Basic discussion and overall feedback.   Posted by Intender.Group: 0
jait
 player, 4 posts
Thu 20 Apr 2017
at 21:00
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Intender:
1) Results are allowed to exceed 60. 60 is just a reference point. Superheroes for example probably exceed 60 a lot. Vampires and werewolves are innately superior to humans and thus exceed 60 sometimes as well.


Okay.  I obviously misunderstood:
<quote>
This means that 60 is the total maximum result of innate ability, skill, and other factors (At least for mundane natural humans).



TIER
quote:
3)There are no classes per-say, though themed class-like sets of abilities are planned, they would be constructed according to the classless system and serve as inspiration, quick buiding of npcs, etc.


I think you misunderstood my inference.  When I said "class" I didn't mean D&D style occupation or function in a party. I meant social strata class.  As in high-born (titled lords and ladies) and low-born (commoners or peasants).   That seemed to be supported by the references to high-tier and low-tier, before I saw that there is more than two tiers.

I really think we would benefit from seeing the scale and how it comes together with a couple of examples.


ENERGY
quote:
Energy is basically energy level and resistance to fatigue..High energy folks are those like Pinky Pie who are basically asleep or bouncing off the walls with no real inbetween.


"Resistance to Fatigue" - I've always equated constitution with this.   How does Energy play to Constitution?  Meaning, when would I choose to stat out my character to have an increase in Energy instead of Consittution, and Constitution instead of Energy?



AURA
quote:
Aura is basically interaction with the world. High aura folks notice things farther away, are the sort that get noticed and responded to sooner when they walk into a room, and are more empathetic and extroverted.


That sounds a whole lot like awareness (notice things farther away) & charisma (get noticed and responded to sooner, more empathetic and extroverted).  Perhaps Aura has some relation to personal power for funding magic?  Or spiritual awareness?

I'm going to ask the same questions...  When would I stat Aura over Charisma or Aura over Awareness?



6) A skill will be trained (blacksmithing). Sometimes a specialization will also be trained (armorsmithing).

quote:
When a specialization applies (making armor), both the skill and specialization are rolled, but if no trained specialization applies (making horseshoes), then the broad skill is rolled but no specialization.


Thanks for the clarification.  You may want to revise the text in the main module which reads:
quote:
Specializations are basically skills except with a narrower focus and can be rolled with the broader skill they fall under.


It can be easily misinterpreted to read that rather than rolling Skill+Specialization, one rolls simply Skills.  I read it as a direction instead of an addition.



quote:
Though reading The Alexandrian's Calibrating Your Expectations might be a good idea to understand the conversion even if you are already familiar with d20.


Are you targeting this game-rule set to players who are already familiar with d20?  There does seem to be a lot of assumption of d20 familiarity in what you've posted so far.  Admittedly, it puts me at a disadvantage.  I'm hoping that this will help, as it highlights areas of possible confusion.
Surgere
 player, 2 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 03:13
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
*listens attentively*

I'm still engaged but Jait is doing a good job at asking good questions so I will just observe. Admittedly, I have experience with d20 so I got the references, and also I have tried designing my own system countless times so I kind of pieced together the whole specialization thing but it does come across as confusing.
jait
 player, 5 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 07:04
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Detailed Checks & Simplified Checks
I am not very in to the maths of probability and dice-rolling.   If I ever decide to try my own hand at developing a system, I'll probably contract that part out.   I'm not qualified to comment on the efficacy of the mechanics of these dice-rolling approaches.

I do, however, rather like the detailed approach.  I think the ability to highlight which aspects had the most impact on a roll is something worth exploring with character creation and the system.


quote:
The same number scale can also apply to things beyond check results. For example, a sword's quality can be described with a number. A sword with a quality of 14 is clearly the work of an apprentice, while a quality of 32 is professional if not quite masterwork.


While I like the idea of a stats fractal, that the same manner of dealing with people should apply to dealing with objects, places, situations, etc...  I think you may be creating more confusion early on by referencing it here.  Especially when you've already stated elsewhere that materials and people aren't treated the same (See your commentary on negative modifiers).

I suggest that you focus on character creation first, then apply the rules taught to other things later on.  It'll cut down on potential confusions by minimizing tangents and distractions.

