Saturday, December 12, 2009

Power 19 (11-15)

11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?

Resolving combat is exceptionally fast-paced, without sacrificing a feeling of involvement or struggle. It's very easy to learn and integrates neatly with the 'golden die' reward system. The 'golden die' system of character rewards mean than the GM has something they can actually do to reward good roleplaying which doesn't advance one player's effectiveness permanently beyond the others. The number of dice rolls is kept low, the reason for rolling dice is always clear. The game is balanced so that you don't need to roll for something trivial, and you can never use high results to do crazy / incomprehensible things. (well, I should never say never, I'm sure someone will find a way)

12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?

Yep, advancement is key. They advance by growing in ability. Over time, awakened characters either direct their magical talents inwards (increasing strength, fighting ability, negotiating skills etc) or towards gaining magical spells and abilities. Most games have an aspect of "but a person just couldn't do that!" about them. In Mythology, I've chosen to make this a part of the game setting.

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

I hesitate to call statistical improvements 'advancements' since I don't want to put down other aspects of advancement in people. Characters definitely become more capable over time. It's great fun to have a character which is great at some task. However, unless that capability is earned, it's not as real. If someone is told, "okay, your starting character is so powerful they can crush almost any opponent", then the entertainment value from being that powerful is pretty low. The novelty wears off when it becomes apparent that the game offers no challenges, no structure and no restrictions. The opportunity for growth through experience is really important. Ideally, character advancement should be fast enough to give players a sense of achievement, but slow enough that managing their level-ups is not a full time job! Each new ability should be gained, practised and enjoyed before the next new thing comes along.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?

Above all, a sense of having great fun by being caught up in the action.

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?

The character archetypes have received a lot of attention, as have the conflict mechanics. But this initial design work should be invisible. In playing the game, the extra attention and colour should be in the interesting things the characters can do, and the fascination that the game world holds for the players.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Combat mechanic

Two equally-level-matched opponents enter the fray. They each have some initiative value determining who 'goes first'. If you have the initiative on someone else, you get a +1 bonus.

When you attack someone, you could both get hurt. You both roll a dice pool according to your abilities. For example, a fighter character with a sword and light armour who is pretty good might roll 3d6 + 2, plus another one if they have the initiative.

Whoever loses takes the difference in damage.

Lower-level NPC opponents take the average in order to speed up the combat, but every NPC party always has one 'leader' who rolls every test opposed.

Character ability determines the number of dice
Weapon type determines the number of sides per die
Weapon reach, initiative and armor provide simple +1 modifiers to the total

Better armor isn't just a health buffer. Armor allows you to fight more confidently, be more aggressive and less defensive, and so contributes to your ability to inflict damage through increased general combat effectiveness.

This approach will mean that instead of taking turns at throwing 'free punches' at eachother, a combatant will need to consider seriously the chance of suffering damage against a superior opponent.

You act in initiative order, but defending an attack (well being engaged in one) takes your action, so people with the highest initiative get to pick their enemy and so could choose to take out weaker opponents first, etc. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Idea for a roleplaying campaign

Take a photocopy of everyone's character sheers every 10 sessions or so. After a long time in the campaign, run a 'flashback' session and get everyone to play with their old character sheets for a session or two!