The Hotness
Games|People|Company
Legacy of Dragonholt
Star Crossed
Art and Arcana: A Visual History
OSR Solo
Disciples of Bone & Shadow: Core Rules
Run Faster
The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition
Ticket of Leave #14: Hark, Now Hear the Sailors Cry
Ironsworn
D&D Essentials Kit
Beamswords and Bazookas
Ninth World Bestiary 3
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook
The Engagement of Adelaide Endicott
Spookshow
Domains of Dread
HR5: The Glory of Rome Campaign Sourcebook
The Adventurer's Toolkit
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Beginner Box
Shadows of a Black Sun
The One Ring Roleplaying Game
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 5e)
Numenera: Starter Set
The Wizard's Scroll (Issue 1)
Amazing Tales
Thousand Year Old Vampire
100 Books to Find on a Pugmire Bookshelf
The Sunken Village of Little Corth
MH-13: Decades: One-Shot Adventures
Highfell
Escape from the Coven of the Setting Sun
GMaid
Through Ultan's Door (Issue 2 - Jun 19)
MHHA-3: Infinity Warriors
Blightburg
Players Handbook (AD&D 1e)
Dungeon Masters Guide (AD&D 1e)
Monster Manual (AD&D 1e)
Dungeon Master's Guide (D&D 4e)
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
Fiend Folio
Arcane Power
The Enemy Within Campaign Volume 1: Shadows Over Bögenhafen
Manual of the Planes
Angmar: Land of the Witch King
Call of Cthulhu (6th Edition)
Dread
Wilderness Survival Guide
Deities & Demigods
Greyhawk Adventures
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
305 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [13] | 

Callisto» Forums » Play By Forum

Subject: [Alura] OOC Discussion & Rules Queries rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Alura [+] [View All]
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The IC thread for Alura is here.

No countdown clock as part one finishes wrapping up.



This is the OOC Discussion and Rules Query thread for the Callisto Play-By-Forum called [Alura] (pronounced ah-loo-ruh).
Please subscribe to this thread.

Any rules questions can be asked in this thread or can be sent to me privately (in case it might be sensitive information concerning your character or his/her goals or narrative authority). Also, feel free to comment out of character regarding the game as it goes on, with suggestions, criticisms, or other banter.

As a reminder, this will be my first time moderating Callisto, so I will try my best to work with each of you to make sure you are enjoying your experience. If you are not having fun or feel something with your character is out of place, do not hesitate to message me.

List of Players
1) UncleLothar
2) Rubric
3) vestige
4) shawnssica
5) PghArch
6) VALIS13
7) Dutys_Fist
8) FatGandalf
9) nyriv
10) SabreRedleg
11) lorddillon
12) kuhrusty
13) residue
14) Elroval
15) karlkrlarsson
16) A B C
17) sxmpxr
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
How to Read your Character Info
Each character will have ten fields of information. This info is specific to each player, and it is private knowledge.

1) Name & Title/Role: name and title/role
2) Race: Drow, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Human, Lizardfolk, Orc
3) Allegiance: Alliance of Races, any race
4) Location: specific city or place
5) Goal: specific or ongoing
6) Family: members of family
7) Popular Opinion: villain, revile, distrust, neutral, trust, praise, hero
8) Finances: broke, deep in debt, pouches of copper, bags of silver, chests of gold, bank full of platinum
9) Army: none, small band, company, brigade, field army, overwhelming forces
10) Narrative Authority: descriptive and reactive


1) Some characters may have official capacities and special titles, while others will have brief role descriptions (such as budding strategist or wannabe crime lord)
2) This is your character's fantasy race
3) Loyalty of your character to a particular organization or race
4) This is your starting location and will change if your character moves around
5) What your character is hoping to accomplish; most goals can be achieved through a variety of methods
6) Any family relationships your character possesses
7) This is what the public thinks about your character
8) This is how wealthy your character is
9) This is the size of your character's army
10a) Each player will have a narrative power that gives them control of the fiction (usually related to a character's personal sphere).
10b) Some players will also have narrative power that is "reactive," which respond to (or describe the outcome of) certain events as they come to pass.


Remember, Callisto is not a "simulator" in any capacity; the focus is on character interactions. Consider these "stats" to be guidance on how to play your character, pursue your goals, and interact with the world around you. You, as a player, will largely get to decide your character's personality and motivations.


Special Note: Keep in mind that goals can be achieved through different methods. Just because a goal might seem particularly focused toward military endeavors, there's no reason your character might not be able to approach it from a political vantage point. Once the character is given to you, you have full control on how you want to play the game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Special Rules Specific to This Game
This is a list of the special rules, that will be used specifically for this PBF game of Callisto. Please feel free to ask questions regarding them, especially if any are unclear. I've also included a brief "justification" for why I am implementing these rules. This is mostly to record my thoughts regarding the decision behind these special additions, and it serves to explain how they are quite similar to existent rules in the Callisto PDF.


