Barf Forth Apocalyptica

the swamp provides => A Song of Ice and Fire Hack => Topic started by: Jeff Russell on July 04, 2010, 08:08:39 AM

Title: Qualities
Post by: Jeff Russell on July 04, 2010, 08:08:39 AM
Another innovation that I believe I will be purloining from the 'Knife and Candle' hack is the concept of 'qualities'. These strike me as an excellent and modular way to customize individual characters and their associations and such like in a mechanical way distinct from full-on moves or a whole new playbook.

I plan on coming up with a number of 'ready to go' qualities but also to provide guidance for the MC to make his own. Along these lines, I think one thing that has yet to be explored in hacks is custom front guidelines. The fronts presented in AW are wonderfully broad and can be applied to all manner of threatening situations, but I think flavorful fronts for individual hacks will be a big step towards making it a game and not just a supplement for AW.

At any rate, with qualities, I think these are going to be the primary way I do 'race' or 'nationality' or whatever you want to call it. I figure at character creation, you choose which of the Seven Kingdoms you're from, and that will make a small modification (like adding a choice or two to one of the basic moves). Maybe the player-created house would also provide a quality/qualities. Then, as the game goes on, you'd gain qualities for your intrigues and alliances and what not (and borrowing from Echo Bazaar, negative qualities too).

I was going to come up with some examples, but that's going to take some more head scratching than I realized.
Title: Re: Qualities
Post by: Jeff Russell on July 24, 2010, 03:26:19 PM
Okay, so having thought about it, since this game is meant to expand as we go (to encompass more and different character types) I think a slightly modular approach to design will lend coherence and make it easier to add stuff on.

So here's how I'm thinking the moves/qualities thing will work. The basic moves will be, well, fairly basic. Not quite so simple as Knife and Candle's "when you act dangerously, roll+dangerous" (which is basically a traditional RPG stat by another name), but also not quite so distinct as AW's where the basic move is *the* thing that everybody can do with that stat.

Erm, so, this is getting a bit confusing. Let me clarify. Qualities are what make the big difference. I'm going to intentionally design basic moves that everybody uses, but everybody uses *differently*. I got the idea thinking about Bret's "Students of Luo Chen" hack and how kung fu would work over there.

So, for now, let's say there's a 'fighty' move. Maybe there will be more than one (hell, maybe they'll look a lot like 'go aggro' and 'seize by force') and lets say the stat associated with it is 'fighty'. The base move would look like this:

When you fight, roll+fighty
On a 10+ choose 2, on a 7-9 choose 1, on a miss, MC makes a move
* Trade harm for harm as established
* Take -1 harm
* Your opponent takes -1 forward

Qualities expand the move in various ways, rather than having a whole new fighty move for a 'class'. So, if you're a knight, you might have the quality "Knight" which might say

On a fighty roll, choose 3 for a 10+
Add the following options:
* Inflict terrible harm (+1 harm)
* Take -1 harm (doubles with the other one)

A sneaky thiefy guy might have the following instead

On a fighty roll, still choose 1 on a miss (MC still makes a move)
Add the following options:
* Your harm is AP
* You aren't hard pressed

(see, not every option would have to be a 'bonus', it might make that move more challenging. That's a terrible example, though)

How does this sound?
Title: Re: Qualities
Post by: FigureFour on July 25, 2010, 06:50:49 PM
How does this sound?
It sounds pretty freaking cool.

Sorry if that reply isn't really helpfull. Consider it code for "I am watching this hack with interest and excitement! Keep it up!"
Title: Re: Qualities
Post by: Jeff Russell on July 26, 2010, 08:59:41 AM
Thanks, that is helpful actually :)

I'm just in that awkward stage where the vague, big picture stuff isn't what I need to do, but I lack clear inspiration on the specifics. So I'm trying to wiggle closer to it with stuff like this.