Thursday, December 29, 2005

Card Mechanics

Why no, I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about these because I want to use cards for Imp...

This is also based off of some half-remembered posts by Ron about how cards are usually not used to their full capacity as determinents.

So, what qualities do (a normal deck of playing) cards have that can be used in resolution?
- numbered cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- face cards (jack, queen, king, ace)
- color (red, black)
- suit (diamond, heart, spade, club)
- (sometimes) jokers
- face up vs. face down
- number of cards in hand
- and all the combinations of the above

Thats a lot of options. I think there's a lot of potential for depth and interaction here.

I think a good stategy is to identify which of those basic qualities you think will be most useful to how your game works. Try to keep it to one or two.

*Example: Stats are 1-10. Draw a card, if it's equal to or below your stat you succeed, if its above you fail.

Then see which of the others could be used to complicate the main qualities, and for what reasons. Look at what things you want to be connected in with resolution, go for those first.

*Example: If you draw a face card, you fail at the action but you get to keep the face card. Using kewl powerz requires you to spend face cards.

Then, look at the other options, and ask what happens if. You can say nothing, but think about it:

*Example: What happens if I draw a red card? What happens if I draw a black card? Nothing. I don't want that to matter.
*Example: What happens if I draw a certain suit? Hmmm...what about, you can key the skills to certain suits, and if you draw one of that suit it counts as being one lower. And the suits mean things - like, clubs means violence, hearts means emotions, etc. So, if you key your "Fast-Talking" skill to Clubs, it means that you incorporate violence into your fast talking - getting really close and pushy, stuff like that. Expanding on that, whichever suit you draw colors your action - which means that you need to declare intent, then draw, then describe.
*Example: What happens if I can play cards face down? Oooh....put bluffing into it, for contested actions. Instead of just drawing, you draw a number of cards (figure out way to determine how many), and then you can play them face up or face down. Time to brainstorm how bluffing should work.

The lesson here? Try looking at all the possible ways to use your resolution medium to generate results, and then figure out which ones are appropriate, which ones can be used to complicate matters, etc.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Simple Mechanic

I'm going to go ahead and blame the holidays for the break in posts here. Damn holidays!

Anyway, a simple, but I think interesting, die mechanic. You're in a conflict, and you're rolling a dice to do something. Now, whatever you roll, you can apply it to that action, or you can hold it. If you hold, you don't succeed at the action, but you add that dice to the next dice you roll. Now, with the next dice, you have the same option - hold, or apply. If you hold, you now have those two die, plus the next one you roll. It's cumulative. Hell, you can even hold that stack of die from the end of a conflict that you lose, to apply to the next one.

The point? Lot's of tactical circling - do you each hold until you have monster die stacks, do you go for the smaller, but more constant, wins, or what? Emulative of some sources - like getting beaten down and beaten down until the big climax, when you totally kick ass.

Some modifications/complications - skill levels limit how many die you can stack. You have to use some kind of ability or currency to carry from one conflict to another. Combine it with the Otherkind mechanic, and you have a stack of die which you choose to put towards different things in the conflict, when you use them. Opposed rolling, only the winner can stack. Opposed rolling, only the loser can stack. You can only stack if the next action directly follows from the one you just did. You can only stack if the next action does not directly follow. Etc.

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