I. Characters have three scaling attributes in relation to Popular Opinion, Finances, and Army Size.

Justification: This is similar to the example in the Callisto PDF; I am simply including an additional scale for Army size. These three hold some relation to characters' goals.


II. It takes one news "cycle" to move from one region to the next, of which there are five regions total.

Justification: This helps provide additional pacing to the nature of the game.


III. Characters must have at least a small band to travel in the wilderness (basically, anywhere not accessible by direct road).

Justification: This is not that different from the rule regarding players using fleets to travel their armies by sea, as per the Callisto PDF example. Since this game does not include significant sea-faring or exploration, I thought I would translate this rule to fit into this game's setting.


IV. If two opposing armies are more than one step apart in size, the smaller army is immediately routed (adjudicated by the referee).

Justification: Again, looking at the rules for fleets, there is a special exception for deciding battle outcomes (when an an army, arriving by commercial transport, lands at a location with an enemy army). Since sea-faring is not prominent, I thought I would also translate this rule into the game's setting.


V. A player with an army size of brigade or higher cannot make hidden moves, and the movement of the army may become newsworthy.

Justification: Since characters currently have no way to discover the size of another character's army (at least directly), this addition helps provide some information regarding potential battlefronts. This also provides a "soft" limitation on the "hidden/secret" moves characters may take.



I reserve the right, as referee, to modify or remove these special rules, as well as add new ones, over the course of play as deemed necessary (by player consensus or referee adjudication). I firmly believe these to be within the spirit of the game rules, but I promise to consider the enjoyment of current players to be of higher importance than sanctity of these additional rules.

Important note: there are very few "rules" to Callisto, and it is my hope that these few additions may only add to the overall experience and supplement the particular setting and feel that I am attempting to achieve in Alura.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Dutys_Fist wrote:
One of things that I'm curious about is: If the battle guy controls the fate of all battles, what's the point of having armies of different sizes? My army of size 1 can destroy an army of any size so long as the battle guy thinks so.


This is a good question. The reason I'm implementing an army stat is for a few reasons.

1) It ties into the setting a bit more than just army "yes/no".
2) Some characters' goals may be dependent on army size.
3) Traveling with a larger army may be more newsworthy (this is important for players who may want to keep their locations hidden).

While one player may decide who wins a battle between two forces, it doesn't mean a particular force is completely wiped out. I am also considering having a rule that limits encounters between armies of wildly different size.

Ultimately, my goal is to add flavor to the game, and I am willing to reconsider these inclusions if they turn out to be distracting or hampering to the game itself.
8 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Stix_Remix wrote:
Dutys_Fist wrote:
One of things that I'm curious about is: If the battle guy controls the fate of all battles, what's the point of having armies of different sizes? My army of size 1 can destroy an army of any size so long as the battle guy thinks so.


This is a good question. The reason I'm implementing an army stat is for a few reasons.

1) It ties into the setting a bit more than just army "yes/no".
2) Some characters' goals may be dependent on army size.
3) Traveling with a larger army may be more newsworthy (this is important for players who may want to keep their locations hidden).

While one player may decide who wins a battle between two forces, it doesn't mean a particular force is completely wiped out. I am also considering having a rule that limits encounters between armies of wildly different size.

I realize this. But ultimately, since combat is decided by 1 person, army sizes don't matter.

Furthermore, how does one go about changing and increasing army size? Does one have narrative authority over one's own army?

Quote:
Ultimately, my goal is to add flavor to the game, and I am willing to reconsider these inclusions if they turn out to be distracting or hampering to the game itself.

I have no problem with an army stat - this is actually part of the CRB. But I would like the army stat to be useful. Why bother having a scale if you only ever care if it's 0 or 1. Then you can simply abstract it into the fluff. With newsworthiness, I suppose that it's really 0-2, with 0 being no army, 1 being concealable army, and 2 being inconcealable army.

What I think would work well for the army thing is to have some diplomacy-esque system, and not have anyone in actual control. Then, allow for the powers of others to influence the results of combat by adding modifiers. It would also make annihilation more difficult. Of course, this would add more work for you, and increase the amount of arbitration you have to do.

EDIT: Really, it depends on how important armies will be. But, seeing as you've made it a stat, and don't have an appropriate wealth stat, or any other stats, it seems like armies will be important.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Vincent
United States
Ridgefield
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Why bother having a scale if you only ever care if it's 0 or 1. Then you can simply abstract it into the fluff


Presumably for the same reason you have a scale for finances or popular support. Someone might have a goal to build a horde, for example.

