Grimace

OpenD6 Core book?

28 posts in this topic

This was brought up in the chat session, so I figured I'd present the topic here and see what people's ideas on the subject were.

 

It was mentioned that perhaps "starting anew" would be the way to go with an OpenD6 core book. Something that takes a step back from the 3 core book versions and looks at D6 the way it "might have been" had Star Wars 2nd edition Revised and Expanded been progressed had it continued.

 

Obviously some of the material in the 3 core books would be quite useful. My question, to those of you who care, is: What would you keep and what would you get rid of in terms of mechanics or rules from the 3 core books in order to make a complete, new OpenD6 Core Book?

 

Or, barring that, what would you want to see in an OpenD6 Core Book?

 

This is just total brainstorming, not any sort of project that is being worked on, so feel free to mention what you think there should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the context of coming from the star wars d6 book:

 

I would point at one of the last works in progress: Stargate d6. There were a large number of changes, including all new attributes and skills to accomodate the universe to which it was going. I have always seen the need for a system to change stats between "universes" a deficit, as it doesn't provide continuity to the system. I would have wanted to eventually have seen some more official continuity to the system between gaming worlds. This is possible with some planning and thought without detracting from the play experience. Ultimately, this is why Brett and I started anew ourselves: in search of a more unifying set of stats.

 

Everything from the d6 core book version can easily be integrated into a unifying system easily enough by making everything into Modules. You can have the Advantages/Disadvantages Module, for instance. Hit Point/Body Points/or Health Levels, can all be set up into modules. Even the way the difficulty levels play out, setting stat caps, and adju7sting other minor rules, all are easy modularize.

 

The hardest part to modularize, though not impossible, would be the attributes and skills. This is the one area where my opinion is very strong about having a unifying set of stats that can be proved in every genre of gameplay without changing their naming. I'm not saying a set of stats every likes, there is no way that will happen. A set of stats that covers the bases of gameplay across genres, that is the only condition I would place here.

 

What do the modules do? It allows GMs and players to pick a set of modules they want to use for their games as desired. This gives the inherent flexibility and customization veteran d6 gamers desire, but enough robustness and rigidity for people just coming into d6 gaming.

 

It only makes sense that a unifying core book exists at some point for OpenD6.

 

- J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for mew this is a project that i am working on. with what i have planned one set of attributes with skills would be able to be used over all worlds with ease. including throwing a prehistoric grunting brute into a starship flying the galaxy. obviously to do this some modifications would be needed to the attribute choices and those skills would need to be listed in 2-3 possible attribute listings. the original books set this fairly well, but was lacking the factor of cross genre interaction. cyber werewolves fighting horrors of old school zombies and vampires found in the Victorian era.

reason i found this as a good idea would be to make this as a good companion to the systems created by C6. where role play seems to focused on what is created by wicked north and C6, this would pick up those more interested in those possible high numbered rolls of the dice you find more often in the traditional D6 and Star Wars.

now that most of the D6 Holocron has been set i have been able to work more on this option and getting this new book to life. and i soon hope to have a ruff draft setup very soon. obviously i hope at least some find this as good news and not something that will be found as intruding on another persons work. any input or questions are very welcome as i have always preached.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of "modules" for various options in an OpenD6 core book, I'm just not sure how somethng like that could be integrated without it becoming a coding nightmare for someone. Such a thing was attempted by Eric Gibson and it ended up being such a huge chunk of development time and money that it failed to start. If someone could come up with a super-simple, super cheap method of doing it then I could see it being really beneficial.

 

BSDoblivion, it sounds like you're working on a heck of a project. Are you gathering suggestions and ideas from people and condensing them or are you just doing what you think would be best for the situation? The reason I ask is because I've seen some ideas batted around in the past about a condensed version, but there's always half a dozen different ideas on what should be used or included. Working on it as a community project really doesn't work because there's so many different ideas. However working on it by yourself without any outside input could very easily just result in yet another one-of product that most people look at and then move on with their day.

