Gorgoo's Game Thread

Started by Gorgoo, September 12, 2010, 03:16:10 AM

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Hi. I'm new here, but I figured I'd post since I'm going to be trying to write something for Game Chef this year for the first time.

I'm thinking that the game's setting would be in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland. Humanity would have survived, but with no global infrastructure left, they live in isolated cities that usually have a host of problems, from lacking supplies to having tyrannical rulers. There might be weird science and mutant creatures, too, because those are always fun, but it's not integral to the game's concept.

The game's focus would be on characters trying to make an impact on this redeveloping world, without being changed by it. Instead of conventional statistics, characters would have "descriptors" of what they can do, with an amount of points invested in them, and through conflicts, they can lose those points. However, succeeding at conflicts gives the PCs Accomplishments, which can be spent on a few things. They can restore characters' points, but they can also be used to weaken an influence on the setting (such as slavers or a tyrant), or to give PCs influence of their own (gaining them followers or supplies). Enemies can gain Accomplishments, too, though. And if a PC's descriptor goes to 0, that descriptor is changed somehow. Maybe the character's moral convictions are questioned, or he loses confidence in his ability to do something. Maybe he's just as capable as ever, but starts to think that his enemy's goals don't really seem all that bad after all.

This would all close with a "climactic conflict" at the end of each adventure. All of the influences on the setting would come into play (assuming they haven't been dealt with by one side or the other prior to that), and the winning side would finally be able to change the setting, but would have to make concessions based on what losses they took in the conflict.

The game, then, would be about gathering resources for this final confrontation, while knowing that your opponent is doing the same. When the PCs decide that they have enough influence and are sure enough in themselves (their descriptors aren't low on points) to make a real change, they initiate the climactic conflict and try to get things to go their way.

Unfortunately, while I've got Journeys, Desert, and City included in the game, I've not yet found a good way to include Edge or Skin. I might include a mechanic for "getting under someone's skin", or using their own descriptors against them (like compels in FATE), though. That would probably fit with the tone of the game.

Also, I hope I'm able to get this done in time. I'm a little bit afraid that I'm going for too much mechanical complexity, but I think I have a fairly good idea as to how everything should work.


I hope it's not against the rules to add a new post for new content. I couldn't find anything about it.

I think I've decided on what the game's character sheet will look like. Hopefully this would make it easier to understand how it will play. At least, it's helping me determine how the mechanics will work.

Central Descriptor:






Here's an explanation of what that means.
Central Descriptor: This is essentially equal to a name, character class, and race in other RPGs. A traveling merchant named Bob would have "Bob the Traveling Merchant" as his central descriptor. It also functions as a sort of HP value, because it has a point value associated with it, and if that point value reaches 0, the character ceases to be what they used to. They don't necessarily die, but they're dramatically changed enough that a rewrite of the character sheet is probably necessary.

Descriptors: These are the other descriptors. They work like skills or abilities do in other RPGs, and all together they have a total point value equal to that of the Central Descriptor. If the Central Descriptor loses points, then the player must subtract points from their other Descriptors until the total is equal to the new value of the Central Descriptor. Outside of Conflicts, a character can recharge a Descriptor (and thus, add the corresponding amount of points back to their Central Descriptor) at any time in three ways:
1) Resting. It's used in a more abstract sense than in most games, as a rest can be anything from a trip to a medic to a nice, relaxing meal as long as it can be described as restoring the character, physically and mentally. What matters is that all of the character's Descriptors are recharged. However, their enemies don't rest while they do, and are free to initiate a conflict while characters are resting, meaning that whichever characters are resting cannot help their allies. If all characters are resting at the same time, the conflict is automatically won and the opposition gains an Accomplishment.
2) Willingly Accepting a Complication. Complications disadvantage characters, but taking one recharges a single Descriptor without requiring a rest. It's useful as a temporary measure if the opposition is growing powerful and a character can't risk taking a rest.
3) Winning a Minor Conflict. There are two types of Conflicts: Major and Minor ones. The only real difference is that, in a Minor Conflict, the winners automatically recharge any Descriptors which were not reduced to 0. Haggling over the price of food, for example, doesn't tend to leave the winner shaken, even in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, though it might leave the loser without food or without money.

