[Roleplaying Games] New Year, New Dungeons, Same Ol' Bane

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  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Ringo wrote: »
    Anybody have experience with Blades in the Dark?

    Thinking of putting a one shot together using it

    Yes. I love Blades in the Dark. What do you want to know? AMA about Blades in the Dark because I seriously love talking about it.

    I'm just digging into the book now, so my first question is are there pregens in the quickstart or how easy is it to make some. Second is, do you think it's worth it if I fiddle with the setting right out of the gate? I want my players to be basically second class hobgoblin citizens. People who are easily discriminated against, trying to build up their community Godfather Part 2 style

    Super easy to make pregens. Give each character their first special ability, assign four action dots, pick a friend and a rival based on how cool their names are. You don't buy or choose gear in Blades so that's all it takes. I probably wouldn't generate a crew for a one-shot,

    The setting is pretty flexible. As long as you don't try to change the tech level you'll be fine, but maybe give each character a bonus special ability or skill point based on what kind of job you'll be doing.

    Ringo
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    You could just play a game of android net runner whenever you want to hack ;p

    on the subject of rogue trader we had a great game for awhile but the grubby mechanics kind of burned me out, and you can only go so far epic until it all stops being rather epic

    Oats
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Netrunner RPG but where every heist was a game of Netrunner with dumb variant cards in play to represent the situation.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    You could just play a game of android net runner whenever you want to hack ;p

    That might take even longer than what I had planned! :biggrin:

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    Seems like you could do pretty well with something like strong hits from fragged Empire (strong hits give extra stuff, even if you fail! Which allows for greedy people to fuck up thematically) or a push your luck style system with a quick series of rolls.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    Then I think what you might want is a semi-abstracted system. Every computer has a Security rating and a Rewards rating; players can roll with their Hacking against Rewards to get goodies without progressing towards completion (like the caches that don't help you finish the hack in the game), roll Hacking against Security to get through with no bonuses, or roll against both to try to be snazzy and effective. The key thing here is that none of this uses a literal map, so people can describe their actions and make it interesting.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    Then I think what you might want is a semi-abstracted system. Every computer has a Security rating and a Rewards rating; players can roll with their Hacking against Rewards to get goodies without progressing towards completion (like the caches that don't help you finish the hack in the game), roll Hacking against Security to get through with no bonuses, or roll against both to try to be snazzy and effective. The key thing here is that none of this uses a literal map, so people can describe their actions and make it interesting.

    I wasn't making a literal map either. Players would be able to choose which nodes they want to hit and in what order, but once they fail, they are on the clock, the system is racing towards lockdown and if they want to collect their sweet loot, they need to get through that login node.

  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    I don't know Deus Ex, but I play in a years-long Fate campaign. It clearly works best when the players describe a long term objective which is then assigned to a single difficulty on the skill roll instead of multiple rolls of the same skill. Also, this objective should give some sense of agency to the hackers. It seems like you are proposing an exchange that would go:

    Player: "I'm hacking the system"
    GM: "Ok, there are X, Y and Z in the system"
    Player: "mmm, I'll try the node with X"
    GM: "That's difficulty 3 [because my subsystem says so]"

    Whereas, in Fate, this exchange would work way better:

    Player: "I want to hack the system because I need to deactivate the security system for the whole building"
    GM: "That's pretty hard, the difficulty is 4 [because of my gut feeling and assesment of the situation]".

    Also, in the latter, it is easier to justify using Aspects to help yourself, even if they aren't specifically related to hacking.

    McKid on
    Ardent
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Maybe keep it to rolling against the system twice at most, and once against a sysadmin. First success gives your intended effect, and shows you there is more to get. Second success would be like rolling Succeed with Style the first time, failure triggers the sysadmin. Once the sysadmin knows you are there, you have to beat them in an opposed roll. If you beat him, you get just success, nothing extra, as he starts externally removing things from the network to keep you out, failure means you have to find another way around security, as the sysadmin has you locked out. (Take a mental stress?) You can also choose not to fight the sysadmin, and just give up after the first failure, and not take stress damage.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    I know you're against PBtA however The Sprawl uses Countdown Clocks scaled up and down and can be system agnostic. Might check that out

    McKid
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    I don't know Deus Ex, but I play in a years-long Fate campaign. It clearly works best when the players describe a long term objective which is then assigned to a single difficulty on the skill roll instead of multiple rolls of the same skill. Also, this objective should give some sense of agency to the hackers. It seems like you are proposing an exchange that would go:

    Player: "I'm hacking the system"
    GM: "Ok, there are X, Y and Z in the system"
    Player: "mmm, I'll try the node with X"
    GM: "That's difficulty 3 [because my subsystem says so]"

    Whereas, in Fate, this exchange would work way better:

    Player: "I want to hack the system because I need to deactivate the security system for the whole building"
    GM: "That's pretty hard, the difficulty is 4 [because of my gut feeling and assesment of the situation]".