I will admit that I very much favor a cut-n-dried "Here's how you do it" approach.  I definitely appreciate the backstory insight into the whys and wherefores, that you're providing here.  But I think a lot of it will need to be cut down for brevity when presenting it to potential players.

Message #2:
It should be noted that while materials can have 0 or negative attributes, creatures can only have positive attributes.


When you say "creatures can only have positive attributes.", do you mean Attributes, or (Tiers, Attributes, Skills, & Specializations)?
Intender
 GM, 14 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 21:48
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Lots of good stuff. I'll be getting around to each of those as I can. Tiers and attributes will be getting further clarification in the rules thread after I make some minor edits you guys brought up.

Familiarity with d20 is not required to learn the game. My core notes and discussions with previous players make heavy use because all of them were familiar with d20 and so it was useful to make explantions easier. I'll try to avoid d20 references when possible from here on out.

That said, I still recommend reading The Alexandrian as his stuff (particularly the creations page) is the best stuff I've read. His stuff is written often from the d20 perspective, though most of it can be applied to any game system. In particular, I recommend reading his article Calibrating Your Expectations even without a familiarity with d20 as much of that article's concepts apply to this system. Characters in this system can range from sub-human to divine entities and everything in between.

Me, I suck at writing, so his article helps, being better written, and your comments about clarifications help as well.

I'll get to editing sometime tonight.
jait
 player, 6 posts
Fri 21 Apr 2017
at 22:02
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.

I spent a lot of years as a writer (boring technical documents, but still), and I actually have a degree in writing.  All that said, my career has nothing to do with it (other than a strong preference for developing training manuals).

I always worry going in to a new critique relationship like this, because you don't know me and I don't know you.

I know how it can be sometimes to bring your baby under scrutiny.  If you feel like I'm going over-board, sometimes.  let me know.  I joined up here because I really do want you to succeed.

So, thank-you for your taking my comments/observations with good graces.
Intender
 GM, 15 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 03:17
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
One truth about me is that not only am I great at laughing at myself, but I'm also good at taking criticism.

Sometimes I get stuck defensively arguementative, and need to sleep on it before I can come back thinking objectively, but it doesn't happen very often. I suspect that is just my autism though.
Intender
 GM, 16 posts
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 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 03:53
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I think the whys and what-fors are needed somewhere in some format. Perspective can be the difference between a rule seeming like nonsense and unusable vs being sensible and suitable.

For example, in one thread discussing various dice rolling mechanics, one person suggested rolling under the stat but over the difficulty. This suggestion was met with significant resistance because it didn't make sense and felt odd. Then it was mentioned that it was a blackjack mechanic, meant to roll as high as possible but without going over. Many who posted against it suddenly switched sides saying that it made sense that way and was an interesting method worth trying out.

Therefore, the idea is to not simply state rules, but to state the perspective that makes the rules sensible. I think this is even more important when a gm has to mold some rules to fit an unusual situation.

Integrating the two likely requires significant work to get right.
Intender
 GM, 17 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 07:38
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I finally figured out a good word for tier, agency.

A character's tier is like their agency.

A low tier individual is like a stereotypical commoner, a serf who takes whatever life gives them.

A high tier individual has initiative, and doesn't settle for what they have, nor for simply dreaming. They set out and push to achieve, driving their life, acting when others are frozen in shock or lost for what to do.

Tier 0, jellyfish, no brain, no thought, pure response.
Tier 4, common human, one of those who just takes everything as it is with complaint perhaps but never doing anything to significantly change or control their life.
Tier 6, legendary people who can take any setback and turn it around in their favor.

Does this make more sense for tier?

Also, I updated the post about attributes, I hope clears up everything. Let me know if it doesn't.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:27, Sun 23 Apr 2017.

Intender
 GM, 18 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 02:30
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I altered my definition of Tier 4, if anyone saw it. It was accurate, and still fits, but I realized that I used an example that people don't like and which even scientists have spent more than half a century trying and failing to disprove.

In any case, I'll be adding more to the rules module.
jait
 player, 7 posts
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 04:14
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.

I like the word agency instead of tier.

I do have some thoughts about the Attributes.

ENERGY
You've made the distinction that a low energy person...
quote:
is sedentary and spends their time in calm pursuits. While a high-energy person is bouncing off the walls and is actively engaged in everything...


