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Buckets of Dice 07 and SAGA into the future
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for the record, the Jurassic suggestion was tongue in cheek ;)
(Jurassic Goal: Everyone knows that rocks are falling from the sky - you must either populate enough of the world to survive the disaster, or spur your evolution to enable survival...)

But the idea that you have non-traditional resources such as food, population count, and special resources to allow building different units, plus more special resources for improvements, is certainly one we can work with.

Also, I like the idea of a unit being one thing - a military counter is ONE dinosaur, not a phalanx of them. Makes population resources nice and simple


Plus, I'd totally run around with stunted arms for the evening saying 'RAAARRR' at people.
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Thorog the Slasher



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, browsing and stuff I came up with an idea for a Grand Strat...

The players are members of secret societies, trying to rule 1960s Europe. By controlling assets they can accumulate Power, which represents things like money, land, blackmail opportunities, that sort of thing. Societies can spend Power to influence public figures, which may then give the society more Power (e.g. influencing a CEO would give you more disposable income), themselves influence other public figures (influencing a reporter to give more favourable media coverage to a rock star or politician), and so on.

Mark also suggested that this might work better as a LARP, which would also be an interesting idea.
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mark, sounds like an excellent LARP concept.

Kind of like:
A Spy meet and greet. Lots of Mi5 agents meet for the agencies 100th birthday party, everyone has their own agenda's, based on their personal histories. (e.g an agent working in Russia has been subverted, an agent in the Pacific is really lazy, one agent needs to supply his drug craze, etc).

You could introduce all the old gags such as agent 86 and 99, plus Delta Green, and all kinds of amusing things.
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Anarchangel



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick_Adams wrote:
Just for the record, the Jurassic suggestion was tongue in cheek Wink
(Jurassic Goal: Everyone knows that rocks are falling from the sky - you must either populate enough of the world to survive the disaster, or spur your evolution to enable survival...)

But the idea that you have non-traditional resources such as food, population count, and special resources to allow building different units, plus more special resources for improvements, is certainly one we can work with.

...

Plus, I'd totally run around with stunted arms for the evening saying 'RAAARRR' at people.


Tongue-in-cheek or not, it's a great idea. The only problem would be getting enough meaningful and thematic interaction between the teams for those who enjoy the LARP-like aspects of a GS. I don't see any non-traditional resources there though, food and population are pretty traditional in strategy games.
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thorog the Slasher wrote:
OK, browsing and stuff I came up with an idea for a Grand Strat...

The players are members of secret societies, trying to rule 1960s Europe. By controlling assets they can accumulate Power, which represents things like money, land, blackmail opportunities, that sort of thing. Societies can spend Power to influence public figures, which may then give the society more Power (e.g. influencing a CEO would give you more disposable income), themselves influence other public figures (influencing a reporter to give more favourable media coverage to a rock star or politician), and so on.

Mark also suggested that this might work better as a LARP, which would also be an interesting idea.


The basic difference between a LARP and a GS is the rules though, right. If you have a bunch of rules for accumulating influence, a turn structure, and team based winning conditions, it's basically a GS; if it's more freeform and individually characterised, it's a LARP.

You could use the same idea for both if you wanted (but I wouldn't recommend it).
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick_Adams wrote:
I agree with Mark, sounds like an excellent LARP concept.

Kind of like:
A Spy meet and greet. Lots of Mi5 agents meet for the agencies 100th birthday party, everyone has their own agenda's, based on their personal histories. (e.g an agent working in Russia has been subverted, an agent in the Pacific is really lazy, one agent needs to supply his drug craze, etc).

You could introduce all the old gags such as agent 86 and 99, plus Delta Green, and all kinds of amusing things.


See, that would be the LARP version.

In either case, if you can get your hands on Cold City, the RPG of monster hunters in Cold War Berlin, it could be an inspirational read.
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Nick_Adams



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Anarchangel"]Tongue-in-cheek or not, it's a great idea. The only problem would be getting enough meaningful and thematic interaction between the teams for those who enjoy the LARP-like aspects of a GS. I don't see any non-traditional resources there though, food and population are pretty traditional in strategy games.[/quote]

Recently it's all been money, but then again I've not being doing economic roles in GS for a while now, so haven't looked too deeply into that stuff.

For LARPING, you make dinosaurs hive-minds. Modern archaeologists just haven't found that out yet. One player on each team is the hive-mother/father. They don't act like ants, doing all the labour, etc, as they operate on a different scale. That way the hive-minds can communicate with each other on a reasonable level of intelligence (you say that dinosaur hive-lords were actually really smart, but all their races lack limbs to convert intellectual potential into technological outcomes). Instead of building tools, their intellect allows them to shape the evolutionary processes within their species.

Thus, you can converse with other species for inter-faction larping, and you can have intra-faction larping with people wanting to kill their hivelord and take their place, or jealousy at others within their species (why did X branch of our species get better teeth, while my poor Y species only got better taste buds? Arrggh! or better yet ... "My evolutionary branch is the only PURE evolutionary branch").

