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Wakshaani

The out Of Character Meta-Thread

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Stormchild    10

Another thought on armies: I was not so happy from the beginning with making Gospog of the third planting a bonus for army strength while they are individual armies in first and second planting. I think it would be good to differentiate between armies and individuals, effectively having two layers of game-play - two different games so to say.

 

This would be an army game of land-grab and an heroes-game of adventures. These heroes (or villains) could have +0 to +5 too. So Gospog of first and second planting would be armies of +1 and +2 while Gospog of third to fifth would be villains of +3 to +5. Special ops could be bought from +0 to +4, +5 being reserved for lieutenants. The Special Ops would be stormers (or Gospog) allowing the High Lords to cross realm borders and use eternity shards.

 

To combine armies and heroes in a fight could be an easy calculation. Compare the heroes bonus of each side and add the difference to army strength but never higher than the highest bonus a hero of that side has.

 

When heroes solve an adventure or armies win a battle their strength could increase - maybe governed by a dice roll or card flip (f.i. the dramatic resolution letters could correspond with bonuses - when you get an A, B, C or D, a +0 bonus increases to +1, B, C or D -> +1 to +2, C or D -> +2 to +3, D -> +3 to +4., Text -> +4 to +5 combined with an adventure the unit has to resolve first).

Edited by Stormchild

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Stormchild    10

A Core Earth player would need to have different rules.

I think it were good if the Core Earth player would not use the Core Earth forces as a unified block but he were rather to play an agency that is coordinating efforts against the invaders. Maybe this could allow for even more than one Core Earth player. They would play different agencies that are competing against each other.

 

He doesn't gain Poss, instead he should have something like awareness points. He gets few awareness points from unconquered Core Earth zones (which are dominant according to Torg background), more from mixed zones (where he could possibly learn the most about the invasion), lots from Hardpoints (also a means to learn a lot) and the most from reconquered zones (after a story seed was planted successfully and a stelae was ripped out).

 

Using awareness points he could coordinate the resistance better. Meaning, when the game starts, the Core Earth player collects awareness points but can only use them in the next turn. His turn begins after the initial invasion and he could buy Special Ops (Storm Knights) to gather information or armies. The armies can only be placed in areas within the realms' mixed zones, in hardpoints, in reconquered zones and in countries that border to invaded zones. Of course he could use no Soulstain and no dimthread. His Special Ops are bound to use available transportation (cars, horses, planes, ships, trains...)

 

To involve new non-attacked Core Earth countries in the fight which have no direct border to a realm, the Core Earth player needs to persuade these countries using awareness points and Special Ops. Persuaded countries should give him additional awareness points. So the Core Earth player starts very low but can have exponentional growth.

 

It could also be part of his game to create Hardpoints. In order to be eligible for a Hardpoint, a city should have some historical or spiritual significance and it would be up to the reasoning of the Core Earth player to explain to the GM why this site should be a Hardpoint. Creating a Hardpoint should cost awareness points. In addition, the GM could grant sites the Hardpoint status when it is obvious (Rome, Jerusalem, Mekka...) without awareness point cost. But in that case, this Hardpoint would work independantly and give no awareness points to the Core Earth player as long as he does not pay the initiation cost. Maybe every player could then use poss (or awareness points in the case of the Core Earth player) to persuade the city to align with the respective High Lord.

 

The same rules as with Hardpoints could be used with eternity shards. So the Core Earth player could use awareness points to create eternity shards too. Maybe even High Lords players could propose eternity shards. This could be done by paying a certain number of Poss for it and proposing the eternity shard in one turn for all to see. Next turn, everybody has the chance to make a grab for the shard (I had lots of ideas for eternity shards in my realm).

Edited by Stormchild

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Stormchild    10

Also the Core Earth player could announce where he gains his awareness points from, creating adventures in the process. The other players could use their Special Ops teams to hamper his gaining awareness points.

 

F.i. the Core Earth player announces that he has found an eternity shard in Rome (worth the awareness points he receives this turn from Rome). He has to find a way to get it out (with a Special Ops team or maybe any other means he can imagine), players could send their own Special Ops team to interfere (grab the eternity shard and reduce the Core Earth player's awareness points for that turn).

