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Starblazer Adventures: Transformable Multi-Mode Ships

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  • frunder
    Hi all, For a while now I ve been working on a Mecha/Macross/Robotech game using Spirit of the Century and more recently with Starblazer Adventures. I had
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
      Hi all,

      For a while now I've been working on a Mecha/Macross/Robotech game using Spirit of the Century and more recently with Starblazer Adventures. I had some luck in actually playing the work in process but it felt cumbersome with too much to track on the players' part.

      Recently I've become serious and created a requirements doc for focus.

      http://platonicsolid.blogspot.com/2009/06/mecha-game-requirements.html

      So, to the crux of why I'm posting. I've figured out that the easiest way to model the mecha is to build a base ship with all of the common features (skills/aspects/stunts) and then build each mode with specific skills, etc.

      The current sticking point is how to determine the number of skill points for such an arrangement. I'm currently working with a multiplier based on the number of possible nodes. For example, a Veritech is a Medium (3) Advanced ship with 7 skill points and 3 "Bonus" stunts that do not refresh FP refresh. 7 x 3 (Modes) = 21 skill points to build the whole shebang.

      As of now the multiplier is arbitrary and I'd like to ground it in the ship design process. Currently my thought is that Stunt picks can be used. For example, Stunt: Fighter Mode, Stunt: Guardian Mode, Stunt: Battloid mode would yield a x3 skill point multiplier. But this feels a bit incongruous with the design intent for Stunts.

      Instead of just spinning my wheels I figured that I'd run the notion past you all for your thoughts and input.

      Thanks!
    • Stuart Broz
      It seems to me that transforming should be an Aspect invocation that costs a Fate Point. I don t have much more to add beyond that except to say that you
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
        It seems to me that transforming should be an Aspect invocation that costs a Fate Point.

        I don't have much more to add beyond that except to say that you should look to SotC chase rules for dogfighting inspiration...

        -Stuart

        On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:39 AM, frunder <frunder@...> wrote:


        Hi all,

        For a while now I've been working on a Mecha/Macross/Robotech game using Spirit of the Century and more recently with Starblazer Adventures. I had some luck in actually playing the work in process but it felt cumbersome with too much to track on the players' part.

        Recently I've become serious and created a requirements doc for focus.

        http://platonicsolid.blogspot.com/2009/06/mecha-game-requirements.html

        So, to the crux of why I'm posting. I've figured out that the easiest way to model the mecha is to build a base ship with all of the common features (skills/aspects/stunts) and then build each mode with specific skills, etc.

        The current sticking point is how to determine the number of skill points for such an arrangement. I'm currently working with a multiplier based on the number of possible nodes. For example, a Veritech is a Medium (3) Advanced ship with 7 skill points and 3 "Bonus" stunts that do not refresh FP refresh. 7 x 3 (Modes) = 21 skill points to build the whole shebang.

        As of now the multiplier is arbitrary and I'd like to ground it in the ship design process. Currently my thought is that Stunt picks can be used. For example, Stunt: Fighter Mode, Stunt: Guardian Mode, Stunt: Battloid mode would yield a x3 skill point multiplier. But this feels a bit incongruous with the design intent for Stunts.

        Instead of just spinning my wheels I figured that I'd run the notion past you all for your thoughts and input.

        Thanks!


      • Brad Murray
        ... I ran into a similar exercise while testing the platoon-scale system for Diaspora -- I wanted to see if I could represent a Steve Jackson-style Ogre . In
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
          On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 8:39 AM, frunder<frunder@...> wrote:
          > Instead of just spinning my wheels I figured that I'd run the notion past
          > you all for your thoughts and input.

