Showing posts from March, 2021

struggle session: review of (d6-d6) resolution system

i’m sick, missing class, and laying in bed. i’m bored. so, gonna critique the resolution system i came up with a couple days ago. read the original post for my inspiration and context . i’m going to criticize the original version of the idea, where stats are generated by 2d6. here are some problematic facts about the resolution system with respect to this stat distribution. the maximal score 2 can win against is 7 (2.78%) the minimal score 7 can lose against is 3 (2.78%) the maximal score 7 can win against is 12 (2.78%) the minimal score 12 can lose against is 8 (2.78%) in other words, only scores >= 7 have a chance > 0 to win against 12, while only scores <= 6 have a chance to lose against 2. what this means: 58.33% of players have zero chance of losing against score 2 41.67% of players have zero chance of winning against score 12 this system can only be improved by letting there be less possible stat scores than there are possible rolls. for instance, FUDGE has 7 possible st

a critical reading of BOLT, part 1

when a. pandey came back on twitter for five minutes to ask the timeline whether we missed him, he also said something to the effect that he's offering himself up to be criticized in the manner that he criticized other games. since i've had thoughts on BOLT for a while, i figured i would shoot my shot. let's look at the prologue to BOLT (kachow) to learn about pandey's motivation in writing this game. i've only got access to the pre-kickstarter version, "0.8". > This is BOLT, a built-for-hacking action-adventure role-playing game engine designed to port across multiple settings. Yes, there are already a lot of "generic" RPG systems, but the availability of better-funded alternatives tends not to discourage nerds. right off the bat we learn that BOLT is a system meant to be hacked. this reminds me of what D&D fans say about 5E (though i think WOTC is less prone to agree), that you're meant to hack it and play it the way you want. the re

(d6-d6) character creation + conflict resolution

inspired by this post: might swap THAC0 table in small town gothic for this, but i haven't playtested either so! who knows. POWER LEVEL LADDER terrible poor mediocre fair good great superb each stat {dex, str, wis} starts at Terrible (1). you can distribute 7 points to each. alternatively, roll 3d6 and set each stat equal to one of your dice. or smth more complicated. just get three values between 1-6. stat check: roll (d6 - d6) and add the result to the relevant stat. if you roll at or above the right power level, you succeed. most dungeon checks are Superb. everyone has 10 hp. when you win a stat check to attack, your target loses hp equal to the highest die. when you lose, you lose hp equal to the highest die (maybe?). when you have 0 hp, you die. roll d6 for each monster's stat the same way as for characters to determine their power levels. this breaks down with monsters that are m

old post: stretching the limits of osr, civ game shit

old post i'm moving over from my wordpress blog to think about some more. especially thinking about xp as an infinite state machine for drive/desire, and mumford's analysis of the megamachine and human monuments fuck it gonna write new stuff before the section break let xp correspond to surplus labor (total labor output - labor necessary to reproduce society) surplus labor must be redirected into society to become necessary labor or something idk fuck tired waiting for my computer to be fixed I'm going to start posting updates about a potential collaborative game about sustaining a village! Let me link the initial post I made on The Pit that got me down this route. So, this is really all about throwing the principles of old-school roleplaying games outside of their original context: dungeoneering and hexcrawling. Game Inspirations The Ultraviolet Grasslands by Luka does this very well. The game revolves around a pointcrawl where the players are the heroes of a caravan,

on iphis

i'm gonna start writing my posts like this bc it makes me frustrated when they're like misread--and it's my fault for tip-toeing around making more explicit points. so, the myth of iphis (ovid, met 9.666-end). also, since i'm not writing in a more responsible capacity as a student in the classical field, i'm more at liberty to say controversial things about the met  itself. so let's get this out of the way: most of the met  is made up. although of course it pulled from existing myths and beliefs, it was largely rearranged or totally fabricated by ovid to satirize the social and political climate of early imperial (augustan) rome. some examples: narcissus meeting echo was unattested before ovid, and it has been argued by janan and gildenhard & zissos to be a reimagining of oedipus rex that phaethon fucking dies when he rides apollo's chariot is unattested, to the extent that loos argues that ovid secretly has phaeton transform anyway (because to think he

