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opinions on what works in a game...
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MikeSands



Joined: 19 Jan 2006
Posts: 1406
Location: RV Steadfast, bearing west

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a more positive note, getting your objectives straight will lead to something useful.

For instance, what kind of randomizer you use (or if you have none) will fit different sorts of game.

In Godlike, where you are basically just a soldier who happens to have an extra advantage or two, the randomness of the system adds significantly to the feel of being in battle (or at least in a war movie). This is a result of the scaling of how many dice you roll, which makes things pretty chancy for stuff you are just kind of average at, but fairly effective at the things you are good at.

As a contrast, Trail of Cthulhu uses a single six-sided die, limiting the result range. You can boost this by spending points from a relevant ability, but these are often sharply limited. This allows characters to perform feats of heroism (or legendary fleeing) now and again, but if you use up all your points in key abilities, then you will likely fail the next time you need them. I really like this management aspect as it gives players some control over things like 'does this monster catch me', while retaining a sense of the danger of things, as well as the steadily decreasing chances if they keep coming.

These are both really cool, and they are both rooted in the style of the game.
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Masada



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah... I like a lot of games and each of the things I listed as options are things I like. But I can give you some system/feature highlights. Altho I fear it may develop in to a discourse on game theory.

I really love the full integration of the mechanics in Spycraft 2.0. They established a common concept and applied it to all aspects of the game from character creation to adventure (mission) design. There are no stand alone mechanics that are not also used in other aspects of the game--making the whole set of rules easier to remember, yet still very complex. Complex systems (that are done well) lend themselves to good simulations of "reality". Spycraft is d20 based, but expands on the basic rules a great deal.

I also really love True20 for the exact opposite reasons. It is light, easy to play and always made the decision to be simple over complex. This makes it an easier game to teach and plays "faster". True20 games tend to have more roleplay and less combat.

A quick note on combat... if you make combat deadly (or gritty) you tend to discourage it in the game overall. If characters can dodge bullets, then combat tends to be accepted and used more often. But if you make combat ultra realistic with hit locations and called shots with different wound tables per hit location, you tend to bog combat down to a crawl taking hours to play out a few seconds of gun fire. I personally don't like this, but I've see guys go at it for hours and love it. Depends on who you're making the game for. Gun nuts and military folks tend to like detailed combat.

I personally do not like the Wizards of the Coast approach to spell casting. I prefer fatigue based systems like Shadowrun or True20. I did read a pretty slick point based system once developed for d20 Modern I'd like to try sometime.

I hate keeping a spreadsheet of character XP to determine levels. I play by the rule of thumb of granting levels based on number of sessions played rather than kill lists.

I ignore character creation rules when making my own NPC's.

I personally like working on a character for an hour or more playing with different options.

I like stat blocks.

I prefer dice systems to diceless systems. I also like extra widgets like card decks, spinners, tokens, etc.

Every system should have "Action Points" for doing those impossible things. But not too many.

There should never be another system designed around elves, dwarves, and hobbits as warriors, wizards and clerics... ever. Let it die or play one of the gazillion knock offs.

I really wish more systems had "Mega Damage" ala Rifts. In Rifts normal damage was like 1-10 points... but mega damage was measured like normal damage times 100... so 100-1000 points! I just liked the visual of smearing a normal target with a tank. None of that mamby pamby 8d6 save for half crap... *BLAM* *PASTE* *DEAD*

The 1" grid map for combat is cool exactly one time per evening session... it should *not* be a feature of every combat.

These have been some of my thoughts and opinions on gaming. I do enjoy a variety things and also thoroughly enjoy watching others enjoy their favorite game elements.
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spiro



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 66
Location: Wellington

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks guys, that's the sort of stuff I'm after.
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