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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Aug 2008

    Default Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Legacy is a game about playing a series of masters and apprentices across generations, about the marks left behind by the past and left on the future. Intended for campaign play for two players and a GM, Legacy neatly fits in a nearly unoccupied niche.

    It's also probably full of rough edges that I'm just too close to it to see, so I'm looking for people a little further from it to sandblast it a bit. The current version is found at this link. Have fun sandblasting.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    So I just sort of dumbed thoughts as I read, so this goes from typo to comments on the games structure:

    • What formatting tools did you use and how did you get two columns?
    • Character creation rules might be better reordered instead of talking about skimming and coming back.
    • Don't bother with "Strength is largely self-explanatory" go to the explanation.
    • Skill Value/Meaning table should probably be on one page.
    • Weapons seem... over/oddly divided. I may have to come back to this one. (For instance in a game about a knight and squire this list might work, but for a martial artist and a student Unarmed Combat being one skill and cutting weapons being three might be odd.) (Knife fighting is required to cut a rope with a knife?)
    • Is thievery more "slight of hand"?
    • The other skills definitely feel like charisma (or equivalent) skills.
    • Graceful Aging: Are age penalties fine grained enough for 10% to matter.
    • Titles: a more formal way to have the "of the X" or example fill in. Maybe start the second paragraph with that form and then put "where X is..."
    • Special Titles: First off, there are three, not two, I think you forgot to update that. I am confused to their purpose, they are always renamed and have no mechanical effect? You could have a meta-game "role" with the in-game title being something separate? (If I guessed their purpose correctly.)
    • Helping Tools: What do the blank benefit entries mean?
    • Glad than not all powers are magic. If you want to branch out even more, may I recommend FATE stunt lists.
    • Put chapter 5 earlier! That completely changes some of the guesses I had about how significant values where. (Also I've never seen a "reverse dice pool system" before, its pretty cool.)
    • Have you considered negative quality system? -failures+skill gives degrees of success or something similar? Some of the opposed roll and quality role systems seem overly complex.
    • Huge shields are almost useless in melee combat?
    • (I really started skimming in 6 & 7, but I am happy escape and pursuit is a section.)
    • Training just being a time skip seems odd. I think montages or something would help liven that up. Its seems very vague right now, and that is a pretty significant part of the game. Actually this is where most of the teaching of master to apprentice happens, it seems odd to not build it up more.
    • Retirement being forced seems odd, especially since it is across types of masters. A knight will retire before a headsman.
    • I feel some option to let the student increase skills past the master's should be on the table. Just slower?
    • Why are retired characters NPCs? Why not have them by a secondary PC?

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]What formatting tools did you use and how did you get two columns?
    Google Docs. It could probably use proper layout software, but eh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Character creation rules might be better reordered instead of talking about skimming and coming back.
    I'll definitely consider that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Don't bother with "Strength is largely self-explanatory" go to the explanation.
    Will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Skill Value/Meaning table should probably be on one page.
    I in general need to do another pass getting the tables on one page.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Weapons seem... over/oddly divided. I may have to come back to this one. (For instance in a game about a knight and squire this list might work, but for a martial artist and a student Unarmed Combat being one skill and cutting weapons being three might be odd.) (Knife fighting is required to cut a rope with a knife?)
    I was concerned about that, but there is a reason for that - mostly because whether a weapon cuts generally feels more minor in handling in my experience to general size, hence the same skill working fine for axes, swords, maces, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Is thievery more "slight of hand"?
    Kind of, yeah. I'll review this for a rewrite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]The other skills definitely feel like charisma (or equivalent) skills.
    They are, and I'm planning on clarifying that, though not adding the stat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Graceful Aging: Are age penalties fine grained enough for 10% to matter.
    The penalties? No, but that operates on what age the penalties kick in at. Sounds like it needs a rewrite review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Titles: a more formal way to have the "of the X" or example fill in. Maybe start the second paragraph with that form and then put "where X is..."
    I might figure out a different way to write these. Examples are potentially more out; there's a line to be thread regarding extent of genericness that they're pushing a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Special Titles: First off, there are three, not two, I think you forgot to update that. I am confused to their purpose, they are always renamed and have no mechanical effect? You could have a meta-game "role" with the in-game title being something separate? (If I guessed their purpose correctly.)
    They have no singular, concrete effect. I'll add more about setting specific effects somewhere/

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Helping Tools: What do the blank benefit entries mean?
    Nothing at that level. I'll specify that there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Glad than not all powers are magic. If you want to branch out even more, may I recommend FATE stunt lists.
    Trust me, I have material. It was cut to prevent a hundred page chapter I don't want to write and nobody wants to read, especially given that powers are an optional system. Stunt lists are more on the talent side anyways, as a rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Put chapter 5 earlier! That completely changes some of the guesses I had about how significant values where. (Also I've never seen a "reverse dice pool system" before, its pretty cool.)
    Mechanics before character creation then? I'll consider it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Have you considered negative quality system? -failures+skill gives degrees of success or something similar? Some of the opposed roll and quality role systems seem overly complex.
    I'm not that happy with the quality of work system, to be honest. There's a part of me considering just scrapping it entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Huge shields are almost useless in melee combat?
    They're less useful than a more middling shield, yeah. I wouldn't say almost useless though, that's effectively half a skill point, which on a 0-5 scale is sizeable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*](I really started skimming in 6 & 7, but I am happy escape and pursuit is a section.)
    Gotta have chase rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Training just being a time skip seems odd. I think montages or something would help liven that up. Its seems very vague right now, and that is a pretty significant part of the game. Actually this is where most of the teaching of master to apprentice happens, it seems odd to not build it up more.
    I'll definitely consider the montage. As is though the long years of training are generally less interesting by nature than the adventures (almost definitionally), and a lot of what they're for is to let time pass to bring the generational mechanics into play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Retirement being forced seems odd, especially since it is across types of masters. A knight will retire before a headsman.
    I might add some text about varying that. The big thing is that retirement pushes you over to a new student and lets the previous student become the master, and pushing that cycle is a significant fraction of the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]I feel some option to let the student increase skills past the master's should be on the table. Just slower?
    You can do it with adventuring experience, just not training experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Why are retired characters NPCs? Why not have them by a secondary PC?
    Mostly because this operates within a one player one character mould, but that's tautological. I'll definitely consider this.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    That is a lot of feedback on the feedback, I picked out just a few to follow up on. Most of it doesn't need anything else to be said about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Google Docs. It could probably use proper layout software, but eh.
    I do use "proper layout software" and doesn't solve everything. Multicolumn in particular is giving me troubles and so many parts are short so feels like a good idea anyways. Which is why I asked, but we can talk about type setting some other day.

    The penalties? No, but that operates on what age the penalties kick in at. Sounds like it needs a rewrite review.
    I got that. Its just that there are few enough boundaries that it seems like a really small thing. The last boundary is at 61, so 10% would bring it up by 6(.1) so we are looking at less than 1 adventure period on average as the time skips are 7 years on average. Which seems like a small thing.

    I'll definitely consider the montage. As is though the long years of training are generally less interesting by nature than the adventures (almost definitionally), and a lot of what they're for is to let time pass to bring the generational mechanics into play.
    Yes but I still feel like important stuff is happening, just not as densely as in an adventure. For instance this is where a new apprentice is selected and joins begins training which seems like a pretty big deal to me.

    I've never really thought about this so I don't have any well formed ideas on how to handle it. I guess I feel the result should be like normal play, just with time passing much faster. But I'm not sure what that actually looks like.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Well, I've taken a look at the document, reading from the top. My main suggestion is that you should do a more thorough job at explaining terms and concepts before you refer to them. For example, the first chapter notes that this system is "potentially better suited for some fantasy settings" but it takes several chapters before you mention which ones. The first chapter also refers to "a roll of 5d against 5" which is not RPG standard jargon; and refers to a "training phase" before pointing out what phases are. So start with a summary and outline of terms and concepts, before you go into further depth. Related to this approach is that you should explain the normal situation (e.g. "a character's character") before explaining the exceptions (e.g. "replacement characters"), not the other way around.

    Mechanically speaking, I don't get why a "first apprentice", "standard apprentice", and "replacement apprentice" each have subtly different means of character generation. Is this necessary? It is cleaner, instead of saying you can use whatever dice you like (as pretty much every common die has a 50% chance of rolling odd), to pick a die type and stick with it. I find it more intuitive to look for high and low rolls, instead of odd and even rolls. Finally, I find that subtracting failed rolls (a double negative) is much less intuitive than adding successful rolls, and you can probably make a mechanic that ends up with the same odds of success, and be clearer and faster to play (this is similar to how THAC0 - d20 <= AC gives the same odds as BAB + d20 >= AC).

    I note that your system is essentially a class-less (and simplified) variant of D&D. You have the same ability scores (as the "other skills" section is basically about charisma skills), largely the same skill list, and your talents are basically feats. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I am unclear on whether your changes to abilities and skills are because of changes you would like to make in D&D (in the style of a fantasy heartbreaker), or if they specifically support your master-and-student system. The text also isn't clear on whether task resolution is based on stat + skill or on just the skill; the skills chapter suggests the former and the resolution chapter the latter. If the latter, you may want to explain why: since almost every task is a skill, this makes ability scores go largely unused, except as the equivalent of reflex and fortitude saves.

    You may want to explain under attributes which one(s) are used for attack or defense, and why there is no charisma score; and I note that as in most attribute-based systems, dexterity is clearly more "powerful" or "important" than any other stat. Tentatively, the best stat layout is something like 5-2-2-2-2 or 5-3-3-1-1, since the point cost for stats is linear. Finally, an attrib for "any mental task that isn’t covered by perception" probably shouldn't be called "knowledge", because it is broader than that.

    The skill list has a number of overlapping skills that arguably shouldn't be distinct (and that tend to be combined in newer iterations of similar RPGs), such as thievery + lockpicking, wagoneering + charioteering, tumbling + leap, or tracking + hunting. Since you have a knowledge stat, I don't understand why "knowledge of fish and fisheries" is listed as a strength skill or "knowledge of how to make simple snares" is listed as perception. Conversely, since there is a perception stat I don't see how aiming a crossbow can be considered agility. It strikes me that the "strength" skills list is padded with some unlikely choices (e.g. fishing, archery, climbing), probably because there wouldn't be enough strength skills otherwise. On that note, it's odd that there are no skills for the toughness attribute; e.g. running would be a good fit here.

    HTH.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    So... this is 88 pages, and so my current plan is to chip away at this 1 chapter at a time.

    Let's get started!

    "Legacy: an RPG for masters and apprentices"
    - this sounds like master and apprentice RPG players... and while that may be true (I don't know yet), having a tagline that sounds like its refering to the PLAYERS mastery feels both counter-immersive, and somewhat intimidating ("What? I need to do an apprenticeship to play this game?")

    Similarly "Volume I" implies the existence of Volume II, and increases how difficult the game sounds.
    If you make other volumes, great! unless the current work DEPENDS on those volumes in order to be complete, I would avoid implying their existence for now.

    Cool picture.




    "Legacy is a game about masters
    and apprentices, meant to be played with
    two players and a GM."
    Since this is your first mention of GM, I'd be tempted to either say "three players", or alternatively "two players and a Game Master (GM)" or "Two players and a storyteller" or something.
    Either way, avoid the use of Jargon.

    ... Actually wait- who is your target audience? Do you WANT this to be readable to people who haven't RPGd before?


    "While the idea of a master and
    apprentice exists across many genres
    from the very historical to very futuristic
    and the realistic to the downright gonzo,
    Volume I focuses on fantasy in a lower
    tech milieu specifically. Other volumes
    will cover other genres."
    -is this needed? It implies a game which is bigger- in the "More overwhelming" direction, and sounds sort of textbook like as opposed to game like (in sentence structure at any rate).

    In particular, if nothing else, is the word "milieu" needed- its a pretty rare word.