The inference in these statements suggests that a low-energy person isn't actively engaged in things.  I think you're making the distinction about levels of calmness.  A "low-energy" person might be a scholar or musician, a scientist, diplomat or a politician, where a stillness and capacity for patience is important.

If this is so, is ENERGY a distinction between a physically-oriented person and a mentally-oriented person?  Or perhaps the distinction between an introvert and an extrovert?

If this is a reflection of the depth of their magical power, than it follows that higher-energy, frenetic can't-sit-still "High-energy" people have greater depth to their magical power.   And, therefore, sedentary, meditative, composed and disciplined "low-energy" people have less depth to the magical power.  Is this what you intended?

If so, it's an interesting link assigning depth of power to those with less ability to sit still.


If my read on this is right, then ENERGY is the only attribute where it isn't a bad thing to have a lower-rating.  It's just a different thing.




AURA
quote:
"A low Aura person focuses on what is right next to them and only a few things at once, while a high Aura person focuses on more things and at a greater distance.


quote:
Magically, this is how much power can be controlled at a time, as well as how far away it can be held stable.


So, AURA is an extension of Awareness, then?

I can see why control of magical power is tied to Aura...   It seems to reflect a mental ability to multi-task.   Perhaps you want to make the distinction that AURA is a magical awareness?


CHARISMA
quote:
A high-charisma person invites attraction and respect simply by existing.


This seems to roll physical attractiveness (passive) in with personal charm (active), which requires some sort of action or interaction to display.

I see your current breakdown like this:
PhysicalStrength, Agility, Constitution
MentalIntellect, Creativity, Awareness
SpiritualEnergy, Aura
SocialCharisma


I can see several of the Attributes appear to be external expressions  (you can observe someone making use of one of theses Attributes), while several appear to be softer or more internal expressions (not so easily observable).

Externals:Strength, Agility, Constitution, Charisma
Internals:Intellect, Creativity, Awareness, Aura
???Energy

How married to the Energy Attribute are you?  Does it need to be a primary attribute?  I ask because I see some neat parallels between eight stats:

 FoundationPowerFlexibilitySocial
Externals:ConstitutionStrengthAgilityCharisma
Internals:IntellectAwarenessCreativityAura

Not sure if this appeals or not.


==========================
Innate Attribute Modifiers

quote:
Should this modifier result in a rank of 0, it does not incur the normal consequences of a rank 0 attribute, instead it just means to not roll an attribute die.


That's pretty elegant.  I like it.


quote:
This modifier is also the only way an attribute of a creature can be innately negative.


But this doesn't apply to a character, right?  Character Attributes don't go into negative numbers, right?
Intender
 GM, 20 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 23 Apr 2017
at 06:14
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Energy
Not quite right. Calmness can be from low energy, but it might not, coming from restraint instead despite being high energy.

A low energy person easily finds things exhausting to be dealing with. They'd rather sit on the couch bored than go out and do sports because sports are too exhausting. A high energy person would find sitting on the couch difficult after a while, and would prefer to go play sports because sitting around doing nothing makes them restless.

That is putting things entirely in physical terms though, and someone might be mentally energetic or not, mirroring the above but in terms of mental tasks. For example a high energy person watching tv is constantly thinking about the characters, the world, and piecing things together building elaborate theories and analysis of what they are watching, while a low energy person watches for cheap thrills or easy laughs but doesn't like thinking too deeply about it. Someone in the middle does a little of both and likes getting into thinking about a show sometimes, but other times wants to stop thinking for a while.

Aura
Didn't really think of it as an extension of awareness, but it kind of is a bit.

It isn't just magically though, and it does affect distance not just for magic but other things such as range increments for weapons or perception. It is also as you noted, a factor in multi-tasking.

Some folks might be quite observant and aware, but only about things right in front of them, but others might be less observant but more likely to notice things further out or are  better at remembering long distance relatives they don't see every day. For example, some new drivers have difficulty learning to watch the road a dozen carlengths ahead of them, instead focusing too much on the car directly in front of them (making them slow on the brake because they don't notice what made the car in front of them hit the brakes).