          I ran into a similar exercise while testing the platoon-scale system
          for Diaspora -- I wanted to see if I could represent a Steve
          Jackson-style "Ogre". In the end I got great results by representing
          it as multiple armour units that cannot be outside a single zone -- so
          it becomes a whole platoon of armour occupying one space. Each armour
          unit is then developed to give some of the flavour of the original
          Ogre, including the ablative nature of its systems -- there are a
          couple of basic armour units representing main and secondary
          batteries, a couple that provide zero-range (Hand to hand in Diaspora,
          anti-personnel in Ogre) weapons and mobility, a leader unit for the
          brain, and an indirect fire unit for the missiles. Bound it together
          with a special rule (only one unit makes the movement check and all
          move together) and we got great results -- degraded mobility on hits
          (if an HTH unit gets destroyed you may have to roll mobility with a
          different unit not designed for mobility), offensive ablation (destroy
          a battery unit to reduce offensive firepower), etc. Very successful.

          So here's a vote for "aggregate" characters for big stuff.

          --
          Brad Murray (halfjack)

          Expletive deleted.
        • chris@zerneeak.com
          Each mode could have 1 or 2 aspects that can be tagged for free per session. Also each veritech could have an extra aspect or stunt like super veritech,
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
            Each mode could have 1 or 2 aspects that can be tagged for free per session. Also each veritech could have an extra aspect or stunt like super veritech, armored veritech, skull one, etc.

            Also, a stunt that allows you to attack with leadership plussome minions should allow someone to play the roll of Lisa Hayes on the SDF-1. Give the SDF-1 a stunt like +3 or 4 to attack roll but you loose your next turn.

            ------------------------------------
            friends don't let friends use IE6 Upgrade IE8 : Switch FF3
            Chris Czerniak

            On Thu Jul 9 8:39 , 'frunder' sent:

            Hi all,

            For a while now I've been working on a Mecha/Macross/ Robotech game using Spirit of the Century and more recently with Starblazer Adventures. I had some luck in actually playing the work in process but it felt cumbersome with too much to track on the players' part.

            Recently I've become serious and created a requirements doc for focus.

            http://platonicsoli d.blogspot. com/2009/ 06/mecha- game-requirement s.html

            So, to the crux of why I'm posting. I've figured out that the easiest way to model the mecha is to build a base ship with all of the common features (skills/aspects/ stunts) and then build each mode with specific skills, etc.

            The current sticking point is how to determine the number of skill points for such an arrangement. I'm currently working with a multiplier based on the number of possible nodes. For example, a Veritech is a Medium (3) Advanced ship with 7 skill points and 3 "Bonus" stunts that do not refresh FP refresh. 7 x 3 (Modes) = 21 skill points to build the whole shebang.

            As of now the multiplier is arbitrary and I'd like to ground it in the ship design process. Currently my thought is that Stunt picks can be used. For example, Stunt: Fighter Mode, Stunt: Guardian Mode, Stunt: Battloid mode would yield a x3 skill point multiplier. But this feels a bit incongruous with the design intent for Stunts.

            Instead of just spinning my wheels I figured that I'd run the notion past you all for your thoughts and input.

            Thanks!


          • frunder
            The act of transforming isn t the problem it s about adequately modeling the modes in the system and keeping it congruous with the rest of Starblazer
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
              The "act" of transforming isn't the problem it's about adequately modeling the modes in the system and keeping it congruous with the rest of Starblazer Adventures. I'd like to maintain that compatibility because I don't want to model everything from scratch. A lot of the work is already done for me.

              I have the dogfighting notes in my Circus Ponies Notebook and I love the SotC chase rules. In fact the Gs system that I'm working on for "tactical" dogfighting will integrate right into them.

