As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread:

Discard 2020, and get into [game design]!



  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    @Endless_Serpents you get 2 traits with the limitation that you can only pick one of the traits that messes with your stats (they are pretty clearly incompatible anyway). There's a few that are negative and those buy you 2 extra ones.

    Originally I was using broad categories with +1 to a stat and some kind of power/rules exception/ability for each category (so like: insects, predator mammals, birds, herbivores) but it both felt not customizable enough given how many animals exist, and I also wanted to avoid some of the more... problematic... aspects that come with going "All deer are smart but weak". Plus like, if someone wants to play something weird like a hybrid animal, or a dragon or something it feels kinda lame to be like "Well I donno pick 'lizard' that's close enough to dragon"

    I still really wanted to have cool individual animal powers like, "I'm a hawk so I have wings, or I'm a hippo so I'm super tough" and it makes sense that like, different species are going to have different physical stuff going, on but this way you can kinda do whatever. And also honestly, if you want to play a giant rabbit with big claws.... that's kind of cool too.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Thanks for the reply. Good stuff! It’s a tough call but I’m glad you went with that, mainly because in the rare case of players all playing the same animal (siblings etc) it’ll be nice to make it your own.


    I’ll save time posting about Damage and just post a link. This’ll be an active document for it. Main changes are it uses a regular chess sized board now, both because I need more space with the pawns having a range out to 2 spaces usually and because I can just use a chess board and pieces to play it.

    I might fork out for little portraits from an artist if I finish it, just a head in a circle sort of deal.

    Onto my softy softy rules light fairytale story game which might be called ‘The Wyrm Worlds Cycle’, at least until after teatime.

    It’s an especially narrative driven game, and I’ve laid bare at lot of what I want out of a roleplaying game. It doesn’t pretend to be anything but a bunch of people play-acting for their amusement, and other than rolling dice there’s little to no numbers, no +1-ing, you know?
    I want it to play out like a sketchy movie, basically, with players onboard to do the most fun thing, not the tactically best idea.

    As such it has plot tokens, which are used to pull the story around, like dodge death or getting a civil audience with a king, or revealing something devastating. It’s got a dice pool system for throwing as much dice at a problem as you want, within reason. And it’s got prompts like ‘ Gullible: You invite others to deceive you. When you believe their lies, act as the fiction demands, and mark experience.’ and for the Beast archetype ‘ Unstoppable: You may spend a plot token to:
    - Breach the unbreakable to reach your goal; armour, castle walls, their lies.’

    Here’s a snippet of the character creation, thoughts? (I’m aware without a full system to look at this is nonsense, so thank you in advance.)

    Create a name, and choose a meaning:
    - Your name is humble and unassuming.
    - Your name is exotic and intriguing.
    - Your name is grim and barbaric.
    - Your name has a historic legacy. Who held it first?
    - Your name has religious significance. Why is that?
    - Your name is highborn, it carries weight. How did your family come to power?
    - Your name is a cover for your birth name. Keep it a secret.
    - Your name is yours alone. Why is that?

    Describe where your character is from, along with any traits, real or rumour, that define your people in your eyes.

    Once per session, you may mark your origin to add a permanent tag to your character before you commit to an action.
    [_] __________
    [_] __________
    [_] __________

    Describe a piece of your history, real or rumour, that defines you in the eyes of others. The Host will introduce at least two groups with differing opinions regarding your reputation.

    When your reputation gets you into or out of trouble, mark experience.

    No one is quite like you. Make a statement that defines only you, setting you apart from everyone else. Your contrast is an important part of the narrative, and the Host will utilise it accordingly.

    At the end of a session, if your contrast drove part of the session forward, crew’s call, take a plot token.

    Choose your initial Archetype.

    ...and here I’ll stop. But that’s it really.

    My idea is you introduce your character, but by starting without tags (bonus die to a suitable roll) you can decide exactly who they are as you progress, rather than off the bat. Likewise, Archetypes aren’t fixed classes, but roles to act out, which are changed at story beats.

    A level 1 character might be a pickpocket by reputation and Fool by archetype, but by level 3 they’re a Heir archetype hero in the rebellion that has awakened their High Elven heritage.

    I am gonna include extensive rules for enemies (single foe, a foe made of parts, swarms treated as a single foe for ease and most importantly what I’m calling ‘superior forces—things you cannot just fight), but I’m focused on the story game bits for now.

    Endless_Serpents on
    MNC DoverMahnmut
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Competition tier list from my lead tester:
    A Tier: Things that move you forward, preferably those that also make you immune
    B Tier: Things that can mess with the player in the lead
    Trash Tier: Literally everything else

    Some suggestions from the group:
    Assassin & Astrologer are OP
    Maybe need more ways to interact with players, like a counter skill or something like that
    The game should reward you to choose the non-obvious option in some way (the players compared it to Bloodborne the Card Game)

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @Albino Bunny
    Way way back you had a flooded world setting in the works. Did anything become of it? It sounded neat!

