting and proof reading that can otherwise be spent testing out the aspects that make your game unique. In my experience, people are just going to sub out your system, and use their favorite any way. The system, guns, damage etc. is just math and probability. Start with an existing system that works, and write in some patches to apply it to your game. Once you have the meat and potatoes of the new game written, you can (if you think it's necessary) write a new system that supports your themes.

Your description of the players building out a world makes me think of a game like this...
Starting out on an individual basis, players meet in a town, and bond through diversity. They end up having an encounter in city hall, and the players create the map for city hall together on graph paper. This is done to scale with the miniatures. Map is done, players have their encounter.

After the encounter, the players each get a few followers, represented by models.

The next encounter is slightly larger, and each players has to draw out the map of their safe house, and maybe they get a few traps and resources they can buy. alliances can be made to allow trading of resources. There is a recipe list, with weapons, food, ammo, traps, transportation, etc. And players are allowed to trade resources.

the graph paper buildings that get drawn have a fixed location in the city (on another map managed by GM), and territory starts to get drawn out. Story elements come into play... a bus of survivors pulls in, which "gang" gets the reinforcements? A new strain of infected attacks? One gang hires NPC bandits to raid an outlying storage depot.

The game can be built dynamically by the players wishes, providing a strong narrative frame work to a model based skirmish game.
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infected
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 01:27:06 AM »

Hey guys,

Here are my 2 rules documents, i do still need to do some editing... but they are almost complete.

www.iron-warriors.co.uk/infected/alpha1-2.pdf

www.iron-warriors.co.uk/infected/skills1-0.pdf

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DWeird
Member

Posts: 87


« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 12:03:54 PM »

Okay!

Things I loved - the infected. It's an awesome idea, getting sequences of abilities based on things you defeated - but that's a concept I'd actually love play for, rather than against. The actual zombies you gave are rather generic, but it should help with acquiring models for games, I guess.

As for the game rules - I gave all of them a glance-over, looking for a specific thing, and didn't find it. Lets be honest for a second - if I want to play a tactical skirmish game, there are other games that are better developed and polished than what you're showing us now, right? So if you want people to play your game, you need to really hammer in what's unique about it.

For your game, it's the promise of starting small-scale and turning that into a world-scale faction. That's cool! I'd play your game to get that experience! But I don't see anything in your game about that... The only thing from your description that makes me want to play your game isn't anywhere in the rules to be found.

You see the problem, you the game-maker, and me the would-be game-player have, right?
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infected
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 12:15:02 PM »

Thank you for the feedback,

I have not put that in yet (i know, i did say i wanted scaleability in my aim) i wanted to get the core rules in place first. the tests, skills, character creation. Once i know that works on the table, and people enjoy it. I will then put up the "progression" rules.

Should not take me too long, i have them all written down... just not edited into much other than bullet points and maths.

However, i cant thank you enough for the feedback so far. I think i will get stuck into making the progression rules tonight :)
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Sp4m
Member

Posts: 61


WWW
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 07:11:46 PM »

I look forward to seeing your ideas. It sounds like the progression could be really neat, leading to some diverse gaming nights.
Tabletop roleplay progresses to miniature skirmish game progresses to conquest board game.

Are you imagining these play types being concurrent? IE. player makes their "boardgame" conquest push, like Risk.
Then the skirmish game begins, and has moments of role-play to persuade NPCs, or learn relevant information?

Or is it more like Spore, where the game reaches a threshold, and fundamentally changes?
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infected
Member

Posts: 5


« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 01:34:23 AM »

So far it has a threshold, but the threshold is a loose line that is more of a guide than a "it happens here" allowing for the GM and the players to decide what to do... mainly to allow a story arc to finish, or let people stay in the appropreate playstyle they like.
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bosky
Member

Posts: 38


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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2012, 01:02:13 PM »

Still reading through the posted PDFs, but I think the biggest macro issue will be "How to make a system that is playable as an RPG and a skirmish game and a wargame". Traditionally skirmish level sacrifices individual character detail to be able to field multiple characters and still finish the game in less than a day of playing. From what you said "To make writing the rules easier for me, I have made a rule system for the RPG part… and I am yet to make a full rule system for the other two sections of my aim." it sounds like you might just split the different "levels" entirely?

