Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

2d6 RPG – Luck

26 November 2010 Leave a comment

Each gaming session, a player may use a number of Luck points equal to their Luck value. These points reset and are available for use each session regardless of how much in-game time has passed.

A Luck point may be used to change the roll of a single die, improve a roll or improve a static value such as Defence or damage for the duration of a single action. For each Luck point spent, the player should roll 2d6 and choose the higher value. Any number of Luck points may be spent during one action, but their use should be declared before the outcome of the action is described.

If you the player rolls a double, they can add one Experience Point to their Luck XP. Critical successes and failures don’t apply to these luck rolls.

Categories: Gaming Tags: , , ,

2d6 RPG – Experience

26 November 2010 Leave a comment

Apart from the points given during character creation, experience points are gained in three ways: rolling doubles on 2d6 rolls, performing well during a gaming session, and training.

Adults receive one experience point per achievement, double rolled, training period etc, as outlined below. Child characters gain 1.5 times this; infant characters gain twice this.

XP Target Values (‘Next’)
For the nine trainable Abilities (Dex, Fit, Ref, Str, Spd, Cha, Int, Per, Wil; Luck is not trainable) the number of experience points required to improve an Ability to the next level is the current value multiplied by 12 – except for null and negative values, in which case the target XP is always 12. This value is written in the Next box for each Ability. Each feat has its own target value.

Most rolls in the 2d6 system involve 2d6. When the result is a double, including double ones and double sixes (critical failures and critical successes), the player may add one point to the XP box for the relevant ability. For example, if a player makes a Dexterity-based attack and rolls a double 3, they add one point to the XP box for Dexterity. If doing so increases their XP to the target value in the Next box, they may instantly upgrade that Ability score.

Players should get one experience point for attending a session, another for contributing, at least minimally, to the session’s game, one point for each achievement within the game that is above and beyond expectations and that contributes to the party’s progress (for instance, single-handedly defeating a difficult enemy, devising a good plan to deal with a situation etc), and one point for effectively roleplaying their characters’ positive and negative traits. The game master may award bonus XP as he or she sees fit.

Where an in-game achievement is both exceptionally helpful to the party and an expression of the character’s trait, the player can receive two XP for both elements. Where an achievement is exceptional but selfish and is either irrelevant or a hindrance to the party’s goals, the player will only receive XP on the basis of how true to character it is.

Roleplaying experience points are allocated at the end of a session and can be apportioned as the player sees fit amongst Abilities and Feats.

When characters have sufficient time and resources, they may undertake training to gain experience points towards a specific Ability or Feat. Characters must have an uninterrupted period of eight hours during which time they will do nothing but train. They must also have appropriate tools and resources available to them; for instance, a fighter cannot train a sword skill if she has no sword, and a rogue wanting to improve his bluffing cannot do so without people to lie to.

Training takes Willpower. A player should roll 2d6 + Wil or Fit – (target XP divided by 12) versus a Difficulty of 8 for physical Abilities and Feats (Dex, Fit, Ref, Str, Spd), and 2d6 + Wil versus Difficulty 9 for mental Abilities (Cha, Int, Per, Wil). Failing to meet the Difficulty means the eight hours is wasted and no XP is gained. Beating it means the character earns one experience point for that Ability or Feat. Matching it means the character earns half a point.

For instance, a character wanting to train Charisma would have to spend eight hours talking to people – in a marketplace, say. If the character’s Cha is currently at 3, their target XP is at 36 and their Wil is at 2, they would have to beat 9 by rolling 2d6 + 2 – 3.

It is possible to train for two eight hour periods in one day, although this is very difficult. The Difficulty rises by 3 for the second training attempt in a single day.

2d6 RPG – Introduction

26 November 2010 Leave a comment

In the 2d6 game there are no classes and no levels. Instead, characters are built specifically to players’ intentions and grow and develop organically based on their in-game experiences. Players should first choose what kind of character they want to play and should tailor their Ability and Feat choices to that end. In addition, there are no skills, as such. Skill checks can still be made, but they are based on Ability scores and Proficiencies granted through Feats.

One important difference between this system and D&D is that the vast majority of game mechanics are based on rolling one or two six-sided dice (a d8 and a d12 have bit parts in the system). All checks are based on rolling 2d6. The most common result from such a roll is 7 – having a chance of happening one in six times. Critical successes and failures (double 12s and double 1s) have a one in thirty-six chance of happening – less often than in D&D, but not too uncommon. Double 12s and double 1s often lead to further 1d6 rolls that determine just how good or bad the success or failure is. Another difference is that, while rolling lower or higher than the target (Difficulty, Defence or opposed roll) is a clear-cut failure or success, matching it results in a ‘minor success’.

