Author Topic: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.  (Read 36794 times)

CommissarKip

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RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« on: January 10, 2014, 05:53:00 AM »
Caleb got me to design an RPG.

I spoke to Ross some time ago during which I confessed the above. During our talk I casually mentioned that it would be cool if there would be a thread on the RPPR forums where victims students of the Caleb & Ross school of Gamedesign could share their stuff and discuss the posted episodes.

So here it is. I suggest we use this to keep one another informed and to help each-other through this not yet officially diagnosed life crisis like an AA hugging circle (we don't do coins).

To kick this off here's my confession :

Being of sound mind and spirit, I'm a philosophy graduate student designing a Pen and Paper Role Playing Game. This thing is keeping me going through the trials and tribulations of my dissertation. My game will be having custom mechanics underneath the hood. My game does not have a set theme yet. My game doesn't even have a name yet.

But it will exist, damn it. Like Dr. Frankenstein I shall stitch together a monstrosity that might survive the pitchfork-and-torch armed mob of the Gaming Industry Customer or the witch trial of the Gaming Industry Professional, emerging as a beautiful thing. Or it might die a sad, unplayable death as a failed experiment behind cell-door bars.

Let's see if we can fill our dungeons with half breeds and failed experiments.




Gorkamorka

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 07:09:19 AM »
Cool
Gorkamorka (Fridrik)

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 11:58:52 AM »
I'm in for group therapy. I'm playing around with some ideas for an RPG myself thanks to the Design Podcast.

Cthuluzord

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 12:11:25 PM »
This is awesome! Keep us all posted on how things are going.

BTW, Ross and I recorded an episode in November. That should be posted sometime when he is in China.

Cthuluzord

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 03:39:19 PM »
I thought I'd get our little repository of knowledge going. Here's a link to my latest blog post. I talk about the "joys" of POD publication.

http://hebanon.blogspot.com/2014/01/learning-to-pod.html

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 06:40:52 PM »
So I've done some soul searching and I think that I can get everything that I want out of Fate Core as a system. That saves me trying to create an entire engine of my own. So, I think I want to move forward with those mechanics in mind. But now I need to look into how the Creative Commons License thing works. It seems extremely open from what I can find online but I don't want to plow ahead without doing a little more reading. Anyone experience with the CCL 3.0?

Quote
... AA hugging circle (we don't do coins).

Note to self: schedule Game Design sub-section of RPPR Meet-Up. And have coins made. OH! Or dice.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 06:45:00 PM by Tadanori Oyama »

clockworkjoe

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 09:50:01 PM »
You could contact Fred Hicks at Evil Hat and ask him to clarify the CC license.

Jace911

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 10:52:23 PM »
After listening to one and a half of the podcast episodes thus far I decided to finally sit down and write up a rough concept for the game idea I've been kicking around in my head for a while: Minions and Mooks (Probably not final name), or "what if the GM plays the hero and the PCs are kobolds".

I don't know if I want to look into using FATE Core like TO or wade into the eldritch bog of custom game mechanics, but I do know more or less what kind of gameplay I want from my system: the players will be working together to defeat singular, much more powerful enemies than them. That might sound like every RPG ever, but what I want out of it is to force them not only to work together but to build their characters in such a way that they coordinate and play off each other mechanically (And maybe even narratively if I can somehow finangle that) by giving each class an ability that specifically ties into another class; IE "you are a rogue and you get X bonus if there is a friendly Tank within sight" or something like that.

In addition, the players will die. Probably a lot. When they do they roll up new semi-random characters and continue with minimal penalty (You lose a certain amount of experience but not so much that you're useless to a veteran party depending on what 'tier' you're in) but they have to be careful not to experience an abundance of deaths or they will fail their assigned task/mission/operation as their master or whoever decides to avoid the sunken cost fallacy and just fires the survivors. Possibly out of a cannon, into the sun. Of course, the flip side of this is that character progression isn't individual, but collective; everyone advances at the same rate (With potentially smaller individual bonuses depending on how dangerous I want to get with the leveling) to represent their oversight officer/supervillain master/Dick Cheney investing more time and effort into their gear and training, which is why Bob 034 is more or less just as effective as his late predecessor Bob 033. There will also probably tiers of some sort, ranging from "Rookie/FNG" to "Go-Getter/Dude from Buffy who dual-wielded M4s like a boss" to "Lieutenant/Right-Hand Man".

As for setting I also have the gleeful challenge of writing this game's mechanics and classes and equipment and such so that the game can be modular, since one of the underlying ideas I have for it is that you can apply it to pretty much any setting that has a dude in charge of a bunch of weaker dudes who run off and die trying to accomplish some sort of objective. Evil necromancer's army, government agency dedicated to hunting mutants, alien infiltrators tasked with eliminating superheroes to prepare for an invasion, etc etc. I want people to be able to sit down and play XCOM just as easily as they do Stormtrooper Academy Graduate Squad or whatever.

Of course this is all literally what I just wrote down after letting the idea stew for ages and then trying to scoop it all out of my head and jot it down coherently. I'll be amazed if half of this makes it into the "official" rough draft alpha, but it's nice to want things.

Inspirations were XCOM (As mentioned), Agents of SHIELD, Heroes (The Company), RPPR's Tribes of Tokyo campaign, and probably more than a few others I'm forgetting.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 10:54:46 PM by Jace911 »

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 02:53:29 AM »
Fate probably wouldn't work well for what you are describing Jace. I think you want to go really rules light.

