Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack

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Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2013, 11:17:55 PM »
It's here! Version 0.6 is out, with Ship rules, Crew rules and a whole bunch of changes.

Get Uncharted Worlds 0.6 here.

I'm quite excited because the actual design are almost complete! There's still the vehicle rules which need to be done, but other than that, it's down to "filling out" the descriptions and such. A pretty big milestone!

I want to thank everyone for their feedback and input so far. I'll be organizing playtests in the coming month, so keep an eye out. Also, even though the GM rules are still fuzzy-to-non-existent, if anyone would be brave enough to give GMing Uncharted Worlds a whirl with their gang (or another whirl, in the case of the exceptionally courageous Tiurabo), I'd be super interested to know how it turns out!

Change Log v0.6:
•   Altered Summary (p4)
•   Added Spaceship rules (p23-24)
•   Added Crew rules (p25)
•   Reworked weapons and armor (p21-22)
•   Basic Moves (p7-8)
o o   Altered Open Fire
o o   Altered Launch Assault
o o   Altered Patch Up
o o   Removed Manipulate
o o   Added Take Cover
o o   Added Command
o o   Fixed crash when using Avert Disaster during a cutscene
•   Origins/Careers (p10-17)
o o   Changed the “ship component” aspect of all skills
o o   Altered Crew: Soldiers
o o   Altered Crew: Followers
o o   Altered Crew: Scientists
o o   Altered Crew: Engineers
o o   Altered Crew: Gang
o o   Altered Schemer
o o   Removed Zero-G Training with Traveller

To Do:
•   Vehicle rules
•   Revise Faction Creation
•   In-depth Career section
•   Getting started guide
•   How to GM + GM Moves
•   Overall layout

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2014, 10:43:28 PM »
Hi!  I just joined up to ask if there's been any progress with the game?  I'm going to use it for playing Firefly with a dash of Rogue Trader.  It looks great!

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 01:30:07 AM »
Hi there Mutants! Your interest in the game is super appreciated (my poor, fragile ego needs that sometimes :P)

The game has been going through some heavy development lately. I've reworked the core Moves, and drastically changed combat (much more narrative driven, now). I'm in the process of running a playtest with my group, using the latest rules.

I invite you to give the current playtest rules a shot, you can grab them here: Uncharted Worlds v0.7. I'd be stoked to read about your experiences, what hangups you had, where you felt you were forced to ad-lib, etc. Obviously, I haven't started writing the "verbose" version of the rules, with all the explanations and the 'whys' and such. That's coming soon.

Again, thanks for the interest! Hope you have fun with it.

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Jeremy

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Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 01:15:24 PM »
How are finding the harm rules work? I'm very interested in whether the various injuries types are compelling enough.

Also, how does enemy armor or shields play out, or other force disparities? As written, I don't see anything that would account for that. I seem to be just as likely to "take out" a heavily armored foe with a stick as I am to take out a nekked dude with a las cannon. 

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Jeremy

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Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 10:56:11 AM »
Another observation/question:  both of your basic moves for violence work like this...

Roll +stat.  On 10+ succeed but pick 1; 7-9 succeed if you let the GM pick 2.
 - There are a number of surviving enemies
 - The attack causes unwanted collateral damage
 - Your side suffers harm during the attack
 - Your side ends up in a dangerous/costly position

Overall I really like this, but I'm concerned that there's never any "clean" success.  Say it's just me and another guy in a gun fight on the ship.  I can never just take him out, right?  On a 10+, I have to pick something.  So I either pick "there are a number of surviving enemies" (meaning he's still up and--I assume--fighting) or one of the other options that escalates the situation.  I roll 10+ again, same situation.  Etc., etc.  The fight can't end unless I accept some cost or escalation.

How does that work in play?  Is that what you want?

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2014, 01:52:16 AM »
Thanks for the questions! I'll try to address them as best I can :)

How are finding the harm rules work? I'm very interested in whether the various injuries types are compelling enough.
So far the injuries have been a great boon for myself as a GM to raise the stakes. I had a character who took a pretty big fall, and ended up with a mangled arm and bleeding wound in his helmet. From that point on, he was forced to Face Adversity for a couple of pivotal actions; Once using Physique to overcome the pain of his twisted arm to climb a ladder (partial success; ended up tearing more muscles and doing further damage. Hope he has enough Favor to request a surgeon). The other using Mettle, to take a shot with his pistol despite the blood that was leaking from his forehead into his eye. In this way, the injuries play like the Fate System's 'Tags'; something to compel at just the right (i.e.: most disastrous) moment.