    I’m going to sea Monday with work so my stuff is on hold for now, but I like where they’re going. My problem has always been losing steam when it gets to the rules clarification and ‘boring’ bits like making it readable in some kind of order; so keeping things as light as possible is the way forward I think.

    I did spend an hour making a convoluted set of mini-backstories and connections between the characters in DAMAGE though, straight out of a 90’s ‘too cool for school to the maxxx’ comic. Did you know Dominar is Matan’s older brother who turned evil? And that the killbot FM-0 was made by Dominar, but convinced to be betray him by Sentinox?

    My priorities in game design are not good.

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    The setting more or less exists in some form in my head and is mostly a less AR centric version of it as existed in this thread.

    As for systems for it my latest maybe attempt is a D6 pool one heavily inspired by Forbidden Lands/Free League's very good shite.

    Mostly it's just bad procastination and the fact that I really want to nail CP2020 style gunfight tension without needing maps or a shit load of rules. Heck I literally just penned some dumb design waffle in a twitter thread:

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Nice one! I’ll give it a read.

    I’ve been using a skeleton version of what I want to end up with for a few months now and I can tell you, dice pools are fun!

    Albino Bunny
  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    I've made absolutely no progress on anything since Christmas. Was really hoping to do some work while I was home for the hollidays but I ended up with the flue for like two weeks instead. I really want to get a first draft PDF together, even if the copy is kind of jank, just so I have a neat little package with art and rules to send players before I start trying to organize a game. But I'm *really* looking forward to testing things out across multiple sessions.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Good luck with it all! What I’ve seen looks like fun so far.

    I’m still plugging away at my (let’s be honest, unnecessary) high fantasy fairytale game, and at the moment I’m taking a break from tweaking the player stuff to make a bestiary.

    My main goal is to be true to a monster as they appeared in legend and tale, and absolutely avoid the D&D version they’ve become. I think this’ll keep them fresh for long-standing role players and give game hosts something new to run.

    But I couldn’t just make little stat blocks, I had to do it the hard way. Every monster in the game has a standard and boss variant, and comes with two story hook locations. This is the goblin so far:
    Group, Devious, Organised, Eldritch
    Instinct: To make a mockery.
    Aspiration: Ruin an innocent life.
    - Strike a shady deal.
    - Offer a gift with a hidden cost.
    - Stab them in the back.
    Rattle: Vanish in a puff of smoke, along with everything they brought.

    [blurb describing goblins]

    Goblin King
    Ruler, Devious, Stealthy, Eldritch
    Instinct: To reveal flaw.
    Aspiration: Bind the good in contract.
    - Tell a misleading or devastating truth.
    - Fulfil a desire with terrible consequences.
    - Reveal a plan on motion.
    Rattle: Become a lesser, mewling thing.

    [blurb describing G.K]

    Goblin Market
    Impulse: To entice.
    - Goblins behind stalls; clamouring for customers or simply sat grinning.
    - Squabbling fae creatures of all descriptions.
    - Thorny weeds and pale flowers encroaching—another world is close.

    Otherwise called the Midnight, Shifting, or Fae Market, this enchanted venue is run by the goblins, and here they peddle their infamous goblin fruit—the effects upon consuming being most strange indeed. Besides that they offer trinkets the likes you’ll find nowhere else; a bottled dream, thread of woven moonlight, a letter from your future lover… that is if you believe a word they say. The price of these wares are unusual too. Perhaps the goblins will ask for a promise, a lock of hair, or a little of your luck.

    The market appears on the queer schedule of the goblins in the place of their choosing, and few customers are more than hapless folk drawn in while out journeying to elsewhere. It’s rare that those seeking the market find it twice, especially if they’re unhappy with a deal struck with these maniacal merchants.

    Just as the Goblin Market appears, it’s gone by dawn, as if it never was, along with the goblins, with naught but a cruel cackle on the wind to say they had ever been.

    Decadent Charade
    Impulse: To lead astray.
    - A door peeling into existence from crumbling masonry.
    - Eyes in the dark—there and gone.
    - Opulence in decay, the archaic twisted and given strange purpose.

    There is a castle that doesn’t exist and within its walls the goblin king resides over their goblin kin. The halls are illusionary, a mirage that can be touched (always cold, like damp stone), a ruse that masks a no doubt sinister visage. It’s true shape and dimensions cannot be foreseen.

