Sunday, December 18, 2005

Conflict System - Sim?

A conflict system with escalation, totally ripped off from Dogs mechanics. This is something that may, some day, make it into a project.

Characters have three umbrella things - Mental, Physical, Spiritual. When you get into a conflict, you choose which thing you're approach to the conflict falls under. It doesn't have to be the same for all participants. You roll a number of d10s equal to some derived effectiveness stat, somewhere between 3 and 10 dice. So, once its been established that there's a conflict, and you establish the stakes as well, every rolls and has a pool of dice.

Now, every action has a certain number range associated with it - like, a "basic attack" would be 3-8, or something like that. Your kewl powerz, equipment, advantages, etc that do stuff have narrower ranges depending on how powerful or effective they are (like, crazy face-kicking only works on a 7 or 8, etc.). Theres also kewl powerz/etc that let you re-roll a dice, change it one number up or down, etc. You can only do stuff if you can spend a dice or a combination of dice equal to one of the numbers in its range. If you go over, it still happens, but you get some kind of fallout.

Every action and attached die expendure goes towards some overall conflict scale, that measures whos on top. Something like you add all spent die, or you collect all the physical die, something like that. Anyone, once everyone in the conflict had either given up, or run out of stuff to do/aren't willing to escalate/can't spend more dice, whoevers higher on this scale wins the conflict.

If you don't have the dice to spend, or aren't willing to take the fallout from going over on actions, you can escalate by switching what thing (Physical/Mental/Spiritual) you're fighting with. You roll all the die from that stat and add them to your action pool. You can do this twice (moving through all three) in a conflict.

Whats the qualitative difference between the three? Well, hooking in with the setting, you take physical damage, mental damage or spiritual damage, respectively. Physical damage is the easiest and cheapest to heal (including ressurection), mental damage is harder and less understood, and spiritual is the hardest to harm but once it's gone, it's gone. All fallout you earn during and after a conflict goes towards damaging the realm you were using when you got that fallout. Also, it would make sense for there to be some initial barrier to starting outside of the Physical realm, or maybe there's a declaration system/order, and declaring a Realm outside of your opponents has some kind of minor but surmountable penalty.

Whats the point here? Well, I love DitV-style escalation, and want to explore it more. I would like to link this to a setting that has a heavy divide between the physical, mental and spiritual realms, but also interplay between them. I also want to have lots of crunchy bits with real effects on resolution, and the interplay between these bits and randomly-generated numbers will, I think, create the kind of tactical bite that I would enjoy. In my head, it leads to making choices among a restricted field of options, with the knowledge that certain choices (escalation, going over a number) will lead to fallout.

Theoretically, I think this could be very supportive of constructive denial. It's certainly denial (of your full range of choices). Now, for the constructive part - if it links into supporting the Source in some way - perhaps by having some kind of ideal vision of your character, and performing actions in support of that vision, even when facing fallout, gets you some kind of reward - that would be cool. Hard to talk about without having more of the Source detailed out, though.

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