[Collective Design] Roadsigns & Ley Lines

edited February 2006 in Story Games
Here's the deal:
1. I have a Little Idea, detailed below, that I'm casting out here for collective design, a la Giant Imperial Robot Haiku. Bread upon the waters, and all that.
2. However, unlike GIRH, I will serve as the editor/developer of this thread. This essentially gives me veto power over off-tone, derailing contributions. (My contributions can be vetoed by the joint resolution of three other participants.)
3. A post should focus on either rules or setting (though the effect of a rule on setting or setting bit expanded into rules are kosher).
4. If we get something fun and publishable out of this, I know a guy who's a game publisher. . .
EDITED TO ADD: 4. After you've added your post, you cannot add again until at least two others have done so. Try not to contradict something already written.
5. If we get something fun and publishable out of this, I will seriously consider publishing it through ASMP.


Roadsigns & Ley Lines

Inspirado: Knightriders, Mad Max movies, Tim Powers' Last Call, Easy Rider, Devlin, Street Hawk, Demolition Alley, The Dark Tower, Six-String Samurai.
Game Blurb: Between the last outposts of Civilization, the great road-ships sail on rubber wheels. They shift the goods and people needed to keep the Last Cities alive. Without the road-ships, humanity will die.

Of course, there are those street pirates and road barbarians who don't care about greater humanity, seeking only supplies for their tribe (at best) or plunder for themselves (at worst). They raid the road-ships, take the crews and passengers for ransom, and loot and pillage the small hamlets along the road-currents.

Only the loyal knights of the King of the Road can protect them. Blessed with the king's magic (or is it technology? does it matter?) and mounted on their Motor Steeds, the Knights guard the merchants, couriers, and pilgrims who journey into the Dusty Waste on the road-sea.

Are you willing to stand against the cutlasses of the Brotherhood of Pirates, the electro-lance of the Black Knight of Blackrock, and the strange magics of the Sorceress of Sixty-Six in defense of Civilization?





(Okay, that's what I've got, other than the following :
1. There should be a limited number of common attributes or pools or stats that all characters should share. I'm fond of Physical, Mental, Social, and Technomagical as the core set.
2. The system should be dead simple.
3. I would like there to be either no GM or everyone GMs -- in parallel or in serial, either is fine.)

Have at it.


CU

Comments

  • edited February 2006
    Every player creates a Knight for themself, and a Ride for another player. During the game, they play the Ride during chases, rumbles, long hauls, and duels when appropriate - the bond between Knight and Ride is always symbiotic and, in some cases, magical. Nobody can coax the performance out of a Ride that her Knight - her true driver - can.

    Every character (Knight, Ride, or other) in the game has the same attributes, which are...
  • edited February 2006
    Every character (human Knight, Ride, or other) in the game has the same attributes, which are...

    Brawn: Physical strength, nimbleness, and toughness.
    Brains: Mental smarts, strength of will, and education.
    Bravado: Social skill and understanding; also rank and status.
    Brass: Talent in using magic and technology.

    For each of these attributes, characters pick 1 thing related to that attribute that they're good at (Forte, and 1 thing related to that attribute that they're bad at (Flaw).

    Attributes are assigned scores by. . .
  • Attributes are assigned scores by . . . building the character like a vehicle. That means you pick a character's Motor (his driving passion/motivation), Chassis (physique), and Interior. The different kinds of parts give scores for each attribute that then combine for the final numbers when added to a base 1 for each attribute. The parts also indicate character traits, and the Motor needs to be further defined toward a particular goal.

    For example, a Rage Motor would give two points for Brawn and one for Bravado, a Bentley Chassis gives one point each to Brains, Bravado and Brass, and a Luxury Interior gives two points to Bravado and one to Brass; add that to basic scores of 1 each and you get Brawn 3, Brains 2, Bravado 5 and Brass 3. You also know now that your character is driven by rage, built handsome and resilient, and likes to indulge.

    The Ride is created by. . .
  • ...the same process - each combination of Motor, Chassis, and Interior provides three points that are combined with the initial attributes.

    For a Ride, the attributes need a little explanation. They are identical - Brawn, Brains, Bravado and Brass - because a Ride is a living thing. A Knight's mechanical mount is imbued with magical power; it's consciousness is an amalgam of the tiny motive spirits that reside in every part. A Ride can reason and - with a high enough score - even communicate. Similarly, if the scores dictate it, Rides can do all kinds of crazy things, like drive themselves, or parley with bandits, or use magic themselves. The fact that a Ride is really a composite personality has a dangerous down-side, though, namely ...
  • ...a Ride is always subordinate to it's Knight. If a Knight commands his or her Ride to do something, it does it -- no matter what -- even this could lead to something the Ride doesn't wish to happen, the betrayal of the King of the Road, or the Ride's destruction.

