September 14th, 2005

Combat in a D20 environment.

I've been thinking about combat in role-play games, mostly in reference to D20. Was thinking how to slim down combat from being overbearing whilst still an integral part of the game.

In specific reference to D20, there are several basic points I want to achieve:

1) Be accurate in terms of average joe abilitiy/strength in relation to weapons
2) Be accurate in terms of legal issues in the UK
3) Be accurate in terms of personal effects of violence
4) Slim down the list of guns available
5) Slim down the range of hand weapons.

I know there a great many of fantastic game systems that aren't D20 where combat is done differently but system wise this is about D20. This game is also set in the UK with applicable laws, cultural norms and average experience of guns.

The thread will likely spill out into more abstract points so that's cool.

To this end I was thinking...

1) Include a basic STR/DEX check for each time a firearm with a reasonable kick is fired, to emulate affect of being knocked/bruised/hurt by fireams. My main thinking for this is that the majority of my friends who for anothers birthday went clay-pigeon shooting came back horribly brusised because they weren't experienced with guns. I figure my friends are kind of representative of UK folk so I'll say average Joe is inexperienced with firearms.

2) The majority of guns are illegal in the UK; no assault rifles, hand guns, etc. As far as I recall the only live guns you can get a licence for are shot-guns and sporting pistolds. If you get people running around with big machine guns then police are called and react very quickly.

3) In terms of personal violence. Again average joe public doesn't like violence. A lot of people in violent situations want to go get the hell out of there so fights are brutal on a personal level. It's not nice being hit, even worse being shot. So I feel there needs to be a way of emulating this, Fort checks when shot, will checks when you shoot someone not to feel inhumanely bad. If you look at the evidence of people, average joe in WWI trenches for example, murder is a horrible personally destroying experience. It shouldn't be case of 'okay I shoot him, what's the damage?'

4) List of guns available; I don't see the point in having screens and screens of guns with near enough identical guns, espcially considering points raised in 1). So I prefer just having 6 or 7 different categories of guns; revolver, shotgun, machine gun, sporting pistol, etc.

5) Handweapons; Similar issue to the firearms point. I don't see the point in having screens of knifes, katanas, swords, etc. when despite the macho postering average joe public will stick the pointed into the flesh of the victim and hope for the best.

What are people's feelings on these points/restrictions and how they feel running or playing with them?
Harry Potter
  • impish1

orphaned game

So there's this old WoD game that I've been waiting to open for over a year. There's one ST for my venue that has been running things for the 7 players he has. The admin of the game admitted she has no time to admin the game on the yahoogroup we had. Until now, the Changeling ST has been running his game on the WW java server, AIMs and emails. There's are also a werewolf and a vampire PCs that were approved.

The players would go to other chats, except that we like the interaction among our PCs so far. The werewolf PC has been interacting on a limited basis (in other words, Changelings don't know what she is, she doesn't know what the Changelings are) with the other PCs on AIMs and some emails. The vampire PC hasn't been played that much and will be leaving.

We do need an admin for the game though. Besides the Changeling and Werewolf, the game is mostly from scratch at this point. The players have been debating going to IRC chats, but without an admin nothing is set in stone.

Can anyone help us out?
  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic

Pre-Game Preparation/Handouts

In multiple threads over the past couple months, the topic of how much work GMs put into their games ahead of time has come up. Whether it's been someone who obviously doesn't do much ahead of time (resulting in the players not understanding what the game's about or showing up with completely improper characters) or someone has asked, "Well, how much work do you do? Do you have handouts?", it's come up over and again.

I'm working on a new online game, MUNDEN'S BAR, a Play-By-Post game set in the world of the Grimjack comic book. I've created a So, You Wanna Play? "handout", a 31 page downloadable PDF file. (It's a work in progress, so I know there'll be more than 31 pages by time I'm done.)

I thought I'd put it up for people to take a look at, and see if:

a) anybody had any suggestions for what needs be added (though I know the NPCs of note section is in dire need of fleshed out - currently, there's only four listed, I'd like to have about 15-20.)

b) this could generate a discussion of things people do in advance, like handouts and whatever else. If someone could 'learn' to be more prepared in advanced, then we've helped others out.

So, if you're interested, the PDF file can be found here. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader (and if not, why don't you?), you can download a Word file here.

EDIT: For those who want to just tell me that 31 pages is too long, please, I'd rather not go there. Nothing you say will convince me to turn 31 pages into 1, 2, 5 or 10 or anything less than it already is. I'm not asking for your opinions on that, and whe you give me those opinions, I'm not going to thank yo for them, much less agree with you. I could easily make this 50, 100 pages, but I have kept things in check. This is far from comprehensive as it stands. It's part background/setting, part rules for online gaming, part rules for character generation and part what to expect in the game as far as theme/story-focus, etc.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious


Y'all think my 31 page handout is "too long"?

I've got a pdf of the DC HEROES RPG, 3RD EDITION, and am paring it down to the basic minimum for players to understand chargen and how the game systems work.

186 pages at publication, 120ish right now.

So, what I'm wondering is... is there a website with all the rules listed as web pages? People do it for just about every other game... please tell me there is.

Or if someone knows of a word document that has all the info? I've even tried free programs that convert from pdf to doc, with no success, and I can't afford the $50 for a commercial one.

  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
Sneaky Bastard: Solid Snake
  • fub

Paranoia XP: MemoMax?

I've recently finished reading through Paranoia XP. I quite like the updates to the system and the setting, and I can't wait until I get a group of players with the right mindset together.

However, there is one thing that puzzles me: the role of MemoMax. The rulebook states that every clone is fitted with a MemoMax device, which transmits the memories of the active clone to the to-be-decanted clone in real-time. When the active clone dies, the new clone is decanted, complete with the memories of his predecessor.

While that fits the mood and makes things easier on the GM, it makes it a hell of a lot more difficult for the players to off their fellow Troubleshooters. If your victim sees you pull the trigger, their next clone will have proof that you killed them, setting in motion a chainreaction of retaliations.
To me, the charm of Paranoia was that while the player knew who did him in, the character did not and had to amass evidence all over again before being able to dispatch their fellow Troubleshooter as a traitor. MemoMax short-circuits this, which is a shame.

How do the Paranoia XP GMs out there deal with this?
  • Current Mood
    okay okay