    Also, in the latter, it is easier to justify using Aspects to help yourself, even if they aren't specifically related to hacking.

    I guess the thing is that I wanted something cool for hacking, something that wasn't roll once and be done. I'll have to check out that strong hits from Fragged Empire thing and see what it's about as that sounds interesting.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    The issue with having something take multiple rolls to overcome, especially in Fate, is that you're using up extra table time and narrative space to do it. So it had better be really darn important and engaging to do.

    If you're splicing in hacker actions between action beats for other characters, it's probably fine. With the caveat that your hacker is probably just rolling the same skill over and over until resolution.

    Basically, a single player videogame mini-game makes sense in its context, but at the table it's a whole 'nother story.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    The Ender
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    McKid wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Question: For this Deus Ex thing I'm thinking on and kinda not writing anything down, should hacking be it's own mini-game?

    The idea that I have:
    This is of course assuming that I'm using FATE at this point, but computers, mechs, drones, turrets, ect. will have a Security Rating that will be used against the player's Hacking Skill. The Computer will have nodes that will hide things that are in the computer's network, such as Cashe that might have bitcons the player gets as credits, Datafiles that could hide encrypted or deleted files, External Network Nodes that could give the hacker control over things like turrets, cameras, lights, doors, ect. The GM would decide what level of Security each node would have. Stuff like Cameras and Doors might have level 1-3, Datafiles and Cashes might be 2-3, Turrets and Drones would be 3-5, Mechs would be 5. So when the player starts to hack, he'll know what type of nodes are in a computer, and their individual Security Ratings which will be rolled against his hacking skill. At the start, the Security system doesn't have an alert, so the player can attempt to hack the nodes in any order without worry. But once they fail, the Security system goes into lockdown mode, giving the player 3+Hacking Skill- Computer's Security Rating rounds left to get to the Login Node (which will always be at the same rating as the Computer itself) and hack it. Once that node is hacked, the person is in and any nodes they hacked are available to them.

    So if a player with Hacking 2 tries to hack a computer with a Security Rating of 3, he'll have 2 rounds to get in the Login Node once the System goes into Lockdown. And this system might have two Datafiles (both at Security 2), 1 Cashe (2), and a Login Node (3). If he got 1 Datafile and 1 Cashe before the system was alerted to him, but he got in before the Lockdown, he'd only have access to those things, and not the second Datafile.

    Now, while this is going on, the other players are still moving around, so if a hacker is trying to hack a computer in a firefight (to take over a turret or lock a door or something), they are going to have to deal with bullets flying around. Not sure if it's overly complicated or not needed, but I'd like to try to capture the feel of hacking from the games.

    I've never played FATE but the impression I get is that it's a pretty fiction-driven game, right? I would resist the urge to make hacking overly mechanical or you're gonna end up in situations where one player is describing how he triggers his cyberlegs to spring over the desk and into the security guard, while the other player says "I guess I go to the next node and roll Hack."

    I would either de-emphasize the complexity of hacking and make it a single skill roll (if it needs to take time, make that a fictional cost) OR use the Neuromancer/Shadowrun style of hacking and create a cool cyberworld where you can do cool narration and make things shiny and chrome while keeping everyone busy.

    I was trying to think of a way to make hacking not a simple single skill roll. One of the things of the game when you hack stuff is that there is this risk/reward thing. Most times in the video game, you can skip going after the extra stuff, just plow to the login node, and be done with it. But if you want the good stuff, you have to dig deeper, take the extra risk, and maybe you don't alert the system, maybe you do.

    Cyberworld sounds cool as fuck, but it a bit... not with tech level of Deus Ex. In Mankind Divided, to get into Cyberworld like place requires a massive room with a Matrix like chair system and massive servers, which is top level tech stuff that the Illuminate and major company CEOs have, not something that a normal hacker can get into.