I would hope that whoever ends up with narrative control over any element takes into account the relative strengths of the participants and what makes for an interesting and compelling story when they adjudicate a situation. But I like the the idea of it being somewhat arbitrary rather than have to come up with extra rules.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Fournier
United States
Belmont
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Yes, there definitely needs to be some buy-in by the players to keep things on a fairly even keel. Any person with authoritative control of any matter can wreck another's plans Freak storms destroy the harvest, and you're battered by famine; the gnomes of Zooreek have decided all merchants are avoiding your port until you deliver them the head of the incorporeal Great Blob of Wuj; or the people rise up and demand all heads of state must now announce their decrees from the bottom of Bourbon Bay. Any of which wouldn't be terrible if they were a main plot arc, but as arbitrary decisions, the could wreck the game.

There's a reason the person with narrative control should be as distant as possible from any other influence in the matter, though I can see where this would be challenging in some key areas.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SabreRedleg wrote:
Quote:
Why bother having a scale if you only ever care if it's 0 or 1. Then you can simply abstract it into the fluff


Presumably for the same reason you have a scale for finances or popular support.

Do we? And furthermore, I would assume that these scales would actually mean something. For the reference, I'm not griping about having a scale, I'm griping about having a scale that's useless.

Quote:
Someone might have a goal to build a horde, for example.

That just doesn't work. Well, it could. Here's the problem, if we're going "story" mode, you should have "story" goals. If you're going "mechanics" mode, you should have "mechanics" goals.

Basically, if we're playing with an emphasis on narration, since everyone has narrative power over something, it's imperative that the goals not be in exclusively one person's domain. Because then that can seriously suck.



Quote:
I would hope that whoever ends up with narrative control over any element takes into account the relative strengths of the participants and what makes for an interesting and compelling story when they adjudicate a situation.

I would hope so too. But still, what's the point of army sizes? Just use description tags. It's a small, well-trained army. It's a horde of fresh recruits. 10 lances accompanied by the entirety of their houses. Much more detail. Much more story potential.


Furthermore, I've realized that we should probably all be in similar domains for this to work with 8 people. What I mean to say is that we can't do merchants, politics, war, science, and mage schools, because that probably won't create very much clash. I think we should probably have a focus (or two, or maybe 3 [I like the trinity of politics, war, and money]), and if we do, than no one should have control over that focus.

Which makes me wonder: Has Callisto ever been playtested?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Fournier
United States
Belmont
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
I'm curious how we will handle an issue which the person having narrative control over doesn't know is happening. If A and B's armies clash, but no contact of C (who controls military fate) hears of it, is it undecided until C hears of it through the news turn, and decides to write about it?
The system seems to put decisions and actions in a 2 turn cycle (Event ordered turn 1, announced news 1, decision made in a letter on turn 2, involved parties have a turn of action where the result is unknown to them, but they're still acting...)
This certainly would indicate that the narrative control of each person would need to be something serious enough to be very news worthy. This would also tend to make it possible (inevitable) that some people may discover the other players' narrative control unless we have a lot of misdirection from other characters.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Halfjack wrote:
Dutys_Fist wrote:
Which makes me wonder: Has Callisto ever been playtested?


Yes.


Ah, you're the designer of this game! Great. By the way, I wasn't asking because I meant to imply that I thought it hadn't, but because I was wondering if these problems have been encountered before.

In your playtest games, how did you use army sizes? How did armies increase or decrease in size? From a quick read of the CRB, I just don't think I fully understand the mechanic.

Finally, I'm wondering how narrative control is assigned. Do you have any experiences with stuff that failed? Like giving someone control of the weather?

Do you find that everyone needs to be working in a similar thing (politics, war, etc), or is diversification good?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First off, the characters will have more stats, similar to those in the Callisto rules. The reason I highlighted the army stat is because I am using it in a way that is explicitly different than the rule book, and I didn't want any players caught off guard by an element that may seem wildly different than others (the rule book suggest that specific games may have specific rules to them, and this is one such example).

Secondly, it should be stated that I am interpreting that players have control over their own characters; these actions may just not be "newsworthy." For example, the wealthy merchant Dorey writes to his companion in Sicily, "I am intending to visit next summer, although my nephew has advised me to bring a couple well-trained guards as the roads North have been waylaid with bandits." There's a lot of "stuff" happening here, but none of it is necessarily going to make it into the news.

So yes, in a way, character's have narrative authority over their own army. However, it's important to remember that the game is more about characters interacting with other characters and the world around them. For example, a player who is attempting to "amass a fortune" could write that they are going to open a savings account at the local bank, but it would take a surprisingly long time to increase their wealth substantially. However, if they heard in the news that particular regions were experiencing economic growth, they could move to those regions and interact with them.

