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Author Topic: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?  (Read 958 times)

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Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 02:59:26 PM »
I don't know how Ryven plans to run it, but in the game it's noteworthy that players are not bound to a single element. While it's not a bad idea to pick one that is a strength, players can collect elements and spells of any kind.

I don't know how I'm going to run it either, to be honest.

Offline ThatRPGuy

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2016, 03:03:50 PM »
Could have magic be a bit like bending in avatar, or how elements work in the Iron Trials book series, if you're familiar.

Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2016, 03:05:56 PM »
Could have magic be a bit like bending in avatar, or how elements work in the Iron Trials book series, if you're familiar.

I'm not familiar with the books.

Offline Lockepick

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2016, 03:16:06 PM »
Posting interest -- but to be honest, I don't think I'd be capable of taking on another sandbox type game. If this ends up being more structured -- I'd be down! Not familiar with the game, but that doesn't seem too necessary anyway!

Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2016, 03:47:53 PM »
I'm looking for some kind of structure to be put in place, but I'm unsure exactly what right now.  I'm doing a bit of research here and there, and looking over the Fate system, that might be something worth looking further into.  Anyone who has suggestions, please speak up.  I need all the help I can get.

Edit: I'm thinking that there will be enough interest for this, so I'll probably get a world building thread started so I can jot down at least the ideas for the system of how magic works.

Current thoughts on it:

- Each character will have a 'patron' element, but this will be more like your major in college rather or the house you were sorted in via the sorting hat for those who have seen or read harry potter.  It will have no mechanical impact on how a character will cast their spells.

- To keep in theme with the board game, I'm thinking that characters will be limited to a number of spells they may know.  However, I'm thinking that having enough study or talent in a particular element will offer passive bonuses of some sort.  For example, an earth mage may have studied enough so that their affinity offers them the passive ability to never be knocked down with the exception of being physically forced to the ground.  A player with a water mage may choose the ability to breathe underwater.

- The world in which the game is built is practically a blank canvas, so I'm hoping for collaboration for anyone willing to offer ideas of how the college will look and operate.

- I need to come up with some kind of loose character creation guidelines.  The magic system will be more stringent, and I'm thinking of ways to incorporate spell diversity, resource generation, use and replenishment, and a fun & interesting way to practically implement this.  I'd like to be able to take inspiration from the board game, the traditional qualities associated with the 4 elements, and player creative to create spells, so that, ideally, each player can come up with spells that best fit their character without being too powerful or being seldom used.

There will be more ideas to come.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 04:11:47 PM by Ryven »

Offline Lockepick

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2016, 03:32:06 PM »
I think I say this about every setting - but nWoD could always work. It's a lot more modular than people give it credit for -- and creating your own sub systems means you can post it all in one place without worrying about who has what book.

Start with typical Mortals, and add a few little simple sub-systems -- could even allow some Second Sight merits (supernatural/psionic merits) if you wanted, though that would increase the complexity and could be redundant in some cases. I'd be happy to go into more detail about any of these.

 ... You could create a Merit that's basically 'Patron House' and offer bonuses based on how many dots people have. Either based on natural potential or as a form of Status. Mystery Cult Initiation or even fighting styles is a great base for that.
 ... You could even allow people to buy up dots of each 'school' of magic if you wanted, ala Mage: The Awakening or the Blood and Smoke supplement (replacing their Spheres/Arcana with just Elements) -- and give general ideas of what you can do with dots. Blood and Smoke would actually fit better, but is a little less known. You could control how spread out characters are through chargen (say that everybody gets 3 dots in their primary, and two dots to spread elsewhere, or can take one-dot in two others, or whatever).
 ... With or without the 'rated schools' system, you could set a cost for buying new spells -- and could make that go up as you get more and more, or be based on the strength of the spell or whatever you want!
 ... You could encourage people to pick a skill that represents their 'philosophy' type of magic (maybe an electricity guy uses Science, maybe a martial artist uses Athletics) -- which would help prevent every character from having Occult 4 to start. Could limit them to only Mental skills, or specifically disallow 'combat' skills if you're worried about that.
 ... Magic 'costs' could flat out steal the rules for Mana from Mage the Awakening (if you wanted Mana to do more than just power spells) -- including rules for Tass (portable mana). You could also just use Willpower as a cost, but that limits magic usage more than I think you'd want for a game where that's the main focus. Or just make up your own new thing.
 ... Magic vs Magic could be broken down into something similar to 'Mage Duels' from Mage: The Awakening. I could easily TL;DR those rules too -- but basically allows for defense magic in a way that's more dynamic than WoD's 'defense' score.
 ... Just flat out restrict or refuse many of the Social Merits -- the stuff that usually slows down a group game, if you want to keep things more simple and insular. Could also restrict them to only being School related, which reduces the power compared to what people are expecting, but... keeps things in theme.

Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2016, 06:12:32 AM »
I'm not familiar with nWoD, so I would need major help implementing anything like that.  I'm also fine with limitations to magic as it keeps in the spirit with the game it's based on because the whole game is based on working around your limitations.  Each character only has so much mana in their hand, so if we could somehow emulate that even a little, that would be cool.  I'm all for this, but again, I have no familiarity with it.