But thats attributing a lot of intellect to dinosaurs. Which, you know, is certainly something...

For non-traditional resources you just mix it up:
- three basic resources (Carnivore Food, Herbivore Food, Population)
- special berries (double herbivore food supply in territory)
- watering hole (double carnivore food supply in territory)
- perfect breeding ground (enhanced population supply)
Unique Resources
- crashed meteorite (radiation, 1 additional evolutionary slot per turn)
- stone of peace (big black obelisk, no conflict can occur here)
- monkey infestation (manipulable tool using creatures, can send to block all resources in one other territory)
- granite (adding stone to the diet, while controlled counts as 1 additional armour evolutionary upgrade for free)

etc

I can't believe I'm being even semi-serious about this.

I quite like the spy idea actually.
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Thorog the Slasher



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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Location: President of SAGA Inc.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Alan, Mark and I have been kicking around an idea that involves colonisation of near space for the Grand Strat. One idea is a main map to out-shiny all other main maps (except maybe Fortress America's).

So the spy thing may be a good thing for a LARP, if someone else wants to run with it. No way I'm GMing two main events if I can help it next year.
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Nick_Adams



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, a space GS. Haven't seen them in quite a few years.
Ever play the Dragonlance board game? Used altitude tokens under your dragon model to represent height on the hex. So you could be two hexs away and 5 altitude spaces different - so you needed to course correct if you wanted to stabbity them.

Make a three dimensional map for the space GS ;) You know you want to!
Bwah ah ahhhhh.

I wonder how much longer we can keep this thread going for the moment...
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick_Adams wrote:
Oooh, a space GS. Haven't seen them in quite a few years.
Ever play the Dragonlance board game? Used altitude tokens under your dragon model to represent height on the hex. So you could be two hexs away and 5 altitude spaces different - so you needed to course correct if you wanted to stabbity them.

Make a three dimensional map for the space GS Wink You know you want to!
Bwah ah ahhhhh.



Part of me says "Yes, yes, yes!" but part of me screams "Oh god no!"

On the one hand, that would be hella cool, but on the other hand it has massive potential to be complicated and slow. If you can avoid those pitfall, then do it, but if not, drop the 3D in favour of system elegance, pleeeeeease!

One idea that springs to mind, is essentially a giant hanging wire-framed map of space lanes between major systems. Point to point movement along space lanes, place stacks elsewhere. You could give the players a schematic representation of the lanes in 2D too.

While I'm thinking of point-to-point systems, you might want to mine some of the recent card driven combat systems (such as Battlelore) for ideas. The seems like they could be quite quick in a GS scenario. Also, I'm sure there have been at least one or two RPGs or board games which deal with 3D space maps.

Or, your could have a small scale space game in the earth's solar system, or a Bab 5 type arrangement, allowing personal control of space ships and 3D movement in a tactical way. Transhuman Space/Near future soft-tech/Victorian steam ships in space. Huh... Spelljammers anyone?
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xyphoid



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I still have that Dragonlance board game, I should see what state it's in
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Thorog the Slasher



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I think slows Grand Strats down is that the GMs try to combine too much strategic and tactical. What you're describing, Anarchangel, is the equivalent of one combat in most GSes (and it has the problem of everyone trying to move their ship at once, causing GM stress unless you have a low player:GM ratio). I've been calling them "Grand Tacticals".

The plan for the GS we're thinking of is to have combat itself be run by a computer. This should (hopefully) speed turns up quite a bit, and although it diminshes the role of the Admiral/Military commander a bit, they still have to deal with moving ships and the little slip that comes back saying "Lost contact with fleet 5 in sector E".

3D movement is, I think, too hard to be feasible at a GS. For purposes of simplifying thinking and that sort of thing, 2D is the way to go.

I'd like to say also that none of this is fixed. These are ideas we've thrown out and thought sounded good. If you have feedback with what we have so far, I'd love to hear it.
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thorog the Slasher wrote:
One of the things I think slows Grand Strats down is that the GMs try to combine too much strategic and tactical.


I agree entirely.

Thorog the Slasher wrote:
What you're describing, Anarchangel, is the equivalent of one combat in most GSes (and it has the problem of everyone trying to move their ship at once, causing GM stress unless you have a low player:GM ratio). I've been calling them "Grand Tacticals".


You probably want to quote exactly which part of a post you're referring to... Are you talking about the last part where I talk about a small scale near future/Victorian thing? I fail to see how that results in everyone trying to move their ship at once... I do assume that you guys will have rules for turn orders and such... But that would be a far different sort of GS than the usual fare.


Thorog the Slasher wrote:
The plan for the GS we're thinking of is to have combat itself be run by a computer. This should (hopefully) speed turns up quite a bit, and although it diminishes the role of the Admiral/Military commander a bit, they still have to deal with moving ships and the little slip that comes back saying "Lost contact with fleet 5 in sector E".


That would introduce a nice fog of war into proceedings. Generals should ideally be making strategic decisions anyway, so the less tactical stuff the better. Even without the computer, you could reduce combats to a simple of comparison of fleet values.


