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The Conflict Toolset PDF Print E-mail
Written by rpiadmin   
Saturday, 29 October 2016 07:03

What I have been trying to do for 20 years is make a different kind of roleplaying system, one where players can use the every aspect of a character to create and expand stories at the table.  Where I always failed was the math and a misguided desire to simulate life with math at the table.  

I released StrikeForce and the Conflict System in 2005 and came to the realization I had a lot to learn to make a really good game.  The first thing was to learn to listen.  Listening meant listening to players, what the industry was doing, podcasts, and other games and their designers.  I started a Warhammer Fantasy #rd Edition game with some friends and we loved how that system really drove narrative while supporting that narrative with mechanics.  Then my friend dan asked me how I could say my game was a base d100, when I could have 200+ values, my brain popped.  When 2 other players created characters and walked away from a game, saying the character gen was lacking, my brain popped again.
Through this and many other moments of brain popping I revised and redesigned and saw failure.

There have been 4 actual revisions of the contact system, A,B,C, and D.  Each was a long step towards what I plan to release this week, so I wanted to give some idea of what each one was and what the final product will look like.
Rev A used lots of math to create the effects I wanted, but it was old school character gen, a cross between old ADnD and 1st ed Traveller.  The mechanic was main skill ranks  multiplied by the subskills.  It resulted in huge numbers and great stories because the players were invested in the characters and the world.   But you needed a calculator at the table and the combat systems were a mess of formulas and charts.  It did not flow unless I ran it and had the knowledge of how to make it work.
rev B went from a system with no top end to one that maxed out around 1000.  That worked better but still needed calcs and combat was a maze of charts and formulas.  
Rev C brought the numbers down to around 250, but combat was still a mess and the characters really had very little depth, t least that was not brought by the players, not a bad thing but I wanted the players to have more so they could do more.
By this time 2014, I realized the math was the problem, it had to go away.  the dice had to do more than just generate numbers for adding or subtracting stuff, they rolling of the dice had to make things happen at the table, so rev D was born.  I gutted my character gen allowing the creation of a detailed past, passions, and skills with a lot less effort.  I had characters with detail the players could use at the table.  To lose the math I came up with a die roll system that caused results not math and a bracket system for skill challenges.  I was able to finally create specific challenge types with target numbers that change based on the characters at the table. Combat is smooth and just another check, albeit with damage and criticals.  It is all good It is what I wanted my system to be.
So finally I ported the system to another setting and it all came together,  I ditched the brackets (just another table not really needed)  to a system  that drives action at the table based on the player input and the die results with almost no math.  I gave players influence  and complications to enhance the story at the table.
So today I am doing a basic layout for the rules to the Conflict Toolset so Others can see what this system is and try it.  It should be on DriveThruRpg by the end of the week.
So its the start of something new, based on the old. This time it's ready and I hope some of you will at least give it a try.  IConflict System ts not better than other games out there, just different.



Last Updated on Saturday, 29 October 2016 16:53
Iron Kingdoms Conflict Game PDF Print E-mail
Written by rpiadmin   
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 05:48

Iron Kingdoms Conflict (A pet project)

I love the world of Iron Kingdoms, magic, Steam punk, Gods and normal people at war and Undead threats abound.  I was not as excited about the 3d6 system the base game uses, so I decided to remake the conflict system to work with such a world, and the results have been amazing.

By stepping away from my own properties and trying to make the Conflict system fit, without losing the flavor, abilities and depth of the characters, I was able to cleanup and simplify the game.  Using new mechanics like growth, situational and environmental modifiers, and changing the SubSkill System; the game became more flexible while removing all the exception rules that slowed down play.

The result has been a game with the same mechanic of combining skills, while lowering the math to comparable with other game systems.  It is a d100 system with defined challenge types, 3 types of NPC's and a design that draws players into their characters as they grow them and as they play them.  Every value on the sheet gives you an option in the story.

The redesign of the magic and wound systems also helped me fix the different types of casters and damage that Iron Kingdoms has while clarifying the whole idea of what a caster is, how they work mechanically and how damage works whether with a sword, a gun, a spell or an explosive.

It has opened my eyes and shown me a whole new way to design both the Conflict system and games of any type.

So I will be updating and adding much new stuff for that game as well as Wierd War 1, so come back and check it all out.




Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 16:47
The release of Traitor, Rev D, and the future of StrikeForce PDF Print E-mail
Written by rpiadmin   
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 04:39

So lets talk where have I been for the last 3 years or so... Trying to make my dream of a system that allows players to combine passions, skills, technology, goals, and anything they can think of into a baseline value that does not exceed 200, while allowing the GM to create opposition that is challenging and not full of bullshit numbers that drive the players crazy.

Rev A was a wreck of math and simulationist crazy, main and subskills in the 500 -2000 range.  Everyone had a calculator and the die rolls meant almost nothing after the second rank.  The game was AWESOME at telling combat stories, and letting players do awsome amazing things cause they could use anything on the character sheet to succeed.  Rev A was not good at defining the character beyond what the player saw in their head, and giving the player a mechanical way to express those visions in their heads.  Rev A died when one of my players rolled a 1 and hit 25,000 EF.  I knew then as cool as it was, it could never succeed.

