Moving Targets

Posted on Sat Feb 20 2016 -- grand-adventure

I have to get my household moved by April 2, so I've been busy with that. But here and there, I'm making progress on Grand Adventure.

Some of these thoughts came out of the last play-test I did. Others are attempts to simplify my overall model, and to decouple some parts of the game from others.

Pools and Damage

The damage system has you rolling twice: first to establish advantage, then again to actually do damage. Rolling already calls for a fair amount of math. When you do damage, you end up doing more math.

So why can't pools hold dice, rather than numbers? For example, maybe you have ten d6 in a Resolve Pool. Maybe your pool is made up of different dice, e.g. d4 through d12.

In this case, you'd roll dice from your pool both to overcome a challenge, and to do damage.

Leveling up a Word

In general, leveling up a Word should mean one of the following things:

  1. When you use it, it's more effective, or
  2. You can use it more often before you recharge your Pools

The current model uses approach 1, but having pools as dice would favor the second approach.

For example, say you have a pool of 10 dice. You have a three-star Word. You roll a few dice to beat the challenge and get to put three of those dice (the star rating) back into the pool.

Synergy and Cooperation

I'm thinking about letting players cooperate by constructing actions out of their individual Words. For example, Tana and Basler are fighting a Crystal Golem. Tana contributes her "Attack" Word, while Basler contributes "Sneakily". The pair team up on a sneak attack, both contributing dice to the total.

Another option is that an effect of someone's actions is to add dice to someone else's pools — either an existing one, or a new synthetic "teamwork" pool. This feels a little boring, though.

Discoveries

This is the hardest part. I think I need to add more support for building up the emotional impact of a discovery, and that means tearing out and redoing my table based design. I think a critical part of the discovery design process should be asking: how should this discovery make you feel?

There can be other important questions: what lives here? Plants? Animals? Does this place have a clear purpose?

I think I can present a dozen or so questions, and let the players or MC choose to answer a few of them.