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Author Topic: Persona: Secundum Vestri Umbra  (Read 5650 times)

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Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2010, 01:45:55 PM »
So, who would be playing the NPC social Link Characters?..You, Hikari?

By default, yes, though I'm considering an arrangement whereby players can take NPCs 'out for a spin' if they want to play them for a certain scene with someone else's player character.  They would have a bit of direction on what the character will and won't do at the given Social Link level, but then it would probably be mainly for the meat-and-potatoes of 'dates' anyway, which tends to be further toward the Max level of the link.

Systems: There will be no dice.  This eliminates the vast majority of systems right out of the gate.  The majority of systemic use will be for development of character traits--Athletics, Academics, Popularity, Diligence, etc.--and Social Links, with very limited and basic conflict resolution.  This isn't going to be an action-heavy game; as the thread title suggests, the main focus will be on the daily lives and youthful indiscretions of the characters, so a robust combat system or wide swathes of skills and conflict types aren't really necessary.  The system will be extremely simple, it's mostly a matter of putting the idea to paper, so to speak.

Yes, all player characters will be students.  The reason for this is that to allow for non-students would require radically different approaches to many things; even for teachers, their schedules are wildly different, they would have a completely different set of events that student PCs wouldn't be able to participate in, and the statistics which so accurately govern the lives of Gekkoukan students would have far less meaning to them.  It would also make it much harder to guarantee a baseline level of player-on-player interaction necessary to keep the game interesting and fun.  You will have the opportunity to create non-player characters as well, to provide Social Link NPCs and 'fill out' your player characters, but generally will not be playing as those NPCs (except perhaps in the circumstances laid out above).  More likely, myself or another player would be playing as them while they interact with your character!  The non-player characters you create will not be restricted to students and should help to flesh out the cast in a more diverse and organic way than simply having me throw together all of them.

I'll try and throw up some rough drafts of the system as it stands so far so people can provide input.  The only section where I'm really looking at the possibility of major revision is how to deal with actual excursions into the Dark Hour (it's a fine line between sufficient granularity to make differences in Personae and Arcana meaningful, and reaching the point where you overwhelm system-phobic players and lose track of what's really important in the game), but I'm still open to suggestion even on the parts that are basically finished.  As a preview, the basic 'statsheet' of a character (themselves, not their Peronsa) as it stands now goes a bit like this:

Major Arcana:
Sun

Primary Attributes:
Academics 95
Athletics 15
Popularity 150
Talent 100

Secondary Attributes:
Empathy 91
Diligence 50
Courage 20

Affiliations:
Clubs: Drama Club (Member), Student Council (Treasurer)
Teams: None
Cliques: Senior Girl Fashionistas
Part-Time Jobs: Babysitter

Social Links:
Moon (Kozuke) +20
Chariot (Chie) +5
Strength (Jibun) +80
Hermit (Online Game) +15

Current Events:
Date with Jibun, March 2nd
School Play, Rome & Juliet, March 23rd

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2010, 02:26:31 PM »
Sounds like a good system to me.  The only question I would have is how to approach the skills given by the different Persona Arcana.  Which leads me to a question for Hikari: are we following the general outlines of the Arcana?  For example: Death is a Dark-based Arcana, with access to insta-kill Dark Skills, and immunity to said Skills.  However, it is exceedingly vulnerable to Light-based Skills.  If so, then that might influence my choice of Arcana - which @ this point is still between Death, Temperance, and Judgment.


@Wolfy: Yeah, the party pretty much needs a Lovers Arcana...it *is* the primary healing Arcana.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2010, 03:02:16 PM »
Alright, that clears up a few things, but now I'm honestly curious how what little action will be handled. Guess it will be a wait-and-see thing.

