Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A "Completed" Game vs. "Complete Game"

"If you wish to Duel, please sign in with the Referee. Of course you will have to turn your weapons in and we ask that Duelists fight unfettered with only the waistcloth -- so you will have to undress before proceeding to the Pit. To the left you'll see the racks where you can take your pick of Broadblades to Duel with -- I would recommend practicing a bit with one against the strawmen we have hanging so that you take one that meets your balance needs. Oh, they have been dulled so that you won't sever any limbs off, but you will still draw blood!"
-Zane, Senior Patron at the Secret Dueling Club in Nein

I want the Game of Sophia's Children to be a Completed Game as opposed to a Complete Game. I do not intend to present a System that can accomplish everything or anything within the genre of Fantasy. I want to present a very specific System that accomplishes something in a very specific manner. The rest of this post will be a bit rambling, but may help me clarify my ideas. . .

I recall the two games I think to be the most Completed: Shadowrun and Old School Dungeons & Dragons. They were Completed in the sense that, in addition the rules that handled the Microscopic conflicts and decision-making, there were rules to handle the Macroscopic elements these rules systems interacted with.

For examples. Shadowrun had Contacts, Decking, Cyberware, Corporations and rules for the characters would interact with these for Shadowrunning. Indeed, the very name of the game indicated what it was the game was trying to emulate. Within Dungeons & Dragons -- at least in the Old School variations and its recent emulations -- there were rules for the Dungeons, the Monsters and the Characters, but also the rules for how the character may interact with all of this via Experience Points, Random Encounters and Dungeoneering.

I also recall games that I have read that were Complete, but NOT Completed. I can not conjure a specific example in mind, but remember, if you will, a game that contained Character Creation, a handful of Monsters and no rules for how these game elements may ever interact. Actually, as I write this I have thought of an example. The Returners Final Fantasy RPG. I have not read any of the more recent iterations of this Game, but within its System are a ton of elements for Character Creation so as to emulate the Final Fantasy genre within the context of a Tabletop Roleplaying Game. It is very intriguing and, indeed, the Character Creation process is a glorified subgame of sorts with its complexity. However, there are really no rules for how a character may go on an Adventure. The game, in the last version I read, was mute or brief on this topic.

As I write this I am now recalling Games that were not even Complete, but Incomplete. I am thinking of Games that have a Character Creation process and a couple of Classes, but no Monsters or conflicts that these Characters can encounter. I can recall reading such Games and obviously they were unplayable as-is, though one could certain borrow specific ideas from the smattering of rules they contained.

I want Sophia's Children to be a Completed Game, not just Complete. I want to present, along with the standard Character Creation, Combat, Monsters, Equipment et alia of the standard Tabletop Roleplaying Game a system that allows for a group of players to begin playing almost immediately with City Crawling, Dungeon Crawling and Factioneering.

At present I have some vague Systems for these noted, which is a combination of my own musings along with Systems that I like from all over the place. I want the Game elements to be Explicit, as they are with the rest of the Systems I have developed for the Game thus far. I also want it playable right out of the box. To the extent that one could generate Characters and, without necessarily having a specific scenario generated, run those Characters through situations that the Game Itself has generated out of its own Systems.

Perhaps, in a sense, I am looking for a Completed Game that generates Fantasy Killing and Fantastic Situations within Cityscapes and Hostile-Dungeons informed by Factions with their Own Interests. All within the genre of a Fantastic and Fictitious Humano-centric Civilization of my own Imagining that I call Sophia's Children.

As I write this I am considering that I will need to have the following Systems in place and how they intersect with the other Systems: Factioneering, Dungeoncrawling, Citycrawling. I want the Crawls to be Node-based with a high degree of replayability based on Chance Encounters and Factions. It is unclear how this will exactly work out mechnically at this point, but I have some draft notes.

Perhaps persons reading this blog will have their own ideas or be able to point in the right directions with this matter? I am open to all sorts of suggestions, so please leave a comment if you are so inclined!

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