RolePlayersINK Pure Imagination, No Limits

RPI Roll20 Games

A List of all Games RPI is running on Roll 20.

  Links to the games .

Iron Kingdoms An Ancient Dark Awakens

 

Weird War 1 - A Shattered World

How I finally came to understand workplacement or how I finally learned to play Forbidden Stars

Very easy to play and miss the elegance

There are amazing games out there.  You want to design games, Play someone else and GROK (read stranger in a strange land) why they built it the way they did.  So I have played Forbidden Stars several times, solo and with others.  Its a fun game where you place action tokens,  but the order of play can be interrupted by other players.   The placement of these tokens and when they activate changes the game and your options as the game moves forward.  One play by another player can make your next move worthless, depending on what happens in a sector.  This means each player has to have a plan.  Its an interesting and amazing design that drives player choices and interactions.  It also means that when players interact or their plans go awry they have to try to adjust and interact with the other players.  These things and the high level of player interaction is what the last play through of flashpoint was missing.  

What went wrong.....

The placement of the agents in theaters, AFTER a rigid flow of income, tech research, and other steps means the players rarely interact.   The control tokens slow down the acquiring of allies, while the game moves on. 

Read more: How I finally came to understand workplacement...

A personal note to those who have helped me

So I tend to come up with game ideas all the time.  I also tend to bug my friends as I come up with these ideas.  I have to say I am fortunate in that they actually listen, chuckle and give me awesome advice and ideas.  They are in many ways unsung hero's of the games I have made; making them better.  They have also helped me to create amazing worlds and parts of those worlds.  Below is a list of what these folks have done for me in a hopeless attempt to say thank you.

Mark O.

      Mark helped create Strikeforce.  Every system, every part of the world has been touched and changed by him. He built this world in 3d color; from the balck and white foundations I made.  He created Jensen Dega Arms, a renegade corporation that was as good as it hoped it was.  He created (and breathed life into) Max McPherson one of the greatest character arcs I have ever had the pleasure to GM.  His ability to create a story that forced me to expand the world;  From new cultures, people and entities to aliens and hidden agendas that not only drove the story, but the world.

His support for the first release of StrikeForce was unending, his drive to make me think is always appreciated.  He taught me how to GM better, he taught me stories, he is as much a creator of StrikeForce as I am.

Every day we played MERP, BattleTech, or Strike in college was an adventure beyond description and one day closer to me almost flunking out of school.

Troy A.

       Troy also contributed huge swaths of story and repercussions as his character Fred came to define what a Diaxtron really was in the world of 2126.  Fred was unflappable, and ready to jump into anything.  Of course he would bitch about it later.  Troy also pushed back when I came up with stupid rules, he really did make me think.

Dan S

     Dan is the everlasting skeptic.  I am sure that when Cthulhu rises Dan will mention to him how he could have done it with more power and violence.  I mean this in the best way possible, he is a creator in his own way.  He will talk theory endlessly and push back, to make me see the payers side of the argument.  His ability to see what might be more fun or just make more sense is amazing.  Dan creates characters with amazing stories, not always the great hero.  He is about interesting and always makes my games better.  The Psionics in the Conflict System and StrikeForce are his.  He took a bad and unfinished system and created a system that works not only in the maths, but one that can enhance all the stories at once.  His greatest saying to me was simply this "Use a d100, the numbers better be 1-100, cause otherwise this makes no sense."    

Chris H.

    A friend who can say he has tried every game I have every tried to make (minus some real turds no one saw).  Chris is the player who seizes on an Idea for his character and make sure to exploit every loop hole you have.  This dogged ability to turn rules against me, taught me how to write rules that aid play and players, without making a game unplayable.

