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umbralAeronaut

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A member registered Sep 29, 2018 · View creator page →

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Real world tried so hard to derail me on this one but I'm super pleased to say that hello, world is a full "beta" experience with all the various little bits and pieces of rules needed to run a campaign at least somewhere on a page facing the GM.  Here's the front page of the player handout:

Yeah, the setting is a bit of a lot.  I'm curious to find out if folks pick up what I'm trying to put down or it's too byzantine and sprawling a thing in it's present form.   Good luck to everyone else in the jam!

First big caveat: this is a forged in the dark game and assumes that the GM, at least, is familiar with the system.  Graphic player handouts and playbooks that cover the dice resolution are included and I've successfully run this at conventions with players unfamiliar with FitD!

I made a startling amount of progress on hello, world over the course of dream jam!  A great deal of it was polishing up fluff, graphic design and the GM's toolbox (the booklet).  There is enough material now to run the game as a short campaign!

Follow me for further updates as I plow toward a finished product!

image didn't make it into the post somehow!

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My submission to DreamJam is going to be Hello, World, a forged in the dark hack about a post-scarcity digital Utopia.  Imagine touchstones like Transistor or TRON!  Here's my first development diary:

https://umbralaeronaut.itch.io/hello-world/devlog/90031/v03-preview-factions-and...

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At risk of copying CS Dev's statement above:  Congratulations everyone!  The top game (Patricide) was really something special, regret that personal time and player availability meant I couldn't play too many before rating all the good things out here.

Now that voting is over, I've posted an update that upgrades Cold Fusion into a full-page MiniRPG + handouts!  Please let me know what you think of it, and I look forward to seeing the developments others have made to their games as well!

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HOT and COLD are the two APPROACHES.  When you "defy the endless night" in Cold Fusion ie. perform a challenging action against risk, you must be acting in one of those two ways.  The basic dice pool is usually 4 or 5 dice (assuming an uninjured Pilot; fifth die from the potential for a Frame Quirk bonus), you always roll all the dice you have.  The different dice sizes are just a way to push probabilities toward one of the approaches: d6 is weighted toward Cold (66%), d10 toward Hot (60%), d8 is an even 50% split for both.

Bonus dice get added to the pool by Burning and/or Venting AFTER that initial roll which lets you deal with bad luck on your starting dice, have a chance against harder difficulties set by the GM, and/or to attempt actions your Pilot is less suited for.  Because "Failure Is Not An Option" you must keep adding dice to succeed for as long as you are alive, but the two consequences (HEATSEEKERS escalate the pressure, and SHIVERing) enter the picture if you can't manage to keep your majority of final dice results within the APPROACH you are rolling for.

Hot results are intentionally harder to get in order to 1.)  meet a specific theme, 2.) put pressure on the player to spend their Atomic resource, and ultimately 3.) push the asymmetric Action/Consequence curve toward the SHIVER result which drives the dramatic short-form death spiral story that this rpg is designed to tell.  It's like the final episode of an Evangelion-esque mecha show where spoilers: everyone dies.

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When you benefit from the Frame bonus, you get to choose your bonus die.  A d6 would be best if you're rolling a Cold action.  A d10 is best if you're rolling a Hot action.

Due to word count I didn't have a chance to elaborate too much on that part of the rules, it's sort of a bare-bones sentence.  The starting die roll for an action is your Pilot dice: 4d(6s/8s) + Frame bonus if applicable: 1d(6 or 10, your choice).  Then after rolling those you may add more dice to the pool for Venting/Burning as needed.

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Thank you nikomaru!  In fact, two big influences for me were Into the Breach (mech vs. kaiju PC strategy/puzzle game) and Knights of Sidonia, a rather bleak mecha manga drawn by Tsutomu Nihei.  My sketch of a solar frame has a little influence from Sidonia's "Garde's".

The d8 for character creation is as-intended.  This dice system is deliberately asymmetric, due mostly to the various ways that Burn/Vent and Shivering/Attracting differ.

The only way to unlock the rolling of d10s is by either having a Frame "well-disposed" to your challenge, or via the Reactor Burn mechanic, putting a clock on your reactor's survival if you undertake a lot of Hot actions and threatening Shivers against even the most hot-blooded protagonist.

I had not even once considered the obvious metaphor of candles as the actual lifespan of the character... That's excellent.

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Thanks gnomio, early on I realized that my core mechanic was really going to take up a lot of space so squeezing in opportunities for role-play cues and character customization in the margins was important.  Using the pilot dice as personality litmus test, "skill" measuring tool, and Hit Points rolled into one felt like a reasonably elegant contraction of rules overhead.

I have a longer draft version of the rules that a little more than doubles the word count and adds some framework for downtime, including a certain form of 'healing' of lost dice (as well as out-of-Frame risky actions).  Once the voting is over I'll likely post that, also have been thinking about drafting the whole thing up in a visual-enticing PDF...

Really solid entry.  The rules encompass relationships, secrets, challenge, trials, and a fail state.  Hard to do in the word count for sure.

Mechanically, my one question is why a player would ever choose to extinguish candles when resting.  I was looking for a push/pull mechanic of some kind against having lit candles and couldn't find it.  Otherwise seems great!

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This sounds damn good.  Worth a try at the next open-rpg night.

This is a cool thematic twist and an interesting take on collaborative story-telling.  It's nicely self-contained in it's word count as well.  Really solid!

I think I like this mechanical framework (though it could entail a long stretch of eye-glazing dice rerolling if probability isn't being cooperative).  Character creation seems quite workable.  The GM actually has some tools to use, which a lot of entries had trouble squeezing in.

Overall, damn solid.  Will try to test this one with my group.

This one really seems to want to be more than 200 words.  That could arguably be said about any of the games here, but in this case I really feel the missed potential.  Your Blades in the Dark-style dice pool action system is crying out for greater elaboration, these character classes demand further exploration, I want to know more about this setting, etc.

That's really tough because unfortunately we have to grade what's presented and not what is merely potential.  My advice would be to find ways to cut down on some of your word sinks (maybe cut out the classes and make the powers simple guided writing exercises) and reallocate that space back into the core mechanics.

If you take this further I will be among the first onboard!

Thanks Between2!  Originally this was going to be a "Yes/Yes, But/No" dice pool action system but I discovered I didn't have enough words to elaborate on a satisfying No mechanic!  So now it's just Yesses and Yes, Buts until you die, which I hope contributes to a very powerful Last Stand sort of feeling.

I dig this one a lot because it's incentive framework and player interaction emulates the story it wants to tell: the King is arbiter of terms and judger of success for these wily Viziers, but must be careful to moderate their excesses and stoke their jealousy of each other lest one is allowed to grow too ambitious in the end-game.  DENUNCIATION gives leeway for character assassination against another Vizier and drive interaction around the Secrets.  And the final lightning round only ends once the King "has heard enough" which is basically a pitch-perfect roleplaying cue.

I agree with niko that the success structure of the dice mechanic is slightly unclear.  I'm also unsure as to what the particular strategy is with the character classes, as everyone will be hitting every obstacle... unless they skipped one by trying to sabotage another player... But the mathematical likelihoods make it sort of a zero sum game?

The physicality of the game's components and their connection to the story is great though.

I like what you have going on for character cooperation and incentives to play around the Secrets, but I'm unsure how the GM is meant to utilize the temperature chart and the nature of threats in the environment.  A little more about the scenario would have been nice.   However, these are some really interesting ideas!

Cool game!  I like the way the resolution mechanic ties the whole table in to the action outcomes.

Thank you for letting me know funrun!  I've uploaded an ANSI-encoded text file alternate, let me know if that one is better.