Author Topic: Ideas for quick games to design  (Read 25048 times)

clockworkjoe

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2015, 05:11:21 PM »
Ruin is the architectural horror gumshoe engine rpg I plan to make.


Will Operate Heavy Machinery be an Investigative Skill in this gunshoe variant?

Player: "I spend one point in Operate Heavy Machinery"
GM: "The Bulldozer is a Caterpillar Model #2309 which was only sold in Europe so seeing it here in South America is certainly unusual. Also they are not normally covered in the blood of creatures from beyond time and space but that is sort of an aside."

It would be a general ability with the cherry KILL IT WITH HYDRAULICS - spend 3 points to guarantee that a usable heavy machine will be in the scene which can be used to fight or block a mythos threat. Feed those Dark Young tentacles into an industrial grinder or stop a Cthonian with a bulldozer. 

Jace911

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2015, 05:54:31 PM »
Ruin is the architectural horror gumshoe engine rpg I plan to make.


Will Operate Heavy Machinery be an Investigative Skill in this gunshoe variant?

Player: "I spend one point in Operate Heavy Machinery"
GM: "The Bulldozer is a Caterpillar Model #2309 which was only sold in Europe so seeing it here in South America is certainly unusual. Also they are not normally covered in the blood of creatures from beyond time and space but that is sort of an aside."

It would be a general ability with the cherry KILL IT WITH HYDRAULICS - spend 3 points to guarantee that a usable heavy machine will be in the scene which can be used to fight or block a mythos threat. Feed those Dark Young tentacles into an industrial grinder or stop a Cthonian with a bulldozer.

Not to be confused with the cherry GET AWAY FROM HER YOU BITCH, which grants you a 3 point refresh to Operate Heavy Machinery after narrating a brief snippet of your character making use of heavy machinery in combat.

Kamen

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2015, 07:51:45 PM »
Ruin is the architectural horror gumshoe engine rpg I plan to make.


Will Operate Heavy Machinery be an Investigative Skill in this gunshoe variant?

Player: "I spend one point in Operate Heavy Machinery"
GM: "The Bulldozer is a Caterpillar Model #2309 which was only sold in Europe so seeing it here in South America is certainly unusual. Also they are not normally covered in the blood of creatures from beyond time and space but that is sort of an aside."

It would be a general ability with the cherry KILL IT WITH HYDRAULICS - spend 3 points to guarantee that a usable heavy machine will be in the scene which can be used to fight or block a mythos threat. Feed those Dark Young tentacles into an industrial grinder or stop a Cthonian with a bulldozer.

Not to be confused with the cherry GET AWAY FROM HER YOU BITCH, which grants you a 3 point refresh to Operate Heavy Machinery after narrating a brief snippet of your character making use of heavy machinery in combat.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCV:_Battle_Construction_Vehicles

crawlkill

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2015, 03:11:51 AM »
Listening to the first Killsplosion playtest on the B-Sides, I thought it was in some ways more a "boardless board game"  than a pure RPG. the absoluteness of the settings and definiteness of what could be accomplished in a turn put me in that headspace. I think it could work great as a card game, if you've got the stats to work it out. maybe players would draw from powerpoint decks to keep track of their pools at the start and when they got refreshes in-game, and some of the cards would be wild surprises? I imagine you've given this some thought already.

Twisting H

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2015, 01:47:24 PM »
Ruin is the architectural horror gumshoe engine rpg I plan to make.

If Ruin happens to be about abandoned places and discovery I stumbled across a couple of news stories in my daily reading that may be interesting/inspiring:

http://www.viralnova.com/explored-office-building-gallery/

Dude explores an abandoned building that is attached to his town hall and discovers an abandoned dance hall, and below that abandoned jail cells.

 http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/05/travel/gallery/mobile-architecture-homes/

New concept houses, including houses on rails (overpriced boxcars). 

Also a story.  I'm sure you are familiar with every college/university having its share of forgotten places and hidden rooms. 

MIT's underground tunnels are likely the most famous. Supposedly they connect every building.

http://tech.mit.edu/V123/N36/36orange.36n.html

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/blogs/thenextgreatgeneration/2012/03/school_secrets_5_things_to_kno_4.html

http://weburbanist.com/2010/04/14/hack-this-eerie-abandoned-roof-tunnel-hacking-pics/

The last is a great article about Urban Ex around the world.

Now for a couple stories.

UC Irvine was founded in 1965. As the story goes, the UC Regents witnessed the chaos of student rebellion during the 1960s and they were determined to design the university to prevent mass student gatherings from happening. If you look at an overhead map of UCI there is technically no center gathering point.  Yes there is a large circle in the middle but that is built on half a hill with rocks and elevation everywhere; no real large place for students across disciplines to gather.

Then there are stories about the tunnels. Those who claim they have explored them say there are empty rooms littered underground with one or two computer terminals quietly humming and a desk. The purpose? In the event of a mass gathering or panic (Ken State sniper, terrorist attack, Russians), these are the go to places for campus security to monitor the situation and deploy from.  Trust the UC Regents. The Regents are your friend.