    "Despite this, explicit setting details are avoided as best as possible. .... Still, this is potentially
    better suited for some fantasy settings than others within these parameters. " This sounds like an academic article...
    Which... would not be MY way of writing a game... but appears to be yours.
    I'm not going to continuously call you out on this (unless you ask me to), but words like "parameters" "Primary" set this feeling off.
    In terms of writing style, it feels like you spend a lot of words here to ensure absolute precision - in some sense
    "Still, this is potentially better suited for some fantasy settings than others within these parameters."
    could be written with fewer words
    "These rules will match some settings better than others".
    ... or could just not be written at all.
    If you aren't saying WHICH settings it matches best, then you aren't really telling the reader anything. ALL systems work better in some settings compared to others.

    Don't tell your players this, just give them a rulebook which implies a few settings it might work with, and let them figure it out.


    "There are a few necessary
    components of any Legacy campaign......"
    What does a Legacy campain look like? What does it feel like? Give me a scene to get me fired up. You can do this either via an explicit example, of via some sort of flavor text between sections.

    By the time I'm collecting the component to build a campaign, I want to know what it feels like.
    You need to include your hook, and you need it on the page ASAP.

    There are a few necessary
    components of any Legacy campaign.
    The
    GM needs a setting, the players
    collectively need to establish the cyclical
    social roles of their characters, and
    individually need to establish the first
    master and apprentice.

    This text assumes that the GM is
    capable of
    can making or finding get a fantasy or
    historical
    setting. However, there are a
    few quirks of Legacy that can impose
    certain requirements.
    Be aware: A timespan of
    decades for a short campaign or centuries
    for a long one is assumed, and unless that
    is spent on an intergenerational journey
    that
    this tends to require requires a consistent setting
    that can undergo that gradual change. Having
    enough history there that it feels like a
    continuation is recommended.

    Don't include caveats.
    Don't include "Its usually like this, except sometimes it isn't"
    Don't worry about "Things TEND" to be this way. Just say that they are. You'll be correct 90% of the time, and the other 10% of the time your players will figure it out for themselves.
    You are not trying to produce a mathematical court.
    You are not trying to avoid perjury in court.
    Dare to be wrong and tell blatant lies for the sake of simplification.



    Particularly archetypal examples of
    this include the knight and squire, the
    leader and heir or protege, the martial
    artist and best student, and the shaman
    or wizard and apprentice. History
    provides many other examples, existing
    fantasy provides many more, and...
    PAGEBREAK
    This is good. This should go earlier on to give people a better idea of what you mean by master and apprentice. Also, you should re-write it without the use of the word "Or", and can probably cut a bunch of other words out of this if you put your mind to it.
    Kill every word you don't need.

    Also: don't let paragraphs drip across a page. This is an editing thing, so probably you shouldn't worry about it till then end, but it is important.


    Making the first master and first
    apprentice is a bit more mechanically
    involved, and has its own section. Being
    able to make a nonmechanical character
    concept is assumed. Representing them
    mechanically needs a bit more specialized
    knowledge.
    This paragraph is intimidating. It is also possibly impossible to read for someone who doesn't game lots (Mechanical vs non-mechanical character, for example)

    Every time you use the phrase "Is assumed", this should throw up warning lights in your brain.
    If you ARE assuming they know something, then just assume it. If you aren't assuming it, then give detailed enough learning.
    If you don't know if you can assume, and hedge your bets by TELLING people you assume they can do a thing, then you need to decide one way or another.
    Ending a section by saying "Specialist knowledge is needed" is also intimidating.

    Legacy characters are codified by
    ratings in three major categories -
    attributes, skills, and talents. In addition
    there is an optional fourth category,
    powers.
    Attributes and skills are both
    rated from zero to five, while talents and...
    PAGEBREAK
    This is nice! Reword the first underline using fewer words. Avoid pagebreak if possible (change pic size, if needed)


    Can you give me EXAMPLES of what each of these are? Maybe two for each?
    Could you perhaps present me with an example character?


    codification
    extant
    TWho they are and the decisions they
    make are not addressed within the
    mechanics.
    Don't tell me what isn't here.

    However a few recommended
    methods for developing this are included
    in the character creation section.
    I'm about to read character creation.
    Trust your readers to keep reading, and find the thing that your about to give them in five minutes time.

    Beyond these are existing methods from extant
    games, writing techniques, etc.
    Trust your readers to figure this out on their own... or give SPECIFIC advice. Don't say "advice exists"


    I think... the shape of what you are doing here reminds me of this:
    https://xkcd.com/1343/

    At the beginning of the first
    session the players and GM should agree
    on what type of characters both players
    are playing, beyond just a master and an
    apprentice. Is it a knight and squire? An
    adventuring philosopher and their
    student? A wizard or shaman and their
    apprentice? A monk and their student?
    This is awesome. Find a way to put it a page sooner.

    Age: 35+1d6
    How critical is age?
    if it isn't critical, why is it here?
    Also: players don't know what a d6 is.

    If attributes are rolled, make a roll of 5d
    against 5


    For skills, have the master pick
    their skills first. The apprentice then
    spends their bigger number listed after
    skill points as they see fit, under the
    restriction that none of those skills
    exceed the skills of their master. The
    smaller pool can then be spent without
    those restrictions.
    This makes such flavourful sense... but I have no idea what it does to gameplay. Both in that, I worry about what happens when one player is just BETTER than the other... and also about the skills overlap this rule forces.
    Its cool... but I have concerns.

    The initial talents are picked as
    both the apprentice and master see fit,
    with no necessary relation to each other.
    Reword with fewer words? Or just get players to pick talents FIRST, so that they do so before they learn that skills are locked togeather.

    If the optional powers system is being
    used powers may be substituted for
    talents.
    Are there significant rules differences between powers and talents? Could you make "Magic" just another branch of talents to be allowed/restricted at GM discretion?
    Would doing so simplify your game?

    The master and apprentice titles
    are special - they denote basic rank
    within whatever structure the master and
    apprentice are in, and the apprentice
    replaced the apprentice title with the
    master title automatically. They might
    also have other setting specific effects to
    start with, and can potentially pick them
    up in play. Under most circumstances
    they should also be renamed to fit the
    particular characters, with the possibility
    of later getting embellished.
    You tell me that these titles are special... but I don't know what titles are supposed to do normally, so there's no comparison point. Your loading them into the character sheet like state variables, but by this stage you have already loaded them into your players brain pretty hard. Is this comment needed?

    Also... Embellished how?


    Replacement Characters
    This section doesn't want to be in this part of the book. I don't know what a training phase is. I don't know about character death, there is a ton of information I need before this section makes sense- either technically, but more importantly on an emotional level.

    Fleeting Companions
    Roll a six sided die twice to
    generate the values X and Y. These are
    used in the formulas below.

    Age: 10+10X+Y
    Attributes: 13, Apply Aging
    Skills: 20+10X
    Talents: X Normal Talents
    Title: Companion Title
    This, my friend, is terrifying.
    Having the vast majority of your power determined by a single d6 roll? having X and Y lying around.
    Having a rando show up, and either being useless, or super powerful? (or at least, super skilled?)


    And... also it looks like your goal is to be super simulationist here.
    Is that a fair assesment (linking skills to age, locking the apprentice skills to master skills).
    These are all valid design choices, but I should probably ask: what is your goal with this game?

    And... possibly for the sake of framing that question, RPG's often exist as a balance between simulation, game and narrative.
    Some systems lean into the game aspect more (becoming positively boardgamey), others into the simulation or narrative aspect.
    What do you want THIS rpg to look like.


    And a similar question... to what extent are you planning for the GM to tell a story which your players explore, and to what extent do players work collaboratively?



    ____________________________

    Okay... also, it is worth mentioning, I may have hammered your system with questions and queries here, but this is largely a question of writing style, not the game itself. And... well, writing style is exactly that, a style, a personal taste or preference. Take what I say, and see if it strikes a chord with you... but if it doesn't, no worries.
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Well, I've taken a look at the document, reading from the top. My main suggestion is that you should do a more thorough job at explaining terms and concepts before you refer to them. For example, the first chapter notes that this system is "potentially better suited for some fantasy settings" but it takes several chapters before you mention which ones. The first chapter also refers to "a roll of 5d against 5" which is not RPG standard jargon; and refers to a "training phase" before pointing out what phases are. So start with a summary and outline of terms and concepts, before you go into further depth. Related to this approach is that you should explain the normal situation (e.g. "a character's character") before explaining the exceptions (e.g. "replacement characters"), not the other way around.
    It sounds like I might have gone overboard in terms of writing for future reference instead of first learning, so I'll definitely keep an eye out for that in future edits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Mechanically speaking, I don't get why a "first apprentice", "standard apprentice", and "replacement apprentice" each have subtly different means of character generation. Is this necessary? It is cleaner, instead of saying you can use whatever dice you like (as pretty much every common die has a 50% chance of rolling odd), to pick a die type and stick with it. I find it more intuitive to look for high and low rolls, instead of odd and even rolls. Finally, I find that subtracting failed rolls (a double negative) is much less intuitive than adding successful rolls, and you can probably make a mechanic that ends up with the same odds of success, and be clearer and faster to play (this is similar to how THAC0 - d20 <= AC gives the same odds as BAB + d20 >= AC).
    I might trim the types of apprentice. There's reasons behind it (an apprentice gained later to replace a dead one probably has a more varied skill set than one trained for longer, players pass through a number of apprentices, etc.), but it's sounding like it's causing more confusion than anything. I'm getting the idea that that particular part is a darling that needs to be killed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I note that your system is essentially a class-less (and simplified) variant of D&D. You have the same ability scores (as the "other skills" section is basically about charisma skills), largely the same skill list, and your talents are basically feats. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I am unclear on whether your changes to abilities and skills are because of changes you would like to make in D&D (in the style of a fantasy heartbreaker), or if they specifically support your master-and-student system. The text also isn't clear on whether task resolution is based on stat + skill or on just the skill; the skills chapter suggests the former and the resolution chapter the latter. If the latter, you may want to explain why: since almost every task is a skill, this makes ability scores go largely unused, except as the equivalent of reflex and fortitude saves.
    There's some similarities in attributes, but D&D wasn't on my mind when I wrote it - almost everything is a skill because it's fundamentally a skill based system, where talents/powers are secondary and there largely to provide a framework for long term generational play, with attributes being if anything a tertiary mechanic. If anything GURPS is a closer fit, and target-audience wise my assumptions of familiarity with other games definitely include a working knowledge of GURPS. I might have to revise said assumptions though.

    That said, I've gotten this feed back often enough that I'm considering rejiggering the attributes a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    You may want to explain under attributes which one(s) are used for attack or defense, and why there is no charisma score; and I note that as in most attribute-based systems, dexterity is clearly more "powerful" or "important" than any other stat. Tentatively, the best stat layout is something like 5-2-2-2-2 or 5-3-3-1-1, since the point cost for stats is linear. Finally, an attrib for "any mental task that isn’t covered by perception" probably shouldn't be called "knowledge", because it is broader than that.
    I'm definitely going to add a sidebar about charisma and why it's not there. As for dexterity being most important though I'm not convinced - if anything it might be Toughness, given the health system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The skill list has a number of overlapping skills that arguably shouldn't be distinct (and that tend to be combined in newer iterations of similar RPGs), such as thievery + lockpicking, wagoneering + charioteering, tumbling + leap, or tracking + hunting. Since you have a knowledge stat, I don't understand why "knowledge of fish and fisheries" is listed as a strength skill or "knowledge of how to make simple snares" is listed as perception. Conversely, since there is a perception stat I don't see how aiming a crossbow can be considered agility. It strikes me that the "strength" skills list is padded with some unlikely choices (e.g. fishing, archery, climbing), probably because there wouldn't be enough strength skills otherwise. On that note, it's odd that there are no skills for the toughness attribute; e.g. running would be a good fit here.
    The skill list is intentionally long partially because any given campaign will probably only use some of them, but I've been getting this feedback often enough that I'm seriously considering it.

