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Messages - Archangel3d

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Uncharted Worlds / Assessment and Codex Entries
« on: August 20, 2014, 10:17:29 PM »
Through personal experience and fromfeedback (from here, on Story Games and general correspondence), I feel that I have not yet hit the sweet spot for the "find out about a thing" Move. Additionally, Codex Entries really aren't gelling the way I hoped; despite being quite strong, they rarely get used. I had moved away from DW's style of Discern Realty, because even in that game, I found that players greatly overused it. I went the other way with the last implementation of Assessment, but I probably went too far. Here's a new proposal, which swings back a bit, but still has a bit of the broader scope (i.e. this is a meaningful, active assessment, not a "Knowledge: Whatever" or "Spot" check)

In this version, a Codex Entry can be expended to give a +1 to any one roll directly leveraging the knowledge in the Codex Entry (better than +1 forward, not quite +1 ongoing). There are no limits to the number of Codex Entries a character can have, but they expire when the information is no longer immediately relevant/useful/up-to-date.

I'm also trying a different templating, phasing out the Roll+[Stat] in favor of examples for each stat.

When you collect critical information about an important, dangerous or mysterious subject…
… using stealth, fear or cunning, Roll+Mettle
… using research, knowledge and logic, Roll+Expertise
… using hard work or strenuous activity, Roll+Physique
… using informants or gossip, Roll+Influence
… using the SectorNet or electronics/devices, Roll+Interface

On a 10+, you gain significant information about the subject, and earn a Codex Entry about it as well.
On a 7-9, the GM will divulge interesting, potentially useful information about the subject. Or they might ask you to do so.
On a 6-, the GM will reveal facts about the subject you probably wish were not true.

I encourage you guys to give this a whirl, even in a 'simulated' game; I'd like to know how it feels. Any thoughts or feedback is always appreciated.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: UW House rules
« on: August 12, 2014, 11:05:12 PM »
Very interesting stuff, it's fascinating to see some of the divergences and overlaps between these and things I've been toying with or have cut in past editions (for example, the -1 for injuries is very much an acquired taste. I tested it extensively back in... uh 0.4 I think? Some groups really liked it, but most found it frustrating, so it got cut)

The Navigation check is another I toyed with for a long time, and may resurface specifically as a "Make a Wild Jump" move (which the Explorer's "Boldly Go" supersedes, natch)

Really cool stuff!

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: August 12, 2014, 11:01:04 PM »

The slow start is indeed an ongoing battle, entirely agreed. When this thing gets closer to a real release I'll be including a quick-start mode, which will have pre-generated character archetypes and list of factions to roll on.

I've toyed with a lot of 'bond/strings/hx' mechanics, but they've always felt a little... mechanical and game-y. If I come up with something I like that feels like a good fit, I'll definitely include it. But as noted above, character creation/setting creation already takes quite a while, so I'm not sold on adding another step. Currently, I'm toying with a bit of a different mechanic entirely: At the beginning of each session after the first, the GM picks or randomly determines two characters, and has a very short 'flashback' scene to when they first met. The setting and events in the flashback are entirely up to the players, but the GM is encouraged to ask leading questions.

To me, seduction and manipulation are means to an end, not goals in an of themselves. To 'Seduce' or 'Manipulate' is to use Physique or Influence (respectively) to get something done. What you want to do with that seduction/manipulation is the Move (convince a guard to not alert the base by seducing him/her? Face Adversity, etc), deciding to accomplish it through seduction or manipulation determines the stat you use. The Codex entry from Assessment basically unlocks 'advanced/intimate knowledge' about whatever the subject is. Funnily enough, the old 'Ask a question' Move got used so often, I just removed it and made knowledge binary: You either know something (and thus your question will be answered), or the information is esoteric, secret or confused enough that you'd need to make an Assessment to know about it

Gaining levels in your Origin: The only skill in an Origin that is not available in a career is the first, 'born-and-raised' skill that increases your Stat. And that's one I'm quite content leaving locked off after character creation. It's an important decision; do I start with an extra skill or a better stat. Since you can gain XP in any career, you can pick up any of those other skills. Note that having skills in a career make it MUCH easier to earn further xp in that career, meaning that the Origin Skill can give you a foothold in a career outside of your own two career choices.