    I don't know Deus Ex, but I play in a years-long Fate campaign. It clearly works best when the players describe a long term objective which is then assigned to a single difficulty on the skill roll instead of multiple rolls of the same skill. Also, this objective should give some sense of agency to the hackers. It seems like you are proposing an exchange that would go:

    Player: "I'm hacking the system"
    GM: "Ok, there are X, Y and Z in the system"
    Player: "mmm, I'll try the node with X"
    GM: "That's difficulty 3 [because my subsystem says so]"

    Whereas, in Fate, this exchange would work way better:

    Player: "I want to hack the system because I need to deactivate the security system for the whole building"
    GM: "That's pretty hard, the difficulty is 4 [because of my gut feeling and assesment of the situation]".

    Also, in the latter, it is easier to justify using Aspects to help yourself, even if they aren't specifically related to hacking.

    I guess the thing is that I wanted something cool for hacking, something that wasn't roll once and be done. I'll have to check out that strong hits from Fragged Empire thing and see what it's about as that sounds interesting.

    Strong hits are basically just crits that have various effects. So if you roll a 6 it's a strong hit you can spend on any relevant effect. By default it lets you re roll a dice in your roll but you can get stuff with traits like are shown on this pre gen:

    ntomshh4jvym.jpg

    They're a way of flavouring your rolls with cool character flairs that happen occasionally. You could work them in as the bonus nodes (have a default strong hit that just adds to the attempt for staying focused then various greedy rewards).

  • ArdentArdent Down UpsideRegistered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    The issue with having something take multiple rolls to overcome, especially in Fate, is that you're using up extra table time and narrative space to do it. So it had better be really darn important and engaging to do.

    If you're splicing in hacker actions between action beats for other characters, it's probably fine. With the caveat that your hacker is probably just rolling the same skill over and over until resolution.

    Basically, a single player videogame mini-game makes sense in its context, but at the table it's a whole 'nother story.
    This. Anything that involves more than one roll is taking the narrative spotlight. You need to consider whether this is the outcome you're looking for. In general this is why games tend to put combat in their narrative spotlight; typically, unless the GM or the players have goofed, everyone can participate so nobody's a disinterested party sitting at the table wondering when something relevant to their interests is going to happen.

    We've previously discussed how White Wolf's games had a real problem with this, and how while some Onyx Path games make a real effort to minimize those outcomes, others are Exalted 3. (A signpost warning others, we hope, to avoid the folly of cascading die rolls, natural language, and bad spotlighting.)

    It's hard enough to keep the attention of players on the table without bad mechanics, particularly poor narrative decisions, distracting them. This is why, again, most of us look at D&D 4e as the pinnacle of D&D. Because it accepted the weak narrative decisions and subverted that with the miniatures focus on tactical combat; something that will draw in virtually everyone at the table.

    Shadowrun has struggled with weak narrative focus since its conception. It can't decide whether the magician's spellcasting, the street samurai's smashing, or the decker's deciphering should have the narrative focus even in combat scenes and it has really hurt the game line.

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  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    jdarksunMatev
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    I won't have Geth ban you for suggesting PbtA, but I'm just not a fan of how the system gives the players a ton of narrative control and the GM can't do anything for real except react to their rolls. I prefer systems that are a bit more 50-50, especially systems with reaction rolls. I would have made this in Cortex, but I haven't found a good way to do social stuff in it the way that FATE or PbtA can handle it and group interactions.

    While playing XCom 2 (or more to the point, nearly dying to alien's really frequent crit shots) I was looking at that game's hacking. In it, when you hack, you have a chance to get a small prize or you can push to get a larger prize. Failure means bad things happen, but passing gives you stuff. So what I might do is the hacker can either do a basic hack, player's Hacking Skill roll against the System's Security Roll. Or the player can push further, small prize is Security+2, large is Security +4. Before you hack, you'll know what kind of prize it is (Datafile, Cashe, External System, ect) and you choose to go after it or not. Once you do, through, you have to beat it or the system will lock you out, set off any alarms it might be connected to, ect. Players will have stuff to help the odds, one time use programs they can use to give them boosts, let them reroll a dice, ect. Still has the risk/reward that I want but with a single roll that will keep game play moving along.

    admanbThe Ender
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Success With Style already does the thing you're proposing, without getting bogged down in what is there to be plundered ahead of time.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    There's ways for "hacking" to be fully integrated into combat; you just use the same mechanics as combat and overlay the two. Make hackers the equivalent of 4e illusionist wizards; crowd control and special threats.
    E.G. Having the defenders radios to issue contradictory orders, slapping the ones that fail with a condition. Or the sentry turret is physically extremely strong but its software is the equivalent of a kobold; spiteful, vicious, but not very smart so distract it with false sensor data or maybe just kill it and replace it with something you've been cooking up. All sorts of things become possible that way if you live in a world like Ghost in the Shell where literally everyone has bionics even if it's just a built-in cell phone.
    You just need to establish this early in design and stop other classes treading on their toes.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Yeah, I think the key to keeping things moving while still giving them something cool to do is to think about the effect rather than the act. It's not "I hack the local node", it's "I make the server drop the security doors to prevent their escape."

