System Revamp

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    Corenat Rovarnus

    Heaven's Feel 7 : Tohsaka
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    System Revamp

    Post by Corenat Rovarnus on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:25 am

    What sets role playing game rule books apart from regular volumes is their art, colorful pieces that aid in revealing the vibrant world that awaits the player. Essentially, pictures and graphical aids are integral to the modern tabletop/Forum RPG experience. To that end I have a couple of mechanics suggestions for Grimwind and anyone else interested in creating their own game. These suggestions are aimed towards improving Rule Breaker, but most of them can also apply to Vampire Hunt or whatever idea you might have.

    1) An aesthetically pleasing standardized character sheet document, preferably as a DOC or PDF. I think this has been mentioned before, but it's worth bringing up again because it is quite important. When I entered the second Rule Breaker game I was completely lost as to where to start on creating my character. If you have a blank template document, it's much easier to see the guidelines, what the essential values are and what you need to have. In fact, why not have a tutorial page on the wiki that helps the player step by step through the creation process, going from the easiest choices to the most difficult. Yes, I understand there was a character data table in the forum account profile, but it was only accessible if you have an account on these boards, that is not conducive towards attracting new members. It could also look better, but that's completely optional.

    2) Relating the in game units to their real life equivalent. How large is a single space on the game grid, what are the stages of elevation, and how long is each turn. As an example, the Pathfinder RPG denotes a space to be a 5 foot square and each game round is roughly 6 seconds long. This numerical conversion helps players gauge the scope of the game mechanics, and also aids the GM in deciding what is and is not possible within a certain space and time.

    3) Detailed descriptions of any possible specific applications of each and every game skill. This is probably the most time consuming and tedious work, but it must be done if you want players to know how to utilize their character's skills to the fullest extent. Saying that a rank of 2 for Thaumaturgy is "Shirou Level" is very vague and requires the player to have read or watched Fate/Stay Night to understand what that means. Dungeons and Dragons doesn't require you to read Lord of the Rings to understand their references, it's just recommended, so cut down on vague references, at least in the rules.

    As an example, I'll make a power scaling for the Stealth skill. On the wiki, all it says for examples are that
    Grimwind wrote:Servant Assassins Stealth skills are on a whole different level.
    Wow. Isn't that descriptive. Some guy from the VN has skills that are out of your reach. This 'example' is completely pointless. Here's what I would do:
    • 1 - You have a rudimentary understanding of how to remain unnoticed. You can slip past people or creatures who are unaware or engaged in another activity.
    • 3 - You can evade the attention of the average person.
    • 5 - You have enough tricks and knowledge to escape detection by a trained security guard.
    • 7 - You can fool a search animal's sense of smell and make steps lighter than a pin dropping.
    • 9 - You can hide in plain sight, evading the grasp of nearly any sentry, be it biological, mechanical, or magical in nature.

    Graphical Aids: The existing pictures are nice, but Grimwind needs to have a map demonstrating Servant Covering range and how it works.

    Abilities: In the numerical adjustments you can have both increased area or target number. This is a bit redundant. Why not denote different types of abilities, where one type hits an area of terrain, or some must have target units designated. It's confusing and not clearly defined how a spell with area 10 but only target 1 would work if it hit an area with multiple targets, so just separate them into different categories.

    I have a lot of other suggestions and objections but this is it for now.

    Meroy

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    Re: System Revamp

    Post by Meroy on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:27 pm

    Most skills just seem to be useless in the first place.
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    Corenat Rovarnus

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    Re: System Revamp

    Post by Corenat Rovarnus on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:39 pm

    That is because grimwind did not develop a proper environment in which you could find opportunities to utilize those skills. Think about it, when you moved to another sector, did he describe anything your character saw, the people, what the buildings looked like, the (non grail war) events that were going on? You'll find that any description he did make was either of other Masters or discouraged you from checking out anything else. And there are a very limited amount of skills you can use when all you can do is either meet other players or observe them.
    Your character IS supposed to have a life with unique interests and hobbies, and you should be able to roleplay those out in game, by doing things like meeting up with friends or contacts, going to stores to buy hobby supplies or electronics you need, grabbing a bite at a random restaurant that piques your interest, to name a few examples.
    Now, proponents like belmont might say "That's what Open RP posts are for, doing the normal stuff."
    I believe that handling the problem that way segregates and seperates the character's life and/or personality from the actual game. I notice grimwind had to make it a requirement to make Open RP posts, signifying that it was more of a chore to most players.
    To make a really bad analogy, it is like everyone is playing as a bland robot with no personality. Notice how you had to post your actions and movements in a specific format, it seems like a programming language syntax, the instructions you give your robot.
    My point is that by not integrating the character's "normal" actions in the gameplay, you don't feel like you actually did those things, you just wrote a random story to please the GM.
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    Lucid
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    Re: System Revamp

