It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

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It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Erik Sieurin on Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:34 pm

...but here is a something-something draft of the basic DADA rules... not that I have worked on them since June; instead I have either worked on them but just tossed stuff in the wastebasket and not dared show it, not worked on anything at all, or worked on something different.

This is just the gruff, the basic system - there is no stuff (like Paths or Creatures or Spells or whatever) no fluff (that is, background, not that there will be much more than there is in M&M) and a lot of details are missing. While the system is meant to be more... complex than M&M I am not satisfied with the basic shape yet (I really need to test in in practice) and I need to get the language right. I have some people who might help me with that.

Here you should be able to access a PDF with them.

I really should go about posting my actual goals and thoughts and so on, but I thought I'd kick off with something like this and see if it gets me going, instead of just procrastinating the whole thing...

Erik

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  gebeji on Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:54 pm

Just browsed rapidly over your rules draft...

Interesting ideas... i'll need to read it more thoroughly though Wink

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Erik Sieurin on Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:42 am

Thanks... monkey

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:07 am

Hello Erik !

I've begun to read the document but haven't had the time to get to the combat rules for now - so the following questions & comments are all related to characters.

On the whole, I think DADA is really taking a very interesting shape - and there are some superb ideas in what I've read so far.

Gifts
What is the sixth Gift ? You mention there are six of them but only five are listed (Might, Agility, Dexterity, Wits, Will).

Also, I'm not sure about the Agility/Dexterity thing, especially since other attributes are very broadly defined (as in M&M), with Might covering both strength and physical toughness for instance. Yet I understand why you've spllited this in two attributes given the way your system works (a single Dexterity score would have been all too encompassing - shades of Luck in M&M ? Wink ). The main "problem" here is that the two names (and the concepts that tend to be associated with them) seem a bit too close to each other. Perhaps you should find another name for Dexterity - something that's more clearly different from Agility, both in meaning and, well, "sound". How about Finesse ? Craft ? Accuracy ? Hand ?

Virtues
This is absolutely great. The three basic virtues of Valor, Cunning and Wisdom are very well thought-out and are used in a very simple yet effective manner to define a character's overall skills, without having to get swamped in endless (and often pointless) skill lists.
This approach actually gives the game a self-consistent yet potentially very flexible overall framework to a class-based system - uh perhaps I'm not very clear here. Whereas most class-based games tend to define each class in and by itself, your system offers a framework than actually "contains" the very concept of character class (or Path, in this specific case)... However, I think that you are restricting the system too much by giving fixed values for primary, secondary and tertiary virtues for each Path rank : wouldn't it be more interesting to have a few "virtue points" to distribute freely at each new Path rank ? This way, players would have a greater degree of freedom on the type or character they want to create or play. IMHO,this would also have several major advantages. First, it would allow players to "fine-tune" their characters as they see fits; we could have anything from very specialized characters à la D&D/M&M to jack-of-all-trades adventurers à la RQ... all this with the same system. It would also allow a player to re-define his character's role or profile as he gets more experienced - starting, for instance, with a strictly defined set of virtue scores corresponding to his chosen Path / background (knight, scoundrel etc) and then having the opportunity, if he so wishes, of becoming as polyvalent / flexible or as specialized as he wishes as he gets more experienced. This way, every character could have a unique advancement path, all this with an extremely simple system.

Paths
I love the names - Yeoman, Friar, Scoundrel, Knave... all this really gives a "medieval adventure" atmosphere. I guess the Yeoman is some sort of archer / common folk fighter... but what would be the Knave in game terms ? A dishonorable warrior (as opposed to the Knight) ? Please tell us more !

"Quasi-virtues"
Status and Piety are well thought out - they will allow the GM to reflect some very important aspects of medieval life and worldview with essential parts of the system, without making these too obtrusive. Perhaps "Faith" would be a better term than "Piety", though - I think most people will tend to interpret Faith as "true faith" and Piety as "outward signs of devotion". I also found the way you treat Armor as a quasi-virtue quite intriguing - it gives the whole thing a nice quirky feel (and will probably work well in play).

Well, that's all for now.

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Erik Sieurin on Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:52 pm

Dex/AgI: I agree on the names. What about Speed and Craft? I tend to think that the idea that agile and dextrous people are close is something roleplayers only think because of stuff established by D&D. IRL as well as in stories heroes are far more likely to have different nimbleness and hand-to-eye-coordination than they are to have different muscle mass and health, yet many more games divides the latter than the former.

Hence the divide here.

Six vs five: Erh, typo...

Virtues: Eh, I am designing an old-school game. Screw free choice! Wink I'll steal your argument and say "magazine article"!

Paths: Knaves are common soldiers - men-at-arms, mercenaries, etc. The guys that Robin Hood knocks down with a chandelier in your average movie are Knaves, rank 0, for instance. Wink Knaves' abilities circle around melee combat, especially together with people, but since anyone *decent* who fights is a nobleman and a knight, someone who doesn't is a shade of suspicious. Hence they have some thief-style abilities as well.