Thorog the Slasher wrote:
3D movement is, I think, too hard to be feasible at a GS. For purposes of simplifying thinking and that sort of thing, 2D is the way to go.


At the level I'm thinking about, it's just a mapping issue with no bearing on combat.


Thorog the Slasher wrote:
I'd like to say also that none of this is fixed. These are ideas we've thrown out and thought sounded good. If you have feedback with what we have so far, I'd love to hear it.


It sounds like you have the right idea: speed up proceedings by reducing the time spent on tactical faffing in combat.

My other bugbear is tech research: will you be allowing that in the game? It always seems like an unrealistic port from RTSs.
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Thorog the Slasher



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You probably want to quote exactly which part of a post you're referring to...

Ah, right...
Quote:
Or, your could have a small scale space game in the earth's solar system, or a Bab 5 type arrangement, allowing personal control of space ships and 3D movement in a tactical way.

This one here. I was thinking of something similar to this myself, actually. (I'd like to see a World War 2 style trench warfare thing, where every player ends up commanding four or five troops, with higher-ranking officers to take care of the strategic bits). While it may be possible for one of these to work, I think I'd like to have a test of it first (veteran wargamers may like to pipe up on their opinions at this point, as they'll have had more experience with this sort of thing than I would). The problem I see is that in a GS we have five or so teams, meaning five move orders need to be processed; in a GT we have thirty or so movement orders. Paper order slips would be near impossible, I think, but it may be manageable if you simply have one person give orders verbally, then another, and so on. It means no simultaneous movement, but that's a sacrifice you'd have to make. There's also the problem of no real diplomacy, and no real LARP element.

Quote:
That would introduce a nice fog of war into proceedings


So how would you like the idea that the big main map won't have big stacks of counters for every fleet? If we end up using a computer for most of the stuff, a fog of war is easy enough to do - you know where your ships are, and you know what's in that sector along with your ships, but you really don't know what is elsewhere. It makes the role of the spy rather useful, since now there's a lot more you don't know.

Quote:
My other bugbear is tech research: will you be allowing that in the game? It always seems like an unrealistic port from RTSs.


Currently, I don't know. We haven't discussed tech yet, so we'll see how that turns out when we get to it.
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Anarchangel



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thorog the Slasher wrote:
Quote:
You probably want to quote exactly which part of a post you're referring to...

Ah, right...
Quote:
Or, your could have a small scale space game in the earth's solar system, or a Bab 5 type arrangement, allowing personal control of space ships and 3D movement in a tactical way.

This one here. I was thinking of something similar to this myself, actually. (I'd like to see a World War 2 style trench warfare thing, where every player ends up commanding four or five troops, with higher-ranking officers to take care of the strategic bits). While it may be possible for one of these to work, I think I'd like to have a test of it first (veteran wargamers may like to pipe up on their opinions at this point, as they'll have had more experience with this sort of thing than I would).


(A World War 1 trench thing do you mean, or do you have a particular WW2 theatre in mind?)

(Dons experienced wargamer hat)

We have simulated a 3-tier command structure in a table-top wargame before. It worked fine. In our game, the battlefield commander was commanding larger groups than that, but that's simply a matter of figure scale, so there's no reason it wouldn't work at the level your talking about.


Thorog the Slasher wrote:
The problem I see is that in a GS we have five or so teams, meaning five move orders need to be processed; in a GT we have thirty or so movement orders. Paper order slips would be near impossible, I think, but it may be manageable if you simply have one person give orders verbally, then another, and so on. It means no simultaneous movement, but that's a sacrifice you'd have to make. There's also the problem of no real diplomacy, and no real LARP element.


There's no reason a GT would require any more teams than a GS, it depends on how you set it up. Similarly, it would be entirely possible to set up the scenario such that there was diplomacy and a LARP element.

A simple example would be a Cuban missile crisis game: 2 teams, divided into diplomatic corps negotiating from Washington/Moskau and 2 naval teams at sea near Cuba. It simply requires a very low intensity conflict and parallal diplomacy. So in a near earth game you might have 5 world governements all "fighting" over an asteroid, a cluster of asteroids, a moon, or a base on any of the above.

Not that this is necessarily the way you want to go, but it's an example of the possibilities.


Thorog the Slasher wrote:

Quote:
That would introduce a nice fog of war into proceedings


So how would you like the idea that the big main map won't have big stacks of counters for every fleet? If we end up using a computer for most of the stuff, a fog of war is easy enough to do - you know where your ships are, and you know what's in that sector along with your ships, but you really don't know what is elsewhere. It makes the role of the spy rather useful, since now there's a lot more you don't know.


It could be cool. It also provides a niche for scouts. On the down side, it may make people more cautious and slow down proceedings accordingly.

I don't generally care either way whether stacks are visible, examinable, or neither, it's all even for everybody and each allows for different possibilities and gambits. Some sort of free minimal passive scouting/spying is probably a good idea to avoid situations where a team is completely paralysed if they lose all their scouts/spys.
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