Reserve System: The Power 19

From here:  http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/2006/01/what-are-power-19-pt-1.html 

1.) What is your game about?


The Reserve system is about resource management and cool powers.
The Shattered Vistas, the setting the game is being designed around, is about a dark and broken world.
2.) What do the characters do?


The characters hunt through ruins for forgotten relics of a bygone age, weild dangerous magics, and ultimately have to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to let the very fabric of reality exist just a little bit longer.


3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?


There is a traditional player/GM breakdown.  The players (including the GM) make decisions about how they will spend their in-game resources, and explore the dichotomy of preservation of the one and preservation of the whole.


4.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?


The Shattered Vistas are a dying, and hostile world.  Players must use their resources wisely to achieve their goals.  Restoring the Vistas is an uphill battle, and the more meaningful the restoration, the greater the cost.


5.) How does the Character Creation of your game reinforce what your game is about?


Character creation features a number of nifty crunchy bits to choose from, and optimizing a character is half the fun. 


6.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?

The game rewards knowing the rules and using them.  You can’t just sit back and roll the dice.  To survive, you need to actively spend what you have.  You can’t just sit back and let the game play you.
Characters need to go out and face the world and the mounting problems, and not just sit at home, or even set out to make things worse.
Character death should not be severely punished.
7.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?


I’m not sure yet.I’m pondering the idea of stages of corruption in the vista.  Facing a stage of corruption, whether its resolved or not, yeilds a reward.  Deciding that the price isn’t worth it needs to be a valid choice.


8.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?


So far, traditionally, with the GM assuming the majority.


9.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)


There’s the stick:  if they don’t care, they’re likely going to die.  Hopefully the setting of the Vistas will be bleak enough that the players genuinely want to see it change for the better.
10.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?


Roll a die pool of d6s based on a Stat, add appropriate bonuses, and spend points from a relevant Reserve.  4’s and above are successes, and 6’s have the ability to do extra damage to others.  All rolls are opposed, either by another character, or the setting itself.


11.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?


The Reserve points: you have enough of them that they’ll come up often, but not enough that it’s always an easy expenditure.  The setting gets a die pool based on how dangerous the place you are is, this reinforces the whole “reality sucks and is out to get us” idea.


12.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?

Yes.  They get new powerups and stat boosts.  It’s likely going to look something like Savage Worlds.  (note-unspent Reserve points do not turn into XP.  Use them or lose them.)

13.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?

When characters advance they get new powers and abilities, and game-play options.  It’s not about having a bigger number; it’s about having a greater variety of choices.

14.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players? I want the players to squirm and think hard about what their next move is going to be.  I want the players to look at the setting and say, “wow, someone needs to do something about this.”

15.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?


Setting and Magic.  The theme doesn’t have any teeth unless the setting is sufficiently bleak and detailed.  The magic system is also key to the whole theme of self-sacrifice.


16.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?

I’m really keen on making a mechanics systems where players have to make meaningful decisions every action.

17.) Where does your game take the players that other games can’t, don’t, or won’t?


It does post-apocalypse straight-faced, unlike say, Deadlands.  At the very least, the resource-based conflict system should be new.
18.) What are your publishing goals for your game?


Get a print-book available for sale online and make some extra cash on the side of my real job, and maybe end up making 2-5 supplements.


19.) Who is your target audience?

Conflict/mechanics focused (i.e. Gamist) players for the system.  White-Wolf fans for the dark setting.

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