Charisma
I would not consider looks to be part of charisma as I intend it. I've seen less than pretty people walk into a room and have strangers take notice almost they had a radar for it, but yet have deference for that person, or other times where people take an instant disrespect to someone before that person even speaks. At first one might think looks is the cause (and it probably does have an impact, particularly for the middle ground folks), but I've seen too many cases where the looks contradicted the response that would have come from looks alone.

Take me for example, just being in the same room as someone, and they instantly dismiss me as worthy of respect even when dressed in business casual, in ways that far exceeds responses on the internet. On the internet I can at least post a few things before people like or dislike me, but in person, it doesn't matter how I dress, I always start at a severe disadvantage before even saying hello.

Table of internal/external
I kind of like this table of internal and external, though I would put intellect as internal power and awareness as the foundation myself. For example, if you have a puzzle (of certain types), you can use logic to power your way through it even if it takes longer than finding the solution through a more flexibly creative means.

As far as energy relating to the table, yes I think energy deserves to remain a primary attribute. Think of it as: the aether is to the classical elements, so is energy to the other primary attributes. Of course the aether gets far less acknowledgment than it should but it still was just as impactful as the elements if less directly.

In the game mechanics, energy affects fatigue (along with constitution, double attributes come up in a few places) and becomes a measure of soul in settings where that is a thing, like Naruto for example.

Character and creature

I've been using these interchangeably. I probably shouldn't but I keep forgetting.
Intender
 GM, 21 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 01:08
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
To clarify the question (because I stupidly didn't the first time),
A creature or character can not have attributes with a base rank in the negatives, but a feature that alters their effective rank for an attribute can effectively become negative since it doesn't alter the base ranking.
Intender
 GM, 22 posts
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 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Mon 24 Apr 2017
at 02:20
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I am being slow, and far less organized than I thought originally, but pushing things forward. I have updated several of the core RM posts.
Intender
 GM, 23 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 21:51
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Okay, I realize I seriously need to reorganize the current postings into a sensible format.

In fact, I've started a better version on my laptop so I can transfer it to my phone for posting.

Any suggestions on ordering the character stats?

In the meantime, I'll put up a summery of Features, which are basically like special abilities, feats, perks, etc from other games.

Then I'll put up the basic conflict system (calling it daunts right now, but I need a new name). Most of that is written online already so I'll only need to tweak it. It can be used for many kinds of conflict, including diplomacy, races, negotiations, and can even stack for things like chase scenes where there is both chasing and fighting.

The more detailed combat system, like found in d20 (with a map, maneuvering, ranges, areas, etc), is it's own module.
Intender
 GM, 25 posts
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Mon 1 May 2017
at 23:55
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I missed my chance to get the reformatted bit transfered to my phone, so that'll probably come later this week. I'm happier with it and I think it'll be a better presentation.
jait
 player, 8 posts
Sat 6 May 2017
at 02:57
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I had rather expected other people to be contributing to this.   This system isn't like others I've dealt with and I'm finding it rather confusing.  I assume it's probably like a d20 system.  But you got me.  I've got minimal d20 experience.  So, my opinions may be out there without that grounding.


SAVES
FortitudeTier Strength & ConstitutionPhysical resistance, health
EnduranceTier, Energy & ConstitutionFatigue
ConcentrationTier, Aura & ConstitutionDistraction
EvasionTier, Agility & AwarenessDodging and avoiding sudden, quick, or unexpected things
WillAwareness & (Tier & 2)Noticing and resisting mental/emotional effects and urges

So... Constitution is key if you want to maximize your Saves.  That suggests the game this system is designed for is primarily concerned with physical conflict...

I get Fortitude, Endurance, Evasion.  Those make sense.

I find it kind of odd that Constitution should play a part in defining the Concentration Save.

I don't see how physical hardiness should be necessary to maintain mental focus.  The guy with the weak immune system can't concentrate very well because he's got a weak immune system.    I'd suggest Tier + Aura + Will.  Will really should play a big part of Concentration.

There's no save wherein Intellect or Creativity plays a part?  I'd have thought that that would have been appropriate for Will.
jait
 player, 9 posts
Sat 6 May 2017
at 03:47
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I admit to being still rather confused.  I don't have a clear idea of what a complete character sheet looks like.

I'd really like a couple of examples, so we can see directly how your rules fit.
Intender
 GM, 30 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 7 May 2017
at 00:26
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I know that physical shock can disrupt focus, thus being more resistant to physical shock helps, but you are right that it makes con very beneficial and awareness probably fits better.