    Thanks for your reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    "Legacy: an RPG for masters and apprentices"
    - this sounds like master and apprentice RPG players... and while that may be true (I don't know yet), having a tagline that sounds like its refering to the PLAYERS mastery feels both counter-immersive, and somewhat intimidating ("What? I need to do an apprenticeship to play this game?")

    Similarly "Volume I" implies the existence of Volume II, and increases how difficult the game sounds.
    If you make other volumes, great! unless the current work DEPENDS on those volumes in order to be complete, I would avoid implying their existence for now.
    The idea was that subsequent volumes would adapt to future genres (e.g. Legacy Volume II: Science Fiction).

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    "Legacy is a game about masters
    and apprentices, meant to be played with
    two players and a GM."
    Since this is your first mention of GM, I'd be tempted to either say "three players", or alternatively "two players and a Game Master (GM)" or "Two players and a storyteller" or something.
    Either way, avoid the use of Jargon.

    ... Actually wait- who is your target audience? Do you WANT this to be readable to people who haven't RPGd before?
    My target audience is veteran players, but between your and Kurald's posts I'm thinking my assumptions of background knowledge for the typical veteran player might be off. Approachability is one of the things hardest to see from the inside, so please keep these coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    "While the idea of a master and
    apprentice exists across many genres
    from the very historical to very futuristic
    and the realistic to the downright gonzo,
    Volume I focuses on fantasy in a lower
    tech milieu specifically. Other volumes
    will cover other genres."
    -is this needed? It implies a game which is bigger- in the "More overwhelming" direction, and sounds sort of textbook like as opposed to game like (in sentence structure at any rate).

    In particular, if nothing else, is the word "milieu" needed- its a pretty rare word.
    It's probably not completely needed, but part of the goals for the introduction is essentially "this is a toolkit game, here's the conceptual space the tools work in". This might be an example of engineering background encroaching excessively though, there's a definite vibe of "tridiagonal matrix solutions should be used only for separation processes with similar physical constants in all trays of a distillation column" coming through once this is pulled out a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    "Despite this, explicit setting details are avoided as best as possible. .... Still, this is potentially
    better suited for some fantasy settings than others within these parameters. " This sounds like an academic article...
    Which... would not be MY way of writing a game... but appears to be yours.
    I'm not going to continuously call you out on this (unless you ask me to), but words like "parameters" "Primary" set this feeling off.
    In terms of writing style, it feels like you spend a lot of words here to ensure absolute precision - in some sense
    "Still, this is potentially better suited for some fantasy settings than others within these parameters."
    could be written with fewer words
    "These rules will match some settings better than others".
    ... or could just not be written at all.
    If you aren't saying WHICH settings it matches best, then you aren't really telling the reader anything. ALL systems work better in some settings compared to others.

    Don't tell your players this, just give them a rulebook which implies a few settings it might work with, and let them figure it out.
    Some of this is inherited from being rooted in toolkit systems and intended as one, but I might rewrite to be cleaner.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    "There are a few necessary
    components of any Legacy campaign......"
    What does a Legacy campain look like? What does it feel like? Give me a scene to get me fired up. You can do this either via an explicit example, of via some sort of flavor text between sections.

    By the time I'm collecting the component to build a campaign, I want to know what it feels like.
    You need to include your hook, and you need it on the page ASAP
    I'm thinking of just adding a section right off the bat, maybe opening with the knight and squire, shaman and apprentice side from earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Don't include caveats.
    Don't include "Its usually like this, except sometimes it isn't"
    Don't worry about "Things TEND" to be this way. Just say that they are. You'll be correct 90% of the time, and the other 10% of the time your players will figure it out for themselves.
    You are not trying to produce a mathematical court.
    You are not trying to avoid perjury in court.
    Dare to be wrong and tell blatant lies for the sake of simplification.
    I'm just going to interpret this as permission when editing. I was trying to avoid the "game by pedantic engineering types, for pedantic engineering types" style, and while there's not a lot I can do about "by" it sounds like heavy adjustment is needed for "for". Again, this is one of my major concerns in terms of things that slip in that need to be hunted down and killed, and which tend to hide from me personally pretty successfully.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is good. This should go earlier on to give people a better idea of what you mean by master and apprentice. Also, you should re-write it without the use of the word "Or", and can probably cut a bunch of other words out of this if you put your mind to it.
    Kill every word you don't need.

    Also: don't let paragraphs drip across a page. This is an editing thing, so probably you shouldn't worry about it till then end, but it is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This paragraph is intimidating. It is also possibly impossible to read for someone who doesn't game lots (Mechanical vs non-mechanical character, for example)

    Every time you use the phrase "Is assumed", this should throw up warning lights in your brain.
    If you ARE assuming they know something, then just assume it. If you aren't assuming it, then give detailed enough learning.
    If you don't know if you can assume, and hedge your bets by TELLING people you assume they can do a thing, then you need to decide one way or another.
    Ending a section by saying "Specialist knowledge is needed" is also intimidating.
    How would you feel about rewriting it to something closer to "this background knowledge is assumed, if it's unfamiliar the glossary is on page XX".

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I'm about to read character creation.
    Trust your readers to keep reading, and find the thing that your about to give them in five minutes time.


    Trust your readers to figure this out on their own... or give SPECIFIC advice. Don't say "advice exists"


    I think... the shape of what you are doing here reminds me of this:
    https://xkcd.com/1343/
    Fair. I do think it gets better in later chapters, but this first one is coming through particularly rough.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is awesome. Find a way to put it a page sooner.
    I'm probably going to push it to the very top, at least aside from title pages, the TOC, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    How critical is age?
    if it isn't critical, why is it here?
    Also: players don't know what a d6 is.

    Age is possibly the single most important statistic on the character sheet, and this suggests some rewriting of early parts to get that message across.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This makes such flavourful sense... but I have no idea what it does to gameplay. Both in that, I worry about what happens when one player is just BETTER than the other... and also about the skills overlap this rule forces.
    Its cool... but I have concerns.


    Reword with fewer words? Or just get players to pick talents FIRST, so that they do so before they learn that skills are locked togeather.

    Are there significant rules differences between powers and talents? Could you make "Magic" just another branch of talents to be allowed/restricted at GM discretion?
    Would doing so simplify your game?
    Powers and talents operate fundamentally differently, so that particular simplification isn't happening. As for worrying about what happens when one player is just better, that gets into the cyclical structure. I've not had issues with it in short term playtesting, and long term which of the two players is better switches every few sessions. There's also intentional mechanisms for breaking the just-better paradigm, and the longer individual characters stick around the more those mechanisms operate.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    You tell me that these titles are special... but I don't know what titles are supposed to do normally, so there's no comparison point. Your loading them into the character sheet like state variables, but by this stage you have already loaded them into your players brain pretty hard. Is this comment needed?

    Also... Embellished how?
    Renamed to fit the particulars of a campaign, but this does suggest rewriting.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This section doesn't want to be in this part of the book. I don't know what a training phase is. I don't know about character death, there is a ton of information I need before this section makes sense- either technically, but more importantly on an emotional level.
    That's the sense I'm getting, and it pulls out pretty easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This, my friend, is terrifying.
    Having the vast majority of your power determined by a single d6 roll? having X and Y lying around.
    Having a rando show up, and either being useless, or super powerful? (or at least, super skilled?)
    I'm seriously considering moving this whole section later - the balance I'm not as concerned about (the rando has one session in them, which lets it be a bit more all over the place), but it sounds like it's just causing confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And... also it looks like your goal is to be super simulationist here.
    Is that a fair assesment (linking skills to age, locking the apprentice skills to master skills).
    These are all valid design choices, but I should probably ask: what is your goal with this game?
    The goal is a cyclical, generational game, where you take turns playing a series of masters and apprentices across their lifetimes, passing through a bunch of individual characters who go through both a master and apprentice phase.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And... possibly for the sake of framing that question, RPG's often exist as a balance between simulation, game and narrative.
    Some systems lean into the game aspect more (becoming positively boardgamey), others into the simulation or narrative aspect.
    What do you want THIS rpg to look like.
    I'm leaning more sim than anything, though the overall structural layer is definitely more on the narrative side.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And a similar question... to what extent are you planning for the GM to tell a story which your players explore, and to what extent do players work collaboratively?
    It's intended to be character driven, but at the same time, it's a toolkit system by design so it can go either way here.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Okay... also, it is worth mentioning, I may have hammered your system with questions and queries here, but this is largely a question of writing style, not the game itself. And... well, writing style is exactly that, a style, a personal taste or preference. Take what I say, and see if it strikes a chord with you... but if it doesn't, no worries.
    It's definitely something I'm taking to heart. While I was writing this I was also reading thousands of pages of engineering textbooks, and while I was trying not to let that style bleed through too much while still doing what is fundamentally technical writing it sounds like it might have. Getting that style out is if anything a significant goal here.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    While I was writing this I was also reading thousands of pages of engineering textbooks, and while I was trying not to let that style bleed through too much while still doing what is fundamentally technical writing it sounds like it might have.
    Ohhhh yeah. I feel ya.
    Have had that happen.


    How would you feel about rewriting it to something closer to "this background knowledge is assumed, if it's unfamiliar the glossary is on page XX".
    Hmmm... I think I might be tempted to recommend it the other way round.
    Put your introductory stuff for new players up front and in the intro... but ALSO say "If you are experienced with RPG's skip to XX"
    That way the junior player gets the stuff they need, and the more experienced player is the one you hand the difficulty of page flicking around.
    Make the default option (reading in order) work for less experienced players. Make people feel smart for being able to shortcut. Don't make them feel silly for having to go the long way...
    That said, as you say- this is a toolkit game. This is what I would recommend based on my game design sensibilities, but if your target audience is a little more advanced... you might decide differently.


    Age is possibly the single most important statistic on the character sheet, and this suggests some rewriting of early parts to get that message across.
    Oh yeah... age is usually just a fluff/flavour stat, so people coming from other systems might assume that. If it is super important then a good idea to add emphisis.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Don't include caveats.
    Don't include "Its usually like this, except sometimes it isn't"
    Don't worry about "Things TEND" to be this way. Just say that they are. You'll be correct 90% of the time, and the other 10% of the time your players will figure it out for themselves.
    You are not trying to produce a mathematical court.
    You are not trying to avoid perjury in court.
    Dare to be wrong and tell blatant lies for the sake of simplification.
    I'm just going to interpret this as permission when editing. I was trying to avoid the "game by pedantic engineering types, for pedantic engineering types" style, and while there's not a lot I can do about "by" it sounds like heavy adjustment is needed for "for". Again, this is one of my major concerns in terms of things that slip in that need to be hunted down and killed, and which tend to hide from me personally pretty successfully.
    Yeah... I may have gone overboard on that. Was in some sense trying to demonstrate the level of certainty I was trying to recommend, but I may have just ended up being a bit pushy.
    *shrug* still, it does give a good list of the types of words to double check when you see.



    The goal is a cyclical, generational game, where you take turns playing a series of masters and apprentices across their lifetimes, passing through a bunch of individual characters who go through both a master and apprentice phase.
    Is this the goal , or is this the method used to reach the goal?
    The goal of a car is not to turn wheels, it is to transport people.
    What do you want people to FEEL while playing this. Why is it that you are doing the multigenerational thing? Its a cool concept- don't get me wrong, but what is it about the concept that makes it cool to you? What is it about this concept that made you make a game about it?


    Andddd... now I gotta run catch a phone call.

    Catch you later.
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Chapter 2

    “Every character has five attributes:
    Strength, Agility, Toughness, Perception,
    and Knowledge.”
    I like these stats


    “[TABLE]”
    I like this table. Having the number to “what it means” conversion is nice.

    “It’s rolled directly when...”
    You haven't described the “rolling” system yet. Given your target audience you might be able to get away with this... but if possible, maybe re-wirtting in order to describe the direct use of attributes without using rules jargon you haven’t defined yet is a good idea.


    “It is essentially wound, fatigue,
    disease, and poison resistance,”
    Sentence techincally makes sense, but maybe re-order so that you don’t have “X,Y,Z resistance and instead have “resistance to X,Y and Z”
    Not sure if is improvement, but something to consider.

