LoC: Next Rules and Design ideas

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I'll post some stuff here tonight, but figured I'd put up a thread if other people felt like getting started now.

Since it's been a few days, I'll get the ball rolling.

We had talked briefly about players potentially "upgrading" the mechanics/abilities of the world at large. The idea here was that there'd be certain actions that, at the start of the game, would be "locked" to all players. Then, during the course of the game, players could work towards gaining access.

However, this would inherently throttle the type of play that could happen at the start of the game. Players couldn't take those locked actions until they were unlocked. That does limit player creativity. Hopefully the trade off is interesting and will be fun, but that is why we want discussion.

If we move forward with this idea, we might want to keep it fairly minor, and keep it "random" or, at least, spur of the moment. That is, no "the god of life, whom will be Shadow's cousin, Goblin Nation, first of his name, will create the first sentient race, dwarves, called Dumenar, children of stone, in the 3rd turn on the continent of Noserros."

Personally, I do like the idea of limiting the number of unique races at the start of the game. That action might be locked in the first turn, to only be unlocked once the first biome has been created. Then, first the first turn it is unlocked, only one "unique" race might be allowed to be created. Who gets to create it is chosen at random. All other players may modify that race, but that does have the implied (but not overstressed) RP connection to the original. After a turn or two, the create race action becomes available to everyone (or we could keep it limited, I suppose, or have only a set number, etc).

Ideally, this would help focus early play a little, while giving whoever gets to create that first race a feeling like they greatly impacted the game (might want to give new players an extra "ticket" in the raffle), and while not infringing on player creativity too much.

Likewise, perhaps the "create plane" action would be locked until the first pantheon was formed (with demi-planes being possible before). "Ascend god"/"self-ascend" might likewise be locked until two or three gods have been "begotten."

We could have other effects as well. When three gods take a hand in developing a single nation, that might unlock an across the board PP-level-up.

However, would any (or all) of this restrict player creativity too much for the benefit? Is the benefit clear? Would you like to play under such rules, even if you were never picked for anything cool?
Hello there! I've been lurking, just sort of reading the stuff people have been posting, but without much to contribute. I just had one little nitpick with what you posted, Thought, and I admittedly don't have a solution in mind just yet.

The thing is, and it's something that's sort of been common through most LoCs I've been in, and seems to be linked to somewhat of a lack of emphasis on major planes in general, I don't really like the idea of other major planes only popping up later. Maybe for things like the Astral sea, I can sort of see, if we just set it up as, like, the home of the gods. But, to use the current 4e cosmology as an example, the Feywild and the Shadowfell sort of have to be there if not from the start, then really close to the start. It bothers me somewhat more than it should that, often, fey are created before the feywild, or else are placed in the Material Plane first. I understand that a feywild is not something that needs to always appear, but it seems weird that often there's a feywild, but little to no fey in it. In fact, most greater planes generally have little to nothing in them. 

I understand that this is all mostly to do with player motivation and players not putting stuff there, but I just feel like putting off the creation of greater planes would just worsen the issue. 
First, Hi Ara.

Second, I agree that if there are going to be fundamental planes like the astral sea, the elemental chaos, etc, then they should exist from the get-go.

Alas, I don't have a good solution either.

How did people like WorldWarp? There we had two planes crash into one, so that the actual mundane world didn't start until rather late in game. Perhaps we might be able to do something along those line? Not the same preplaning dealeo, mind, but maybe make the prime material plane something to "unlock"?

I suppose we could always say that fundamental or parallel planes "always" existed and people have to discover them, but that seems like it is a bit too full of handwavium.
Well I feel like I read something somewhere that suggested that the Feywild and the Shadowfell were, like, versions of the what would eventually be the Material Plane. Like the Feywild is what it was supposed to be at first or something. Or they're, like, positive and negative reflections...

Maybe we could institute a short period at the beginning of the game, just like a couple weeks maybe, where the gods can sort of freely mold or whatever, experiment if you will, and the result will be the Feywild or the Shadowfell, or whatever this game's equivalent would be (because there's no real need to stick to the cosmology, especially if it'll be switched up anyways in D&D: Next). And then I think the basic "space" that you have when the game first starts is sort of like the Astral Sea/Elemental Chaos sort of area. And I would also even suggest something opposite to what you said and actually say that, instead of unlocking the "Greater Plane" action, we would actually lock it, so that you can't make greater planes after a certain point. Because let's face it, it very rarely gets used in games beyond creating the staples, and the rare cases in games where it has been used can generally be replicated using demi-planes.