Anyway, character archetypes, since BEN, Empyrean and Creeper already presented theirs. For Tower, I'm leaning with going with either a loner by circumstance and/or ostracization and caught in that vicious cycle, or a depressed elder teen who causes his own disaster (hello Tower), probably through drinking or drugs. For Hangman, probably a student forced to choose between friends or allies over the course of the story, perhaps really suffering under his or her home situation (though that kinda reeks of the already existing Hanged Man Social Link from back in P3), or simply a student that still needs to find his or her direction in life, despite being a senior student already, or feeling the pressure of his or her family bearing down to take up university right after.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2010, 03:17:48 PM »
Alrighty, that looks like a good character sheet. How many points are we allotted and between what scales?
an example being, I have 200 points to distribute between all my attributes and no one attribute can exceed 50

Offline Shihong

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2010, 04:18:24 PM »
Belated hello!  Saw this thread the other day and just wanted to wait a bit to see some others show their interest before I threw in my hat as well, and now it's exploded in my absence!

Anyway, my experience with the Persona games is somewhat limited due to my inability to find a cheap copy in my area, but I've read up enough on the them to get a clear understanding of the world and its mechanics.  I'd be interested in the Emperor Arcana.  My character would probably be a Senior or Junior girl who strains to remain at the top of her class, get perfect grades, sets impossibly high standards for herself to follow, etcetera.  These would be self-imposed, as her family would consist of a layabout of a father and equally ineffectual relatives that she seeks to distance herself from.  I have several images that I'll be using to construct my own Persona, which I feel may form as a representation of an inner desire for slothful behaviour or relaxation; the desire to slow down, coupled with the fear of what would happen if she didn't struggle to constantly remain at the top.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2010, 04:28:15 PM »
It's Shihong!

And if you're seeking Persona links...here's a little something that might help. 

WARNING: if you intend to play Persona 3 or 4, and wish to preserve the mystery, do not follow these links, they will spoil the plot (at least in part, if not in whole)

http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/  - Click on Endurance Run, and you'll see the playthrough of Persona 4.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=let%27s+play+persona+3&search_type=&aq=f - Ditto for Persona 3, only this covers part of the game.

And also, your character sounds a bit similar in nature to Mitsuru from P3, and she was the Empress Arcana.  Emperor is traditionally associated with masculinity...though I suppose that, like Wolfy & his Lovers male character, that it doesn't have to be strictly so.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2010, 04:35:11 PM »
And also, your character sounds a bit similar in nature to Mitsuru from P3, and she was the Empress Arcana.  Emperor is traditionally associated with masculinity...though I suppose that, like Wolfy & his Lovers male character, that it doesn't have to be strictly so.

Actually, you can fit the Major Arcana with anyone. The Emperor, for instance, is more an arcana signifying stability/regidity and leadership/control, while the Empress is one of abbundance/desire and attraction/sensuality - see also the trumps of the Major Arcana :-)

The one thing Persona does tend to say in their design, is Emperors tend to be Lightning/Zio-heavy, and Empress is more of the Ice/Bufu persuasion.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2010, 04:50:39 PM »
True.  But that hasn't stopped the makers of P3 and P4 from associating 'girly' Arcana - like the Empress, High Priestess, and Lovers - with girl characters.  Likewise, 'manly' Arcana - like Emperor - have been assigned to guy characters.

Offline Shihong

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2010, 05:03:24 PM »
Heya Reiji, thanks for the links!  I was probably going to be playing Persona 4 anywho, so watching some of Persona 3 seems like it would be very helpful.  Also, I basically went through each of the Arcana on the wikia and chose the one that seemed to fit my idea the best in terms of personality.  As I tend to play more aggressive or forthright women, this seemed like one of those cases where personality trumped gender.  Also, unlike Mitsuru, I probably wouldn't play her as the President of the Student Council (perhaps valedictorian).  She strives to be the best, wants to be in control, but hesitates because she is unsure if she is really good enough to stand as an example to others.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2010, 05:12:53 PM »
NP for the links.  And if you're going to be P4, then yeah, it's best that you skip the videos, unless you're trying to go for completion - and if you *are*, then pull out all the stops: watch the videos, hit GameFAQs, the works.  I won't spoil any more than this, but if you want to see the full story, there are parts where you'll need to look in a guide or such.

And personality almost always trumps gender in the Persona games.  That's generally how you end up with at least 1 female character with a 'masculine' type of Arcana.  For the character you're describing, Emperor does sound the closest to that - though Star might run a close second.  But, it is your character, and therefore your choice.