    As always, try not to let things spill between columns.


    “is a mix of situational
    awareness, pattern recognition, and
    sensory acuity.”
    Acuity is a bit of a rare word. Possibly look for synonyms?


    “Every volume of Legacy has its
    own associated skill list. Even within one
    volume the relevant skills are campaign
    dependant. A game about a knight and
    squire needs a different set than a game
    about a chieftain and hier, which needs a
    different set than a game about a sorcerer
    and apprentice. Geographic conditions
    and technological development also limit
    skills. GMs should use the lists below as
    starting points, adding and removing
    skills to fit their settings.”
    I’d kill the reference to other volumes here, but aside from that, I kind of love this paragraph. Its nice.... I’m not entirely convinced that it is in the correct PLACE.
    I’d be tempted to start the skill section with an example of a skill or two, and their use. Something along the lines of “Lineous wants to swim across a river, the GM asks them to roll ...” perhaps. Something to make skills concrete, and make clear to the reader how skills and talents and attributes are different (actually, ... potentially just putting a pair of EXAMPLE CHARACTERS earlier on would solve this problem)

    “[ANOTHER TABLE]”
    I understand that this table has different words, and applies to a different thing... but in terms of communicating stuff, I suspect there is enough overlap such that only one table will be needed. I’d drop this second one.



    “STRENGTH SKILLS”
    Wait! Wait wait wait.... hold up.
    How do skills work?
    What do I do with them?
    How do I get them?
    What does it mean for a skill to be a strength skill as opposed to a Knowledge skill?

    Nothing wrong with the heading as such, but I feel like I have arrived here, and don’t yet know enough about this universe I am in.


    “Great Weapons is the skill of fighting with
    two handed melee weapons that aren’t
    polearms or flexible weapons, such as
    large clubs, swords, and axes.”
    I had to read this two or three times to parse it.
    Just to check, this DOES apply to swords?
    At first glance, I thought swords were on the list of things it does not apply to.
    And what about one handed swords?
    I’d probably rearrange to put the thing it DOES apply to first, and then pull out exceptions afterwards, possibly in brackets.


    “Short Weapons is the skill of fighting with
    one handed melee weapons that aren’t
    spears, knives, or improvements to a fist.”
    So... it applies to... shortswords? Throwing axes maybe? Ummm...
    Define this but what it IS, not by what it isn’t.
    Positive examples have better information content than negative examples.


    “Tumbling is the ability to move with
    quickness and agility in unconventional
    ways, such as rolls, precise dives, and wall
    kicks.”
    Does this also include the ability to land safely after falling significant distance?


    “Wagoneering is the ability to steer
    wagons and large carts. This includes
    some level of mechanical familiarity with
    wagons.”
    Going to second the previous calls to combine Wagons and Chariots here.


    If you do a pagebreak at the start of “Agility skills” will they all fit on one page? If so, this might be nice.



    Do Bushcraft, tracking and Hunting all need to be seperate skills?
    Also, if you get rid of, or switch to a smaller picture, can probably fit all perception skills on one page. Might be nice.

    “Agriculture is the theory and practice of
    growing and caring for food plants, along
    with the care of farm animals. This usually
    implies some familiarity with irrigation,
    and in more technologically developed
    settings can also include developments
    like crop rotation.”
    This is a valid skill... but what sort of stories are you expecting to tell?
    You skill list implies what stories will happen. Do you expect agriculture to be a significant element of these stories.
    Do you want your players to expect this?

    If not, I’d look for a way to fold this into some other skill.

    In some sense... you want skills to be equally valuable in game.
    One of the problems in Pathfinder, is the existence of both Bluff (used often, super helpful), and things like “Swim” or “Craft magic ring” (you use it... when?)

    Are your skills balanced? Do you WANT them to be balanced?
    If they are not balanced, then some will be grabbed by everyone, and some ignored.

    What balance looks like depends on the game. In a Monster Dating RPG, maybe cooking and “Fight” are equally valuable. In a more combat based game, maybe you’ll break “fight” into various weapon styles (as you have done), and sweep “cook” into a general “Arts and crafts” skill.
    Maybe this is just the fact that different adventures call for different skills, and balance between skills is less critical to you, and in this game... but if you haven’t already done so, I would recommend sitting down and seriously thinking about what skills you want for balance and game play.

    Or maybe not.


    “Pyrology is the art and science of fire,
    with an eye towards practical
    applications.”
    Okay, this is fricken’ cool.


    “Herding is the skill of taking care of herd
    animals, especially over extended periods
    at pasture.”
    fold into animal handling?


    “Research”
    -Can you do this without having Reading??


    “Other Skills”
    Are these all social skills?
    If so, do we want to call them that?
    Is “Teaching” a social skill as opposed to a knowledge skill? (particularly if appropriately renamed?)


    “Tactics”
    Do you want this to be a skill?
    What I mean by that is... do you want the Characters being tactical or the PLAYERS to be tactical. (Both are legit options, just depends on your game)

    “Interrogation is the set of skills needed to
    get useful and accurate information out
    of people. This can be as benign ...., and as
    malevolent as extreme threats.”
    Given how wide this is, I’d wonder if you want to break the bits up and use them in other skills – perhaps the heavy intimidation style goes under command, and the lighter stuff in persuade or suspicion?
    This one feels simultaneously too wide (in the various angles it takes) and too narrow (in when you can use it).

    “Supsicion”
    - This skill is cool.
    Do you also use it for people reading when you just want to read someone (not nessisarily suspiciously)?


    “Provided the GM doesn’t decide to make their own skill
    list and/or own powers only using a
    selection of these is highly recommended.”
    This sentence is a little hard to Parse.


    “Typically a curse is permanent
    until broken, is given as a punishment,
    and has a method of removal other than
    just magically dispelling it that fits with
    the punishment or the nature of the
    curse.”
    This sounds pretty cool as a set up... would you mind giving me an example or two of what this looks like?
    Do you have advise somewhere for how the GM should ajudicate this (strength of curse, how is broken, etc)


    “Pscionics”
    This Magic skill seems much less well defined than the others, its short description makes it look like an afterthought, and feels overly broad.

    “Alchemy is the practical craft of
    chemistry, understood without the
    theoretical basis of chemistry and thus
    much more haphazard. This usually
    overlaps with metallurgy.”
    Given that this overlaps with metallurgy, possibly herbalism, and possibly true alchemy (at least thematically), I might suggest removing it. Its a cool idea, but I just don’t what I would expect a player to DO with it.





    Overall in your skills and attributes section:
    I still don’t know how any of these things WORK.
    I feel like in game some of these are more powerful than others, and the level of granularity feels like the result of you aiming for a “realistic” or “simulationist” game.
    I... want to criticise the level of granularity, because it is not something I would do at all... I worry it may be bad gameplay wise....
    but that said, I think you are not trying to make the kind of game I would make, and so you have to think about how to break up the skills based on YOUR design goals.

    ... with that in mind, there’s a couple tweaks I’d suggest(as mentioned), but overall I think the skill list looks pretty cool.

    You talk about this game as a toolkit, As if it is added on to some other system... and the shape of the rules implies that it expects more concrete rules to exist elsewhere.... but then your book also talks about it as if Legacy is a stand alone game in an of itself. Which side of the line do you aim to be on here?

    And where did you get all the sweet little illustrations?
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Age is possibly the single most important statistic on the character sheet, and this suggests some rewriting of early parts to get that message across.
    Why, though? As far as I can tell, it doesn't do anything during gameplay. Only after a couple sessions does it force skill reduction and eventual retirement. Come to think of it, skill reduction should have a WAY bigger impact, and probably affect all stats instead of having the player pick one.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
    Crystal Shard Studios - Freeware games designed by Kurald and others!

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    There's some similarities in attributes, but D&D wasn't on my mind when I wrote it - almost everything is a skill because it's fundamentally a skill based system, where talents/powers are secondary and there largely to provide a framework for long term generational play, with attributes being if anything a tertiary mechanic. If anything GURPS is a closer fit, and target-audience wise my assumptions of familiarity with other games definitely include a working knowledge of GURPS. I might have to revise said assumptions though.
    I do have a working knowledge of GURPS, but somehow your game doesn't feel like GURPS. Anyway if the game is skill-based then you should probably explain skills before attributes, and maybe drop attributes entirely. If str is not supposed to add to all str skills, then it really doesn't do all that much. Dex and con are the only two attributes I foresee "rolling directly" often for defense/resistance, so these could be skills instead. The other three attributes don't look like they come up in gameplay: maneuvering heavy objects is not common OR important in any campaign I've ever played. All-knowledge-tasks-that-don't-have-a-skill just means that they should have a skill (or add a 'trivia' catch-all knowledge skill). And passive awareness is not meaningfully distinct from bushcraft / patrol / streetwise skills.

    I'm definitely going to add a sidebar about charisma and why it's not there.
    Why IS it not there, anyway? I've always wondered that about GURPS as well, considering it basically rebuilds the charisma attribute from certain social/appearance traits.

    As for dexterity being most important though I'm not convinced - if anything it might be Toughness, given the health system.
    In literally every attribute-based system I can think of, it's dexterity. I'd have to see your game play out to check, but anyway it's something to watch out for. It generally governs defense, initiative if the game has one, some of the best skills in the game, and you can usually build a character to attack with dex as well.

    The skill list is intentionally long partially because any given campaign will probably only use some of them
    Perhaps you could split the list between universal skills (that are probably good in any campaign) and setting-specific skills. List the former first.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    First things first: Graceful aging has been criticized pretty heavily, so I'm going to change it. It'll let you move skills into the Other Skills category such that they're not affected by age. I haven't decided quite how many or what restrictions (though I'm leaning towards 2 for each attribute). I might also hunt through the skill list for things to push that way, to round it out a bit from being basically unlabeled Charisma.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Why, though? As far as I can tell, it doesn't do anything during gameplay. Only after a couple sessions does it force skill reduction and eventual retirement. Come to think of it, skill reduction should have a WAY bigger impact, and probably affect all stats instead of having the player pick one.
    Considering that skill reduction hits three times, and reduces every skill under an attribute it felt harsh enough. I'll keep an eye on it for testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I do have a working knowledge of GURPS, but somehow your game doesn't feel like GURPS. Anyway if the game is skill-based then you should probably explain skills before attributes, and maybe drop attributes entirely. If str is not supposed to add to all str skills, then it really doesn't do all that much. Dex and con are the only two attributes I foresee "rolling directly" often for defense/resistance, so these could be skills instead. The other three attributes don't look like they come up in gameplay: maneuvering heavy objects is not common OR important in any campaign I've ever played. All-knowledge-tasks-that-don't-have-a-skill just means that they should have a skill (or add a 'trivia' catch-all knowledge skill). And passive awareness is not meaningfully distinct from bushcraft / patrol / streetwise skills.
    They get pulled into subsystems decently often, starting with aging - that's the main purpose. As for how skills and attributes differ and interact I'm going to add a short section to the beginning of the skills chapter. I'd taken this as something more intuitive than it was, and will be resolving that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Why IS it not there, anyway? I've always wondered that about GURPS as well, considering it basically rebuilds the charisma attribute from certain social/appearance traits.
    Mostly because it didn't make sense to me as an attribute that decreased with age, and having too many attributes weakens/complicates the aging process a bit much. I'm considering it though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    In literally every attribute-based system I can think of, it's dexterity. I'd have to see your game play out to check, but anyway it's something to watch out for. It generally governs defense, initiative if the game has one, some of the best skills in the game, and you can usually build a character to attack with dex as well.
    That would be why I'm not concerned. It doesn't govern the best skills heavily, initiative isn't really a thing and ties mostly into weapon skills anyways, defense is also primarily skill based, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Perhaps you could split the list between universal skills (that are probably good in any campaign) and setting-specific skills. List the former first.
    It might just be an artifact of playing and GMing some weird campaigns, but I'd call all of these setting specific, and made a point of saying things to that effect in the skill chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    You haven't described the “rolling” system yet. Given your target audience you might be able to get away with this... but if possible, maybe re-wirtting in order to describe the direct use of attributes without using rules jargon you haven’t defined yet is a good idea.
    I actually went through and did that; I just haven't updated the .pdf yet (trying to do this in big chunks).

