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Anaximander

Ideas from Other Game Systems

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3 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

I blame the tv-tropes website a lot for this. 

 

 

Thank you so much.  I was beginning to think I was the only one. 

 

Worse still is just how far over the shark TV Tropes has jumped.  When every damned thing ever is a trope, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate what a trope actually _is_, and what it _means_ to call something a trope. 

 

When you end up lasting every subverted trope as a trope in itself, well...    You're done.  You're more than done, and should stop now while it's way too late. 

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One cool idea I don't know how to use but really liked was in Savage World Star Wars you get "bennies," which were basically hero points: throw them away for a re-roll or other game mechanic stuff, as usual.  But in the Star Wars one, if you did an evil act, you got a dark side one, a free bennie.  But the GM got a free one as well if you ever used it.  So you felt the power of the dark side, but it really didn't end up in your favor.

 

Which was I thought a neat mechanic for moral enforcement without being preachy or beating people over the head.

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IIRC Mayfair's Underground game presented a mechanism for the PCs to change the various social aspects of the society itself in the campaign.  That is, ways for them to alter the political situation, social attitudes, and so forth, through their actions.  Interesting concept.  You might be able to adapt the Kingdom rules or Social combat optional rules from APG to achieve something similar.

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Going back to the introductory adventure idea, another strength of Hero is the way you can use it across multiple genres.  You could write the different adventures in different genres and to make a cohesive story you could make it surrealistic tale across time and dimension and the players wake up in different realities as different people with different memories.  Once the adventure is done, you could even apply the XP to the characters the make for their first character in your actual campaign.

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26 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Nice!

 

Kind of a throwback to Perrin's old Worlds of Wonder boxed kit from way back.

 

Never figured out why that didn't catch on better than just Super World....

 

Still, it's a solid idea.

 

 

 

If you are referring to me, I haven't heard of it.  I got the idea from a book I read from in a Native American lit class.

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The guy that wrote the Super world game and partially inspired the guys who did the first Champions did a boxed set of RPGs using the same system and included Magic World and I-cant-remember-what-the-sci-fi-setting-was-called (future world?).  He tied them all together with a hub world (an island, if I remember right) through which characters could transition from one world to another. 

 

It wasn't really popular, and I don't know why, because the system was as solid as anythi g else at the time and better than most. 

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19 hours ago, ghost-angel said:

Oh this whole thing is good, this is fantastic. Please let me know if you how this all works in play.

 

Just fyi, the examples I gave ARE from actual play, including the duffle bag of guns on the roof of the elevator. I think the biggest issue we had with it was players struggling with determining "What are prep/montage actions vs. what are actual play actions"  The ninja player's "prep" actions were "I get in there and find the hostage and get out"... which was like the whole adventure... heh. So we had to discuss what was appropriate as "setup actions" vs. "actual play, the plan contacts the enemy" because old school gamers can be very unused to have "director stance" actions... which in some ways these are... but you can't take it too far. 

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14 hours ago, Anaximander said:

Going back to the introductory adventure idea, another strength of Hero is the way you can use it across multiple genres.  You could write the different adventures in different genres and to make a cohesive story you could make it surrealistic tale across time and dimension and the players wake up in different realities as different people with different memories.  Once the adventure is done, you could even apply the XP to the characters the make for their first character in your actual campaign.

Just out of curiosity, have you seen Champions in 3-D for 4e, or Book of the Empress for 6e? They cover this idea with some "alternate Earth" and/or multiverse campaign ideas so you can do just what you suggest. The rules pretty much beg for this! They just give some suggestions for how to pull it off.

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On 6/19/2019 at 11:53 AM, RDU Neil said:

3. Then, based on the total plusses or minuses... a player with Tactics or Teamwork... rolls. Based on how well they roll... the players gain Luck Chits for the group as a whole, that can be utilzed when necessary to say "I planned for this!" when they run into some obstacle in the actual op. For example, the PCs could only infiltrate with light weapons... but once inside, realized they were likely heavily out gunned. The ninja spent a chit saying, "I planned for this, and on my way in, I left a duffle bag of guns on the roof of the elevator off the kitchen." The PCs are then able to pick up a couple assault rifles and a shotgun before heading for the penthouse.

