Lands of Plenty

catty_big

Miao wow!!
Validated User
#11
It's important to include clear guidelines on the sorts of things that are encompassed by a Success vs. a Good Success or what have you. Powered by the Apocalypse world games do this with their Player and GM moves, Blades in the Dark does this with copious examples and a lengthy explanation of the rules for position and effect (as well as how to modify them). Burning wheel does this by including rules for just about everything. In the text itself, you don't describe what constitutes Success or failure, which sounds like it would be obvious but it's very important to codify in your rules system that when the dice hit the table, something needs to change (for the worse, or the better). Otherwise there's no point to rolling them.
I'm not a huge fan of PbtA games (although I love Monsterhearts), but I take your point. Copious examples and lengthy explanations? I love doing those, so that's right up in my wheelhouse. Hm, I'm now thinking a whole section devoted to examples of good and bad success (similar to the ones I gave earlier) is the way to go. I've already got on my to-do list explanations of all the different foci combos, so it's entirely in keeping with my plans for the rules section.
 

eeldip

Registered User
Validated User
#14
ACTUAL FEEDBACK TIME:

the setting seems to be a top priority design goal right? its how you lead. also its pretty much the name of the game (its about a place). somewhere around this board, people always give this advice: DO YOU REALLY NEED NEW MECHANICS, SHOULD YOUR GAME INSTEAD BE SETTING MATERIAL FOR AN EXISTING SYSTEM? after ready this... i think you are not quite there in terms of justifying a new rule set for this setting.

agreed with above that you should put the history at the end.

one thing that strikes me as strong, and well tied to the setting: a lot of rules about travel/exploration, i like the part about familiar terrain (don't seem to be many rules about this... but still nice), and all the different coinages (implies a lot of trade), means of travel (horseback etc). this tie nicely to the setting. set the tone for what to do in the game (EXPLORE!). could benefit from fleshing out (what happens when you have a party of people, and none of them are familiar with the desert and they have to cross one?) and obviously you are (travel rules coming, and how where you start in the game is important somehow).

so there seems to be 3 sets of basic mechanics, the GM rolls, combat (which is an expanded form of the gm rolls), and social combat. i kinda like the social combat rules because they seem well tied to the setting. having reputation, social status and clan affiliation as stats is kinda cool, they depend on the characters relationship with the world. i think they should be better fleshed out in the social combat rules. anyway, it is sort of clunky to have 3 systems, but i like how it points to how to play the game.

some baggage/things to edit: i think there are too many items in the stat block. for example, there is more real estate on the sheet for different types of crafts than basic attributes (STR, DEX etc). is the game *about* crafting? i think you can cut a lot of fat there. eloquence(social skills)/presence? need them both?

agreed with above that the "interpretation table" needs to either be simplified or fleshed out.
 

catty_big

Miao wow!!
Validated User
#15
eeldip eeldip
Hey there! Thanks for your feedback, it’s much appreciated. Responses below:

Typefaces
I do love Goudy.
Me too! I also like Bradley – I frequently use the cursive version, Bradley Hand – but the full fat version is for me uncomfortably close to Fraktur, the neo-Gothic tf the Nazis used. I’m not ruling it out though.

Setting
the setting seems to be a top priority design goal right? its how you lead. also its pretty much the name of the game (its about a place).
True enough. It started as a musing I had (I daydream a lot) about a bunch of fractious nobles sitting round a Council table scoring points off each other, to the frustration of the authority figure, a weak monarch of some kind. From there it was a short leap to a country devastated and torn apart after several decades of near constant war as powerful factions fought for supremacy. Another leap, and hello RPG gameworld!

i think you are not quite there in terms of justifying a new rule set for this setting.
Ah yes, the old homebrew vs established system debate, that resounds ever and anon in the halls of gaming. My inclination is almost always to design a new system, for three main reasons: First, although I’ve played in many games with a variety of different systems, I haven’t GM’d enough of them myself to be confident about using them in a new one; however, I know enough to be able to cannibalise them, which is what I’ve basically done with LoP. If you look closely you'll see echoes of other systems all over the place, including the char sheet. Secondly, with games that use an existing system, especially one with a strong brand identity such as D&D, PbtA or FATE, people tend to think of the game as a 5e game or a FATE game, rather than Game X, which just happens to use System Y. And thirdly, I love designing systems!

Lore
agreed with above that you should put the history at the end.
Easily solved. Well, except that Word unaccountably moves the layout when I try to do so. Eh, I’ll get there. (No, I can’t afford to buy InDesign, and don’t want to spend hours and hours learning Scribus or GIMP or whatever. Well, not yet anyway).