Read more: A personal note to those who have helped me

Conflict System and Other Percentile Systems

Since the latest release of Conflict I have had a ton of success with new players really enjoying the disconnection of the roll from character success.  I have had several conversations with folks about other percentile type resolution systems.  These games, like Earthdawn, Dark Heresy, even Warhammer Fantasy 2nd, use a roll under a modified percentile target to determine success.  Like the challenge rolls in Conflict.  The roll in those systems is the end of the challenge; in Conflict its the start.
People see a parallel between these systems, because they are rolling percentile dice.  Those systems  players look for ways to increase the percentile target, by taking advantage of bonuses.  This increases  the chance of success.   The SkillSet uses parts of the character, and tells a detailed story as you take an action.
The thing I dislike about roll under percentile systems (and I have made several) is what I call bonus hunting.  Players making decisions to gain a plus 5 or 10% bonus.  The narrative tends to move away from the character /story and towards tactics and ways to boost the math.  The math boosting is based in the idea of winning the roll; I need to to get that 85% so I have a better chance to win.  The reasons for the actions and the characters' story falls away.  The player can also get frustrated if they cannot do what they feel they need to so they can boost that chance.  The roll is made the challenge ends. success failure or other.
I wanted a system where looking at their character for ways to succeed enhanced the story and developed the character.   The roll is made and we start.  Players make choices; doing the actions that make their story.   Using past events and weave stories into my action?  Using Main or SubSkills to boost my SkillSet?  Spend Influence to cause effects or re roll?   Players are building more than the best SkillSet they can, they are building a story related to the character.  When it really matters to their story,  they burn a passion to make sure they succeed.   The numbers and effects are almost always coming from the character aspects, skils, driving both the story and the characters growth.
Using bonuses related to that character without knowing their true target, changes the motivation for getting the bonuses.  What about the character fits the situation? What subskills can I use to drive my story.  There is no 85%.

Read more: Conflict System and Other Percentile Systems

Prowlers and Paragions Kickstarter

Today I want to throw out my full support for my friend Sean Pattrick Fannons kickstarter for Prowlers and Paragons Ultimate edition. 

I love games, especially Role Playing Games, and Sean is a very talented and thoughtful designer.  He designs games that you play the BIG DAMN HERO.  Prowlers lets you play Hero's who are larger than life, capable of amazing things and telling even more amazing stories.

The world and what the game system lets you play out a story that brings your character and their opposition in comic book style.  The options available to players to create a character in their minds eye are awesome, if you can think of it this game can create that hero.

So check out the Kickstarter and don't forget the world needs HEROS...

#RPGNews #PNP

GhengisCon 2019 -- A Resounding Success

So for the past few weeks I have been off the web creating, updating, and preparing for Ghengis Con in Denver.  
The Plan was to test Zombie Golf, Panic, and the newest (and after this weekend final) version of the Conflict System.  The Con was a rousing success for me and the games.  every game played really well, several rules changes/variants came about.  Finally we have a couple of very cool taglines for Conflict RPG System.

First it was a great con, I would love to say thanx to all the players who tried the games and talked to me about them.   I got a ton of great feedback, great ideas, and most importantly some fun games.

So lets talk about the 3 games, how they played, what I and the other players liked and what did not really work.  

Zombie Golf will be the first discussion, I am going to do highlights in this article and a more detail in later articles.  Zombie golf played well, but with the new zombie values it turns out to be very hard to win.  Between the frustration buildup from hazzards and the greater wound values the hordes built up and then people start dying or rage quitting.  I also noticed that there was a need to get more trophy cards out, gotta have them to play them. Another good suggestion was to change the dice from a d12 to a 2d6; this would give a better spread, playrs could better anticipate when to use a bonus or not. This will be an alternative mode in the base game, and a bonus for the ProAM expansion.
The end result was the creation of two levels of play, Regular play and Horde play.   In Horde Play the wound values double, how long a person keeps their trophies are the major differences.

Panic was a different story, it played just fine. Very tactical and fun when doing lines. However 2 things, the narration mechanic needs to be done for all scenes, not just successes.  Then other thing is its the second time I was asked for a party game version of Panic. A Party version would take the tactical movements of the board out and focus on the funny narrations. I figured out a way to create table read rules.  No board everything else the same.

The Last was Conflict System X40 (as I am calling it) Using the World of StrikeForce:2136.  The X40 System is a design I tried in different ways, but never in this way. The goal has always been to minimize the effect of the roll on the players ability to take actions and do more at the table.
The issue with my math based (or Lee math systems as my friends would say) systems was the attributes. I always felt the attributes needed to be in any skillset.  Thats adding 40 or 50 points, then add skills in and now 80.. and so it grows.  Then you think about ADnD and 2E, the specific reason the attributes were there was to bonus the rolls.  James Bond used them to set Skills and then the roll.
So I figured out that the abilities sets the characters Skill Depth. The Skill Depth sets how many Paste Events, Main and Subskills a player can add together for a SkillSet.  That total, the SkillSet total, determines a players success.  So the roll becomes a limiter, not a binary success failure.  This allows me to set all the skills to a range of 1-4, a SubSkill value of 2, and a Past Event value of 1.  This means the Skillset become a range of 1 - 40.  And now a roll of the dice does not stop you from succeeded, it makes it harder.
A tage line comes out of all this:
Conflict System: Never let a Roll Stop You!

So all good innovations and design ideas from every one.  More details on all of this in future posts.  


Oh and one more thing Zombie Golf is going to Kickstart, April 1! Be ready!