Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions

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Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:08:03 PM »
This is a thread for general rules; everything from Basic Moves to the way the advancement system works, to stuff about factions, debt and favor.

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 10:47:30 PM »
Currently unhappy with the Tech-specific Standard Move.

EXECUTE PROGRAM (+Tech)
When you use an access point to make alterations to a system, Roll+Tech. (Protections and security systems may force you to Face Adversity before doing so.) On a 10+, choose a program to run. On a 7-9, as above, but you leave something behind (traces, bugs, etc)
- /IFTHEN: State a condition and an action. When the system encounters that condition, it tries to perform that action to the best of its ability.
- /BREAK: Remove a programmed behavior from this system.
- /DELTREE: Erase any amount of data contained in this system.
- /HAYWIRE: The system ignores all programming and acts randomly, often dangerously.
- /SLAVE: Link a new access point to the system and grant it priority. An access point can only have one /Slave at a time.

Feels clunky and it rarely comes up naturally in play. Thinking about stripping it down and just making it an IfThen-style move; "Choose a behavior and a condition. When the system encounters that condition, it performs that behavior to the best of its ability".

Alternatively, it could become a copy of the Command Move, but for AI, robots and computer systems. Hmmm... I think this may be a good path.

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 03:25:43 PM »
What about making it a choose-N or a hold-N move?

Roll+Tech. On 10+, choose 3. On 7-9 choose 1.
* You erase a specific piece of data from the system.
* You link a new access point to the system.
* You obtain useful information from the system.
* You temporarily crash the system.
* You make the system act randomly, unreliably, or dangerously.
* You don't leave any traces behind.

The choose-3 lets you do interesting combinations - e.g. erase your buddy's criminal record, leave a backdoor for later use, and make the system act wackily so they hopefully think it was just random vandalism.

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 11:06:27 PM »
I considered that for quite a while, but the longer the list grew, the more I realized that I was complicating something that should have been elegant and robust. The old move already felt cluttered and it rarely came up in play; most of the time, the situation that could have dealt with that just called for a Face Adversity using +Tech. At the same time, commanding robots or AI used +Influence because of the Command move.

I took a step back and examined what I really wanted out of the move; a way to interact and give commands to computer systems, AI and robots. Ultimately, Program should be a variant of Command (the +Influence standard Move) but for technology; getting 'loyal' programming/electronics to perform a dictated action to the best of its ability.

As a side note, this means that Artificial Intelligence (the Academic career/Artificial origin skill) allows you to make systems loyal enough to Program, and greatly expands the scope of what that system can be commanded to do; you couldn't Program the ship to pilot itself (or not very well), but if your AI was in the piloting console, then the AI could auto-pilot the ship, and you'd use your +Tech to order it to do so.

I feel that it makes the Move much more robust and sci-fi.

The new Move:

PROGRAM (+Tech)
When you transmit instructions to robots, AI or other computer systems that are open to your directives, Roll+Tech.
On a 10+, they follow your instructions to the best of their ability.
On a 7-9, they follow your instructions, but suffer degradation, bugs, glitches or other breakdowns. They get a cumulative -1 to Program them again until the source of the breakdowns is fixed.

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 02:31:11 AM »
On a 7-9 seems a bit too complicated. In my experience it is better to enhance the narrative rather than the game mechanics. AW at least was developed to be a framework for conversation.
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Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 09:30:22 PM »
Whew, a solid 3 weeks of playtesting. The results have been great so far, lots of changes in the works.

The biggest change/issue I'm currently trying to resolve is a pretty fundamental one; the confusion caused between Tech and Ingenuity. I separated the "mental/logic/creativity" stat in two; the Use Computer aspect alone was so strong and frequently used in a Sci-Fi setting that, as a stat, it had more weight in play than all the other skilled/science/engineering actions put together. So the divide (as laid out below) has to stay more or less as-is...

However, the names of the stats themselves repeatedly cause confusion because they aren't unique and descriptive enough. So I'm trawling for ideas; if you have a suggestion for unique names for these stats, I'm open to any and all suggestions. I need excellent terms that clearly define what's in each stat without overstepping into the other stat. The boundaries need to be as clear as possible, to avoid confusion.

Stat A:
- Repair, Maintenance, Construction
- First Aid, Medicine, Chemistry, Experimentation
- Economics, Logistics, Administration

Stat B:
- Computer Use, Programming, Hacking
- Sensors, Scanning, Diagnostics
- AI, Virtual Reality

This has been one of the big issues from the playtests, and I'm looking for inspiration. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 09:35:02 PM by Archangel3d »

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 09:33:20 PM »
PROGRAM (+Tech)
When you transmit instructions to robots, AI or other computer systems that are open to your directives, Roll+Tech.
On a 10+, they follow your instructions to the best of their ability.
On a 7-9, they follow your instructions, but suffer degradation, bugs, glitches or other breakdowns. They get a cumulative -1 to Program them again until the source of the breakdowns is fixed.

On a 7-9 seems a bit too complicated. In my experience it is better to enhance the narrative rather than the game mechanics. AW at least was developed to be a framework for conversation.

Oh hey, sorry I forgot to reply to this Doc. I ended up going with a simplified version of the 7-9 in the end; just as you said, it's a bit too complicated. Plus I've been stripping out +1s and -1s all over the place.

Here's the revised Program:

PROGRAM (+Tech what ever the "programming" stat will be called)
When you transmit instructions to robots, AI or other computer systems that are open to your directives, Roll+Tech what ever the "programming" stat will be called
On a 10+, they follow your instructions to the best of their ability, though they may suffer costs or complications.
On a 7-9, as above, but executing the program causes degradation, bugs, damage, glitches or other breakdowns. This technology will not accept a new Program until those complications/issues have been rectified.

Re: Design: Moves, Advancement, Factions
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 12:43:26 PM »
Stat A:
- Repair, Maintenance, Construction
- First Aid, Medicine, Chemistry, Experimentation
- Economics, Logistics, Administration

Stat B:
- Computer Use, Programming, Hacking
- Sensors, Scanning, Diagnostics
- AI, Virtual Reality

This has been one of the big issues from the playtests, and I'm looking for inspiration. Thoughts?

Gonna brainstorm a bit here, throwing out a few bad names that might maybe be seeds for better ideas...

Sounds like the basic divide is between Stat A as hardware and Stat B as software, am I right? So, from that point:

Stat A: Mech; Hardware; Handy; Deft; Adroit; Hands-on; Craft; Crafty; Practice; Skilled; Trade...

Stat B: Software; Informatics; Theory; Systems...

Okay, that's it for now.