The standard, minor and move actions of D&D have been adapted to a more logical system of Action Points per turn. D&D’s attacks of opportunity have been translated into a mirror system of Reaction Points per turn.

There are no damage rolls in this system, hopefully streamlining combat. Also, armour functions in a different way, effectively making the wearer easier to hit, but protecting the armoured character from a lot of damage.

Personality is a part of the system, albeit a minor one. Money is handled in a D20 Modern-style system. Encumbrance has been similarly simplified.

Magic in this system is intended to be modular, to be flexible without being overly powerful. Spells are categorised into a number of disciplines (Fire Magic, Healing, Prophecy etc) and can be built from a number of basic concepts (Base Difficulty, volume/area/length, duration etc).

One less tangible aspect of the game is that it is intended to prove gritty and challenging in the playing. Critical hits against characters result in life-threatening injuries, or even permanent disabilities. Although characters gain experience points continually, improving Abilities and Feats becomes exponentially harder – hopefully making it that much more satisfying to attain such an improvement.

Categories: Gaming Tags: , , ,

Free at last

25 October 2010 2 comments

My last day at work was Friday. I had thought it was going to be today, which is the day I agreed to finish working, but I was told that I didn’t need to work on the Monday – which I forgot and had to be retold on Friday. Min-seon, the office manager, who I used to give lessons to, took me out for lunch and said that she’d miss me – not sure I believe that.

The previous night was supposed to be a leaving meal for me and Andrew, the Korean guy who also taught at EducaKorea and managed the Learning Center. Having very little work to do I was ready to go at the official finishing time of 6 o’clock, but Andrew told me people would be leaving at 7. So I left anyway and went to roleplaying. Probably not a very nice gesture to my colleagues, but the prospect didn’t fill me with much joy. Besides which, the night’s roleplaying session was an important one and it overran by an hour.

It was also my last roleplaying session for a while, as I’m heading to China on Thursday for a couple of weeks.

I haven’t blogged about my life recently, so here’s an update of the last few weeks.

Korean drivers aren’t held in high esteem by foreigners. I think Koreans just take them for granted. In some ways, though, Korean drivers are very tolerant of pedestrians. If there’s a small road joining a main road and there are no traffic lights, I’ve found that drivers, while they will certainly try to squeeze between people crossing the small road, they will also wait patiently if there are no gaps in the flow of pedestrians.

A while ago, walking back to the office from my Starbucks writing lunch, while crossing one such road an Audi saloon came towards me too fast. Already halfway across the road, I was confident that it was stop, but it came close to hitting me. I was holding my travel cup at my side, so I accidentally on purpose let it clunk against the car’s bonnet. The man inside honked his horn and shouted something at me as I walked away. I took no notice. From the amount of time it too the car to drive past me up the road, I’m sure he got out to check his paintwork. I wonder what would have happened if he’d seen some damage.

I’ve been wanting to get into hiking again – especially since I bought a new pair of hiking boots over the summer – they cost 150,000 won – about £75. A few weeks ago I went to Namhansanseong by myself on Sunday – it was a location that had been suggested by my friend and avid hiker, Botond.

There was a scary moment on the subway train. I was sitting there reading and there was a loud cry – pretty much a scream – from somewhere on my right. A young chubby guy ran down the carriage shouting wordlessly, holding something in his hand, apparently nothing wrong with him. When he got to the next car he stopped. Completely random and very unnerving. I had felt the adrenaline fountain inside me in a split second, and it took a while for my system to settle down.

The hike was pretty pleasant. After a bit of trek through the town, past all the hiking gear shops, you get to the foot of the hills and trudge up the hillside past a few small temples and plots of short towers made of piled rocks – many of them improbably slender. Then you reach the South Gate of the fortress.

It started raining pretty heavily while I was having a break there, so I put on my newly purchased rain jacket and headed off into the downpour while Koreans huddled under the gate’s roof. Not too long afterwards the rain stopped and the clouds cleared away leaving bright sunshine and good visibility. This latter was important because from some parts of the walls you can see all of Seoul to the northwest.