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Sentence techincally makes sense, but maybe re-order so that you don’t have “X,Y,Z resistance and instead have “resistance to X,Y and Z”
    Not sure if is improvement, but something to consider.
    Sounds good, and I'm going to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I’d kill the reference to other volumes here, but aside from that, I kind of love this paragraph. Its nice.... I’m not entirely convinced that it is in the correct PLACE.
    I’d be tempted to start the skill section with an example of a skill or two, and their use. Something along the lines of “Lineous wants to swim across a river, the GM asks them to roll ...” perhaps. Something to make skills concrete, and make clear to the reader how skills and talents and attributes are different (actually, ... potentially just putting a pair of EXAMPLE CHARACTERS earlier on would solve this problem)
    I can see what you're saying here, but I decided to do a pretty clean break between character creation material and operational mechanics to make it easier to reference, and I'm planning on sticking with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Wait! Wait wait wait.... hold up.
    How do skills work?
    What do I do with them?
    How do I get them?
    What does it mean for a skill to be a strength skill as opposed to a Knowledge skill?

    Nothing wrong with the heading as such, but I feel like I have arrived here, and don’t yet know enough about this universe I am in.
    I'll definitely add an overview paragraph then. That will also help explain the differences between skills and attributes.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I had to read this two or three times to parse it.
    Just to check, this DOES apply to swords?
    At first glance, I thought swords were on the list of things it does not apply to.
    And what about one handed swords?
    I’d probably rearrange to put the thing it DOES apply to first, and then pull out exceptions afterwards, possibly in brackets.

    So... it applies to... shortswords? Throwing axes maybe? Ummm...
    Define this but what it IS, not by what it isn’t.
    Positive examples have better information content than negative examples.
    I'll rewrite the first of these for sure (there's a bit too much ambiguity there). The idea is that there are four distinct melee weapon categories: polearms, 2 handed non-polearms, 1 handed non-polearms, unarmed including brass knuckles and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is a valid skill... but what sort of stories are you expecting to tell?
    You skill list implies what stories will happen. Do you expect agriculture to be a significant element of these stories.
    Do you want your players to expect this?

    If not, I’d look for a way to fold this into some other skill.
    Sure. A campaign set in the late stone age which follows a chain of shamans and apprentices as the tribe they're in goes from a nomadic group of hunter gatherers to settled farmers sounds fun to me, and agriculture would be a relevant skill and major element there.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    In some sense... you want skills to be equally valuable in game.
    One of the problems in Pathfinder, is the existence of both Bluff (used often, super helpful), and things like “Swim” or “Craft magic ring” (you use it... when?)

    Are your skills balanced? Do you WANT them to be balanced?
    If they are not balanced, then some will be grabbed by everyone, and some ignored.

    What balance looks like depends on the game. In a Monster Dating RPG, maybe cooking and “Fight” are equally valuable. In a more combat based game, maybe you’ll break “fight” into various weapon styles (as you have done), and sweep “cook” into a general “Arts and crafts” skill.
    Maybe this is just the fact that different adventures call for different skills, and balance between skills is less critical to you, and in this game... but if you haven’t already done so, I would recommend sitting down and seriously thinking about what skills you want for balance and game play.
    That's basically the thing. The core campaign structure of a series of adventures years apart that effectively form a larger story through an anthology is intentionally open to a lot of different things, so the value of the skills fluctuates wildly. On top of that the structure is inherently pretty character focused, so to some extent the skills that matter are likely to be the ones that fit the sort of characters being focused on, with the rest being ignored. That's totally fine by me.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Okay, this is fricken’ cool.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Are these all social skills?
    If so, do we want to call them that?
    Is “Teaching” a social skill as opposed to a knowledge skill? (particularly if appropriately renamed?)
    I'm planning to go through and see if I can shunt anything over to other skills, because they're fundamentally supposed to be age-independant skills that don't get worse as your body/mind starts to fail you.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Do you want this to be a skill?
    What I mean by that is... do you want the Characters being tactical or the PLAYERS to be tactical. (Both are legit options, just depends on your game)
    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Given how wide this is, I’d wonder if you want to break the bits up and use them in other skills – perhaps the heavy intimidation style goes under command, and the lighter stuff in persuade or suspicion?
    This one feels simultaneously too wide (in the various angles it takes) and too narrow (in when you can use it).
    The breadth is mostly there to accommodate very different tones; I don't see any one campaign being that likely to use all of them, but the skill works for both the people running medieval 24 where every adventure there's some ludicrous contrivance where somebody has to be tortured, and the people running something light hearted where the interrogation is closer to journalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This skill is cool.
    Do you also use it for people reading when you just want to read someone (not nessisarily suspiciously)?

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This sounds pretty cool as a set up... would you mind giving me an example or two of what this looks like?
    Do you have advise somewhere for how the GM should ajudicate this (strength of curse, how is broken, etc)
    Some of the magic skills have an expanded powers system, to serve as examples, so those could work. Curse I partially did and ended up cutting, but curses have included one where you make all wooden tools and weapons resist usage, inflicting a 1 die penalty pool. It's lifted by apologizing to a tree.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This Magic skill seems much less well defined than the others, its short description makes it look like an afterthought, and feels overly broad.
    I'll level with you here. One very obvious master apprentice pair I'm not actually allowed to explicitly mention is "Jedi and Padawan". Half of the reason this is there is to cover something like the force.

    Also this is one of the magic skills that does get a detailed set of example powers, if that optional subsystem is in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Given that this overlaps with metallurgy, possibly herbalism, and possibly true alchemy (at least thematically), I might suggest removing it. Its a cool idea, but I just don’t what I would expect a player to DO with it.
    I figure the overlap means that individual characters are pretty likely to just have one or the other, especially as regards true alchemy. Otherwise it's there for scholar adventures, where it could come up in a few ways. Embedding yourself in a foreign court so you can steal the secret of glass for your city state, using it in conjunction with other skills to make a seaworthy vessel and escape a prison island, that sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Overall in your skills and attributes section:
    I still don’t know how any of these things WORK.
    I feel like in game some of these are more powerful than others, and the level of granularity feels like the result of you aiming for a “realistic” or “simulationist” game.
    I... want to criticise the level of granularity, because it is not something I would do at all... I worry it may be bad gameplay wise....
    I might add a little to the attributes section, and definitely plan on adding some to the skill section to address how these work more directly. As for the granularity and balance, to some extent these correct for each other. The less valuable skills (as determined by the particular campaign) see far less use, thus shrinking the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    You talk about this game as a toolkit, As if it is added on to some other system... and the shape of the rules implies that it expects more concrete rules to exist elsewhere.... but then your book also talks about it as if Legacy is a stand alone game in an of itself. Which side of the line do you aim to be on here?
    It's a standalone game, just one that expects the GM to tweak it pretty heavily for something specific. That's what I mean by toolkit.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And where did you get all the sweet little illustrations?
    A pencil, some paper, and a two very free days.

    More seriously, the public domain is a wonderful thing. Among it's treasures is the old book illustrations site. Most of them are advanced search, then woodcut or wood engraving. There might be a lithograph or metal engraving in there somewhere, and there's a color process that went through a black and white filter in GIMP. There's some good stuff in the other categories too.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    “CHAPTER 5: MECHANICS OF PLAY”
    I decided to jump to this chapter, because I need to in order to parse all the previous chapters.

    I suspect here you have stumbled into a problem similar to what I faced in making NineGardens:
    If you put the mechanics upfront, things get boring, and its hard to draw people in.
    If you put the abilities/character classes, etc up front, the people get to see all the cool stuff, but don’t know what it does.

    The best solution I could come up so far is heavy use of “Previewing”. Give an example scene that shows the feel and of gameplay (both flavour, and a hint of mechanics), but where the reader doesn’t EXPECT to understand fully.
    Give examples of character classes and abilities to whet people appitete, but don’t give the details until after you’ve given them the rules. [IE, "Preview" "Rules" "Abilities/etc"
    In section one, I might encourage people to peak at the cool powers on later pages... but because those pages ARE later, readers aren’t suprised/concerned when they see things they don’t understand.

    I'm still not particularly sure that I LIKE this solution I used, but I can totally see the difficulty of picking a chapter order.

    “The above information is sufficient
    to create and interpret characters, and
    contains some information scattered
    throughout for how characters actually
    do things.”
    When you say “The above information” I think of... like a paragraph. Here are you refering to all of the preceding chapters?
    Also, is this literally the first and most important thing you want to say in your chapter on mecahnics?

    “which start with
    and build on basic action resolution.”
    Don’t like this sentence.
    Don’t know why, maybe just too many pieces?


    “Throughout this basic action
    revolution is Legacy’s reverse dice pool
    system”
    This reads as confusing. Do you mean “Action resolution is determined using a reverse dice pool system”
    Heck... you need to say what “Action resolution” is first.
    Also “Reverse dice pool system” sounds complicated. “Reverse” and “system” in particular create the feeling of complexity (I suspect system is needed, but reverse isn’t?)
    Being introduced to the reverse foxtrot is only meaningful to people who dance foxtrot.


    “When a character attempts a task
    a variable number of dice are rolled
    depending on difficulty. Dice that roll
    even are counted as successes; dice that
    roll odd are counted as failures. Typically
    Legacy uses either six or ten sided dice,
    but any die with a 50% chance of landing
    on an even side and a 50% chance of
    landing on an odd side works.”
    And here are the guts of your system. Cool.

    “When a character attempts a task
    a variable number of dice are rolled
    they roll some number of dice, depending on difficulty. “
    Avoid the passive voice of “Are rolled”, along with “a variable number” Make it active.


    “For simple tasks where the
    character is attempting to accomplish or
    resist something without active
    opposition the number of failures is then
    counted, and compared to the skill or
    attribute used for the task. The character
    succeeds as long as their relevant skill or
    attribute is at least equal to the number of
    failures. If there are more failures than
    the relevant skill or attribute they instead
    fail”
    Cool. This makes sense. Give a concrete example: “The knight, Sir Alex decides to swim across a lake. Because swimming is very difficult in armour they roll 27 dice. Since they have 14 failures, and only 2 skill in swimming, they sink and drown”
    ... or perhaps something a little less silly, as that is not the tone of your book.

    I’ld probably recommend two or three examples.


    What success and failure means
    depends on the current situation in game
    ,
    but success generally implies either
    accomplishment or resistance, and failure
    generally implies either failure to
    accomplish or resist something
    .”
    first half: A+, second half “Failure means failure” - well, yeah, that seems obvious.
    Give some concrete examples of what success of failure might look like in different circumstance.

    Can the players ask the GM what success or failure will look like before committing to a roll?

    “If preferred the
    scale can instead be thought of in terms
    of character ability, where a character has
    a 50% chance to succeed on a task of
    twice their relevant skill or attribute level
    plus one.”
    This is a really good guideline, and damn I wish it had a simpler formula... but it doesn’t. Oh well.
    “The character
    succeeds as long as their relevant skill or
    attribute is at least equal to the number of
    failures.”
    Would the game change if this was changed to “Your skill must be HIGHER than number of failures”, and numbers changed appropriately? Would that simplify the formula up above? Probably not... just a thought.

    Also, while I totally get the elegancy and simplicity of your system (Higher skills is good, hence want to “roll under”, I do worry that you end up with feel bad moments of players counting BAD things (failures) as opposed to GOOD things.
    ... not sure you can get around that, but its a thought.

    Can you comment on what design goals you had in mind when picking this particular dice system?


    “Penalty Pools”
    Is there any reason not to just roll all of this into difficulty. Just say “Some things can increase or decrease penalties” [Example example]. Some of these things are in the environment [fire, high winds] some are inside the player [poison, drunk, starved].
    Do you need a seperate rule for this?
    (Also, the examples here are great, please keep them).


