Design Scratchpad: Updates and Powerhouse Foes

It’s been busy this week. Between the father in law visiting, crunch time at work, and starting D&D Encounters tonight, I’ve certainly had enough to keep me occupied.

On more design related news my copy of Universalis came in this week and I’ve been pouring though that. It does have strong support for expanding the game world and characters on the fly. However, while I expect that to be an element of Mezzo I’m planning on it having a stronger focus on the rising power of opposing faction leading to climactic conflict.

In fact, one of the points to show up in the forum this week was expanding on the frustration mechanic. As I mentioned in the last scratchpad, the frustration resource was originally meant to be a measure of difficulty and a possible mitigater for hard challenges. What I’m looking at now is letting it accumulate between challenge. This can create some interesting dynamics. First, the underdog faction become more dangerous and capable to setting up a reversal the more they fail. Second, when the underdog does finally win, they’ll be able to cash in for a big win from all that left over frustration.

On a related note, alternate names for frustration are welcome. So far I believe setback and determination have been suggested.

Now for the previously mentioned topic of over powered opponents. I’m thinking the players should be able to butt heads with things out of their league. It’s certainly in keeping with the fiction after all. However, such encounters should be low reward for the side player them and potentially high reward for the underdogs, especially if they can find a goal that circumvents the enemies strengths.

What may be a bigger concern is letting players take full control of these high-powered foes. What I may end of doing is say most character are limited to certain range of ability which can go up over multiple adventures. If you want to bring in something beyond the cap, you can do so. However, this powerhouse may have limitations on-screen time and become increasing vulnerable to control by other players the more powerful it is. I’m thinking normal rank character may be immune to manipulation via details, but over powered types are more “npc” like and more vulnerable to shared control.

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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