It actually makes me think of Rogue Legacy but with a party instead of an individual.

Cthuluzord

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 09:03:43 AM »
@Jace

I think you can monkey with Fate enough to get it to do anything, especially after playing the wetting of BaseRaiders in WT and switching over to the BaseRaiders system later.

I am learning first hand how horrible it can be to try and design a rules system from scratch, but at the same time I get the impression that in the industry there is this new idea that since FATE exists there is no need to design new systems; just write your book as a FATE product. I hope that isn't the case for long (and some old timers that were there for the first days of GURPS tell me it wont last). I have nothing against FATE, but even a less popular new system contributes to the discussion of design. I think, even if Red Markets is a failure, I will have learned much more about RPGs in general for having tried to design new mechanics for it rather than adapting it to something.

So that's my two cents.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2014, 02:27:29 PM »
Something not unlike that happened with d20. Alot of major games used d20 when it probably wasn't the best option for them because D&D was big and d20 was the widely known system. Players in the broad sense are resistant to learning new game systems so hitting what's common is the best way to ensure a game is actually played.

With the current spike in popularity for FATE we're seeing a big number of games for it. If your goals as far as game design don't involve mechanics modeling but rather setting than FATE makes the most sense, economically and practically.

On a personal note, since my plans do involve mechanics considerations, thanks so much for making me doubt my previous atestation to my previous choice. I am now reconsidering trying to create me own system by going back to the drawing door and outlying my design goals again. Elbow deep in post-it notes already. Thanks Caleb.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 07:43:38 PM »
Changing subjects I'd like to workshop something:

If a game specifically focuses on combat as the major mechanic of the game, is a complex damage system to the benefit or detriment of the game? Personally I like complex damage systems because they hypothetically give people a clearer mental image of the effects of their actions and the actions taken against them. At the same time, having damage to too complex makes for busy work and confusion (as with adding basically any additional rules).

So, in a hypothetical game focusing on superhuman brutality and inter-gang street fights would a system that incompasses general body locations (arms, legs, torso, head, etc) and layers of the body to be damaged (skin, muscles, bone, organs, etc) be helpful or harmful? I'm inclined towards helpful (to showcase the brutality and injury) and I'm curious what others think.

Cthuluzord

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 09:50:29 PM »
Based on seeing nothing at all of the product  :o I think that both tissue layers AND hit locations might be too much to keep track of. Complex damage is good for the reasons you say, but if calculating damage lengthens the amount of time in the combat for the next actual blow to land, it's going to feel like it's taking away from the experience...ESPECIALLY since damage brings negative consequences that some players don't tend to like at all, regardless of narrative.

Complex damage is good, but I'd just make sure it doesn't slow down combat more than it has to. WT is my favorite hit locations system in that regard.

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 11:10:11 PM »
Jumping subjects again as I bounce between project ideas let me as about point spending systems. GUMSHOE is the big one now that I know of and not many others. I like the idea but I have heard people complain about the ideas.

It can be complex to track spent points and refreshes of used points with lots of erasing and rewriting.

At the same time I like the clear arc it provides by putting a limit on specific actions or skills. it has some inbuilt drama.

So, drama vs convenience? Thoughts on point spend in general? Other framing?

Tadanori Oyama

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Re: RPPR Gamedesign Workshop - To grog or not to grog.
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 12:40:03 PM »
Complex damage is good, but I'd just make sure it doesn't slow down combat more than it has to. WT is my favorite hit locations system in that regard.

After some pondering, quick idea for a model.

1d10 rolled to resolve; 7-9 succeed, 10 is additional success, and 1 a horrible failure.

Deal with tissue layers as main focus with bleeding as a secondary. Hit locations aren't mechanical but narrative to explain locations of injury. Remove "called shots" in favor of all attacks being targeted to a location, ie "I swing for his head" instead of "I attack".

Attack success is automatic unless prevented. Defender rolls to evade. On success the Defender avoids damage. On a failure the Defender can opt to change what is struck within narrative reason ("I hold my arm up to protect my head"). On 1 the attacker gets a clear shot.

Damage is 1d10 with static bonuses for more harmful weapons (+2, +3, etc).

Injury is tracked in two manners: vital area and non-vital area, with damage values attached to each layer. Layers are tracked in three dimensions.

Non-vital areas (arm, leg) are skin(1), muscle(2), bone(4), muscle(2), skin(1).

Vital areas (torso, head) are skin(1), muscle(2), bone(4), vitals (1), bone(4), muscle(2), skin(1).

If someone is wearing any sort of protection then that must be penetrated prior to skin, ie Big Fluffy Jacket(1).

Damage is "absorbed" as  it passes through each section. So if an attacker used a knife (+0 weapon) to attack someone and rolled a 2 for damage the attack would pierce the skin and into the muscle but not reach the bone, a 'flesh wound'.

After being wounded the victim begins bleeding. All normal characters have 100 blood points. Bleeding each action is equal to layers penetrated squared. Each wound is considered seperately. So the stab above would cause only a single point of bleeding because only 1 layer was fully penetrated. Characters suffer cumulative penalties at 50, 25, and 10 blood points. At 0 blood points a character dies.

Any wound that did not damage vitals can be bandaged or otherwise treated to slow or stop bleeding. Damage to vitals requires special measures.

Some blood points can be restored by replacing blood value and hydrating with water or juice but mostly it takes time.


The base system seems pretty horror gamey. By adding more ways to protect one's self or increase location values it could get much more action centered.

Big flaws? Thoughts? Condemnations for stealing other people's ideas?