Saves are supposed to make sense rather than use everything and so I haven't figured any saves that would use intellect or creativity. Will doesn't really need either of them, being primarily an aspect of self-awareness, stubborness, and motivation. I see will as similar to tier/agency (maybe even a componant part), and as a save, awareness of effects is a key part.

###
I'll put up a sample character sheet.

###
It was a hectic week. I had like 5 minutes to grab stuff from the laptop so I dumped it in a thread and will make it visible once arranged and sorted.
Intender
 GM, 34 posts
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Sun 7 May 2017
at 07:23
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I filtered through some of my text dump. Let me know what you think of it. Is it better, more clear?

Also, is my discourse on the design philosophy bad or poor? I want prospective players to understand the goal of the system design, but some tend to think a system should be a certain way and consider it nearly sacriligous to go against certain conventions, such as dismissing mechanical balance as important.

Of course, some players tend to think it should be obvious and well known that an arcane caster's job is to identify potions. I don't even want to know why they think that, but once I understood their thinking, it was a no-brainer that their style was incompatible with mine. I honestly prefer knowing of such expectations before playing. So it bothers me when players seem to see the game only in a very limited view to the point of not even acknowledgeing other ways of playing, and basically calling someone stupid for thinking that a combat focused game might have room for something outside the "classic" (their word, not mine) four man party with absolute and discrete roles.
jait
 player, 10 posts
Sun 7 May 2017
at 22:47
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
What is your intention for release with this game system?

Are you looking to release it for free on the Internet?  As a paid PDF to be downloaded?  as a for-print book?  This will definitely impact what I think.

While getting insight into the designer's design philosophy can certainly be useful,  I usually skip it.  I bought (or downloaded) a game to play it.  I don't care about the nuances of the designers approach.   In fact, the more the designer's personal voice intrudes on the game-text, the more annoyed I get.  If the designer feels he needs to educate me on how to prepare before looking at his game... it's probably not for me.

That being said, if you're planning for a physical printing, you're likely going to have to face minimum page-requirements and often in multiples of 4, due to the printing process.

I get that you see this game for Narrativists and not for Simulationists or Gamists (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNS_theory )  Fair enough.  But you might want to ease off on statements and suppositions that might alienate these other types of gamers... gamers who still might be interested in looking over your system.

quote:
Most who try to play with story and rules really just play the rules, only differing in hiw much they portray and add fluff on top of their mechanically inclined choces,

Your bias against Simulationists is really showing here.   "Fluff"?

quote:
but multitasking the two is still playing the rules.   That said, I've seen a rare few who really do mesh the two together, just never was someone who claimed to do so.

You're now alienating the Gamists by saying that those who claim to mix the two approaches really aren't.   This might be setting you up as more opinionated than you prefer.  Especially if you're trying to sell the work.   Is this paragraph even necessary?

quote:
[those who "play the story"] don't need mechanical balance so long as results make sense within the milieu of the story world.M

You may want to consider the impact of this statement.   It's possible this might read as an acknowledgement or defense for the system you're presenting as being not mechanically balanced.

Or... is that a concern for you?  I get the impression that mechanical balance isn't really a concern to you, based on comments made elsewhere (Basic Discussion, message #24: " but some ... consider it nearly sacriligous to go against certain conventions, such as dismissing mechanical balance as important.").

Do you see this game system as being mechanically unbalanced?  If so, how?  Does this matter to you?


quote:
The distinction is subtle, enough so most players don't notice it, but makes all the difference in the world to those who do.

Suggesting that most players aren't sophisticated enough to see the distinction between a Simulationist, a Gaminst and Narrativist approach is kinda insulting, no matter what kind of player they are.


quote:
There is a trend in recent RPG designs to either A) embrace "Playing the Rules" and design the rules accordingly with strong mechanical balance or B) favor "Playing the Story" and design light or even ultralight rules sets that leave all the work in the gm hands, which gives freedom to gms (because for some reason, gms feel constrained by guidelines) yet also denies useful tools to those gms.

Okay... What purpose does this paragraph serve?

