PL's game lab
05-18-2015, 06:56 AM
Post: #1
PL's game lab

I am ProfessorLizzard, and I like making all kinds of forum games. And while people like my games, I often feel that I am not doing my best, often finding my way into bad decisions and errors that cost the life of my games. In this thread, I would like to get some feedback about my old projects, and also feedback about my upcoming games.

I hope I posted this in the right section of the forums.

Either ways, here is one of my upcoming ideas:

The Promethian Job

The premise
In this game, you are a group of Classical Hero themed characters, who want to steal a certain item (possibly anachronistic, if that is applicable) from the home of the gods.

The mechanics

Each player signs up with a character, and a God who they really hate... and weak against. This is the reason they need to be in a team, begrudgingly.

Plays through a statless, light RP, spanning several phases.

In the first phase of the game, the players are trying to find out information about the home of the gods. This is done through miniquest: finding informants, spying, reading ancient fables, etc. They gain Vague Information Units. These are used to shape the myth of the world: You can exchange them for facts of your choice about the gods of the world. Depending on the quality of your sources, these facts can either be picked by you or the GM, and they can be either direct info like "The god of hunting owns a lot of Dog Golems", or information that doesn't seem that useful at first, but might come up later, for example "The god of gold likes shoes."

In the second phase of the game, based on the facts you gathered, you gain a map of the Home Of The Gods, and now you have to plan out your heist. Using the previous examples, facts like owning dog golems would ensure that golem kennels appear on the map. Lesser facts can have effects too, for example, the god of gold liking shoes might spawn a small shoe filled closet, or perhaps a single golden boot on display.

The final phase is the actual heist: get in, get the Secret Of Hamburger Making, and get out alive. This section is still nebulous: you probably have to figure out how to distract the gods, and learn their patterns of behaviour. There might be surprises on the map, so things would go wrong, but I am unsure about those, as that could feel against the spirit of the first section.

In conclusion
In this game, you build an entire new mythology together, shaping a world. And then you rob it, through the power of Teamwork.

So, thoughts?

It is time time
05-18-2015, 11:50 AM
Post: #2
RE: PL's game lab
(05-18-2015 06:56 AM)ProfessorLizzard Wrote:  In this thread, I would like to get some feedback about my old projects, and also feedback about my upcoming games.

Personally, my favorite PL games were always the ones where all of the mechanics were laid out in a super easy to understand way right from the beginning, like Science Train, Lootcaps, and HIVE.

Hotel Teufel and Cryptocracy were both fun as roleplaying games, but since the mechanics were never made clear, it never really gave most of the players anything to do other than bumble around aimlessly for awhile until things started playing themselves out behind the scenes. (I'm still not entirely sure what was going on with Cryptocracy actually. Apparently some of the villagers were evil or something? IDK.)

Haunted was very fun from the ghost's perspective, but the humans were never really told much of anything, not even who the ghosts on the other team were. Haunted seemed like it would lend itself well to being played as a computer game more than a forum game.

Arcana dragged on way too long from level to level for a game where 3/4ths of the players were never even doing anything at any particular time. It would have benefited from set up more like Mookland with a lot more deaths IMO.

The Promethian Job sounds like a fun idea, and sort of reminds me of a heist-type game that I've been kicking around in my own head for awhile now, that I may or may not ever actually have time to make in the future. I feel like the first part of the game could maybe be structured a bit differently though?

Instead of just wandering around the overworld and searching for clues, maybe the heroes also have some way to travel back in time and live through some of the ancient myths of old, (Myths that they're all working together to create themselves of course) and by viewing these myths firsthand, they can discover/create weaknesses for their otherwise invincible deities that they've tried to keep hidden from the mortals, and also maybe flesh out why exactly the heroes hate each of their gods so much?

The other big problem would be trying to make sure that the players and GM are all on the same wavelength and aren't each trying to steer the story in completely opposite directions. You might want to let players vote on more controversial decisions, or just let players have the ultimate say on whichever myths happen involving their own "Patron" God.

I'm not even sure if this idea would possible to do without relegating the actual heist part of the game into like the last ~20% of game time, but that's my idea anyway.

(Alternate idea: Real-life Mythbusters. The NPCs take turns telling the heroes a story, and they have to decide which parts are true, and which parts are just lies that the gods are telling to make themselves seem cooler.)

05-18-2015, 05:53 PM
Post: #3
RE: PL's game lab
I am not sure about time travel, but I am all for short flashback (prologue?) scenes. And I agree, the players would have their final say in regards to their patrons (anti-patrons?).

Also, regarding cryptocracy, the mechanic was that two villagers were cultists (or a mystery hunting team's leader in Mirdini's case), and two players were Masterminds, whose task was to infilitrate the cults and take over the town.

I completely forgot about Arcana, but it is one of my shames. ;-;

It is time time
05-18-2015, 06:18 PM
Post: #4
RE: PL's game lab

My job, as a mastermind, was to infiltrate the cultists?

I legitimately had no idea I was supposed to do that.
05-18-2015, 07:35 PM
Post: #5
RE: PL's game lab
I suppose I really messed up with that game, in that case.

It is time time
05-22-2015, 06:19 AM
Post: #6
RE: PL's game lab
Coldblooded you forgot about Midnight which was great and perfect in almost every way. But yes, I think in general that your games with a very clear goal (not necessarily mechanics) are the ones that work out best because players aren't wasting time trying to figure out what's going on and getting frustrated if they don't. The goal also doesn't necessarily have to be the 'real' goal for that to work as well, as long as it doesn't trick players (talking about Cryptocracy, if there was some sort of intro event we could have all been thrust into to start interacting/figuring out that there were cultists and masterminds to deal with it would have been much smoother).
05-22-2015, 09:17 PM (This post was last modified: 05-22-2015 09:58 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #7
RE: PL's game lab
Thank you, I shall not use surprise mechanics anymore. Indeed, people really didn't know what to do or what to react to in Cryptocracy ;-;

Speaking of Midnight, can I get some feedback on it too? What was it that made it so different from other States Games? What was the best part, and what could have been improved? Just in case I'll make Midnight Redux...