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2010, 12:30:49 AM »
Alrighty, that looks like a good character sheet. How many points are we allotted and between what scales?
an example being, I have 200 points to distribute between all my attributes and no one attribute can exceed 50

Your initial allotment will be relatively small, because the focus is more on how you spend your time than what you start the school year as; the initial points will just be there for players to immediately establish their character's integral personality/social traits.  Rather, you can expect your Attributes to be constantly growing by an average of about 3 points for every period of the day you spend actively engaged in improvement of that Attribute.  (For example, if your character went to school and actually payed attention in all the classes, then went home and studied all night, you could expect to see your Academics improve by 12 or possibly even 15 in one school day!  Of course, you'd also be neglecting all Social Links and extracurriculars, so unless it's the week before exams you might find your character quickly developing a reputation as being the bookish sort...)

I'm open to suggestions on how many points player characters should initially start with.  However, all characters will start by default with no points in Social Links; not because you don't have any friends or associations, necessarily, but because Social Links only really work the way they do for those who have awakened Persona.  Essentially, we're running under the assumption that your character hasn't had a chance to develop any interpersonal relationships since their Persona awakened.

Persona, Arcana, and Types: A major thing to remember is that, although player characters can't switch Persona, they are going to be able to 'enhance' their Persona through their Social Links.  So even though a Death Persona, for instance, might normally only have access to Dark-type skills and be excessively weak to Light-type skills, if the user has a strong Social Links with a Sun character his particular Death Persona may have developed Hama-type skills and even resistance to Light attacks.  A player character who's become a well-rounded person and learned a lot from his friends and loved ones can expect to have an appropriately well-rounded Persona, even if his own Arcana is normally very specialized.  Likewise, a person who vigorously pursues one or two relationships will probably end up with a very specialized Persona, regardless of how generalized it started as.

As far as Persona battles go, as I said, I'm open to suggestions, particularly related to how much granularity players would like to see in such a system.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2010, 04:25:31 AM »
Hmm, the points themselves can act like an experience bar of sorts, like in d100 systems (bare with me).

My character, Ben Khross would have the following point allotment:

Academics 99
Athletics 11
Popularity 150
Talent 100

but my skills for any challenges or rolls (if there are dice rolls) would be:

Academics 9
Athletics 1
Popularity 15
Talent 10

but only the tens digit would have meaning as far as using them for skills or combat. Like Hikari said, it *could* be possible to raise a stat by 15 points, but the translation would be 1 meaningful skill point and halfway to the second.

I dont know where the upper limit on skills should be, but maybe we could put a limit in place for each month of game time. Like you can only max one skill or social link to 100 points in April then when May rolls around they could be raised to 150 or 200. Dunno, just suggestions...

Offline HikariTopic starter

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2010, 05:10:23 AM »
There will not be dice rolls.  That is basically non-negotiable.  I feel very strongly that a diceless approach best takes advantage of the benefits of play-by-post play, while avoiding some of the worst pitfalls.  Besides, anytime dice and calculations come into play, the non-system players tend to start to get very uncomfortable.

There will be discreet 'levels' in Attributes--at 300, for example, you can assume that you will never be unable to pursue a Social Link or engage in an activity because your rating in that Attribute isn't high enough, so for some players that may effectively serve as the maximum.  However, the actual score also has meaning, because many positions in clubs, student council, etc. will be determined by having the highest relevant Attributes.  Thus, while two characters with Athletics at 300+ will both be extremely talented soccer players, the one with 350 will have an edge in bids to be the Team Captain or the Star Player in a big game over the one with 300.  This is, after all, the essence of a diceless system: most things come down to just comparing the rating you have with a baseline requirement, or comparing it with the score of another player character with whom your character is competing.  Quick, clean, simple; perfect for System Lite.

