Any pen&paper roleplayers here?

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Somnambulist

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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2013, 06:12:43 pm »
Just a quick note - I think we have to acknowledge "classes" will not be balanced. Being a non-Dunyain warrior without a chorae means you are a nothing when compared to a sorcerer of rank.

A sorcerer without a lot of indirect damage opportunities is also very vulnerable against chorae. And everyone human is probably fucked if a fighter/mage nonman shows up.

This isn't a bad thing IMO, as it gets away from balancing obsessions that can break attempts at simulation. Though adventuring in the wastes sort of loses its appeal...

Perhaps PCs who aren't mages are granted one chorae and 1-3 lesser cohorts?

I agree.  A major factor in the series is how unequal the world is.  'Balancing' the game would fly straight in the face of that, thus negating the Earwan-ness of the whole idea.  As you mentioned before, perhaps perks can be granted to players to increase their survivability and make it more playable.  But maybe that should be the disclaimer for those unfamiliar with the setting (and to steal a line from Madness' signature):  Earwa - A Thousand Thousand Ways to Die.  Die Better!  :)
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2013, 11:21:17 pm »
@ Somnambulist - Check for the srd of Mongoose Runequest 1 or Openquest srd. Those games are very similar.

I've downloaded the Mongoose SRD and am going through it now.  Looks promising so far.
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Kellais

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« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2013, 02:03:51 pm »
Absolutely agree on the balance issue. There is just no way you can do that and still call it true to the source.

@ Somna - Just know that RQ 1 is similar but not as good and refined as RQ 6. They did a lot of work on this engine via Mongoose Runequest 2 and then RQ 6.

@ Callan - I really think it could be interesting to talk about this stuff, Callan. But as it stands now, i have not much to go on. You remain very vague about what you want to see in a game that it's not "a shot in the dark" etc. . Maybe open up an own thread in this subforum for discussion of design and focus in RPGs? I'd be interested to see your ideas on what a RPG needs but, to be honest, i am not that keen on reading more rants (i could start a rant-marathon as well, believe me! :D ). A more constructive bend to the topic is needed, imo.
And just to throw some names of Indie-Games at you (that i have tried) : FATE, Cortex + (both quite traditional in the end), My life with Master, Burning Wheel, The Riddle of Steel, Fiasco, Apocalypse World, Lady Blackbird, How we came to live here, In a wicked Age ... there are more but some names elude me atm . And maybe i should have said Forge-Games in my last post on the topic instead of the very broad Indie-Games term.
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sologdin

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« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2013, 07:03:03 pm »
balance is an odd obsession in these games. but: the point of it is to make all the options at least plausibly attractive. why would anyone roll up something other than an inchie dunyain mandati, yaknow?

sciborg2

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« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2013, 07:46:52 pm »
balance is an odd obsession in these games. but: the point of it is to make all the options at least plausibly attractive. why would anyone roll up something other than an inchie dunyain mandati, yaknow?

Well that is a problem if the point of an Earwa game is D&D style adventuring with a combat focus.

Though even with Cleric in tow, the scalpers were useful despite only the Captain possessing a Chorae.


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Somnambulist

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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2013, 08:19:15 pm »
I find these things to be self-regulating.  Usually, a group of gamers is made up of like-minded people (or they wouldn't likely game together).  If they all want to draw up Inchies and try to bring about the Second Apocalypse, why not?  Likewise, if they want to portray 'good guys' to try to stop said Apocalypse, the goal then becomes overcoming the big, bad, nasty super-powered lich and his hordes of sranc and pet Inchie.  Pretty epic either way.  GMs and players tend to equalize these things themselves in ways that suit their play-style.  But I agree in a way, making it attractive to be a caste-menial foot-soldier might be a hard sell.  Goes back to what you said earlier, sci, about having some mechanic in place to benefit the PCs (white luck, artifacts, nonman blood, whatever), make them a little more hardy than the typical schlub on the streets of Momemn.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 08:52:05 pm »
There is some self regulation, though there are groups that meet up at hobby stores or via online 'personals' that have to contend with disparate interest.