 

Also, the High Lords players could create these adventures to draw awareness points from the Core Earth player's income. Meaning that awareness points is but a game abstraction to show how much Core Earth learns about the invasion and how to fight it. So each source of awareness points could be described in a story about how this awareness is gathered (eternity shards, storm knights, knowledge, persuasion of Core Earth forces, coordination of Core Earth efforts...). When a High Lord describes this story all High Lords are eligible to interfering with the gathering of the awareness points but the player who described it may gain an additional Poss award.

 

F.i. the Cyberpapacy player describes how he sends Special Ops to Jerusalem who preach the Cyberpapacy religion to the Jerusalem people. If the Core Earth player (or any other High Lord) does not successfully interfere with that operation, the Core Earth player gets no awareness points from Jerusalem in that turn and the Cyberpapacy player gets a Poss bonus.

Edited by Stormchild

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Stormchild    10

This game is too big for Google Maps. I had no problems using Google Earth though but I don't know how Google Earth would work with 7 realms in turn 30. I still think it would be best to use Google Earth with pre-designed stelae zones.

 

With a pre-generated grid of triangles this would not only decrease the numbers of lines (a grid from pole to pole instead of individual lines for each zone) but also create a layer that could easily be switched on and off. The zones could be indicated by another layer of markers (that can also be switched on and off and are better to manage).

 

The GM needs two of these layers for each player (once created this is easy to manage) - one to be published for all to see and one with the disclosed information (inhabitants, transformed, type of zone...). Included in the disclosed information there could also be the exact stelae locations, though this is not really necessary. Locating stelae is a game process and thus abstract.

 

To rip up a stelae, a player need not know exact coordinations. All he needs is a Special Ops team to look for the stelae location and rip it up. The players could include in their zone description how the stelae is guarded. So, in order to rip up a stelae, the assassinating player need not only find the stelae but also overcome the resistance - maybe find out with a special ops team first how the stelae is guarded.

Edited by Stormchild

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Stormchild    10

It is possible to prolongate the turns to 1 month per turn and still play each week. Each turn should be used for four different phases.

 

Phase 1: Scouting the area for Stelae Placement. A Special Ops team is needed and can be interfered with by other players (for each stelae an individual team is needed).

Phase 2: Planting the stelae. A Special Ops team is needed and can be interfered with (for each stelae an individual team is needed).

Phase 3: Energizing the stelae. A Special Ops team is needed and can be interfered with (for each stelae an individual team is needed).

Phase 4: Moving 25.000 inhabitants in the new zone. An army has to be present in the zone in this phase.

 

Each army can move 1 zone per phase but only across the lines (not over the edge).

Each army can move from 1 bridge to another per phase but not into another zone afterwards.

Each phase combat can occur. (Up to four battles per turn per army) but the army can only move or fight in one phase (if the idea to increase army strength is used, army strength increase should only be checked once per turn and not at every phase in which it was fighting).

 

Special Ops teams can be placed anywhere with a dimthread (the initial purchase cost). Afterwards they can use any means of transportation that is available where they are. Meaning inside a realm they can travel anywhere in each phase, outside they are normally able to cross the planet in one phase via plane but can be interfered with if their starting location is known. And when they strand in the middle of nowhere, they have to find a means of transportation (an adventure in itself). Just imagine your Special Ops team was transported to the desert gobi via dimthread and has achieved to grab an eternity shard there. Everybody knows about it and everybody could transport a Special Ops team there via dimthread...

 

Each phase adventures can be resolved. (Up to four adventure scenes per Special Ops per turn).

A Soulstain that is paid for at Phase 1 gives results in all 4 phases.

Poss are only collected after Phase 4.

Players can announce in each Phase how they will spend their Poss in each Phase. So they can save up for later use and do not have to spend everything in Phase 1.

 

If we use the ideas for a Core Earth player, he could begin the game after Phase 1 of turn 1. So his first orders would be enacted in Phase 2 of Turn 1.

 

But maybe the stelae cost should be higher nonetheless.

Edited by Stormchild

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Stormchild    10

Btw

 

Aysle's invasion of Russia would have been met with massive retaliation. They saw it coming, and warned Charlemagne. Even if dozens of zones and bridges were landed across the country, they wouldn't flip to Dominant right away, and Mixed is sufficient to launch enough nukes to sterilze Europe. Seriously. I held back the nuclear option for a while, but Russia has a history of burning its own territory rather than let it fall to an invader.