Personally, I really enjoyed it. "Seeing" the state of the players after a particularly action-packed session felt nice. Heck, more than one player took pride in their scars and bruises, and it added a lot of flavor when interacting with NPCs.

Also, how does enemy armor or shields play out, or other force disparities? As written, I don't see anything that would account for that. I seem to be just as likely to "take out" a heavily armored foe with a stick as I am to take out a nekked dude with a las cannon.
In theory, yes. This is my "16 hp dragon"; there's a very nice article about how in Dungeon World, the dragon only has 16 hp; in theory it could get one-shot by a level 1 character with a lucky hit. BUT what's important is not its stats, but the puzzle and danger and unapproachable aura it has. Just because they can mechanically, doesn't mean they should be able to narratively. In the same way in Uncharted Worlds, armor on enemies is a purely narrative convention. It's there to add color, and/or to add an extra component to the "puzzle" of overcoming the current situation. If a player would go after a Titan Suit -wearing space marine with a stick, he wouldn't roll anything; there's no way he's going to succeed. What does he think he is, an Ewok? In more questionable situations (conventional weapons vs heavy armor, or enemies with superior cover, etc), my question would be "how are you overcoming their armor?" or "they're really well entrenched behind cover, how are you going to get a good shot at them?".

As for the nekkid dude v. las cannon... well, I probably wouldn't even ask for a roll either. Dude be dead, yo.

Another observation/question:  both of your basic moves for violence work like this...

Roll +stat.  On 10+ succeed but pick 1; 7-9 succeed if you let the GM pick 2.
 - There are a number of surviving enemies
 - The attack causes unwanted collateral damage
 - Your side suffers harm during the attack
 - Your side ends up in a dangerous/costly position

Overall I really like this, but I'm concerned that there's never any "clean" success.  Say it's just me and another guy in a gun fight on the ship.  I can never just take him out, right?  On a 10+, I have to pick something.  So I either pick "there are a number of surviving enemies" (meaning he's still up and--I assume--fighting) or one of the other options that escalates the situation.  I roll 10+ again, same situation.  Etc., etc.  The fight can't end unless I accept some cost or escalation.

How does that work in play?  Is that what you want?

That is indeed part of the design. The thing is, the violence moves are very "big picture", compared to more traditional combat rolls. They represent a phase or possibly the entirety of an exchange of violence. A single roll of "Open Fire" could translate into multiple exchanges of small arms fire while dodging and moving from cover to cover. I encourage my players to play out/describe the results of the roll as a series of action sequences without further rolling; we know the results, now we want to see how we're going to get there. It allows for some fun action without worrying about rolls or outcomes (since we know how it's going to end), and we collectively try to steer the unfolding events towards that conclusion. Don't know if you saw that Elevator Scene from Captain America 2: Winter Soldier previews in theaters? I see that as a single "Launch Assault" roll, telling us that he's going to succeed, but will take some damage. Then the whole sequence plays out, he gets bashed a couple of times, but ultimately he gets to be a badass.

I definitely didn't want "clean" fights. A gun fight between two people ending in one dead and the other completely unscathed and with no consequences doesn't move a story forward. "Your side ends up in a dangerous/costly position" could happen a LOT later, when your opponent's family/clan/Faction/lawyers show up to dismantle you. Or heck, maybe you'll just get arrested by local authorities. Or maybe one of your NPC crew members greatly disaproves of your use of deadly force.

As for "surviving enemies", that one is a bit two-edged. It's probably the cleanest, if you think about it. Surviving doesn't necessarily mean able-bodied or actively violent. When summarizing, you omitted the most important part of the violence Moves: "Describe your goals and tactics". You can't succeed if you don't state what you want to accomplish. Now, obviously if you just want the guy dead, then taking "he survives" kinda goes against your stated goal. But, again, these moves are representative of an extended encounter; surviving enemies could be fleeing or withdrawing, or they could be surrendering, or injured, or incapacitated. But they're still alive, and now you have to deal with that situation.

Ultimately, if the fight is one-sided/simple enough that you can take out the enemy without cost or consequence, then it's probably not an Open Fire or Launch Assault; it would be a simple Face Adversity.

Hope that answers your questions! If you have any more, shoot them my way; I try to check these forums at least once a week (busy busy!). I appreciate the interest! :D
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 01:59:39 AM by Archangel3d »

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Tsenn

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Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2014, 06:09:58 PM »
Another observation/question:  both of your basic moves for violence work like this...