Also secret: Midnight is in the same multiverse as Treasurehats.

It is time time
05-23-2015, 01:10 AM
Post: #8
RE: PL's game lab
Most excellent.

Midnight was fun because... I don't know if I can really put my finger on it. It was really silly so it didn't ever get even remotely stressful like those sorts of games tend to, but still had the core of diplomacy and fighting other players, and the mechanics existed to keep everything from falling apart while still being simple enough to not stop people from doing whatever they wanted.

Best parts were definitely the freedom and flavour provided for everything, and the simplicity on your end of things (so we always knew what to expect outside of other players' actions and it was always great). If anything had to be improved... I think Kocel's placement was problematic? He was trapped in an area where the only way to get out and expand was to fight me. Shoehorning him (and thus me) into that specific a situation felt weirdly out of place in the game. If you wanted to speed things up further you could have also started us off with two teams (or given us a second one for a single capture) and made there be some risk to expanding too quickly (forcing us to take the chance or use our teams for something other than conquering, which did seem a little like all they were good for).
05-23-2015, 02:00 AM
Post: #9
RE: PL's game lab
That reminds me, I have never uploaded the turn PMs. Or did I? Either way, I think I'll link the doc here later today.
And yeah, people used their teams to take over things a lot, I don't remember any other actions that happened, besides Master Blade having a cursed rum party with Mirdini the Mayor, and that Pharms was planning to frankenstein style ressurect the patron saint of the hospital.

Also every heist team was slowly gaining experience to an act of villainy, which I detailed in the PMs, for example, Sul's units were used for bribery, so they got experienced in that thing. Of course, everyone used them to keep taking things ower in that manner. What kind of risk could have worked for expanding too fast? NPC rival gangs taking notice and reacting, for example? Other uncaptured areas raising their defenses in fear for a while? Would forcing people to "research" heist places to take over work? Or would the map be too empty?

Kocel choose his own placement I think, but yeah, that industrial town was rather isolated. I should have given it more train and roadlines, and placed it near other borders too. Had I put him just a bit souther, he would have been able to menace Newtown, and possibly climb up the mountain.

It is time time
05-23-2015, 05:45 AM
Post: #10
RE: PL's game lab
That's what I meant re: Kocel. I mean I know he picked there (possibly because he felt it would be a nigh-impregnable fortress for him?) but the massive isolation there didn't fit in with the rest of the game. Plus it could have turned out to work against him, I remember that in my last turn I was planning to blow up the rail line so that he'd never be able to use it to get to me.

As for risks, maybe it could even just be as simple as a plan being more likely to backfire (that could fit in with their specialties too probably). Alternately, there could be more stuff to do with the squads.
05-23-2015, 08:01 AM
Post: #11
RE: PL's game lab
Also behold, here they are, the logs!

Turn PMs by players


Sadly I didn't save the PMs between players.

It is time time
05-25-2015, 07:03 AM
Post: #12
RE: PL's game lab
So, I have been thinking about Midnight. Here is what I have so far, for a possible sequel.


This time, the game is set in a desert town. The theme is possible a combination of Ancient Egypt and Las Vegas. Gambling and ancient resting places. The town, lets call it Deluxxor, has a river on its left border. Otherwise, it is surrounded by seemingly endless deserts, with roads that lead to far mining places. The town itself is still divided into districts. This world can only be left through grand airships.

This time, the Map will be made after the players are selected to ensure fairer placements.

This time, you start with two heist teams. Each team will have a Trait, which will tell you what it is good at. This will factor more heavily in actions this time, but it should still be lightweight. You will also have a Lietunant, who will also have their own trait.

Landmarks I am not sure. Only a few will be present at the start of the game, and they would be revealed through actions, or over time. This is to promote different kind of heists, such as stealing items, PR, spying, and such.

As important as always, but you won't be able to spam them as much, if they have active uses. They will be more common this time, than landmarks, probably.

Influence will be a bit less of Actual Territory, and they can even overlap with each other. Influence still has a strong effect on heists.

NPC factions
Hiding amongst the shadows, incoming from other worlds, or perhaps hidden in the mining towns, these will slow down your conquests, probably.

How is this so far? What should be changed? For one, I am still pondering about landmarks, and about what should be the mechanic for unlocking new teams.

It is time time
08-28-2015, 02:09 AM
Post: #13
RE: PL's game lab
I remember a game that was running here once. It was called Race For Creation, and it was not about wacky racers with gods. I am aiming to fix this.

Grand God Prix

The idea is that each player is a god in their own vehicle. They race across the land, changing it to the awe of the local sentient beings. Instead of oil slicks and grappling hooks, perhaps a fire god would create an eternally burning forest, while a snowy god would put down the safe Cold Path into it.

Perhaps turn order would be based on your current position in the race. If you use your acts wisely, you can get ahead in the race, or you can just try to hold your position until a better moment strikes.

Enter pit stops, which are possibly your divine servitors fixing your cars, or maybe it would be visiting a town of mortals whose surge of belief will fix your car.

It doesn't really matter who wins though. The true reward is that through your racing, the barren land has turned into something more intriguing.

I have been looking at a card game called Cthulhu 500 with similar mechanics for inspiration, but I haven't looked at it thoroughly enough yet.

Any ideas, suggestions?

It is time time

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