student 20 Productions

Random Thoughts of a Game Developer

Moving to 0.11a: I should’ve known it wouldn’t be that easy

Ahh, basking in the euphoric glow of epiphany.  You get all those feel-good natural high chemicals running in your brain, and sometimes you get ahead of yourself.  Sometimes you just sorta forget that you’re in the real world, and things don’t always – or often – go as planned.

As I indicated in my last post, I had a bit of an epiphany.  Everything is better.  I have a more solid plan than ever, and I’m having fun working on Elements when I get the chance.  But I’m not exactly flying through it like I thought I would.

The problem with epiphany is that the wonder and excitement tend to cloud your judgment.  Even if I didn’t have a fairly hectic week outside of working on the system, there was no way on this good Earth that I was going to finish revised States by now.  The change – utilizing Conditions as Stats, basically – requires a lot more rewrite than I anticipated.  That’s fine; I don’t mind it, and it’s going pretty well.  Unfortunately, it means I need more time.

That having been said, I thought maybe I’d throw down some actual concrete stuff from the epiphany in lieu of the states stuff I had originally planned for this week’s blog entry.

Conditions are being expanded, meaning that there will be more of them (more than the three originally planned).  For those not in the know, Conditions represent the sort of thing Hit Points and Wound Levels do in other games.  One of them (Wounds) can lead to character death if it reaches zero.  The others (Fatigue, Passion, Steadiness, and Will) lead to serious debilitation or unconsciousness when they reach 0.  These other Conditions (originally just Fatigue and Will) were going to be used for Overcome Efforts – a mechanic used to get rid of States, primarily.  This usage will still be in place.

Now, however, all Conditions other than Wounds will be used to determine base Effort dice.  They will start at a set value (I’m currently thinking either 25 or 30) and be improvable during character creation.  Characters will have 1 base effort die for every ten points in their current Condition pool – rounding up, which will be the custom for Elements.  So, say Bob has a Passion of 43.  He would have 5 base Effort dice when making checks involving Passion.

As the characters take damage to these Conditions, they will loose dice from their base Effort pools.  So when Bob goes from 43 to 40, he’s down to four base Effort dice instead of five for his Passion checks.

The Conditions are loosely grouped into Active (Passion, Steadiness) and Passive (Fatigue, Will, Wounds).  Most of the time, when a character is trying to act on the world around them, they will us an Active Condition.  So, to fire your pistol, you might use The Weapon: Handgun Element and your Steadiness dice.  When characters are doing something to themselves, such as trying to overcome a State, they will use a Passive one.  This isn’t a hard and fast rule; characters will be able to build in exceptions, and some abilities might be designed to operate contrary to this guideline.

Wounds won’t be used for Effort checks; it has enough trouble just keeping you alive.

In any case, there’s some concrete stuff for you. I have a long weekend this week, so I might try to post again this week.  Sorry I didn’t get the State stuff up, but it was an unrealistic goal in the first place…

Oh, and the changes are enough that I’m moving the Version from 0.1 Alpha to 0.11 Alpha.  In case anyone cared…


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