    However, there is balance: as the Ride is under the mystic command of the Knight, the Knight has mystic responsibility and accountability for his or her Ride. If a Ride does something that leads to problems (usually, in lieu of proscriptions from its Knight), it's the Knight that's held to be at fault, even if he or she knew nothing of what the Ride did or was planning to do. Furthermore, the Knight psychically shares all damage (physical, mental, social, or magical) that his or her Ride suffers.

    There is one very narrow chance for a Ride to rebel against its Knight. . .
  • edited February 2006
    ::never mind::
  • edited February 2006
    Editorial Post

    ::never mind::

    What happened, Remi?

    Also, note for down the pike (heh) to add to the To Do List:
    * The system or setting should, in some way, incorporate road or traffic signs and lay lines, because, well, they're in the title.


    [CU]
  • edited February 2006
    There is one very narrow chance for a Ride to rebel against its Knight. . .

    which is if the Knight orders the Ride to destroy the Knight him/herself, in a matter that runs counter to the Knight's Motor. At this point the bond between Knight and Ride is damaged, and the Ride becomes a free agent. It is possible for the Knight to regain his Ride, but the bond will never be the same, and the Ride will find it possible to resist the Knight. If the Knight does not regain his Ride, or if the Knight releases the Ride, the Ride becomes a free agent and may be claimed by another Knight.

    The resolution system is based around a Tarot-like deck invoking imagery of the mythology of the Road, including Road Signs as suits (green Movement, yellow Warning, red Prohibition, and white Regulation). The Trump-like cards in this deck are...

    (Edit for the Nth time: I'm not meaning to close the book on Knight and Ride, and I hope this isn't too much for one post.)
  • edited February 2006
    Editorial Response
    What happened, Remi?
    Overlapped your post. Shouldn't have spent all that time editing . . .
  • Editorial Response
    Can I just say here that I am tickled by the idea of roving packs rogue/free agent Rides? (Of course I loved the idea in the latest version of Gamma World as well.)
  • edited February 2006
    Dev/Edit Comment
    The resolution system is based around a Tarot-like deck invoking imagery of the mythology of the Road, including Road Signs as suits (green Movement, yellow Warning, red Prohibition, and white Regulation). The Trump-like cards in this deck are...

    The Publisher has told me this is an acceptable option, despite the cost/effort to design a special card deck and the possibility of violating the "The system should be dead simple" concept, but dictates that the design team must include alternate mechanics for dice and diceless for folks who don't wish to use the cards.

    Okay: connecting these resolution systems to the attributes is next...

    [CU]
  • EDITORIAL
    Can I just say here that I am tickled by the idea of roving packs rogue/free agent Rides? (Of course I loved the idea in the latest version of Gamma World as well.)

    Feel free to start writing it up as a setting piece when the thread wends that way.

    [CU]
  • edited February 2006
    The Trump-like cards in this deck are... named after the twenty Ley Roads -- Route 66, the 10, Broadway, The Silk Road, and the rest. Trump cards always count as 10 and whichever color the player declares, but each card has a required element that must be introduced into play when the card is used.

    Whenever a Knight or Ride cares to prove their ability to effect their desires, they play one or more cards from their hand, narrate the events as they are driven by the card's color and value, and draw their hand back up to full. The cards played must be all of one suit (three greens), all of one value (two 3s), a straight (a 6, a 7, and an 8), or any of these combinations with one or more Trumps added in. Additionally, the player may add cards from their own hand to any set already on the table, using the total points in the new set in resolution.

    If two players are playing cards at odds with one another, they...
  • If two players are playing cards at odds with one another, they...

    compare their results thusly:

    Relevant Attribute (plus Forte or minus Flaw, of applicable), plus value of cards played; higher total wins.

    The predominant suit of the winner's hand (or, when there is no predominent suit, the relevant Attribute) determines the Byway Effects of conflict -- the extra details, tangents, story hooks, or side points of interest that come into being with the conflict.

    Each suit is related to one of the Attributes. . .
  • edited February 2006
    EDITORIAL

    Textboxes.

    The Trump Road Cards (20 total)
    1. Route 66
    2. The 101
    3. Broadway
    4. The Silk Road
    5. Main Street
    6. Central Avenue
    7. Route 1
    8. College Avenue
    9. The Turnpike
    10. Elm Street
    11. Fifth Avenue
    12. Sunset Boulevard
    ...