Though I do think the World Conspiring idea offers a chance to make all characters interesting. Not to mention allowing people to play in scenarios that go beyond the dungeon crawling ideas that D&D is rooted in.

eta:

For example being involved in political power plays can allow for a witch practicing under the eyes of the Scarlet Spires to be as interesting a PC as a Mandate Schoolman.

There's also shifting the timeline, so that Nonmen and humans are interacting far more.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 08:54:02 pm by sciborg2 »
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Callan S.

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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2013, 10:41:19 pm »
Kellais, like I said
Quote
figure out what the group will actually be doing and, preferably, enjoying.
What do the players do at the table? Do they sit and listen to the GM's awesome, prewritten story, occasionally rolling dice though the GM will make sure those dice rolls wont do anything to detract from the awesome story? From personal experience, this seems to be somehow the default that traditional games fall into. If it's groovy for folks, then whatever - I'd just prefer that people decide if they will be doing that, instead of just fall into it without actually deciding to do so.

Frankly for myself I'm gamist inclined, also with an inclination towards moral problematism play with no pre-written plot (players don't have their characters act so as to support 'the plot' - how the PC's act IS the plot). Sometime known as narrativism.

Did you play the riddle of steel using the spiritual attribute system in it? Riddle of steel is uncanny in how sharply it seperates play, in whether they go just the combat rules and kinda ignore or actively decide not to use the spiritual attributes, Vs groups who full on embrace the spiritual attributes.

If we were to look at moral problematism as the point of playing (not a thing we do in play, but THE reason we play), I'd look at rewards systems for players both giving their characters moral issues ('I sold my child into slavery!') and getting points for engaging in them during play.

For gamism, I'd be looking towards what anyone is prepared to say is winning the world (close the gates to the gods?)

Nar or gamism, I'm fine with a movement toward either.

Somnambulist

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« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2013, 11:15:03 pm »
What do the players do at the table? Do they sit and listen to the GM's awesome, prewritten story, occasionally rolling dice though the GM will make sure those dice rolls wont do anything to detract from the awesome story? From personal experience, this seems to be somehow the default that traditional games fall into. If it's groovy for folks, then whatever - I'd just prefer that people decide if they will be doing that, instead of just fall into it without actually deciding to do so.

This all comes down to preference, and to a great extent the abilities of players and GMs alike.  Some people like to have the GM do all the work and take them on an adventure, whereas others like to do whatever they want and let the GM arbitrate.  Most of my game experience in the last decade has been as a GM.  My personal preference is to provide setting and opportunity and let the players do as they wish.  Not all GMs are like that.  One I played with recently just couldn't think on his feet, every time one of us players did something outside the scope of his 'planned' adventure, everything came to a grinding halt.  Players should never be able to tell what's planned and what's improvised.  But that's all down to the GM, I'm afraid.  I would also add that good players will know the difference, and be able to adapt.

So, all things being (un)equal, my approach to this whole shebang is to provide a solid framework in which to allow the depth of the setting to show through.  How it's used is completely another issue.  My 2 cents spent.
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Kellais

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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2013, 03:56:32 pm »
Callan,

I agree with your last line of the first paragraph.
The problem with the rest of the first paragraph is that you cannot build rules around something that is that vague. You can't write rules that provide everything for everyone...just flat out impossible. Therefore i prefer if the rules are as lean as possible as to enable you to play what you want without forcing any one playstyle, even if only indirectly...and this is where many Forge/Indie games fall flat. They have one agenda, most of the time...and they do it well (again most of the time) but if you do not want to play along to that agenda, the game sucks big time. And maybe that is ok. I just don't think the artifical splitting of GNS in totally seperate categories that some of the strongest Forge proponents wanted is a good idea...because most often, at the game-ing table, you have all three of them in constantly changing percentages.
Oh and as an addendum: I don't think that this
Quote
this seems to be somehow the default that traditional games fall into
is true. This is a problem of "use at the table" or "playstyle" ... that is not something inherent to traditional rulesset!

Anyway, as you, i most often enjoy it more if i know that i have perfect freedom as to what my character can do. Problem is, as Somna said, some GMs can not handle that. And, to name another possibility, there are GMs that are so good in "writing" a story, that you will enjoy the ride and most often not even perceive it that you are following a prewritten script (or at least you will not mind, because his way is the way you would have taken anyway).
I also enjoy moral dilemmas and the last couple of years of my gameing were very geared toward playing "a realistic setting with shades of grey...and not happy-go-lucky cheesy happy end fantasy wishfullfilment". On the other hand, there are people who want to game for happy wishfullfillment...and that is NOT bad-wrong fun. It's just that they want something totally different from me.

