27 February, 2013

Thoughts for Voidstone Chronicles

I've had a few more thoughts about where to head for an interesting game environment in Voidstone Chronicles. The key to this setting is that it exists on a series of floating discs.

Naturally, the movement between discs would be a significant factor.

I'm generally viewing the setting as a giant clockwork device, developed 'in the grand fantasy tradition' by an ancient and mysterious magical race who have been long  forgotten (or who have disappeared for some arcane reason). The rate of disc spin and disc movement through the world is goverened by percieved laws, some rotate like orbital gears, others  linkto one another and might spininsuch a way that is governed by the position of other nearby discs.

If I wanted this to be a high crunch game, I could provide engineering tables and elaborate details on how these gears interact, but most people just don't bother to read that stuff. This is going to be another simple game, and it's rules are basically derived from 'Tooth and Claw', so a simple and abstract method of moving across the world needs to be applied.

Here's where my current ideas lie...

Every action in the game is performed by rolling dice; the more you try to accomplish, the more dice you roll. The aim is to roll high, but under your attribute. Dice rolls in 'Tooth and Claw' are modified by the character's current mood; dice rolls in 'Voidstone Chronicles' are modified by the elemental affiliations of the action and the character.

In this context, movement across the world would be a 'physical' action, modified by the element of 'air'. A character would roll a number of dice based on the amount of time they spend travelling. Characters may roll extra dice if they wish to take risks in theirtravel, or if they have advantageous skills like 'endurance' (to prevent gettng tired on long distance movement), 'navigation' (to avoid getting lost along the way) or 'athletics' (for sheer ability to run). Some character types might get specific advantages to these travel rolls. Every success is equal to the movement from a single disc to the next (in the case of very large discs, it might simply indicate the movement from one sector of a disc to another sector on the same disc).

Rolling a natural 10 in 'Tooth and Claw' provides a point of experience in the attribute being used, it's a failure but it is one that the character learns from. In this game, I'm thinking that 10's provide interesting situations. Things like random encounters...or maybe different discs have different danger thresholds...on a safe disc, a 10 indicates that a temporary inconvenience has been met, a typical disc might see some kind of conflict on a 10...a dangerous disc might see some kind of conflict on a 9 or 10...a truly dangerous dsc might see issues on a natural 8 or higher.

These sorts of things would be clearly indicated to the characters in a giant map of the setting. They can choose to take the quick and risky path, or they can be safe and take the long route.

It seems pretty simple and it allows for interesting things to happen along the journey...and since this is a game about journeys and epic quests that start small, it makes sense in context. Itseems better in my mind than simply saying "you walk here, you walk there, you wait an hour for the bridges to line up between this disc and the next, you walk again, you wait a bit more for the next bridge/disc alignment".V
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