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  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    There are lots of players here, and many that like to try new things. If you do put together one of those games, you'll want to present it very differently. Make sure you do something that gives the potential players a hook, and a feel for what it will be like. Good luck.
    Yes, I'll probably argue more for my way of playing upon any release, but at the same time I don't want to trick players into a playstyle that they're not comfortable with. If they for example like dice and rules, then I want to be up front about things like a diceless storytelling system from the beginning, because players have a tendency to quietly "suffer through" entire campaigns - like I have - and then complain about them later on in forums, instead of just leaving early.

  2. #12
    damned's Avatar
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    So here is my take on things:

    There are about 8000 RPGs out there.
    More than 60% of all games played and all products sold are D&D5E.
    Throw in Pathfinder 1 and 2 and the older Wizards/TSR D&D versions and that number climbs again.
    Take the next 10 biggest RPGs - like Call of Cthulhu, Legend of the Five Rings, Warhammer, Starfinder, Vampire the Masquerade etc and you have accounted for 90% of the market.
    That leaves the other 7900+ games competing for less than 10% of the market - and there are definitely games in there that chew up relatively large amounts of that 10%.
    Most RPGs never get played (at least statistically speaking)
    I have over a hundred RPG systems Ive paid for and never played

    So that is your first obstacle.

    To your more specific questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MooCow View Post
    A rather short answer.

    Could you check the things that apply in this list?
    - There's a general lack of players here.
    - Players don't like diceless systems.
    - Players like rules.
    - Players like combat and violence / uncivilized behavior.
    - Players prefer to play established professional game-systems.
    - Players don't like weird, trippy games.
    - Players find eating weird monster babies to be too gross.
    - Players don't like to wield metaphysical dice as strange "weapons".

    I've been suffering through lots of RPGs for 20 years, and I like my ideas better, so it would be weird if there wasn't at least some appeal. There's basically only a handful of settings in RPGs: Futuristic, post-catastrophy, medieval, contemporary, and some portal games that try to blend them all together. I'd welcome something new and different at this point.
    Players need rules.
    There are diceless systems that remove some degree of randomness without removing it all - eg you have a pool of points to spend on ensuring outcomes - run out of points too soon...
    Legend of the Five Rings shows that many players like to behave in a civilized manner
    People prefer to play systems they know and enjoy. IMO there are too many systems. So many designers try desperately hard to make their system unique and that has various challenges - everyone has to learn the system - and then from a VTT perspectove many of these are challenging to code.
    Many people dont like weird, trippy games. I dont. I dont mind the horror/cthulhu/esoterrorist stuff but I prefer stuff my mind can wrap itself around (and yes, fireballs are easier to understand than madness)
    There have been many examples of games that have been deemed too much
    I dont think anyone really understands what you mean by your weapons/attacks

    Have you played Trail of Cthulhu - using the Gumshoe system? Gumshoe is very good for investigative games. If you have skill you always get some clue.
    Have you tried a PbtA Cthulhu based game? PbtA is very good for story telling games.

    Ultimately Im sure some people will play your game.
    So if you want to write it, if you think its got legs - do it.

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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by damned View Post
    So here is my take on things:
    There are about 8000 RPGs out there.
    More than 60% of all games played and all products sold are D&D5E.
    Throw in Pathfinder 1 and 2 and the older Wizards/TSR D&D versions and that number climbs again.
    Take the next 10 biggest RPGs - like Call of Cthulhu, Legend of the Five Rings, Warhammer, Starfinder, Vampire the Masquerade etc and you have accounted for 90% of the market.
    That leaves the other 7900+ games competing for less than 10% of the market - and there are definitely games in there that chew up relatively large amounts of that 10%.
    Most RPGs never get played (at least statistically speaking)
    I have over a hundred RPG systems Ive paid for and never played
    So that is your first obstacle.
    That's a very commercially oriented calculation. I'm not looking to make a commercial RPG for world success. I'm happy if I get just 2-3 players some day.


    To your more specific questions

    Players need rules.
    There are diceless systems that remove some degree of randomness without removing it all - eg you have a pool of points to spend on ensuring outcomes - run out of points too soon...
    Maybe I'm being vague in what I mean by "rule-less". If you remove all the stats and core mechanics from a game, you still have rules - world rules. Natural laws, settings, local laws, customs, et cetera. In Call Of Cthulhu, if you just play a feeble human being, who doesn't try to armwrestle or fight other humans, and who is completely outmatched by cosmic horrors, then you don't need stats. If a cosmic horror eats you, you don't need to count your HP. If you break your ankle, then you can note that on your character sheet and I'll GM that. No cosmic horror is going to take away a little fracture of your HP, with little to-hit skill checks, that will add up in the long run.