    (need 8 more -- either a common street name or an evocative, famous one.)

    DEV NOTE: We may ditch "Silk Road" in favor of purely American streets and roads, or we can pull in famous international routes.



    How Cards Can Be Played
    One Card (by univolved player; must support or contribute to one of the options below)
    One Card (must be Trump)
    Two (or More) of a Value
    Three (or More) of a Suit
    Three (or More) in a Straight
    Some Combination of the Above

    [CU]
  • edited February 2006
    [Concatenated Post]

    Roadsigns & Ley Lines

    Inspirado: Knightriders, Mad Max movies, Tim Powers' Last Call, Easy Rider, Devlin, Street Hawk, Demolition Alley, The Dark Tower, Six-String Samurai.
    Game Blurb: Between the last outposts of Civilization, the great road-ships sail on rubber wheels. They shift the goods and people needed to keep the Last Cities alive. Without the road-ships, humanity will die.

    Of course, there are those street pirates and road barbarians who don't care about greater humanity, seeking only supplies for their tribe (at best) or plunder for themselves (at worst). They raid the road-ships, take the crews and passengers for ransom, and loot and pillage the small hamlets along the road-currents.

    Only the loyal knights of the King of the Road can protect them. Blessed with the King's magic (or is it technology? does it matter?) and mounted on their Motor Steeds, the Knights guard the merchants, couriers, and pilgrims who journey into the Dusty Waste on the road-sea.

    Are you willing to stand against the cutlasses of the Brotherhood of Pirates, the electro-lance of the Black Knight of Blackrock, and the strange magics of the Sorceress of Sixty-Six in defense of Civilization?


    Character Generation

    Every player creates a Knight for themself, and a Ride for another player. During the game, they play the Ride during chases, rumbles, long hauls, and duels when appropriate - the bond between Knight and Ride is always symbiotic and, in some cases, magical. Nobody can coax the performance out of a Ride that her Knight - her true driver - can.

    Every character (Knight, Ride, or other) in the game has the same attributes, which are:

    Brawn: Physical strength, nimbleness, and toughness.
    Brains: Mental smarts, strength of will, and education.
    Bravado: Social skill and understanding; also rank and status.
    Brass: Talent in using magic and technology.

    For each of these attributes, characters pick 1 thing related to that attribute that they're good at (Forte), and 1 thing related to that attribute that they're bad at (Flaw).

    Attributes are assigned scores by building the character like a vehicle. That means you pick a character's Motor (his driving passion/motivation), Chassis (physique), and Interior. The different kinds of parts give scores for each attribute that then combine for the final numbers when added to a base 1 for each attribute. The parts also indicate character traits, and the Motor needs to be further defined toward a particular goal.

    For example, a Rage Motor would give two points for Brawn and one for Bravado, a Bentley Chassis gives one point each to Brains, Bravado and Brass, and a Luxury Interior gives two points to Bravado and one to Brass; add that to basic scores of 1 each and you get Brawn 3, Brains 2, Bravado 5 and Brass 3. You also know now that your character is driven by rage, built handsome and resilient, and likes to indulge.

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: We need several Motors, Chassis, and Interiors.]

    The Knight's Ride

    The Knight's Ride is created by the same process -- each combination of Motor, Chassis, and Interior provides three points that are combined with the initial attributes.

    For a Ride, the attributes need a little explanation. They are identical -- Brawn, Brains, Bravado and Brass -- because a Ride is a living thing. A Knight's mechanical mount is imbued with magical power; it's consciousness is an amalgam of the tiny motive spirits that reside in every part. A Ride can reason and - with a high enough score - even communicate. Similarly, if the scores dictate it, Rides can do all kinds of crazy things, like drive themselves, or parley with bandits, or use magic themselves. The fact that a Ride is really a composite personality has a dangerous down-side, though, namely [that] a Ride is always subordinate to it's Knight. If a Knight commands his or her Ride to do something, it does it -- no matter what -- even this could lead to something the Ride doesn't wish to happen, the betrayal of the King of the Road, or the Ride's destruction.

    However, there is balance: as the Ride is under the mystic command of the Knight, the Knight has mystic responsibility and accountability for his or her Ride. If a Ride does something that leads to problems (usually, in lieu of proscriptions from its Knight), it's the Knight that's held to be at fault, even if he or she knew nothing of what the Ride did or was planning to do. Furthermore, the Knight psychically shares all damage (physical, mental, social, or magical) that his or her Ride suffers.

