Dark Souls hack

  • 11 Replies
Dark Souls hack
« on: November 07, 2012, 01:51:45 PM »
This was a tiresome work, but done with love nonetheless. It's not yet done, since it needs some more thinking with the miracles and sorcery.  I would like to hear your feedback, if you'd kindly give me some.

I intend, on the future, on doing the complete list of items from the game, the description of places, gods, personalities and the bestiary, would you people show interest on it, and also some rules on covenants.

Praise the sun, fellows. Umbasa!

« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 01:59:29 PM by gaigaia »

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 01:54:01 PM »
Holy shit. 

Dark Souls is one of my favourite games ever.  This is super cool.

Excuse my while I have basilisk nightmares.

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 02:13:46 PM »
It also occurs to me that Dark Souls is a near perfect Dungeon World setting purely because it forces SO MANY questions.  It is a milieu with lots of proper nouns and very little expository detail.  Really great example of "leave spaces".

To the author - what happens when you die?  Do you lose your souls?  That would be the hardest part to translate from the game to DW, but I would love to see your approach to it.

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 02:25:25 PM »
On the rpg, at the first pages, I explain that. I discarded the idea of 'dying and reviving' that exists in Dark Souls. I imagine that this exists mainly for the game have an excuse for the player to 'resurrect' every time he dies. The other npcs, when killed, don't come back, even those that are undead too. Maybe they don't have the dark sing?

So, you could say that the dark sign is needed for revive? Or is the darksing just a mark done afterwards you became undead? Many things are left unanswered in DS. In the rpg, I just say that you can burn humanity to heal and, if you lose all humanity (5+ Karma), you became Hollow. If you receive enough damage (5+), you die.

That was a design choice. But you can easily make so that, when you die, you lose a permanent point of Humanity, so you would become hollow with Karma 4. That way, you would make the idea of slowly becoming hollow after each resurrection. I don't like that idea, preferring that if you die, you die.

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 04:11:41 PM »
I think it would be a fun experiment to tie together NPCs and party members so that when a party member dies, all the NPCs attached to them are resurrected.  Creating a strange world in which "life" and "death" mean different things than in a traditional game.

Use the DW framework and the DS setting to explore themes of loss and struggle and meaning - if life can be rekindled and death is only a setback, what is true loss?

Sort of a weird gothic post-human thing.    

« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 04:30:51 PM by skinnyghost »

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 05:06:21 PM »
I can't claim to be an expert in dark souls since I'm not personally very far in the game, but from what I've gleaned from reading internet discussions and spoilers I was under the impression that according to common theory Lordran is some sort of nexus of alternate timelines and dimensions where the people you meet might not necessarily be from your own dimension but the result of two alternate realities touching eachother.

So while the undead NPC:s in the game can resurrect just like you can, when they die, their world comes untangled from your's and you can't meet them again. The same thing is the in character justification for the multiplayer mechanics as well.

I think you could do something with this, like the primary danger of death could be becoming separated from your companions and requiring some sort of quest or summoning sign trickery to regroup or something.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 05:26:46 PM by Okasvi »

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 05:26:52 PM »
Okasvi, the thing is that there are infinite ways for you to interpret the game. I've read theories that Lordran is the missing archstone at the nexus in Demon souls. I've also heard that Demon Souls is a sequel to Dark Souls and that the Dark Lord is the Old One from Demons Souls.

What do we truly now? That worlds are interconecting and heroes of the past and future are being able to invade each others reality, hence the multyplayer mechanic as it's explained by solaire, mister jolly sunbro cooperation.

I didn't put that question in the game because I didn't set the game in Lordran. I basically wanted, with this hack, that people explored the rest of Dark Souls world. I intend on making a future expansion focused in Lordran.

But, even so, I can't accept 'one' possible interpratation. I prefere to let it open ended and you can change and modulate the hack to accomodate the specifics of your table.

So, what you think?

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:36:09 PM »
I didn't necessarily mean to put it forward as a correct answer, so much as a method to bring the resurrection mechanic that is so integral to the console/computer game into play and still have death mean something.

The core and the whole flow of the original game is the try>die>learn>repeat until you succeed>move on>try the next challenge>die again cycle, and I think the tabletop version would lose something if that wasn't preserved.