As I got to the west side of the fortress, having gone anti-clockwise around the perimiter (apart from one shortcut), it got more crowded with non-hikers – people there just for a short jaunt out to some historic buildings and who lack all the expensive clothing and gear that marks the serious hiker (and there are lots of these in Korea). As I headed wearily back to the South Gate, going downhill much of the way, my boots began to feel uncomfortable, my toes pressing againt the fronts.

Two weeks later I went back with Habiba and her colleagues June and Aiden.

In between these two hikes (if memory serves) Habiba, her friend Jessica and I went to the Busan International Film Festival (known as PIFF because it was established back when people used the older McCune-Reischauer system of transliterating Hangul into Roman letters). We saw three films on the Saturday but none on the Sunday.

The three we saw were all interesting in various ways – Honey was an understated Turkish film about a boy whose father has an accident while out collecting honey from his hives up in trees in the forest; Portraits in a Sea of Lies – the best of the three – was a moving Colombian film about a withdrawn young woman who goes on a roadtrip with her cocky cousin to find the deeds to a plot of land; and Viridiana was a strange 1950s drama by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel, about a young woman whose uncle tries to seduce and then commits suicide, apparently forcing her to live on in his mansion and take in a load of troubled homeless people.

The blurb about this last film promised cannibalism, so we were all disappointed when it didn’t materialise – blame Korean translators. Actually, no – blame Korean managers: some PIFF bigwig probably just went to someone in their office and said, ‘Here, you speak English: translate all this by next week.’

Some time ago I went had some problems with my shoulder. I first went to what I think was a Korean acupuncture clinic and when this didn’t do much I went to an orthopaedic hospital that seemed to do the job. I went back there more recently with pain in my left hip. It’s a feeling I get from time to time, especially after playing guitar. This time, however, it was completely random and about the sharpest it’s ever been.

I had more physiotherapy of the heat, ultrasound and electric kind, plus some medication, and that helped a lot. I also had a few X-rays (you can’t go to the doctor in Korea without getting a handful of X-rays done), which showed that there’s a slight problem with my L4 vertebra, near the base of my spine. There’s a little extra space where the disc is, implying, I think, some inflammation. The doctor said it wasn’t anything serious, just a sign of getting older, and he recommended that I strengthen my back muscles and don’t sit at a desk too much. I should get on that – at least the first part: you can’t be a writer without applying the seat of the trousers to the seat of a chair.

I’ve been working on my writing and trying to set things up to help my writing goals. I started a new blog, for instance – this one to be a ‘public’ one, while I think Infinite Probability should be a private record of my personal life. To this end, I think I’m going to transfer some things from here to there – namely my book reviews and Lexicon. I also rejoined Critters – and have found that it’s recently been renovated and looks like a fairly contemporary web site (the old one was very basic). I’ve already had some feedback on one of my stories (‘The Green Marble’) that all makes good sense and that I want to incorporate into the next version of the piece. I just need to get down to the hard work of rewriting. I’m also intending to take part in National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) in November and see if I can’t write 50,000 in 30 days.

I’ve also been putting a lot of work into a roleplaying game system. It’s very hard work, though. Every decision you make for how things should work have repercussions pretty much throughout the system. Even my goals in creating the game are difficult to balance – part of me wants simplicity, part of me wants realism. Still a fair way to go with this project, but I think a lot of the fundamentals are in place now.

Now that I’m not working, I should have more time to work on the things that are important to me. Sightseeing in China might get in the way for a bit. Natural laziness might get in the way full stop.

New gaming, new strangers

8 November 2008 Leave a comment

I went off to Children’s Grand Park bright and early on Sunday afternoon to join this roleplay group, Section 8. I knew the appropriate exit from the subway station was number three, but there was no sign of the gaming shop. I walked up one road, then up another road, but still no sign. Finally, I tried calling the guy running the game, Adam, on the number he’d provided. I got a Korean woman who spoke English, but she told me I had the wrong number. I tried again, thinking she maybe hadn’t understood me, saying Adam’s name loudly and clearly. But no, there was no ‘Ah-dam’ there.

So I went into a PC room to log on to the groups, um, group on I posted a message asking for help, then searched for another instance of Adam’s number. I found it, and (like Eric Morcambe said to Andre Previn) the number I’d rung contained all the right digits, just not necessarily in the right order. He’d managed to transpose the middle four and the last four numbers. I posted a ‘never mind’ message, then gave him a call.

Having got directions to the venue (a bit of a walk from the subway station) I headed off. And outside, smoking, was Max, a young Korean American guy I’d met at the Itaewon Book Exchange a month or two before. Inside, I met Adam, who was wearing a bright yellow wizard’s hat – part of the previous night’s Hallowe’en costume.