You might be interested in a very old game called Renegade Legion, since they basically had individual squad level combat up to battleship fighting, and I believe it was inside a similar rules system.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
bosky
Member

Posts: 38


WWW
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 02:12:26 PM »

Okay some more specific feedback now that I could browse through the rules.

So some notes I jotted down while reading through. Don't feel obligated to use any of them, and some may be rooted in my ignorance of how the game actually plays.

- Instead of putting a fake copyright (unless you actually did apply for copyright for an alpha version of your game :) ) I'd recommend using the Creative Commons license. You can pick one that suits you, but probably a version that doesn't allow commercial works will prevent any "ripoffs" better than just putting a copyright symbol.
- I really like the idea of Noise on a per Movement basis. What about Noise for weapons? That might add some incentive to get up close and personal with a melee weapon compared to shooting a rifle. Plus then silencers could actually do something.
- Using "Fitness Points" instead of action points is cool. My concern is with the amounts you are charging for various actions. It looks like the maximum a character could start with would be 10 Fitness (if they had 20 Physical). That would mean they could move 20" or attack in melee 10 times? That would make for some long melees. Maybe changing melee weapons to use Fitness on a per-weapon basis would be better, since heavier weapons would take more energy (ie: swinging a sledgehammer compared to stabbing with a shiv).
- I think M/S/A is a unique idea, but I'd vote to change it to Minor, Medium, and Major. To me it's hard to know/remember if Severe is more dangerous than Acute wounds. Also do the wounds relate to each other in some way? Like 2 Minor Wounds = 1 Severe Wound?
- Constitution looks like it's purely mental fortitude? Maybe naming it "Composure" would be better? Or Sanity like the old Cthulhu games, haha.
- I dig having the weapon cards, especially if you put a picture of each gun on it plus some generic wikipedia copy-paste. I think that'd really help characters feel attached to their equipment instead of being confused "What was the difference between the M14 and M16?" And it gives players something concrete when they get an item, instead of just "Okay now fill in these stats on your sheet that I dictate to you". I imagine you'll have enough empty space to really do a nice layout on there.
- Just personal preference, but I'd aim to make  the ranged weapon categories more realistic. It looks like you went for the generic "video game" categories of Pistol, Submachine Gun, but then split Rifle into three choices with Bolt-Action, Assault Rifle, and Automatic Rifle? I have trouble seeing the difference between Assault Rifle and Automatic Rifle, let alone Machine Gun. What about just going by their mode of fire? Bolt-action, lever-action, semi-automatic, burst fire, fully automatic?
- I think this might just be a typo, but do Melee weapons have a Quality while ranged weapons don't? It was in the description for melee weapons but not the statline, so I wasn't sure.
- I'm not sure what the exact "Strengths" of each Armor will be, but right now it seems like a person is basically invincible against whatever Strength the Armor has? So if they have Armor vs Blunt they don't take any damage and the armor doesn't lose any durability. I think having it at least lose durability would make sense, since otherwise you might end up in awkward situations where enemies or even players can't hurt the opponent.
- Looks like you're tracking individual ammo? That can make for some annoying book keeping, but it's tough to avoid in post apocalyptic games where supplies are short.
- What about having Reliability for guns, instead of just a blanket "roll of 00 means jam". What about Reliability 0-10 which would mean the gun jams on a roll of 0-10 instead. This would allow for bigger differences between the weapons. For example the classic AK 47 vs AR 15 argument often says the AK 47 is more reliable, but right now there is no accounting for that in the game. It would also allow players to find "Rusted" versions that are less Reliable, but maybe stronger than what they currently have so it becomes a trade off.
- For fleshing out the Ability List I find deciding on a factor and applying it across all the stats is useful for filling up the list. For example have a +1 Ability and make one for Social, Logical, etc. Then have an Ability that improves each aspect of melee weapons and ranged weapons, so one for +Range, +Accuracy, etc.
- For the weapon skill levels (like Level 2 Pistol) I think it'd be insanely hard to track all the prerequisites for those, similarly for the Ranged Progressive Skills. I mean if a person wants to focus on Steady Breathing and Target Tracking they're going to have to write that count down somewhere, and remember to update it mid-combat.

Anyways looks cool! I'll be interested to see how the game develops, as I think you have a pretty solid foundation and lots of motivation.
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Author of the Dinosaur Cowboys skirmish game.
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