 

I've always felt that something like this would be best to be done by a small group who hammered out the varying differences expressed by the various fans of D6. Barring that, if there was some way to do the "module" method described, I think that could really take into account pretty much every facet there is for OpenD6.

 

I'm interested in seeing anything you come up with BSDoblivion, I'm just wondering about the method by which you are creating the material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grimace: Its not so much a coding nightmare, as it is a good understanding of the layout and data structure that would be neccesary. The more rigid the data structure, the easier it is for coding. If we are talking about a good solid data base where people can go to leverage the modules, I would say its something any moderately talented software engineer could do given some time and planning. I'll see if I can map out a structure that might be possible. To begin, I would classify things into over arching types:

 

Rules: Difficulties, General, Combat, Scale, Rolling

Stats: Attributes, Skills, Health, Descriptors, Features (Advantages/Disadvantages, powers, magic, etc)

 

Then if a person picks Attribute Set 'A', then it requires that specific groupings of Skills (a parent-child relationship), become available. Obviously, if you pick Cinema6 Attributes, you would have to take the Cinema6 skill sets or make new ones from scratch, since there are only 5 attributes instead of six (for instance). I believe a similar limitation exists for Mini-Six, etc.

 

Health, rolling, and rules in general a re a bit more flexible and easier to determine. Ultimately, it would be much easier to first create an actual document for this, than to create a web application to do it. It would also be an excellent way for solidly delving into more d6 variations. A document could then be used a SRS/SDS (System Requirements Specification / System Design Specification), basically the document developers use as a reference when creating software. Obviously it wouldn't have all the usability guidelines, but at least it would have the basic framework needed to really spec something out and get what you want from it.

 

BSDoblivion: Cinema6 without the dice caps would be an easy change. We can talk and I can generate quick character sheets if you want them?

 

- J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I've tried to fight the inclination, because I know many people love the attribute options as a feature of D6, I'm with arcgaden in feeling like a unified set of attributes is important for my getting behind a universal OpenD6 core. And in this respect, I think less is more...in that the Ghostbusters/Mini Six traits pretty much cover all that is needed. I've gone back to viewing the cookbook as my core book, with STR-DEX-KNO-PER (Perception in the Star Wars sense) as the basic attributes. It seems easier to add to that than to take away (and I prefer my non-physical, non-intelligence stat to be a more general Cool/Presence type thing than straight-up Charisma or Wisdom). The modularity of the attributes might be best served by keeping the basics pretty minimal and then allowing expansion through "unfolding" those core traits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting idea, Retriever. I'm generally non-plussed by 4 attributes for a set of attributes that can literally handle ANY genre or setting. That being said, I do kind of like the idea of having 4 basics and then offering more to that depending on the setting.

 

I personally feel that 6 is a perfect amount to handle any setting, but I realize that some people have different thoughts on what those other two should be. Some like MECH and TECH based on the old Star Wars setup. Some, like myself, would rather have Charisma/Presence and maybe a Constitution/Endurance. Still others want things that better fit their games. This would give people a consistant 4 and options for more.

 

It would make plugging in skills a little more challenging, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would use a base structure of Physical, Mental, and Interactive, for d6. Where things like Strength and Dexterity would go under Physical. Knowledge and Perception could go under Mental. And Mechanical and Technical could go under Interactive. This provides commonality in parent categories. From there you can more easily derive relational Skill sets. Speaking from Cinema6, we originally did this in the same way, though it is not immediately evident: Physical: Strength and Dexterity, Mental: Persona and Intellect, and Interactive: Aptitude. We chose 5 Attributes instead of 6 due to long discussions on the commonality between Mechanical and Technical in terms of the affinities behind them. Most people who repair and engineer stuff at some point must operate it. sometimes intimately. Their ability to both engineer and operate something comes from the same place, but they may have more practice in one than another. I am certain that under these three categories we could nicely organize the Skills as well.

