Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What if I removed Connections?

Hey all, I'm back. I fixed those links there and they lead to the 2nd edition rules and character sheet again. No updates yet.

But I think I just had a really good idea. I'm going to remove "connections" from Arenas. Instead of having a map of circles connected by lines, where the circles indicate arenas and the lines indicate ways of getting from one to the other, one can instead move from any one Arena to any other Arena with a single action.

Say what?

Yeah. Naturally, the move must still be consistant within the fiction. BUT! As we all already know, that fiction is fluid and subject to change by means of a player taking the Move action with their character.

For example: Your character moves from the Courtyard, to the Stairs, to the Balcony, establishing each as Arenas, and further establishing a connection C-S-B. But what if someone wanted to move from the Courtyard to the Balcony in a single move? Simple! You just have to describe how your character manages to bypass the stairs. Does he run up the side of the tower with Bird Feet? Or make the jump in a single leap via their amazing Daring? That's for you to describe and for your fellow players to agree to.

That leads me to another bit of rule that I don't think I've let you in on yet. See, we were just kinda playing around with the thing this past spring and I never really decided how I wanted to impliment it: Requiring a successful Attribute roll to enter an Arena.

In one particular session we decided that a particular arena was "hidden". One had to make a successful Alertness roll (vs. 8 IIRC) before one could enter the arena. There was another Arena, a crumbling aquaduct, that was difficult to scale, and so required a successful Daring roll to enter.

Those two rules solve most of the issues I was having when we played last. I just have one more really important thing to resove with the combat rules, then I can re-tune the Talents to fit the new system, and I'll have a 3rd edition ready for playtest.


kelvingreen said...

Interesting stuff. I have to admit that the way that Arenas work has me baffled just a little, so it's good to see further explanation. In the adventure I linked to in the comments of "The d12", the chief vampire had Fast as one of his abilities, but because there was only one kind of Arena (they fought him in the gravel pit), he couldn't use that power as written. So I ruled that he could act twice per round instead.

Anonymous said...

Removing Connections sound fine, won't upset gameplay - and using description sounds nicely ol'skool.

Requiring a successful attribute roll to enter an arena would work and makes attributes more integral to combat.

simple to implement changes but really effective - nice one Eric !

kelvingreen said...

Regarding connections, I reckon that they were an unnecessarily complication, so I agree that the game is better off without them.

kelvingreen said...

And thanks for the Word doc. Now I can do a mini handbook version of the rules!

Jeremiah said...

Having read this makes me realize that we... kinda never used connections.
Most of our arenas are like little venn diagrams.
"the pit-of-Azaroth is inside the hall-of-screams, and the secret tunnel leads from one to the other."

so the tunnel is a little rectangle that cuts through both...

it's pretty abstract.

Mike said...

A thought (and this is coming from someone who only just learnt of this game and hasn't had a chance to review it fully):

Personally, I like the idea of connections, as they've been defined, because they help give a sense of the structure of the terrain. What if you left the connections in, but allowed for dynamic creation of new connections when players come up with interesting ways to get from point A to point B? These connections could also be defined by the appropriate attribute roll.

For example, you've got two arenas: a city street and a walled-off courtyard. Initially, the two aren't connected, but the Longrunner decides he's going to scale the wall and end up on the other side. You define that new connection as a move-only Daring (8) connection, and note that down somehow. Later, the burly Warrior wants past the wall, and decides he's going to bust it down. That's a temporary Size (12) connection or somesuch. If he succeeds, the wall's been destroyed, so suddenly the connection between the two areas is wide open, and, as such, is just a regular connection with no check required.

Seems to me like this keeps the nature of the terrain defined, but also allows it to change as circumstances change or new tactics are applied.

Of course, this stuff could just be second nature and not have to be defined at all.