Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Kingdom of Complete Drafts

…The title of this post is actually a little misleading. I took the messy googledoc and pasted it into a new document, cleaned up some of the mistakes, added a few ideas I’d come up with as well as some of the awesome suggestions I’d gotten here, and put in some grungy borders on the header pages.

Though I included a lot of suggestions, there’s some I didn’t quite know how to work in yet and there’s some I thought about and decided I didn’t agree with. I did make it so that the Judge is only coming up with the final secret and one cobweb and echo. The rest of the cobwebs and echoes are gained through play (though I don’t know how yet). I would like to work in the idea of the players coming up with their own echoes and/or cobwebs, but without knowing their past I’m not quite sure how they would yet. It’s something I will eventually figure out a way to work in.

The knacks are now invented communally (with the character’s player included).

My biggest stumbling block right now is the reward system. Mike had mentioned that I didn’t need xp points, which I’m in agreement with, but I’m still at a loss with what to do.

There’s a lot of things that could add to your character over time…Knack could become more powerful, you could gain more echoes, etc. Previously, you were spending xp to raise your survival and Lucidity, which didn’t work for me. You shouldn’t have to spend xp to heal from a fight.

I may still incorporate some of the ideas I got from Daniel, but I think I need to hash out the reward system before I go any further with this.  Namely I liked the multi-power-tiered Knacks.

Here’s a link to the PDF: Kingdom of Nothing

I’m going to take some time to take a look at other games for a bit. Speaking of which, Daniel I think your links to Story Games are broken…


June 20, 2007 - Posted by | Kingdom of Nothing


  1. Do you have a Story Games account? The “Little Ideas” category isn’t visible to guests, I suspect.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  2. yep that was it.

    Comment by jhimmelman | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  3. What if the things that get you XP instead get you survival and/or lucidity points directly? Then the other stuff on which you can spend XP can be bought with survival or lucidity, which could open up a whole other currency dynamic for you. (Or it might be a currency dynamic that sucks, I dunno.)

    Comment by misuba | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  4. Jeff, I’ll read this over the weekend and offer some thoughts next week.

    Comment by Daniel M. Perez | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  5. I’ve just printed it out and will be reading it on my way to Go Play NW.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  6. Okay, I’ve read my copy & marked it up some with general comments.

    Reading this reminded me of two things: Dead Inside and (to a lesser extent) Don’t Rest Your Head. I like the core idea here.

    Your game’s titled “Kingdom of Nothing” — it’s an evocative title, but you don’t really have anything involving a King or Kingdom in the game. There’s no elements of fealty or royalty or anything like that, which feels kind of at odds with the title. It might feel less odd if you used “Kingdom” more often in the text.

    My reaction to your first chapter was “Okay, this is the setting info-dump.” But the more I read it, the more I thought that it would be more effective with in-character voice. I have two reasons for thinking this: one, it seems like these people would have, at best, an oral tradition of history. Second, there are some mentions of uncertainty in the text that might come across stronger with in-character voice. But this is a choice of style, so I won’t dwell on it further.

    I have more thoughts, but I’ll have to save those for later as I have an appointment coming up.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 26, 2007 | Reply

  7. So, I left my draft with notes at work, but a couple points stick out in memory:

    One is that you have two unconnected stats: Hope & Despair. Now, I’m so use to seeing them linked together (i.e. a sliding scale where taking some in one means losing some in the other) , so the way you present it is a bit jarring to me. Now, that’s my hang-up, but I suspect I’m not the only person to react as such — you may want to let a look at it again and see if that’s what you intended.

    One way would be to help explain what it means to have X Hope or Y Despair. Here are some questions:
    Is having 2 Hope & 2 Despair like having 3 Hope & 3 Despair? Why or why not?
    Is having 1 Hope & 2 Despair more like (a) 2 Hope & 3 Despair (+1 each), (b) 2 Hope & 4 Despair (doubled), or (c) not even close.

    In all cases, it’s mechanically different, but I’m at a loss as to why it is in the game.

    The other point I remember is that your skill/point mechanic feels a bit clunky. I’m unsure why someone wouldn’t take the lowest or whatever felt statistically more likely. Furthermore, your text seems to acknowledge that this is a bit cumbersome when, in your character creation example, Caroline decides to just make all of her points the same number. If you put in your game “Hey, there are some bits that you might not care about,” you should consider re-evaluating those elements.

    I would look at Unknown Armies’ Cherry mechanic here, in that (to paraphrase and slightly get it wrong) you can define special effects that happen if you get a successful match on percentile dice when you use your Obsession skill — i.e. on a 11, with my skill Running From The Law, I always find a dark alley full of things to hide behind or in. This specifically may not be the right feel for you, but I thought I’d toss the idea your way.

    Comment by Ryan Macklin | June 27, 2007 | Reply

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