    FPS video games are examples of "CYOA" style games, where it's all about skill, and you rarely roll dice for damage, and of those games, there are games like Amnesia, that has little to no stats, but still manages to be scary, and the lack of distracting stat managing, only adds to the immersion.


    Legend of the Five Rings shows that many players like to behave in a civilized manner
    I've seen next to nothing of LotFR gameplay, but plenty of CoC player behaving very uncivilized. Burglary is very common, for example, and thievery.


    People prefer to play systems they know and enjoy. IMO there are too many systems. So many designers try desperately hard to make their system unique and that has various challenges - everyone has to learn the system - and then from a VTT perspectove many of these are challenging to code.
    That's exactly why I'm keeping my both my games simple to start playing - especially the rule-less game, which you only need to explain the world and playstyle of. Mainstream game systems are incredibly time-consuming to learn, and often I've just skipped the 100 pages big Player's Handbook and never bothered to learn the rules, which in turn made me a chore for the GM to babysit, and often not even the GM can keep track of all the rules of the game.

    Many people dont like weird, trippy games. I dont. I dont mind the horror/cthulhu/esoterrorist stuff but I prefer stuff my mind can wrap itself around (and yes, fireballs are easier to understand than madness)
    There have been many examples of games that have been deemed too much
    I dont think anyone really understands what you mean by your weapons/attacks
    I'll quote my in-game guide, and you'll see that they're meant to be obscure:

    The Elusive Mysteries of The Dice
    In this world, actions are carried out through the power of dice. Dice are metaphysical multidimensional artifacts of elusive mystery, and it takes understanding of reality and its dimensions, equal to the tier of a die, in order to wield it.
    Dice can be stored in various metaphysical slots inside a wielder's body. A wielder can only use one die per skill, but may use multiple skills at a time, such as one skill in each arm.

    Assembling Dice
    A die can be assembled by using dimensions from other dice, or be disassembled into dimensional material for other dice.
    Assembling the dimensions of reality into a perfect, functional symmertry as it pertains to a skill, requires skill and understanding equal to the amount that it takes to wield that skill die.
    A dice require dimensions equal to two dice of its immediately lower tier.
    For example, one can reassemble two d4 dice of a skill, into a d6 die of that same skill, or 2d10 into a d12, or reassemble 1d12 back into 2d10.
    The process is about as demanding of time and focus, as trying to solve a puzzle box.
    How to assemble a d20 is beyond any player character's understanding or skill.
    Why make it this weird? Because trying to get your head around the weirdness can be comedic, in a sort of "Your gun is now a duck." kind of way.

    Have you played Trail of Cthulhu - using the Gumshoe system? Gumshoe is very good for investigative games. If you have skill you always get some clue.
    I know what it is, and it sounds great, but I couldn't find it in the DLC list, or I would definitely have bought it instead of 6th edition.

    Have you tried a PbtA Cthulhu based game? PbtA is very good for story telling games.
    "Powered by the Apocalypse"? I've never heard of it. However, I doubt it's simpler to learn than my own system.

    Ultimately Im sure some people will play your game.
    So if you want to write it, if you think its got legs - do it.
    Thank you, and thank you for your input as well.

  4. #14
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    These types of games aren't for me. I like some level of rules. And I like rolling dice - not for everything, but they add more excitement and uncertainty to the game IMO. Like the CoC 7e ruleset says (paraphrasing) - if the keeper wants a certain outcome then make sure there's a way to achieve that outcome without rolling dice, but there's still dice rolling in the game for those uncertain and exciting moments.

    I've played some games where there's no game rules, no dice, and it really ended up with the players doing super wacky things, which I felt ruined to story. Such wacky and zany goings on in RPGs may be for some, but it's not for me.

