[SC] Splitting the Core

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[SC] Splitting the Core

Postby Omnifray » 1:44pm on 15 May 15

For the Soul's Calling RPG, I am edging towards the conclusion that I need to divide my current Core Mechanics chapter into two:-

(1) a chapter where I give you just the basics of how the core mechanics work and how you can use them for the most straightforward and obvious things;

(2) a chapter where I explain variations on the core mechanics and the fancy things you can do with them.

I need to split the chapter because it's way too long already and there's more I want to add.

Learning (1) and (2) together in one go is quite a challenge. You need to start with (1) and I need to cut it down to about a third or a quarter of the current chapter.

You could run a game with just (1), but personally I think you need both sections to have all the sorts of options people like to have. Anything doing a vaguely similar job to rules for a "called shot" or an extended "skill challenge" is likely to be in section (2) (though the spirit of the mechanics is probably very different to what you may have encountered elsewhere).

My current conundrum is what to call these two new chapters. Core Mechanics: Introduction and Additional Core Mechanics?

(I'm trying to avoid calling them "Basic" and "Advanced" or "Expert".)
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby ragr » 5:59pm on 15 May 15

Additional Core Mechanics sounds a little contradictory. How about just Core Mechanics as you've already flagged the first chapter as Introduction or Core Mechanics: The Details or perhaps In Depth?

If you're writing the game in a slightly more vernacular tone you might try Core Mechanics: The Nitty Gritty or The Devil and/in The Detail.
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby Omnifray » 9:39pm on 18 May 15

Hmm. Maybe Core Mechanics: Introduction and Core Mechanics: Special Topics?
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby ragr » 10:19pm on 18 May 15

To use your words of the first post Core Mechanics: Variations? Using Special Topics, for me, implies drifting away from core mechanics to a new subject whereas variations means the overall theme is the same but with some new layers.
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby First Age » 10:54pm on 18 May 15

Core Mechanics, then Peripheral Mechanics? :-)
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby ncmreynolds » 12:18pm on 19 May 15

Basic and Advanced? :D
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby Omnifray » 12:40pm on 19 May 15

ragr wrote:Core Mechanics: Variations?


Yes, I think I might use a variation on that theme (no pun intended). E.g. "Variant Core Mechanics" or "Core Mechanics: Variants" or, indeed, "Core Mechanics: Variations".

ragr wrote:Using Special Topics, for me, implies drifting away from core mechanics to a new subject whereas variations means the overall theme is the same but with some new layers.


I agree. Part of me thinks that "special topics" is almost the antithesis of "core topics".
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby w00hoo » 12:59pm on 19 May 15

Variations had the connotation of 'optional' to me but in that I'd expect multiple optional rules so maybe and quick aim rule and an advanced simulationist aim rule. It's also unlikely to be something I'd dive in to before running the game.

I have no idea if either of those are bad things in this context.

I'm not sure if it's been suggested but 'Expanded' would probably win for me. (Core Mechanics & Expanded Core Mechanics).
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Re: [SC] Splitting the Core

Postby Omnifray » 2:01pm on 19 May 15

w00hoo wrote:Variations had the connotation of 'optional' to me but in that I'd expect multiple optional rules so maybe and quick aim rule and an advanced simulationist aim rule. It's also unlikely to be something I'd dive in to before running the game.

I have no idea if either of those are bad things in this context.

I'm not sure if it's been suggested but 'Expanded' would probably win for me. (Core Mechanics & Expanded Core Mechanics).


All rules are kind of optional in my RPGs. They're just tools for the ref to choose from and use whatever fits best. But as soon as you get crunchy (I mean once you choose to use rigid, deterministic rules rather than rules allowing for a strong element of fiat), you get the risk of a poor fit with the situation you're wanting to apply the rules to. I certainly generally have a strong sense as to which choice of rule is "appropriate" even if several choices could work.

Quick example of content for the advanced chapter. I give you a spell called "Devouring Flames" which inflicts harm by burning people from the inside out. The written descriptors are non-specific as to where the injury is suffered; impliedly, it is spread throughout the body; certainly, it could be anywhere along the spectrum from minor to instantly fatal. You decide to target it specifically so as to burn out a creature's eyes - a critical injury with permanent consequences, but (probably) not capable of killing. Rules cover dice-rolls for exactly that outcome, reasoning from general principles equally applicable if in combat you decided to aim your blow so as to slice someone's thumb off.

Or you might want to climb a 100-foot cliff. Rules can make that into something a high-Agility character can instantly succeed at with one dice-roll, but someone with decent but unremarkable Agility might need several rolls, which will indicate whether they fall and if so give some pointers as to how far up they get before they fall. They might get 60 foot up then chicken out of going the final 40 feet and call for help.

This kind of thing gets a bit complicated, or at least takes a chunk of text to explain properly.

I will think about "Expanded" but currently "Core Mechanics: Variations" seems the most promising to me.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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