Just for clarity's sake on my part (I may have read right past your explanation), are the luck chits gained for the whole team based on the single "Plan" roll, or individually for each of their pre-plan rolls? In other words, is the ninja using a chit that belongs to the whole team based on their "Plan" roll, or his own chit based on how well he succeeded at inserting himself into the infiltration site?

 

By the way, thanks for reaching out to me at Origins! I love finally putting faces to names!

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7 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

Just for clarity's sake on my part (I may have read right past your explanation), are the luck chits gained for the whole team based on the single "Plan" roll, or individually for each of their pre-plan rolls? In other words, is the ninja using a chit that belongs to the whole team based on their "Plan" roll, or his own chit based on how well he succeeded at inserting himself into the infiltration site?

 

By the way, thanks for reaching out to me at Origins! I love finally putting faces to names!

 

Great to meet you too, albeit briefly. Hope you had a good Con!

So, the way we played it, "The Plan" chits were a group pool, not individual. The reason for this was a) PCs already have their own, b) it clearly separated "I planned for this" vs. spending for a free Dodge or whatever, and c) it felt right to reflect the overall effectiveness of "The Plan" not just one PCs contribution. The contributions of each affect "The Plan" roll (Tactics or Teamwork being the Skill used)... but the result of "The Plan" roll is for the whole team.

 

hope that makes sense.

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10 minutes ago, RDU Neil said:

 

Great to meet you too, albeit briefly. Hope you had a good Con!

So, the way we played it, "The Plan" chits were a group pool, not individual. The reason for this was a) PCs already have their own, b) it clearly separated "I planned for this" vs. spending for a free Dodge or whatever, and c) it felt right to reflect the overall effectiveness of "The Plan" not just one PCs contribution. The contributions of each affect "The Plan" roll (Tactics or Teamwork being the Skill used)... but the result of "The Plan" roll is for the whole team.

 

hope that makes sense.

So if I get this correctly, there are team chits as a result, that can be used by the players, I'm assuming with the group's consent, so retroactively "plan" for "The Plan"?

 

(By the way, I just started a new thread related to this that I think you probably have a lot to contribute to)

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2 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

o if I get this correctly, there are team chits as a result, that can be used by the players, I'm assuming with the group's consent, so retroactively "plan" for "The Plan"?

 

Yes... team chits, a player can request to use one, group has to agree to what is suggested.  Usually, "oooh... ooh... I have an idea..." and people agree or make suggestions... go...

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So this "plan" is not really an explicit plan per se (i.e., nobody actually comes up with a strategic plan of attack), but rather an abstract thing that is just used to rationalize giving out bonuses or Luck dice or whatever?

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4 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

Just out of curiosity, have you seen Champions in 3-D for 4e, or Book of the Empress for 6e? They cover this idea with some "alternate Earth" and/or multiverse campaign ideas so you can do just what you suggest. The rules pretty much beg for this! They just give some suggestions for how to pull it off.

 

No, I haven't really gone as deep with the Hero System as I would like.  There is really no opportunity to play the game in my region and am primarily pursue it because it fuels my imagination.  Consequently, it is hard justifying too much time and expense for the system, but if there are already models to work with, like the supplements you mentioned or the books that Bushido mentioned, it would represent a good place to start.

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1 hour ago, Anaximander said:

 

No, I haven't really gone as deep with the Hero System as I would like.  There is really no opportunity to play the game in my region and am primarily pursue it because it fuels my imagination.  Consequently, it is hard justifying too much time and expense for the system, but if there are already models to work with, like the supplements you mentioned or the books that Bushido mentioned, it would represent a good place to start.

Champions in 3-D is a great place to start. The PDF is available, and the actual book is still available in the store (I had to double check: it’s rare for a book that old to still be available). It will most definitely spark your imagination. 

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Wow,.....