    Post by Lucid on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:10 am

    1) An aesthetically pleasing standardized character sheet document, preferably as a DOC or PDF. I think this has been mentioned before, but it's worth bringing up again because it is quite important. When I entered the second Rule Breaker game I was completely lost as to where to start on creating my character. If you have a blank template document, it's much easier to see the guidelines, what the essential values are and what you need to have. In fact, why not have a tutorial page on the wiki that helps the player step by step through the creation process, going from the easiest choices to the most difficult. Yes, I understand there was a character data table in the forum account profile, but it was only accessible if you have an account on these boards, that is not conducive towards attracting new members. It could also look better, but that's completely optional.
    The forum integrated sheet is somewhat functional. Character sheets posted on the forums could work too, which is planned for Argon Coin. It already has an example character posted on the character creation. Tutorial page is also possible.

    2) Relating the in game units to their real life equivalent. How large is a single space on the game grid, what are the stages of elevation, and how long is each turn. As an example, the Pathfinder RPG denotes a space to be a 5 foot square and each game round is roughly 6 seconds long. This numerical conversion helps players gauge the scope of the game mechanics, and also aids the GM in deciding what is and is not possible within a certain space and time.
    Noted. Round times have been added on battle description already. No idea on grid lengths yet.

    3) Detailed descriptions of any possible specific applications of each and every game skill. This is probably the most time consuming and tedious work, but it must be done if you want players to know how to utilize their character's skills to the fullest extent. Saying that a rank of 2 for Thaumaturgy is "Shirou Level" is very vague and requires the player to have read or watched Fate/Stay Night to understand what that means. Dungeons and Dragons doesn't require you to read Lord of the Rings to understand their references, it's just recommended, so cut down on vague references, at least in the rules.
    Skills will be reworked on the perks. Skills will be removed, and you will be able to add flavour on your character by describing the skills he has. Their usefulness is very dependant on the campaign and GM though, so most likely they will be low cost.

    Graphical Aids: The existing pictures are nice, but Grimwind needs to have a map demonstrating Servant Covering range and how it works.
    I'll do a bunch of pictures describing the common battle situations once the hiatus ends.

    Abilities: In the numerical adjustments you can have both increased area or target number. This is a bit redundant. Why not denote different types of abilities, where one type hits an area of terrain, or some must have target units designated. It's confusing and not clearly defined how a spell with area 10 but only target 1 would work if it hit an area with multiple targets, so just separate them into different categories.
    True... I'll make it more clear later.


    Most skills just seem to be useless in the first place.
    Rework.


    That is because grimwind did not develop a proper environment in which you could find opportunities to utilize those skills. Think about it, when you moved to another sector, did he describe anything your character saw, the people, what the buildings looked like, the (non grail war) events that were going on? You'll find that any description he did make was either of other Masters or discouraged you from checking out anything else. And there are a very limited amount of skills you can use when all you can do is either meet other players or observe them.
    Your character IS supposed to have a life with unique interests and hobbies, and you should be able to roleplay those out in game, by doing things like meeting up with friends or contacts, going to stores to buy hobby supplies or electronics you need, grabbing a bite at a random restaurant that piques your interest, to name a few examples.
    Now, proponents like belmont might say "That's what Open RP posts are for, doing the normal stuff."
    I believe that handling the problem that way segregates and seperates the character's life and/or personality from the actual game. I notice grimwind had to make it a requirement to make Open RP posts, signifying that it was more of a chore to most players.
    To make a really bad analogy, it is like everyone is playing as a bland robot with no personality. Notice how you had to post your actions and movements in a specific format, it seems like a programming language syntax, the instructions you give your robot.
    My point is that by not integrating the character's "normal" actions in the gameplay, you don't feel like you actually did those things, you just wrote a random story to please the GM.

    Good points. After running the HGW for a while it started feeling like a chore instead of fun roleplay. It's simply the competitive game-play, random timezones and constant checking on the forums. If possible when Argon Coin gets finished I will be running campaigns now and then for small number of people — maybe it will feer more like a true RP then. There should be enough to play for everyone if other people run their own campaigns/threads as well.

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