 

- J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was mentioned that perhaps "starting anew" would be the way to go with an OpenD6 core book. Something that takes a step back from the 3 core book versions and looks at D6 the way it "might have been" had Star Wars 2nd edition Revised and Expanded been progressed had it continued.

 

Obviously some of the material in the 3 core books would be quite useful. My question, to those of you who care, is: What would you keep and what would you get rid of in terms of mechanics or rules from the 3 core books in order to make a complete, new OpenD6 Core Book?

 

Or, barring that, what would you want to see in an OpenD6 Core Book?

 

I realize this may not be entirely in the spirit of the discussion or even entirely relevant, but hopefully it will be. I often notice a lot of mentions of old versions of Star Wars, or different limited run (i.e. world specific) versions of the D6 system, and then of course the three Open D6 versions. As I see it we will never get everyone to agree on what is and what is not needed to fix or improve the system at this point since the system is now OGL. So with that in mind I think any direction one would take as a support document would almost require an edited (removal of repetitive items) version of the the three Open D6 Core Books, as a starting and finishing point for a community supported document that anyone could use. The second things are added or modified to the core document is the second the usefulness of the product will decrease. The strength of the D6 system has always been its adaptability and easy modification to fit a particular setting or world. In my opinion editing out the repetitive stuff in the existing documents would simply provide a more usable base document for people to use as a starting point. In fact I think that showing people how to bend, rewrite, pick and choose rules to use is actually a more productive use of time and effort, and something everyone could actually benefit from. Open D6 is already a generic and universal system there is no need to reinvent the wheel. A series of examples with short campaign write ups would in my mind be more useful as a community project than creating another new version. In short a developer version of the three books and a ton of examples would allow GM's thinking about using the system have a clean version to work from, along with a wealth of options presented for ease of use. Still a toolkit approach but one with enough samples that if needed a GM could pick and choose from different examples and get where they are going quicker than building it from scratch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the idea of "modules" for various options in an OpenD6 core book, I'm just not sure how somethng like that could be integrated without it becoming a coding nightmare for someone. Such a thing was attempted by Eric Gibson and it ended up being such a huge chunk of development time and money that it failed to start. If someone could come up with a super-simple, super cheap method of doing it then I could see it being really beneficial.

 

BSDoblivion, it sounds like you're working on a heck of a project. Are you gathering suggestions and ideas from people and condensing them or are you just doing what you think would be best for the situation? The reason I ask is because I've seen some ideas batted around in the past about a condensed version, but there's always half a dozen different ideas on what should be used or included. Working on it as a community project really doesn't work because there's so many different ideas. However working on it by yourself without any outside input could very easily just result in yet another one-of product that most people look at and then move on with their day.

 

I've always felt that something like this would be best to be done by a small group who hammered out the varying differences expressed by the various fans of D6. Barring that, if there was some way to do the "module" method described, I think that could really take into account pretty much every facet there is for OpenD6.

 

I'm interested in seeing anything you come up with BSDoblivion, I'm just wondering about the method by which you are creating the material.

 

its mostly a work of a small group right now. i do have a few areas that i need outside opinion for but i would be looking for that more after the first ruff draft. the main areas that show the most difficulty is going to be the attribute options, like the fact that tech cant be used on a neanderthal, as well as the power structure of magic and the like. ill defiantly let you in on the ruff draft when i have it. one area im kinda proud of is the factor of a roshambo effect on the powers. as in magic beats tech, tech beats divine, divine beats magic. tho i think im going to change the divine to something else and lump the divine in with the magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As both a fan and developer, I have a few things I would like to see ported over to OpenD6, but I don't know about the legalities. All of these things come from the D6 version of Star Wars, hence my concern about copyright.

 

These include:

  • Cinematic scaling (using dice steps as an alternative to the granular system)
  • Damage to armor and weapons
  • Martial arts (this was in the SpecForces Handbook)
  • Jury Rigging (presented in Cracken's Rebel Field Guide and Galladinium's Fantastic Technology)
  • A system for designing planetary systems (this appeared in Planets of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and could be enhanced with info from Creatures of the Galaxy and Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts)
  • A more "mechanical" system for desigining robots (as presented in Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids)

 

That being said, I think it would be best to look at the original green corebook. That had some excellent ideas with regard to making (Open)D6 more modular.