    There is one very narrow chance for a Ride to rebel against its Knight, which is if the Knight orders the Ride to destroy the Knight him/herself, in a matter that runs counter to the Knight's Motor. At this point the bond between Knight and Ride is damaged, and the Ride becomes a free agent. It is possible for the Knight to regain his Ride, but the bond will never be the same, and the Ride will find it possible to resist the Knight. If the Knight does not regain his Ride, or if the Knight releases the Ride, the Ride becomes a free agent and may be claimed by another Knight.

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: Any differences between cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other land-based vehicles as Rides?]


    Conflict Resolution

    The resolution system is based around a Tarot-like deck invoking imagery of the mythology of the Road, including Road Signs as suits (green Movement, yellow Warning, red Prohibition, and white Regulation). The Trump-like cards in this deck are The resolution system is based around a Tarot-like deck invoking imagery of the mythology of the Road, including Road Signs as suits (green Movement, yellow Warning, red Prohibition, and white Regulation). The Trump-like cards in this deck are named after the twenty Ley Roads -- Route 66, the 10, Broadway, The Silk Road, and the rest. Trump cards always count as 10 and whichever color the player declares, but each card has a required element that must be introduced into play when the card is used.

    [START TEXTBOX]
    The Trump Road Ley Cards (20 total)
    1. Route 66
    2. The 101
    3. Broadway
    4. The Silk Road
    5. Main Street
    6. Central Avenue
    7. Route 1
    8. College Avenue
    9. The Turnpike
    10. Elm Street
    11. Fifth Avenue
    12. Sunset Boulevard
    ...

    (need 8 more -- either a common street name or an evocative, famous one.)

    DEV NOTE: We may ditch "Silk Road" in favor of purely American streets and roads, or we can pull in famous international routes.
    [END TEXTBOX]

    DEV NOTE: The design team must include alternate mechanics for dice and diceless for folks who don't wish to use the cards.

    Whenever a Knight or Ride cares to prove their ability to effect their desires, they play one or more cards from their hand, narrate the events as they are driven by the card's color and value, and draw their hand back up to full. The cards played must be all of one suit (three greens), all of one value (two 3s), a straight (a 6, a 7, and an 8), or any of these combinations with one or more Trumps added in. Additionally, the player may add cards from their own hand to any set already on the table, using the total points in the new set in resolution.

    If two players are playing cards at odds with one another, they compare their results thusly:

    Relevant Attribute (plus Forte or minus Flaw, of applicable), plus value of cards played; higher total wins.

    The predominant suit of the winner's hand (or, when there is no predominent suit, the relevant Attribute) determines the Byway Effects of conflict -- the extra details, tangents, story hooks, or side points of interest that come into being with the conflict.

    [START TEXTBOX]
    How Cards Can Be Played
    One Card (by uninvolved player; must support or contribute to one of the options below)
    One Card (must be Trump)
    Two (or More) of a Value
    Three (or More) of a Suit
    Three (or More) in a Straight
    Some Combination of the Above

    [END TEXTBOX]

    Each suit is related to one of the Attributes. . .
  • EDITORIAL

    Hm. Just realized that the 20 trumps could be represented by the court cards plus aces in a standard poker deck. Including a correspondence chart in the text could help.

    I'm not sure about the viability of PDF'd playing cards for home printing. Anyone have anecdotal info?

    Also, and this is harsh: despite the coolness of the mechanic that's shaping up, does a card-based Rummy system fit the game?

    I'm starting a separate thread to pull more of the DEV comments over, leaving moderation on this purely EDITORIAL.

    Game design in practice, baby.

    [CU
  • edited February 2006
    Each suit is related to one of the Attributes. . .

    ... (and also serves as the basis for the mystical powers of Knights).

    Movement (Green) = Brawn
    Warning (Yellow) = Brains
    Regulation (White) = Bravado
    Prohibition (Red) = Brass.

    Winning & Losing in Conflict
    If a character loses a conflict, that's it: there's no further effect. If a character wins a conflict, the character's player gets to narrate the conflict's resolution as well as granting new or removing old character elements -- either 2 Flaws, 2 Fortes, or one of each to any character involved in the conflict. Awarded Fortes and Flaws must be related to the Attribute of the predominent suit of the winning hand.

    This means that a character could win a conflict -- say, a footrace -- with his hand of cards, narrate the in-game conflict such that he loses the footrace, then give himself a new Forte and remove a Flaw from his winning opponent.

    (Fortes and Flaws can also be removed through. . .
  • Chad, you've got Movement and Warning both attached to Brawn, with no Brains assigned.
  • EDITORIAL
    Chad, you've got Movement and Warning both attached to Brawn, with no Brains assigned.

    Fixed.


    CU
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