    If you're going to use Fate, it's important not to get caught up in the blow-by-blow and instead look at what has narrative value and weight.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose 83 Blue Ridge Protects the Holy Registered User regular
    I was thinking about hackers-as-wizards some more and I got to thinking of them carrying around a harped drive full of attack code "spells" to use, with only a few loaded into RAM at any given moment and weird things started happening so I stopped.

    Anyway, the other thing I wanted to say is: how do you handle things when the rogue or ranger goes off scouting alone? What do the other players do? That's the same sort of question that hacking poses and it actually has the same answers, just with plastic and chrome instead of wood and leather.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Roll a scouting skill check, tell the results, done. Maybe give them an option for a risk/reward thing that raises the Shadowrun-o-meter on failure.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Success With Style already does the thing you're proposing, without getting bogged down in what is there to be plundered ahead of time.

    Yeah, but there isn't a greed/risk element with it. SWS is just a thing that happens. With this, it's a active risk, you are getting greedy and taking a harder than you need challenge.
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    There's ways for "hacking" to be fully integrated into combat; you just use the same mechanics as combat and overlay the two. Make hackers the equivalent of 4e illusionist wizards; crowd control and special threats.
    E.G. Having the defenders radios to issue contradictory orders, slapping the ones that fail with a condition. Or the sentry turret is physically extremely strong but its software is the equivalent of a kobold; spiteful, vicious, but not very smart so distract it with false sensor data or maybe just kill it and replace it with something you've been cooking up. All sorts of things become possible that way if you live in a world like Ghost in the Shell where literally everyone has bionics even if it's just a built-in cell phone.
    You just need to establish this early in design and stop other classes treading on their toes.

    This is kinda of what I'm thinking of, but within the realm of the settings tech level. I do plan on having a remote hack aug that will let the person who takes it be able to hack a computer, drone, turret or electronics they can see.

  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    Yeah, I've been wanting it, just balking at spending the money. 20% will probably put me over the edge to pull the trigger though.
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    All this talk about granular d% systems makes me want to finally get a Rouge Trader game going.

    Except that I don't know if I feel confident in myself to come up with a storyline worthy of the setting and players.

    Man I don't want to discourage you but I was in this situation. I pulled together a group and everything. Then I opened that fucker of a book and started reading the rules. Holy shit. So complex. There's no way I could teach myself that game, and there's defs no way I could expect my players to get in on it.

    I kind of think the story telling part is the easy bit. My brain is jammed with 40k fluff.

    Amigu on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    It's been a long time since I ran it but my very first GMing experience was with Dark Heresy. I had a so-so PbP here on the forums and then I ran an almost two year long campaign at the FLGS.

    It's just the scope of the game really increases from Dark Heresy to Rogue Trader.

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  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    You might be in a better position than me then. I'm not very mathematically inclined and found RT literally unplayable.

    Amigu on
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  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Amigu wrote: »
    You might be in a better position than me then. I'm not very mathematically inclined and found RT literally unplayable.

    All the bonuses and penalties and shit are kind of overwhelming at first yeah, especially since the system kind of assumes that the GM is going to handle all of that for the players.

    After running it for a while you just figure out that because, say, it's really dark out and raining hard they get a -20 to track the person's trail through the woods, but they get +10 because of their Feudal Worlder background or whatever so it works out to a -10 total modifer to their skill check. No need to consult the charts because now you've just got an intuitive feel for how much things end up being.

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  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

    Fronts are just their way of doing plotlines/adventures. (Least on my read)

    PbtA is mostly defined by the 2d6 plus minor mods, get a 10+ to succeed mechanic. Games then usually bring in other mechanics to flavor to taste, like Monsterhearts' Strings, Momentum in WWWrestling, or Bonds in Fellowship. (Or Betrayals in Crush the Rebellion)

    As a sidenote, I've found running PbtA games as a GM, I've actually maintained at least as much narrative control with my games when I was running D&D and the like. Maybe it's my players, or the fact I'm all right with asserting myself when things start getting crazy, but I find players either like a little guidance with their narrative freedom, or don't mind being reined in if they're having a tea party at the table's expense.

