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Author Topic: A Desktop RPG: Big Damn Heroes  (Read 1754 times)

Vector

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Desktop RPG
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2013, 01:06:17 pm »

This is a wonderful idea--I keep seeing my gaming groups break up due to people moving and the lack of streamlined, suitable online tools.  Please do it.
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Knight of Fools

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Desktop RPG
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2013, 01:28:43 pm »

I'd love something like this, especially if you could include options to use your own systems.

Heck, if you allowed different rule sets it'd be something I could use during actual tabletop games. It'd certainly open up a lot of mechanical options for my own home brew game, which I'm struggling to keep simple enough to play without a calculator.
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Bauglir

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Re: Gauging Interest in a Desktop RPG
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 10:49:05 pm »

Rise from the depths, thread, and stand once more among the living!

EDIT: Note that the rules text here is functionally dead. It won't be seeing play, at least not in this game, although maybe if I decide to write a smaller game that's directly about dealing with abstract ideals then maybe I might recycle it. It's just not a good fit for the system, I realized. I'm leaving it here because, well, it's not actually bad rules. Somebody might be able to use them for something, or be inspired, or whatever, and if that's the case it's better off here than not. Worst case, I'm just taking up space.

So, I've been puttering away at learning math and programming and such. Nothing directly applicable, just trying to get myself set to actually take classes. I've got enough ideas down to know that I can't even start playtesting without a basic interface, which has set my timetable back significantly. Such is life, though. Anyway, meanwhile, I'm still working on foundational aspects of the game, trying to get them to some degree of elegance and depth, but I'm a terrible judge of how much complexity is acceptable. I wanted to get some opinions on a part of the game that I think is reasonably polished, and which isn't heavily tied to the interface directly, so a sense can still be gotten of what's going on. A side effect, though, is that it isn't exceptionally well-suited to the medium, so it's not really an exemplar of the game's primary design goal, so keep that in mind. I just mostly hope that it doesn't clash with it.

So, here's my answer to Alignments. It clocks in at about half the length of D&D's section, but this is a somewhat abbreviated version to be used in character creation - a more in-depth look at each choice would probably extend the length significantly, and could possibly double it.

In addition to the design-philosophy, it's also important that it be satisfying in terms of straight-up philosophy. Are these reasonable divisions and terminology, or are they likely to lead to the same sort of confusion as Good and Evil, or (even worse) complete player disinterest? Do I need clearer language, or a complete rewrite? Are my ideas bad, and should I feel bad? Basically, any feedback on whether any of this is even a good idea is as welcome as feedback on whether I executed it well or not.

Spoiler: The Rules (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Musings (click to show/hide)

I doubt anybody would bother with plagiarism here, but just in case, vaguely-worded copyright stuff that probably doesn't have legal weight - do whatever you want with it, but credit me in some way, and actually get in touch with me if you plan to make money off it.

EDIT: Aw, hell, I might as well ask. If anybody would be interested in working on the coding end of this thing, I'd be grateful. If you know how you would put together Gametable or one of the other, similar things mentioned earlier in the thread, my admittedly scant knowledge of programming suggests that you have all the skills you'd need for the bare minimum. My magical Christmasland vision would also involve a video chat client of sorts, but that's a higher bar than I can realistically aim for, and it's not strictly necessary. Moneywise, I could probably afford $200 each month, possibly $300, which isn't much, so chances are I'd need to pay for the work over several months - and that's contingent on getting my current financial woes under control. I've only got assurances from other people in that regard, no money in the bank yet, so I'm not going to make any promises I can't keep yet, but I have no intention of asking somebody for help on this and not paying for it.

If I get any actual interest, I'll throw together an actual specification and we'll see what we can do. Send me a PM if you're interested. In case of competition, I'll give preference to somebody who's familiar with video chat and/or web design, since those are both things that will be very relevant in the future. I'd also be okay with a team effort, but since that involves dividing up what I'm able to pay, you might not be. If you wouldn't mind, let me know, otherwise I'll assume you'd rather be the sole person involved.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 11:50:49 pm by Bauglir »
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

tompliss

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Hiring (kinda)
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2013, 04:28:35 am »

Hey,

I have worked, on a school project on a RPG assistant for a specific game that "needed" it to be used (because it uses differents mecanics for each process, so hitting with a sword or punching or casting a spell or socializing all are differents).
So I have a little hint for your RPG and its tool :
Using to computer to handle complex mathematics, or to handle the fact that you can have 20 differents types of tests because of 20 differents types of actions is a bad idea. Most players and GMs will want to predict the possibilities without asking a software to do it, and having to "trust" the software when you can't compute a test by yourself is not something most of the GMs I know want to do (conducted surveys about it ...)

