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Ben Lehman

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High Quality Role Playing [Aug. 11th, 2009|08:28 pm]
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I wrote a game, it's for a contest but it's a good game (story of my life.) It's called High Quality Role Playing, and it's ... like %50 old-school D&D and %50 something else which I'm not sure even exists yet.

You can download a playtest version here. If you do, you should read it! If you're interested, you should play it! It's a pretty easy game to get started playing, I think, particularly if you're already familiar with RPGs.
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2009-08-12 03:50 am (UTC)

(Jono here)

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I just read it. I notice it is entirely silent on the question of "What do we do in this game?".

1. Am I right in thinking that the answer is to be found in brainstorming the situation implied by the results of the Group Circumstances, Group Location, and Profession tables, and then pursuing whatever goals seem appropriate to that situation?

2. Assuming this silence is a feature, and not a bug, why did you decide to include it?
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-12 04:47 am (UTC)

Re: (Jono here)

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I would say "You play until you resolve the group circumstances to the satisfaction of the players." I'm not trying to be silent on it, but 48 pages isn't a ton of space. I guess I wasn't clear enough.

So here's an example: Say that you roll "mission." You'd play until you either:
1) Finished your mission.
2) Said "fuck this mission, we're not doing it" and dealt with the consequences of that.

yrs--
--Ben
From: (Anonymous)
2009-08-12 03:51 am (UTC)

(Jono here)

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Oh, two more questions:

1. Have you played it yourself yet?

2. If I convince my group to playtest it, what kind of feedback are you looking for?
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-12 04:49 am (UTC)

Re: (Jono here)

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1) Nope. In Taiwan, no gaming group.

2) Play the game and note the failure points that you have. Try to play past the failure points but if you can't go on, stop.

First, present that to the designer: we had a failure point when a, b and c happened.

Then, speculate as to the possible causes: maybe it was rule q, or maybe it was a combination of s and t, or maybe bob was just having a bad day.

Finally, and segregated from the rest, give your mechanical suggestions: replace rules a and b with rules x and y, add rule z.
[User Picture]From: amnesiack
2009-08-12 05:08 pm (UTC)

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One thing I noticed (I think you did the same thing in Clover) is that you have a "What is a role playing game?" section, but you don't talk about dice anywhere. You just start telling people "Roll on tables." It's safe to say that the people looking at this now won't be thrown off by this at all (looking at the tables indicates you use d6s), but it seems like a weird dichotomy to explain what role playing is, but ignore explaining the physical tools used in the game.
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-12 06:49 pm (UTC)

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I assume that people know what a game is, and that how to use dice (you pick them up and roll them) is pretty self-explanatory to someone who's ever played a dice game before. I should have instructions for character sheets. I didn't 'cause of space and time constraints.

Does Clover have a "what is a role-playing game" section? I don't think it did. I think it just said "this is a role-playing game."
[User Picture]From: amnesiack
2009-08-12 07:13 pm (UTC)

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It might not have; I just remember that it never mentioned what kind of dice it uses.

It's just something that always sticks out glaringly to me as an omission in game texts, especially when it's just as easy as adding the sentence "This game uses six-sided dice for all rolls." or whatever.
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-12 10:27 pm (UTC)

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"six-sided dice" is a gamerism. I try to avoid it if at all possible. (Polaris doesn't use the term either. Now that I think about it, I don't know if Bliss Stage does.)

If I feel the need to specify for gamers, I say "this game uses the ordinary sort of dice you find in almost all board games." But usually I don't even say that.

yrs--
--Ben
[User Picture]From: l_the_fangirl
2009-08-14 09:29 pm (UTC)

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Bliss Stage specifies fudge dice, and explains how to read (six sided) dice for the same effect.

Yes, I am a fanboy.
[User Picture]From: evilmagnus
2009-08-27 09:05 pm (UTC)

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I'm thinking of running a game at ACNW using this system - bandits in Arden. You cool with that?
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-27 09:16 pm (UTC)

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I'm fine with it. I might play.
[User Picture]From: evilmagnus
2009-08-27 09:51 pm (UTC)

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Hey, I'd forgotten you were coming these year. Awesome!

I've submitted the game. It's easy to spot which one it'll be, although I don't specifically mention HQRP as the resolution system and may tweak chargen a bit to make it more thematically-appropriate. But maybe not.
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-27 10:03 pm (UTC)

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Here are my thoughts on converting HQRPG to other systems:

You may want to write some appropriate traits (like Blood of Amber say or something like that?)

Rewrite the professions table to be appropriate to your setting.

If the setting has antibiotics and antiseptic hospitals, figure out how the wound rules are different.

If the setting has guns, add "or high caliber" next to "big" in the damage roll section.
[User Picture]From: evilmagnus
2009-08-27 10:21 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, the professions table is going to be the main change, although I'm not opposed to having one character who's been to 'the big city'. I'm also probably going to restrict the paths to magic.

The other thing I'm toying with is specifically introducing character age into the mechanic ; maybe going from child through youth, veteran (?) to aged / wizened, with each stage having a specific pro and con. For example, being a child makes you small, but also quick, and in a fight lets you re-target an attack on you to another player (i.e. you seem less of a threat than the 20-something with a club).

But still, very much at the 'toying' stage now.
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-09-01 09:37 pm (UTC)

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Age mechanics are a neat idea. If you do that, I'd like to stick it in the finished book with your permission.

yrs--
--Ben
[User Picture]From: benlehman
2009-08-27 10:03 pm (UTC)

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Other settings, rather.