Also, perhaps I may play a fire mage?


By Jo Ji Art

Offline Aiden

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2016, 07:21:43 AM »
Meh the simpler the better imo
I'm not joining a pvp game, I'm joining a game to have cartoon level craziness with a possible side of smut.

Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2016, 08:02:53 AM »
That's the aim, and i think Locke is suggesting taking what we need from that system without going overboard.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2016, 08:30:07 AM »
NWoD is one of the worst systems in existence.  It's actually designed so poorly that getting one hit and four hits on the dice do the exact same thing.  Only use it if you truly want Big Book of Sadness.

If we actually want some form of system, it wouldn't be difficult to design something.  Maybe ranking numbers for each element from 1-10, and when you use an element, you roll that number of d20s and add them up to see how you do.

Offline Lockepick

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2016, 08:47:01 AM »
NWoD is one of the worst systems in existence.  It's actually designed so poorly that getting one hit and four hits on the dice do the exact same thing.  Only use it if you truly want Big Book of Sadness.

Emphasis mine. That's simply not true for the vast majority of checks. Anything contested, combat, or extended places a value on additional successes -- which is most of the interesting/dramatic checks anyway. Checks with your character doing stuff in a vacuum without any real risk of failure (such as remembering a fact or identifying a model of car) are kept simple because they are, quite frankly, not interesting to the greater game. The results may be -- but the actual check itself isn't exactly an 'edge of your seat' moment.

@Ryven: I'd be happy to work with you on designing the mini-system around the base nWoD -- but I also don't think base nWoD is a very large system. The skill list is perhaps a little broad -- but once skills are selected, it's pretty moot, and nWoD encourages you to apply your character's focus when applicable (obviously with some logic in place there). Though I won't really start anything here unless you say -- since there doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement in using nWoD -- but I'd be happy to talk more about it if you'd like, either here or in PMs.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2016, 10:00:04 AM »
Inconsistency across the rules is certainly another of the issues.  I can just point things out, though; I can't make y'all listen to me.

Offline Lockepick

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2016, 10:43:50 AM »
I'd be happy to discuss any specific fears or concerns about the system in hopes of alleviating them -- but this isn't the right place to have an argument about opinion, especially since it was just one idea that may or may not be used. I'd be happy to have that discussion over PMs if you wanted.

I'd also note that it was just one option. I believe Ryven is still accepting other suggestions for systems if anybody has any.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 10:45:25 AM by Lockepick »

Offline RyvenTopic starter

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Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2016, 11:12:16 AM »
Id much rather use even a skimmed down version of a system already in existence because the heavy lifting has already been done.  I'm still waiting on other opinions of other systems that might work before deciding to dig deeper into one.

@Locke, if i do end up going with nWoD, i will definitely take any help you can provide.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2016, 04:17:17 PM »
I think the next question would be difficulty level.

While systems like Unknown Armies, nWoD and the like might seem thematically appropriate due to being horror games, most of us don't appreciate losing.  nWoD is set up where you're just an ordinary person trying to get by with mediocre stats and the like.

Not coincidentally, when I've tried to run quite a few of these, when we see crap go down, it's not uncommon for people to try to go get help instead of deal with the situation.  Arnold Schwarzenegger (I love that Google will just autocorrect the spelling for me) can deal with the Predator because he's Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Nobody wins in actual horror games.  Freddy Kruger has been in a ridiculous number of sequels because nobody can stop him.

In games like Mansions of Madness, you're dealing with various crap but you're also given all sorts of perks.  Maybe you're an Ace Detective, or able to cast spells, or whatever such else.  Put any one of those against the entire group of teenagers in Cabin In The Woods and they'll wipe the floor with them.  Same deal with Hermione Granger.

If you use a system like nWoD, unless you ramp the power levels up to ridiculous levels by giving out hundreds of XP at the start, you're stating that you mathematically want Ron to have maybe a 50-50 shot of getting that Alohomora spell off correctly.  It's just how the dice work.

Rel is running a horror game right now, and certainly nothing wrong with that, but I doubt anyone wants this game to end the way every horror movie does.  We call it the Big Book of Sadness because of how often it fails.  If that's not what we want, let's not make the same mistakes that lead to that end.

Offline Lockepick

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2016, 04:32:29 PM »
I simply disagree with your entire assessment of the system -- especially since most of your concerns seem to be thematic, and are not mandatory for the system. These are, again, opinions. I'll try to tackle how the mechanics specifically don't fit your assumptions though.

In nWoD: probability suggests that you'll get about one success per three dice in nWoD. This is, obviously, not a guarantee: I've seen people get five successes off three dice, and zero successes off thirteen dice. A pool of three is very easy in anything you want your character to be good at. Even the stuff you put no weight intoare likely to be a pool of two (outside of extraneous penalties).

I will say that nWoD does allow a chance of failure -- of course. Though if we're looking for something where we can't fail -- then we're looking for free form. Which is perfectly fine, but does narrow down our system choices.