    There might be a courtyard that leads out to a hedge maze or orchard of precious goblin fruit—it’s never quite the same, even within the same night—and it’s always night here.

    Up the spiralling stone staircases and across the decadent halls the goblins scheme and riddle, carouse and… find more malicious ways to pass the time… Woe to those that find themselves invited, and greater sorrows for those that dare to trespass!

    To clarify: Rattle, as in death rattle, are what happen when you slay a monster. A final move of sorts; the dragon bleeds it’s raw element and spoils the land, for example.

    It’ll be tough, but in my opinion way more useful for running the game than just the stat blocks. You’re no beholden to use it all, but in a pinch you can pick a page and you’ve got your enemies, the boss fight, and couple places for the session to happen in.

    Last thing, places have impulses the way monsters have instincts. They’re roleplaying prompts for the host—not sure what to do? Well, they’re in a desert and it’s impulse is cause scarcity, so tell them the water is low, or maybe those people on the horizon will kill for food, or just show the poverty of the place.

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Because of how the story went, there is a temporary second party in the game I run. I had a lot of fun designing a simpler "D&D Essentials" set of characters, one of whom is an alchemist with a mix list inspired by my replay of FFX/X-2. I thought it would take me way longer to come up with them, but since I decided to make the majority of skills have simple and obvious effects with no conditional effects, I powered through it in one evening.

    The only thing the player is getting is the list of names, and they have to choose 3 items to be able to mix.
    Potion: Ranged heal
    Bomb: Ranged area damage
    Battery: Ranged damage + damage debuff
    Shard: Strong melee attack
    Slime: Cleanse + buff
    Fuel: Ranged damage + burn
    Repulsor: Ranged push
    Drone: Create a drone that can attack at range or in melee

    Potion +

    Potion: Mega-Potion: Big heal, low range
    Bomb: Mist Bomb: Area heal + regen
    Battery: Jolt Potion: Target may basic attack or move
    Shard: Steelskin Potion: Strong defense against one attack
    Slime: Cleansing Potion: Cleanse + heal
    Fuel: Enflame Potion: Damage buff + inflict burn with attacks
    Repulsor: Wall Potion: Creates a damage-blocking field around the target for one round
    Drone: Recovery Drone: A drone that can heal

    Bomb +

    Bomb: Demolition Charge: Unblockable damage, bonus structure damage
    Battery: Arc Web: Damage an area, increasing with targets in the area
    Shard: Splinter Bomb: Area damage + slow
    Slime: Sticky Bomb: Low range, delayed unblockable damage
    Fuel: Flare Bomb: Area damage + blind
    Repulsor: Force Bomb: Area damage + push
    Drone: Suicide Drone: Unblockable damage, destroys itself

    Battery +

    Battery: Lightning Stream: Line attack
    Shard: Shock Blade: Melee damage + damage debuff
    Slime: Arc Trap: Trap that deals low damage + damage debuff + root
    Fuel: Pyroblast: Burst damage + burn
    Repulsor: Voltaic Shield: The target is surrounded by a one-time shield that blocks a skill, if a character hits it it is damaged and rooted
    Drone: Spark Drone: Drone with a strong ranged attack

    Shard +

    Shard: Wide Slash: Close-range area damage
    Slime: Portable Cover: Create a permanent wall
    Fuel: Flame Blade: Melee damage + double-strength burn
    Repulsor: Force Slash: Melee damage + push
    Drone: Blade Drone: Drone with a strong melee attack

    Slime +

    Slime: Gel Coating: Target takes less damage
    Fuel: Oil Slick: Trap that is difficult terrain, if hit with a fire attack explodes for damage
    Repulsor: Rubberized Coating: Protects the target from non-damaging effects and bounces off enemies that attack it in melee
    Drone: Cleansing Drone: Drone that can cleanse

    Fuel +

    Fuel: Flamethrower: Area damage + burn
    Repulsor: Fire Shot: Infinite range damage + burn
    Drone: Blaze Drone: Drone with area damage + burn

    Repulsor +

    Repulsor: Insta-Barrier: Create a temporary impassable barrier
    Drone: Guard Drone: Drone that can react to block damage on allies

    Drone +

    Drone: Microbot Swarm: Drone that is immune to single-target damage and can attack in melee

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    DAMAGE report!

    DAMAGE is 80% done, rules wise, to the point I’m even batting around variant modes, like 3 or 4 player matches, tournament rules, and a bundle of challenges (both players pick 3 Zeets, every turn their move is increased by 1, on a pre-set board of certain tiles etc.)

    The guniators (your pieces) are somewhere between 60% and 90% done. They’re very easy to come up with, so it’s more a matter of cutting the chaff at this point, maybe coming up with some more unique ones.

