Archive for October, 2010

What’s a Paradigm? And why is it shifting?

Posted in Projects, RPGs, The Book of Threes on October 23, 2010 by Jeff Russell

Okay, so, despite the continuing blog silence, I have been thinking very hard about The Book of Threes for the past couple weeks, and doing lots of “research” (in other words, reading RPGs that I’d love to get to play, and actually getting some gaming in for once!).

I can tell you right now that the rules as they currently exist are not long for this world. Well, that’s not true. I’ll keep them up as a painful reminder of my first awkward foray into full game design, and in case anyone finds some ideas to milk out of it. I do really like the complex interactions of the three resources and their values as static and dynamic values and that each has multiple game mechanical consequences. I think there’s some interesting “game” there. Hell, they might end up in the Roman social-oriented game I was considering when I first came up with the seed of an idea for three resources as the core of a game.

But.

I am working on a near-complete revision. Like, I’m gonna completely rewrite because the changes will be so significant. Here’s a rundown of what I plan to keep, and what I plan to change, with some cues to the directions I’m going in (as of right now! This is all still nebulous!)

  • Stuff I’m keeping
  1. The core concept. This will still be a mythic-heroic game inspired by Celtic and Germanic myth predominantly revolving around a clan with lots of setting creation/customization
  2. Grudges. For sure. They may function differently, but you will gain mechanical bonuses against people that have shamed/defeated/otherwise besmirched you
  3. Oaths. Again, they may work differently, but this is a fundamental concept.
  4. Conflicting goals between your family, clan, and yourself
  • Stuff I’m changing
  1. The core resolution. Like, totally and completely different. Probably moving to a single die dice pool thing, very likely based on counting 4+’s as ‘hits’ and 3-‘s as ‘misses’
  2. Related to the above, the way characters are created, what their attributes are, et cetera
  3. The three resources. Some of the elements here will remain, there may even still be 3 when I’m done, but they will be very different, and link into whatever the new resolution mechanic is
  4. Clan creation is getting rolled up into character creation, and the whole process will be waaaaay briefer and more focused on interesting starting situation
  5. The awful, terrible GM advice will be rewritten as actual rules and procedure for the GM

If you are interested in getting some ideas of where I’m going and what’s influencing me at the moment, check out Lady Blackbird, Burning Wheel, and Apocalypse World, in roughly descending order of importance to what I think the new conflict resolution will look like. Check out the Smallville RPG for a big influence on my current thoughts on character creation (with a healthy dose of Lady Blackbird and Burning Wheel as well).

I plan to have the conflict resolution thing in a workable, tweakable format this week, maybe by the end of this weekend, with everything else up in the air until I figure out ways to make it interact with that.