I suspect that most GMs don't necessarily feel constrained by guidelines, so much as that they strive to have a gaming table wherein everybody is happy or at least not feeling like they're being screwed by the game.  Pointing to the "guidelines" of the rules allows the GM to enforce a call without necessarily having to take all the blame and have their petulant friend all up in arms, pissing and moaning about how his friend, the GM won't allow him to do X while he allows someone else to do Y...

quote:
So, this game is for detail oriented players that play the story. It is therefore naturalistic, mostly associated, tries to be descriptive, and supports the gm's ability to make rulings and maintain consistancy.

mostly associated with what?



quote:
Rolling a 60 on a check is, from beginning to end, an epic result for a mere human.

The inclusion of the word "mere" suggests that the human is tiny in the scale of things.  While this may well be true, is it the assumption that most characters will be human?  Typically humans are the base scale of things...  I suggest dropping the word "mere".
Intender
 GM, 35 posts
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 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Mon 8 May 2017
at 02:29
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
This is the kind of feedback I love and really need, thank you.

To answer some of these questions,

# I figure on releasing the base rules for free, and if I get any kind of positive response on that, I'll probably make supplements to sell and possibly sell hardcovers. I figure the 3.x model is a good starting point on how to handle it.

# Interestingly enough, I prefer simulationism (as long as it doesn't go overboard) and in fact, this simulationism is the biggest reason why the system is unbalanced mechanically. I have a bit of an issue, and I am designing the system for my style of play, despite the fact that it means working against what 95% of players I deal with expect and consider good in a system. I guess I'm just trying to get more to see beyond the die roll, to see what Gygax called "the spirit of the game."

I have some ranting about it in the spoiler at the end. You might glean some insight there if you want to read it.


# I don't have a bias against simulationism (and implying such is not my intent), in fact simulationist is probably the closest gns can get to my style (though I don't think gns is a very good model, better than nothing though) but there is a difference between playing the mechanics and using the mechanics to support playing the characters, both of which are different from balancing playing the character and playing the mechanics (for which the mechanics are being used to play the mechanics rather than truly support the character).

# The best times I ever had in RPing, was in games where the balance was not an issue. Not all the players were the same level even. In one case, I started 4-6 levels behind everyone else, and was just fine. In one game I was given a cougar as a familiar (without spending a feat for improved familiars) and got a +5 to hide because I asked for my armor to be black like shadows, and no one minded at all, no one felt it was unfair or bad.

I have yet to have a case where a focus on mechanical balance was anything but a detriment to achieving that style of play I enjoy the most.

Yet, I do not want to be rid of rules, as I find they can add a great structure upon which to build and communicate.

I see this game system as unbalanced much in the same way as real life is unbalanced.

# I'm not trying to say players aren't sophisticated, but there are a lot of things that people either don't notice or are unwilling to accept. The existence of such things does not say that those people are unsophisticated nor stupid. For example, even now, scientists try to prove false that 2/3s of people will do as ordered regardless of personal feelings, because even scientists don't want it to be true, yet after decades, every experiment only confirms it is true.

# Okay, I am a creative player, and on occasion I'll ask for something that is not directly supported by the rules, and even in several cases I'll ask for an example given in the books themselves for adjusting the rules (such as the witch class spell list in the 3.5 dmg, or the paladin with the mount feature traded out), but nearly every time, the gm says no because it isn't in the rules so they can't allow it.

I even had a discussion about this with a gm who simply said that he didn't feel comfortable changing the rules like that for a single character, because then it renders the rules moot. He asked, why have them if you don't enforce them? I answered that they make gm rulings easier, and provide a good foundation for building your world and basing your judgments on. He nodded and said he still just didn't feel comfortable with doing something like that. The difference here from a houserule, is that a houserule is not tailored to a single character's concept.

I think this is one of those places where balance is a detriment. If everyone is worried about balance, then customizing things to a character can be seen as disrupting that balance, but if balance is not an issue, than it doesn't matter if the balance is disrupted.

# Associated was meaning associated mechanics, as in the opposite of dissociated mechanics. It is all about the level of abstraction between the mechanics and the rules. I can't explain things very well but there is an article that does a wonderful job of explaining if you are interested. http://thealexandrian.net/word...anics-a-brief-primer

# I kind of meant "mere" as in contrast to the usual superheroes type PCs that wield the kind of power normal humans could never achieve. I'll remove it.