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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    So, some questions about Blades in the Dark:

    1) How complicated is the resolution mechanic?

    2) Does it need a grid/anything of the sort.

    3) How complete is it's current form?

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

    Most PbtA have something like Fronts and Dangers (Apocalypse World itself just calls them Threats). I found them difficult to understand as well and feel that other PbtA games explain them better. The basic idea is just that Fronts and Dangers describe the ways the world will change for the worse if the players do nothing to interfere. This guide does a decent job of explaining Fronts, I think. I believe the Apocalypse World 1E PDFs are free now, which might also help clear things up.
    So, some questions about Blades in the Dark:

    1) How complicated is the resolution mechanic?

    2) Does it need a grid/anything of the sort.

    3) How complete is it's current form?

    1. Pretty simple, but different from most other games. Generally you'll have a dice pool of 1-4D6, increased by up to two with bonuses. Roll dice and take the highest roll. 1-3 is failure, 4-5 is success with cost, 6 is success. There are examples of potential 4-5 results in the book, which makes it way easier on the GM.

    2. Nope. I've scribbled on a pad just to give everyone an idea of the scene, but the combat resolution is all about the fiction.

    3. Rules-wise it's nearly complete, but not finished. In other words, you won't run into many gaps that the rules can't handle, but it is going to see updates down the road. The fiction and setting information is less complete -- there are quite a few factions, a few districts, and a variety of other bits that aren't written up yet.

    RingoCarnarvon
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Matev wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

    Fronts are just their way of doing plotlines/adventures. (Least on my read)

    Pretty much. One of the core tenants of PbtA is that you put the mostly-blank map in front of the players and then... see what happens. The idea of Fronts and Dangers is that they are things that will have a visible and negative effect on parts of the world the players care about, thus motivating them to go out and stop them.

    ArcanisTheImpotent
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    I just stumbled on an old version of the quick start rules and read through them.

    It seems super neat and I might propose this to my group as a more casual game between Fragged Empire (which needs a bit more planning).

    Ringo
  • McKidMcKid Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    The Front mechanic changes from games to games and I'm the most familiar with Threats from Apocalypse World 2e. It is an incredible session planning tool. You have an array of everything relevant to your campaign in front of you and each one has a list of your questions about it (so you know what there is to discover in play about it) and its long-term goal split step by step (so you can advance them session to session if the players don't do anything about it).

    Even more fundamental, each Threats as a type, which is tied to an impulse. So when you just don't know what a certain NPC would do, you just look at its impulse. In my campaign, I had a Grotesque (Mutant) called the Rat. The impulse associated with Mutant is "craves restitution, recompense". Every time the players interacted with the Rat and I didn't know what to say, I went to their impulse and asked for some sort of payment in technological gizmo. Same thing with another Grotesque, Watt, who was a Mindfucker (impulse: craves mastery), who would always try the brashest power plays to position herself in some sort of authority.

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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    Okay, now I've read through the book I think I could actually throw together a Blades in the Dark game pretty easily. Would anyone be interested in testing a PbP of it?

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    I've been having a real bad PbP itch so I'd play basically anything at this point.

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Okay, now I've read through the book I think I could actually throw together a Blades in the Dark game pretty easily. Would anyone be interested in testing a PbP of it?

    I'll play the hell outta that.

  • RingoRingo HE KEEPS REPEATING THE LINE I'M GONNA CRY BLEASE LET HIM LIVE YOU MADE ME WATCH SO MUCH KISSING IN THIS FILM LET INIGO LIVERegistered User regular
    I'd be interested!

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Right, well would you guys be okay if I just chucked up a very hasty opening post for the purposes of letting us discuss mechanics, character creation and crew creation without jamming up the thread?

    Also how many of you own the book, because honestly the amount that the lore's tied into stuff seems kinda a big deal.

    Albino Bunny on
  • MatevMatev Cero Miedo Registered User regular
    Right, well would you guys be okay if I just chucked up a very hasty opening post for the purposes of letting us discuss mechanics, character creation and crew creation without jamming up the thread?

    Also how many of you own the book, because honestly the amount that the lore's tied into stuff seems kinda a big deal.

    I've got the book, but honestly, while there's a good chunk of lore, there's enough things you can change or interpret it shouldn't hurt. Like, you don't need to know all the gangs and stuff, but the things about ghosts and daemons and stuff, that's somewhat important to know and have an idea for how they work in your game.

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