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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 118 - most online ever: 843 (October 22, 2020, 11:18:00 PM)
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Author Topic: [Solar System] The West  (Read 11321 times)
JMendes
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« on: June 15, 2009, 11:26:42 PM »

Hello, everyone, :)

It's been several years since I posted in The Forge, but I figured this was a good a time as any.

A few friends and I have been developing a game for the Solar System, based on all the Western movies and books out there, and I think we came up with something quite decent.

It's called The West and here is the Table of Contents.

Comments welcome and appreciated, either here or there. :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2009, 08:23:48 AM »

Ah, classical Solar System. I like.

Secret of Parlay is fine, I especially like that and the Secret of Siesta. In general, I don't have much critique for the crunch, as it seems to be written very thoughtfully. Lots of fun ideas.

The scripted conflicts are interesting, I've been considering similar scripted sequences for genre-heavy play myself. Seems like it should work fine. One thing that was left a bit unclear is who gets to choose the scripted conflict; do all the participants have to agree that this is going to be a gun duel or poker game as per the rules? Or will the SG decide based on the fiction? I could well imagine that players whose characters benefit from the special resolution will push for it, while players who'd benefit from the general system would be against.
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JMendes
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2009, 11:09:14 AM »

Ahey, :)

I'm thinking it should be obvious based on the fiction.

Gun duels are highly ritualized things and they are a staple of the genre, after all. The gun duel rules are intended for a shoot out in the street or a gunfight inside a house.

As for poker games, well, you're either sitting at a poker table or you're not. The short hand works exactly the the general rules do but is meant for a quick and only. If it's a proper game, then it's a long game.

Players whose characters would rather play a proper game than a short hand might push for that, but hey, that's in the fiction, right? :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
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JMendes
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 03:52:19 AM »

Hoy, :)

I don't have much critique for the crunch, as it seems to be written very thoughtfully.

Actually, there's a couple of bits of crunch I need some advice with.

Bit 1:

Quote from: The West
Poker Games are semi-detailed scripted conflicts where Extended Resolution does not apply. Any number of characters may participate in a Poker Game. Although a Poker Game is actually played over an arbitrary series of hands, the conflict itself is simplified down to three rolls.

Phase 1 - Early Game - Every participant rolls an unopposed check with the special Ability Poker (I). Every character has this Ability at Mediocre (0). It cannot be improved through advances or enhanced by any Secrets whatsoever, regardless of the Phase of the Game. The only way to improve on this roll is to spend one point of Instinct, per the normal Pool bonus die rules.

Phase 2 - Middle Game - In ascending order of success levels, each participant chains the previous roll into roll number two, which can be any of the following abilities: Poker (I), Gambling (R) or Deceit (R). Use of Deceit (R) constitutes cheating. If any participant cheats, any other participant and anyone in the audience can roll React (I). This roll doesn’t count towards the game itself, but if its success level is greater than the Deceit (R) success level, they know the cheater was cheating.

Phase 3 - Confrontation - Regardless of whether it happened or not, any participant can choose to accuse any other participant of cheating. The margin of success level for the React (I) roll can be chained into whatever sub-conflict might ensue. If the accuser didn’t actually catch the accused, said accuser is subject to a penalty die. Depending on the goals and stakes for everyone involved, this may or may not abort the Poker Game.

Phase 4 - Final Hand - Again, in ascending order of Phase 2 success levels, each participant chains the Phase 2 roll into one final roll. Characters that used Deceit (R) in Phase 2 can use Gambling (R) in Phase 3. Everyone else must use Poker (I), although characters with the Gambling (R) Ability get the Rank of the Ability as additional bonus dice to their Poker (I) roll. Whoever gets the highest success level in this final roll wins the Poker Game.

The bit under contention is bolditalicized above. Originally, we didn't have it. The big deal is that many people at the table felt that the Gambling (R) skill was under-scoped (the Solar System non-game-balance way of saying under-powered). This was suggested as a means to further bring the skill of the player into the final roll, regardless of the result of the Phase 2 roll. We didn't want to just allow players to roll Gambling (R) in Phase 4 outright. If we did, and because Gambling (R) is an Easterner cultural Ability, Easterners would have an overwhelming upper hand at Poker Games, just by purchasing the first rank of the Ability. (There's no mehcanical problem with that, per se, but it seems aesthetically wrong...)

Thoughts?