    “There are a few edge cases where they
    don’t work as well, starting with anything
    where there isn’t really a particular
    defined task, or where the task in
    question is less a task and more a
    competition.”
    Give an example of each of these.


    “This is done as a series of rolls, each of which has
    exactly enough dice to cause an overall
    failure by one if all dice rolled result in a
    failure, including the failures from
    previous rolls. ”
    While I totally see what you are doing here (Rolling 300 dice is faster RNG than rolling one 300 times), once you factor in human speed of calculating the number of dice, along with the fact that the main speed cost is COUNTING them (not rolling them), I suspect you might be better off not micro-optimizing here.


    “Once failure finally
    happens count all the dice rolled so far,
    both successes and failures. That number
    is the result of an open roll, and reflects
    how well the character did”
    So... in this case the other person rolling is usually the GM?
    Possibly worth invoking this explicitly.

    Does the GM normally roll when NPC’s swim, ride horses or do agriculture? If so, comment on this. If not... that’s probably fine.


    “If a character has a penalty pool,
    roll it first. These dice are not counted
    towards the overall result, but failures are
    counted in terms of determining when
    rolling stops, and how many dice are
    rolled in each pass of the roll. This can
    produce a negative result, equal to the
    margin of failure.”
    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh... so this is where the penalty pool being seperate comes in.
    I seeeeee....

    hmmmm... I see what you are doing... I suspect there is a simpler way to do it.
    Maybe just “Subtract your penalty pool” at the end?
    Still feels inelegant.


    “All opposed characters must
    independently determine how well they
    did at the task; the character who did best
    accomplishes their goal. The skill or
    attribute used can vary between
    participants.”
    This is a LOT of dice rolling.
    Have you tested it out, when three grandmaster knitting champions players attempt to knit a basket?
    I each person has to roll twelve dice in order to determine who wins....
    Are you aiming for a particular probability curve here. If so, what one?
    Is there a reason to not use a single d20 vs d20, or something similar.

    If someone has 2 points more in a skill, what are their odds of LOSING against an inferior opponent?
    What do you want their odds to be?

    If its 5skill vs 7skill, should this be the same or different to 1 vs 3, or 8 vs 10 skill? Is it?

    “In some cases it can be important
    to determine how much better the
    character who did best did than anyone
    else”
    Which cases?


    “If the quality does matter (such as
    when several things are being made and
    which are better matters), the procedure
    resembles a mix of normal and open rolls.
    First a target quality is determined, then
    the actual quality is found.”
    Wait wait....
    If I’m trying to make a thing, and have enough time for 3 attempts... then could I not just take three open rolls and use the result of my best one?
    It feels like a good thing to mention, but also something that is already implicitly included in your rules- do you need a seperate rule for this?



    __________________

    Okay, cool, have read mechanics section, a bunch of other stuff makes more sense.

    I would suggest... you can probably afford to shave off a little of the complexity (penalty pools, multimaking thing) here, with little to no effect on the game.
    You have picked a very specific dice mechanic, and though it is easy to understand (Good), I worry it might be slow, and am a little unsure of what shape of probability distribution it gives for numerous different levels.
    Dice mechanics are not interchangeable, and I imagine you have chosen this one for a reason, but I don't know what that reason is from the outside (which is fine, that sort of design choice isn't one I'd EXPECT to see in a player book. Players don't need to know that sort of thing)

    and... I should probably go re-read the thread, cause I think you might have commented on this previously.
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I decided to jump to this chapter, because I need to in order to parse all the previous chapters.

    I suspect here you have stumbled into a problem similar to what I faced in making NineGardens:
    If you put the mechanics upfront, things get boring, and its hard to draw people in.
    If you put the abilities/character classes, etc up front, the people get to see all the cool stuff, but don’t know what it does.
    That's a pretty standard issue in the industry, where either way runs into some issue or other. I ended up going character creation first, but there was a lot of thought on the matter and I've considered flipping the organization more than once.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And here are the guts of your system. Cool.

    Avoid the passive voice of “Are rolled”, along with “a variable number” Make it active.

    Cool. This makes sense. Give a concrete example: “The knight, Sir Alex decides to swim across a lake. Because swimming is very difficult in armour they roll 27 dice. Since they have 14 failures, and only 2 skill in swimming, they sink and drown”
    ... or perhaps something a little less silly, as that is not the tone of your book.

    I’d probably recommend two or three examples.
    Sounds good. I might throw in one example, I'll definitely try and shift away from passive voice a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is a really good guideline, and damn I wish it had a simpler formula... but it doesn’t. Oh well.

    Would the game change if this was changed to “Your skill must be HIGHER than number of failures”, and numbers changed appropriately? Would that simplify the formula up above? Probably not... just a thought.
    It would, but it would make the core resolution system substantially more complicated. That's not a trade I'm particularly willing to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Also, while I totally get the elegancy and simplicity of your system (Higher skills is good, hence want to “roll under”, I do worry that you end up with feel bad moments of players counting BAD things (failures) as opposed to GOOD things.
    ... not sure you can get around that, but its a thought.
    I've generally not found that to happen in playtesting. Instead it tends to create a feel of "we can take it", where the failures pile up and you still beat the roll, you get sheer glee at only getting so many failures, and with open opposed rolls in particular you get tension as the pools grow, especially if they get really large.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Can you comment on what design goals you had in mind when picking this particular dice system?
    Sure. There were a few major ones.
    1) Get a curved distribution as is common with dice pools.
    2) Neatly allow a minimum success lower bound, while having a soft upper bound.
    3) Get the GM to commit to particular hard difficulties ahead of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Is there any reason not to just roll all of this into difficulty. Just say “Some things can increase or decrease penalties” [Example example]. Some of these things are in the environment [fire, high winds] some are inside the player [poison, drunk, starved].
    Do you need a seperate rule for this?
    (Also, the examples here are great, please keep them).
    The big thing is that they feed into open and especially opposed rolls. They also work well for when the entire group needs to roll something, where the GM can just give one difficulty and everyone can work in their own personal penalty pools.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    While I totally see what you are doing here (Rolling 300 dice is faster RNG than rolling one 300 times), once you factor in human speed of calculating the number of dice, along with the fact that the main speed cost is COUNTING them (not rolling them), I suspect you might be better off not micro-optimizing here.
    There's a good point in there. I'll rewrite this to show the one at a time option pretty explicitly, then describe the current method as a shortcut.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    So... in this case the other person rolling is usually the GM?
    Possibly worth invoking this explicitly.

    Does the GM normally roll when NPC’s swim, ride horses or do agriculture? If so, comment on this. If not... that’s probably fine.
    If they're not on screen there's no rolling happening, but I leave the option open for other GMs to handle it differently. Besides that opposed rolls will usually be with an NPC, so I'll mention that explicitly.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is a LOT of dice rolling.
    Have you tested it out, when three grandmaster knitting champions players attempt to knit a basket?
    I each person has to roll twelve dice in order to determine who wins....
    Are you aiming for a particular probability curve here. If so, what one?
    Is there a reason to not use a single d20 vs d20, or something similar.
    I've tested it out. I wouldn't use it if the skills were any higher than they are (maxing out at 5), or if this wasn't explicitly aimed at small groups, but as is I've found that it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    If someone has 2 points more in a skill, what are their odds of LOSING against an inferior opponent?
    What do you want their odds to be?

    If its 5skill vs 7skill, should this be the same or different to 1 vs 3, or 8 vs 10 skill? Is it?
    It's not quite the same across all skill ranges, but generally they're pretty slim. Which on a 6 point skill range (0-5) suits me fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Wait wait....
    If I’m trying to make a thing, and have enough time for 3 attempts... then could I not just take three open rolls and use the result of my best one?
    It feels like a good thing to mention, but also something that is already implicitly included in your rules- do you need a seperate rule for this?
    This whole section is one of the things I've seriously considered cutting from time to time.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    This is a really good guideline, and damn I wish it had a simpler formula... but it doesn’t. Oh well.

    Would the game change if this was changed to “Your skill must be HIGHER than number of failures”, and numbers changed appropriately? Would that simplify the formula up above? Probably not... just a thought.
    It would, but it would make the core resolution system substantially more complicated. That's not a trade I'm particularly willing to make.
    Yeah... I figured it was probably a guessed it was probably a bad trade off, but didn't have a good instinct for HOW bad. By the sounds of it, pretty bad. Cool beans.

    I've generally not found that to happen in playtesting. Instead it tends to create a feel of "we can take it", where the failures pile up and you still beat the roll, you get sheer glee at only getting so many failures, and with open opposed rolls in particular you get tension as the pools grow, especially if they get really large.
    If it works in playtesting, then you're golden.
    This is actually good to know- I might be more willing to use mechanics like this in future.

    Sure. There were a few major ones.
    1) Get a curved distribution as is common with dice pools.
    2) Neatly allow a minimum success lower bound, while having a soft upper bound.
    3) Get the GM to commit to particular hard difficulties ahead of time.
    Cool. Got it. This makes sense.
    The soft upper bound in particular is one that is hard to get with other systems.
    Cool.

    The big thing is that they feed into open and especially opposed rolls. They also work well for when the entire group needs to roll something, where the GM can just give one difficulty and everyone can work in their own personal penalty pools.
    Okay. This makes sense.
    I suspect that you could easily keep the same rules without introducing this level of terminology (Heck, just calling it a "Penalty" would make it sound less technical), but I can see the goal here.

    I'll rewrite this to show the one at a time option pretty explicitly, then describe the current method as a shortcut.
    Oh nice! - yeah, this way you get the best of both worlds. Perfect.

    I've tested it out. I wouldn't use it if the skills were any higher than they are (maxing out at 5), or if this wasn't explicitly aimed at small groups, but as is I've found that it works.
    It's not quite the same across all skill ranges, but generally they're pretty slim. Which on a 6 point skill range (0-5) suits me fine.
    Cool. As long as its tested, most of my concerns here evaporate.


    This whole section is one of the things I've seriously considered cutting from time to time.
    I'ld recommend that.
    Giving a brief paragraph on how the existing rules might deal with such a situation make sense (and provides extra examples).
    Creating additional rules for a semi-rare situation that is already 3/4 dealt with by existing rules... don't think its worth the trade off.



    Looking forward to reading the remaining chapters.
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Looking forward to reading the remaining chapters.
    Glad to hear it. There's definitely some unconventional stuff in them that could use fresh eyes.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    And... next installment.


    CHAPTER 6: EQUIPMENT
    “in the course of their adventures
    Legacy characters are likely to use a wide
    variety of equipment for a wide variety of
    purposes. Exactly which tools are a little
    harder to predict; the alchemist and
    apprentice living in a Renaissance city use
    somewhat different kit than the best
    hunter and their protege in a stone age
    tribe. Nonetheless rules are provided to at
    least cover the major categories of tool
    for most periods, while also covering
    more specific equipment that may or may
    not be appropriate for any given
    campaign.”
    Good intro paragraph, gives an overview... I suspect last couple sentences might be able to be tightened up a little bit, but overall, this one seems good.


    “While this might be true even of
    the major categories it inevitably will be
    true of the specific defined items.”
    Hard to Parse. Note precisely sure why, but perhaps it is the “THIS” being uncertain, or having too large of a paragraph packaged with it.

    “Equipment beyond these lists will exist in
    any setting, and the rules are geared
    towards covering a fairly typical item at a
    high level of abstraction, which can easily
    be partitioned into more items that are a
    little more concrete. The GM should feel
    free to change and add as need be.”
    Lots somewhat more technical words, and carefullisms (“fairly typical”).
    This whole paragraph can be cut down to “GM will need to add stuff. Rules say how”.

    “The major categories are tools,
    weapons, armor, and mounts/vehicles.
    While the three other categories can all
    be thought of as types of tool, the term
    here is used in a way that excludes them.
    This is not needed. If you are going to list the types, do it BEFORE entering the tools subcatagory, and while yes, things CAN be thought of as tools, if you list them as weapons, armour, and mounts, most people are not going to automatically think “But those are tools too”. Trust your reader. This isn’t a legal document, nor a critical safety manual. A 1% chance of misinterpretation is acceptable.