 

Also, with all the talk of coding, has anyone thought to look into coding an OpenD6 rule set for Hero Lab?

 

I'll probably have more to say later on. These are just my thoughts for the moment.

 

Pax et bonum,

 

Dale Meier

Freestar Games

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is this "original green corebook" you're referring to?

 

In terms of whick those things could be done legally:

Cinematic scaling - Yes, as long as it doesn't use specifically copyrighted material like "Death Star" scale.

Damage to armor and weapons - certainly. No problem.

Martial arts - while you couldn't copy the material in the Spec Forces Handbook, as those were NOT released under the OGL, you could use ideas from them, create something similar that doesn't copy it identically, and that would work.

Jury Rigging - same as the martial arts. No direct copying, but use the idea and create something without copying identically.

System for Planetary system - as above.

More mechanical system for robots - If it's MORE mechanical, and doesn't copy the Fantastic Technology: Droids material, this would be no problem.

 

The biggest thing to remember is that while the D6 system was made open under the OGL, only the aspects presented in D6 Space, D6 Adventure, D6 Fantasy, The D6 System book, Septimus and a smattering of material since then can be copied directly. Material in West End Games Star Wars wasn't released. Everything Star Wars is still specifically owned by Lucasfilm. Several parts of the game mechanics are open, but other aspects are not. That's not to say you can't use them as an idea generator to come up with new material that can be put out for OpenD6. Just don't copy them directly, don't use ANY Star Wars references (again, that's owned by Lucasfilm) and throw some original concepts into them and you're certainly within the realm of the OpenD6 OGL.

 

That all said, I'm working on presenting an optional rule of scaling in one of the upcoming (Open)D6 Magazine issues. It will use the "steps" or benchmarks that I believe you're referring to, plus will also give people the option of using up to three types of scales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An idea I had after the chat for creating OpenD6 content was similar to what I think Eric Gibson was doing, but possibly cheaper: It struck me that Wikipedia has developed code that not only automatically reformats Wikipedia articles to save as PDFs, but also allows the reader to set up a free account to make books out of their collected articles.

 

Maybe a D6 Wiki patterned after that could let the reader select the pages that they like, store them in a book, and then we tie the book file as an export to Lulu (or one of their competitors) in order to offer a printed version. Then, in theory, settings with gear and NPCs could also be loaded, saved to books, and you'd get a PDF or printed book with rules and setting. If it's feasible, if someone wanted to put a non-OGL setting up on the Wiki, there could be an area where the reader pays online and gets access to the setting file they want, and can then add it to the rules collection that they want.

 

We'd begin by formatting the existing OGL materials on a Wiki, primarily for purposes of demonstrating the format that a rules module should follow, then open it up for the alternate rules to flow in; once that was accomplished, then someone could pick and choose the elements that they preferred and create a single document collecting it all in one spot. Or, for the wealthy among us, print out all the rules and create the D6 Restaurant Supply Catalog, a major upgrade from the old D6 Cookbook.

 

Just a thought.

Edited by Lee Torres

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is this "original green corebook" you're referring to?

This is the corebook I'm referring to. :)

 

Regarding the other items, I agree. Therein lies the rub - the fact that they weren't released under the OGL. :( What a loss.

 

I did have one other thought regarding the scaling terms. Instead of using the terms from SWD6 (which we can't use anyway), could we use the terms - names - from the scaling system in the 3.5 OGL?

 

Just a thought.

 

Pax et bonum,

 

Dale Meier

Freestar Games

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes, the D6 System Book. Yes, that's a pretty good example that could be followed in terms of modularity. And another nice thing, it's part of the OpenD6 OGL.

