Friday, January 14, 2005

[Astral] The Basic Mechanic

Describing rules seems to be difficult for me. I’ll start with an example and do some editing later to try to generalise a description.

Svend needs to rendevous with someone in the middle of a cloud. This is clearly a use of Attunement (currently rated at 8). As it will involve flying it will be [a test / a use] of his Soul. But an Attunement of 8 is heavily weighted towards the Body end of the scale, so Svend is unlikely to succeed.

He now rolls a d10. If he rolls 8,9 or 10 he succeeds and makes the rendevous. If he rolls 7 or below, he fails and gets another (unwanted) outcome.

(... later)

So succeeding at using an ability involves equalling your current score or exceeding it (on the opposite side of the ability you're trying to use).... man, I'll have to work on simplifying that sentence!

Failing means rolling between your current score and the ability you're trying to use.

Another Example:
Steve needs to convince an intelligent sphere of light that he's a good guy. Currently his Ethics are at 6, which means his character sheet looks like this:

Angelic 9 8 7 [6] 5 4 3 2 1 0 Demonic

He's drawing on the Angelic side and with a score of 6 he's got a slightly better than average chance of succeeding. If he rolls 0,1,2,3,4,5 or 6 (between the ability opposite to the one he's drawing on and his current score) then he'll succeed.

If he rolls 9,8 or 7 - between the ability he's drawing on and his current score - then he'll fail.

NB: The current score of the Rating always favours the player. If you roll it then the outcome the player prefers is used.

To think about: If you roll a 9 or a 0, your Rating moves 1 point in that direction. This'd introduce an element of risk into the game.


Anonymous said...

Svend here...

Having a roll shift your score by one doesn't seem like it'd make that much difference if you can shift it by one every action. To make this a meaningful mechanic, it seems like you need to limit the number of times you can shift the scores voluntarily.

One option is to have some kind of 'alienation' statistic, measuring how "you" you are; each voluntary shift makes you less yourself. This could be identical to the "Attunement" rating, I guess...

hix said...

You may be right about it not making a difference, Svend. I’m not sure this mechanic’s doing exactly what I want yet – which is to introduce a little bit of uncertainty and risk into entering Endgame. On the other hand, I’m not sure if such a mechanic is even necessary. Could be better just to leave it up to the player to decide if they want to finish their character’s story off.

hix said...

P.S. Your other ideas are very interesting. I can feel them simmering away now.