    I’m thinking of doing the art myself, since I think ‘awful gooey chunky 90’s monster men’ is something I can just about pull off. In an ideal world they’d have painted miniatures but I’m sure little checker pieces with faces drawn on them will do.

    I played a test game today. I picked Goreskull, Unbroken and Strafen, and my pal picked Nightpale, Sentinox and Tyranno!

    I’m unreasonably attached to these characters even though I’ve tried to make them as obnoxiously Quake/Mortal Kombat as possible.

    Edit: I imagine them looking like this. Just nonsense gore and machine bits for most of them.

    Endless_Serpents on
    MNC DoverIanator
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Turns out my last encounter was WAY overtuned - it was actually about right for a high-level party, but one of the players was missing (whose character was high-level and had a lot of defensive skills) so even with an adjustment for party size I had to cheat in the party's favor a bunch of times for just barely surviving. Thankfully I identified the problem point, and I think I'll make a slight numbers adjustment that will have a big impact.

    Basically, the bad guys were taking -2 damage from most things, which I will knock down to -1. This wouldn't have made a big difference on the usual party, since their damage is usually on the higher end for characters in Tides, 8+, but this second party are dealing way more 3s and 4s and 5s.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    What was giving the enemies -2, just out of interest. Armor?

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Yes, they had armor. Characters have a stat called Reflex and when someone attacks, they roll a d10 to try to beat the opponent's Reflex. If they fail, then the target can use their reaction skill, or choose not to. Just like many other games, you can only react once per round. All of the bad guys had 5 Reflex and heavy armor, which blocks -2 damage when you don't react. Their reactions are a variety of utility moves and counterattacks, and I ended up using the armor the vast majority of the time, working regardless of the party's rolls.

    I recently changed how armor works, it needed some playtesting. There are 3 tiers of items with vertical scaling how good they are - tier 2 like the bad guys had is generally somewhat rare and expensive. Like I mentioned before, I had gotten used to my epic tier party and all the ridiculous special BS I had given them so my math was off.

    The other defense items heavy armor is up against (note that the P skills are properties which are always active, and the R skills are reactions):
    Heavy Armor
    P - Heavy Armor 1: Block -1 damage from attacks you did not react to.
    P - Heavy Armor 2: Block -2 damage from attacks you did not react to.
    P - Heavy Armor 3: Block -3 damage from attacks you did not react to.

    Light Armor
    P - Light Armor 1: Block -1 damage on yourself when you react, in addition to the reaction's other effects.
    P - Light Armor 2: Block -2 damage on yourself when you react, in addition to the reaction's other effects.
    P - Light Armor 3: Block -3 damage on yourself when you react, in addition to the reaction's other effects.

    Heavy Shield
    R - Heavy Shield 1: Block -6 damage and displacement.
    R - Heavy Shield 2: Block -7 damage and displacement.
    R - Heavy Shield 3: Block -8 damage and displacement.

    Mystic Shield
    R - Mystic Shield 1: Block -8 damage and other effects on yourself, then this skill goes on cooldown; you may refresh it with an action.
    R - Mystic Shield 2: Block -12 damage and other effects on yourself, then this skill goes on cooldown; you may refresh it with an action.
    R - Mystic Shield 3: Block -16 damage and other effects on yourself, then this skill goes on cooldown; you may refresh it with an action.

    Warded Shield
    R - Warded Shield 1: Block -2 damage and other effects on yourself.
    R - Warded Shield 2: Block -3 damage and other effects on yourself.
    R - Warded Shield 3: Block -4 damage and other effects on yourself.
    Heavy armor is reliable, and good against swarms and area damage, but less effective against single large attacks. It's also great for low-level characters with low Reflex.
    Light armor is also pretty reliable, and is better the more reaction options you have to choose from.
    Heavy shields are the best at blocking pure damage if they see use every round, except in very specific situations. This lets you pick a situational reaction and have something to fall back on.
    Mystic shields can mostly negate devastating attacks that would otherwise one-shot people, and also block special effects. Since they are a cooldown item, they restrict your other reaction option to something generally usable.
    Warded shields are great if the enemy team relies on debuffs.

    I still feel like heavy armor might be a bit too good and might need a bit of rework.

    EDIT: I might do something I was considering earlier, change it to:
    R - Heavy Armor: Block -1 damage. This skill does not cost your reaction to use.
    ...but then it might actually be too weak.

    Xagar on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Do another bane/boon that has the same effect as armour maybe?
    Or maybe that would be too much to put +2 damage taken on a dude with no armour, or -2 damage taken on a friendly in heavy armour.