I'm sorry if this is all a bit jumbled. Generally when I try to talk about rules topics my organized brain-opinions suddenly seem far less organized when they're actually outside my brain.
Beyond the planes, I have mixed feelings about this, to be honest... one the one hand, I, too, feel like it would be cool to be chosen to have the first race, the first plane, etc.  I know that I greatly enjoyed ushering in the age of Thinking Mortals in LV by working over the course of a week or two to gain the knowledge necessary to do so.  I also think that limiting the scope of players to fully flesh out civilizations and ideas is a good idea.  On the other hand, I'm not sure that the 'unlocking' mechanic works for me.  It does seem to potentially stifle creativity and I'm worried that it'll seem a bit arbitraty and 'unfair' to people.

The idea of PP going up for everyone when certain achievements are met is interesting to me, though.  That could get us to collaborate better.

On a related note, I would like to get people's opinions on tying PP-discounts to posessed domains (with reasonable restrictions on number of domains per person, of course).  As I see it, it *might* get us a similar structure to what Thought wants, just by a different route.  If we peg starting PP at such a point that in order to, say, create a civilization, you either have to band together with another God and expend a lot of PP, hoard your own PP for multiple turns, or seek out the God of Civilization and togeher you can do it relatively easily.  As the game progresses and Gods grow more powerful, being able to do things on your own becomes more and more realistic.

And on a completely off-the-wall note, I'd like it if we could get the civilizations of the world better fleshed out than they'd been in the last few games.  As such, I propose we bring back something that might get be kicked off the island right now:  Techs.  I know, I know, they're a massive PP sink, they aren't really realistic, etc... but they *do* require you to write RP about a race and keep it in your mind.  I'm willing to get shouted down about this, but I figured I would bring it up. 
Well, maybe it doesn't have to be so much of a hard "unlock" sort of deal. Maybe we can just have a sort of Stupidity Clause. As in, if it doesn't make sense based on the current elements in the world, someone would call you out on it, and you'd have to adjust accordingly. So, like, no humans until there is air would be an obvious one. There needs to be, like, an ecology sort of set up to allow for the things you want there. Food, air, water (or whatever it is you decide that your custom races need to survive (and maybe there should be another Sub-Stupidity clause about no making a race that's basically humans except they don't have to breathe, but I suppose that just goes without saying)).
See, now my biology brain is going in all these awesome ways trying to figure out how to create a humanoid-looking race that didn't have to breathe

I'd... like to avoid a, as you say, 'stupidity clause' if only because what that is going to be perceived as is 'the old players can tell the new players they are being stupid if they don't want them doing X'... not that that is your/our intention, just that I fear that is how it will be percieved.   
Well obviously we won't say it to their FACES! We'll just whisper about it at slumber parties and write about it in our diaries. To their faces we'll just sort of, like, really politely remind people that there isn't air or food yet for their darling new races. I mean, it's not even really like a rule, it's just us committing as a group to what should essentially be an unspoken thing. No air? No air-breathing races. It's a simple thing.
Ara!  Those slumber parties were SECRET!  How COULD you?  Now I have to go find Anubis and Ritreaude and let them know the secret is out.  I'll leave it to you to explain to Chapien why he wasn't invited.  He's gonna be sad. :P

In all seriousness, though... yeah, that seems like a reasonable rule... its definitely something we've done before, after all. 
Regarding planes, while I do like the idea of them, and if they are in the game I'd like them to make sense, I'll ask: are they even necessary?

They are comparatively rare in actual play, and it is even rarer that they are done well. The best planes I can think of have all been demiplanes. Perhaps instead of trying to come up with the perfect mechanic for something that probably wont effect gameplay much but might turn people off, we just jettison it from the rules?

Creating ad hoc planes could still be managed, if we are willing to allow it. For example, in Aetheric Realms, we could have said that the Aetheric Up-and-Out became an elemental plane (or the Astra Sea, or the Elemental Chaos, etc) when the mundane world was made and attention focused there. Indeed, we could have said that there was even an normal-aired plane, and that the mundane world itself was a third realm. Instead, we went with a strict all-this-is-the-same-plane approach.

Or to use the 4e basic setting as an example: First there was the world, then the divine beings came, got uppity, and then the world organically divided into two different planes (Astral Sea, Elemental Chaos). The Elementals created a rocky something or other, the gods started playing with it too, so it "organically" divided into the mundane world.

Regarding the creation of sentient races, I think a problem in the past has been that we've tried to force some players into building the framework of the universe when all they care about is building up a populace. In short, attempts to force people to wait until it makes sense to have mortals is an attempt to force them to delay the fun that they want to have. Honestly, I half-wonder if the entire creating-the-world-as-in-continents-and-stuff shtick is just the same. I love that part of the game, but honestly, it often feels like there are only two or three of us who do, and we're sort of raining on everyone elses parade by insisting that that comes first.