I mean since the way the mechanics of the original game are so strongly intertwined with the malleable reality of Lordran, if you want to take the tabletop game out of that setting, it becomes a question of how much you want to replicate the feel of the original mechanics.

The resurrection mechanic is integral to the original game, the game's tagline is "Prepare to die.", so the question becomes how important do you consider the resurrection mechanic to be for the hack. You'll need to make some decision on how the death and the world works outside of Lordran either way.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 05:49:39 PM by Okasvi »

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 05:45:10 PM »
It's very hard to deal with it. When dying is one of the main focus of a game, it would be very hard to make it good. For example, if you are with the other PCs and you die, would the group go back to be with him?

That's not a very bad idea. Maybe the Karma can be used, instead as 'extra' hit points, as a track of 'deaths'. The game aludes that, if you die too much, you become hollow. So, if you lose all your humanity (gets 5+ karma), you would go hollow.

If karma cannot be used to reduce damage, death rate shall be gigantic. The player would die and reborn in the last bonfire, as in the game, but with +1 Karma. Hum... that could work.

Since this is not science, maybe some undead might not resurrect. Maybe, when you go hollow, you won't resurrect anymore? Maybe you must have the darksign to resurrect?


Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 06:06:40 PM »
I added some more to my last post before I noticed your reply, but here are some more thoughts.

One possible way to work with it would be to slightly alter the resurrection mechanic, the bonfires in the original game were mainly a pacing mechanic to avoid the console game version of the 5-minute adventuring day, and it might not necessarily need to apply exactly the same way to the tabletop version as long as the general feel is preserved.

Of the top of my head, one way to do it would be that when you die instead of returning to the last bonfire, you just get incapacitated for a period of time that would allow for your opponents to deal with you as they wish. If your side is victorious and not under a great time pressure it would just mean waiting until you get back up, if it's a TPK, or you're fleeing from something though, well there is always inprisonment and fates worse than death. (Bottom of the ocean, buried "alive", etc...) Undead are not exactly unknown, so if your opponents know what you are, they can deal with you. The returning to the bonfire part could something that only happens when your physical body is totally obliterated.

This would ofcourse require turning up the difficulty a notch so that a TPK is slightly more likely, but that is entirely in character for the kind of game Dark Souls is.

About the effects of death on the mind and the threat of hollowification, it is just a matter of finding the right balance. On one hand you wan't the characters to die often to replicate the feel of the original game and drive home that they are undead monstrosities, on the other hand you want death to mean something and the possibility of going hollow to be a real threat.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 06:27:40 PM by Okasvi »

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 06:33:42 PM »
So, I see 2 options about the resurrection feature:

1) You slowly revive at the spot. This way, the old Karma mechanic can kick in. You can use Karma to heal after you 'die'. Or maybe you can pay 1 Karma to 'slowly revive', and maybe 2 to reviver faster. Slowly would consume like a few hours and fast would be a few minutes. This open space for being put in prison and stuff. That's possible. And if your body is destroyed, you'll revive at the bonfire as usual.

2) You die and go back to the bonfire, reviving while gaining 1 Karma. This is interesting because it generates complications for the group.

Both are equally possible. What do you think? I think it needs to be playtested. Me and my group were playing without resurrection rules, so I have no idea how a group would deal with it. Anyone would like to play and tell what happened?

Re: Dark Souls hack
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 06:52:55 PM »
I don't currently have any kind of RPG group going, and I'm a novice roleplayer so I don't have the confidence to GM anything yet, so unfortunately I can't help with playtesting unless someone is willing to set up something online.

I have a suggestion on the setting material though. Since the Dark Souls story is mostly told through item and other descriptions, it would be cool if you structured the setting chapter as an in world encyclopedia that used the ingame descriptions readily available in the Dark Souls wikis. You'd just have to figure out what order to put in the descriptions, trim the redundant material and add the tabletop stats, a foreword by a fictional sage (or maybe one of the mage NPC:s from the original game), a table of contents and an index.

You could make it a separate file which the GM could print out or link to the group and give it out as loot during the first session to give the party an in character setting book that they could reference during the game.