Third, no character currently has a goal that is achieved simply by getting a stat to a specific point. The stats are tracked because there are goals that are related to them. For example, players will likely have a wealth stat, an army stat, and a political opinion/favor stat. The whole gamut of character stats will be revealed tonight, when I update the "How to Read your Character Info" section. I am going to propose a special rule that should better clarify and implement the army stat more usefully.


Fourth, I am creating the framework for the world, including unique characters, with separate goals and authorities. I am attempting to carefully balance which characters have which authorities, none of which directly impact their personal goals (so that no single player can personal provide the means to his or her goal). These characters will involve different spheres of influence, so not every character is concerned with warfare (though the impacts of which may affect them). Every player will likely require the help of another player to achieve their goal (either through in-character support or through out-of-character narrative authority). Not all goals can be achieved; some are contrary to each other.

I intended to provide "group think" only in governing these special rules (ones implemented in accordance with the Callisto rules, but not existent in the rules), but perhaps it would be better to simply decide upon them myself and then make them known.


Lastly, it should be known that "character stats" are hidden information. Each player will only know their own stats, although they can certainly make guesses or inquire of other parties directly.
8 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Internet rage goon
United States
Altadena
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have no problem with an Army stat; I think it makes sense and can work in a very similar way to the wealth and popularity stats in the game text. I look forward to seeing Anthony's specifics! I have ideas of my own but am glad somebody else is doing the hard work....

There's lots I don't yet understand about this game, but I have a feeling it is a game full of emergent phenomena (see some specific concerns here, but I'm just talking out of my ass at this point). I'm looking forward to seeing how it works, and I think we should all give it a try before worrying too much. It seems flexible enough that things can evolve as needed.

A couple of points to clarify, though, for those who haven't read the rules yet and may be confused:

1. The narrative authority is in the hands of the player, not the character - although the result is going to be expressed in a letter written by a character, it is not decided from their perspective.

2. There is no need for the player with narrative authority to make a decision on a particular question immediately. They can, it seems, wait as long as they want...and that's part of the power of the game, I suspect.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Logistical Question: Do any players mind using traditional email for in character communication? Or would you prefer to use Geekmail? My preference would probably be traditional email, but I am open to either (or a combination if players are somewhat split).


Side Note: I moonlight as a clerk, so I will probably be archiving copies of communication in triplicate (sorted chronologically, sorted by character sending, sorted by character receiving). So there should be expansive record of the game once completed.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Vincent
United States
Ridgefield
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My preference would be email over geek mail, but I can handle either.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
FatGandalf wrote:
I don't believe geekmail supports the CC and BCC we need, does it?

I think you can put multiple recipients in the "To" field.

One vote for geekmail, but I can handle either.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I vote for geekmail. I'd prefer to use only one site for RPGing.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken H.
United States
Amherst
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kuhrusty wrote:
FatGandalf wrote:
I don't believe geekmail supports the CC and BCC we need, does it?

I think you can put multiple recipients in the "To" field.


Yes, you can do that. The only problem is that the people who receive it can't see the cc list. So, everything is blind copy basically. You can manually type the cc list into the email of course, which I would recommend as a courtesy.

Dutys_Fist wrote:
I vote for geekmail. I'd prefer to use only one site for RPGing.


That's my reasoning also.

Edit: Although, it really should be up to the moderator. He has a ton of work to do, and regular non-BGG email is much better for sorting and filtering.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn McCarthy
Canada
Calgary
AB
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rubric wrote:


Edit: Although, it really should be up to the moderator. He has a ton of work to do, and regular non-BGG email is much better for sorting and filtering.


Prefer regular email as well, much easier to set up rules (Geekmail gets through but it already has its own rules and...) and for those where it's a consideration, probably more boss-friendly.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The "How to Read your Character" section has been updated.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matias Dahlbäck
Finland
Raseborg
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
badge
I release my anger through writing.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think I'd prefer email as well over geek mail. Not a deal breaker of any kind tho. Assuming news etc will be posted here either way?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
residue wrote:
Assuming news etc will be posted here either way?


News will be posted in a separate IC thread, which I have yet to create. I will probably also email/geekmail players when there is news, just in case anyone forgets to check the thread.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian Leet
United States
Burlington
Vermont
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll do either, but chalk up another vote for e-mail.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Internet rage goon
United States
Altadena
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PghArch wrote:
I'll do either, but chalk up another vote for e-mail.


Ditto!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Fournier
United States
Belmont
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
I have no specific preference.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Anthony Friedman
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Current tally:

Traditional email : 8 votes
Geek mail : 3 votes
Abstain : 1 vote
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [13] | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.