Travel
one thing that strikes me as strong, and well tied to the setting: a lot of rules about travel/exploration, i like the part about familiar terrain (don't seem to be many rules about this... but still nice), and all the different coinages (implies a lot of trade), means of travel (horseback etc). this tie nicely to the setting. set the tone for what to do in the game (EXPLORE!). could benefit from fleshing out (what happens when you have a party of people, and none of them are familiar with the desert and they have to cross one?) and obviously you are (travel rules coming, and how where you start in the game is important somehow).
Yes, there will be a lot of travel. The familiar terrain menu and list of coinages are a kind of future proofing; or rather, putting down a deposit. Familiar terrain will come into play when a player party ventures into a type of terrain that one of them knows well; in that event, that character will get some sort of advantage, such as modifiers to things like tracking and reputation etc., or will be able to help the party generally with their knowledge of it. The big bone of contention there will ofc be encumbrance, and I’m not planning to cross THAT bridge in a hurry. Oh no.

Mechanics
so there seems to be 3 sets of basic mechanics, the GM rolls, combat (which is an expanded form of the gm rolls), and social combat. i kinda like the social combat rules because they seem well tied to the setting. having reputation, social status and clan affiliation as stats is kinda cool, they depend on the characters relationship with the world. i think they should be better fleshed out in the social combat rules. anyway, it is sort of clunky to have 3 systems, but i like how it points to how to play the game.
Don’t forget travel, that will eventually make four. Srsly, it’s not actually that many. As you point out, combat is really task res+: you roll as normal, and if you succeed you roll again for damage. Social combat is another thing entirely, and I’m glad you like it. It’s pretty central to the game in fact, and I anticipate players using it a lot as they get comfortable with both it and the setting in general, with feuds and vendettas going on for years, and informing much of the action, particularly in Politics/intrigue mode.

Baggage
some baggage/things to edit: i think there are too many items in the stat block. for example, there is more real estate on the sheet for different types of crafts than basic attributes (STR, DEX etc). is the game *about* crafting? i think you can cut a lot of fat there. Eloquence (social skills)/presence? need them both?
Yeah, stat bloat is definitely a thing, with WIPs frequently starting off stat heavy and gradually getting whittled down. Cf. this thread, with particular reference to Octopus Prime’s comment and my reply on the subject. Regarding the crafts, yes, they are essentially all variations on DEX, and I could just say somewhere in the rules that crafts default to DEX, but in a way it IS a game about crafting, in that those sorts of abilities feature heavily in the day to day lives of much of the population, and I think the iconicity is valuable. Also, I want to have a few specialisms on the char sheet; not nearly as many as in most games of this type, but enough for the players to have a bit of an edge from time to time, and crafts and travel are areas that seem to be as appropriate as any to do that in. My vague plan is to give players with a DEX of 3-4 +1 in one or two of them, and those with 5 +2. Believe it or not, I started out with all those specialisms as separate stats, changing them to DEX+ only a couple of weeks ago during one of my frequent tinkering sessions. However, as with much else, it’s still up for grabs, and I may yet consolidate even further along the lines you suggest. Actually, Eloquence will probably go; that’s a leftover from when I had a set of Social skills specialisms which included things like poetry, singing and dancing etc.

Results table
agreed with above that the "interpretation table" needs to either be simplified or fleshed out.
On it! I’ve gone with fleshed out, and have renamed it, as you see. The column that was entitled Roll I’m now calling Result, bc it represents the total result after all the mods have been factored in. All that will now be fully gone into in a section of the QS (which is now a separate doc which I’ll link to when I’ve broken the back of it), called Results table. The bit about bonuses and +1-3 for failed rolls may still be puzzling you; don't worry, that will be explained in that section also.

Thanks again for your input :).
 
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catty_big

Miao wow!!
Validated User
#16
Thanks to some very useful feedback from J John Out West , johnthedm7000 johnthedm7000 , eeldip eeldip and torbenm torbenm , I'm motoring through the QS doc, which I've built from the ground up, cannibalising bits of the main draft doc along the way. So far I've done the How to play section and about half the Character sheet run through; I've started writing up The Harder They Come, the scenario I ran last year, and the first pre-written scenario to go in the book, and put in placeholders for Character creation, Writing a scenario, Game management and Cartography. I've given brief explanations of the success levels (more detailed explanations of them will go in the Game management section, with probably a list somewhere of examples for all six levels for all the main abilities) and renamed the last column of the results table 'Taking the fail', explaining it in some detail. I've found a nice placeholder image to go on the cover, and will look around for a cartographer or a cartography tool so I can make a start on that too. I'll post the new QS doc when I've got most of the main sections done. But best of all, I'm feeling really energised as a result of this thread. Thanks guys!!
 
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catty_big

Miao wow!!
Validated User
#17
OK, I've made solid strides on what is essentially a rewrite of the LoP draft doc. So far I've written up detailed sections on:

How to Play
Character sheet (explanation)
Character sheet (example)
Writing a scenario

I've also started work on a pre-written scenario. I've pasted in all the character sheets, a scenario description and suggested sign-up sheet, and am now working on some GM's notes for it.

Still to come:

Character creation and building a player party
Game management
Brief setting notes
Abilities explanation and examples of the six Success and Failure levels.

After that, we're pretty much done bar artwork and layout.

I’ve put a link in my sig to the QS document, which will become operational when I’ve uploaded the (for now) finished draft, which will be in about two-three weeks.

N.B. This will be a Public Alpha playtest doc.
 
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