I think there is one thing a software can bring to the usual RPG (but that will fit "dungeon crawl" RPG more than "acting" ones) : scores modifications.
A software will happily handle 6 temporary modifiers, telling the players why they are here, or predict average scores (and showing the formulas), chances to kill, ...

Last thing : you may want to play (again ?) the Fall Out RPGs (the 1 & 2, I mean), and perhaps Shadowrun Return, to get ideas from them. I know this is really not what you want to do, but heir combat system will help you understand what I mean.
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Neonivek

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Hiring (kinda)
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2013, 12:58:08 pm »

Quote
Most players and GMs will want to predict the possibilities without asking a software to do it, and having to "trust" the software when you can't compute a test by yourself is not something most of the GMs I know want to do

To me this would almost be like vampire the Masquerade's GM mode.

Though the key to this would be flexibility and UI.
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Knight of Fools

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Hiring (kinda)
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2013, 01:11:15 pm »

There's a reason UI and menu screens get screen time when game/program makers show off videos of their games. Those things are rough to do, and they take ages to do properly.
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Bauglir

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2014, 04:57:39 pm »

Once again, rise from the depths!

I've been chugging away at this for a while. Learning that Roll20 is a thing has resolved much of the technical side of this project - attempting to build a game-specific client would be a kind of stupid duplication of effort. Once I have a solid draft, I will need to go through and learn how to do everything with their system that I need to, and adjust my own system to be streamlined with theirs, but I've checked to make sure it can handle the really core stuff, and it can.

I've largely abandoned the Ethics stuff, above. It's too complex for too little value. Feel free to jack it if you want to make a game where it's more central to the system, which it would very much need to be. I got too caught up in feature creep, and it was too many bells and whistles. The replacement looks a lot more like FATE, but I digress.

I've been polishing the core gameplay rules, and I've realized that I need to completely rework how Heroism Points work before I can officially say I'm done with the stuff that isn't what I call raw content generation (which is a distinction I make between writing the system, and writing things that use the system; it's the difference between writing rules for being a Fighter and writing rules for how classes work in general, to use D&D). Even so, most of the structural core is in now, and I think it's time for me to start getting opinions on the peripheral stuff that I can still fiddle with. It'll help my writing style, help me focus on an attitude toward game design that people other than me want to see, and so on, in the leadup to getting a real Alpha release set up somewhere and figuring out how to host all this horseshit, so that the real rules can be critiqued for their mechanical value.

That all being said, here's a snippet from my damage rules. I'm going through a description of "temporary" damage, which heals a lot faster than other kinds of damage, provided you don't keep taking the same kind of damage. Like nonlethal damage in D&D, you're not exactly at risk of dying, although unlike D&D, I've hardcoded that if people keep hurting you, it's regular damage. The idea here is to give readers an idea of what this rule actually represents, so that it's not just a free-floating bit of fiddliness.

Spoiler: Snip (click to show/hide)

I'm a bit worried that I'm going too PSA here, but I'm caught in a bit of a problem. If I don't go that direction, I feel like what I've written comes off as a bit psychopathic. A bit of a FATAL vibe to it, if you see what I mean. I don't want to come across as saying that violence ought to be used as motivation in everyday life, but at the same time, since I'm writing rules for a game and I'm not responding to any particular misuse of power, I don't want that dis-endorsement to come across as picking a moral crusade nobody ever asked for. And I can't leave the discussion out entirely, because then these rules aren't grounded in anything and probably are going to be misunderstood pretty badly.

Any thoughts, tips, etc?

EDIT: And OP updated. Feel free to read it if you want a mission statement and a little more clarity about my far-too-ambitious goals.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 05:21:06 pm by Bauglir »
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

Armok

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2014, 05:28:32 pm »

This looks interesting, and I might even decide to help if I suddenly get a lot more time, but I probably won't.

