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1  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: Today at 02:44:32 AM
Those all seem consistent Smiley.
2  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Lords of War — Registration on: April 21, 2014, 08:55:15 PM
Good to see we've reached quorum.
I'll keep registration open until I wake up Sunday.

I bought a pile of the new Netrunner game packs for inspiration. I'm hopeful this will be a weirdly, wildly tactical bit of corporate skullduggery along with the main event of strider design.

I did want to introduce the core mechanic of the game (as it exists in my mind) - contracts.

At the beginning of each turn there will be one or more contracts announced. Each contract will have 3 stated requirements and 2 hidden requirements (that can probably be loosely intuited from the news/recent events in-setting). The following turn companies may submit prototypes for trials. The turn after that a winner will be announced and shipment/payment commences.

The winner of each contract will be determined by a lottery system (this is the military industrial complex... merit has only the slightest impact...). If a trial has a total of 43 lots (see below), I'll roll d% until I get a result less than 44 and the owner of the lot wins the contract.

Each company will get 1 lot for each requirement (stated or hidden). The gamemaster (me Smiley) will distribute a total of 10 lots representing panelists/experts/judges from the body offering the contract based on my impressions of the designs when held up against each other and world events. If you're thinking you'll have the opportunity to sway/outright buy those lots, you're starting to get the idea how this is going to go Wink.

Companies will also get additional lots based on reputation or affinity with the buyer.

Companies can also amass black marks that act as lots. If that lot is dawn, the lottery repeats, but all of that company's lots are removed from the drawing. Drawing a black mark essentially triggers an "anyone but them" reaction. Black marks can be automatic (do awful thing X, take black marks Y), conditional (get caught doing awful thing X, take black maks Y), or random (country loses conflict where your designs are prominent, take black marks despite it being some idiot strider jockey's fault). Like reputation lots, black marks can be universal or bloc specific.

Once you have won a contract, you'll fill your warchest as fast as you can ship striders. Most contracts also have a second parts & services phase where you will continue to make money supporting a strider after it's fully shipped. Expanding your factories will allow you to ship faster. Expanding your shops will extend the trickle of income from providing parts.

I'm working to standardize the contracts and event and make the parts of your company (and options for expansion) simple to understand. More information soon Smiley.
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Fundamental Mathematics of RPGs on: April 21, 2014, 01:09:36 AM
Neat paper. I foresee several hours of happy reading from that link. I have to giggle that the first three pages appear to be a long-form explanation of what I much more informally call "good games beget good games" Smiley.
4  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Lords of War — Registration on: April 20, 2014, 11:31:24 PM
I just want to say (with a big smile Cheesy) I can almost smell the machines that will come out of some of these design houses!
5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Contemplating BattleTech-style combat add-on on: April 20, 2014, 03:21:14 PM
Corporate warfare/mech design mini-game registration is now open! Grin
6  Community / Play-by-Post / STORMSURGE: Lords of War — Registration on: April 20, 2014, 03:18:51 PM
STORMSURGE: Lords of War — Registration

  STORMSURGE is a near future setting where walking tanks have become a major component of ground warfare. The world's major economic blocs have become embroiled in resource warfare, primarily rare earth deposits. The entire continent of Africa has become something of a lawless frontier where national forces and mercenary companies guard or seize mining sites that have sprung up in the last two decades. The dark coninent has become “the Dark and Bloody” in both military jargon and the mass media.
  While the threat of nuclear deterrence has prevented open nation-to-nation warfare by the major players on other continents, strikes by plausibly deniable special forces groups have been on the rise. So far, these incidents have been relatively “clean” attacks with minimal civilian casualties and this new ‘Neo-Terrorism’ has become something of an accepted, if unwholesome instrument in the tools of state.

  Lords of War is a turn-based mini-game where companies (players) will submit designs competing to secure production contracts. Contracts will have a variety of requirements and designs will be scores by only partially visible criteria, with the outcome also being influenced by bribery, corruption, and espionage between the companies and the clients. Success will bring in money, while all company actions carry a cost. While (highly) competitive, the primary purpose of the Lords of War game is to jointly build a library of warstriders for use with traditional role-playing game within a historical context.