Rev B was a leap forward, into a wall of lesser math.  Rev B topped out a 1000 EF, averaged at 600 - 750 with high level characters and failed to grow whenever I tried to expand the universe and the parts of the characters that could exceed the ranges I had set.  Also everyone HAD CALCULATORS still.  It was better than rev A, but in the end it failed because its was math based not action and player based.

<SIDEBAR>  Around this time I started to relaly to get into Warhammer #rd edition.  Those of you who did not like, or even hated the system, I see why.  I also wish you had gone past the "old Way" of playing and seen the amazingf beauty of the dice pool system as it was.  The main part of the WFRP 3rd and the Star Wars EotE systems is it lets the players and the GM tell amazing stories, based on the mechanics of their characters.  It lets the players do more at the table, not sit there waiting for their turn.  The more we played the more I saw parts of a system that I could rebuild into a new Rev, one that would become Rev C.

Rev C was actually rev B.1, Rev b.2, Revb.3, rev b.4 ..... Then I went to con and another game designer was shocked to find out I actually meant that players combine skills to overcome challenges.  He played my game and gave me a ton of feedback; and Rev C was born at 2:30 AM and run at a Sunday game and it worked.  The biggest problems my old versions had was the open ended math. 
Rev C eliminated the need for subtraction and math  (that actually came about when I did a 2 page version of traitor, more on that later)  to create the challenge roll and the challenge types.  The System had a top end defined by Success Brackets that ended at 130 Ranks / 30 EF.   The brackets worked because they converted (without math) to a set EF.  This let me create a set of challenge types from Easy to Impossible, with vaues that changed based on the power of the characters at the table.  NPC creations could scale to the power level at the table and grow as the charcters did.  Rev C worked, I was able to destroy rules and clarify the system in ways I had never been able to before, with the issue that the brackets were limiting the players and what they could use in their skillsets and play at the table.  It was around then I started using the phrase " Let the Players Do More!"  and that was what drove the creation of Rev D and Traitor.

Rev D allows the game tio scale to the power the players at the table want, it lets players create indepth amazing characters and build them in dozens or ways, all to create characters that match a players vision in any way the players wants.  Rev D details in my next post.  But with the release of traitor, I have created a system I can support, expand, and create more than just StrikeForce:2136.  StrikeForce will be re released, but I have some other games I want to release first.  All with a unified and complimentary rule set that spans any game type; the Conflict System is ready to play.

Bring on the Gods PDF Print E-mail
Written by rpiadmin   
Monday, 30 April 2012 23:19

So I am playing a long term Warhammer Fantasy 3rd game, along with a rogue trader when somebody cannot make the WFRP game.  One thing I have come to realize is how cool it is the the chaos gods and their minions are so involved in the universe.  Sure thee are orks and beastmen and Tau and Eldar, but no matter what the opposition you can some how attach a chaos god or their minions to the real hand in the shadow.

Whatever the god or the reason; Khore starting wars and feuds, Tezneetch manipulating planets or kingdoms to bad decisions and corrupt acts, Slannesh driving a town or hive to heights of pleasure and pain to summon daemons or attract the eldar to attack the corruption, or Nurgle giving his gifts to a child and its village or a planet  the gods are there.  The Characters look for their influence and the dangers it presents, always looking for deeper meaning because they care to stop that.

In DnD and other games the gods are less directly involved by default, GM's can bring them in and use the wealth of material available to create a story around them. Midnight is a good example, without the taint mechanic the setting lacks the detail of threat and danger that WFRP has.  Even that mechanic is kind of lacking though as soon as a character maxes their taint they just die, no conversion to a death seeking vile corrupted

In WFRP the gods are there in every rock or plot.  Even a random Orc attack could be traced back to a cult of some god trying to distract or cause damage to the empire or the characters.  However my players are as terrified at the thought of being corrupted and lost to corruption, almost more than just dying.    So This brings me to the idea of Bring on the Gods for my new fantasy setting; Tal Nivar.

Rather than make the gods impotent, unable to risk touching the world they created when it is attacked from without, I think the Gods will be determined to show their power giving to others to destroy the invaders or those whom they hate.  The more the gods do this the closer the veil between the gods and the world fails.  When the veil falls bad stuff happens, magic goes awry and the game changes, the world changes and innocence is lost.  So players will have faith as a possible component for their characters and teh GM for NPC's, so the players have to care what the gods are up to and possible stop a hero who's use of power could destroy the world.  They have to invest in the world and the effects of the gods actions on the world.  Also while all that is going on the characters have to worry about the Vampire invasion that has destroyed the Empire of light, but that's a blog for another day.

What is no Brakes PDF Print E-mail
Written by rpiadmin   
Thursday, 02 February 2012 00:00

I want to be clear that this is not railroading to get to that awesome scene the GM has in his head. This is about starting things in motion, like Lex Luthor in the first superman the movie or the bad guy in die hard did. They started a series or events and then did stuff to try and stop the good guys from stopping them. Characters can figure out whats going on faster, making a GM or the players do new things to stop them, The players may fall behind and see the situation spiral out of control. Either way players are forced to respond with awesome actions at the table, that is the No Breaks Theory.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 March 2012 18:44

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