    I think the best place for these types of games is in a short one-off game environment - such as a convention. Some players seem more willing to try different things in conventions, whereas they probably wouldn't sign up for an "unknown take a chance if I like it game" outside of a convention. Look for FG Con 16 coming next April and maybe work towards having your idea/s setup within FG by then - you probably won't need much setup at all (in terms of game play mechanics) by the sound of it...
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Trenloe View Post
    These types of games aren't for me. I like some level of rules. And I like rolling dice - not for everything, but they add more excitement and uncertainty to the game IMO. Like the CoC 7e ruleset says (paraphrasing) - if the keeper wants a certain outcome then make sure there's a way to achieve that outcome without rolling dice, but there's still dice rolling in the game for those uncertain and exciting moments.
    I've played some games where there's no game rules, no dice, and it really ended up with the players doing super wacky things, which I felt ruined to story. Such wacky and zany goings on in RPGs may be for some, but it's not for me.
    It weird that you should say that, because in my experience it's the dice that make players do wacky and zany things. If the human psyche could handle randomness in a rational manner, it would prepare for the worst. It would be paranoid about dice. ...but it doesn't. Instead dice challenges players to be bolder, more suicidal, and to die sooner and in less heroic ways, because more often than not, they're not prepared for the odds being against them. Dice also produces wacky moments like somebody managing to moon Cthulhu with a perfect roll on his Sanity, or managing to shoot themselves in the foot with a crossbow. I call the many players entertained by this ruining of immersion "troll players".

    ...and if you remove the dice for troll players, then yes, they will look around and see how ELSE they can "affect" (ruin) the game world, and they'll up their ante on doing wacky and zany things as a result. That's when any GM interested in running a serious campaign would excuse them from the table altogether.

    This "troll playing" is also true for some Let's Players on YouTube. As an example, PewDiePie's LP stream of Prey is all but removed from the internet, because he screwed around so much in that game, that he softlocked himself and had to admit that maybe he should have taken the game seriously instead of wasting all his ammo. It's a pervasive phenomenon around the world, and I'm glad that there are popular systems in place that can entertain them, away from me. I'm looking for players that aren't like that - players that aren't ashamed to be afraid. I've right now finished watching the first episode of The Black Madonna, not by Encounter Roleplay (which would be a very bad example) but by Red Moon Roleplaying, and they had no dice, no mention of rules (probably because they were internally managed by the GM, which is next to making them GM decision), and yet a serious tone throughout. That's what I'm aiming for in my Cthulhu sessions.

    I think the best place for these types of games is in a short one-off game environment - such as a convention. Some players seem more willing to try different things in conventions, whereas they probably wouldn't sign up for an "unknown take a chance if I like it game" outside of a convention. Look for FG Con 16 coming next April and maybe work towards having your idea/s setup within FG by then - you probably won't need much setup at all (in terms of game play mechanics) by the sound of it...
    My second (trippy) example would probably do well as a one-off, because that game is all about exploring and discovering new wacky things, and once you've explored the game world thoroughly, you're basically done, but I'm convinced that you can run dice-less games for a long time, if you also GM well - if you bring the excitement in plot form.

  6. #16
    I don't think the dice is the reason in how people play the game. But mechanics can have an impact in play style. Dnd is an example of a rpg there the dice is more important than being skilled in many situations.
    But you will want some rules in who will decide the outcome of a check. Will it be DM/GM, players, dice, resources or some other version of random outcome (jenga blocks)?
    For Dnd it makes sense that the dice will be the judge because it involves a lot of checks that need to be decided how the outcome will be. Some include the wacky parts there you do wacky things on a 1 or 20. Others do not...
    If you don't have any boundaries you can get players who try to push the limits as Trenloe points out.
    If the GM does all the decisions on how challenges would work (either by rolling the dice himself or just rule by his own head) then you get a more flow in the session than waiting for a player to make his/her input. For some thats fine and for others it takes away some of their control - even if it's just control of a random element. But that second type of players are probably not your target anyway.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by RunningHill View Post
    I don't think the dice is the reason in how people play the game. But mechanics can have an impact in play style. Dnd is an example of a rpg there the dice is more important than being skilled in many situations.
    But you will want some rules in who will decide the outcome of a check. Will it be DM/GM, players, dice, resources or some other version of random outcome (jenga blocks)?
    Checks are important in DnD. Every RPG where there's lots of one-on-one combat, revolves around checks. ...but does Call of Cthulhu, without human-to-human combat, do that? ...and even when human-to-human combat is involved, I figure it's much better to roleplay the whole ordeal.
    Let's for example say that a madman breaks into a PC's house. As the GM you know that this encounter isn't set up to kill the PC - that it's just something that happens in the story, and if the PC doesn't do anything stupid, he'll make it - but the player is unprepared for this, and has to come up with a good enough tactic in order to survive. Let's say that the madman charges him, wrestles him to the ground, and that they struggle. In DnD who wins would be left up to a strength check. In my game, I just describe how they struggle, but that ultimately something - another PC perhaps, or a well placed blow - happens, that drives the madman off. This allows the scenario to be that much more intense, without one bad dice roll risking to kill him.
    The danger is still there, however: If the player acts stupidly, like not struggling back, then death is still an option. It's a test of player wits, instead of rolls.