  To participate in the Lords of War mini-game you will need to register your warstrider manufacturing company by performing the following steps.

0. Company Name
  Give your company a name. You may also indicate a major city as the location of your business headquarters.

1. Select Tradmark Benefit
  Each company begins with access to only one traemark benefit when submitting prototypes. You are not required to use your trademark benefit when designing your prototypes. Trademark benefits are not unique (multiple companies may begin play with the same Trademark)

2. Select Competitive Technologies
  Choose 2 non-trademark benefits. When you include both of them when designing a prototype, it counts as a single benefit.

3. Select Frame Design Expertise
  Select 2 weight classes. Your cost to prototype is reduced if your design is in these weight classes.

4. Select Leg Design Expertise
  Select 2 leg types. Your cost to prototype is reduced if your design uses this leg type. There is an additional smaller discount if the weight class and legs are both in areas of expertise.

  Each company will be given a randomly determined warchest - points used to buy actions and build up the company. The current size of your warchest is hidden from other players (though it may be revealed by espionage). As play progresses companies will have the opportunity to buy additional features and advantages with these points.

  The game will only launch if there are at least 6 players. It is my hope for the game to play out over a 15 year in-setting period with the winner being the company with the largest value in combined holdings as a percentage of their initial warchest.

Sample Company

Onyx-Iron Industrial
Headquarters: Miami
Factories: TBD
Warchest: Confidential

Trademark: Amphibious
Competitive Tech: Precise Weapon/Reactive Armor
Design Expertise (frame): Light, Heavy
Design Expertise (leg): Battler, Stocky
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Fundamental Mathematics of RPGs on: April 20, 2014, 12:26:55 PM

"The world is made up of characters, objects, and scenery"
The Entity primitive is what makes the characters and objects, and any scenery that has mechanics. I should note that this is all purely about the mechanics of rpgs, no fluff or story.

Cool. Why I mention "Character, Objects, and Scenery" is they form an exclusive list of categories - if a thing isn't one of those three _it doesn't exist_.

I'm more used to breaking the universe down into manageable chunks rather than building up to them Smiley. As an item becomes more defined by progressive layers of categorization it picks up hooks that guide interactions.

"ALL Characters can be further subdivided into Allies, Bystanders, Enemies."
"ALL Characters are either Standard or Special."

I thought that maybe this was what you were describing with tags? I'm just looking at the importance of exclusives sets of tags rather than free-standing identifiers.

Quote
"All characters have 6 attributes"
"The six character attributes are an ordered list of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma"
That would be defined first by making an Entity template that has six stats for those attributes, and second by rules that would make use of them and thus differentiate them from other stats (though I have yet to make a way to express that part).

With the ordered list its a tool for presentation - if Intelligence and Strength ever appear together as equals, its always listed Strength first, then Intelligence - is a situation where the order supersedes the default of presentation in alphabetical order.

Quote
"Initial attributes are purchased by spending a pool of character points according to the following table..."
I currently don't have a way to express that, but it would be in a rule section.

I find your definition of pool curious. To me a "pool" as a mechanical term refers to a "resource pool" - a body of currency that enables choices. Compare: 5 dice that must be spent together is a value, 5 dice that may be spent in multiple ways is a pool. And a critical question about pools is how often do they refill. your character point pool never refills. Your action dice pool refills at the beginning of each session. Your spell point pool refills at the beginning of each scene. Your Edge (pool) refills only when you take actions that fill it.

Hopefully this sparks some evolution Smiley.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Fundamental Mathematics of RPGs on: April 20, 2014, 11:31:02 AM
It interesting, but also a bit of a foreign language for me Smiley.

Within that system, how are you describing~

"The world is made up of characters, objects, and scenery"
"All characters have 6 attributes"
"The six character attributes are an ordered list of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma"
"Initial attributes are purchased by spending a pool of character points according to the following table..."
9  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Contemplating BattleTech-style combat add-on on: April 18, 2014, 11:43:23 PM
Alrighty! Anti-missile Systems are go.

