November 11, 2014

Hari Ragat Vivid: System Changes

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Reports are in for the last playtest of Hari Ragat using the Vivid system, run by Fabs Fabon assisted by Marc.

The Adventure
The party encountered a six-headed giant named Gawigawen, who could return from the dead unless slain by very specific means. The party achieved this by Mira’s character Dimaraig taking on the name of the Dimalupi hero Kanag, who had been fated to slay the giant but had been slain by him instead.

Dimaraig was able to convince the spirit of the original Kanag to let him take the name, despite having no family connections with his line at all. The party then went to battle again with Gawigawen, roping his limbs to give them advantage, then the last blow was struck as fated by Dimaraig-now-Kanag.

The session ended with 250 Dimalupi warriors coming to the town of Rawis … not to fight, but to offer their spears and axes to the new Kanag.

New Mechanic: Pushing
The main takeaway for us in this session was that we could improve Vivid’s dice mechanic. I deliberately designed it so that even at high levels you could still not be too certain of the results, unlike a dice + constant mechanic or additive dice pool mechanic where you knew that at a certain point you were practically undefeateable. This design however could be flukey, with player characters sometimes whiffing way too often.

To improve the experience, Marc and I retooled the damage-soaking mechanic into a more general one that gives players more control over their results, though at cost. I called this Pushing.

Pushing lets you buy Victory Points, whatever the result of the roll, by spending resources such as Bala (spiritual power), Ancestral Favor (which replaces Anito Dice), Wealth, or Dulohan, followers, whichever is appropriate. Even shields and armor points can be spent in combat. A Push means you were able to return to the contest somehow, or otherwise do something that improved the outcome for you; you have to narrate what your character did to Push the results.

If your opponent won the roll, the cost to Push rises by the amount of Victory Points your opponent won. Thus if I lost by 3 VP, and I want to Push this to a 3 VP victory for myself, I’d have to spend a total of 6 points.

Resources are now more valuable since they directly nudge your results, instead of giving you extra dice that may or may not give you the result you wanted. This new approach also means you only need to spend when you want to, or if you lose a contest you really don’t want to lose.

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