27 January 2006

The Power 19 and more on Badass Space Marines

Okay, I think I'm going to have to go through the power 19 for my designs.

I'm half stuck on Ron Edwards' comment on Badass Space Marines in the design thread at the Forge. I can see what he's getting at, and I'm pretty sure that would be an awesome game. However, it's a game with almost nothing in common with Badass Space Marines.

Badass Space Marines as it is right now is a really fun game for simulating a certain type of big dumb action movie. I think it would be pretty easy to make it broader, so that it was the Big Dumb Action Movie game, which would be okay but isn't really a compelling idea. To make it deeper, it seems like I would have to start from scratch, and write a different game. Hard stuff to process.


Jason Pollock said...

Posting at the Forge is just too difficult. The 19 questions are probably a good thing to do. :)

After reading the forum, I know how you want to encourage other types of bad-assery other than just killing the bad, evil things. I'm just not sure it should be rewarded.

Couple of things to ponder:
1) There's nothing preventing that from happening here, it just isn't rewarded.
2) Every thing you reward makes the game more complicated. How do you decide something is "Bad Ass"? With stunts, it sounds like it's consensus based. The squad decides if something is bad-ass enough. Even better, if they don't like it, they're pretty much allowed to go back and make it suitably bad-ass. Would that fluidity be allowed with the social scenes?
3) I thought the game was 0 prep, role playing board game. Adding in a reward for good acting seems to fit in a longer campaign, the initial sessions in campaigns are always soft on the role playing. :)
4) Pacing. The combat rounds have already been padded out by requiring bad-ass descriptions. Will the additional focus on character interaction result in the game running over time?
5) You don't have to provide a reward to get people to play a game a certain way. You can recommend that they add a couple scenes in here and there, but at the end of the day, if they don't and don't enjoy the game, who's fault is it? :)

I like the pace of the game. It ran for a good length, and the action was frantic. If anything, I think it could be ramped up a little. :)

Still, it's your game. :) It's an awesome one and one I look forward to playing repeatedly.


The Gamester At Large said...

I'm not sure you're really thinking as a designer here, Jason.

1. If you want a game to include X, then X must be encouraged and rewarded. Not just possible and unsupported by the rules.

2. Sure, new stuff would complicate it, but at the moment it is one of the shortest and simplest games around. I have a way to go before this is a big issue.

3. Nobody was talking about rewarding "good acting". Obviously you're never going to get the depth and breadth that you would over a longer game, but you can still aim for something more than cutouts.

4. Pacing is a real issue. I'm attacking that from another direction as well (reducing creature numbers). Then again, we don't need to be taking a great deal of time over it.

5. Um... you realise I am writing a game here? The whole point is to build it to play the way I want it to go. Recommending something without building it into the system is pretty much a copout. Note also that 'reward' here is being used in a fairly general sense - not just in terms of rules benefits for the characters.

Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts (even if I did seem to shoot them down).

hix said...

I'll be fascinated to see your answers to the Power 19, Mike.

My 0.02 = the game as it stands is fun. You could refine what it already is. You could change it along the lines Ron questioned. Or you could refine what you have, and then start a new game design along Ron's suggested lines.

"I can see what he's getting at, and I'm pretty sure that would be an awesome game."

So my question is, do you want to write that awesome game?

The Gamester At Large said...

I'm quite interested to see those answers too. I'm probably going to sit down tonight and go through them.

With regard to Badass Space Marines, I have decided that I'm not going to revise it that way. Like I said, it's a great idea, but it's not this game.

And I am probably not going to write that one. Not anytime soon, anyhow. Maybe Descent will do this, so I don't have to.

The Gamester At Large said...

Ok, I have been through the 19. Pretty much confirms in my mind what I said there. Ron's comments just diverted me from the real game here. Badass Space Marines will stay pretty much as it is - I'm revising a few things:
- Mission structure to fit pacing better.
- Fewer, tougher aliens to reduce number of stunts required. Still plenty, of course.
- I'm considering a way to avoid damage for yourself or squaddies, but I'm not sure how to work it in yet (this is the positive bit of my diversion).

Otherwise it will be the same beast.