Yes, I thought that the unlocking mechanism might be a way around that, but if no one else is really taken with it, no sense in arguing for it.


Anywho, since Toph mentioned it, let's also talk some about how gods can create themselves (and if we want that mechanic).

Anywho, I am sure Camu can explain the history behind it, but the basic premise is that we all like building up our D&D characters as they level, so why not bring a bit of that over to LoC. So, gods would have a variety of "stats" that they could improve by investing points (maybe PP, maybe some other point system, maybe by sending pizza to the GMs... I mean, admins).

Here are a few to consider (by no means a final or comprehensive list):
Power Point Level
Combat Score
Domain Slots
Main Domain
Social Stance
Mortal Respect
Divine Rank

The PP level should be fairly self explanatory.

Combat score just reflects how good that god is in combat (and, I would say, how others perceive the physical attributes of that god: is someone has a high combat score, other gods should think that one is a beefcake).

Domain slots: Toph had suggested that player will get a bonus PP for actions relating to their domains. So, in order to gain new domains (and thus new/wider PP), they'll want to get more domains. This puts a limit on how many a god can claim willy nilly.

Main Domain is just that domain that forms the core of the god's concept. For example, my first god, Gadabout, had several domains, but his core one was "Travel." That was who he was. This just identifies what that domain is for ease of reference (I would say that players should be able to change this during play, though: if that god of water just isn't working out, drop the water domain as the core concept).

Social Stance: Sort of the opposite of Combat Ranking. This would indicate how socially ept a god is. A god with a high ranking should be seen by other players as being... well, someone who can dominate in a social setting. If you want to fool others, this would sort of influence that.

Mortal Respect: Just how widely known your god is and how devoted mortals are to you.

Divine Rank: Things like Demi-God, Lesser God, Overdiety, etc. Basicaly, this would be the actual "level" that might put caps on other stats.
That's all well and good, and I'll probably have more to say about it when I have more to post (I'm just heading out now, actually), but I just wanted to comment on the Social Stance thing. I'm just wondering how exactly that would work. The rest of the things are mechanically quantifiable, but social standing? I mean... would it be like, if you have a higher social stance than someone, you can automatically fool them? This is, at least in part, an RP-focused game, so it seems to me like people should work to make themselves seem convincing when they want to fool someone. I'm just not really sure how that all works in the nitty gritty of the game.
Consider it a bluff/diplomancy/detect motive check ;)
*laughs*  Because its worked SO well in the past when we incorporated dice rolls into LoC.  (Actually... it wasn't half bad, was it? :D)

Thought, I actually completely agree with your rationalle (and Ara's) that we should probably make it so people have to wait until there is a place to put a race... until they can put a race there.  I'm a little reluctant to have actual 'locked' actions, though... if only because if someone *REALLY* wants a race before there are things to support it, I feel we should let them create some... very... strange... race to match.  For instance:  Angels don't breathe, are divine, etc, etc.  They could survive in a world without air (although flying might be a little tough), while, say, dwarves would... do poorly.  

Personally, I'm for keeping planes... as long as we're doing a DnD analogue, it doesn't make a ton of sense to remove a major feature of most DnD settings from the players' control.

That stats system was a *little* more complicated than I had in mind, but... I'm actually kinda liking it. Now, what I'm kinda envisionig is that these levels could be tied to particular actions, such that, say, those of us with strong 'social skills' could guide populaces easier, or something.  That might be foolish, though... and would proabably take a playtest to figure out what 'levels' give you what benefits.

Regardless, I'm... split... as to whether I like it... on the one hand, I feel that it might stifle RP to be like 'you're not X enough to convince me' or (on the other hand) 'U tlk lyk this, but u hv HOUGE Respect Score, so... I have to think that you are an awesome God.'    On the other hand, we have been talking about an issue being that we always play the same Gods... perhaps having some degree of stats to remind us that we *aren't* necessarially the same (or necessarially a god-among-gods of speech and intellect, etc ,etc) might be exactly what we need.  I mean, if you care about it, you level up into that direction.  If we do, however, I would tie PP and Max Domains into your overall level, and not have them necessarially be a separate category.
I didn't quite mean that there woul be a skill roll. Just, there is an established, familiar precedent for quantifying such things.

Anywho, you have an excellent point, Toph, that not all races need biomes to live. Perhaps, instead of limiting what can be done, there are just consequences? If all that exists is the Elemental Chaos and I create dwarves, then dwarves are now Elementals and can never be part of the mundane, normal world (just think of the spells with the "Dwarf" damage keyword now!). And, if I create Angels in the normal world, then they aren't supernatural, they're just average joes, like everyone else there. This can, of course, affect planning. If I want elves to be fey creatures, then they need to be made in a fey plane.

