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Author Topic: System or no system? If system, what system, why system, and how to system?  (Read 6561 times)


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So, I've come up with an idea recently. I want to make a sort of multiplayer, tabletop "roguelike" that I plan on hosting here or some other place. The idea is, you're all conciousnesses trapped in an endless loop, and each of you enter your own dungeons, hidden from one another (Although there are some spells, potions and scenarios that allow you to enter the dungeons of other players.) the "IC" is what's OOC in most games. You'll encounter certain repeating themes and puzzles, which you may choose to help other players out with based on your experiences. You have to beat the dungeon (Descend X-number of floors in one go) to escape the loop.

Because of this aspect, I really, really want it to be a gamey game and not freeform, because not only will I probably run dry having to do all this myself based on fiat and "Yeah, I reckon ya could climb that!", but a lot of mechanics I'd like to implement involve things that are best implemented in strict mechanics and with numbers, I.E. finding out about who you were in a past life during questlines and such will give you a distinct advantage over the course of the game, (Being able to keep an item after death, finding loot you used to have, one permanent increase of your aspects, etc.) at the expense of a permanent, but perhaps less severe debuff. (You gain a personality flaw you had once, it takes a toll on your sanity, you may trigger Alien Hand Syndrome after critically failed rolls, etc.)

I want a lot of monsters to be something hard or costly enough that you want to avoid, outsmart, outmaneuver, or work around them, but not something that's blatantly impossible if you do decide to brute force it, and to be able to allow some playstyles that have gathered up the means over a suitable period of time to take them on and be rewarded for their dungeon crawling. Combat should be sustainable under the right circumstances, but the ability to battle with foes has to be earned, and being able to get the drop on something or avoid conflict altogether should be a reliable and much safer solution. I'd like combat to play a part, but be an occurrence you're excited or anxious about. The problem, I guess, would be making new character sheets after every death.

I'd like to randomly generate the structure (Not necessarily the content) of each floor with Donjon's thingymabobber, or another map generator, because this is a roguelike of sorts. Players can find maps in containers to tell where they are and what they haven't explored, and they'll also get a copy of the map with a log summarizing what they did every time they go down a floor.

To make character sheets quick and the game easier to get back into, I was thinking of dividing characters into two parts. One being who they are in the game's in-game: Starting new dungeons with a class system, like Nethack. These classes will have pre-made stats, and ideally it won't be impossible to tweak and manage your playstyle as the game progresses, but you would select certain classes for certain things as the game progresses. There would be different kinds of fighters, different kinds of investigators, and things built for the purpose of "I'd like to stockpile good loot so I can access it in a future life should I rediscover it." or "I'd like to fight the things so I can figure out the puzzles" or "I'd prefer to have more cerebral skills so I can investigate and learn important things for the next game". Players would also be able to create their own classes based on their wants and needs because... I'm not exactly the Romero Bros.

And the other being who the consciousnesses are, that they'll be rediscovering: Everybody submits a character with personality traits and flaws and a history, and they will be randomly assigned to other characters. Certain things in the game will be a Silent-Hill-reflection of aspects of the character that the consciousness is/was in the life they were in before they got trapped in the game.

I think that'd all be pretty fun, but I also play MDickie games, so fun is a foggy concept. My questions are as follows...

Am I doing something wrong/tedious from a game design standpoint?

Are there any tabletop systems that would facilitate this very well?... Or at all? I'm considering Call of Cthulhu since I'm somewhat familiar with it and I've been reading some of it recently. I've heard plenty of good things and bad things about Cthulhu, but I'm more than open to suggestions at this conceptual phase.

Does this seem at all interesting?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 11:23:52 pm by Arthesul »
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Re: System or no system? If system, what system, why system, and how to system?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 11:38:24 am »

As far as systems go, if you want detail and the accompanying workload, then any d20 variant would work. If you want easy fun with a light touch on the rules, then QAGS is what you are looking for.

Sample QAGS Characters
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 03:42:50 pm by BerkaZerka »


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Re: System or no system? If system, what system, why system, and how to system?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 03:31:38 am »

Cool idea!
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