levi-strauss the hedgehog's dilemma

i had the privilege of reading a draft by roz ( @AllThingsTruly ) for a diceless story game about mechas, and made my creativity go off the walls thinking about ways to model character relationships and pivotal character moments in dramatic stories. first i just wanna say this is such a fun sounding game i wish i could experience in person! her resolution mechanic works as follows: either you fail, or you succeed but check off one drawback from a list. when all your drawbacks in that list are checked off, you erase all your checks and gain access to them again. one feedback i offered was that it would be fun to be able to sacrifice your own drawbacks so another player can succeed without drawbacks, and this ability would be based on your relationship with that other player. i cannot speak to whether she will implement this, but the idea fleshed itself out in my imagination. i don't wanna burden her with more ideas for how she could compose her game, so i am putting them here. let e

gender-sex thread for posterity

i'm copying/pasting this here bc it'll be good to hold onto this for further development or thinking about it, challenging it etc. i typed this out to respond to jay @jdragsky who is an indie game developer and a sweet person hi jay, thanks for your question! totally agree that it makes sense in MH for your identity to be grounded in aesthetic, and (as i said offhandedly in the post) that's more accurate to the word 'identity' than some inner truth or being i don't like subjective or objective as descriptors because i think they're imprecise, especially when talking about gender, so if i may try to like rephrase your question to understand what you might be going for, and please correct me: "can a subject's gender be squared into an objective categorization or system, or must it be?" i think that this question rests on gender being a possession of the subject qua 'true/inner self' or something like that and sorry for the lingo but: i do

Shitpost Job Rules

lol Minimum hourly wage is $0.50, so that you earn $4 every 8 hours of work. Every 8 hours you work at a job, check your most relevant stat for that job. SUCCESS: Mark 1 Job Experience Point (JXP). When you acquire 25 JXP total, you are promoted and now receive +$1 per shift. FAILURE: Lose Job Hit Points (JHP) equal to your earnings. When you lose all 10 JHP, your boss fires you. Your JHP resets every week. Roll 2d6 (use 3d6 for d20+bonus system, or whatever idk you figure it out) for your job’s initial difficulty, and increase that score by +1 (+1.5 for d20 rules?) each time you are promoted. Check for random encounters every 8 hours of work.

The Representation of Gender in PBTA Games as Aesthetic or Ontology

In Romance languages, and Indo-European languages in general, nouns tend to be classified by 'gender'. For example, in Latin the word 'aqua' (water) is feminine, the word 'amicus' (friend) is masculine, and the word 'simulacrum' (likeness) is neuter. In the study of grammar, the term 'class' may be used instead of 'gender' when referring to classification systems of nouns that do not correspond to gender. For example, Basque classifies nouns according to whether they are animate or inanimate; Swahili has 9 noun classes for people, plants, liquids, tools, animals, and more. Indo-European constructs of language are not universal, and labeling the grammatical role of 'gender' as 'class' is more accurate, and it encompasses more languages than just those who classify nouns based on gender alone. In indie tabletop role-playing games, we've seen almost the opposite move. Class-based gameplay (e.g. cleric, fighter, mage, thie

Traversing Fantasy: Fucking Dungeons

The “World’s Greatest Role-Playing Game” is the model for a nondeterministic indefinite game because of its open interface and its ability to allow players to pursuit their desire endlessly. As described before, Dungeons & Dragons is also a model for a certain structure of erotic desire by this very same virtue. In a 2002 forum post, Gary Gygax said of Dungeons & Dragons that “because of a [biological] difference in brain function [… women] do not achieve the same satisfaction from playing.” On the other hand, he noted, women are more attracted to “LARPing, which is more csocialization [sic] and theatrics and [than?] gaming.” Although his post was indeed an assertion of biologically-justified sexism against women, Gygax is correct to see a masculine structure of desire inherent to Dungeons & Dragons. The player qua subject desires and pursues object after object, and the game enables the player’s fantasy by ensuring that there is always another dungeon to raid and pillage