Regarding planes, my main point is: let's not create a mechanic that might offend people if we don't get much from it. Planes are nearly never used. Should we then spend a lot of time trying to craft careful, precise, rules? Or should we just give it some handwavium and call it good?

As for that stat system, good lord that all wasn't meant to be included. Those were just ideas and talking points. Do gods need to have a Mortal stat? Or should we just leave it up to the characters to establish their worship directly? Should there be a social stat, or is that just RP?

However, I like your idea of giving bonuses based on stats. A simple solution to your proposed issue is to give a flat bonus based on the highest stat, not on each state at each rate. Thus, if Krunk has his highest score in Combat, he gets a bonus PP towards combat related actions (initiative mortal wars, attacking another god, teaching mortals how to make sword-chucks, etc).

Finally, regarding a social stat, is that really fundamentally different than a strength stat?  Ideally, RP would determine the outcome of both physical and social combat. Stats for either are ideally guidelines. But if we are willing to break out the crunch for physical strength, why not social strength?
Okay, you got me.  It is a bit of a double standard to say that Gods are buff according to mechanics, and not allow for other stats to be mechanized as well.

You see, now I *like* the idea of those stats.  I mean, perhaps we can compress it down to, like... 3 or something (Creation, Mortal Interaction, Destruction or something...).  I was leaning a little more towards, like... 'for every three points you have in X, you may, once a week take a 1 PP discount to a Y action' or the like, if only that I like the idea of specializing Gods such that god A spreads himself thin and takes 1 PP discounts to most actions once a week, while God B decides that she wants to be able to, oh... make and direct populaces a lot, would sink all her discounts into *that* stat.

Part of me actually wants to replace normal PP with this sort of system.  I mean, we'd all get a pool of generic PP, but instead of getting more (generic) PP, you'd have to start specializing at a future point. Granted, this could backfire and leave people feeling stuck, but it could also promote an actual... pantheon structure where if you want to make a populace, you need to go find someone with that speciality and enlist their help.  

If we were to do it, I'd propose we drop the number and types of actions to a small but manageable subset, such that we don't force people to become specialized in, say... create avatar actions or something

Edit:  Oh, and that Biome idea has merit.  I like it. 
I actually really like Toe's replacement PP thing. I'm sure it's fraught with problems I'm not seeing, but for now, I think it's cool. The thing is, I don't like the idea of levelling up for the sake up levelling up, like for instance, saying that we spend PP to "level up" our PP per week amount, rather than have it just go up in a myriad of other ways. I just like the element of strategy that Toe is suggesting.

When Toe was doing the GITP LoC, I actually went and read the rules, and part of me sort of liked the way they handled raising the "combat score", for much the same reasons. For those of you who haven't read the rules, they had levels in that game, and you would actually gain levels in one of three classes, and each class had special ways of interacting with the combat mechanic. Their combat went in three rounds, and the warrior class, for instance, had a smaller combat bonus, but could apply it every round while the wizard class had a much larger bonus that could only apply in one round. I like the idea of there being a requisite level of thought put into levelling up. That's what I like about D&D levelling up, and so I think we need to have that here, if that's what we're doing.

Perhaps we can sort of simplify it a bit and just have one thing that you have to level up: your god's level. The total level would indicate things like amount of PP and Domains, while you could choose one of a number of "classes" which would give you benefits regarding PP usage. There could be a "social" class, and a "combatant" class. I guess really it's the same thing just organized differently, but at the same time I think this can give us some room for some interesting variations.

As for the planes, I think we should do what I think Thought is trying to say (unless I am totally misreading you). And say, like, the gods come into the world, and then make a world, but that space that was there before just sort of... becomes the Elemental Chaos, or the Astral Sea or whatever we want to call it, and then if we want more planes we can make them. It's like handwaiving, but not really.

Oh, and I like the biome idea too. 
Ara demanded that I reply to this, so I do so reply:

As she agreed with my ideas... I approve of this post(?)

I like the idea of moving away from a large pool of generic PP.

Perhaps everyone has a small pool of generic use PP, then based on their stats (to be determined), they get specialized bonus PP to actions related to that stat.

Basically, Toph's post. Though, rather than remove those actions in which specializing would be strange (Beget God, Create Avatar, for some possible examples), simply rule that some types of actions can only be done with generic PP.

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In regards to planes. Why do they have to be like the generic D&D cosmology? Maybe their is no elemental chaos, or astral sea...maybe this multiverse has other types of planes and hells. Or maybe their is just the one plane...