Roll +stat.  On 10+ succeed but pick 1; 7-9 succeed if you let the GM pick 2.
 - There are a number of surviving enemies
 - The attack causes unwanted collateral damage
 - Your side suffers harm during the attack
 - Your side ends up in a dangerous/costly position

Overall I really like this, but I'm concerned that there's never any "clean" success.  Say it's just me and another guy in a gun fight on the ship.  I can never just take him out, right?

I see it as a reflection of the inherent randomness of a violent situation.  If you try to solve your problems with violence by adding violence, there are going to be consequences.  If it's just you and another guy on your ship, and you're running around guns blazing, something's going to happen.  If you figure a way to use the setting to your advantage, or you can wrangle the situation so that you don't need to make a roll, you just flat-out shoot the guy, then you can have your consequence-free victory.

You lock down the bulkheads to funnel him, bait him to chase you, wait until the right moment to open a discharge valve and blast him, then when the steam clears he's unarmed, disoriented, scalded and you have him in your sights.  Bang.  You've used, oh, Assessment, Face Adversity and Execute Program, I would say.  Or you could, as above, go straight ahead with Open Fire and risk having a bullet someone you don't want, but solve it with a single roll.

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2014, 10:38:23 AM »
This is almost what I was looking for - sci-fi powered by the apocalypse. I really like what you've written... but for me personally I was hoping for a core system more similar to Dungeon World. That said, I really like the way your character creation works.

I was working on a hack of my own for a science-fiction Dungeon World (as opposed to a sci-fi AW) but I didn't make it quite as far as you did. Would it be in bad taste if I borrowed some of your excellent work to use in my own?

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 12:03:58 AM »
Hey, I just posted my space opera hack here in the brainstorming & development board. Comparing our two hacks, there's a lot in common but (gah!) you beat me to the punch. Still, I'm happy to mix sauces if you see something cool and want to snag it from me--I'm definitely gonna keep a close eye on yours.

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 08:08:49 PM »
Sorry about not responding, guys, busy times! I've been head-down working on UW , running a bunch of playtests and rebuilding and improving mechanics in preparation for the 'verbosity phase' (where I make it playable for folks who are just picking up the *World system). I'll be posting a link to v0.75 very soon, I'd be super interested in your impressions, what you like and what you feel misses the mark. Chances are you guys will see a Kickstarter for the printing run/editing/art coming soon, and this can become a true product (eeeeee!)

This is almost what I was looking for - sci-fi powered by the apocalypse. I really like what you've written... but for me personally I was hoping for a core system more similar to Dungeon World. That said, I really like the way your character creation works.

I was working on a hack of my own for a science-fiction Dungeon World (as opposed to a sci-fi AW) but I didn't make it quite as far as you did. Would it be in bad taste if I borrowed some of your excellent work to use in my own?

Of course not MacLeod, I'd be delighted to have my design be a part of your design. Creative Common License and all that jazz! :) If you feel like giving me a mention/attribution I'd appreciate it, but it's totally up to you. I'm very curious; what aspects do you feel most differentiates the game from Dungeon World? DW is the only *World game I've played, so I always figured I would have too many similarities; it came as a surprise to see that I apparently have too few! Obviously, I've been working hard at making it as distinct and self-contained as possible, but still.

Hey, I just posted my space opera hack here in the brainstorming & development board. Comparing our two hacks, there's a lot in common but (gah!) you beat me to the punch. Still, I'm happy to mix sauces if you see something cool and want to snag it from me--I'm definitely gonna keep a close eye on yours.

Don't you just hate when someone beats you too the punch!? Uncharted World was supposed to be a Mass Effect hack, then I heard the Dungeon World guy was working on one, hahaha. So yeah, Uncharted Worlds evolved a LOT since its original concept over a year ago. I'll be certain to give yours a look, it's always a great inspiration to see where others have deviated tackling the same problem (I'm interested to check your ship mechanics, for example). That said, with v 0.75, I feel I've gotten to a solid position, and my design 'phase' is done. Obviously, more testing and community feedback will be super important going forward, but now I have to focus on the usability/flesh of the rules themselves, rather than rules short-hand (i.e. "I know what I mean"). Also I need to pull the trigger and not keep doing fun redesigns all the time.