 

I fully expected Russia to retaliate with nuclear warheads in Mixed Zones. I wanted to have destructed wastes in my realm as they are a staple of the fantasy genre. Just imagine what creatures the mix of magic and nuclear waste could bring about. I love the idea of Lance the Metal Golem (I think it was in the relics of power trilogy) a nuclear rocket that was transformed into a golem with the only objective to go to Moscow and wreak havoc there.

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disko derek    10

I have no real thoughts on how the mechanics could be handled, but just thought I'd mention that when I saw this game was running and that Nile Empire, and Orrosh had already been taken, I seriously considered volunteering to play as Core Earth as the earthly resistance in Torg is something that I often felt gets lots in the RPG.

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Wakshaani    10

Yeah, we used to have a problem with no one wanting to play Core Earthers. Two rules twinges fixed it.

 

1) Core Earthers start wth 10 Possibilities. Other cosms start with 5. (This reflects that Earth is BRIMMING with Possibilities)

 

2) Core Earthers earn 1 additional Possibility per act, as if Personal Stake was in play... it's their Earth, after all!

 

Solved it, that did.

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Catstacker    10

I haven't fully digested your rules suggestions yet. Here's a few unstructured reflections:

 

I think that units could be separated into 7 or 8 different categories (or even more.) I'd split the land/sea/air classic division into surface land & subterranean, surface sea & submarine, air & orbital transportation. I'd also have a category for single-man operations, that would be able to blend in with common natives and use their transportation, like the stormers and lieutenants do. And it might also be appropriate for there to be a category for Astral travellers from high Magic or Spirit or Psionic realms that can avoid conventional travel and detection. If this game had gone on long enough, the Storm Knights would have learned in the Land Below how to travel through the Dreamtime to move quickly around Earth. But there's a larger story that I had regarding the relationship between Core Earth and the Dreamtime and the Land Below and pocket dimensions within it, that I had barely hinted at in the Core Earth thread.

 

I used the Dreamtime and the casual psychic warnings from the Earth-spirit that appeared in the original novel trilogy, as my way of reconciling my GM omniscience with the actions of the Storm Knights. It led them towards Eternity Shards and I used the Herald power pretty loosely to bring many of them together for a meeting in Rome. However, I moved the SKs before doing any of the High Lords orders, so I could still be surprised, like by the invasion of Rome right as the meeting was getting underway, for example.

 

The map needs to have population right on it, since the biggest use of my time (after waiting for Google Maps to process the placemarks and sorting those placemarks,) was doing online research to figure out what the population was in each zone. Preset stelae triangles would put all that work into the game's pre-production, but I still think that it would restrict an interesting part of the game, scouting and searching locations around the world. If there was a program that let you draw a triangle on the Earth and it would calculate the population within automatically, that would be great. Barring that, I think that the GM for the next game (I want to play next time, instead,) should begin by making a map of the cosm to be invaded, and cover it with dots of various colours to represent local population densities. These could be counted (the simplicity depending on the resolution of the dots,) to determine the population within any created zone. The population, and also it's relative density, could also determine other data randomly, such as the presence of stormers and eternity shards, military bases, hardpoints, and the willingness of the military powers to try to reclaim those zones after they've been invaded.

 

Stormchild, if you want to try making the next version of this game with your own rules and map, feel free to take the ball and run with it. I think that it would benefit from much more preparation than I put into this game, particulary in the creation of a map that has its population built into it. I think that if the map existed as an image rather than as a program, then it could be transmitted to each High Lord, who could make the changes right on the jpg and send it back to the High Lord, who would then read all the movements simultaneously with layers. I don't think that would confound either computer or GM, providing the game includes a certain graphic simplicity.

 

And if the next version must begin with the production of a new map, I recommend that it not be about the invasion of Core Earth but a different cosm completely. It would be easier to make a map of a ficticious world than the present polyglot world we're stuck on, and then the player responsible for that world would have more fun making it up from week to week. Terra is a likely target now that the Torg Mobius is off in the void communing with the Nameless One. It was never invaded, and since it's based on postwar Earth, research shouldn't be hard. There is a lower population, thus slower expansion; a lower Tech without the hazards of satellite surveillance, internet communication, and H-bombs; and the pulp reality would allow it's handler unrestricted creativity when designing defenders. Really any ambitious High Lord would love to get a piece of Terra, and the GM could even impose an undefined time limit to the game, when the Torg returns to claim his own.

