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Author Topic: RPG Draft for LOS  (Read 4013 times)

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Offline Dave Chase

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RPG Draft for LOS
« on: February 24, 2011, 04:57:25 PM »
Well, after a quick read through the draft RPG for LOS, I must say, it’s OK.

Now I understand it is just an unfinished draft
And
IF it was the first thing that came out for LOS before the box set and Planetstorm, it would be more than OK.

But,

The combat rules and skill usage rules are just too complicated for the general RPGer. Why create a whole new dice set/pool and all those stats for equipment being so different?

How I am looking at any RPG for LOS since LOS is a miniature game first (IMO), is that a RPG for it should expand upon the solid mechanics of the miniature game, allow players to create non-combat interaction/situations and lead up to (or recover from) combat.

The combat rules in LOS are simple and very straight forward, I don’t want to lose that. Especially in a RPG where most of the players are into the RPG part more than battles. (If they were more into battles they would be playing the miniature game more than a RPG.)

Having Character templates like the colonist, explorer, UNE ship crew, UNE PI, etc is good. And the idea of racial traits to make each alien race different is nice too.

What I would like to see is;

First, expand up on the campaign rules for LOS/Planetstorm.
Second, create some traits, benefits that will give more than just the basic campaign benefits; reputation, team cohesion rule (where a squad/small unit that has fought together for 4 consecutive battles/skirmishes have bonus but once they add a new guy they will lose the bonus), and dirty tricks (things that the figure/unit could only learn from actual combat.)
Third, expand up on number two and create the back story and missions in a story format (RPG) that will allow people to play out R&R, Medical treatment, team time that is not also combat time, dealing with REMF and such. Have charts that show direct conversion from a RPG setting to LOS tabletop setting. Explain why some skills are not used in the heat of battle, or why attempting to hack a door open while major shooting is going on, is extremely difficult (and why most combat troops will just blast the door open.)
Fourth, create the RPG that is part of the entire LOS/Planetstorm universe.

Of course all of this can be placed in one publication, but I think that it might do better to break it down and build up to the grand end product.


Dave Chase
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Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 12:35:03 AM »
While I never tried to play with those RPG rules, they don't strike me as any more complicated than D&D (well, 3e or better) or various Hero Games products.

However, there is a lot of merit in making the RPG as seamless as possible in the way it is linked to the miniature rules. The problem, as mentioned elsewhere, is that RPGs are far less lethal than battle games. So, you either pimp out the characters with lots of hero points and better weapons, or else tone down the encounters. Or you create an artificial mechanic like karma points that can save your behind every now and then or otherwise be able to make crucial rolls.

The lethality can also be reduced by using wounding and pinning, and reflecting that a "kill" means zero combat effectiveness but not necessarily dead. I recall reading somewhere that only 1/3rd of battlefield casualties were fatal, and that is reflected in the campaign rules such that 2/3rds of kills eventually come back into play.

Then you could have a simpler skill system like from TFOS or Traveller, or what they've done for 4e D&D.

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 09:48:46 AM »
How lethal a RPG is is always an issue, unless you are playing Paranoia ;)

As for being to complex, I was more referring to the change in how combat is done with completely different stats and dice pools.

Another consideration when making a product is target audience. If the target audience is the D&D crowd then, I would concur that it an't nothing.

But if you are attempting to get those that play computer games and/or primarily miniature games, I think the RPG shouldn't change something that is not broke.

As for keeping players a live, I think the first few scenario's included in the RPG format should be designed to the point that unless they (the players) do something incrediably stupid that they will live, maybe with some good combat scars.

Then add a few more scenarios later that make the risk much greater (after the GM and players have gotten comfortable with the rules and the universe.

I am not positive nor have a solid feel for whether another RPG would make it on the market.
So, what I suggested earlier is a way to feel out the market in stages but not have to waste any resources if the market is not interested.

Most all miniature gamers that I have known like or have considered doing a campaign of their favorite miniature game, especially if there are good back story arcs.