This can also be more generic. Why do we always have to go for elves, dwarves, gnomes,.....A less standard D&D setting is more interesting ( well for me anyways) 

   I lean more to not to be too restrictive about the starting conditions needed to create a race. We might probably start with a very basic world with some starting conditions like earth and air.

Camu! I was starting to worry that you had disappeared.

Yes, a generic D&D cosmology is indeed lame. I think Ara's main issue is that if there are planes that are as fundamental to the created world as the Elemental Chaos and Astral Sea are to 4e's, then those planes should be started at the beginning of the game, not near the middle or end. But of course, as you pointed out, maybe there will be only one plane, or none of the planes may be what we imagine them to be.

Planes are really complex concepts that can take a myriad of forms. Trying to create rule mechanics around them are difficult. Perhaps we should just take an ad hoc approach? Players can create them for "free," and if something is just really nonsensical or stupid, the admins talk to them about it?

Why free? Because planes tend to give very little benefit. Usually everyone else ignores them. It really sucks, then, when a player spends 4 PP (probably generic, and thus rare, PP in this version) and... yeah.

Though a demi-plane action could still be a PP expenditure action. "Planes" in general can have their concept set at "creation," but everyone can influence them, while demiplanes are under the express control of their creator(s) and grant combat advantage?

Regarding the "biome idea:" I feel bad, since I think people are talking about an idea I had (or at least sprung from something I said), but I don't know what this phrase actually refers to. Could someone enlighten me?

And finally, for Toph's idea, that could be nice, but if we want to go that way, we should probably come up with a few "types of play" and try to figure out how those might be affected by stats. Thats could also influence what, exactly, gets an action and what doesn.
My fault.  I used the word biome first.

What I mean is... what you said... if you make a dwarf in the elemental chaos, say, its now an elemental dwarf, and an angel created on the prime plane is no longer a divine being, but a mortal wit h wings... basically, the environment (biome) that they are created into necessarially shapes their inner essence.

I could go with the planes always existing and we just have to 'find' them.  Seems like a decent compromise between pre-establishment of the 'standard' planes and Camu's (excellent) point that perhaps we want to have non-standard ones instead.  This way, its just as easy to 'find' the Feywild as it is to find the... oh... Elemental Plane of Gooey Treats.

And yeah, we should come up with some play styles.  I'll think about it and post it after work today. 
I think you mean, the Elemental Plane of Dwarfs! Yes, in this world, everything will be made of the four elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Dwarf.

For actual actions, I liked the idea of cantrips in the past. While we might want to rename them (cantrip is inacurate, and it isn't very explanatory either), I'd like to propose that we up their power a little. Specifically, as the action relates to a god's domain or character, cantrips can be a little more powerful. For example, perhaps a god of water can create minor rivers as a free action, while a god of earth can easily go about adding small hills and caves as they desire.

Anywho, since we're starting to get down to what gods do, I suppose we should ask: are exarchs or artifacts going to make a comeback at any level? We had talked about scrapping their PP generating powers. Will they remain for any other reason? I ask because both classes of things have had a lot of attention in the past, in terms of PP investment. The artifact-factory and exarch-factory are two old playtypes.

Along these lines, are we going to allow players to have multiple gods? It was suggested, but not really resolved.
Hi all! I have some thoughts. Scary I know..... but for a change its not on how to play the game, but on how to get people in. I haven't read all of whats been suggested yet. I will later. anyways.....

I have seen that there have been a lot of conversation on throttling. Slow this down, or speed that up. But my idea is, why not not throttle the number of people (gods) coming in. If people can get in earlier, especially the newer folk, instead of having to wait for weeks on end (where they will most likely forget about it) just let them come on in fairly quickly. Do we really must "birth" a new god. What if one just happens to come into existence (and some seem to come and go almost as fast.) this way we can get the newer people in the game faster and they might participate more and feel like they have more of a role to play in the early game, giving them a reason to stay for the late game.

on a side note: I'm always going to be partial to world warp, and I loved how it played out especially with some of the interactions that were had there. And I'm hunting for the plane of gooey treats right now! who's with me? :P


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Ah WW.  Good times.

So here's a random question:  We've been talking rules for a little bit, and this is good and should continue, but I'd like to just ask a quick... focus (I guess) question of people just so we can get a sense of what sort of things are central to our discussion, and which things are ancillary.

I'll start.  My main goal for altering the rules is giving domains some bite and making gods specialize.  Several people have brought up that we tend to just be playing the same god over and over again, and while we can't do *too* much about changing the underlying personality of the player (as it *is* a game and we shouldn't *do* that to people), there should be some way to get them to at least create thematically different things based on their choices.  

