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desolate

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Everything posted by desolate

  1. An urban fantasy Earth mega-setting with a metaplot that spans across multiple time periods from BCE to modern. 🤨
  2. Risky move. Itchy trigger finger here.
  3. What brand or restaurant has the best lime chicken?
  4. Can we depreciate the 2013 article and have the various system creators maintain their own lists within their rule sets?
  5. Thanks for your response! My thoughts: The problem with Enhance should have been expected on my end. Roll12 is adapted from 2d6 + stat/skill mod systems. Enhance is not be able to replicate the probability distribution of + stat/skill mod. Specifically, the numerics of a stat/skill mod range from -3 to +3, whereas Enhance is a straight -1 or +1. My preference for dice games ultimately lies with such a system, whereas what I have now is extremely pared down. I agree with reducing ambiguity under improving or worsening an enemy's situation. Without clearly delineated rules in place to reference for what a "situation" entails, I wouldn't be surprised that players take the obvious mechanical benefit of doing or healing damage over an action that requires interpretation. For number of players, I don't expect that the basic rules would work well with over 2-5 participants unless they were separated into sub-groups and sub-threads. The addon rules might have made it more complex, but being able to make interesting or unique choices for PCs and NPCs means more rules. Even with your additions, the rules are less complicated than Candy Land, and definitely less than Monopoly's whopping 11 pages of rules. I'll change the 0 HP rule. I can see how it might be unintuitive. Granularity at different levels of HP is a possibility, but again I would expect that to be something in a stat/skill system that supports such nuances.
  6. Hi all. Really enjoyed checking in on this thread from time to time and seeing your feedback along the way. Super thanks to jaistlyn for taking ownership of the system and working it to the bone, and mega-thanks to all the players for rolling through any of the issues you had with it. If anyone has additional thoughts on alterations to the game mechanics, feel free to shoot me a PM or link me to anything you posted previously that you still feel strongly about. As an additional question, are such dice systems something you would like to see better supported in Terrenus (in terms of canon), and better supported on Valucre (in terms of technology)? If it's not something you would see yourselves doing again, then it isn't something we would spend a whole lot of time on developing further.
  7. That's probably true... for this market. But there are other markets that would choose a performative system. It comes down to how we built the site and its brand. We don't capture the performative systems market for similar reasons we never captured the "one liner" market.
  8. From my perspective it's mostly been new players, but they don't pursue it with regularity. Per Carlos' and Vansin's discussion, my hypothesis is that new players are interested in risking their characters in conflict and do want that risk tied to performance, like in any game, but they become disillusioned that T1 is tied to performance and drop it.
  9. Thanks for answering my questions. Let's start with an option that's both similar to what we already have and already exists. The battle system in the game Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift (FFTA2) has striking resemblances to advantages and preparations. Preparations are MP 1. Characters have a resource pool called magic points (MP). 2. Characters begin the fight with 0 MP. 3. Characters gain 10 MP per turn. 4. Characters have a maximum MP value they cannot exceed. 5. Characters spend MP to use active abilities. Cost scales with power. The above is almost identical to preparations, but it does not involve the unnecessary narrative justifications, nor does it involve subjective judgments about whose preparations were applicable or valid. Advantages are Reaction and Support abilities 1. Characters may have a Reaction ability that activates when a trigger condition is met. 2. Characters may have a Support ability that modifies their attributes or active abilities. The above is similar in some ways to advantages, but does not involve mathematically weighing active abilities. All weighing is done by MP cost. Notable Differences 1. FFTA2 is a video game played on a grid and uses algorithms to determine accuracy and damage. T1 is a narrative game where spatial positioning and timing of events is subject to interpretation. As such, judging "what really happens" and "when it really happened" in T1 is arbitrary, baseless, and irrelevant. 2. FFTA2 is turn based. T1 occurs in real time. T1 should embrace the concept of turn sequence. We are literally taking turns on a bulletin board. 3. FFTA2 characters are limited in number of abilities and scope of their abilities. All abilities use the same resource with the same metaphysical underpinnings. T1 characters are freeform and inconsistent. All abilities are either superficial or provide unjustifiable benefit. 4. FFTA2 has character classes. This is not necessary as long as ability creation is moderated according to clear and meaningful standards. Explanation of Game Mechanics 1. In T1, the core game mechanic is bidding. We call bidding "preparing" and the currency "preps," but I will refer to it as bidding in this section. 2. Characters accrue currency and bid an amount of that currency against another character. 3. The other character must match or exceed the bid to break even or win. 4. Before Valucre, bids were originally made blind. Players had to deal with the factor of hidden information. 5. In modern T1, bids are noted in spoiler text. As such, the second player to bid has an advantage, as the first player to bid is still bidding against hidden information. In some ways, T1 is similar to blackjack, but instead of being limited to a defined suite of 52 cards players can invent whatever card they want to have in their hand. The goal to outbid the opponent is the same. FFTA2 resolves certain problems with the bid mechanic by introducing a resource pool (value of cards) and limitations in character creation (number of cards).