That is why I proposed expanding the current campaign rules first.

:)

Dave Chase
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Offline SgtHulka

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 09:50:43 AM »
Are the dice pools the same concept as Stalingrad or something entirely different?

I ask because although Stalingrad seemed far more complex than Legions of Steel, it was actually totally compatible. Iirc the shift to a dice pool mechanic was because they were starting to feel the strain of a simple six-sided die roll with modifiers (leading to the desperation roll of seven or higher and what have you).

If the dice pools ARE totally different than Stalingrad, Stalingrad might actually be a decent base to start an RPG from.

I've been meaning to try Stalingrad for fifteen years but never got around to it.

Offline Kindred

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2011, 09:53:37 AM »
Hmmm....    We may want to incorporate that draft into the Wiki and start editing it? :)

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 03:27:56 PM »
I never took a look at Stalingrad, so it might be worth while to compare.

Another direction that the RPG could take is more of the behind the scene action of LOS/LOA.

Players are characaters in the world/universe of LOS and not always ones that would be expected to face the Machine Horde.

The LOS background is extremely rich in potential stories, conflict and non-LOS interaction.

Dave Chase
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Offline bobloblah

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 03:48:52 PM »
Hmmm....    We may want to incorporate that draft into the Wiki and start editing it? :)

Not to derail, but...there's a Wiki?

EDIT: D'oh! Didn't notice the link on the forum toolbar. I see there's nothing much there, yet. At the risk of further derailment, the forum software continues to impress me.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 03:50:34 PM by bobloblah »
Best Regards,
Bobloblah

Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 06:01:33 PM »
It's been a long time since I read Stalingrad and, while it was my idea, it was Marco's baby (similar to what happened with Inferno). If I recall, the weapons tended to give you a whack of dice at 5+ or 6+ and then added or subtracted dice rather than affecting the kill number. And certain heavy weapons ignored the first few penalties (since hiding in a bush won't save you from an MG-42). Additionally, the movement/fire action distinction was eliminated and replaced by action points to move, aim and fire.

On a straight d6, the "upgrade" rule worked better than desperation fire. That is, on a natural 6 you roll a second die, on a 4-5 it becomes a 7 and a second 6 becomes an 8.

But what am I missing here: where does the draft RPG use dice pools?

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 06:06:51 PM »
...
But what am I missing here: where does the draft RPG use dice pools?

My apologies,
Dice pool means the amount of dice (and types) one needs to make rolls (checks for success/failures.)

In LOS/Planetstorm, you only need 1 d6 for most weapons and checks.
In the draft rules you need 3 d6 for weapons and checks.
Hence the chance of dice pool and percentages needed to succeed.

Dave Chase
Freedom is the right to speak your mind.

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Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 10:03:20 PM »
Ok. I got all wrapped around the axle a few weeks ago when someone started talking about dice pools, meaning you roll a bunch of dice with a target number for each die rather than, say, 3d6 and add up the result with modifers for to try to get a particular number. I think Shadowrun used dicepools in that sense. LOS is a bit of a hybrid while Stalingrad leaned more towards the dicepool concept, and the draft RPG is more the latter. I think Inferno used dicepools as well.

Offline Kindred

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2011, 10:11:02 PM »
most Mini games end up using a dice pool... roll 5 d6 and get a success/kill for each 4+ (or something along those lines)

Fudge, as an RPG, has simplified that down to a die with "+", "-" and some also have "0"

Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 11:01:16 PM »
I had an idea to incorporate "pips" or "demi-points" for lack of a better term.  Basically, each pip is 1/6th of a +1 or -1 modifier.  they only come into play on a near miss, or exact kill and only if there are actually any in play.  The point is to allow for small modifiers (what amounts +/-3%) to account for small variations in figures and equipment.  On a near miss, if the attacker has any pips, he announces it.  If the defender has more defensive pips, then nothing happens.  Otherwise the attacker rolls an additional die and if it is lower than the number pips, less defensive pips, then the near miss is converted to a kill.  On an exact hit, the process is reversed with the defender getting something like a save.

