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ETA: I really need a catchy name for this system. Preferably one without my name in it so other folks won't feel weird using it once I get the kinks ironed out (and in). Meta-diceless?

I finally figured out how to polish the general set of diceless rules that I've been meddling with for a while (basically the rules set that Nano-Victorian Future is based off of).

You can get a general feel for the rules here.

Basically, it uses an Amber-ish diceless conflict resolution - whoever has more points wins. Characters are based on three types of properties: attributes, powers and knacks. Attributes are qualities that everyone has, and the primary focuses of conflict. Powers are qualities that some have, and some do not. Knacks are features unique to the character. Every character should also have a motivation, a couple words that sum up the main narrative drive for the character.

Exactly what the attributes, powers and knacks are is setting dependant.

While I haven't made it explicit in NVF, I've got a loose system for using powers and knacks in conflicts. Depending on how broadly usable a feature is, I either just add it in for the conflict, or double or (rarely) triple it. Moving forward I think it will be more clear if I let a player know up front if a given feature is straight-up, two-fold or three-fold. For example, a cloak of invisibility does only one thing, where "super-senses" is more broad, so the former would be two-fold and the latter straight-up. You would need to have more than twice the points to see past the invisibility cloak with your super senses.

In a fantasy setting, this would be pretty important if powers included being highly skilled at something (like fencing, say).

Finally, I've noodled before about the "Princess Bride problem" - how do you deal with Wesley and Inigo game-wise, letting Wesley win when they fence even though Inigo does nothing but fence? Previously, I figured that the solution was "fate points" in service of Motivation, but worried that the game would devolve into the players trying to game the fate point system.

My new idea is to simply not tell the player how many points they have. That introduces uncertianty into conflicts without overly eroding a PC's competancy. If you try to use a fate point and you're out, the action will either fail, or the player takes "damage" in one way or another.

It's probably a big PITA for the GM, so I'll have to work out some way to track this for myself during play, but I think it's worth a shot. I won't change the existing game I have running now, but I'll make the tweaks to any games I start up in the future, including convention games.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
wouldn't recommend calling something "Diceless". It's too negative. I'd call it "The Nano System". This gives you some obvious product names for future releases...
Jan. 26th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Good point. I'm not sure about "nano" though, since in NVF it refers to the nanotech in the setting. Hrm. Hopefully something clever will strike me in the next day or so.
Jan. 26th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
I suggest: MUDS
Multi Use Diceless System
Jan. 26th, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
No - MUD is already a term for old school BBS/telnet RPGs (Multi User Delusion, aka MUSH aka Multi User Shared Delusion).

Also trying to avoid an acronym. I want something witty like "pit of vipers" or at least "tri-stat" or "d20".
Jan. 26th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)

Alternatly "Your mom"
Think of the fun you could have: "I'm bored lets play with Your Mom!" "You know what would be perfect to use for this? Your Mom!" Etc...
Jan. 26th, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
A friend of mine who was the best GM for huge sweeping epic silliness had introduction scenes for characters that were outside of the players control and game mechanincs and frequently the laws of physics. He would generally hand it over to the player right at the apex... and that would cover the "Princess Bribe" problem. I think he occasionally fudged the dice for the sake of the story, no one noticed we were laughing too hard usually.
Feb. 17th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
How about a method whereby Wesley can say to Inigo, if you let me win, I will write my future with you in mind/spend fate points to find your nemesis. Wesley wins because he is the hero, but being the hero brings him the responsibilty of having his friends do things he cannot, like resurrect him, and actually be far stronger than he is. Wesley is mortgaging himself to win, rather than saving up beforehand.
Feb. 17th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
That requires everyone agreeing on who gets to be the hero. :) What you outline is a more narrative/"meta" than what I am trying to shoot for; one of the neat things about more narrative based games like Prime Time Adventures and In A Wicked Age is that the PCs don't need to be balanced in traditional terms. For my still-unnamed-diceless-system, though, I want something more traditional.
Feb. 17th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, Inigo is the hero of his own story. So is Humperdink, even.

But I get what you mean. I'll look up the names.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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