How strong we're supposed to be (I assumed the setting was 'students') could be reflected in nWoD -- and without the cumbersome process and ledgers of spending a large amount of XP. You can simply up the amount of starting 'dots' during chargen to keep things simple, keep characters balanced, and give you whatever power level you want.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2016, 04:51:05 PM »
This thread has gone from "interest in this idea" to "debating nWoD". I'd like it to stop so we can get back to the ACTUAL topic of discussing how this game is going to work.

Speaking of systems, what system we want to use depends on how we want "skill checks" to resolve. Do we want to roll big handfuls of dice and get successes, or roll one die and figure out how much we succeed from there? I can play with both, and can suggest good ideas for both.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2016, 04:55:00 PM »
Angie, for your sake, I'll snip my discussion.  From my perspective, though, that's what we were trying to figure out.

Why not give a list of all the ones you want to suggest?

Online Angiejuusan

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2016, 05:09:45 PM »
Angie, for your sake, I'll snip my discussion.  From my perspective, though, that's what we were trying to figure out.

Why not give a list of all the ones you want to suggest?

Because I would like to start with "how do we want to roll". I do lean towards rolling a bunch of dice, because I think people like rolling a lot of dice and it's hard to get away from d20 if we go with the "roll one die" option.

For anyone who actually cares about my opinion
From there, it becomes, well, how do we want to do it? There are many systems where you roll another die if you roll the highest result, much like nWoD, but I kind of reject it for this particular setting because while the rolling would be good, nWoD has a way of spellcasting that doesn't really fit an academy setting in my humble opinion.

So where do we go from there? Many places. Shadowrun 4th edition has the same "roll a bunch of dice, roll an extra if you get the high number" thing, but with d6s. The spellcasting is also quite good in my opinion, as you can cast forever as long as the spell's feedback doesn't knock you flat on your arse.

Classic Deadlands also has a fun bit of rolling, where instead of rolling dice for more successes, however, you roll and add the numbers up if you Ace and get a really big number. It also has a VERY CLEAR way of getting 'criticals'-for every 5 over you get on a roll, you get a "raise" which gives you some kind of benefit. Deadlands is kind of shaped for its Western setting, though, and I've never played Savage Worlds so I have no idea if it fits.

I also can not BELIEVE I am saying this, but...if you follow some of my threads, you remember that I did a review of a game called Bellum Maga. It was awful, but the system was actually pretty good. it was another d6 rolling system, with 4-6 being a hit and 1-3 being a failure. 6s count twice while a 1 subtracts a hit. I actually kind of liked it because it was simple, and that was good. The problem with Bellum Maga is the rest of it is so poorly designed that we'd have to houserule quite a bit or even rebuild the damn thing from the ground up-something I personally am not opposed to, but this ain't my game.

While we do have options, I just wanted to roll the discussion back a bit because well, Ryven hasn't picked anything yet and I felt the thread was going off the rails. The first discussion is just "if we have rolls, how do we want to roll?"

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2016, 05:11:21 PM »
Tell me more about this Bellum Maga.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2016, 05:16:37 PM »
Tell me more about this Bellum Maga.

Some opinions have changed since my review so I can't really just link it to you, especially because it was less review and more grandstanding.

The idea behind it is a group of lady mages empowered by the lifeforce of Earth to beat the everloving hell out of Nazi super soldiers, snakemen from Mars, and the lifeforce of Mars that's trying to take over our world-the setting is slightly complicated. The largest problem, however, is the editor didn't do a day of work and it's riddled with typos and mistakes that'll make your inner English teacher cry. On the other hand, the system itself, right up until the setting chapter is fairly well written and balanced. I'm not sure if the entire system would work for us, but I do think the way of rolling dice is pretty good, hence why I included it.

Offline Amelita

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2016, 05:17:40 PM »
Why do we need a system? The monsters will not be played characters, simple guidelines about spell casting and a reminder that the GM decides how much damage got dealt should be enough.
IMO

No need to make it complicated.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2016, 05:18:08 PM »
What was the magic system like?  Elemental?  Spell based?

As a note, I'm totally cool with freeform also.

Online Angiejuusan

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2016, 05:20:42 PM »
I am also cool with freeform.

The magic system was, well, you picked spells, each having a level, and you couldn't take a spell that was higher then your level + 2. You used Mana to cast, got mana back depending on your Spirit.

I have always flirted with rebuilding the system, making it decent, and then doing my own game of it. Anyway, now I'm guilty of what I yelled at you guys about-Freeform might be the best way to go.

Online AndyZ

Re: Interest Check - Big Book of Madness Inspired Group Game?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2016, 05:26:28 PM »
Here's my suggestion if we do Freeform:

You have 1 element in which you are fantastic.  We'll call that A.

You have 1 element in which you are meh average.  We'll call that C.

Between B and D, you can either have all of them be meh average, or have one of them be good at the cost of the other.  If you're just as good at B as you are at A, you have absolutely no talent for the fourth element.