I'll open a new thread in the Play-by-Post for a little game of "Run a major warstrider manufacturer" shortly  Cool.
10  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 18, 2014, 03:33:35 PM
Origins
New Talent

Wildsong
  You are one of the rollicking, tempestuous satyrs of Theros.
  Satyr (Medium Folk): You gain the Satyr feat. Your maximum Wounds equal your Constitution score.
  Suggested Native Culture & Language: Setessan & Theroan

•   +4 to lower of Dexterity or Charisma, -2 to Wisdom
•   Base Speed: 30 ft.
•   Hearty Appetite (Satyr): You benefit from the first 2 food and 2 drink you consume each day.
•   Instinctive Agility (Satyr): You gain 1 rank in Acrobatics and a +1 bonus to all Acrobatics checks. Apply this bonus rank before spending skill points.
•   Instinctive Eloquence: You gain 1 rank in Impress and a +1 bonus to all Impress checks. Apply this bonus rank before spending skill points.
•   Naive (Satyr): The cost for you to activate Haggle and all Sense Motive check critical successes against non-Satyrs is increased by 1 action die.
•   Natural Attacks (Satyr): You gain the Gore I and Hooves I natural attacks.

Species Feats

Satyr
  Your wild innocence makes you the life of the party but you rarely stick around to help clean up afterwards. If you are female you may be called a faun instead of a satyr.
  Prerequisite: Level 1 only
  Benefit: Add the following benefits to your Species or Talent:

•   Hearty Appetite: You benefit from the first 2 food and 2 drink you consume each day.
•   Instinctive Agility: You gain 1 rank in Acrobatics and a +1 bonus to all Acrobatics checks. Apply this bonus rank before spending skill points.
•   Naive: The cost for you to activate Haggle and all Sense Motive check critical successes against non-Satyrs is increased by 1 action die.
•   Natural Attacks: You gain the Gore I and Hooves I natural attacks.

11  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Let's Read: Fantasy Craft on: April 18, 2014, 01:48:34 PM
So... is it making more sense after a methodical read-through? What things have you discovered in the skills you had totally overlooked before?
12  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Spellcasting Feats on: April 18, 2014, 01:25:35 PM
Externalized is WAY too cheap. 5 spell points is probably more appropriate. When considering Anti-magic Field even five may be too cheap...

Hmm. Maybe 1 per level of the spell...
13  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 18, 2014, 01:23:52 PM
I've worked out some less obtrusive formatting (with fewer page-flips!) and I think I've decoupled the Size category info in a way that will increase overall flexibility. Still puttering with gorgons.


...Ok, now I'm pretty happy with the gorgon's gaze and the Pharikos Smiley.
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: April 18, 2014, 12:20:39 AM
Transcendence: Profoundly Not Good.

It peaks at mediocre, it dips down to complete horseshit, but most of the time it's just bad.

If you have two brain cells to rub together I recommend you wait for a $1 rental and even then you might consider the abuse of your time too high a price.
15  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Inspiration] M:tG's Theros Setting on: April 17, 2014, 07:19:42 PM
Climber language was something I was exploring when working on travel powers for superheroes Smiley. The minimum 15 really just sweeps a lot of little piss-ant rolls off the table and lets you climb without hassle.

In many ways this version of gorgon is a complete and deliberate inversion of the Light of Olympus approach: This makes the petrifying gaze and the serpentine body the default rather than something to work up to. I don't want size-category mismatches between the Talent and Feat, so for the moment if it happens at all it happens on the feat - something I will be keeping an eye on as I continue to experiment.

The petrification is actually something of a fluff effect (dead is dead, really). Any sort of intermediate stun/paralysis would be much more powerful. I have chopped the number of targets off at the knees in the most recent edits, so at the moment its actually a pretty mild effect with the biggest advantages being that it doesn't require an action and that its divine damage (which cleans up a lot of questions about "why does armor help with a gaze attack...?"). On the whole I think it's weaker than drake's breath now. I can see increased damage and multiple uses in a single round as good candidates for further feat support. Possibly a stunning effect, but I'm always leery of stun lock.

I'm holding off on a gorgon card spread until the last set is out, but this is the primary example of the breed~

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