    Steam Community page:
    BOATBOT cannot see.
    BOATBOT cannot be held accountable for collisions caused
    BOATBOT suggests moving faster
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    There are a few short-duration damage debuffs but I intentionally left out taking less damage as a boon, all of those are also short-duration buffs. I think it's actually not a huge problem, it's just that I need to make sure equipment quality is stratified in the encounter building so you don't merc low-level parties who can't handle it.

    I should also mention that I changed the armor & weapons to just be magnitude, I really didn't like the previous version where the effect would change with item tier.

    There have been a bunch of changes since we last played @discrider , I'll post something here when I'm done writing it up - though I recently injured my hand so that's slowing down by a lot! The thing I had the most fun with was designing new epic classes (think 4e epic destinies) with some pretty wild, high concept effects.

    Xagar on
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    This is just a concept that has sprung at me, but what if armour had a damage threshold, rather than reduce damage outright?

    I’m thinking what if the heavily armoured target can’t take over X damage. Say the threshold is 10, and they should take 15 damage, they only take 10.

    This might not suit your game, it just came to me.

    This way all manner of characters can take damage, but you’d want to wear heavy armour against something that always hits hard, but might not bother against many weak opponents, instead favouring dodging.

    Hm, I’ll put that in the vault for another game.

    Fleur de Alys
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    EDIT: I actually have damage limiting on one skill, I might add that in on another item or skill, good idea.

    The idea of this item is that it's supposed to protect against getting hit multiple times in the same round, or against being the secondary target of area damage, stuff like that. It also needs to be pretty simple like the other items.

    Xagar on
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Huh! Alright. This is probably too ‘story game’, but you could always just go with a small amount of ignore damage ticks.

    Like heavy armour has 2 boxes that you can mark to just ignore damage, and if you fill them both before you have time to mend it the armour is destroyed.

    That kind of thing would be the simplest from a player perspective I reckon.

    I know you’ll figure you’re own system out regardless.

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    The simplest thing would be to change it to "Block -x damage from attacks when you have used your reaction" which makes it noticeably worse in the situation I was using it in last time (just choosing not to react pretty much every time since my actual reactions were situational). The only problem is it kinda doesn't make sense from a flavor perspective, I feel like you would be able to block stuff with your armor if you wanted to.

    Now that I think of it, I think the problem is that it avoids the mechanics of attack rolls. How about something like:
    R - Heavy Armor 1: Block -1 damage. This skill may be used even if you have already used your reaction this round.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    What dice does the game use? It could be:
    R - Heavy Armor 1: Block -1d4 damage. This skill may be used even if you have already used your reaction this round. At level X, increase the dice to 1d6 ... and so on so it keeps up when you’re killing devil lords.

    Honestly that could work, I’m just messing around.

    In other news I held a mini-tournament of DAMAGE today and it was very cool! I’m not too proud of myself, the game works well because it’s almost too simple, but I actually like how it can be ended in a handful of rounds.

    An Urgoth, Ocean and Tyranno team won, so it’s canon they’re buddies now.

  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    The game uses only d10s (and d100s I guess) and all the numbers are static.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Ah, okay. That’s pretty interesting to me, I know plenty of systems use d10s but I’ve never played one!

    Have you got a link to a rough draft? I don’t recall if you posted one.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    I'm not sure there's much you can do to be honest Xagar.
    If the design intention of heavy armour is to provide relief from a bunch of small attacks, and the party fighting the armour can only do a bunch of small attacks, then the party's going to have a bad time.

    The only things I can think of are alternative measures to straight attacking.
    So bane to remove the armour.
    Or slowing the armour dude and kiteing him until he dies.
    Or putting an exploitable disadvantage onto the heavy armour itself (like lower speed).
    Or heavy armour only protects against weapon damage, not magic damage.

    Steam Community page:
    BOATBOT cannot see.
    BOATBOT cannot be held accountable for collisions caused
    BOATBOT suggests moving faster
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    It's currently in rewriting since it was a little bare-bones, but I'll just use some stuff from my PBP.
    Don't bother looking at the skill cards since they have changed so much, I will paste the new skills & rituals into the old spreadsheet.
    Look at the "SAMPLE SHEET" and the lists of skills, items, and rituals. The other character sheets would need some updating!
    PBP Character Sheets
    Scroll down a bit to the post where I attached the Player Guide and Lore Summary.

    Xagar on
  • WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    How about: Heavy Armor 1: Lower all damage taken by 1, unless you used a reaction against the incoming attack.

    Another option is the Final Fantasy Tactics method of armor improving your base HP instead?

    Edit: Do you have any sort of armor or block piercing in the game? That could be a mechanical effect worth looking into instead of redesigning the base effect. It might also be worthwhile to try and figure out how you want the average monster to be budgeted. If they have heavy armor, but they aren't a boss, what role are they performing in combat? Are they slow heavy hitters? Do they soak for their friends? Because without anti-armor, you're really just giving them a lot of ablative health.

