15 June, 2015

Instilling choices (Game Chef)

This is a game for kids, it's fundamental lesson is that life might not always be fair, but that through a community we can achieve things that we might not be able to accomplish on our own.

There are three fundamental actions in the game. Searching for ingredients and items (which some people are good at), brewing/distilling/creating from those ingredients (which other people are good at), and facing troubles/menaces (which a third group is good at). All three actions are required for success as a group, but a character is only ever good at a single action (in time they may develop a decent capacity for a second action, or may become exceptionally good at their main action).

Based on my wife's recent time doing work experience in a classroom environment, where dice were used as tool for generating numbers for 6-year-old students to add together and multiply together. This was a school in a working class semi-rural area, on the outskirts of southern Sydney, considered among the lower quartile of schools in the region for numeracy and literacy, so I can't see a problem with using or reading dice result in a classroom.

I'm thinking of going with a ghost-echo/otherkind type of die mechanic, so that the students always have choices. Do they do well? Do they have to accept a problem in order to move forward? Do they avoid the risk and play it safe?

Characters will be made from two halves: a personality trait and a race/type. There are three attribute categories, tentative called "Warrior", "Rogue", and "Scholar". The personality character half grants three dice to one attribute, two dice to a second attribute, and one die to the third. The race/type halves provide a die in each, with one of these attributes gaining a bonus die. Each half also grants a special ability, maybe a bonus die in certain situations.

That's it for character creation.

When characters engage in actions, they roll the number of dice matching the action type, and choose two of the dice for their result. High rollers have better outcomes, but doubles often do something special.

Characters looking for things keep two dice. Where die's each result is:
1-2: Find nothing
3-4: Find 1 thing common to the location
5-6: Find 2 things common to the location
Doubles: Find a treasure

Characters making things spend all of the ingredients in the creation, then roll two dice:
1-2: One ingredient get's wasted.
3-4: Nothing wasted, but nothing made.
5-6: One success toward making the item (some items need only 1 success, others need more).
Doubles: Discover a new thing to make.

Characters confronting a trouble roll 2 dice. One is a good die, One is a bad die.
Good die:
1-2: No success, No reroll allowed. Trouble is still here.
3-4: No success, You may reroll if you like.
5-6: Success (some troubles are overcome with one success, some take many accumulated successes).

Bad Die:
1-2: Lose an item or suffer an injury, knocked unconscious and turn ends.
3-4: Lose an item or suffer an injury, but still conscious.
5-6: Nothing lost, no injuries, and still conscious.

Basically, everyone gets to move a hex (two if they're on a road or flying on a dragonfly) and perform one action (searching, creating, or facing a trouble). As long as they are on a hex with someone else, they may trade ingredients and things found between one another. The overall aim is to get ingredients back to the still, to brew ginger beer and other liquid goodies, while defending the area from the troubles. It can't be done as an individual.


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