Master Mines

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Back from Dreamation with a whole bunch of broken game mechanics

Great seeing everyone this past weekend! Here’s a quick list of edits that will be going into the next draft of KoN while they’re still fresh in my head. For the most part I know what changes need to be made, but the stuff in red I still need to figure out how to do:

~SECRET REVELATION: This one is the most important thing to fix. If this sucks play sucks (and right now that’s the case). As it stands, lets say there’s five players (the optimal number in my experience)…the GM is responsible for pushing along 25 secrets. That’s a lot to keep track of. In my third playtest at dreamation, I tried doling out one secret to each player. It was their responsibility to bring it across to the player it belonged to. It fell apart because we were still figuring out how to make it work, but my plan is to push that idea a little further. I’m simply going to hand out secrets sheets to other players at the table and tell them that they’re responsible for one character. My reservation about this is that it’s not going to be fun because people my have a hard time playing their character to the extent they want to while essentially running a personal plot for another character. I’m pretty stumped with this one, but I’m going to push ahead and try a few things instead of standing still and scratching my head.

I also think this game would strongly benefit from some aggressive scene framing around secrets

~CONFLICT MECHANICS: I’m getting rid of dice. It hurts my heart that I’m simply throwing out a system that I dropped so much damn time into, but I’m moving to a randomizer that fits the idea behind the game better: coins. From what I understand UnderWorld (not related to the movie of the same title) has a similar mechanic. I’ve known about it for a while, but I’ve been a little wary of using a coin based system because I’m already fairly similar in genre to the game. I’m different enough though that I’m comfortable with exploring the idea. The concept is that a player shakes some coins in a cup and only counts the heads-up ones. I’m still keeping the cooperative aspect in here and I have a few ideas about how to work it in. Obviously I’ll post more as I figure it out.

~THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: Characters need motivation to get themselves out of their situation. A Light at the end of the tunnel is replacing Longings as the driving motivations for the character…it’s why the characters work so hard to pull themselves out of the nothing.

~RELATIONSHIP MAPS: Two relationship maps are created in phase three of character creation: one by the players and one by the GM (need a new name for the judge). The players invent how they know each other and their relationships currently. They have to have a strong connection with at least one other person at the table. The GM figures out how they were connected in their past life.

~WRITING SECRETS: I’m going to need to focus on writing effective secrets. I’m going to type up a lot of sample secrets, and include a section where I make some bad secrets and tell players how to improve them.

~LINER BACKSTORIES: Throwing out the web, making all the backstories have some kind of chronological order or at least build on each other

Thanks for all the feedback I got from you guys at the con!


January 27, 2008 Posted by | Kingdom of Nothing | 5 Comments