 

As for your question regarding the scaling system in 3.5 OGL:

As long as the names of the scaling system isn't protected under PI (Product Identity), then it could certainly be used as it is under a usable OGL. That's the neat thing about the OGL being used...anything else that uses the OGL can also be used, as long as it's open and not protected under PI in the OGL of the product. Some products, such as the Pathfinder material, have the mechanics open under the OGL, but the names of every thing is still under PI. Some have requirements that you put in additional wording in the OGL, but then you can use them. So just make sure to look over the OGL in every OGL produced item to see what is available to be used and what is not.

 

For example, in pretty much all cases, the art cannot be used in any OGL book, including the OpenD6 OGL products. Mechanics are usually safe (but not always) but proper names, some settings, and all art is typically not safe to be used from the products.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scale Naming alternatives:

(Three should work in general, for larger scale games like science fiction where planets must be taken into account, just tack on the second set)

Small, Tiny, Minor : Things as big as a child, stuff that can do as much damage as a child

Medium, Character, Personal, Personnel : Things as big as an adult, stuff that can do as much damage as an adult

Large, Vehicle, Heavy : Vehicles and bigger, stuff that severely or effortlessly damage a vehicle or parts of a vehicle making it not 100% operable

 

Metropolitan, Capital, Metro, Colossal : As large as a city, stuff that can severely or effortlessly disable a metropolitan area or parts of it in whole or in part

Planetary, Global, Cosmic : As large as a planet, stuff that can severely or effortlessly disable a planet or parts of it in whole or in part

 

- J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this a long time ago on the cinema6games blog about Scaling. It was an earlier evolution of Cinema6 Scaling, but the same basics could apply here or in any simple rigging of a scaling system. I like the differentiation between incremental scaling and exponential scaling because, with d6, it allows a single game mechanic to provide rules for various genres without having to reinvent itself every time. Use what makes sense for the universe. Using Planetary in a fantasy world where no weapon deals enough single damage to obliterate an entire planet or planetary object does not make any sense, so why not just drop it? At any rate, take it for what you will.

 

http://cinema6games.com/blog/?p=173

 

- j.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes, but I think in any game setting, if the scales aren't needed then they aren't even counted or bothered with. I mean, if you're running a Wild West game, you're probably only going to be dealing with Character scale, one scale lower, and one scale larger. Fantasy might add a couple more to each side. In both cases, any of the additional scales would simply be ignored and left unused.

 

Only if you happen to playing with a setting that has a dramatic range of sizes (take Stargate as an example) would you need to use more scales.

 

Likewise, if you were running a strictly starfighter only game, where the players all played pilots and were ONLY ever pilots, you'd probably only use some of the much larger scales and dispense entirely with the low end scales. Since all of the action would take place with starfighter against starfighter, or maybe starfighter against things a bit bigger and maybe something one scale lower.

 

People just need to use what is necessary for the game they're running, and disregard the rest of the scales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As to Scaling, the samples we use in Mini Six are as follows:

 

Character/Animals = no modifier

Air Cycle, Car, Little Dragon, Wagon = +2D

Big Dragon, Galley, Mecha, Tank = +4D

Fighter, Light Transport, Heavy Mecha = +6D

Capital Ship, Elder God, Space Station = +12D

Mega Space Station, Planets = +24D

 

These work pretty well for us and might help inspire you in coming up with your own classifications for your scaling system. There are a few other sample categories systems floating around here on the forums too I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Lee - I love your idea regarding a modular wiki, if the software supported modular printing as you discuss. Do you have a link to the software involved? I'd be willing to help install the software off-site on a server I have access to for folks to just test out against. (instead of leaning heavily on Magman to fuddle with yet another piece of software)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki

 

Is found there...

 

I think it would be best to work from a well written base code, then only add minimal kluges in PHP only in absolutely necessary situations. IF it already supports modular printing to PDF format (still trying to find in their documentation where there is located and how it generally works.)

 

I think this style of modular wiki based rules system, would not only benefit OpenD6 but just about any open rule set.

 

 

Addendum, here is a pdf book export module for use with MediaWiki....

