Looking for tweaks in all the wrong places

edited October 2007 in Game Design Help
I have a barebones system for Make Game$ Fast and I'd like some suggestions for mechanical tweaks and variations. I'd also be interested to hear if I've brilliantly included pitfalls I haven't noticed.

Characters have a range on their sheet running from 1-20. Players allocate traits to ranges on the sheet. So Evasion is 1-6, Intellect gets 7-9, 10-15 is Gunplay, 16-17 is Seduction and 18-20 is Cars.

In conflicts, roll 1d20. If you roll within the range, you succeed. Otherwise you fail.

You get a pool of tokens you can use to bump the roll up or down, one point per token.

If you escalate, you can reroll.

And if you incorporate things with narrative heft (eg, a loved one) you can reroll entirely.

I've noticed some interesting things.

* You can't stack traits easily. Evasion+Cars makes sense as a narration, but are far apart on the trait track.

* The GM or situation doesn't affect the difficulty, but I'm thinking they might have a hand in escalation. Not sure how exactly, but perhaps they offer tokens in return for escalation. Bit like Dust Devils.

* Rerolls are more valuable than tokens. Mathematically, I'm not sure how much more valuable.

Comments

  • I think this might be more powerful than you think -- if a player wants Evasion and Cars to go together, let her order the traits that way. Maybe even let the player re-order (though not change the size of their range) traits per scene.
  • edited October 2007
    In a game like Dogs, say, it's easy to throw guns together with intimidation one round, then guns with blacksmith the next. In this system, it would mean a lot of writing and rewriting. I don't like grubby sheets. :)

    But something to think about.
  • What's wrong with Evasion(1-5) + Cars(9-12) implying that a result of 3 or 10 would be a success, but a 6 would be a failure?
  • Posted By: Joe MurphyIn a game like Dogs, say, it's easy to throw guns together with intimidation one round, then guns with blacksmith the next. In this system, it would mean a lot of writing and rewriting. I don't like grubby sheets. :)
    You could write down the traits on cards, draw little squares on one edge, then line them up so the squares all face you. When you re-arrange the traits, you can just re-order the cards as you wish.
  • Cheers, guys.

    At the moment, this system is for a very specific character sheet. There's a broad band at the bottom for the trait track. So traits are definitely written down (though I like the movable card idea, which could do some clever other things too).

    Judson, the only real issue I see there is when people start using tokens to bump numbers. Instead of just trying to bump up or down towards a missed range, you'd have to take another 'direction' into account. On an Evasion check, a roll of 8 needs 3 tokens to succeed. On an Evasion+Cars, it just needs one token. So I worry that there'd be a certain amount of shoehorning traits together.
  • Character sheets? How limiting! Make the skill tracks a set of tiles that can be shuffled around!
  • I think I might squeeze the system into this game, regret it later on, and use the trait track somewhere else in a few months. =)

    It is almost like a Scrabble rack.
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