[TSA P&P RPG] Design discussions aka brainstorming the rules-set

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Kellais

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« on: December 01, 2013, 05:23:11 pm »
As the title suggests, this will be a thread for discussing the rules for a TSA rpg. For now, this is a brainstorming thread. If we come to a decision or at least close to one, we can open up a construction thread.

I wanted to take this out of the general rpg roleplayers thread because it needs focus (no pun intended ;) ). And the other thread is supposed to be a thread for just babbling about p&p game in general.

So here it is.

As already mentioned, as of now, i think that Runequest 6 would be solid basis for a TSA rpg, if we want to go the route of "take an existing system and tweak it" (instead of developing a custom made rulesset on our own). It is a relatively oldschool rpg with new paint that has a very well rounded rules-frame, imo.
I could see a more storytelling oriented game-engine as well. So FATE or Cortex+ are contenders if others think they are better suited to "replicate" the story-structure of Scott's work.

I am always torn between a more crunchy system that can simulate the realities of a given world versus a system that better models the kind of stories that you see in said world *sigh* Oh well. Maybe you guys and gals have some opinions about that?

Let's hear them.
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sologdin

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 11:32:03 pm »
what's the setting? cuno-inchie wars? ceneian empire? first apocalypse?

Kellais

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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 11:41:17 pm »
That would be the topic for the setting thread ;)
To be honest, i want them all as playground. This is why i hope that we can activate the TSA forum hive mind ;) Put together an as-complete-as-we-can-make-it setting guide.

But as said, that should be an own thread and not discussed in here (or only tangential if it directly translates to rule tweaks).
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Kellais

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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 03:04:30 pm »
Hmm so not much ideas around about the rules, i see.

Does this mean no existing rules set seems appropriate to you guys?

Are you guys interested and willing to hammer out a custom rulesset for this? It's a lot of work! But it could be very gratifying if we succeed.

As my first recommendation was RQ6, i was thinking a bit about the magic system. RQ is a skillbased game (that means almost all dice rolls are based on skills you have) so i think that for sorcery, we would generate a language skill (Earwa's magic is meaning based after all and is transportet via a dead language) that characters would have to learn to cast sorcery. Together with the Pow attribute (that stands for you strength of soul and will) it generates the percentage that you will have to roll under to succeed.
Now i think we would need to base the different schools on different skills (surely anagogic schools have a different way of doing things than the gnostic school etc etc ) and maybe it'd be even a different cost to raise the different skills (for i get the impression that the gnosis is more difficult to learn...but it packs more punch if you do). So you'd need more skillpoints for the language of the old nonmen and the gnostic way but it would earn you more powerfull "spells" if you achieve the same level as a anagogic sorcerer etc. .

Is that something you'd want as well? Or do you rate balance higher?
And as my reading of the PoN and the Appendix is a looong time past, am i even making sense or am i talking nonsense  :o ;D
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 03:26:16 pm »
Does this mean no existing rules set seems appropriate to you guys?


Sorry, Kellais.  Not at all.  Just honestly haven't had a lot of time to parse the RQ ruleset.  Still looking forward to doing it.  Pesky work.   :)
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sciborg2

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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2013, 07:54:10 pm »
Still interested.

I've been busy on some other stuff. I'll give the RQ rules a look.
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 04:00:06 pm »
Gave the RQ6 ruleset a cursory look-through. When time allows, I will do a more in-depth review, but a few initial thoughts for now.

Generally, it seems to evoke a compatible flavor to Earwa.  The rules already have caste structures in place and it seems relatively easy to mod those to Bakkerverse specific roles.  I like the societal structures (barbarian, civilized, etc.) along with the lists of professions available to each strata.  Probably need some tweaking there, but the framework exists, so that's good.  Earwan tribes will need to be built in (obviously), maybe as another strata above the afore-mentioned societal structures, but that's just detail.

The background options are a great idea.  I didn't read through all of them, but I imagine most can be used 'as is' while others will need to be modified or maybe substituted.  Again, just detail.

The Luck mechanic seems cool, and echoes what a couple of us have brought up (i.e., about the survivability of PCs), and appears to be readily malleable to accommodate White-Luck, divine favor or maybe even probability trance-like bonuses toward encounters.

I like the several approaches to magic/runes.  Maybe modding the terminology from 'runes' to something more world-specific, but in effect using the same sort of mechanic to build cants/wards for the various disciplines (gnosis, anagogis, psukhe, etc.).  Seems we could build the power/effect levels through those, but I may have read that wrong, so please correct me if I have.  Anyway, seems promising, along with the cults/organizations, as a way to distinguish the different Schools.

