Wednesday, November 15, 2006

[Fifth World or Something] Quest Rules

Last week, thanks to a long business-related train ride, I got several hours to work on that game (not called Fifth World any more). I put together the basic die mechanic, and worked out how one of the types of scenes is going to work in the game. The section I'm working on is about quests, where characters leave their community in search of some item or just to gain renown.

I've ventured quite far from The Shadow of Yesterday at this point, even though that was the original inpiration. TSoY just wasn't supporting what I wanted out of the game, and shoehorning it was starting to really frustrate me.

Here's a basic summary of what the quest system is about:

Characters have traits, which they call on to overcome challenges. I'm using Fudge dice for this, since they have a nicely constrained set of results. The players gradually build a pool of dice to use in a challenge, where + counts as an attack opportunity, - a defense opportunity, and blanks serve to absorb attacks. If a player uses a + on his turn, the target of the attack can either discard two dice of his choice from the pool (the attack succeeds), use one of his - dice to block the attack (the attack fails), or use a + and discard one die to suffer the attack but return attack.

Renown and inside pools can be used to supplement traits in the challenge. Players can also do criminal or dishonorable things which raises their outside pool. I wanted this to be an attractive option, so if a player runs his outside total up by one, he gets two new dice and can choose what value he wants on them. Outside basically gives the GM a pool of points he can spend to mess with the character after the challenge.

I ran this little conflict system out with some friends last weekend and it works quite well. The players, thanks to some rolls that weren't as useful, ended up tapping into the outside option, so the temptation is definitely there. It's also quite predictable how effective a character can be (barring really crappy rolls), so it makes challenges easy to construct. This is good, because there will be some quest guidelines for GMs to build proper challenges for the players. The more difficult the quest the players choose, the more renown they can earn by completing.

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At 7:04 AM, Blogger Guy said...

I like the die-roll mechanic, it's like a mix between Bliss Stage and DitV.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Brennan Taylor said...

Thanks! I haven't played Bliss Stage, but DitV was definitely an influence. I like the way the dice pools interact with the conflict in DitV, and I wanted to get some of that feeling.


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