    I would be far more inclined to start this section with “Tools includes all manner of ropes, scales, ploughs, medical equipment etc.”
    “Most tools fall into one of four catagories: XY Z and D”

    “Failure Mitigation : ​ Items that
    mitigate failures change the result of a
    failed roll, but don’t make success any
    more likely. A rope and harness won’t
    help you get up a cliff, but it changes a
    failure from falling and getting killed or
    injured to falling, dangling, and probably
    having to go back down the cliff safely.”
    Perfectly. Lovely example.

    “Penalty Mitigation ​ : Items that
    mitigate penalties are a bit more
    mechanical. They have an actual Penalty
    Mitigation rating, and can reduce dice in a
    penalty pool of a specific type by their
    rating. A rating of one is typical, with a
    rating of two being for exceptional items
    and a rating of three being for the best of
    the best. Cold weather gear won’t directly
    improve any skill, but it will prevent the
    cold from making things harder.”
    Start with an example, THEN do the mechanics. Both are good, and you may need a little re-wording to get it to work.
    This is a cool and sensible catagory of tool.

    “Bonus ​ : Items that grant a bonus
    are essentially always useful, and operate
    by effectively increasing a character’s skill
    for certain tasks. Like penalty mitigation
    these are rated, this time in how much
    they raise the skill. They are almost
    always rated at just one, but a rating of
    two for a bonus with niche applications is
    acceptable. A life jacket just makes
    swimming easier when trying to stay on
    the surface, and so it would be
    represented as a tool that grants a bonus.”
    This makes sense, although for examples like a lifejacket, I would kind of expect a massive bonus, not just 1 or 2.

    “Requirement : ​ Some items are a
    requirement to use a skill at all, at least
    for certain uses. No cooking skill is
    enough to make a stew if you don’t have a
    source of heat and a container to cook it
    in.”
    Perfect example. Very nice.

    “As both the mechanically simplest
    and most varied group, there is no table
    of example tools. Instead, it is
    recommended that tools be evaluated as
    they come up, whether in the context of
    the acquisition of new tools or even the
    context of applicability to a particular skill
    check.”
    I would recomend a table of example tools. Doesn’t have to be long, but having it exist seems wise.


    “Combat is usually a fairly
    momentous occasion, and one that can
    present a number of decisions in rapid
    succession.”
    This sentence jives wrong to me.

    Maybe its just that it is USUALLY FAIRLY momentous. (Too many qualifiers... and then momentous).
    It feels like the phrase “often reasonably miraculous”.

    Also... just momentous doesn’t feel right to me. I know it implies importentness, but for me at any rate, it feels off.
    Maybe because I am used to RPGs where combat was just something that happened often?

    “Both weapons and armor get
    extra attention because of this, with
    multiple associated statistics instead of a
    simple bonus.”

    “However there are cases
    where this doesn’t apply, and a set of
    simple armament rules which treat these
    as normal tools are provided.”
    I would probably recommend not leading with the exceptions, and adding this at the end... or at least, IF there are cases where something doesn’t apply then say what those cases are. If there are a set of simpler rules, say where they are.
    “If you find yourself playing a particularly low combat campaign, for example centered on an actor and understudy, then you and your GM may choose to use the simplified rules (SEE page X)”


    “Simple Armament Rules...”
    I feel like this wants to exist in the combat rules section, not the equipment section... and also that putting weapons before combat in general feels weird.

    Also: Armour bonuses going up with armour weight feels weird. For example, in combat against a longbow archer, unarmoured is probably better than plate armour, because you can dodge (that’s what made longbow so scary!)
    Would “Appropriateness of armour” be a better way of putting it?


    “To accommodate this weapons are
    categorized by a fairly simple rating
    system based on a few categories,”
    What catagories?
    “which can then get plugged into the combat
    engine.”
    What engine?
    Presumably one that exists further on? But as a reader this still gives a bit of a lurch.

    “In addition a table of examples is
    included, from which setting appropriate
    weapons can be selected.”
    You spend a lot of effort explaining what is to come. Very much “In section three of this paper we discuss...”, except without even saying the section.
    You can reduce this.
    Is it useful for me to call this out repeatedly,( because then each instance can be acted on), or do you want me to give you time to react and do edits, and then come back once that is done? Or just gloss over, and leave you to edit as you see appropriate?


    “These categories are damage,
    reach, surrounded penalty, and armor
    penetration. Respectively these give a
    rough approximation of how much force a
    weapon generally has, a rough
    approximation of effective fighting range,
    an assessment of just how bad it is to be
    surrounded when using the weapon, and
    whether or not the weapon is abnormally
    effective at dealing with armor. These can
    vary by setting, with what does and
    doesn’t qualify as armor penetrating
    fluctuating particularly dramatically
    based on what armor exists in setting.”
    Sounds good.


    “Ranged weapons ar handled in a
    fairly similar way to melee weapons”
    Typo on “are”.
    “in a fairly similar way” --> “Similarly”? “Much like”


    “A rating system of
    three statistics is used, damage, speed
    shooting penalty, and mounted use.”
    No surround penalty?

    “These weapons
    are also all armor penetrating, though
    depending on the setting that designation
    might also be applied to other weapons.”
    Wait what?
    Do I expect a sling stone to penatrate plate armour?
    Do I expect a bullet to have armour pentration vs bullet proof vest.
    WHY are all ranged weapons armour busting?

    “Like with melee weapons any
    ranged weapon list is going to be both
    incomplete and excessive for any given
    setting. The list provided at the end of the
    chapter is a set of examples only some of
    which will fit any given setting, but all of
    which can provide information for rating
    unlisted weapons.”
    Say this ONCE, with the list itself. Don’t belabour this point as much.

    “This varies enough
    between fantasy settings at different
    levels of realism, and even just at different
    estimates for reality for that to be left to
    the GM, particularly given the differences
    in ease for two different shots at the same
    range. Some options for handling this
    more concretely may appear in the
    Volume I Codices at a later date.”
    I can see why this is here but.... it still feels off. Like you are showing your readers too much of your design thoughts, like a house with all the wall struts showing.
    I don’t know how else you would approach this one though, and I do see your point, so I’m not really sure what I would recommend.
    I guess, at the very least, do not mention future codices.



    “The weapon lists provided later in
    this table are designed according to a
    philosophy that is somewhat subgenre
    specific - there weapons are tools that
    characters use, where some tools are
    better than others for certain situations,
    some tools are just generally better than
    others, and a given character is likely to
    use several different weapons because of
    this. They’re also designed largely on the
    assumption that the way they’re used is
    pretty close to historical models.”
    “The weapon list provided later in this CHAPTER”?
    Also, once again, a long paragraph describing why the rules are the way they are, but only tangentially related to teaching players the rules.


    “If this is preferred, the rules
    change slightly.”
    Another optional rules system?
    Okay...
    This is a problem.
    Stop trying to build every possible game and tone.
    The direction this is heading is towards not a single rulebook, but three different rulebooks folded togeather and overlaid.
    Decide what game YOU want to build, what story YOU want to tell. Make an executive decision. Some people won’t like it, but the way you have this here is confusing enough and has too many sprockets and addendums.

    If you can’t decide, then build three different rulebooks! You can do that- it will be fun!
    Push each of them in a different direction, and see what happens.

    “The shield rules below are dropped
    entirely, and the armor rules might also
    be dropped if that is similarly declared to
    be a matter of decoration and
    characterization. This standardization
    also obviates some of the stats - reach
    and armor penetration no longer matter
    at all for melee weapons, mounted use is
    always a yes for ranged weapons and they
    never need to reload.”
    And... if you do want to have a “cartoon combat” system, I would suggest not definining it in terms of the other system minus some complexity, but instead , at the start of the appropriate section go “Depending on the level of Realism desired, Legacy has three different combat/equipment systems, A, B and C. ...[Describe A] ....[Describe B] ....[Describe C].”

    Make each description as self contained as possible, without reference to “The shield rules below” and “The weapon table which is somewhere”

    If you are going to mention the weapon table so much, put it early on and refer BACK to it.

    “For armor, it’s that it’s very
    common for there to be some sort of
    fairly light textile armor, some sort of
    heavy high coverage metal armor, and a
    middle ground of lower coverage armor,
    which often involves heavier textiles and
    metal at lower coverage. Fantasy armors
    extend this, but the general system of a
    setting having various light, medium, and
    heavy armors with what is often fairly....”
    This is interesting, and fascinating from a historical perspective... but I don’t know if it needs to be in a game. Maybe it does, and that's your call, but just... give it a second thought, and if you want to keep it, decide what your goal is.


    “Lorica segmentata, mail byrnies, breastplates,
    bone reinforced hides, partial lamellar
    armor, rhinoceros hide.”
    I know what about half of these are/mean.
    What is your goal here? What do you expect your reader to gain here?
    I understand examples are useful, but if your reader is unfamiliar with your examples there are problems- not only does the example fail, but it makes your reader FEEL unprepared, which discourages them in a general sense. Maybe give pictures?


    “They also use different statistics, namely
    a ranged and melee penalty pool for
    opponents, as shown on the table below.”
    I’d be tempted to put “Melee defence” and “ranged defence” in the following table, just for emphasis.


    “While mounts and vehicles are
    both effectively special tools, they’re
    important enough to the sort of
    characters that use them often to warrant
    a more detailed treatment.”
    Stop telling us why this manual has the things it does.
    Just tell us the thing.
    Say what Vechiles ARE, not why you are telling us about them.
    (The why is important sometimes, usually when you are doing something that you expect to break your readers expectation. Otherwise don’t).


    “To reflect that, mounts and
    vehicles are rating according to four stats.”
    The rest of this section is good, and I like your choice of stats. And the descriptions of them. Especially the distinction of boats vs horses and how capsizing would work.


    “The two major exceptions are the
    use of mounts and vehicles in combat, for
    which rules are found in Chapter [x]:
    Combat, or when encountering hazards
    handled as much by the mount or vehicle
    as the characters using it.”
    I would rearrange to “ The two major exceptions are the
    use of mounts and vehicles in combat, and when encountering hazards. Combat rules are given [x]. Hazard rules are...”

    “These hazards
    come in two major categories -
    disembarkment and damage - but they’re
    handled similarly. There’s also a second
    major set of categories, obstacles and
    conditions, which reflect whether a single
    or extended task are used to handle them.”
    Too many subclauses.

    There’s combat and hazards. Then hazards are broken into damage and disembark (what happened to foul weather? Doesn’t sound like either). Then there’s a second catagory... but I don’t know what its second AFTER... and it has subcatagories.
    This is a complex tree structure.

    And WHY is it in the equipment section, as opposed to the “Getting over obstacles in the wildeness”

    “Obstacles are fairly simple, fairly
    small and generally surprising conditions
    that have to be dealt with quickly”
    Look for every word in this document ending in “ly”.
    Double check that it needs to be there, or if there is some other way around this.
    If you have more than two of these in a sentence, be even more cautious. Typically I am fairly certain this will generally be unnessisary.


    “When an obstacle comes up, the
    GM must determine whether it presents a
    threat of disembarkment”
    “threat of disembarkment” too wordy.
    Also, I just realized, you are not doing a seperate GM and players guide... I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but its just a thing I noticed.
    I’m not sure of the effects/implications of that choice, but would recommend at least thinking about both sides to see what the results would be... if you haven’t already.
    Also also... are these the only two possible threats? What about... the threat of being stuck?
    I guess what I mean is, the wording implies only two possible paths, and I’d be tempted to leaving things a little more open..
    “,where damage in this case means damage
    to the vehicle.”
    Awkward placement at tail of the previous sentence.
    “Once that is evaluated, the
    GM then defines the difficulty of the
    roll(s), as with other tasks.”
    Evaluated is an unusual word, “decided” would be more common.
    I’d also be tempted to put the difficulty and consequence decision in the same sentence “the GM must decide the difficulty of the task, an the consequences of failure. Possible consequences include....”