    Whelk on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    Ooh, what about:
    Damage + Reflex roll must exceed a Heavy armour value to do damage?
    So, Heavy Armour 9 would need a 7+ reaction roll along with 3 damage to do the damage?
    Other effects would still be applied.

    Probably looking at 9, 10, 11 for the Heavy Armour values then.

    discrider on
    Steam Community page:
    BOATBOT cannot see.
    BOATBOT cannot be held accountable for collisions caused
    BOATBOT suggests moving faster
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    edited January 2020
    @Whelk There's a bunch of unblockable stuff and roll bonuses, and a few things that avoid reactions entirely. This is the first session with a whole alternate party and they didn't take the appropriate skills because of lack of knowledge in general. I actually had a tutorial battle in the same session that was supposed to ease them into it, but it was WAY too easy and nobody actually learned anything. I'm also kind of trying to bring them out of their comfort zone in terms of playstyle.

    Like I said earlier, I think the design problem wasn't big, it was my encounter math was off so I'll just have to adjust for future sessions. It's a good reminder that I overlooked, since I had become able to just ballpark encounter difficulty without doing test battles (I used to spend a couple hours running mock battles during the week to make sure my math was on).

    There was actually another thing that went wrong - one of the more powerful characters had a few abilities that synergize with allies being defeated, and the new party has a war golem that can be KOed and revived repeatedly, which would have helped out a lot. The player with those special avenger moves didn't take either of them because they thought that the golem didn't count for that skill. One of the things I run into a lot with my group is that they don't ask quite enough questions to make sure they know how things work, then they only realize an hour later that they should have picked something else. Realizing how you should tailor your loadout to specific situations is a big fun part of the game, but when it's a rules quibble that they missed it feels pretty bad.

    @discrider That's kinda neat but it's basically variable damage which I intentionally do not have in the game. For example I don't have anything like "beat x to do more damage," and while I technically do have critical hits in the game they're only on the Cooking ritual and a few special items that aren't on the standard list.

    Also, the final version of the armor (for now) is:
    R - Heavy Armor: Block -1/2/3 damage. Using this skill does not cost your reaction, and you may use it even if you have already used your reaction this round.

    So, it does the same thing as before, but it doesn't work if the attacker rolls high, keeping it consistent with the other reactions in the game.

    Xagar on
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Problem with that though is it's expecting the heavy armour dude to have a decent Reflex.
    Which may not be a problem if we're trying to protect the guy that jumps into melee with everyone all at once, as opposed to the tank who sank his attribute points into health.

    Steam Community page:
    BOATBOT cannot see.
    BOATBOT cannot be held accountable for collisions caused
    BOATBOT suggests moving faster
  • XagarXagar Registered User regular
    Front line people always need Reflex, and it's pretty much the best stat in the game anyway, since it effectively gives extra actions most of the time. But you need the others too.

    If I were to make a low-level tank build (say level 10) that doesn't involve using Beast Shift or Defensive Stance every turn, I'd probably go something like:
    Hea 17 Spr 3 Ref 5 Spd 4 Ini 1
    Start monk and dip into knight.
    Use heavy armor, a polearm/dueling weapon, and a boon charm (used on stability for Ref+5)
    vs. Humans: Measured Strike, Dragon Kick, Quake Stomp, Soaring Eagle, Tortoise Palm, Swift Falcon Style, Cover, Leviathan Crash
    vs. Animals: Tiger Fist, Steady Stance, Healing Hands, Soaring Eagle, Parry, Focused Defense, Monkey's Agility, Inner Strength

    The weak spot here is you lack the ability to cleanse yourself and your Ini is low. This would work best with a herald can fix your turn order and let you move more, or with a controller like a geomancer.

    You can also tank with a necromancer by casting Plague Cloud with blind and standing in it, since that puts their rolls to -10, or using the cryomancer support Blizzard Shell which gives you auto-reactions like Defensive Stance does.

    For the next 10 levels you'd just put them all into Health pretty much, and maybe those last 3 points of Reflex so you can use a different boon.

  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    I'm finally getting a BeastWing oneshot in this weekend, which is exciting! But I also have a ton of work to do! Mostly got to make a bunch of cards for the initiative deck and combat positioning. Also need to do a bunch of prep for the actual session.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    DAMAGE continues, slowly, inevitably, like its got weight.

    Along with art, the next step is making the rules robust enough that it fills in all the potential gaps and exceptions, unlike my usual game creation method, where I leave too much to assumption and ‘What? You’re not me and therefore know all these unwritten rules?’.

