Friday, September 17, 2010

2e Hack, Round 1: Core Mechanic

I've been racking my brain about my (potential) Game Chef contribution, which I'm coming to think of as just too ambitious given the time constraints, but, barring unforeseen circumstances, I should make it in on time. During all that game-think various other mechanical bits have been floating to the surface, so I thought I'd throw down on some unfulfilled promises and start working my way through that 2e Hack... So let the first hack session begin:

Core Mechanic
As far as I know there are three basic resolution systems in 2nd ed. AD&D. The first is the simplest, roll over X on a D20 to generate a pass or fail. (Saving Throws), The second is almost identical, roll under X on a D20 (or D%) to generate a pass/fail. (Ability Checks, Proficiency Checks, Thieving Skills) and finally the To-Hit/Damage mechanic, roll of X on a D20, with the degree of success being based on a second die roll with a situationally determined die-type.

There are of course outlier mechanics (Roll X on a d6, like the elves ability to detect secret doors), but the above three are by far the most representative of the system, I think, and the to-hit/damage roll is both the most iconic and the most versatile.
So, that'll be the resolution mechanic right there. Roll 1d20, try to get X or higher. If the roll is higher than X than you reduce the challenge your confronted with by XdX points.

Potential Problems:
Rolling multiple dice takes more time.
The d20's linear progression and unpredictability.
The d20 result doesn't directly effect the degree of success (the "damage dice")
The use of polyhedral's.

My solution to the above is as follows:

Roll 3d6 (totaled) and add any relevant modifiers. If the result is greater than X (the "AC") than the action succeeds. The, the value of 1, 2 or all 3 dice are totaled to determine the impact or effectiveness of the action, based on the situation (the "damage").

So that's the system that I'm going with.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Game Chef, 2010 and Belated Updates

First, an update on my current projects.

Shadows got derailed a little by the Cute and Fuzzy Design Competition over at story games, though I don't know if it'll be finished or not. I have two days until the already pushed back deadline, and I'm pretty sure no one else has contributed anything, so, though I want to finish the game (and would like to go on a breakdown of it here sometime) I not sure of its ETA, if any.

The 2e has had some work done to it, but nothing serious and nothing like the "watch me design" process that I originally intended. After Game Chef I plan on setting a weekday to regular update the 2e Hack and watch it unfold in all of its old school glory (or lameness, depending on how things turn out).

So, now, on to Game Chef... I read the ingredients as soon as they dropped and will start posting my thoughts about the game, and the development of it, here, updating daily until the competition ends, with the first post going up tomorrow evening.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shadows Design Diary, Part 4

So, its been a couple of days off after attempting to digest the comments made by various folks on the internet, and today I spent quite sometime thinking about how to streamline the game and make it easy to learn and easy to play.
Actual changes: mechanics are going to be put in play to keep the group together as a whole, basically, your Characteristics (now called Values, to better represent what they do in the game) will go overboard when you don't have your quest mates their to balance you, so that your highest Value will begin to consume and then corrupt your lesser Values. Also, I cut back on some of the lights and removed them as a separate step in character creation.
The dream: I have a visual and stylistic motif in mind for the final look of the book and I'm struggling to get the art done for it so that I can been laying things out while at the the same time I know how I want to approach presenting the material, and thats as a bunch of short, easy to read and as independent to read as possible articles. Hopefully I can break up learning the system and the setting, as well as creating Persona, as something that occurs in play, but I think that might require some serious trade-offs that I don't know that I'm willing to make.