All in all, at first blush, this definitely seems to be something I can get behind in terms of providing a framework for an Earwan ruleset.  As I mentioned, I'll need to read deeper, but I thinks it's ticking a lot of boxes (for me, at least) already.  Great recommend, Kellais!
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Kellais

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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 06:49:35 pm »
This makes me quite happy to hear. I was not sure if someone else would see this the samw way i do but you summed up pretty nicely how i felt about RQ6. I will have to do a more in depth read through as well but i held off until i got at least a second opinion. So if you could see working with this rulesset, I'd be on board as well.
What i like about RQ6 is that it provides a not too dense and heavy set of rules but has enough meat to model quite a lot of stuff nonetheless.
As i already said, i could totally see us go with a more narrately oriented rulesset like FATE or Cortex+, putting the story before the reality, so to speak. But if we want to go with a more simulationist approach, i think we could do worse than with RQ6.

I guess we should soon decide which side we want to walk so that we can start with concrete rulesinterpretations for Earwa (btw i like your tribes add-on idea, Somna).

So, can all readers of this thread that are interested to take part in this please speak up an decide which approach they'd prefer!
I'm trapped in Darkness
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"GoT is TSA's less talented but far more successful step-brother" - Wilshire

Francis Buck

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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 07:32:24 am »
I've never truly played a P&P RPG in my life (I grew up with video games and the Pokemon TCG, the latter of which I played with my dad, lol). He acutally got really into it with me, despite knowing nothing of Pokemon whatsoever beyond the card game. I suppose he just enjoyed the actual gameplay, so to speak...good childhood memory actually now that I think of it, heh.

But, I did have two D&D Monster Manuals, because I was a proto-geek and, you know, fucking loved fantasy monsters, and then used it for "writing inspiration" as a middle-schooler (which, at that time, just meant I would make up absurd fantasy worlds with plots stolen from shit like Jackie Chan Adventures). But yeah, I read the hell out of those monster descriptions, the societies, the powers, everything. Then I finally tried to actuallly play D&D with my dad, using one of the starter kits, and we literally did one "session" (barely an hour), and then had to stop for whatever reason, and we just never tried again. I'm absolutely certain that if I genuinely tried a P&P, and learned it, I'd fucking love it. And there's no setting I'd rather do it in than TSA (I've seriously fantasized about TSA video game RPGs).

So yeah, no clue what I could possibly contribute - I mean just reading this thread I only kinda grasp maybe half of what you guys are talking about - but at the same time I'd love to at least dip my toes in it if I could, though I wouldn't know where to begin really. I love worldbuilding (be it small or large scale; from an isolated tribal village with a unique culture to an entire cosmos), and writing/storytelling is my passion, so if someone could point me in the right creative direction, I'd love to be involved.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 07:36:56 am by Francis Buck »

Madness

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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 01:53:10 pm »
Break out those manuals and read up? (I've never played either, FB - my two attempts never got past creating characters with a bunch of other newbs and an impatient DM; we were also much more into videogames/boardgames... or just straight cards).
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 02:12:03 pm »
So, can all readers of this thread that are interested to take part in this please speak up an decide which approach they'd prefer!

I personally have not played any 'story-telling' type games, so I wouldn't have much to contribute if it goes that route.  My preference would be for the 'simulation' brand, as that's where my particular interest lies.

FB, creative writing is paramount for pnp rpg games as you don't have the interface of a video game to show you the world you're in.  Flavor and ambience are literally given through word and illustration.  So even if you're unfamiliar with the mechanics of rulesets, there's absolutely a need for people who can write and 'show'  the world to the players.
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Kellais

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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 03:49:04 pm »
Francis, maybe in this case you can help us write up and collect all the data for the world of TSA? I know it is not very creative, but we need that as well ;)
On the other hand, if you are also very interested to take part in here, why not purchase the rules (there is a pdf option that is not as expensive as a printed book) of RQ6 and read through them?
There are also rules that are very similar to RQ6 and are free. Google for Openquest srd or Legend srd (with the legend srd you have to pay attention...there are possibly two games that have that name and an srd...we are talking about the one which is a percentile dice system, not the 20 sided die variant).

Hope that helps. If you need more pointers, just post in here or send me a PM.

Somna, as we do not have that much input from other members, i guess we should just go ahead and try to work with RQ6. It seems the first interest has already died down and the overall interest is negligible (as you predicted, Madness ;) ).
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"GoT is TSA's less talented but far more successful step-brother" - Wilshire

Somnambulist

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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 04:46:17 pm »
Kellais, sounds good.  The holidays are upon us and I'm stretched, but still reading through RQ6 as and when I can.  Bit slow going atm, but hopefully will be able to contribute something more worthwhile in the relatively near future.  The ideas are there but the time is not.  :)
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Madness

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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 04:17:18 am »
It seems the first interest has already died down and the overall interest is negligible (as you predicted, Madness ;) ).

It'll come, Kellais. We're the early adopters posting on the forum at this point. Someday, Bakker's gonna blow up in terms of people paying attention. I feel it 8).

I have very little interest in playing but I will definitely help in the FB capacity and do some clerical writings :).
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 04:53:20 am »
I think the series will take off once it's completed, personally. Whether or not it will ever become super-mega-popular, I do not know, but I have no doubt that, say, maybe ten years or so down the road, TSA will be looked upon as one of greatest achievements in the genre. I thik it's kind of inevitable, honestly.