For instance, I made or adopted the Beholders in three games... AR, LV and WW (then I moved onto Naga).  The only time it made sense for my god to have anything to do with Beholders was when I was Grawlf, and was quite literally a large floating eyeball.  When I was Nixis and Itja'Rek, far less so. So I challenged myself today to figure out how I could have made the Beholders thematically fit my God and therefore get (in my proposed idea) a 'domain discount' for their creation.  For Nixis, I still had problems, but Itja'Rek wasn't too bad.  Beholders would begin as harvesters of souls, with one central eye and, instead of eye-stalks, mouth-stalks that would scream out, banshee-style, and rip souls from the bodies of their prey and store them for deposition in the Soul Repository.  Eventually, they'd escape from slavery, and, while still requiring soul-energy to survive, would spend their days fighting slavery and oppression, until they realize that the best way to keep a continual food supply is to become slavers themselves.  

Still beholders, but Itja'Rek themed beholders now.  Thats... what I want to try and get the rules to encourage.  Camu brought up the excellent point that there is no reason why we need to stick with the 'classic' races and planes and the like, and I agree... and I think this might be a way of getting to it. 
So, I sat down and really tried to give thought to what, exactly, I thought this whole thing should look like.  Fundamentally, I think it should play much like DnD... with levels and 'skills' (we are, after all, on the WotC forums, and that is the system that players are familiar with)

Points:  The divine energy that makes you a God and allows you to act on the world.  There are three types:
Power Point (PP):  Our old friend, points that have no restrictions and can be used for anything.
Domain Point (DP):  You have 1 point you may spend for any action relating to that domain.  Upon gaining a DP, you may either claim a new domain OR gain greater mastery in one of your current domains (have 2 points for that domain)
Skill Point (SP):  A specialized point that you may spend on specific actions determined when you 'level-up'
Leveling-up:  at tiers determined by total Points spent, you may spend PP to Gain a Level.  Gaining a Level could be represented in a variety of ways:  Inherent skill increases, the recruitment of an exarch to assist you on specific tasks, or the creation of a powerful artifact to do the same (included in price of leveling up).  The only limitation is that PP increases MUST be inherent.
Skills:  These will need to get hammered down, but I'm thinking.
Creativity: Discounts to shapes/spawns/craft actions... if you're making something from scratch, you get a bonus
Willpower:  Discounts to Command/Mold actions:  Your mind is able to sway mortals and the very earth alike.  
Benevolence (need a neutral word for this):  Nourish/Harm.  Your attention to the world below is noted.
Strength:  Attack/Harm/Mold.  Your physical strength shatters other Gods, ruins mortals and shapes the very earth.

etc.  Ideally, I'd like a set of overlapping skills to let people customize as desired.

Leveling progression:
Level 1:  You get 2 PP, 1 SP and 1 DP for your starting domain. (2/1/1)
Level 2:  Gain 1 SP (2/2/1) 
Level 3: Gain 1 SP (2/3/1)
Level 4: Gain 1 DP (2/3/2)
Level 5: Gain 1 SP (2/4/2)
Level 6: Gain 1 PP (3/4/2)
Level 7: Gain 1 DP (3/4/3)
Level 8: Gain 1 SP (3/5/3)
Level 9: Gain 1 SP (3/6/3)
Level 10: Gain 1 DP (3/6/4)
Level 11: Gain 1 PP (4/6/4)

Basically, you gain PP every 5 levels, DP every 3, and SP every level you don't gain one of the others.  I don't really anticipate us ever reaching level 11, but even if we do, only 4 PP is free for any use. 
Toe already knows I like that, except he appears to have changed certain things before posting. I kind of liked the way it was before.

Mostly, it was that he had 3 "skills": Influence, Strength and Creativity. Creativity had the most actions that fell under it, but Influence and Strength also increased your ability to fool or influence others (like Thought suggested) and increased your combat bonus, respectively. I sort of like the fewer number of skills, and the way there's more strategy in choosing them than just in which skills you have access to.
Uh... actually, the skills I had were 'Creation' 'Influence' 'Harm'... which seemed dumb and not very... stats-ful.  

Strength, Influence, Creativity sounds nice, though, and are the words I would have chosen had I... thought of them.  
I know. I changed it in my post to make the idea (and you, by extension) look better. Way to blow my cover.
You never asked your question, Toph :P

Anywho, my main goal in the rules discussion is three-fold

1) My aim is to try to make things simpler. Ideally, rules should be able to be read in their entirety in about 5-10 minutes. The reason for this is that while it allows a lot more room for misinterpretation, it requires less effort on a potential player's part. I love reading through rule books, but not everyone does. No sense in making people do what I love in order to do what they'll love.

2) Another aim is to try to bring back some of the success of the old games. We can't bring back the environment, but rules that harken back to those games might be good. Perhaps there are some inherent benefits in them that we haven't seen that make things awesome.