There will be no maximum on Attributes, and because there is no maximum, there is no need to set a limit on how high you can raise them in a given period.  You can race to 300 in every Attribute as fast as you like, but that just means that the other guy's had a chance to raise his Academics to 600 while you were diversifying your portfolio.  You're no longer going to be barred from advancing any Social Links based on Attributes--which is good, certainly!--but he's going to be #1 scorer on exam day (albeit, he won't be able to advance or start some Social Links at all due to his pitiful levels in other Attributes).  Both you and he will probably have pitiful levels in Social Links compared to a character who hasn't been focusing as intently on Attributes.  This is exactly what is meant by time management: opportunity costs forcing you to make hard choices about what's really important to your character.  It's always going to be hard to have the highest Academics in the school...  are you satisfied being 2nd or 3rd best, but being the best violinist in the school as well?  Do you really want to devote the time necessary to maintain a position as President of Student Council, when you could just be a Popular kid who spends most of his time with his friends, advancing Social Links?

No one's the Main Character, so there's never a point where you can just look at one of your scores and say, "Well, I'm The Best, time to work on something else."  You're only the best if there's no one better, after all.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2010, 06:27:03 AM »
y'know... skip what I said. Hikari, that makes perfect sense.

Offline Empyrean

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2010, 10:42:52 AM »
Hikari: So would you like us to start posting our characters now and then plug in whatever initial allotment of points we get after the fact? I'm a tad confused on how many initial points we get to assign to the various stats at chargen as it is, but I'd like to start fleshing out my character. :)

Offline Schrödinger

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #40 on: March 28, 2010, 11:36:14 AM »
Hikari: So would you like us to start posting our characters now and then plug in whatever initial allotment of points we get after the fact? I'm a tad confused on how many initial points we get to assign to the various stats at chargen as it is, but I'd like to start fleshing out my character. :)

I'm pretty much in the same boat, rearin' to go and ready to at least provide a fleshed-out character before we assign stats and stuffs to it. Do you want us to provide the foundations for their Persona as well, or will that have to wait for a little while still?

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #41 on: March 28, 2010, 11:49:43 AM »
Okay, I'm sitting down here, and trying to decide on an Arcana...I have a few in mind.

Death: My idea for this student is a senior who is going to be graduating...but is having trouble letting go of the fact that he's going to be leaving behind everything that he's built and experienced at Gekkoukan.  He's introspective.

Temperance: My idea for this is a very self-controlled student, a junior (2nd year), who while avoiding the excesses that cause problems for some student...has never really learned to go out and just live life.  He's very straight-laced and humorless, a sort of ultimate straight man, like Batman.

Judgment:  This one's a bit unorthodox.  This student is a people pleaser, always willing to go with the flow rather than voice his own opinions (judgments) because he's afraid of other's perceptions of himself (their judgments).



Also, can I get a roll call for who's playing what Arcana?

Offline Shihong

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #42 on: March 28, 2010, 11:54:48 AM »
Definitely decided on Emperor.

Offline Creeper

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #43 on: March 28, 2010, 01:56:33 PM »
Playin' an asshole Strength foreigner here.

Offline Empyrean

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #44 on: March 28, 2010, 02:20:04 PM »
I'm playing a dreamer Moon.

Offline Schrödinger

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #45 on: March 28, 2010, 02:27:30 PM »
Sticking with Tower, most probably as the youth that spirals further and further into (lesser) disaster.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2010, 03:22:20 PM »
A bit of a cowardly Chariot user, here.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2010, 03:33:49 PM »
Strength, Tower, and Chariot?  Wow.  We're maxed out on the physical Arcana...which means we're going to be lacking on the magic side of things...let's see, we've got Emperor & Moon...Emperor is lightning-based, while Moon has a wide range...

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2010, 04:51:29 PM »
Chariot has limited access to magic (in P4, Chie's Ice abilities and only 2 Chariots in the protagonist's list had innate magic abilities), yes, but Strength and Tower have a wide range of magic abilites. The raw magical output may be slightly lower due to some favoring in physical stats.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: Persona: Halcyon Days
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2010, 05:16:04 PM »
I see...well, I suppose that's what I get for depending on a GameFAQs document to inform my decision, I guess.  The question that I would try and answer, then, is do we have a magical element lacking within our group?