 "Story Story Story.."

"Genre Genre Genre"

">...the hell?"

I think the whole reason for "Dark Champions"  became a thing was two fold: 1.) the base rules started as a Silver Age pastiche, but Comic books themselves transitioned into the dark and gritty phase after the Comics Code faded in concert with the fading of the news stand market, and the rise of the Direct Sales Market.  2.) People feeling that superhero Genre Conventions weren't all that realistic ("To hell with tights. I'm wearing Kevlar Torso armor, sap gloves, and a decent helmet), and perhaps the war game aspects of Hero, especially since it was at the time, debuted at a War Game Convention, the biggest on the West Coast at the time.

 As such, I am not here for the story. Story is what happens after you finish the game. what I am here for is the problem.  I have a tactical mind, and for me Each game presents for me a problem to solve, within the framework of the rules, with the resources we have been given.  As a GM that's how I plan.  I figure out what the opposition thinks of the Player characters, and what the relative strengths and weaknesses are between them, then figure out where, and when, and present that to the players , then i sit back and listen. Loads of fun. But this focus on genre conventions and story structure to me, is not fun. I love to roleplay, but I prefer that the characters have internally consistent reasons for them to behave the way they do, rather than external reasons focused on "collaborative storytelling".  Just give me dice, Miniatures and a mat. I will be quite happy to write something up.

 

[Game-ist- Simulationist]

 

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13 hours ago, zslane said:

So this "plan" is not really an explicit plan per se (i.e., nobody actually comes up with a strategic plan of attack), but rather an abstract thing that is just used to rationalize giving out bonuses or Luck dice or whatever?

 

I think it is a half-way house.  The plan is hashed out by the players in a really sketchy way rather than sitting down coming up with a million details that might never be relevant.  There are some broad rolls that deliver a number of chits.  Those chits can be used to fill in details that become necessary during play (such as "we need heavier weapons, good job I stashed a cache on top of the lift").  Or at least that is the cool aspect that I think I will be stealing from this! 🙂

 

Again, I like a bit of uncertainty among the players and might use the dice pool idea rather than the chits.  If you would have had 12 chits, you get a pool of 12 dice, when you want to take control of the story you throw the pool and remove all the dice that roll 6s.  That way the players are never 100% certain of how much resource they might be using to do this next thing. I have used this mostly for timing, when trying to complete a task before a bomb goes off for example, and I have also, when the players are asking for a HUGE thing, said that I would allow it if dice were eliminated on a roll of 5 or 6.  It provides even more flexibility and a little bit of drama.  Rolling dice for rolling's sake is a bad thing, rolling dice to heighten drama is good.  🙂

 

Doc

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23 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Again, I like a bit of uncertainty among the players and might use the dice pool idea rather than the chits.  If you would have had 12 chits, you get a pool of 12 dice, when you want to take control of the story you throw the pool and remove all the dice that roll 6s.  That way the players are never 100% certain of how much resource they might be using to do this next thing. I have used this mostly for timing, when trying to complete a task before a bomb goes off for example, and I have also, when the players are asking for a HUGE thing, said that I would allow it if dice were eliminated on a roll of 5 or 6.  It provides even more flexibility and a little bit of drama.  Rolling dice for rolling's sake is a bad thing, rolling dice to heighten drama is good.  🙂

Ok, so for my own edification, and because I've never used a dice pool before, what do you do with those dice? Are they used to replace other dice in a roll? So if you have 12 dice in your pool and remove all the 6s when you roll, and you have, say, 9 left over, do you use those dice to replace "bad" dice in a roll?

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32 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

Ok, so for my own edification, and because I've never used a dice pool before, what do you do with those dice? Are they used to replace other dice in a roll? So if you have 12 dice in your pool and remove all the 6s when you roll, and you have, say, 9 left over, do you use those dice to replace "bad" dice in a roll?

 

OK.  To use Neil's example.  The players want heavier weapons. 

 

One of them suggests that the Plan should have included getting a cache of just such hardware on top of the lift. 