The wording of the leveling system is a bit inconstant for now, granted. It's been through quite a few mutations. :)

Yep! Remember that you only gain an XP in a single career per session; hanging out with certain types of factions will naturally give you opportunities to advance in careers they approve of (if you have a Great relationship with a galactic navy, picking up a Military career will be much easier for you, etc)

So you may have noticed in the latest rules, I removed the Artificial Origin and the Cybernetic career. To me, there are certain classes and origins that absolutely need to bend or circumvent the rules in interesting, splashy ways in order to do justice to the archetype/expectations. Robots, Cyborgs, Clones, Aliens (enlightened, warlike), Mutants, Psykers (empaths, kinetics) all fall under that category. So I've put all of those aside until I've got the basic rules solidly down and released, before I start breaking the rules in a supplement. Also, I want to make it clear that all of them are optional, their existence in the universe is to approved of by the table.

You handled spaceship stuff quite correctly. For the most part it is just narrative, no stats or anything, but rather "this is happening to the environment (the ship), what do you do to mitigate it". That said, I need to hunker down and properly write that out in a "running a starship" chapter, just to make it nice and clear.

Thanks for all your feedback, it's always very appreciated. I'd be interested to hear how any future sessions went! Also, if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to post. I'll be sure to get around to them as soon as possible (your mileage may vary :P )

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: August 09, 2014, 05:34:46 PM »
Hey there Faskal! As you correctly rolled/predicted, things have been rather busy for me lately, and I want to take the time to answer you properly. I hope to have a chance to address your post tomorrow evening, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that I've read your stuff and am not ignoring the forums. :)

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: July 02, 2014, 06:23:01 PM »
Heya! By all means; it's Creative Commons after all.

Also, I uploaded a new fixed version of 0.82, the old one was a bad version.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Latest releases (FIXED v0.82)
« on: July 02, 2014, 06:22:17 PM »
NOTE! The old version of 0.82 is no good, you need to grab Version 0.82 FIXED

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Latest releases (v0.82)
« on: July 02, 2014, 12:32:17 AM »
New version up, and it's a doosy. I really thought that things would be pretty stable from 0.81, but I'll be damned, all you playtesters really hammered this thing into shape. v0.82 is the result of that. Still lots to do, but I'm very happy with the overall stability, balance and new options.

Version 0.82

It's late, been working on this non-stop for the past 4 days, I'll post a detailed changelist later tomorrow.

Also: happy Canada Day, folks :)

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Questions and Answers
« on: June 30, 2014, 04:20:52 PM »
Heya, glad you're digging it.

Aside from the Origin-based stat boost during character creation, I've not included stat increases as part of advancement. I've found that in the *World's 2d6 system, stats higher than +2 (or +3 at the outside) can really unbalance the game, especially with Codex Entries and the way Get Involved works. Also the greater the disparity of stats, the more players are encouraged to warp the narrative to focus on that power-stat (note the Artificial Origin, which calls out that kind of behavior :P). I toyed with it for a while, but eventually decided that it needed to be cut from the base game at least. I may reconsider or add in an optional rule, but I'm focusing on getting the core rules down before making variants.

If you're starting on Wednesday, I might be able to drop in the v0.82 rules before then; I've done a few weeks of playtests with various groups, and the next version will be seeing some pretty major changes all around. Keep an eye on this forum!

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Design: Careers, Origins, Skills
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:32:13 PM »
Cool stuff, I'm toying with it now, seeing how I can balance out the pacing and add in non-failure options for XP as well (taking a page from DW). That said, I'm seeing an issue; Get Involved. When another player Gets Involved, they upgrade the 6- into a 7-9... thereby denying XP to the player who failed.

Should they still get the XP as if they had failed? Seems a bit wonky to me.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Social moves
« on: June 23, 2014, 11:04:41 AM »
OH! Inter-party social moves. Sorry, my bad.