3) Keep things open to types of play and assumptions that aren't necessarily the norm. To be frank, I hate it when some does something that doesn't make sense. It really forces me out of the game. But that's a personal oddity that I should be less... opinionated about.

I'll comment on the rest as I have a chance, but might not be before next week (or might be sooner, who knows!)

Also, DWARF!
To Thought:   ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Those question-marks are to be inserted into my sentances in the future and past to appropriately ask questions when I desire to ask them!

1) YES! THIS! I've been telling Topheh this exact same thing. Glad to see the sentiment is shared.

2) This... worries me. I really hope you're talking about older games in general, meaning all of the games that came before this one. If, as I reluctanctly suspect, you're saying we should try to bring back elements of the truly older games, like Galara, Shardsworld and the even more ancient, I'm afraid I'm going to have to sigh heavily. It just feel like that is a sentiment that we bring into every game, and it never ends up quite working, or capturing the essence of those early games. We've already had testimony to the fact that at least some people enjoyed the later games (Joran loved WW! YAY!) so the things that worked there deserve some looking into. But mostly I think we should just be looking forward to this game, and making it great, rather than looking back or trying to recapture some old magic. Those games have the benefit of nostalgia, so if we try and compare, new games won't stack up.

3) Yes, this is nice too. If we don't like what someone else is doing, we don't *have* to interact with them hugely on the things we can't find common ground on. And we can also work to do other things that can create that common ground. 

Personally, I think so long as we have a clear and elegant design principle that can easily handle the myriad of things people want to do while not having to address every eventuality or be expressed in something longer than a single post, we should be fine. 
Actually, Ara, that sort of dovetails into similer rules. The old games left a lot more to vague interpretation. Though, to note, the entire build your god dealeo is from the old games.

Toph, sorry, I can't say I approve of the "skills." The reason for this is that they don't really tell us anything about the god or how they act or what they are. A god with a high Willpower stat will be... um... what? Sure, they'll be good at nourish and harms, but what will they be like? How will that effect their personality, who they are, how they see the world, etc.

So I guess it kind of boils down to these skills will tell us what actions a god might perform, but they don't really tell us anything about what that god is.
That's part of the reason I liked the Influence, Strength and Creativity skills. I found they more clearly delineated classic archetypes of gods, with lots of room for experimentation within that. There's the classic trickster, or the commanding presence, each of which coul fall under Influence. There's the more martial deity, the Banes and the Heironeouses, if you will. And then there's the crafter god, the artisan. Although perhaps there should be a fourth, more life-based skill that could cover shape and spawn and the like?

And then perhaps there can be room for even more specialization, if we want that. We can have some way to focus more specifically one various action types, like a tinker god who can easily use the Forge action,  or an earth god with an emphasis on the mold action. 

Something I forgot to add to my design goals, I think that, outside of basic things like PP allocation and combat, we should try not to decide too much now. I know we discussed planes and the like, but really, I think the way they function should be left up until game time. In fact, I think most rules like that should be on a more as-needs basis for adjudication. I see no need for strapping us into any sort of cosmology or what-have-you if it turns out that, in game, some other system would address what comes up even better. Even artifacts should be left deliberately vague. If anyone does anything obviously game-breaking, we can address that, but there's no need to prematurely stifle creativity.
*nods*  I hear that.  I guess my hope is that people would... use their spread of skills to inform their actions (I hear that snickering, too!  Cut it out!  I've also played with too many half-orcs with 4 INT that were played as having MENSA-level thoughts.)  I think that it is just another way to point people into playing a role, rather than playing... themselves.  I'm guilty of that, I know... and I'm actually kinda writing these rules to deal with my own shortcomings in all of this.

Anyways, lets brainstorm about this:   So this whole idea grew out of a post of yours... I guess the difference between the two is that you proposed that the stats might have actual gameplay considerations as opposed to simply giving you extra points.  I could certainly still go for that, although I worry it might make things... complicated ;)   Is that your primary worry with all of this?  Or does it run deeper?

In the rules thing... I agree that we want simple, but I don't think that simple necessitates short.  I think it necessitates... continuity.  Basically, short is good, and we should aim for short... but I don't want us to start sacrificing things we like for the sake of shortness  
I know I'm eating my own words here, but a single-post ruleset worked for Galara, it can work for us now.
as I'm often told, in regards to the ruleset, lets Keep it Simple Stupid! The easier it is to read, follow, and understand, the quicker people can figure things out, and subsequently get into playing (if they are interested that is.)

I also think that micromanaging who and how many get in might be killing us number wise also.


IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.



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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.


