17 January, 2015

Developing a GCR Story (Part 3)

I don't know how interested people are in this series, I'm writing it more as an attempt to get something out of my system and into the outside world rather than writing it as a service to many people who read the blog. I'd like to think that some of the ideas in this series could be easily adapted to other miniature games without too much effort, and in this way people might  find a use for the series beyond the confines of a specific game that I've written.

But for now we focus on the Cryptids...

The Cryptids are pretty severely hamstrung in this story, every time they want to interact with the other raiders by taking part in a game, they need to spend a "stabilising trinket", and it's only through certain games in this particular story that these trinkets become available. If a Cryptid ever runs out of trinkets they fade from existence, but if they manage to complete the story successfully, they become "real" and no longer suffer from this.

The stabilising trinkets are a common thread for this story, at least as much as the Cryptids themselves. But since they are a fairly powerful weakness, we need to offset them with a range of benefits that really make the Cryptids desirable to play. If the weakness is too great, no one would bother with the story. On the other hand, if the offset benefits are too powerful, then I'd like to think that more players will want to oppose the Cryptids while they are in their unstable state (thus preventing such powerful beings from entering regular play). Still, we don't want those benefits totally unbalancing the game, Balance is something I've been thinking about lately, not because all games need to be inherently balanced, but more from the perspective that every game is inherently unbalanced (or can be made so with very little effort)...then the question is raised "how imbalanced can a game be before it stops being fun?".

The LARP I'm involved in has some very unbalanced game aspects, and with the right (or wrong) group of players could possibly be pushed into this "un-fun" region of play. I try to make sure my game designs are fluid, and any area where one player might get an unfair advantage will see other players able to band together or exploit specific rulings to rein in that unbalance. A bit like the card game "Magic", as soon as one strategy starts to get too powerful, a new card (or combo)is introduced to specifically counter that threat...and thus players stop using the strategy because there's a chance that they might be instantly nerfed (as well as they chance their strategy will play out unhindered and lead to an easy win).

For this story, and these Cryptids, I want the benefits to fit the flavour of the mythology surrounding these beings, they need to be special and need to be worth the effort of going through the story. But not overwhelming.

Here's where I sit at the moment...

Cryptid 1: Bunyip (Mythic - Place/Billabong) Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Intimidation, Occult, Theology, Empathy, Intangibility, Occult, Fishing, Swimming, Survival
[Ability 1: While hidden, a Bunyip may move through a location to a second location. Any raiders in the intervening location may make an awareness test to spot a Bunyip doing this unless the Bunyip has Intangbility]
[Ability 2: If there is no water in a scenario where a bunyip is present, draw a card at the start of play. If that card is red, chose another players to mark a location on the edge of the board to represent a pool of water. When a Bunyip finishes their turn adjacent to the water, they automatically replenish one of their lost fatigue points. This ability may activate once per Bunyip.]

Based on mythlore of a protective water spirit

Cryptid 2: Yowie (Mythic – Conceptual /Hunt) Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Intimidation, Occult, Theology, Connection, Focus, Occult, Archery, Hunting, Survival
[Ability 1: While hidden, Yowie may redraw a failed damage card. This may be done once per turn.]
[Ability 2: Every time someone is injured on the same location or an adjacent location to the Yowie, draw a card. If that card is red, the Yowie replenishes a lost fatigue point. If their fatigue points are at full, they heal a damaged location.]

I need to do more Yowie research, I'm generally going for a destructive force of nature here.

Cryptid 3: Troll (Mythic – Elemental/Earth) Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Intimidation, Occult, Theology, Deception, Intangibility, Stealth, Endurance, Research, Strength
[Ability 1: As long as Troll is in a covered location, they may redraw a failed damage card. This may be done once per turn.]
[Ability 2: Trolls grow in size as they get older, every time a Troll passes an XP checkpoint, they grow a third of a metre in height (just over a foot) and automatically gain an additional fatigue point. Once they have passed six checkpoints, they may no longer benefit from Ability 1 (they are simply too big).]

Here, I'm totally going for the vibe in the Norwegian film "Troll Hunter"

Cryptid 4: Werewolf (Transformative – Nature/Carnivores) Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Instincts, Multiform, Totem, Awareness, Navigation, Survival, Animal Ken, Hunting, Instincts
[Ability 1: Limited Transformation – A Werewolf may shift their senses (gaining a redraw on any awareness checks), once they purchase the multiform ability they may buy new transformations as though they were equipment.]
[Ability 2: Regeneration – Werewolves rapidly regenerate most wounds, regardless of what they have done during a turn, the player of a werewolf draws a card. If that card is red, the Werewolf replenishes a lost fatigue point. If they rest, a fatigue point is automatically replenished. If they do nothing during a turn, they may automatically heal a damaged location.]

Trying to encompass a few werewolf stereotypes, much like White Wolf's "Werewolf: the Apocalypse"

Cryptid 5: Groot (placeholder name to give me a feeling for the character) (Sapient – Nature/Plants) Endurance, Stealth, Survival, Animal Ken, Hunting, Instincts, Awareness, Navigation, Survival, Agriculture, Herbalism, Splendour
[Ability 1: Regeneration – Sapient Plants rapidly regenerate most wounds, regardless of what they have done during a turn, the player of a sapient plant draws a card. If that card is red, the Sapient Plant replenishes a lost fatigue point. If they rest, a fatigue point is automatically replenished. If they do nothing during a turn, they may automatically heal a damaged location.]
[Ability 2: Gift of Sap – A sapient plant has a mystically enchanted sap that may be injected into someone for a range of results. The first effect of this sap is to neutralise a target successfully hit, such a target gains the “confused” state, and must spend one of their actions making a successful test to eliminate this state. New effects may be purchased as though they were equipment.]  

Groot...need I say more?
Post a Comment