That was a conscious decision on my part. I've never been a fan of dice-driven inter-party conflict. I much prefer to have the players agree on the outcome "behind the curtain" and then play it out. That said, I'm toying with Get Involved being able to downgrade as well as upgrade (from 10+ down to 7-9, or making a 7-9 a failure. I still have to see if I like the way it plays.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Social moves
« on: June 22, 2014, 07:26:09 PM »
Good question! The main social moves in UW actually fall into the three primary Moves; Face Adversity, Get Involved and Assessment. If a character uses their +Influence stat (or, in some cases, their Physique stat *nudge nudge wink wink*), it's by-and-large a social move

Face Adversity with Influence is negotiating, begging, bluffing, fast-talking or doing anything else social that will get you out of a dangerous situation
Getting Involved with Influence uses diplomacy, bribery, presence or social graces to assist an ally who looks like they're gonna face-plant
Assessment with Influence is the most subtle usage; conversation, misdirection, charm, seduction, all to get information about a subject (it could be info about the person you're seducing/charming/befriending, or simply extracting info from them)

I'll be making a side-bar about this when writing the detailed Move section

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Latest releases (v0.81)
« on: June 20, 2014, 01:28:59 AM »
Awesome, good luck! Sadly, it'll be a while before 0.82 is in any shape yo be published; as you can see from the other threads, going through some pretty significant changes (no more Crew moves in careers, Crew are now a type of equipment, changing the source of player starting rooms for the ship, changing the names and refining the descriptions of the stats, etc).

Looking forward to hearing how it went.

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Design: Careers, Origins, Skills
« on: June 20, 2014, 01:26:50 AM »
Great stuff guys, I'll be keeping that in mind going forward.

I'll be away this weekend, but I'll post some stuff when I have a chance to write it up. Thanks again for the feedback :)

Uncharted Worlds / Re: Design: Careers, Origins, Skills
« on: June 16, 2014, 07:58:45 PM »
So from the various playtests, it's become obvious that the leveling system is a bit confusing or ends up with unsatisfying results ("I don't know where to put my points, I guess I don't get any"). This is a Bad Thing (tm). I'd designed the leveling to be a logical progression, achieving milestones related to a skill before earning that skill. However, the nature of the game means the characters will often not accomplish an act that is close to a skill they want. This leads them to either pick a skill randomly ("good enough") or just abandon the idea of getting a skill ("meh").

I've been toying with the idea of centralizing character definition and advancement into the careers themselves, rather than in the individual skills.

Description: Taking a page from other *World games, I'd give a choice of one-word descriptions ("rugged", "emaciated", "portly", "scarred", etc). These lists would be in the origins and careers; you'd choose 1 from your origin and 1 from each career to give your description. For example: 'Filthy' from a Poverty origin, 'Palid' from an Academic career and 'Wiry' from a Clandestine career.

Quarters: The description of your personal quarters in the ship would be picked from a list in your career, rather than a per-skill list (so any Academic could have a lab in their section of the skip if they wanted, etc).

XP: At the end of each session, you earn 1 XP towards a single career (assuming you meet a milestone for it), and when you earned enough XP in that career, you'd level up and pick a Skill from there. This would lead to broader milestone achievements, which fit with the general outlook/personality of the career, rather than the minutea of individual skills. Your own careers start with 1xp already (making it faster to earn a level in that career), but you can earn XP in any career.


Uncharted Worlds / Re: Single player UW
« on: June 08, 2014, 03:48:29 PM »
While I haven't tried a single player game yet, I suggest the following: The player doesn't have a ship. This is the easiest to run, because you can just throw them right onto a planet/space station and let the game roll. Just ignore the 'your section of the ship' stuff, and ignore step IX of character creation. (If they absolutely want to take "Luxury", give them a luxurious apartment instead). Alternatively, if you want more starfaring, have them not be the owner of the ship, but rather an officer aboard, and have a few Crew (see page 35 of the 0.81 rules)

The big thing will be Factions. Since you only have one player, I suggest that you have the player create 2 factions, and that you as GM create 2 factions. This will give you enough tools to have some nice inter-faction dynamics.

Good luck! And please post your experiences, I'd be fascinated to see how a 1 player game of UW runs :D

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