07 May, 2016

The Familiar's Tale (state of play)

I've been tinkering with the new system that started as a "minimalist" system, it has followed the typical pattern of rule bloat, dramatic pruning, then more rule bloat in an ongoing cycle. 

Looking at its current form, the core mechanisms are working a bit like a reverse Apocalypse engine. 

  • Instead of waiting for a move to become appropriate (or angling the fiction to make a move appropriate), it is designed to generate moves on the fly. 
  • Instead of rolling dice with a fairly static difficulty then choosing which results apply based on the die roll, it rolls variable dice depending on what is being attempted. 
  • Instead of rolling 2d6 then adding a modifier after dice are rolled but before determining an outcome, it rolls different sized dice, integrating a variety of difficulties and skill levels into a single roll, also taking into account the potential outcomes before the dice are rolled.

All in all I'm trying to keep it minimalist, keep it operating in such a way that narrative informs mechanisms, and mechanisms inform narrative...giving enough grit for players to hook into and enough fluidity that they can take things wherever the community of players wants.

What I'm playing with at the moment are considered actions and spontaneous actions...where considered actions are things that have been practiced by the characters, and thus something that work in a more predictable fashion; and spontaneous actions are loose free-flowing effects that could go all sort of different directions. Such actions could easily link into magical practices in the game, but I'd like to see them flow into all areas. A disciplined warrior versus a wild and unpredictable fighter. A master of rhetoric and debate versus and impassioned firebrand. An educated scholar versus a lunatic conspiracy theorist.

This could be fun. It's just determining the right way to frame things.  

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