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Author Topic: RPG Draft for LOS  (Read 3812 times)

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Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2011, 06:30:24 PM »
Good observation, Scoutzout.

LOS originally had two players with 8 or 12 figs each.  With Planetstorm we topped out at maybe 40 figs per side while Steve Gibson was running crazy events with untold numbers of units.

But let's go back to those 8 commandos.  Now you have one person controlling each one, and one GM controlling the hive mind of the Machines.  So you want 8 times the number of options for each player and their beloved trooper.

Having said that, I always think back to the James Bond RPG which was freakishly enjoyable with relatively simple mechanics that any serious military gamer would scoff at.

When we were writing RPG adventures we were trying to generate an algorithm to balance talking, chasing, puzzling and fighting.  I can't recall but we went with something like a 1-1-1-2 +1 non combat ratio.

The genre, rule mechanics and scenario design have to work together as a whole.  The cost of skills and such have to be reflective of their potential use in the game, which ties back to the scenario design.  I think James Bond got the balance about as perfect as one could hope.

And it depends on your group size and how many NPCs you want hanging around.  I preferred 3 or 4 players plus a GM although I have gamed with groups as large as 12.  That changes the dynamic of the game, and with smaller groups you need NPCs or can have alternate characters.

Offline sergeant_hastp

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2011, 01:33:17 AM »

And it depends on your group size and how many NPCs you want hanging around.  I preferred 3 or 4 players plus a GM although I have gamed with groups as large as 12.  That changes the dynamic of the game, and with smaller groups you need NPCs or can have alternate characters.

I remember running an RPG based on the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  Each player had control of up to 3 characters and a support character.  This worked reasonably well.  It was not dramatic roleplay heavy...but it was pretty combat heavy.  Character design was fairly simple because mortality rates were pretty high.

Each character had a base personality and a host of skills.  4 players could fill out a standard USCM platoon.

Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2011, 11:29:31 AM »
I think a major question is how complex a game do you want? How do you want it to play out? When people sit down to play LoS RPG what does it look like? What rewards do players get to beef up their character, and what do they get rewards for?

Just because this is an RPG thread, I want to point out Burning Wheel for anyone who has the time to read it and think about how the rules interact.

http://www.burningwheel.org/

What makes the game interesting to me is that your "hero points" can be spent in combat, but are gained by roleplaying (no, not improv acting necessarily). That means you could have a character in a Junction Point campaign gain hero points for smuggling sugar past his Komissar but then spend them shooting the Mk1. With the right set-up he could get even more hero-points for saving the Komissar by shooting the Mk1 using hero points he gained undermining the Komissar.

Is it freakish of me to think that's awesome?

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2011, 09:18:50 PM »
I like Burning Wheel, even got a signed copy of the books. :)

They have talked about doing a Traveller version for some time.
(several other verisons also from what I hear.)

Dave Chase
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Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2011, 10:18:42 PM »
James Bond gave you hero points for exceptional rolls on non-combat skill applications.  When I played, I was seduction guy and invariably over the course of 4+ seduction rolls I would ace one and get a hero point. Of course the scenario and the GM were there to ensure against frivolous rolls that sought hero points gratuitously.

That hero point system was a bit evil: you only get hero points for using non-combat skills.  But that drove the role-playing element.

Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2011, 07:28:26 AM »
And that's perfect for James Bond, where heroes are defined by how debonair, seductive, skilled, or socially dominant they are. I like that.

In BW there is the nice twist that you can get hero points ("artha") for combat, if that's how you prime your character. Hell, you can get them for being a cowardly wise-ass (of course subject to GM approval) and then spend them to come through for the in-game team with a blazing volley of fire or astounding courage just when it's needed, too. Although, it's a game where to advance you have to, as a player, make trouble for yourself. Some people (especially GMs) find that exciting, others find it.... pretty much morally depraved, actually.

Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2011, 09:33:58 PM »
The idea that kick-ass characters can generate more kick-assery doesn't sit well with me.

Offline smokingwreckage

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2011, 05:23:08 AM »
That's a good point though. On the one hand it can be fun to be able to set up an ongoing roll of dominance. On the other hand without challenges and risks the game gets dull. BW has a reputation for being quite harsh. In BW if you don't go up against people or things that are a genuine threat, your skill advancement stops dead. Also, your hero-point generating bits have to meet approval from the GM.

Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 09:52:04 AM »

And it depends on your group size and how many NPCs you want hanging around.  I preferred 3 or 4 players plus a GM although I have gamed with groups as large as 12.  That changes the dynamic of the game, and with smaller groups you need NPCs or can have alternate characters.