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 08:55:21 PM »
Uncharted Worlds v0.75 available here

Couple of big changes;

- Open Fire and Launch Assault are now "10+ you succeed, 7-9 you succeed but the GM chooses 1 or more consequences" like other moves. I know I explained my reasoning for having a player-chosen consequence even on a 10+, and I still feel that it was sound reasoning, BUT I received the question so often from various sources, that I grudgingly accepted that it doesn't feel right. Players weren't grokking it. So I changed it; 10+ is a lot nicer, 7-9 is considerably harsher.

- Faction reputation descriptors. Debt and Favor are still in the game, but players now have a semi-fixed word that describes what a Faction thinks of them. This descriptor is used by the GM to give them a cue when they play as the Faction. Descriptors come in five varieties; great, good, neutral, bad and terrible; earn enough Favor with a Faction, and you can choose a new, better descriptor (example: you were considered 'Mistrusted (Bad)' or 'Dangerous (Bad)' by the Galactic Police, but after earning enough Favor with them, you can go from Bad to Neutral; maybe you'll choose to be 'Useful (Neutral)' or 'Cautious (Neutral)'. Check out page 18 for more info.

Plus there are a bunch of smaller changes, like shuffling around the career skills, having a fixed amount of 'Narrative Wounds' (wounds defined by words rather than numbers), adding Codex Entries (a permanent information-based +1 that you gain through the Assessment move, to reward curiosity)  and changing the way Get Involved works (it now upgrades a roll from 6- to 7-9, or 7-9 to 10+, rather than just giving a +1).

If folks have the chance, I invite any of you to give the rules a read-through; I'd sincerely appreciate any and all feedback, suggestions or questions. I'll be popping in regularly to answer any queries while I prepare myself for the next phase of development (seriously, it surprises me just how much anxiety the whole Kickstarter/publishing causes me. If anyone has any experience or advice about <i>that</i>...)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 08:03:43 AM by Archangel3d »

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2014, 12:49:52 AM »
I think your link is borked, sir!

But hey! I didn't know you were going full juice on this project with a kickstarter and everything! That is awesome. :)

The main difference between DW and Uncharted Worlds that bugs me specifically is the level of "zoom" on combat. Unless I'm reading it wrong, which wouldn't surprise me, the combat moves are pretty big picture whereas DW gets you down to each and every sword blow.

I'm not saying that your way is wrong either. I haven't played AW myself but from what I understand your way matches up with the one found in AW. All that said, I should definitely give it a shot at least once. :P

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2014, 08:13:35 AM »
Whoops! Thanks for the heads up,  the link was indeed borked. Fixed.

And yeah, that is indeed the way larger combats work in Uncharted Worlds; the camera is 'pulled out', and the roll determines the result of that encounter, not the granularity. This allows the participants and the GM to describe the combat the way they see fit. It was a pretty big philosophical decision that happened a few months ago. I grew less enamored with the 'whittle down hitpoints' style system, and felt that narrative should definitely trump numbers. That's why enemies don't have hitpoints at all; (to swipe a line from J M Straczynski) they die at the speed of plot.

So far, it's worked well to keep the story flowing; that said, combats have never been the most exciting part of RPing for me, and I totally get that some prefer a bit more granularity.

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2014, 03:10:22 PM »
I have developed a set of character sheets for use in running Uncharted Worlds, whether online or in person.  They are in a GDrive shared folder, reachable at  http://www.tinyurl.com/unchartedworlds.  I also keep the latest version of the rules, updated whenever Arch publishes it.

The Sheets version is explicitly designed for for play-by-post and Hangouts play, and the Docs are printable for ease of use.  There's one 2-pager (I recommend double-sided) for characters, and a single page for the "Group" sheet.  I may add a second page for NPCs/planets on the Group sheet, as well.
"That which does not kill you has made a tactical error."

Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2014, 08:29:42 AM »
Working on adding a lot of description/explanation to the Moves and the careers. One thing that comes up; the 'Artificial' Origin is... kinda boring. It doesn't have any flavor inherent, and the +Stat skills are equally 'neutral'. On the other hand, I can't help thinking that it might have its niche; maybe a neutral, non-committal background with no extra bells and whistles is something that a certain kind of player would want.

Is there anyone that actually thinks the Artificial Origin is worth keeping in its current incarnation? Should I trash it for something else? There seems to be a strong push towards a Robotic Origin; perhaps I could replace it.

Side note: I'd be super interested to see what kind of characters people can come up with using the character creation. Post them here! Heck, I may use them as example characters (with credit, natch)