    I’ve played only one real match since the mini-tournament, and I lost fair and square to a Pyrelord (Dark Souls burning knight), Dollface (bodybuilder with doll-on-a-spring for a head) and FM-0 (edgy femme Megaman) team.

    A regrettably unshuffled set of tiles meant the board begin with a lot of slipstream tiles, a huge boon to FM-0, and that’s why I lost at my own game no other reason nerf FM-0 haxxxx!!!

    Fleur de AlysNips
  • Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular

    Playtesting is absolutely the worst part of designing a large RPG.

    Like, it's fun to play, but oh my god it's so many hours. And you need a group that meets regularly to do it.

    I'd have published 2 years ago without this, but I'm still lost in testing hell. Levels 7-9 still have never even been played in any iteration.

    I'm reaching the point where I have to get more groups going. I've been wanting to for 3 years, but I think I'm finally there? No more big revisions, no more huge life distractions, and I've joined lots of new communities and made many new friends.

    Actual dev is going fine. I'm trialing Companions (pets/hirelings) and Blue Mage-style Roles at conventions now, the latter of which previously existed without cards but now gets a full deck like the rest.

    As an aside, cards work great for Companion turn management. You choose to attack as yourself or your Companion, but some cards let you do both. Baked-in balance capability!

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    Endless_SerpentsMNC Dover
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @Fleur de Alys

    It’s always grand to hear from you, I’m so glad that time not withstanding everything is coming together.

    Your method of balancing companions is really quite unique! It’s an interest way of dealing with that.

    Please keep us posted!

    Fleur de Alys
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    Have you ever come back to a set of rules you wrote, and you read through it, and you're like "Sweet christmas, why did I use this wording and language?" I'm back into my yearly-revision-cycle of my Con game, and while I'm not changing much (just fixing a wildly exploitable loophole from last year), I've reread every word and...

    ...I guess I'll put it this way: I used to have a very extensive background in Magic: The Gathering. I was one of those players that actually read, and had on hand, the Comprehensive Rules. I almost became a Judge. I am, or at least was, also an engineer that wrote technical documents and dabbled with programming. I understand the importance of specificity in language but in my more recent and seasoned years I've come to understand that language is a fluid and malleable thing. "Natural Language", and all that, even if the thought kind of makes my skin crawl.

    So I've got a seven page rulebook, written like the cross between a madman game designer and a madman technical linguist, and I'm wondering if most if any of these words are even necessary any more. I know most players don't hardly read the rules, and I know why these words are the way they are (for those players that do read, and try to skirt them!), and I'm not about to change what works, but...gah.

    Not sure what I'm looking for in responses here; I think I just needed to vent a little bit. Preparing for 24 hours of convention-run homebrew game sessions is stressful, even when this is the 17th year I've done it!

    WhelkFleur de Alys
  • Fleur de AlysFleur de Alys Biohacker Registered User regular
    Yes, absolutely!

    For me I think it's that in the early draft rounds, I hadn't really decided on the game's vocabulary. Which terms were necessary and which weren't? How many of these rules would even survive a couple rounds of testing? What feels right versus wrong at the table? What if I'd rather reserve this word in case I need it for a different term later?

    So what comes out is this weird mix between ad-lib terms and game legalese. It also isn't consistent because I haven't memorized my own vocabulary quite yet, and there's too much brainstorming to go back and cross-check verbage with similar entries.

    Maybe your process goes similar?

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    MNC DoverNips
  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    I've seen a handful of board games try to do both the natural language and precise legalese thing in separate documents. Root for example tries to do this (and while I love that game I'm not sure they succeed). Seems like kind of an interesting approach, you can have "Explain it to me without all the jargon" in one document that's maybe a bit more readable and approachable, and good enough to get started and then a second document can account for all the corner cases and rules disputes, or just be the easier to consume one for folks who'd just prefer to read the exact rules.

    Also yeah I've absolutely gone back to stuff I've written like, a week later and just been like "Oh god why would I ever write this that way."

    NipsFleur de Alys
  • NipsNips Luxuriating in existential crisis.Registered User regular
    edited February 2020
    @Fleur de Alys Yes, absolutely! The problem (that I made for myself) is that I spent a long time honing this ruleset, shaving off the rough edges and sanding down the pain points, and cutting things that either didn't work or didn't work right. It was sculpted to what I felt was a fine balance between what was minimally necessary and what I felt like I had to say to have it do the things I wanted it to do.

    And then, of course, I got tired of it. And then, of course, I had a brilliant idea to reflavor and extend the rules to give me wind back in my sails. And THAT, of course, is where I'm now looking at it going "WTF Dude?".