 

Alternatively, an invasion of Aysle would be interesting because the fantasy genre is codified yet free-form, so players understand what they're in for without the GM having to write everything down beforehand. Invading a magic reality would be just about the opposite of the Earth invasion, making a unique challenge for high-Tech realities. And since there are two sides to Aysle, the dualistic light vs dark character of that reality could be highlighted by giving it two defending High Lords. Drakacanus was found in another reality, and then the Gaunt Man helped Uthorion invade Aysle for his home reality. But there could be a native Darkness Device to Aysle, that could be discovered and used to try and kick Drakacanus out. Extending Stormchild's backstory, The Plague acquired Drakacanus and created impostors to lead the light and dark armies that were supposedly in conflict but advanced The Plague's goals. A second High Lord could be a supposedly evil creature (a giant perhaps,) that is brutal and uncouth, but advances a supposedly good goal, such as the elimination of the reality invaders/ aliens. The two would be invading each other while maintaining their own side of the planet, with a GM to referee between them. Then add invaders from other cosms.

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Stormchild    10
Stormchild, if you want to try making the next version of this game with your own rules and map, feel free to take the ball and run with it.

 

I would love to but sadly, I don't have the time right now. When and how much I have to work is unpredictable at best and surely destined to grow in the future.

 

An invasion on Aysle would be a great idea because Aysle is the world that lacks the most in story depth. That is the reason I chose to take Aysle because I thought I could come up with some ideas during the game how to make Aysle more interesting. A game on Aysle would by necessity add depth and background information to that world.

 

But please leave out the Plague. When the game started I didn't take it that seriously at first and came up with that rather silly idea. Later I decided I needed to stick to it, as the game was in swing with no way to get back and reconcile the idea. So I used the Plague as some other version of Uthorion.

 

But I would love if you kept the idea of two distinct Aysle worlds that are connected with each other. In my opinion this makes more sense than a world law that changes every aspect of the world according to how many light or dark creatures live in a zone.

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Dyschunky    10
I am at a bit of a loss now. No response to my rule suggestions so far. Did I post so much that no one noticed them or is there nothing to say about it?

 

I've skimmed through but not had the brain space to digest them yet! Maybe a scissors/paper/stone approach to land/air/artillery armies? Something like air is strong against infantry which is strong against artillery which is strong against air.

 

For population it might be worth just having a list of average population densities by country, then adding 1-3 points if there's a big city in the zone, or subtracting a few if most of the zone is desert, and not worrying too much about accuracy in between. Due to the log scale on the Torg charts, a point or two can cover a big range of people but only provide a point or two of extra energy - so no need to worry too much about a high degree of accuracy.

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Terra is a likely target now that the Torg Mobius is off in the void communing with the Nameless One.

 

And the Faceless King will certainly attempt to destroy it, if only to start his revenge on Mobius...

 

Speaking of which, I would like to know what everyone thought of the Faceless Empire as a whole. I hope you enjoyed reading what I had to offer and I really appreciated the opportunity to share some of the material I have with a receptive audience. I look forwards to the next game as an opportunity to write more about it, as I have a lot more material ready.

Edited by Slayer Dragonwing

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Stormchild    10
And the Faceless King will certainly attempt to destroy it, if only to start his revenge on Mobius...

 

Speaking of which, I would like to know what everyone thought of the Faceless Empire as a whole. I hope you enjoyed reading what I had to offer and I really appreciated the opportunity to share some of the material I have with a receptive audience. I look forwards to the next game as an opportunity to write more about it, as I have a lot more material ready.

 

I am a bit biased there because I liked the original Star Sphere. But I loved reading your writings. As an advisery, you were from the beginning the one I feared the most because of the capacity of the Faceless Empire. Later on I realized that realm-attributes had not much to do with power in the game (it would be a nightmare constructing rules that reflect realms strengths and weaknesses). I fear that your realm has not much weaknesses which could be a problem as a playable realm.