  10. I'll try to answer based on the Universal Fighting System (UFS) documentation. First, the rules of equalization and breaking equalization. When you create a character, it is equal to all other characters. Whether you are a fire-bender or an ice-bender is not relevant. It is correct to say that the difference is flair. However, you then assign one thing that defines what your character is better at than other characters on your character sheet. This is called an innate advantage. Its purpose is to break equalization in any situation where it applies. When your character is fighting, you may have one other thing on your turn that says why your character is better in that specific moment at what they are trying to accomplish. This is called an environmental advantage. Its purpose is also to break equalization in any situation where it applies. I've said that the purpose of these two categories of advantage are to break equalization. This is what equalization means in concrete terms: A quickdraw is always equal to an opposing quickdraw. One prep is always equal to an opposing single prep. Two preps are always equal to an opposing two preps. Three preps are always equal to an opposing three preps. Landing hits means breaking equalization. As a player, your goal is to create opportunities that allow you to make your quickdraw better than the opposing quickdraw by applying the advantages you have. The same logic applies to preps. Now, to discuss the examples you provided. My analysis is based on RAW (rules as written) and not RAI (rules as intended). A fire-bender and an ice-bender fighting in an arena filled with fire grants the fire-bender an environmental advantage usable at any point, since it is a feature of the environment. It does not grant the ice-bender anything. As such, the ice-bender is not equal. However, the ice-bender can create their own environmental advantage, use their innate advantage, or use their preps in an attempt to make it equal or break equalization in their favor. An ice-bender with an innate advantage that resists fire is superior to the environmental advantage of having an arena filled with fire. As above, the fire-bender is not equal, but must leverage the tools available to them to become equal or break equalization in their favor. To restate: all character powers begin equal, but once you add advantages they are no longer equal. That's the point.
  11. If you enjoy competitive RP in the same way that you enjoy a competitive video game, have you considered making rules similar those in a video game?
  12. Let me ask you a question. What do you enjoy about writing competitive scenarios?
  13. I wasn't saying either, but yes there is a "neater" way to RP a competitive scenario than using preparations and advantages.
  14. Neither advantages nor preparations are necessary, and their usage is unequivocally bad.
  15. It isn't a perfect generator. PHP rand() is pseudorandom (PRNG). While I haven't opened the plugin files, the seed most likely incorporates time(), processid, and uniqid to simulate randomness. My assumption is that they are not being reseeded with every call, resulting in the "clumping" you've experienced.
  16. desolate

    Outreach Team AMA

    It won't be posted anywhere, and if I see it reproduced I will zap it. If you want to create an original set of rules derived from the underlying concepts, then that is your prerogative, but it must be substantially different enough to be considered its own separate work and not a copy.
