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Have dice, will [game design].

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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    1) I think you might be right on cleaning up some language. In my prior post ingredients are cards, yes.
    2) Some of the stuff I have right now is things like "target witch discards a card" as a power. Nothing game breaking, but I wanted to have something written in case people do the people thing and dogpile someone.
    3) You pick any card from the trick taken, not just what you played. The idea is to keep an eye out for hands you want to win.
    4) You are trying to finish the one potion over the course of a couple hands.

    I am expecting some level of sabotage from discards, throwing stuff into an enemy's pot/cauldron (I probably need to define this) and things like that. I have a big list of powers to try out, and I think seeing if people like the idea in play is the big test this weekend. From there I will have to do some kind of math to figure out how frequently to give "fixer" options. Currently the 1 of every suit lets you remove an ingredient from your potion since you're not going to win the trick.

    As far as recipes everyone can complete, it might be worth considering having some kind of mulligan or choices for everyone to pick from instead of pure random. I get what you mean by having too much luck involved. I want roughly as many fixer as sabotage options in my initial draft, just to see how things play out. The powers are only on odd cards currently, which is something a couple other games have done like Fox in the Forest. Since some get removed from the pool when they're put into a pot, I'm not using as wide of a number range and there's more copies. My test deck has 1-7, two face cards x 2 per suit plus 4 jokers.

    I am toying around with Jokers being wild but are removed from your cauldron when you have a chemical reaction.

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    One big concern: what happens if everyone targets the same player? In a lot of games where you can mess with the other player's resources, its usual that whoever comes out in the lead early gets dogpiled. A certain amount of resistance is good for balance, but the far extreme ends up like Munchkin where "first to 9 never wins".

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    edited May 27
    Well, in rather dour news, my RPG for Seln Alora has received quite tepid response from the various places I've workshopped it. Mostly small groups of friends or friends-of-friends. Nobody hates it...they just don't like it enough to pick it up. I guess this project is dead in the water. How can I justify spending another 500 hours polishing things up when my prospective audience is in the single digits?

    Just frustrating.

    Edit: Well, let's try to be more positive. As a custom campaign setting, I have run 3 full campaigns in it and had fun with it. My players had fun with it. So on a personal level it has been a creative success. Maybe I should let it be enough to have created something that my own circle had fun with.

    gavindel on
    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @gavindel You have gained experience, and levelled up!

    Can you go over some of the feed-back? System too complex? Lore not deep enough? Other things people might say?

    It is cool you made a thing and had fun with it. Here’s to the future!

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    HeavyVillainHeavyVillain Registered User regular
    gavindel wrote: »
    Edit: Well, let's try to be more positive. As a custom campaign setting, I have run 3 full campaigns in it and had fun with it. My players had fun with it. So on a personal level it has been a creative success. Maybe I should let it be enough to have created something that my own circle had fun with.

    yeah at the risk of sounding like a default platitude.. thats definitely something to be positive about?

    And like you can totally come back to it some time, either in the sense of playing in it or trying to get a book made. A friend of mine has been dabbling in the same setting for like twenty odd years now

    And Im certain said friend is also a bit miffed that hes not really been able to drum up any interest in his project outside of his core players but everyone who played in the setting has fond memories of it and that is absolutely something to be proud of

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    The blocker has been a tough one: pure engagement. Its a non-d20 RPG system and custom setting, which means the players have to take the time to learn both system and world. Overwhelmingly, people have bounced off that wall. Marketing problems are far harder to solve than actual system problems.

    For my players who did engage, I think there was some difficulty with the lore. In particular, Seln Alora is meant to be a touch hippie environmentalism and harmony kind of thing, and I think players have a hard time translating that into concrete behaviors. Especially given the bad behaviors that the behemoth in the room encourages.

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    So for hippie and harmony, do you think you’ve maybe boxed players in a bit? Did they feel it was hard to make a difference or were they left unsure how to act?