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Pdf_Book

Edited by Lubidius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the process now of experimenting with a local installation of MediaWiki (the software used for Wikipedia), and in particular, will be playing with the use of this extension -

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Collection

I will give a report soon. If needs be, I may be able to "serve" out my testbed via a direct IP based web site. I could leave it up for 24 hours for folks to play with once I'm out of the installation and experimentation phase.

If for some reason I cannot get the extension working properly, the printing folks that are partnered with the creators of this MediaWiki extension are here -http://pediapress.com/collection/

Apparently , you can mix and match articles from ANY MediaWiki based wiki, into a "book", and get it printed. Now, that is pretty darn cool. Anyhow... I'll report again soon on this experiment.

Edited by Lubidius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick heads up that I've gotten MediaWiki installed properly, but I'm still working through issues with communications with the public rendering server involved with the pediapress site. We'll see if I can square it away. One thing we could look for, is a public wiki site that already has mediawiki installed w/ the Extension:Collection enabled. I'll still poke and code locally (had to already do two php edits in the mediawiki core code just to get it to where I'm at on a localhost server). Anyhow, the usual headaches with coding on a local server. I'll eventually figure it out. Until then, I'll look around the inter-webs for any PUBLIC open source wiki sites that a.) Utilize wikipedia's "MediaWiki" software and subsequently b.) includes the Extensions: Collection enabled.

 

Now, the easy way to see if that is so, is as example, go to wikipedia. Search for whatever. On the left hand side, IF the mediawiki installed wiki site has Extensions: Collection enabled, you'll see a small table of contents worded -

 

Print/export

Create a book

Download as PDF

Printable version

 

IF you can find any PUBLIC free use wiki sites, that would allow us to create an OGL OpenD6 wiki in it, then you'd be cooking with bacon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went through all the posts in this thread and - well as usual I see some of what (to me at least) seem more renaming that which has already been named (like calling "internet based storage" now "cloud based storage" - about 20 people passing me 'official' definitions of "the cloud" and it still comes down to 'being way sexier than Internet and a great marketing gimmick')

 

So anyway, what I'd love to see from a new "core" book is just that - one set of names for the stats/attributes with the of course corresponding set of standardized definitions for these stats. I mean, through the three books at least half of the six stats are the same thing but with different names.

 

Also, have everything in it as a good solid "all you need to start is this book" core book - this isn't D&D or Spycraft or Stargate SG-1. It's OD6 and you should be able to at least start building a game set anywhere and anytime from "survival of cavemen" to "The science-fiction gawds travelling between galaxies in a blink of an eye".

 

So:

  • Unified set of Ability/Stat names-definitions
  • All the basic info to run in any genre-time period (all three books in one)
  • Lots of equipment. The three currrent books really lack equipment (and rules on pricing variations between genres)
  • Lots of Skills (not all will fit in every genre)
  • Technology Levels - this is big.

Now, let me explain "Technology Levels", aka Tech Levels, Progress Levels, Advancement Levels. GURPS 4th has "low tech" "high tech" and "ultra tech" basically like (off top of my head) up to 1700's, 1700's - 21st century, Near future and beyond. Traveller has 16 basic tech-levels defined (Classic Traveller even has a table showing what was at a particular tech level for about eight categories of items).

 

Tech Levels allow a GM to say more easily what fits into their game. In Traveller the official setting (The Third Imperium or '3I') TL goes up to like 12 or 13 (on their scale) but the average in Imperial Space is TL 10 (we are TL 8-9) and some planets are as far down as TL 6. So if I want a TL 10 laser rifle, it's going to cost major bucks on that TL 6 world (if you can get it imported at all).

 

I don't care what it's called, or how granular the scale is or isn't - but I've felt so strongly this is missing that I did work up my own (borrowing the concepts from the CT Book 3) along side my overhauled "1-second round Simultaneous Combat Mechanic" (needs a smaller name, but everyone who's played it loved how it works).

 

my 2 imperial centi-credits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now