Piety/Faith: The word choice is deliberate, actually. Since the GM would have trouble measuring a character's deep faith, you gain Piety mostly through acts - pilgrimages, crusades, finding relics, encountering angels, founding churches - and lose it through acts - blasphemy, murder, rape, betrayal and black magic. I actually find that quite medieval as well, at least to the average Knight or Knave...

The semi-virtues are designed to go on a similar scale... as virtues generally you only use one Virtue and one Gift together.

By only using two values at most (normally) I ensure two things. First, if you use many values, the average value will be more average, so to speak. If you use just two, they will vary more. On the other hand, when you have many values, the extremes - while rare - get more extreme. Now I know that I am dealing with 1-12 + -3 - + 3 (-5 to +5, in extremis).

Though currently I am worried that Armor and Piety may vary too much... we'll see.

Thanks for your comments,
Erik

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Admin on Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:24 pm

Erik Sieurin wrote:Dex/AgI: I agree on the names. What about Speed and Craft? I tend to think that the idea that agile and dextrous people are close is something roleplayers only think because of stuff established by D&D. IRL as well as in stories heroes are far more likely to have different nimbleness and hand-to-eye-coordination than they are to have different muscle mass and health, yet many more games divides the latter than the former.

Indeed. As for the new names, well, I don't know about Speed, really - it seems too restrictive and has a "physic textbook" ring to it. How about "Swiftness" ? Or keep Agility but use a variant name for Dexterity - like Craft or Finesse.

Erik Sieurin wrote:Six vs five: Erh, typo...

Wouldn't a gift of Bearing, Presence or Charisma (as far as terms and concepts are concerned, I LOVE "Bearing") work well in such a game ? It could also pair up quite nicely with Valor (for leadership), Cunning (for deception) and Wisdom (for rhetorics).

Erik Sieurin wrote:Virtues: Eh, I am designing an old-school game. Screw free choice! Wink I'll steal your argument and say "magazine article"!

Why not ? Smile I was only suggesting this because it actually seemed simpler - but as you point out, there is room for later optional variants or Revised rules, grumpy grognards etc. Wink

Erik Sieurin wrote:Piety/Faith: The word choice is deliberate, actually. Since the GM would have trouble measuring a character's deep faith, you gain Piety mostly through acts - pilgrimages, crusades, finding relics, encountering angels, founding churches - and lose it through acts - blasphemy, murder, rape, betrayal and black magic. I actually find that quite medieval as well, at least to the average Knight or Knave...

You're right. It does seem easier to judge gains and losses of Piety than gains and losses of true faith - and it does prevent players from getting away with lame excuses like "ah, I'm not showing devotion but deep in my heart I have true faith."

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Re: It only took me a meherculean 7 months...

Post  Erik Sieurin on Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:06 pm

*I'll see about names for gifts... I actually think I'll keep Dexterity - it is directly associated with hand-eye coordination and not very much with full-body movement, really. I don't see it as much of a problem... now I am uncertain. I liked the single-syllable thing in M&M.

*There will be no social stats in DADA. Thats a feature, not a bug. Social stats always end up dumpstats. At the same time, I like that a person of strong will or sharp wits are good at what they do socially. Status is used as a social virtue, somewhat. It comes in the chapter on NPCs.

*Well, I tend to think that either you have games with skill systems, or you have level/class systems. Mixes annoy me, they get the weakest part of each. I won't make games that annoy me.
albino

There will be a lot of short-term and non-mechanical choices in DADA. I think I need to actually write a full post on that. It mostly comes out in things like magic and combat.

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The dithering fool repents, part 2.

Post  Erik Sieurin on Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:42 am

Erik Sieurin wrote:*There will be no social stats in DADA. Thats a feature, not a bug. Social stats always end up dumpstats. At the same time, I like that a person of strong will or sharp wits are good at what they do socially. Status is used as a social virtue, somewhat. It comes in the chapter on NPCs.
I still want Will or Wits to be used to represent presence and eloqence, respectively, but there is certainly place for a "pure appearance" stat. I just have to figure out how to make people not making it a dump stat...

Thinking:
It would be used almost solely for "reaction rolls". I am considering something like a low, erh, Visage (?) means you look ugly, which adds in situations like meeting potentially hostile people on the road - you look mean, so they will be careful. In civilised situations, when combat isn't really the issue, the oppostie applies. So, a player can chose any value between -3 and +3 - he will be as much penalised as he gets a bonus for it, and cannot use points to raise his Might or something equally stupid - or he can dice for it.

The other use would be as pure seduction (positive Visage/Grace/Appearance is good) or intimidation (negative V/G/A/wtf? is good).

Of course, any powergamer worth his salt will maximise his advantage in one way and play it that way, but I think that is managable.

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