    If you don't have any boundaries you can get players who try to push the limits as Trenloe points out.
    My CoC world has an extreme amount of boundaries compared to other game worlds. I have one or more full pages detailing how a gentleman is supposed to behave and think. I thought about statting these virtues for a while, but ultimately decided against it, since I could just tell the players that things like stealing would be ungentleman-like, and therefor not allowed. ...and yes, I'm aware that disallowing character behavior is taboo, but that's just a neccessary part of my highbrow world.
    ...and there's also the boundaries of being a feeble human facing the mythos. They'd all have stats of basically one on that scale.
    They're also preset to be gentlemen, so again, they have nothing outside their behavior, professions and contacts. They have no strength to speak of, for example.
    ...and these contacts are decided within reason, and expanded upon within the course of the game, as the PCs interact with the world.
    ...so yes, there's plenty of boundaries - just not any numbers to grade them with.

    If the GM does all the decisions on how challenges would work (either by rolling the dice himself or just rule by his own head) then you get a more flow in the session than waiting for a player to make his/her input. For some thats fine and for others it takes away some of their control - even if it's just control of a random element. But that second type of players are probably not your target anyway.
    Yes - I'm not out to attract ALL players here. I just don't wish it to be ZERO players.
    Last edited by MooCow; December 15th, 2019 at 22:52.

  8. #18
    The more you explain on the CoC game, the more it is a book that you want to narrate. Railroad, no rules, pre-defined outcomes, restrictions on this or that and nothing to the chance. What is left for the players to enjoy? What will be the thrilling part of your sessions? Do you rely entirely on the story, as it must be better than everything released so far to keep players listening to you, without any real interaction or action.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MooCow View Post
    In my game, I just describe how they struggle, but that ultimately something - another PC perhaps, or a well placed blow - happens, that drives the madman off. This allows the scenario to be that much more intense, without one bad dice roll risking to kill him.
    The danger is still there, however: If the player acts stupidly, like not struggling back, then death is still an option. It's a test of player wits, instead of rolls.
    See, to me, this is the problem with a system such as you describe here. EVERYTHING that ultimately happens is by GM fiat. If the GM doesn't think the player acts rationally then the DM narrates the player dies or loses. If the GM thinks the player acted rationally (according to the GMs pre-conceived notions) then the story continues exactly how the GM planned it. The essence of a railroad. In your situation, player agency is a farce, it doesn't exist outside of the mind of the GM.

    That's why I have no interest is such a game as a player, I would only be pretending to play out a script already written by the GM.

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  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Valyar View Post
    The more you explain on the CoC game, the more it is a book that you want to narrate. Railroad, no rules, pre-defined outcomes, restrictions on this or that and nothing to the chance. What is left for the players to enjoy?
    Reading the book. Listening to my narrations. Some people like narrations. I imagine this goes especially for CoC fans. ...not that I agree with you - I'll respond properly toward the end of this post. - but ultimately, there's no shame in listening to narration. People on YouTube do that every day, and they like it.

    What will be the thrilling part of your sessions?
    What's the thrilling part of a First Person Shooter? There's no dice in an FPS. There's stats, but some games just display them in terms of amount of blood on the screen. ...and still there's plenty of player choice and thrills.

    Do you rely entirely on the story, as it must be better than everything released so far to keep players listening to you, without any real interaction or action.
    My campaigns are generally better than DnD campaigns, because DnD campaigns are just "Go here. Fight these monsters. Here's the loot.", and from what I've heard from its critics, my campaigns are also better than the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. It takes a bit of skill to make a plot exciting, and it's not something that you can just cram out every month, but it's worth it.

    ...but why wouldn't there be real interaction or action? There's people, mysteries and intrigue to be had. You don't need dice or stats to endulge in that. It's just like in real life: You walk up to a person and talk to them. I don't understand this argument about it being like reading a book at all. Is real life like reading a book?

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