    “This may
    not immediately cause disembarkment or
    wreckage; the mount/vehicle then rolls
    Stability/Damage against Difficulty 0.”
    Hmmm... and here I think is the greatest difficulty of your system.
    I don’t know what this means.
    I don’t mean that I can’t look it up, I’m sure its somewhere... but I can’t just READ it and know what it means... and a lot of that isn’t your fault. I read “d20” and “d6” and “critical hit”, and because its familiar I just shrug it off, even though its just as complex. There’s also something in the phrasing... “against difficulty zero” that makes it feel sort of... oxymoronic, and hence unintuitive. “Full of nothing.” “Suddnly three months later.” etc.
    Heck "Against difficulty X" by itself reads as weird grammatically... something which "DC 5 will save" avoids by dint of "DC" not actually being read as a word, only a game action thing.

    Also, is there ANY way you could get an acceptable effect using only one roll, instead of two? If I crash my boat, I want this to feel sudden, and hence multiple rolls feels like a liability.

    “Optionally,
    if the GM wants to distinguish between
    the difficulty of avoiding an obstacle and
    the severity of running into it that can be
    increased”
    What can be increased?

    “Obstacles”
    Would you consider renaming these “Hazards”?
    To me obstacles sound like a cliff, or something that I get to know about in advance and plan my way around. Hazards sounds more sudden, which I think is what you are going for here.

    “In
    addition, conditions are given a Duration.
    This is an abstract representation of how
    long the conditions must be withstood,
    rated from 1-10.”
    Given that this is abstract... would you consider giving a more concrete example. Pinning this down etc.

    “In addition, the rolls are made in a
    somewhat different fashion.”
    You can really only use “in addition” effectively when you are following DIRECTLY after the thing you are adding too. Here you aren’t, and the fact that this is not just an addition, but a substitution complicates things.

    “This represents staying
    stable and/or away from danger for a
    variable length of time.”
    What length of time?
    Here you are creating a super mechanical framework... but leaving to many variables open.

    It feels like having a really specific mathematical model... but with eight dozen undetermined parameters in it. You get all the complexity of the complex model, but with none of the specificity of having a concrete model.

    “Most Legacy settings will have
    some form of an economy. Some might
    even have widely used currency systems,
    and for those that do a very concrete and
    minimally abstract system of just
    counting coins can work just fine.”
    Many Legacy campaigns will take
    place in settings with a well established
    currency. In such cases, players can track
    their wealth purely by keeping track of their
    number of coins.

    “To abstract these, the master gets
    a Resources stat, which is considered
    equipment, and uses the 0-5 rating
    common to attributes and skills. Here a
    zero corresponds to being essentially
    broke,”
    You know what.... I like the idea of abstracting out the wealth a like this, and have heard of it being used similarly elsewhere.
    Why not just go for it? Use this wealth mechanic in gift economies AND in currency economies. The abstractions mean different things, but if you think this has good game play, then use it, and save your players the bookkeeping of counting every silver coin.

    There is probably a way to simplify the rules here, or at least the explaination, but overall, this bit seems nice.

    Given that wealth is used to by equipment, maybe put this earlier in the section? Maybe not? I'm not sure.
    It started in the first world, long ago.
    We solved the the first of riddles, the code of life.
    On the backs of slaves, we traveled out into the great dark void between worlds.

    And then... we created the gods.

    Nine Gardens.
    Insane "Benevolent" AI. Genetically engineered witch queens. Strange robots.
    Faulty Terraforming. A Space Opera RPG.

    Seeking feedback on:
    Character building rules(page 4). Lore (page 6). What classes catch peoples eye? (page 5).
    Oots thread here.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Some changes have been made. The big one was the penalty pool mechanics, where just subtracting the pool from the result at the end really is just a strict simplification which outputs the same result. In retrospect that should have been obvious (retroactively call the first N dice a penalty pool, if that doesn't induce failure it's the same, if it does it's still the same because of how going negative works and is much simpler to understand. I've also been tightening up the writing where it's pointed out. The quality of work section is looking pretty likely to get completely rewritten, and I'm considering pushing some of the rules text in the equipment chapter elsewhere.

    As for mount and vehicle use rules, those I might just completely rewrite.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is not needed. If you are going to list the types, do it BEFORE entering the tools subcatagory, and while yes, things CAN be thought of as tools, if you list them as weapons, armour, and mounts, most people are not going to automatically think “But those are tools too”. Trust your reader. This isn’t a legal document, nor a critical safety manual. A 1% chance of misinterpretation is acceptable.

    I would be far more inclined to start this section with “Tools includes all manner of ropes, scales, ploughs, medical equipment etc.”
    “Most tools fall into one of four catagories: XY Z and D”
    Rearranged.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This makes sense, although for examples like a lifejacket, I would kind of expect a massive bonus, not just 1 or 2.
    Bonus is a particularly strong ability - that +2 for a lifejacket will make someone who can't swim at all succeed every time at a difficulty 2 or less roll, and succeed half the time or more at a difficulty 5 or less roll.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I would recomend a table of example tools. Doesn’t have to be long, but having it exist seems wise.
    Yeah, probably.



    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This sentence jives wrong to me.

    Maybe its just that it is USUALLY FAIRLY momentous. (Too many qualifiers... and then momentous).
    It feels like the phrase “often reasonably miraculous”.

    Also... just momentous doesn’t feel right to me. I know it implies importentness, but for me at any rate, it feels off.
    Maybe because I am used to RPGs where combat was just something that happened often?
    Momentous is staying, but I've trimmed the qualifiers.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I feel like this wants to exist in the combat rules section, not the equipment section... and also that putting weapons before combat in general feels weird.

    Also: Armour bonuses going up with armour weight feels weird. For example, in combat against a longbow archer, unarmoured is probably better than plate armour, because you can dodge (that’s what made longbow so scary!)
    Would “Appropriateness of armour” be a better way of putting it?
    Weapons ended up before combat for the same reason as character creation ending up before mechanics, and I've solidified a bit on that decision. Again though, either way has some downsides.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    You spend a lot of effort explaining what is to come. Very much “In section three of this paper we discuss...”, except without even saying the section.
    You can reduce this.
    Is it useful for me to call this out repeatedly,( because then each instance can be acted on), or do you want me to give you time to react and do edits, and then come back once that is done? Or just gloss over, and leave you to edit as you see appropriate?
    It's definitely useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Wait what?
    Do I expect a sling stone to penatrate plate armour?
    Do I expect a bullet to have armour pentration vs bullet proof vest.
    WHY are all ranged weapons armour busting?
    They're not, and I've rewritten it to accommodate that. Any ranged weapon given an actual reload time is armor piercing, mostly because that applies specifically to crossbows and firearms.



    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Another optional rules system?
    Okay...
    This is a problem.
    Stop trying to build every possible game and tone.
    The direction this is heading is towards not a single rulebook, but three different rulebooks folded togeather and overlaid.
    Decide what game YOU want to build, what story YOU want to tell. Make an executive decision. Some people won’t like it, but the way you have this here is confusing enough and has too many sprockets and addendums.

    If you can’t decide, then build three different rulebooks! You can do that- it will be fun!
    Push each of them in a different direction, and see what happens.
    Like I said, the goal here is a toolkit system, and building three different rulebooks is already on the table here, as an earlier split (modern and futuristic books being what was cordoned off).

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    And... if you do want to have a “cartoon combat” system, I would suggest not definining it in terms of the other system minus some complexity, but instead , at the start of the appropriate section go “Depending on the level of Realism desired, Legacy has three different combat/equipment systems, A, B and C. ...[Describe A] ....[Describe B] ....[Describe C].”
    That said, I might well do this.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    This is interesting, and fascinating from a historical perspective... but I don’t know if it needs to be in a game. Maybe it does, and that's your call, but just... give it a second thought, and if you want to keep it, decide what your goal is.



    I know what about half of these are/mean.
    What is your goal here? What do you expect your reader to gain here?
    I understand examples are useful, but if your reader is unfamiliar with your examples there are problems- not only does the example fail, but it makes your reader FEEL unprepared, which discourages them in a general sense. Maybe give pictures?
    I might need to rephrase some things here. The core idea is that most historical periods have some sort of light textile armor, some sort of heavy metal armor, and something in between, where the light-medium-heavy armors are mapped on to whatever that is for the particular period. The examples then feed into that, with the idea that all of those are mechanically the same.

    There's also the whole "generic fantasy" phenomenon, which is inevitably mid-late medieval minus gunpowder plus elves. The example list is intended to provide a good shove away from that, and is thus populated pretty heavily with armors from other periods and cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    I’d be tempted to put “Melee defence” and “ranged defence” in the following table, just for emphasis.
    So was I, but I ran into page space issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Too many subclauses.

    There’s combat and hazards. Then hazards are broken into damage and disembark (what happened to foul weather? Doesn’t sound like either). Then there’s a second catagory... but I don’t know what its second AFTER... and it has subcatagories.
    This is a complex tree structure.

    And WHY is it in the equipment section, as opposed to the “Getting over obstacles in the wildeness”
    I'm planning on moving this and rewriting it. It might just need a chapter of its own at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    Look for every word in this document ending in “ly”.
    Double check that it needs to be there, or if there is some other way around this.
    If you have more than two of these in a sentence, be even more cautious. Typically I am fairly certain this will generally be unnessisary.
    Point made, and hilariously. I'll do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    “threat of disembarkment” too wordy.
    Also, I just realized, you are not doing a seperate GM and players guide... I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but its just a thing I noticed.
    I’m not sure of the effects/implications of that choice, but would recommend at least thinking about both sides to see what the results would be... if you haven’t already.
    I've either briefly considered and rejected it for this project or considered it multiple times as a general philosophy for years, depending on how it's looked at. The short version is that the whole GM Guide/Player Guide is a weird D&D thing that crops up in a few other places, and one I personally tend to really dislike.

    Quote Originally Posted by nineGardens View Post
    You know what.... I like the idea of abstracting out the wealth a like this, and have heard of it being used similarly elsewhere.
    Why not just go for it? Use this wealth mechanic in gift economies AND in currency economies. The abstractions mean different things, but if you think this has good game play, then use it, and save your players the bookkeeping of counting every silver coin.

    There is probably a way to simplify the rules here, or at least the explaination, but overall, this bit seems nice.

    Given that wealth is used to by equipment, maybe put this earlier in the section? Maybe not? I'm not sure.
    I figured it was pretty well implied that you could use the abstract system regardless, but I can make this more explicit. I'd want to see if other people read it as implying that you should count coins if you can count coins first. At the very least it's a pretty obvious house rule.
    Last edited by Knaight; 2019-01-28 at 01:33 AM.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
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    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Age is possibly the single most important statistic on the character sheet, and this suggests some rewriting of early parts to get that message across.
    Since you said age is important and it currently only does something between sessions, not during a session, I thought of a mechanic that might be interesting.

    To succeed at a mental task, you have to roll under your age. For a physical task, you have to roll over your age.

    For instance, climbing a tree might be 20 (based on difficulty) + 2d20 (standard dice), so if you're 22 or younger you'll automatically climb this tree, but if you're (e.g.) 40 years old you may have trouble climbing it, and once you hit your sixties you are no longer capable of climbing trees. Unless you're very skilled at climbing, of course (e.g. untrained is 10+2d20, trained is 20+2d20, master is 30+2d20). Mental tasks go the other way around, so if you're older (i.e. more experienced) you are better at knowledge, meditation, etc. Same mechanic except a high age makes it easier to roll under your age.

    Of course this needs some numbers tweaking, 20+2d20 is just an example. HTH!
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Default Re: Killing My Darlings: Legacy

    It's very much not an appropriate mechanic for this game, but it is a potentially solid one - and one I've seen elsewhere a few times, especially in the context of a raw d20 for games about teenagers where the divide is adult/childish.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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