    Maybe it might be better to set the world back by twenty years, and make the players the people trying to bring about that harmony? Or set things as that harmony is in need of saving?

    I’m not sure if that’s not already the case, just thinkin’.

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Yeah, no idea.

    Was talking to a fellow game designer friend, and I think I accidentally said something smart. They asked about game complexity, and I said:

    There's good complexity and bad complexity. Good complexity opens up new opportunities: cool things that you can do better, special powers only you have, fun stories you can tell. Bad complexity is everything else - anytime there's numbers just to have numbers. Numbers because the systems you played last had those numbers.

    For example, as a designer, I always default to speed as feet per round. Why? Because that's how we did it in D&D growing up! Is this a great way to measure speed? No, actually, its super fiddly and rarely fun. (I refuse to play a small race in D&D because the -5 speed penalty sucks so much, so consistently, every battle, for years of a campaign.) Bad complexity - condense it.

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Havelock2.0Havelock2.0 Sufficiently Chill The Chill ZoneRegistered User regular
    What are basic considerations that y’all have when creating magic systems in ttrpgs? I’m currently fooling around with some ideas, looking at Knave, Mothership (in terms of game engine), Whitehack, Ars Magica, Legend/BRP/RuneQuest, and Black Void for system examples and setting inspiration.

    I understand the basics of breaking down the nature of magic, it’s commonality, it’s risk, perception of it, etc., for a setting but I’m interested in learning how folks go about building a system from those basic concepts.

    You go in the cage, cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water, our shark.
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    MaclayMaclay Insquequo Totus Es Unus Here and ThereRegistered User regular
    What are basic considerations that y’all have when creating magic systems in ttrpgs? I’m currently fooling around with some ideas, looking at Knave, Mothership (in terms of game engine), Whitehack, Ars Magica, Legend/BRP/RuneQuest, and Black Void for system examples and setting inspiration.

    I understand the basics of breaking down the nature of magic, it’s commonality, it’s risk, perception of it, etc., for a setting but I’m interested in learning how folks go about building a system from those basic concepts.

    It's sort of the opposite in this case, but I've been playing around with translating a fairly crunchy magic system to a more narrative game system. Unsurprisingly this has resulted in a fairly convoluted mess. I've been coming at the problem with a strong focus on the technical side of things, so it may not be super useful, but I'll share some bits and pieces anyway. Sorry it took a while, busy week, and I needed time to figure out if I actually had anything worth saying... Still not sure on that last bit.
    agd33ild02wn.png
    As I was laying out all the parts, I was obviously recognizing the work necessary for even basic spell-casting, spotting gaps and figuring out patches to cover them up. This couldn't be for a big group game, or a game that involved non-caster characters, but that's okay, because it's only for me, realistically. I see it playing out a bit like Doctor Strange. Entering another plane of existence to fight off otherworldly invaders or enemy casters.
    I've been using Cortex Prime for the basis of all this (though I'm sure all the Cortex diehards would be yelling at me for letting it get this complex), so it's less 'building a system' and more 'grabbing a bunch of Lego and a bunch of third-party knock-off building bricks and trying to create something that kind of works.'
    For those unfamiliar, in Cortex games all your character traits are represented by die types like in Savage Worlds but you build up a pool of anything relevant, roll it, choose two dice to total against some sort of opposition (depends on the game) and often a third die where the number doesn't matter but the shape tells you how big an Effect the roll had.
    Given all that, most of the stats that make up a character are in some way related to magic. In addition to what you see above I've taken some basic elements and just given them magicky names. Physical attributes are 'Affinities' (Physical, Mental and Spiritual), a Signature Asset is your 'Foci', it matters what 'Realm' your operating in, and I've brought in a Resource ('Materia') Die to cover most basic physical spell components. There's a bit more to it, but this post is already significantly longer than I usually like to go on for.
    At this point I'm mostly thinking about weird magic that breaks the difficulty chart but really ought to be accounted for, or just getting distracted by other projects

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    @Havelock2.0

    I think magic is at its best when it’s rare and mystical, but fundamentally part of the world, basically your Arthurian legends and Lord of the Ringses.

