20 November, 2018

Character Development [NaGaDeMon 2018]

The survivors in the Fen have a few objectives. Primarily, they aim to survive as long as possible, hoping that one of the games victory conditions or escape clauses activates. Other objectives basically just support this in one way or another...

  • Explore to find new resources to gather
  • Gather resources to make tools, equipment, weapons, and armour.
  • Make tools and equipment to improve survivability, and make hunger/thirst/injuries easier to address
  • Make weapons and armour to hunt, or to avoid the worst when being hunted.
  • Increase knowledge about the Fen, to know where new safe areas might be found if the encampment is destroyed
  • Increase knowledge of the self, improving the ability to engage all those other objectives with a greater chance of success.

It's that last one I'm thinking about.

The general setup of the game gives every player one or more "aware" survivors.

1 player = 3 aware survivors
2 players = 2 aware survivors each (for a total of 4)
3 or more players = 1 aware survivor each

These survivors have limited recollection of their lives before the Fen. They start with one chosen ability traits, two random ability traits, and a quirk. It is recommended that the ability traits of "crafter", "explorer", and "hunter" be distributed as chosen abilities among the first few aware survivors... as this covers the variety of starting tasks that will make survival easier.

In addition to the aware survivors, the encampment begins with a number of amnesiac survivors. Roll a single die to determine how many of these there are. Each ammesiac begins with a single ability trait, but they have little autonomy, so basically they provide a bonus when assisting an aware survivor who possesses that ability. Amnesiac survivors are basically the "worker placement" element of the game, but they may awaken during the course of play to provide more different actions during each hour/turn of play.

Survivor development occurs through acquisition of new abilities, or improvement of existing abilities. It is basically assumed that the survivors in the game were relatively competent, perhaps even experts in their fields before their time in the Fen. This means that the development of abilities is less about learning new things, and more about remembering the past. This means we don't need to worry about sprnding weeks or months learning a new skill, we just need to accomodate moments when flashbacks bring back some recollection. This also means the hourly timeframe for each turn doesn't become problematic from a development perspective.

I'm thinking of 6 basic ability traits, at two levels each.

Crafter - Basic: lets you create simple things. Advanced: lets you create more complex things.
Explorer - Basic: reduced chance of confrontation when exploring. Advanced: increased chance of finding resources when exploring.
Hunter - Basic: bonus damage on a successful hit. Advanced: bonus die when using a weapon.
GuardBasic: reduced damage on an incoming hit. Advanced: bonus die when defending the encampment.
ScavengerBasic: lets you scavenge without slowing down exploration. Advanced: bonus die on scavenging resources.
Healer - Basic: lets you perform healing actions. Advanced: bonus die on healing actions.

So, aware characters choose a basic ability trait, then roll two dice which may either offer them new traits, or increase an existing trait to advanced status. If doubles are rolled... something else needs to happen, because I don't necessarily want to add new complications with a third level of skill. Probably gain a new quirk...

...speaking of which. I'm seeing 36 quirks. Roll 2 dice, on a 6x6 table, one die determines the column, the other die chooses the row. Players can choose which of die is alliicated where. Aware characters start with a quirk, amnesiac characters roll for their quirk as soon as they become aware. I'm working out the full range of quirks now, but they'll basically be things like "cook", "armourer", "criminal", "woodcutter", and similar more specialised abilities that tell us more about the backstory of the aware survivors. 

There are certain abilities that might be considered morecadvanced versions of existing traits... just trying to think of better ways to incorporate these now.
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