04 June, 2010

FUBAR (An exercise in Vector Theory Game Design)

My Bunraku Nights project is giving me more loose ends than I can possibly tie up in time for the Cyberpunk Revival Project.

So I've just thrown something together some ideas with a distinct Vector Theory perspective in mind.

The idea is a story oriented game, based around the mechanisms of Otherkind Dice.

Players roll 3 basic dice for any action, allocating them between three factors.

Degree of Success - Measures the output of the action and rewards the character by either applying traits to a target, or taking away from the GM's resource pool.

Degree of Sacrifice - Measures how much the character loses while trying to accomplish the action.

Degree of Fallout - Measures how obvious the character is when performing their action, how much unwanted attention is drawn.

Characters get may roll extra dice and discard down to the three they want if they have beneficial traits suitable to the task at hand. If they have negative traits that can be brought to bear on the situation, they roll extra dice also, but must discard their better rolls (rather than discarding the poor rolls).

The GM may make things harder by throwing a limited pool of difficulties at the players.

It's been designed very clinically and I'm interested to see how the game will actually work.

The methodology behind the core mechanism is simple.

When throwing a value into the Degree of Success, a deliberate choice must be made by the player. Do they take a step closer to their goal (removing a token from the GM)? Or, do they use their success to boost up an aspect of their wavelength (by adding a new positive trait to their pool)?

When allocating values between the degrees of Sacrifice and Fallout, players also make a conscious decision. Do they place a lower value in their Sacrifice slot, therefore reducing an aspect of their wavelength (by adding a negative trait, or losing a positive trait)?

Or, do they place a lower value in their Fallout slot, therefore bringing the potential for changes in the story, and therefore changes to where things might have been heading in the game?

I'm wondering how much different the mechanical disadvantage of the Sacrifice will compare to the ephemeral disadvantage of the deviating story direction.

The final game should be posted up in a couple of hours.