I remember running an RPG based on the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  Each player had control of up to 3 characters and a support character.  This worked reasonably well.  It was not dramatic roleplay heavy...but it was pretty combat heavy.  Character design was fairly simple because mortality rates were pretty high.

Each character had a base personality and a host of skills.  4 players could fill out a standard USCM platoon.

I've GMed games where a small clutch of players had multiple characters that they were at least nominally playing as PCs if, for no other reason, to ease up my own duties of running the NPCs.  If their primary character got kacked they carried on with their alter ego's alter ego.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 06:10:47 PM by Clark »

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2011, 12:07:05 PM »

And it depends on your group size and how many NPCs you want hanging around.  I preferred 3 or 4 players plus a GM although I have gamed with groups as large as 12.  That changes the dynamic of the game, and with smaller groups you need NPCs or can have alternate characters.

I remember running an RPG based on the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  Each player had control of up to 3 characters and a support character.  This worked reasonably well.  It was not dramatic roleplay heavy...but it was pretty combat heavy.  Character design was fairly simple because mortality rates were pretty high.

Each character had a base personality and a host of skills.  4 players could fill out a standard USCM platoon.

I've GMed games where a small clutch of players mad multiple characters that they were at least nominally playing as PCs if, for no other reason, to ease up my own duties of running the NPCs.  If their primary character got kacked they carried on with their alter ego's alter ego.

In the rules I posted I went with this approach with a bit of a twist. The idea was each character had command over a certain number of NPC's, and a character's "Reputation" plus rank was what allowed the Player to run the NPC's under his/her command as if they were PC's. All other NPC's in the character's unit would be run by the GM, and though it's not stated in the document, I would encourage GM's to run them as pain in the ass undisciplined underlings, or as pain in the ass knucklehead commanders (Gorman). The goal of the game is survival, and instead of experience, the key to survival is gaining direct control of as many NPC's as possible so the GM can't use them to make your PC's life miserable.

It was an attempt to create a totally different kind of RPG...a military one. There have been attempts at this in the past. The one that comes to mind immediately is FASA's Behind Enemy Lines. But they are far and few between. If you look at military novels, like the Sharpe series or Horblower series, you can see that there's a pretty consistant trend whereby the guys on your own side are as dangerous as the actual enemy. That's where the drama happens.

Offline Dave Chase

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2011, 01:54:21 PM »
Hmm, that is an interesting idea.

What if one (command figure) could use their leadership point to control more figures.

The assigned leadership point is considered used for the rest of the game or until the extra unit (additional figures) are no longer functioning (killed, removed, etc) from the board.

An example:
UNE
1 Leadership point allows four additional figures above the normal control limit.
2 Leadership spent by one figure, would allow, 6 additional figures

Only one figure in the command structure can spend their leadership in this fashion.

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 #26 on: May 01, 2011, 07:13:44 PM »
Before there was Legions of Steep there was Battlelords of the 23rd Century.  Global Games did a module for the RPG called Do Not Be Alarmed: This Is Only A Test.  The Battlelords makers are now giving our product away for free(how generous of them).

http://www.ssdc.com/files/battlelords/do_not_be_alarmed.pdf

I wrote a section on military roleplaying (pages 4 to 6).

Offline SgtHulka

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2011, 11:30:30 PM »
I have an original copy of that module, Marco sent it to me =) Is it the first publication with the Global Games logo on it?

Offline Clark

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2011, 11:56:49 PM »
Yes, the first thing we did as a publisher.  Global went from a retailer in '90 to a distributor in '91 to a licensed publisher in '92 to a proprietary publisher in '93.  I wrote/designed a lot of the stuff, but it was Marco carried us across the stepping stones as they presented themselves.

Offline grendeljd

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Re: RPG Draft for LOS
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2011, 10:21:52 AM »

And it depends on your group size and how many NPCs you want hanging around.  I preferred 3 or 4 players plus a GM although I have gamed with groups as large as 12.  That changes the dynamic of the game, and with smaller groups you need NPCs or can have alternate characters.

I remember running an RPG based on the Colonial Marines from Aliens.  Each player had control of up to 3 characters and a support character.  This worked reasonably well.  It was not dramatic roleplay heavy...but it was pretty combat heavy.  Character design was fairly simple because mortality rates were pretty high.

Each character had a base personality and a host of skills.  4 players could fill out a standard USCM platoon.

I remember that game - it was a lot of fun, but hard to get attached to a single character as they died so quick. Controlling 4 characters was quite a unique experience, also limiting the amount of roleplaying that occurred. If one was dedicated to doing so, it made it fun to try and play up particular characters though. Could be a great way to treat LoS...
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