 

I say that this is eminently possible and for them to be there, they need to roll the Dice Pool (for this example presume there are 4 dice in that pool). 

 

The players decide if they want to use the Pool. There is no chance of the cache not being there. By rolling the dice they know there will be a cache.

 

What the players do not know is whether this will leave them with dice in the pool or not.  It is very unlikely (but not unfeasible) that they would roll 4 sixes. 

 

If they go ahead and roll the dice they might roll 6, 5, 3, 3.  That means the Pool is now 3 dice.  Next time they want to use the Pool to implement the Plan, they only roll 3 dice.  They can keep using the Pool until there are no dice left to use.

 

If they had wanted an EMP device above the lift then I might have said, yes, but only if you lose a dice from the pool if you roll 6s or 5s.  In the above example, that would leave them with only 2 dice.

 

I have only used it a couple of times myself and on both occasions it has added an element of tension to the table about decisions, without actually impacting the decision being made - even if they had rolled 4 sixes, the cache would have been there but they would have no Pool for the rest of the adventure...

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13 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

As such, I am not here for the story.

 

Dude, we are of the same tribe, you and I. From my brain to your fingers, it seems.

 

However, I will say that superhero genre conventions do make their way into my playstyle in that they inform the nature of the problems that the heroes will face. They inform the way the heroes will be treated, by citizens and by villains. They inform the way I expect citizens and villains to be treated by the PCs. And so forth. Genre conventions should make the game feel like the source material, so that players could never mistake a superhero campaign with, say, a fantasy campaign.

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23 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

Dude, we are of the same tribe, you and I. From my brain to your fingers, it seems.

 

However, I will say that superhero genre conventions do make their way into my playstyle in that they inform the nature of the problems that the heroes will face. They inform the way the heroes will be treated, by citizens and by villains. They inform the way I expect citizens and villains to be treated by the PCs. And so forth. Genre conventions should make the game feel like the source material, so that players could never mistake a superhero campaign with, say, a fantasy campaign.

 Well I do agree, mostly, however over time many superhero campaigns tended to slide more towards "spy thriller", and "urban crime", over time, as the players became smarter, and more experienced, with the campaigns eventually ending up firmly in Dark Champions territory.  The cops can be allies but are bound by law and regulation. Politicians can be allies or enemies, based on how they cultivate their base. The criminal types, each have their own goals within that framework.  Finally, the citizens, are individually different, and have their own points of view. Broadly, yes, its a Superhero Campaign, but elements from other genres do seep in, over a foundation of "Knowing what you know, what would you do in that situatuion?"

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On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:45 PM, zslane said:

So this "plan" is not really an explicit plan per se (i.e., nobody actually comes up with a strategic plan of attack), but rather an abstract thing that is just used to rationalize giving out bonuses or Luck dice or whatever?

 

It is explicit... a goal/intended outcome and a basic strategy and ex-fil idea... but it doesn't dwell on the details. No spending hours sweating exact timings, load outs, etc. It is more focused on "in what general way does each PC contribute via their abilities/skills"  i.e. We infiltrate the club and apartment building, using the club/party to cover our infiltration and if possible, find the hostage, hit quick and quiet and get out without sounding the alarm... vs. "We want to use a helicopter to repel down on the penthouse and go in guns blazing" or whatever. Say, fifteen minutes of discussion, not four hours.

Once the basic plan is agreed upon, then each player says, "Ok, to reach that goal, my character would prep/contribute by..." and that is the individual character rolling a key skill roll.

 

Then once each PC has rolled... the final "The Plan" roll to say "Ok, you did all your prep... overall, how well did it work out"

 

One way to think about it... the first Mission: Impossible movie starts with all the characters in place. Estevez is hacked in and sitting on the elevator, the others are either 'in the van' or infiltrated the crowd... they have their gear and positions and actions... and the dramatic action just starts. You didn't have a tedious six hour movie of them all arguing about how they were going to do the op... you get right to the op. That is the point. Show the prep in a montage, and get to the point of 'contact with the enemy' or whatever and do the actual play.

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