  17. T1 doesn't provide much in terms of competition, and it's a stretch to characterize it as a game. For one, the victory conditions are indeterminable. Supplementary rules have included conditions such as "death, knock out, or disqualification." How or when those conditions are actually satisfied is up in the air. Contrast with Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. Pokemon faint when they reach 0 HP, and Bros lose when they reach 0 stock. There is no question as to how HP is reduced or when stock is lost. In T1, the answer is unsatisfying: a random stranger on the Internet decides one of those things—death, knock out, or disqualification—happens, whether it's a third-party, an opponent, or yourself. It isn't that there aren't justifications for those decisions, but those justifications are not provided or supported by the rules; they are situational and non-generalizable, based on invisible or spontaneously generated criteria, and highly subjective. Further, the mechanism by which characters act is the turn, but the foundation concepts of action and turn are undefined. "How do I even play the game?" is not answered. Mismatch between players' answers to "What's in a turn?" has resulted in some interesting situations. The question is whether it's worth it to create a system that does provide meaningful competition, and what that could look like. Only hold-backs are player interest and technological limitations.
  18. Healer, minion master, or rogue in RPGs. I don't want to do anything myself... and if I have to, I want the option to stop whenever I want by going invisible. ?
  19. Sorry for the wait. I had eye surgery. ? It can persist, but whether it does should depend on what the character is actually doing to defend. If an archer is defending by hiding behind a rock, and then she runs out of cover to gank someone the next turn, then she's not really defending anymore. There a couple of potential issues: 1. Complexity. Persisting defense requires bookkeeping. 2. Stacking defense ad infinitum. I provided Ataraxy a number of reasons why I don't think it should be a problem, but I could be wrong.
  20. @Grubbistch "Communicating with them is like trying to have a conversation with Gaia. There are offertory shrines to the genius loci that you can visit and pray at. Alternatively, I can arrange for a large quantity of drugs and we can try the vision quest method. I hear it's a thrill and a half." @Grimmholt "Yes, the Cedars is an appealing option, and it is within 1,000 kilometers of the Shawnee border. We would need to connect or tether the two somehow, or otherwise deal with the surrounding loci. The nearest benign options are the Forgotten Wood and the Hidden Valley." @supernal "That may ring true. The Cedars we're discussing were planted by us, which suggests that its current genius loci either chose to go there, was born there, or inhabited it ex post facto. It implies that it cannot grow without us planting more. In the same way lesser spirits can be bound, perhaps your suggestion is only a matter of scale and material cost. I will, however, caution that spirits do not like being bound."
  21. @Deus Ex Aizen "I'll contact our engineers to begin construction on dams for the country's waterways. There will be checkpoints at every city entry and exit, and I will be petitioning for a travel ban on top of it." @Grubbistch "Fantastic. The military will provide an escort." @Grimmholt "An aerial mobile command center is doable, but it will take time to construct and vet personnel. Once they're chosen, no one else can be allowed on board, nor permitted to approach the craft. If you or anyone else would like to requisition Enrele specimens for study, I can send you a package." @supernal "Do you have genetic samples of these teletypes? If necessary, we can grow them in a lab, or pursue alternative methods of increasing their number. As for finding out what the Enrele care about, we will attempt to gather a significant number for enhanced interrogation. Several professions require licensure, such as medicine or law. We will seize all of these at-risk professionals and their assets. Who evades capture will be illuminating." @-Lilium- "Yes, our strategic directives must be sufficiently protected from corruption, or at least the wrong type of corruption. Organizational restructuring of the military is necessary, and I agree with using a combined arms approach. It may be in our best interest to restrict military personnel to being on-base when off-mission until the crisis is averted." "If that's all on the Enrele, we'll take a short break and move on to discuss the genius loci, a hopefully less gray subject." After a period of 10 minutes, a priest handed out pamphlets on a selection of Terrenus genius loci (cities are conspicuously absent): Genius Loci Dominant Aspect Primary Effects In Expansion Period Threat Level Coconino Marsh Infection Poisonous bog spreads disease and plague Yes High Dark Forest Darkness Illuminance ranges from civil twilight to pitch dark No Low Forbidding Hills Battle All who enter must fight No High Forgotten Wood Memories Absorbs experiences from others Yes Medium Great Pine Barrens Mutation Rapid adaptation and biological intervention Yes Medium Haunted Glen Fear Manifests fear, nexus of Terrenus