Attitude Countdown Harm Timer

Posted: 11th September 2013 by Victor Wyatt in General

After a post by Stras Acimovic a few weeks back, maybe even a month, I’ve struck upon an idea for damage/consequences in Apocalypse World based games.

In AW there is a countdown timer divided into six segments. The first three are low stress results and the final three are high stress ones. As you take Harm you tick off slices of the clock in a clockwise direction. Once you enter the final three slices things get real.

What Stras talked about was looking at the countdown timer in another way. Just now it struck me.

When you make your character you pick your Attitude. This choice will assign you a countdown timer that aligns with the character’s attitude toward taking harm.

The timer is divided into six segments almost as in AW. As the character takes Harm their player ticks off wedges in a clockwise direction, also like in AW. How the wedges are defined and what they do to your Move rolls is where things change.

There are three states the character can find themselves in, Calm, Panicked and Resolved. When in a Calm state the character gets +0 on all their rolls, when Panicked the character gets -1 applied to all rolls and when Resolved the modifier is a +1. These modifiers are not cumulative. For example, when Panicked your rolls are at -1 and if you take harm that moves you to Resolved you are now at +1, the -1 is gone.

Below the wedges are listed 1 through 6 for each Attitude a player might choose for their character.

1 Panicked (-1)
2 Panicked (-1)
3 Calm (+0)
4 Calm (+0)
5 Resolved (+1)
6 Panicked (-1)

Stiff Upper Lip
1 Resolved (+1)
2 Resolved (+1)
3 Resolved (+1)
4 Calm (+0)
5 Panicked (-1)
6 Panicked (-1)

Cool and Collected
1 Resolved (+1)
2 Calm (+0)
3 Calm (+0)
4 Calm (+0)
5 Calm (+0)
6 Panicked (-1)

* As you might notice the Attitudes have a certain flavor to them. That’s because I have a game design in mind for using them. You shall see more in the near future.


Round One Reviews

Posted: 11th July 2013 by Victor Wyatt in General

Check it out. Look up at the top of the page right next to the word Home. You should see a new link to a page I just added. It’s called Round One and I plan on using the page to list out my collection of role-playing games along with blurbs for each and links to where to get them if I can round up that info. It will take a while for me to get a significant number of them listed so be patient. I will be starting with the ones that seem to be more popular at the moment. If you see that I keep missing your favorite game go ahead and let me know. If I have it the game will eventually get on the list and if I don’t I want to add it to my buy list.

I really hope you like this little (possibly huge) project of mine. I also hope you find it a useful resource.

One More Moment

Posted: 10th July 2013 by Victor Wyatt in Design Projects

Been thinking about my game idea based on The Time Traveler’s Wife and I think it really needs to be a two player RPG, not two and a GM.

The two players are trying to create/maintain a relationship though one is cut loose in time. Their opposition comes from a deck of cards. It throws places and situations at them as the game goes on. I thought it would work as a three or four player game with players versus GMs. The problem is this. It will not foster the connected feeling I want to happen when playing.

The game is about two characters who encounter each other and for whatever reason they fall in love with one another. The most important thing with the game is that the characters struggle against what time throws at them to stay in love. Part of that is making the players feel it as well. The players have to feel the turmoil of the struggle and the elation when things work for the characters. This is why the game has to be two characters played by two players.

Over the last week the ideas I have for cards and scene resolution mechanics has been solidifying. This week I want to get a rough outline with a couple characters written up so I can see if it mechanically works of it my numbers are off or even if it needs to be cards and some other decision making mechanic than dice.

I’ll post what I come up with by the end of Sunday.

What Happened to XX?

Posted: 25th June 2013 by Victor Wyatt in General

I have been thinking about game rules and how they perpetuate a theme in the RPGs they are a part of. I looked over at my RPG shelves to pull a couple off that do similar things to what I want to have happen in the current game design project I have going on and I noticed something. Well, something besides the fact that my interest in RPG rule structures has lead me to own a collection of indie and small press RPGs.

What I noticed was this. Why is it that I have so many games that are no longer mentioned on podcasts, by gamers online or even by their respective designers? It’s only been a year or two for some of them and they seem to have fallen completely off the map. There are always the favorites like Dogs in the Vineyard, Dread and Burning Wheel but where is Best Friends, Agon, A Penny for My Thoughts and Don’t Rest Your Head?

I am not seeing a whole series of games (and I’m not even coming from the beginning of the indie game movement) that just aren’t talked about. Sure, we all have time crunches in our lives and there are always new games coming out but a lot of these games need some love. They are excellent games. They (at least many of them) are built to carry a theme or play with a novel mechanic.

Why not look back through your collection of RPGs and see if you can find one you had fun with and pull it off the shelf to another session? It’s not going to hurt those new games that keep coming out and you just might find they are still just as much fun as you remember. For me, I pulled Mortal Coil off the shelf to find some time for.

Thou Art But A Warrior

Posted: 19th June 2013 by Victor Wyatt in Reviews

I was late to the indie game thing only finding them for the first time in 2007 or 2008. This might explain why I have never played Polaris by Ben Lehman but I’m intrigued by Thou Art But A Warrior by Anna Kreider. It’s what I am reading tonight. It might have been because of not trying the earlier game or the historical theme it’s got but when I saw it on IndieGoGo I had to back it. I am not disappointed. It’s well written and I am a sucker for a game that can believably pull off a historical event.

The game is about a protagonist in the period of time when the Muslims held much of the Iberian peninsula. At that time they were a very advanced society. They prized art, knowledge and religion. Like many societies that displaced a prior group they set themselves up for trouble. With Christian barbarians to the north, pushed from the land that used to be their home, the Muslims were sitting on a time bomb that would eventually go off.

In Thou Art But A Warrior you get to play a protagonist as he witnesses the death of his society on the Iberian peninsula. The game is designed for two to four players. Each has a protagonist and the others play antagonists as well as societal and emotional relationships for the protagonist. Then each of the other players have protagonists as well with their own set of antagonists and other relationships. Through a series of scenes the players negotiate for the outcome of the events in each protagonist’s life.

What really aids the flavor of the game for me is all the ritual intoned in the phrases said to start and end scenes and the phrases used during conflicts. Reading through the book it first seemed odd but I think it adds a level of formality that enhances the historical, Muslim theme of the story generated during play.

If you like historical based role-playing, story games that have a tragic quality to them check this game out. Like I said earlier, games like Thou Art But A Warrior have been catching my attention as of late.