I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

Yes, we can't micromanage who gets in or not. Sadly, we cannot also let everyone in. We've tried that, and it just floods the game with people, we end up with too many cooks, as it were, and most of those people drop off because they weren't actually serious about it, or never became engaged by it. Part of the waiting list is to see who is actually committed to waiting, and part of it is because, in older players, a generally cited reason for sticking on is because in older games there was a practice of everyone visiting the new guy and trying to make him/her feel welcome, often to the point of dogpiling them. I think a little bit of waiting is healthy.
you're right. A little bit of waiting is healthy, but waiting too long can kill the bug also.


IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/magic/images/whatcolor_isred.jpg)Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.



I am Red/Black
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Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.


I am both selfish and chaotic. I value self-gratification and control; I want to have things my way, preferably now. At best, I'm entertaining and surprising; at worst, I'm hedonistic and violent.

Then the bugs had better do so, and decrease the surplus population!
Bah, humbug.

But yes, toph, good point. Short is superior to simple. Brevity is the soul of wit, and all that.

Regarding people joining, I really don't think we have to worry about that too much. Post a thread when the time comes, if anyone new is interested, figure something out. If not, then half of us enter first week, half the second, and we're done.

As for skills, I guess I kind of feel like they should be like domains. Primarily something that has a fluff effect, but that gets a mech bonus because they're awesome. I could even see this going by "class" (as Camu suggested related to something totally different). Take a few "levels" in fighter and your good at any action that has a martial application, a few in thief and your good at creating dopplegangers and the sort, Bard and you can socialize thing, Dwarf and you can toss things, etc.
Joran (and by Joran, I mean the issue of start-times):

We always say we don't want everyone joining at once because its too chaotic, and we usually cite two games for that:  AR, in which the shape of the world changed... erm... we'll use the word 'dramatically' as several Gods went at designing the core world-shape more or less simultaneously.  Next, LV, in which we created ten gods in 5 days, and instead of stepping on each others toes, we used the age system of the game (which, in all honesty, we should do again some day) to create a half dozen planets... and we each set up on one and started being all isolationist... some more than others  By the end of the game, I was convinced that such a quick start had been a horrible thing for the game, as it had, eventually, led to nobody actually RPing with one another as the interstellar space wasn't something to be crossed trivially.  So I/we set out on a long attempt to really, REALLY throttle the game's opening down.

But you know, I went back and, as I was compiling LV, I read some of it (you should too!) and... it was really quite a blast.  Two of my favorite memories of LoC come from that game.  And the game lasted a good long while, too... so a claim that it 'killed long-term' interest isn't really founded.  Instead, it kinda kick-started the whole thing.

Anyways, long ramble short, I'm in favor of a quick start.  I think it'll have to depend on how many players we have ready to go at the start of the game  But yeah.  Lets put up a thread in the next week or so and just start talking about God ideas and the like in that thread on the forum to start drumming up interest.  I wonder if another problem we've had is that we've generally posted the OOC like... 24 hours before the IC begins, which... might scare some people off if they see the thread for the first time and *poof* we're already on post 120.

The leveling/skill/etc thing.  

So, talking with both Thought and Ara, we're all basically in agreement, despite the fact that we seemed not to be.  Its just the details... which is good  As far as I can tell, we're more or less on the same page for generic PP and domain PP... its the skill part that we're trying to figure out.  We all agree that skills should do more than just give out extra power to people.  As Thought put it, the skill allocations become akin to the completely pointless PP-artifact if all they do is give people PP to do stuff with.  While I still hold out hope that people would look at their stats and play/design accordingly, I concede the point that thats often futile (as futile as expecting A PC Half-Orc Barbarian with 4 Int to not speak with flawless grammar 90% of the time).  I must admit that I am hesitant to implement a full class system, however, as that seems like *too* many options.

Ara and I came up with a possible implemenation, in which the skills are Creativity, Cunning and Strength.  Creativity gets more of the PP actions discountable (or, perhaps, even gains more PP faster that way) while Cunning and Strength gain Conflict Modifiers.  We'd expand combat to also include Godly shouting matches.  Given that we've never had a mechanical way to settle disputes between Gods that didn't involve what-passes-for-fist-to-what-passes-for-head action, a way to actually talk people out of things seems... like an idea to me.  So the balance would be that the Creative God could do more... but the other Gods could get him to stop much more effectively... or even bully him into giving tribute or something like that.

Now, Thought, I don't think you'll like this, as, again, not exactly a huge emphasis on its effects on RP directly.  I... don't have another idea right now, but I'll sleep on it.  Regardless, I think we should  keep in mind that we want this simple, but interesting... I'm hoping we can fit this all on one page, which would be pretty cool.

Also... I'm having the feeling that these skills might need testing.  Playtest, anyone?

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