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Catstacker    10
An invasion on Aysle would be a great idea because Aysle is the world that lacks the most in story depth. That is the reason I chose to take Aysle because I thought I could come up with some ideas during the game how to make Aysle more interesting. A game on Aysle would by necessity add depth and background information to that world.

I think that there's weaker cosms than Aysle, and so I started a poll to see which cosm people think is the most boring. Maybe that'll pick which cosm is the next target for the High Lords.

 

Regarding Aysle, I think that it just suffers from being too much like D&D, just as sword&sorcery fantasy suffers too much from being like Middle Earth. Anything that makes Aysle unique makes it more interesting to me. Don't get me wrong: I love Tolkien and I used to have a lot of fun playing D&D. I think that they're so popular because they offer a lot of opportunities to let one's imagination wander, and so I'm disappointed when someone copies them (again) and doesn't wander very far from the cliches.

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Catstacker    10

@Slayer Dragonwing: I liked what you wrote about the Faceless Empire! Your style was very Space Opera, and you did a good job of portraying an omnipotent emperor of the galaxy. The reality allowed you space to improvise all kinds of strange biotech, and I think you should expand on that with some pseudo-scientific explanations. I also would have liked to read more about what the invaders look like; they were shapeshifters and that's cool, but that needs some juxtaposition, where the reader is given glimpses of what this evil species is really like, something ichorous and inhuman that would drive you insane thinking that anyone around you might be one of Them. If you've seen the 80s miniseries V, imagine what they could have done with CGI, and you'll know what I mean. I still remember how I felt when she ate that guinea pig.

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Well I am really glad you enjoyed it. I tried for more of a space opera style than the actual project will turn out as, since it is darker and more brutal than many settings.

I figured that I would get more time to describe the shifters afterwards, so I took time first to explain more how their society works and how they interact with the humans around them.

My idea is that, as shifters with mutable bodies and cellular structures, every one of them is unique. Two shifters can look completely different, as well as having vastly different abilities based on what they focus their shapeshifting on doing. I am also looking forward to adding in more pseudo-science (I have quite a bit stored up) and on expanding the world more.

 

On an unrelated note, although its strange to think about, guinea pigs were originally used as food animals.

Edited by Slayer Dragonwing

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Dyschunky    10

I don't really like the original Space Gods, finding them the least interesting of the published worlds. However, I did like the angle you took and enjoyed your stories.

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Stormchild    10
I think that there's weaker cosms than Aysle, and so I started a poll to see which cosm people think is the most boring. Maybe that'll pick which cosm is the next target for the High Lords.

 

Ok, I should have put it more that way: Aysle is the realm with the most unused potential. The Living Land is probably the weakest but I don't see that much potential in it.

 

Aysle was presented with a map that practically had no markings. Even castle Ardinay was not marked. I resented the notion of Aysle going to England from the start. I think central Europe (France, Germany, Italy) is more suited for a fantasy background invading on Core Earth. Eastern Europe too is suited for a grittier approach. So I thought beginning in Prague was ideal, though I would have liked to expand into France too. The early middle ages are still very present in all of central Europe and can be used for a lot of background. Main problem though was to use that background without interfering into the Cyberpapacy background. So I chose to make Aysle a realm of conflicting myths.

 

But I would also love expanded background on Aysle cosm. I started a wee bit with a description of dwarven culture.

 

Aysle lacks an unique approach and I wanted to bring that approach with mixing Central Europe history with Aysle fantasy to distinguish it from the standard AD&Dish setting.

 

The world laws in my opinion needed a twist too. I tried, though I am not sure if I succeeded.

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I may change the description a bit for the Faceless Empire to represent the empire itself, instead of a conquered Star Sphere. The idea I had for this was to use the Star Sphere for background as I didn't know how far I should wander from the original Torg backstory. As it is I thought that the two could slot together almost perfectly.

Although it still has some sci-fi elements the actual Faceless Empire as a setting is far darker and incorporates more horror than the typical space opera. It also has other elements that probably place it in a hybrid category as a horror-science-fantasy setting. In the next game I will incorporate more of the backstory and see what all of you think. Hopefully it will be even more of a hit than what I've done so far.

 

I have to say that I really appreciate all of your interest, it gives me hope for actually getting everything I'm working on finished up and published.

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