              --- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, "frunder" <frunder@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi all,
              >
              > For a while now I've been working on a Mecha/Macross/Robotech game using Spirit of the Century and more recently with Starblazer Adventures. I had some luck in actually playing the work in process but it felt cumbersome with too much to track on the players' part.
              >
              > Recently I've become serious and created a requirements doc for focus.
              >
              > http://platonicsolid.blogspot.com/2009/06/mecha-game-requirements.html
              >
              > So, to the crux of why I'm posting. I've figured out that the easiest way to model the mecha is to build a base ship with all of the common features (skills/aspects/stunts) and then build each mode with specific skills, etc.
              >
              > The current sticking point is how to determine the number of skill points for such an arrangement. I'm currently working with a multiplier based on the number of possible nodes. For example, a Veritech is a Medium (3) Advanced ship with 7 skill points and 3 "Bonus" stunts that do not refresh FP refresh. 7 x 3 (Modes) = 21 skill points to build the whole shebang.
              >
              > As of now the multiplier is arbitrary and I'd like to ground it in the ship design process. Currently my thought is that Stunt picks can be used. For example, Stunt: Fighter Mode, Stunt: Guardian Mode, Stunt: Battloid mode would yield a x3 skill point multiplier. But this feels a bit incongruous with the design intent for Stunts.
              >
              > Instead of just spinning my wheels I figured that I'd run the notion past you all for your thoughts and input.
              >
              > Thanks!
              >
            • frunder
              ... Very interesting. I think I m going to go that route for capital ships. Initially I took that approach for each of the modes of the Veritech. It was
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
                > So here's a vote for "aggregate" characters for big stuff.

                Very interesting. I think I'm going to go that route for capital ships.
                Initially I took that approach for each of the modes of the Veritech. It was workable but the amount of info that needed to be managed caused it to get low marks from my players.

                What's your take on selecting stunts for more skill points at build time?
              • Brad Murray
                ... In Diaspora we have three separate systems for different scales, and one of them equates skills and stunts through an intermediate build point system.
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
                  On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:28 AM, frunder<frunder@...> wrote:
                  > What's your take on selecting stunts for more skill points at build time?

                  In Diaspora we have three separate systems for different scales, and
                  one of them equates skills and stunts through an intermediate "build
                  point" system. Equipment also uses a point system to develop a small
                  set of skills (Harm, Penetration, and Range for weapons) enhanced by
                  stunts purchased with the same points. It works but we reserve it for
                  "things" rather than "guys".

                  At the personal scale, it's similar to SotC: Fixed skill pyramid and
                  three stunts. Fate refresh of 5.
                  At the spacecraft scale, there is a ship construction system using
                  build points determined by technology level, and stunts and skills are
                  purchased with build points.
                  At the platoon scale, unit type determines a fixed skill structure
                  (pyramid or column, and fixing cap) and technology level determines
                  the number of stunts and some stunts increase individual skill levels.

                  We played around with creating a unified system, but honestly the
                  differences in the core construction mechanisms for each scale enhance
                  the difference in a way that's very appealing. While each scale has a
                  kind of character (a person, a spacecraft, or a squad) to be played,
                  they experiences are very different -- it never feels like the same
                  game with a different paint job on the stats to make the difference.

                  --
                  Brad Murray (halfjack)

                  Expletive deleted.
                • frunder
                  ... Is this up on the Diaspora wiki? A tangent that I forgot to mention earlier: One of the reasons why I don t want to represent the modes just by aspects is
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
                    > In Diaspora we have three separate systems for different scales, and
                    > one of them equates skills and stunts through an intermediate "build
                    > point" system...


                    Is this up on the Diaspora wiki?


                    A tangent that I forgot to mention earlier:

                    One of the reasons why I don't want to represent the modes just by aspects is that in Starblazer Adventures skills can absorb consequences on behalf of the stress track.
                  • Brad Murray
                    ... Some of it is, but the wiki is pretty old design material now. The current state is far more refined from that text, mostly due to a lot of playtesting the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 9, 2009
                      On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM, frunder<frunder@...> wrote:
                      > Is this up on the Diaspora wiki?

                      Some of it is, but the wiki is pretty old design material now. The
                      current state is far more refined from that text, mostly due to a lot
                      of playtesting the hard cases. The wiki will give you a whiff of where
                      we're heading though.

                      A link to the wiki is at the Diaspora main page at <http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora>

                      --
                      Brad Murray (halfjack)

                      Expletive deleted.
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