ectoplasm No Low Hidden Valley Vanishing Optical and visual distortions No Low Hills of Lost Hearts Passion Unstoppable love ? No Medium Labyrinthine Forest Space Complex path making, mazes No Low Moonwood Moon Gravitation, madness, lycanthropy No Low Ponkapoag Lake Beacon Guidepost for outsiders and extraterrestrials Yes Medium Shawnee Tundra Stasis Binds mana into a frozen state Yes High Hills of Noddendoddy Regeneration Always returns to original state Cannot None The Cedars Balance Seasonally cycles mana from surrounding loci Cannot None Peaceful Wood Sanctuary Cannot be acted against, nor act against others Cannot None No Man's Land Inspiration Facilitates heightened ideation and low-level suggestion Cannot None "Provided is a curated list of certain landforms that are inhabited by spiritual forces known as genius loci, and these forces are at least in part responsible for the natural laws of our world. For those of you who are not aware of how these forces work, I will provide a brief summary of the process. As you might know, we use technology and spells to manifest our intent in the world using mana. This creative power flows from the spirit world, and enters Terrenus through its genius loci. Mana enters our world with attributes based on the loci from which it emerged, and like our technology and spells, manifests their intent on the land. Additionally, whenever we use our technology or spells, we are increasing the influence of an associated loci on the land. Please see the next page for an illustration." Noel paused to take a sip of water. "A question typically posed after this explanation is this: am I increasing the influence of a loci whenever I use, say, a fire cantrip to cook? The answer is yes, although its contribution to expansion rate is negligible. We determined whether a genius loci is in its expansion period if it grows by at least 1 additional mile every year for three consecutive years, and its threat level based on a combination of factors: how easy it is to avoid? Is it growing? Are its effects detrimental to civilization? Its proximity to civilization? And herein lies our problem: most genius loci grow and overtake others, resulting in society wide changes, and others evidently expire and take societies down with them. Our current assumption is if the Shawnee loci follows a similar trajectory to Elendaron, then Valucre may very well become an ice planet if left unchallenged."
  22. No need to stick to a posting order. If it gets hard to follow we can reassess.
  23. @Grubbistch "We can certainly improve our outreach. The Empire values the participation of all species. Do you have anyone in mind for the task force to approach, and types of aid they could provide?" @supernal " I would say we're their primary resource, key personnel being the highest commodity, though we can create other resource problems as well. Their host bodies still need food and water. I suppose that brings up a few uncomfortable questions: who can we use to bait them into conflicts with one another, and which resources should we begin making scarce for which populations?" @Paroxysm "When we use chemical agents, we must make sure they cannot be easily reverse engineered. If there is collateral, side effects, or environmental issues caused by any bioweapons, we will have to be satisfied with their permanency. When you say other hostile agents of change, are you implying we create something to fulfill the role of natural predator? I'm also interested to hear more on how we might deploy these agents. Let's say we were to use bioweapons on Martial Town. Where would you start?" @Grimmholt "Yes, we must be prepared for counter-attacks should we engage in open defiance. Our alpha strike, if you will, must be definitive. The Enrele have attempted to sabotage VICTORY in the past, and I have no doubt it's out of necessity. Robotics are not susceptible to their influence, only the biological operators. This brings up a big topic in automation: now that we're facing the end, is it time to start phasing out the people element of the Empire's army? They seem to be the weakest link." @-Lilium- "We do have greater means to track and analyze what people are doing now than ever before. Everyone in Terrenus is connected through the Storage Movement, if not through their own Crook, then through another person's device. Giving VICTORY a backdoor into everyone's personal and possibly bio-metric data should be doable. The question is how to secure this information. Do we stop short of implanting bombs in the heads of key personnel?" @Tenkai Matsumoto "Yes, the parasite can be removed. If it's killed or sedated, it can be surgically removed with risk of brain and spinal injury, but it will not fall off itself. It can be forced to detach by means of incorporeal possession by another entity, such as a ghost, but it will fight and severely injure or kill the host in the process. As to the question of psionics, that is an admittedly underdeveloped part of our military strategy. If we were to budget accordingly, and focus on recruiting and retraining on psychic abilities, is there any insight you might offer on the advantages or disadvantages, or what we should focus on in attacking a group intelligence?"
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