For a real badass, they might have 6 or more pips that would effectively give them +1 to kill or a -1 GM.

I never pursued the idea because it seemed too burdensome for the miniature rules but it might be a good mechanic to take the LOS combat system and make it into an RPG system.  You end up rolling two six-sided dice as base-6 percentile dice, but instead of rolling 01 to 00 (or 00 to 55) you get 11 to 66.

Offline Scoutzout

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 03:43:11 AM »
First off let me be the first to disagree  :P

Most RPGs come before or in tandem with the miniatures game.
Star Wars -  West End, D20/Saga D20..now followed up by E20 -all with variations of miniatures and RPG rules. Most of us have a hard time tracking what came before what.
Dungeons and Dragons -Long life of role-playing before the mini rules came out. Now they are intrinsic to the game
Iron Kingdoms - In tandem but released after the miniature rules became popular and used 3.5 D20 rules which were not anything like the mini version.

The mechanics from similar to completely different. While it may be nice to have similar systems it has never been critical to the success or failure of an RPG. It should parallel the game but a "seamless" integration should not necessarily be a goal.

The system must be solid and consistent
They system must be reflective of the game world but a bit more forgiving in the survival aspect. The PCs are the HEROS (or villains) The system could be pips, armor and damage reduction, wound levels or any number of the available mechanics out there.
They system must be supported by follow up releases. Just like minis, the releases must be frequent.
The system must provide crunch. This is especially true with SCI FI gamers. The players want to know what each and every piece of equipment does. They want to see the rules to create or modify their own weapons. They want to personalize their power armor. The role players want to know about history and units designation and lore. They want to see unit patches, armor schematics and art to support all of it.
An RPG system must provide all of that.

The combat rules in LOS are simple and very straight forward, I don’t want to lose that. Especially in a RPG where most of the players are into the RPG part more than battles. (If they were more into battles they would be playing the miniature game more than a RPG.)

In my 25+ years of GM/DMing I find that to be the exact opposite. The nature of most role play scenarios are based in conflict and most of the time that conflict is resolved by combat. There is, of course, always an individual or two who are hardcore RPer's and they must be catered to by the DM to maintain interest. These are typically the minority.

Most of the time its Steal That, Break Those, Capture This or Kill the Boss and get awesome loot scenarios

Almost every supplement of every game is a long series of fights, obstacles and puzzles mixed with some role playing opportunities. I don't think I have ever seen a supplement that is marketed to "Guarantees long hours of talking"

Action is where its at and LOS provides a huge number of opportunities for that.





Offline sergeant_hastp

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 07:12:13 AM »
Great post scoutsz,

Just want to add/clarify: D&D the original role playing game was preceded by the miniatures game Chainmail.  They were meant to be used in conjunction, the Chainmail rules for mass combat, with the new D&D rules for adventuring.

In that respect it is very much like what we are looking at here.  A separate roleplaying mechanic, based on the miniatures game LoS...with the recommendation of using LoS to resolve larger combat actions within the roleplay session.

From Chainmail wikipedia entry:
Quote

Dave Arneson used Chainmail in his Blackmoor campaign, and many elements of Chainmail were carried over wholesale into Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) in 1974. In fact, the original edition of D&D recommended the reader own a copy of Chainmail. Gygax intended the Chainmail combat rules to be used in D&D, though he provided an alternative d20 attack option which eventually became standard.

Early D&D players could fall back to the Chainmail rules when conducting battles between armies, a situation where the D&D rules would be cumbersome. Improvisation was required, since D&D contained monsters and spells not covered in Chainmail. In Swords & Spells (1976) Gygax tried to fix the problem by introducing a dice-free approach for large battles, which averaged each monster's D&D statistics. Swords & Spells was unpopular, and its rules were discarded in later editions of D&D.

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 08:37:18 AM »
I concur with the very good post by Scoutzout


Dave Chase
Freedom is the right to speak your mind.

It is also the right to walk away from those you don't want to listen to.