Concerns

2010/05/29

For the past several weeks, I’ve been busy with personal things, and neglected to make time for the blog. That’s not to say that I’ve been neglecting the game, in fact, I’ve read many books on the Meso-american cultures pre- and post-columbian eras. It’s always exciting for me to learn new things, and more so for research of my game. I’ve been hesitant to post anything for a little while because of the evolving nature of S&S. When I get an idea, it goes in the notebook, it gets tested, and if it seems like a good idea at the time, I’ll even post about it. The thing is, later on, the idea might not seem as good, or I realize it just doesn’t work well, or just adds more to the rules. Then what happens is I post about it, and it’s like I’m saying “Oh, wait. Never mind that last post, X works like Y now.” In fact, at least once or twice, it’s been exactly that. As an aspiring game designer, I don’t want to make the mistake of constantly changing my mind and potentially running off the people I hope will purchase the finished product.

A couple of notes about the game so far:
The core mechanic of 5d2 is here to stay, that will not change. Neither will the attributes, scores, and traits. Traits are still being worked out, as far as what they do mechanically, but it’s a concept I like a lot. However, at this moment, there’s still debate on what to do with the rest. My goal is to make the game fast, fun, and simple. The goal is established to maximize roleplaying, in a way that ties into the theme of the game.

Ideas, comments, concerns? I’ll take them all.

Mortal Combat!

2010/04/06

Last week, we talked about initiative. Since then, we’ve done some testing and realize we shouldn’t have penalties, as it produces negative numbers, and nobody liked that. With that said, I’d like to propose heavy weapons have no bonus, medium weapons have +1, and light weapons have +2. Try that out, let us know how it works for you!

After you know what you’re going to do, and when you get to do it, you’re going to want to know how to resolve it. If you want to attack with a melee weapon, your going to roll dice (always 5d2) and add your Brawn score and your Ingenuity score together for your Melee Bonus. This is opposed by the opponents Melee Bonus. If the defender wins, he lives for another turn unscathed. If the attacker wins, now he has to determine how badly the opponent got hit. This is where endurance comes in. Currently we’re experimenting with different systems, but wish to present the current one we’re testing. Each character’s Endurance is equal to 10 plus his Brawn plus his Faith. The attacker deals damage equal to his Brawn plus his weapon damage, +1 for light, +2 for medium, and +3 for heavy. Test this amongst yourselves. Tell us what you find!

As always, Game On!

Amendment, Rituals

2010/03/23

Last week we took a peek at the core mechanic for Sabotage & Suns. We also looked at purchasing points in attributes, and I asked you if it was enough. We came to the conclusion that it’s not. In last weeks post, we said attributes ranged from 0 to 4. I’d like to correct that to range from 1 to 5. Attributes still follow the same point-buy system, simply bumped up by one. An attribute of 2 costs one point, 3 costs two, 4 costs four, and 5 costs eight.

Now let’s talk a little about Faith. Your character’s Faith attribute, that is. The most important aspect of Faith is that it’s the governing attribute for magic. It represents your devotion to the Gods, your conviction to your beliefs, and how strong your connection to the Divine is. In S&S, magic is ritualistic. That is to say, you don’t just “cast a spell” to buff your allies. You set up your altar, you make an offering to the appropriate god, and bless your companions. Be descriptive when narrating your ritual. This could give your companions a slight edge in the upcoming war with the neighboring king, in their mission to steal from the royal treasury, or trying to convince the seamstress to give you a discount on expensive garments. Don’t forget it’s all about rituals. It may be a small, private ceremony, or it could be a big public event. The bigger and more important the ritual, the greater of sacrifice is needed.

So, grab a notecard, write your attributes and scores, toss some beans, and test the basic system. Of course more will be on it’s way, we’re working out the kinks and still fleshing the system. Any feedback would be welcome. Email us, let us know if you have any issues, explain any problems with the system and an idea of what you might do to remedy that.

Game on!

Roll Some Dice

2010/03/16

My research into Meso-american cultures, particularly Aztec and Mayan civilizations, lead me to a game called Patolli. In this game, you try to move your game pieces around an X-shaped playing area in hopes of winning the opponents items that he bet at the beginning of the game. Players would have five kidney beans marked with a single white dot on one side of each bean. These beans would be tossed, and the white dots counted, to determine how many spaces their game pieces were moved. Before each game, each player would typically bet six items. This is the basis for the core system of S&S:

Roll 5d2 (0 and 1), each 1 is a success. Total number of successes plus your attribute score must be equal to or greater than 6.

Not a lot of people carry around d2s all the time. Sure, you could use coins, but there are a host of other things you could try too. If you have d6’s, you could count 1, 2, and 3 as 0, and 4, 5, and 6 as 1. Or, you could use kidney beans, with a white dot painted on one side, as they did in Patolli. You could use glass or plastic stones, or even bottle caps. It’s your game, play how you want.

Now, when you’re creating your character, 10 points are to be used to pay for your 5 attribute scores. Each score ranges from 0 to 4. Starting at 0, if you wish to increase it to 1, it costs 1 point. Each point higher costs twice as much as the previous number, with a maximum attribute of 4 costing 8 points. With the 10 points, I could create a character with scores of 3, 2, 2, 1, 1. The math being 4 + 2 +2 +1 + 1. If you didn’t notice you don’t have to pay for each step up. You don’t have to pay for a score of 1, then 2, then 3. Just pay for the 3 and you’re done. If, during the course of the game, you find or are allowed an item that increases your attribute scores, even if temporary, it cannot improve it beyond a score of 4.

If you want something more to play with, the five ability scores are: Agility, Brawn, Faith, Ingenuity, and Leadership. More about these will be discussed in a future post. Go ahead and chuck some dice, play around with this system. Let me know what you find and how it plays!
Game on!

Going though all my notes, I’ve been trying to decide whether or not S&S would be a human-only historically motivated game, or a fantasy RPG with other fantastic races. There are points to be made for both sides, but in the end I’ve decided on the former. Remember, though it’s a “historically motivated” game, it’s still a game of fantasy. It’s still full of magic, heroes, and even the walking dead!
The default setting takes place in one of many city-states populating the region. Some are trying to overtake their neighbors, others trying to form alliances. Kings wage wars against neighboring kings, priests trying to raise undead metropolises, and the characters are in the middle of it all. S&S will provide enough variety that you could run a hack and slash, mystery/intrigue, or a story driven adventure.
Also, there will be options to tailor the game to your needs. So, if you want more of a fantastic game, alternate race options, such as a race of Serpentfolk, will be provided in a future supplement!

Happy Gaming!