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Truthfully, I've had lots of trouble with playstyles. Most of the time, even those who claim to not be "playing the rules" still play the rules anyway, treating it like a mmo game such as WoW, or play it like Halo (as in, the story happens in cutscenes while the game happens in encounters). Most of those who don't play the rules have prior experience with freeform or systems heavily oriented to storytelling (as in no tactical combat, but has mechanics for story control), and usually prefer those things and don't really like the structural support of mechanical crunch.

A lot of folks tend to think I want storytelling. But really, in storytelling style, the players have a hand in the creation of the story beyond their character's actions and choices. But what I really like is playing a game, where I am experiencing the story through my character, and thus I don't know the story beyond what my character knows, and I don't want to have a hand in the creation of the story because that takes away from experiencing it for myself so-to-speak. I want story to happen to me, through the proxy of my character. You could call it a story-experiencing style of play.

To me, a trap should never be something where a player goes "I roll my anti-trap skill. Time to move on." To me, that defeats the entire point of having the trap in first place. The player should have to figure out how to bypass the trap (even if only in abstract terms) before being allowed to roll, and then rolling the appropriate skill for whatever method they choose if that method should need a check. More than that, a pressure plate can be jumped over, or have a bench laid over it so it can be crossed safely, or some other means than simply rolling an anti-trap skill without regard to what that actually means.

I just realized a good counter-example. In a recent Pathfinder special, the party enters a martial competition. There was a lot of really good stuff on the player side, but the behind the scenes elements worked against the wisdom of the design as shown to players. For example, the final encounter, the goal is to touch the robes of some important guy, and his many guards and disciples would try to stop us, but the behind the scenes mechanics basically say "the gm needs to do whatever is required to not allow a player to touch his robes until X number of enemies are defeated." The mechanics of the module literally say one thing while requiring something else. And yet most of the players didn't even question it, in fact they didn't even bother trying to get to the important guy, instead focusing on trying to clear the room.

To me that is bad. Our goal wasn't to clear the room, our goal was to touch the guy's robes. I was literally  nearly punished as a player for focusing on our stated goal. No joke, my gm was told by the event coordinator to punish me for ignoring the enemies and moving straight to the guy with the robes because I was being a "bad player."

The same goes for playstyle in general. Is one's goal to beat all the bad guys and win all the skill checks, or are one's goals determined by the character and story? Most players I have played with (as in all but a dozen), whatever goals they have outside of combat get forgotten once combat or an encounter begins, and they instead focus on beating every DC and killing everything with no regard to the goals outside the encounter nor to their character.

I once got yelled at by a whole party of players because my sorcerer couldn't identify potions and they thought it was so obvious that identifying potions was my job as an arcane caster that I must either be stupid or completely new to D20. They didn't seem capable of comprehending that I might have been able to play without such jobs and roles being integral to the game.

Maybe I just have bad luck with players, but I find it harder and harder to find players who don't treat the game as a mmo just because there be some crunch to the system, and I guess I'm just tired of it. I want to bring players in who can, from the start, leave the rules-centered mmo-gamist play behind without leaving the structure of a crunchy system behind as well.


Intender
 GM, 39 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 21 May 2017
at 07:32
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Changed the name of the WIll save to the Resolve save. Not the best, but it is better than a naming conflict between an optional attribute and a save.

Also fixed a few typos in the sample character sheet.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:36, Sun 21 May 2017.

Intender
 GM, 41 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Sun 21 May 2017
at 08:28
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Finally got the basic conflict resolution system posted. It can handle anything, but I do have a more "traditional" combat rules module as well (to be posted later).
Intender
 GM, 42 posts
 RAI Expert and MEaD
 MechanicsEngineer&Designr
Mon 22 May 2017
at 02:10
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
Added Streamlining, Making One Roll out of Two to the bottom of the second message in the reformatted core rules.

Next up is advancement.

In any case, is anyone still listening?
odysseasdallas
 player, 2 posts
Thu 1 Jun 2017
at 17:00
Re: Basic discussion and overall feedback.
I'm here, and listening. I'm mulling over the base mechanics, need to find some time to run some math.

I like the concept, and as always when I playtest I advocate keeping an original idea and just working out the math. I mean, it's your game, and it's your idea, so unless it's utter bollocks, it's our job to make it work mathematically (and as simply as possible).