(By the way, those of you with an eye for this sort of thing will notice that the system, as written, gives a powerful incentive for trained gamblers to learn how to cheat and do so. This is by design.)

Bit 2:

Quote from: The West
High Roller - The character is skilled at raising the stakes for quick hands of poker. The character can create an Effect usable in any Sway (R) or Savoir-Faire (I) against his opponents. The value of the Effect is the final difference in success levels in a Long Poker Game.
Cost: 1 Reason + cost of Effect.

Originally, the Secret was tied to the Short Game, but the people at the table felt that it would be much more thematically interesting to link it to the Long Game. However, the problem is that the value of the Effect is severely limited by the way the Long Game works. Namely, it is impossible to generate Effects valued at more than +3.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance. :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 05:53:12 AM »

I have to ask for the license.

Bit 1: Gambling as a supportive ability should be fine. I don't see a problem here. I also don't see a problem in underscopedness, that's usually alleviated by player creativity.

Bit 2: You could either have another secret on top of High Roller that allows to break the limits of the long poker game, or roll that into the High Roller secret altogether.
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Ralek
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 08:56:47 AM »

Ahey.

I don't believe the Gambling skill is under-scoped anymore following the changes we made to the final phase. It gives players who have it an overwhelming advantage in a somewhat central component of the game fiction while still allowing for an extremelly lucky player without the skill the chance to win.

Regarding the high-roller secret. It is limited to +3 effects, unless of course, the character elects to cheat and then it becomes very easy to generate high level effects due to the number of bonus dice you normally carry into the final roll. Cheating does come with its own consequences and that allows for good stuff to surface at the table. It gives the players choices and allows the game more chances to develop in interesting directions.
Even if the character doesn't elect to cheat, I do believe it compares well to other effect generating secrets. Gambling allows for easy chaining of the same skill roll, making it very easy to reach a +3 sucess level while other skills which might be used in effect generation will tipically be a plain roll with skill added which will generate the same level of sucess on average.

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JMendes
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 02:16:34 PM »

Ahey, :)

First off, thanks for chiming in.

I have to ask for the license.

I have no idea what that means... :)

Bit 1: Gambling as a supportive ability should be fine. I don't see a problem here. I also don't see a problem in underscopedness, that's usually alleviated by player creativity.

Yes and no. The way we're playing it, Gambling really does have no part whatsoever outside a Poker Game. Still, I suppose you have a point, and as Rogerio says, with the added bolditalicized bit, it's not so under-powered anymore.

Bit 2: You could either have another secret on top of High Roller that allows to break the limits of the long poker game, or roll that into the High Roller secret altogether.

Yeah, but see, I don't want the limits of the long game to be broken. It would be way too lopsided. It's like saying, if you get into a poker game with an Easterner, you've already lost. On the other hand, it's like Rogerio says, yes, the limit is +3, but it's very, very easy to reach, so maybe, that should be ok... I shall need to think on it some more...

Anyway, like I said, thanks for your thoughts, and if you or anyone else has more thoughts, I'd love to hear from you. :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 02:34:41 PM »

What license is this under? Is it the same as Solar System? I ask for translation and inclusion in other works, potentially for commercial usage.
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JMendes
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 06:26:05 AM »

Hoy, :)

Good question. Hadn't thought about that.

It was a group development thing, so, until I talk to the group about it, it's under whatever default license things fall in when they're thrown out there onto the interwebz.

In all likelihood, it will end up under some sort of Creative Commons license, probably the same license as Solar System.

That said, right off the bat, feel free to translate it. :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
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JMendes
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2009, 09:15:21 PM »

Hey, :)

What license is this under? Is it the same as Solar System? I ask for translation and inclusion in other works, potentially for commercial usage.

This has been a long time coming, as our lives have been oddly disconnected, these past few weeks, but I've finally met with the group and we all agree that The West is now under the Creative Commons 3.0 license, just like Solar System.

So there. :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
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oliof
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Harald Wagener - Zurich, Switzerland


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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 10:09:39 PM »

Thanks!

Cheers,
    Harald
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JMendes
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 12:55:30 AM »

Hoy, :)

Agh! I just realised that CC 3.0 is not valid in Portugal. So, I guess it's under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Portugal, then...

Sorry about the mixup. I trust there won't be much difference between what you can do in 2.5 and what you can do in 3.0, anyway... :)

Cheers,
J.
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Joćo Mendes
Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon Gamer
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