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[Meat] first thoughts on movement and NPCs

By September 7, 2009Game Chef 2009

In order to keep things clicking and not bogged down in strategy, I had initially decided to go boardless but have since considered going to a battle-board model. I’d always wanted the players to build the environment as a way of reifying setting. The current model is to use a simple lattice of index cards and perhaps postit notes. The players will build out some setting and play off each other. They will have a chance to buy Conditions as well as buy positioning of NPCs.

In the example here, one player has purchased the Condition Darkness which makes it more difficult to travel between the external buildings unless other players or npcs have illumination or night vision. Also in this set-up, the Escalator has taken enough damage that it has a later-added post-it of the Condition “On Fire” making transportation through that area more expensive.

[Meat] first thoughts on scene and movement

Some initial notes on NPCs. Each PC will have a number of NPCs that are part of the story hook. One or two will be brought in as offerings for the scene and placed to the side in the Far category. During the build out of the Setting, other players may pay to move your npc closer on the track to Near, and in extreme examples they may also pay to place them on the map and in the way of danger. Setting index cards that have taken enough damage to cause them to change with a new added Condition (eg. when the Escalator setting takes too much damage and flips to “On Fire”) then any NPCs positioned at that location would be severely injured or killed.

Now that i’m contemplating this location grid for a battle map, it brings two new questions of: ranged attacks; and teleportation. I’m going to allow PCs to purchase an extra movement with the use of action tokens. There’s also going to be some added movement through chargen – but there will always be some sort of limitation. It feels like i must tie in ranged attacks with movement but i may be over-mathing the problem. Also, if movement is a commodity now and relates to story via NPCs then i’m going to have to solve the question of characters that want to teleport from one location to the next. That will somehow sidestep Conditions and Hazards. grr.


  • I like where this is going.

    My first thought about your questions regarding: Ranged Attacks and Teleportation is to treat them like any other power but give them a difficutly number determined something like this:
    The first square away counts as 1, second square 2, third square 3, etc…
    Square that number and that’s your Difficulty.

    If I’m getting the rules/themes correct an example would be:
    Shifter needs to teleport from the Food Court to the Vault (lets say to rescue Aunt Bea). Since he would have to travel through 5 squares to get there his Difficulty is (5^2)=25.
    Shifter rolls his 2d6 (5:3) needing more successes he explodes both his dice (3:4) lucky so far and fearing he won’t get there in time explodes them once again (1:5) now his total is 21…he will have to risk exploding the last die (since one is now stopped) to get inside the vault. Of course if he fails who knows what happens, maybe he gets sent somewhere different or teleports right into the lap of someone wanting to hurt him.

  • etagelarsen says:

    that’s some great perspective. thanks. i wasn’t thinking about making them roll against. i’ll have to sit on that overnight.

    currently, i’m thinking that pcs get a 2 based move with the option to spend a token for another (pos. 2) move units. “2 based” would be the equivalent of heroic movement. Teleporters would be relegated to 1 based movement except for the ability to move anywhere on the map at the cost of 1 token. This means they would have to pay a minimal cost to use this great power but their normal movement would be less than a rocketeer, etc.

    range, i hadn’t had any progress. so thanks for the feedback. i’m not sure if i want a beefy character like the Mule to only be able to hit the location he’s in or if his reach also allows him to strike adjacent squares. the idea of your square plus one lets everyone have some range and you’d narrate it as a thrown object or some such for brute characters and would allow ranged people to shoot locally and one away.

    if i go the route of difficulty, i could also express that as hits with 1s and 2s locking the dice. though it makes it less likely that you’re doing good damage from afar as your dice will lock quickly. If the Flaming Arrow is gunning for you from halfway across town, i don’t know that his arrow is any less deadly.


    and this also opens the door for “knockback”.

  • Jonathan Walton says:

    That diagram makes it look like the bizarre lovechild of Danger Patrol and 3:16. You have my attention.