    But outside that, when I go about creating something whole cloth I think the main things to answer are:
    1. Who gets to cast magic? A single order of monks, with other casters seen as heretics? The wealthy and educated? Natural born? If so, from a set number of bloodlines or random chance X-Men?
    2. What status does magic give magic users?
    3. Are the players part of the magic in-crowd or not? This for me is the big one.

    After that you can answer where magic comes from and create a bunch of rules that govern it, but that’s all fluff. You could say magic works at different degrees depending on the phase of the moon etc. …You could just shrug, depends on if you wanna leave it up to the table.

    From there the main thing is game design. There’s where you’ll get most of the actual story. If Mage is a class, then maybe magic is easily cast, at least for the Mage. But if there is no magic class, or magic feats, abilities and so on… how does a player get magic? They’re certainly not starting with it. On the flipside, maybe every class is magical, so there’s no designated caster. Warriors all channel fire, how else are they so good at fighting? Of course healers summon spirits, that’s how medicine works!

    In this one game I’ve made (not published, but played a lot), magic is called Noise. It can come into being at a sufficiently rad party, or battle, or ceremony, and while the instigator has some say over it, it’s a tag for tag sort of deal. They say what they want to happen, and I add the other half. Very potent stuff, but you’d only do it if another problem on the way is still a better outcome. You might rock out to cause a landslide to divert a lava flow, but now Things emerge from the unearthed caves. You might want to bring an ally back from the dead, but the whole graveyard follows.

    This is good, I think, because it makes more game happen. It’s probably not good from a novelist perspective, but I think you can get stuck on that in game design.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    To give you a published example, in Mage: The Ascension / The Awakening, you can do pretty much anything. But, the more ‘vulgar’ your magic, which it say the more obviously it breaks reality, the quicker you accumulate paradox.

    This paradox causes things to go haywire, and damages the Mage physically and mentally.

    So this is a cool story thing, but it’s also a neat bit of game design to divert players from going nuclear and instead be a bit smarter about it. You’re also bound to get more paradox than you can handle at some point, which feeds into the ‘world of darkness’ idea those series of games are going for. You can do anything and eventually you’ll go crazy and fall apart. This game design even folds back into the story, because the world is secretly run by some mages that are trying to keep magic a secret so it doesn’t collapse due to paradox. Or do they make paradox and would the world be better if everyone knew magic? Thats the kicker.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    Havelock2.0Havelock2.0 Sufficiently Chill The Chill ZoneRegistered User regular
    edited July 8
    Mage is a really cool system and I’m sad I haven’t gotten a chance to play it yet. Having reality push back on spells/actions that actively attempt to bend or break it is a novel idea.

    I guess ultimately my thought is to move away from a strict vancian system and towards something that is a blend of the kind of “free-form” that Legend’s sorcery, Magic World’s Deep Magic (and pretty much everything else in it), or Black Void’s, but also contains pre-existing spells that players can use as reference and inspiration.

    I have no idea how you figure for the crunch aspects of that though. I assume it depends on and is constrained by the game’s system

    Havelock2.0 on
    You go in the cage, cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water, our shark.
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    Havelock2.0Havelock2.0 Sufficiently Chill The Chill ZoneRegistered User regular
    Which I guess then boils down to how do you design a game system

    You go in the cage, cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water, our shark.
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    @Havelock2.0

    I feel like a slightly, but not much, easier way to do that would be to have definite spells, but once you have a spell you can spend points to alter it. Like once you have Spit Fire, you can alter it to Spit Acid. Maybe magic users have a ‘Focus’, let’s call it, that narrows how they can alter spells. So a Bog Witch can alter spells to be poisonous and long lasting, while a Crimson Adherent can alter spells to hit more targets and be cast quicker.

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