My character sheet was some way from being completed so I tried to work on that as Max and two other players arrived. I held up the start of the game somewhat.

My route into the story was that as a wandering bard, I’d spent the last year with the Walrus Clan at the other end of the planet from my homeland. The other characters had arrived on this ice-bound island by magical means. Both them and my Walrus Clan companions had just killed a giant, bus-sized walrus. The party were uncouth barbarians, while the Walrus people were deeply suspicious of these strangers. With my great Diplomacy bonus I was able to smooth the waters between them. The game climaxed with a game of ultra-brutal Stone Age ice hockey. I declined to play and instead acted as a commentator.

I’d only had a couple of hours sleep the previous night, so I might have been even less locquacious than usual, but the game seemed to go well. The other characters are all monosyllabic Bear Clan men – including two barbarians, and one druid, possibly (or maybe they’re all barbarians). My character originally comes from the nearby Stag Clan and is a little more sophisticated. I’m not that comfortable doing the character acting side of roleplaying, so my input was markedly different from the other players’.

Unfortunately, the game is only scheduled for once a fortnight and at the moment I’m not sure if there’s anything up for the coming Sunday.

Categories: Gaming

Telling Storyteller’s story

1 November 2008 Leave a comment

Peter’s return to the States has left a gaping, roleplaying-shaped hole in my life. He wanted to continue his game via e-mail, but that doesn’t seem to have panned out – I haven’t heard anything from him in a while (I haven’t tried too hard to stay in touch, either, sadly).

Last Sunday I did what I should have done long before and looked on the internet for more roleplaying action, and found Section 8 Games. They’re a group of oeguks meeting in a gaming shop near Children’s Grand Park to play various games. I’m now signed up to join in a game running every other Sunday; it’s based on D&D 3.5 (with some modifications – the basic alignments available are tribal and outcast; instead of money you use honour points) and uses a stone age-style setting. This latter fact means that a lot of the traditional D&D elements are unavailable – no wizards, no clerics, no literacy, the highest Int score for non-arcane spellcasters is 10, no metal weapons and armour, und so weiter.

My character (who I’m still working on) is called Storyteller – a savage bard. That’s not a comment on his personality – it’s a non-civilised variant of the bard class. My first D&D character was a bard (back in the mists of 2002 or 3), and I’ve always wanted to try it again. He’s middle-aged to old and, since he was cast out of his village (losing the right to a personal name in the process), has made a living travelling from place to place entertaining (and intimidating) with his stories. As a tribal outcast he’s feared and despised. His main skill, of course, would be his storytelling, but he also plays a bone flute.

I should write out a more detailed history for him tonight and work out his skills and feats. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Categories: Gaming

Hot and cold

During my previous year in Korea I had about half a dozen colds – which is at least twice as many as I usually have in 12 months. And now I’ve got my first of what I’m sure will be many colds this time around. It’s come on fairly quickly – the night before last I had that slit-throat feeling whilst in bed; yesterday wasn’t too bad, but today I’m sore and snotty and Barry White-voiced.

I spoke to my hagwon’s president, Sharon, on Wednesday asking about if I could get an advance on my salary, when I would get a bank account and when I’d have the medical test. I think the answer to the first two points was 1 July … which is a few days after payday. Right. And as for the latter query, she didn’t know. But as long as I get it done within 30 days (or maybe 90 – the answer was vague) it’ll be OK.

I currently have about 35,000 won – about £17 – and I’m at Lotte Mart to do some shopping.

Coda: Rich and poor

Friday wasn’t the most pleasurable day. By the end of the day I was tired out by my cold and my teaching duties. The one positive note was that I got a form from Sunny Teacher to open a bank account. Hopefully, this’ll be processed in the coming week and I’ll get paid along with everyone else. Payday is the 28th, but I don’t expect any money to reach my account until several days later; at least, that’s how it was my previous hagwon.

I went to Peter’s yesterday for the first session of the Burning Wheel game – just the two of us. My health took some of the edge off the proceedings – I was blowing my nose every few minutes. The game has interesting takes on combat and negotiations – you have to plan what you’re going to do and say in sets of three actions and hope that your plans successfully counter what your opponent has planned.

On my way home Peter very kindly lent me some money so I won’t have to subsist on ramyeon and water for the next week.

Categories: Employment, Gaming, Life