    It turns out when you write an entire ruleset with a particular fantasy throughline threaded through it, and then you create a variant wholesale from it that's both sci-fi and at a different scale instead, it causes weirdness. Lesson learned!

    @RawrBear That's fascinating! I had done that with my game at one point, adding essentially a cover sheet that in very simple terms described both character creation and the gameplay loop. I think it helped, but at that particular point in history 80% of my playerbase was already established and knew the game. So when I started this new variant of the rules, I removed the cover sheet. Maybe I should add it back in.

    I think it's super cool to hear that a published game as big as Root does this. I literally had never heard of a game doing it, outside of a few-sentence blurb at the beginning of the rules that kinda-sorta described how the arc of a game would play.

    Nips on
    Fleur de Alys
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    I defer rules writing to the very late stages of design, partly for these reasons. If I get caught up in corner cases it becomes impossible to just get the big ideas down, and the likelihood of a rule change not getting reflected everywhere goes through the roof.

    Instead, I focus on clear design language on cards and boards, and make player aids first. This also forces me to simplify. If the game can't be taught from the player aid, it probably has extraneous bits that can be trimmed.

  • RawrBearRawrBear Registered User regular
    I just dug out Root if you wanted some more details:

    So there's "The Law of Root" which is like, a numbered rules document with sub clauses. And there's a learning to play guide.

    The "law" is 12 pages of concise clear and well organized 'legal' rules, including a half page quick reference for some key actions.

    The learning to play guide is 23 pages full of images and verbose explanations of things with a bunch of examples.

    It's kind of a neat idea but I think the "law" book is cleaner, more concise, AND faster/easier to read compared to the quick start guide (plus it's the actual official rules). Which kind of means unless you really want pictures, or full written paragraphs the law book just works better. But maybe I'm biassed since I kind of prefer clear legal documents in most cases... doubly so if that version is also the smaller quicker to read version.

  • MNC DoverMNC Dover Full-time Voice Actor Kirkland, WARegistered User regular
    Sharing this post I made in the Steam thread about a game idea I've been sitting on for over a decade:

    Speaking of a “reverse princess rescue” game, I came up with a game called "Help me, Hero!", where you played the princess being rescued. But instead of breaking yourself out, you actually help the hero rescue you. This is because the hero is undersized and weak and couldn't do it on their own. Because of how caring and loving this is, you decide to let them rescue you in order to help boost their self-esteem. Unfortunately, you catch a view of them from your cell having an impossible time just trying to get over the outside gate, so you realize that you'll have to help them from the shadows if they are to succeed.

    So the gameplay actually has you filling chests with power-ups (because what villain puts the item to defeat them in such obvious places), defusing traps, relocating dangerous enemies, and so forth. But, there's a catch! You have to do all these tasks in real-time as the AI controlled hero makes their way through the level. For the earlier levels, you have a lot of time to defeat the stage, since the hero is often stuck at an impassable area. As the game progresses the hero gets more abilities to overcome obstacles, so know you have to avoid being seen by both enemies and the hero. Enemies will blow your cover and the hero will lose confidence if he sees you out of your cell.

    It would be a mix of real-time level manipulation and stealth gameplay. Each dungeon would be short (say 4 or so levels) and you'd have a variety of different bad guys to steal you, providing different types of level mechanics and themes. On more difficult levels, you'd have a guard patrolling your cell, so you'd have to get back in order to let him see you still there. Other levels might have to have you helping the hero while not being seen in real-time. Like, holding up a weak bridge or holding a spike trap from falling as he passes. Maybe moving levers to open paths or disable traps. All this while avoiding his vision circle.

    The game ends with the hero rescuing you from your cell. I should note that the game wouldn't be written to make the hero look inept, but rather courageous and caring for trying to rescue the PC even when they are too weak to do so. It would focus on the idea that we do things for others when they need help because we love them and want to help them succeed. Maybe even include a secret final unlockable ending that reveals that the hero finds out early on that they are being helped along the way. And in keeping with the theme of love and caring, they reveal this information and both the characters realize their ruses and embrace in the knowledge that they care even more for one another. A little sappy, but I think it's important to put real emotions and situations into a game every once in a while.

    Finally, the game wouldn't just be a princess being rescued by the guy hero. You'd have a character editor for the PC and hero. You can assign the genders and race of each character to better fit your ideal "Help me, Hero!" pair. Originally I imagined the game as 2D for the sake of simplicity, but could see it in 3D (maybe for a sequel though). Sadly, I don't have the programming chops or time/desire to push the game concept into a reality. Still, a fun and novel idea none the less.

    Legends of Runeterra: MNCdover #moc
    Switch ID: MNC Dover SW-1154-3107-1051
    Steam ID
    Twitch Page
Sign In or Register to comment.