In a university that shall remain nameless there is a six story building.  This building was erected five or six decades ago and houses several research labs.  On the roof is a lab that is closed.  One man on the sixth floor holds the key.  As the story goes a lab had need of extra space to carry out experiments with radioactive isotopes.  Most labs just have a room for this work, but this lab was important so it got the entire top floor lab.  Times change and newer methods were developed for the work that did not require radioactive isotopes.  Once the experiments stopped, the rooms were used for storage.  Now it lies silent and forgotten, the man on the sixth floor having the only key to the roof.  Supposedly there is graffiti of a chemical nature by grad students of ages past on the very top when the lab was open during the 60s.

At UC Berkeley there are secure facilities that take up an entire floor to house small animals for research. One is underground and another is on the top floor of a five story building. I got to tour one once, and they are very maze like, white walls and white doors with few signs. In the frog room (which is deafening) there is this massive kiddy pool, the plastic kind people buy to put on their lawn in the summer, that housed one population of frogs.  The other were in these super large open bathtubs, just being frogs.  Of course the rumor is one room hold crocodiles some professor was working on, but I'm pretty sure that is a joke.

At Hopkins there are these underground tunnels (they look very uninteresting, just blank white corridors) and balconies that connect research labs with the medical center.  I believe I was told they were built for transportation during bad weather and for security since the medical center is in a less than safe area.

Edit: 

You probably already know all the details about this, but here is an article about the tunnels under Manhattan.
This may be of interest for Aaron too for his Mordiggian adventure.   

Choice quote:

Quote
Until that moment, I had only heard tales of New York City’s invisible empire, an elaborate maze of tunnels that goes as deep as the Chrysler Build­ing is high. Under construction in one form or another for more than a cen­tury, the system of waterways and pipelines spans thousands of miles and comprises nineteen reservoirs and three lakes. Two main tunnels provide New York City with most of the 1.3 billion gallons of water it consumes each day, ninety per cent of which is pumped in from reservoirs upstate by the sheer force of gravity.

http://www.gonomad.com/1757-six-hundred-feet-below-manhattan-a-visit-to-the-land-of-the-sandhogs

Now I recall seeing a tv show about the guys who work in these depths. It was maybe 15 years ago and on 60 minutes or 20/20.  The most compelling memory I have of the show was that they had to take an elevator down and even with lights some areas had just massive expanses of total blackness.  I may be misremembering.

If I recall correctly there is also a Native American myth about the island of Manhattan being supported by a giant pillar under the earth.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 04:39:53 PM by Twisting H »

clockworkjoe

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2015, 09:12:05 PM »
Nice! I've done a ton of inspirational research for Ruin and I've talked about it at some length in our GDW episodes. I'm currently working on a playtest setting based on the Night Clerk AP and I should be able to playtest it at Gen Con this year.

Twisting H

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2015, 08:30:29 PM »
Hahahaha, I love the news.  :'(

I saw the following and had two branching ideas.

Straight from CNN: Dean at Boston high school arrested, accused of shooting student in the head

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/06/us/boston-dean-student-shooting/index.html

Quote
A dean at a Boston public high school has been fired after he allegedly shot one of his students in the head.

In addition to his work as "dean of academy" at English High School, Shaun Harrison ran a marijuana distribution enterprise, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Bradley said in a news release.

His victim was a 17-year-old student he had allegedly hired to sell marijuana for him, Bradley said at an arraignment hearing Thursday.
....

The 55-year-old had been employed with Boston Public Schools in various roles since 2010.

He had been at English High School since January 5, where as "dean of academy," he "provided services like finding housing for homeless students or social services or disciplinary alternatives to suspension," said Denise Snyder, a representative for Boston Public Schools.

His employment has been "terminated effective immediately," Snyder said.  ::)

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Groover is the pastor at Charles Street AME Church, where he said Harrison attended services for 10 years before leaving in 2012. He said the allegations against Harrison aren't consistent with the man he knows.

And the police have this on video, allegedly.

So this got me thinking. Let's assume this is a fictional character.  Here is a ready made villain easy to insert into Caleb's No Soul Left Behind campaign. A charismatic drug Kingpin-like character who works within the school system to run a criminal enterprise. The fact that the character is a school administrator and reverend are simply check marks on the list for top ballot Hall of Fame bad guy.

Thinking about the cops and robbers aspect a bit further, I was curious why I haven't seen an RPG that focuses on the drama of the legal system. 

Specifically, why not design a game that focuses on players in a 1990's Law and Order world focusing on criminal cases. You could have chain of custody questions, tampering (or removing) witnesses all sorts of legal procedures and extra legal shenanigans the players would get up to. Just play this on a loop in the background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzJm9vTCff8

Now a short aside, when the Drunk and the Ugly were playing Wives of March, (http://drunkandugly.com/tag/wives-of-march/) the discussion touched on how brilliantly a Cosmic Horror scenario is weaved on a very compelling Dirty World foundation; where questions of probate, fraud and other illegalities are very important for players to understand and capitalize on.

