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Help Me Figure This Out

fheredin

Registered User
Banned
Validated User
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, but I can make a stab.

For starters, I'll disagree with anyone who says this isn't a roleplaying game. When the dark dice trigger, you explore your character's past demons not the players, so there's a hard distinction between the player and the character. That hard distinction between player and character defines the RPG more than any gameplay loop.

I can see two problems. The first is relatively basic: I don't know what duration and style of play you're going for. Is this a campaign system or a one-off system? Is there a game master or decentralized narrative? And if it is a campaign system, how long are those campaigns? Do you have legacy game elements where the game actually marks, changes, or discards components as you play so you cannot go back and replay it the way it was?

That said, those are minor issues, and there is a major one; feedback loop design. Light dice do nothing bad and Dark dice do, which will mean that players who play well will completely miss out on your character exploration mechanic. What you really want is to guarantee that tears will happen. This probably qualifies as major revision, so take it with a grain of salt, but I would rebrand light and dark dice to instead be dawn and dusk dice. You start with a number of dawn dice representing positive things in your character's past, and you can spend them on your rolls like a metagame currency (MGC.) However, doing so gives the GM (or the game itself) dusk dice to spend as MGC as well. Or amass them to form tears.

A number of other posts mention advancement systems. I don't think this game really requires an advancement system, but if you do, I would make it require traversing a tear.
 

Beyond Reality

Registered User
Validated User
My first impression is that, frankly, right now it's kind of neither a board game or RPG and wants to be both in conflicting ways.

I'll preface this by saying that you definitely can have a narrative, improvisational board game and they can be done. But that's a big challenge and I think it would require a clearer vision for how the mechanics enforce and inform the narrative.

The biggest problem I see is that, from my limited board-game perspective, you've got two conflicting styles of board-game going on here.

The character stats, monster combat and dice system immediately bring to mind survival boardgames like [insert zombie game here] or [insert haunted house game here]. That's all well and good, but these games derive tension almost entirely through their mechanics and are rarely are engaging on a story level.

The exploration of past events and traumas sounds more like a prompt-based improv games like Dixit. But those games lend themselves to a loose style with fairly simple "game" elements.

Now, like I mentioned, nothing says you can't combine these in some way, but that's a big challenge and it also means that you're putting a lot of effort into reaching the group of people who like both games, and that's kind of a niche of an already niche audience.

In RPGs, these mechanical elements tend to blend without any problem. You can have your improv story-telling and your monster shooting together in relative harmony. However, in that case there's two elements that I would say work against you:

*the dark dice. Having a warp to the past be determined by pure chance (even if modestly under the player's control) is going to be rough. You could end up with them barely happening at all, making a major gimmick of the system fall by the wayside, or they could happen way too often and just end up becoming part of the standard gameplay. I would suggest a less random trigger.

*premade characters: This is kind of killer for most RPGs, since the ability to create your own character is a big draw. I'd suggest rather than fully-premade characters like you'd find in a boardgame, have archetypes that serve as "classes". So instead of having "guy searching for his daughter/wife" you have an archetype of someone looking for someone or something they lost. Instead of "murderer haunted by his past" you have an archetype of someone who has committed a major act of undefined violence. You could even make a mechanic of building characters through their flashbacks, so characters are mostly blank slates to start with and get built up with each flashback.


Now, I will also say something as a fan of silent hill, and silent hill 2 in particular, which this is obviously pretty inspired by. I think the tendency a lot of fans have to turn every silent hill-inspired work into "place that haunts you with your past" is a pretty big limit to the sort of stories you can tell. This is especially true in a game with more than one character. Giving every character a traumatic backstory is going to lead to some samey experiences. But that's more of a personal reaction than a mechanical one.
 

darnest

PureImaginationNoLimits..
Validated User
I was just reading gurps cthulhupunk and they talk about the three kinds of fear: horror of the unknown, queasy at something that does not fit into our veiw of reality and terror when we see something that just breaks us. It got me thinking about the flip side.. curiosity, rational though, and courage.
The light/dark side dice work for that if you define what adds and subtracts them or gives other options. You could do 6 color dice, but that seems too much.
So what you could do is say light side dice are added or remove darkside or allow re rolls. The gm uses the bad to do the same add dark remove light etc..
I think the key is each die action has to be narrated "I clutch my book of Life to my chest build up my courage and move towards the noise, add a light dice". The gm replies "you hear 15 claws and the sight of red eyes, the horror adds a dark die". Every one adds dice to the pool
Character attributes set how many times you go? I think the key is the narrative of each player, than one roll and winner narrates what happens.
 

CWalck93

Doom Priest of Peace and Happiness
Validated User
Folks, I'm reading your responses and absorbing it. And yes, I agree that I have two conflicting ideas in that there's some board game mechanics and there are some RPG mechanics.

I will read through everything again later today and I will post responses later.
 
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