On the ethics side, since that's what you've said most about; what about having just the religion mechanic, renaming it "philosophy", and provide a few default packages for non-religious characters that still mechanically work the same? Basically anything that ends with -ism is one, although you might want to rename the ones that refer to specific people or places. The average person might have one metaethical, one economical, and one religious philosophy, but thats more a tendency than a rule and they are not different mechanically. The rivalry between communism and capitalism works exactly like the one between the moon god and the sun goddess.

The temporary damage PSAness might be resolved by just providing more and clearer examples instead, and distancing yourself from them by puting them in the mouth of characters that indicate you don't necessarily agree.
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Bauglir

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 12:03:53 am »

G'ho! I do like that philosophy idea. I'd put it right on in if I were still using that system. In fact, I may put it into my old version just so that if I ever resurrect the system for this project or another, it's right there. Sadly, and this may have been buried in my many, many walls of text, I'm not using quite the same system anymore. Making devotion a statistic is an interesting idea with a lot of handy design space, but the more I looked at what else I was writing, the more it felt tacked-on and unwieldy. I haven't written it up yet, or I'd post it, but my current plan is a system that uses player-defined ideals, without scaling statistics (instead it's just a binary, do-you-or-don't-you sort of thing). I've edited that last post to make that clearer.

I also like the suggestion for the PSAness - I don't have to explicitly say everything in one paragraph, when it comes to conveying attitudes that are tangential to the rules. I'll see what I can do. Thank you for the input!
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

MaximumZero

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2014, 02:05:08 pm »

I have a keen interest in this, given that I'm also homebrewing with a hope to publish.
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Bauglir

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2014, 11:22:45 pm »

I'm glad to hear it!

*Snipped Dead Text*
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 09:03:54 pm by Bauglir »
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

Bauglir

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2014, 09:21:11 pm »

I've finished the rules for encounters. If I've done it right, they should be comprehensible even without the character creation rules, which I can now get back to working on. Would anybody like to give them a read? I'm going to refrain from posting them here for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is Wall of Text syndrome, so please send me a PM including an email address, and I'll get back to you with a copy. I'm mostly looking for inconsistencies, things that you can't understand, and things that you do understand but have bad implications. Standalone comprehensibility is a goal, so I won't be including what I've got for character creation and such - please let me know if something is completely mystifying. I'm not very concerned with balance right now - we're still early in, and there's not enough information in this to accurately gauge what all the options really mean. I'll include the minimum exterior knowledge and formatting explanations and so on in the email I send.

I've gutted the last post because of Wall of Text, and I've changed too much for it to be relevant. The cutting room floor is densely cluttered.
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

sjm9876

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2014, 03:41:57 am »

I'm prepared to give them a read.

Also, on the cutting note, that actually tends to be a good sign - that you're prepared to drop ideas that don't work is definitely a pro.
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Bauglir

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Re: A Desktop RPG: Now Writing
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2014, 06:17:51 pm »

Something I can actually put in snippet form - the complete entries for the various races.

Size is 0 for simplicity's sake; it doesn't affect anything for your standard characters, so it lowers the learning curve a bit. Anatomy is always biped; it just defines a list of slots you have to equip things, and it really only exists to enable monsters and weird races. Life expectancy will probably never come into mechanical play, but sounds like something important enough to include. Natural weapons are free modes of attack you get just for being you, pretty much what you'd expect. Power 1 is the lowest possible, so you'll not be winning many fights with these (barring ways to boost that damage via training, such as being a martial arts expert).

Spoiler: Human (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Dwarf (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Elf (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Orc (click to show/hide)

Trying to get a nice happy medium between evading mandatory races for certain builds while still making your choice give you something you'll care about now and again. I probably need to change the Orc ability for that reason, since of the lot it's the only one you're guaranteed to be able to game, but in general how do you think I did?

Similarly, since culture will be a different thing than race, I want to avoid baking mandatory cultural stereotypes like "Dwarves are good at fighting goblins" right into the core rules, while still giving a jumping-off point that makes those stereotypes plausible outcomes if you have a culture that's primarily influenced by a given race. So "These Dwarves win lots of battles against poorly-equipped hordes because they're good at smashing their already-shitty equipment" could be a thing thing. But maybe you've also got a culture of Dwarves that lives on the surface as nomadic, siegebreaking mercenaries or something, and another one that's all about the merchant trade.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 08:27:28 pm by Bauglir »
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In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?”, asked Minsky. “I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-Tac-Toe” Sussman replied. “Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky. “I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play”, Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes. “Why do you close your eyes?”, Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.
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