Part of what makes Wives of March so very cool and different (there are several) is that very few games present the player with a legal problem and encourage them to solve it using legal tools. It is a breath of fresh air and it excites players I think.

So why not design a game for players as humans or minor powered individuals as lawyers or part of the legal system in a 1990's Law and Order sense in a Better Angels world or the Base Raiders one?

Ross has already touched on questions of property damage by superpowered characters in Base Raiders podcasts, and there is character Peter Cottontail (sp? the steam punk rabbit lawyer).  Perhaps the players are paralegals in Cottontail's lawfirm.  If the state sues the estate of a dead Superhero for damages (say because the State finds the Estate responsible for releasing deathbots into a subway system) maybe the players have to hire Base Raiders or become Raider themselves to repossess equity.

If the main antagonists are Superpowered beings, I think the design would work best if the players are human or lesser powered individuals in order to emphasize a physical fragility to their character which forces them to turn use the law rather than raw power to resolve situations.  This, of course, is one of the premises behind Call of Cthulhu and most horror games.

In a Better Angel's situation, Caleb mentioned that in No Soul Left Behind, technology was about a 1980s or 90s level because so much government funding had (fruitlessly) gone into trying to research infernal devices. So if a "modern day" legal campaign in a Better Angel's world resembled a 90's Law and Order situation, that's just parallel evolution.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 08:34:02 PM by Twisting H »

Iafhtagn

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2015, 05:44:24 PM »
I get the sense that Delta Green was written with the intention of games focusing a lot more on the legal system, depending on the approach the investigators take. Unfortunately, sufficient rules and setting info for the average GM to focus on evidence and witness tampering just aren't in there.

Speaking of legal issues, the rabbit lawyer's name is Silvertail.

And while Caleb threw out that bit about 90s era tech, the game then included armed Predator drones and "kids are tacnet" with cellphones, not to mention video games being popular with frat kids (not a thing in the 90s) and Ross's alchemy app for his smartphone (which I'm guessing he wouldn't have thought of if smartphones weren't already a common thing).

Twisting H

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Re: Ideas for quick games to design
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2015, 01:13:31 AM »
I get the sense that Delta Green was written with the intention of games focusing a lot more on the legal system, depending on the approach the investigators take. Unfortunately, sufficient rules and setting info for the average GM to focus on evidence and witness tampering just aren't in there.

I think Delta Green focuses more on the legal issues of what alphabet soup department (ATF, FIB, CIA, DEA, etc.) has jurisdiction over an investigation and a crime scene, rather than a courtroom drama or preparing for a trial like I was proposing.   

DG is more exploitation of chain of custody and probable cause to make evidence/people disappear; rather than serving a shoggoth with a subpoena.

I may totally wrong though. There was a DG convention scenario that Adam Scott Glancy was hosting posted somewhere on RPPR where he mentions at the beginning that one of the reasons DG was developed was to give Keepers a way to start off a Cthulhu adventure other than the repetitive "a relative of yours dies and you need to investigate it;" but I don't recall enough of the episode to know if ASG goes into a specific intention to focus on the legal system. 

Revisiting the courtroom drama/investigative type game/system:

I know next to nothing about the American legal system other than spottily watching Law and Order/the Good Wife. But I did learn that in certain cases an Assistant District Attorney would have 3-5 police officers assigned to him to prepare a criminal case.

Naturally, in the back of my mind I'm wondering how this could be turned into a game, because you have management elements and limited resources as both the ADA (limited police to investigate new leads, verify old ones) and as a police (limited time for investigation, various skills that makes some types of investigation more profitable than others) all of which come into play with a very tight deadline of having to bring the case to trial.

I don't know, but I assume that this same arrangement of a managing lawyer and their investigators/paralegals(is it paralegals, what exactly do they do?) occurs in law firms dealing with civil suits.

The more I think about it, the more this mirrors the Mage/grogs set up of Ars Magica. 

Going back to a Peter Silvertail's Lawfirm setting, you could play a group of all investigators for a GM lawyer, a group of lawyer/investigators (taking a page from Ars Magica) or even several lawyers and a few investigators in a common pool available to the lawyers where the investigators have to manage multiple conflicting tasks from the lawyers and the player lawyers compete with each other of the investigator player's time.

Speaking of legal issues, the rabbit lawyer's name is Silvertail.

And while Caleb threw out that bit about 90s era tech, the game then included armed Predator drones and "kids are tacnet" with cellphones, not to mention video games being popular with frat kids (not a thing in the 90s) and Ross's alchemy app for his smartphone (which I'm guessing he wouldn't have thought of if smartphones weren't already a common thing).

Oh god. Good catches on all points, sir. 

I completely forgot the whole predator drone/beersplosion fiasco. Ross is a monster.