Advantages: Advantages let characters spend Accomplishments on special abilities. Every character can spend Accomplishments (they're described below) to do certain things, but Advantages let you spend them on something that others can't. An Advantage is accompanied by a short description of what it represents. For example, a character might have "Dramatic Entrance: Spend a Major Accomplishment to be able to act in a Conflict when a rest would normally prevent you from doing so."

Complications: Complications are sort of the opposite of Advantages. A character can target the complication of another character by spending an Accomplishment. Spending a Minor Accomplishment lets a character gain an Edge on his opponent, where that would take a Major Accomplishment without using a Complication.

Each character starts with one Complication, determined by the player.

Accomplishments: These are one of the core parts of the game. Basically, every time a group of characters comes out on the winning side in a Conflict, they get to add an Accomplishment to their character sheet. There are Minor and Major Accomplishments to go along with Minor and Major Conflicts (mentioned under Descriptors, where recharging is discussed). The winners of a Minor Conflict get a Minor Accomplishment, and the winners of a Major Conflict get a Major Accomplishment. They can be used to do the following things (this is probably the most subject-to-change section of the entire thing, though).

Minor Accomplishments can:
-be used to gain an Edge on an opponent by taking advantage of a Complication (this can only be done once per Conflict per Complication).
-be used to call for support, risking an Influence.
-be used to get access to extra resources, risking an Influence.
-be used to declare something about the story and have it be true, but only outside of a conflict. This has no effect on stats, but can be useful. For example: "After that bar fight, I found a map to the raiders' camp on one of the thugs."

Major Accomplishments can:
-be used to add an Influence to the setting. Influences are described below.
-be used to force an opponent to risk an Influence.
-be used to gain an Edge on an opponent even if they don't have a Complication.
-be used to end a conflict instantly with neither side winning or losing. In Minor Conflicts, everyone recharges Descriptors as if they won. Either way, nobody gains any Accomplishments.
-be used to gain two Minor Accomplishments. That is, one Major Accomplishment can be spent as two Minor Accomplishments. The reverse is not true.

To spend an Accomplishment, a player has to describe how it applies. This isn't meant to be too much of a limitation, but instead to provide a coherent narrative. However, if a player can think of truly no way in which it would apply, he cannot use it (or he could ask for someone else to, since Accomplishments are shared among the entire group). If one player spends an Accomplishment that his allies all have, everyone must remove it from their sheet.

Influences: Like Accomplishments, a character starts with none of these. They are gained by spending Major Accomplishments. Influences represent (appropriately enough) a character's influence on the setting. They come in two "flavors":

1) Support: This represents people that help out the characters. It might be a resistance against a cruel leader, or merely hired mercenaries who are remaining loyal for now. A character can call for support by spending a Minor Accomplishment, which causes a new character (created and controlled by the player) to appear in a Conflict. This character has Descriptor points equal to one quarter of that of the character that called for support. However, if its Central Descriptor is reduced to 0, that Influence no longer exists and the player can no longer call upon it.

2) Supplies: This represents something special that the character has access to. It can be anything from clean water to a rare gun (or even a tank). The character that uses the supplies gets to add a Descriptor to his sheet, with a value equal to that of his highest Descriptor. This can be a considerable advantage, but if that Descriptor is reduced to 0, the Influence can no longer exist and the player can no longer use it.

Influences cannot be used in two Conflicts consecutively (with the possible exception of the Climactic Conflict, where they automatically appear and the players don't even need to spend Accomplishments for it).

I'll probably explain how gaining an Edge works in my next post, and maybe how the Conflicts are handled.


No problems at all...keep writing away. Sorry I haven't commented, I've been too busy plowing away at my own stuff...I'll try to give some kind of critique shortly.
A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.


Quote from: Vulpinoid on September 13, 2010, 02:09:18 AM
Sorry I haven't commented, I've been too busy plowing away at my own stuff...I'll try to give some kind of critique shortly.

I'm not too worried about not getting comments. :) I really appreciate them, but I understand that there are a lot of threads here, and besides, I've only posted in my own so far (though I should probably fix that). I was mainly worried about double-posting not being allowed.