Anyway, my problem with the GNS is that if you go on the internet and start throwing those names around, there are so many different definitions of it as there are posters. Because lets face it, internet-folks are not the most rigorous when it comes to the discussions of hobbies.
So if we want to discuss Design and throw around special words, i think we should define them in the thread. What do you think narrativism means? Or gamism? Just so we are on the same page.

And i would urge you, if you are interested in discussing that, to make a new thread for it. I think this thread is already too mixed up with other themes to have a usefull discussion.

As a last comment, i dig systems that give mechanical incentive for motivations and their use in play. So yes, spiritual attributes in TRoS were really something. FATE has its Aspects that fill a similar role, Cortex + has Distinctions etc. . And that is something i can see having in a TSA rpg. It makes your character more than just a simulation of physical and mental capabilities and i dig that.

@ Somna - I wholeheartedly agree with your post. So time to "repay" you with a +1 ;)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 04:04:12 pm by Kellais »
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Callan S.

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« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2013, 12:51:54 am »
Quote
You can't write rules that provide everything for everyone...just flat out impossible.
I don't mention this as a goal. This isn't something I'm bringing to the discussion!

Quote
Therefore i prefer if the rules are as lean as possible as to enable you to play what you want without forcing any one playstyle, even if only indirectly
Okay, here it is - your design goal, which is an optional design goal. Okay, you could have a design goal of lean rules (so as to not force any one playstyle). But you don't have to.

I think you're coming from the long lost desire to make a game that provides everything for everyone, then failing that, opting to try and make it lean so people aren't forced to a playstyle and somehow everyones playstyle is supported (by the means of no ones playstyle is supported). The next best thing, when the 'for everyone' goal proved impossible.

I'd just like to highlight the choice for folk, instead of thinking this is the only option. It is possible, for example, to have three prince of nothing RPGs (and even more than that), all of which take on the material in a different way (supporting different playstyles, like GNS broadly outlines different styles). There is no need to make one PON RPG that supports every playstyle (by not supporting any). You can make multiple games which support your own groups playstyle really well.

Or folk could opt for lean rules that do not force a particular playstyles - but at the same time they do not support a particular playstyle either.

Just wanted folk to know there IS a B choice, even if they still choose A in the end. There isn't just A and only A. There's really no need to argue on this - if folk are choosing A, it's just a matter of choosing that and that's cool (and I've had my chance to pitch B, which is my contribution to the design process)

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« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2013, 07:41:18 am »
From my experience:
The more rules the better! 
You just ignore the ones you don't want to use.  We used to drag 12 hardback rulebooks around and only used like 10-20%.
Alter or steal mechanics from other games if they work for your group.  We incorporated Fate points from the old Bond RPG into D&D and used a modified system for elemental sorcery that we devised ourselves.  GM has fiat but anyone can suggest stuff out.
As long as the GM is consistent with the players and can engage them, everyone is happy.
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Madness

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« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2013, 12:52:49 pm »
 
You just ignore the ones you don't want to use.  We used to drag 12 hardback rulebooks around and only used like 10-20%.

Dragging around a bunch of books everyday when I only reference a 5th of their content is, like, my favorite pastime ;).

Quote
You can't write rules that provide everything for everyone...just flat out impossible.
I don't mention this as a goal. This isn't something I'm bringing to the discussion!

Probably time for him to make a more specific thread and move past generalities but Kellais did start this thread in the hopes of actually designing TSA Edition of P&P RPG versus endlessly debating why whichever version of rolling dice doesn't work for TSA.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2013, 09:03:02 pm »
I'm willing to try and learn about a new system, though ideally this means whatever system is picked is not overly rules heavy.  ;D

(I'm assuming we're not trying to make a rules system from scratch, but feel free to correct me.)
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sologdin

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« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2013, 01:00:54 pm »
a rules system for an RSB RPG has to change such that particular configuration of the material content transforms its formal axiomatics, like benjuka.