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GURPS Elric / Eternal champion

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  • #46
    I am not sure the game mecanism must be the first thing to talk about

    The games mechanisms must derive from the universe

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Morgan Kane
      I am not sure the game mecanism must be the first thing to talk about

      The games mechanisms must derive from the universe
      Yup, I agree with that as well

      Comment


      • #48
        OK, on the subject of the game setting, then...

        The first issue would seem to be what the overal setting is. I am guessing that this would be simply described as The Multiverse. So this includes Earth, near-Earths, parallel Earths, non-Earths (like Elric's world or the plant universe of the Rose), the Second Ether and its moonbeam roads etc. etc. My point is that it's a setting with a huge scope. This allows for a lot of freedom in the games that are run - ideally the GM and the players would agree on this beforehand. What it also means, though, is that any system needs to be robust enough to handle this. This isn't as hard as it sounds, though, but it needs to be kept in mind from the word go.

        Beyond that, you are looking at the very valid point of "what are the characters going to do?" I'd recommend leaving this as open as possible, and as much up to the discretion of individual groups as possible. Mike's writing covers all sorts of stories and differing GMs may well wish to explore all manner of things. Some games have certain kinds of gameplay hard-wired into their system. As much as possible, I'd suggest avoiding this.

        I'd actually think that most of MM's readers could reach a consensus about these things pretty quickly - we all have the common experience of having read the books upon which gameplay would be based. Given some kind of consensus, I'd recommend moving to a discussion of the system as quickly as possible, to allow for the nuts and bolts to be worked out and to enable us to get some actual playtesting done. The play's the thing, after all.
        The name that can be named is not the true name.

        Comment


        • #49
          Well, I think that most everyone here knows what the setting of the Multiverse is to one extent or another. Essentially there is the everpresence of Chaos and Law and how they find balance. The Protagonists are the characters, embodiments of the Eternal Champion or even other Eternal Aspects. Its a recurring theme that whether aligned to Chaos or Law, that the EC ultimately serves the Balance.

          The Antagonists are the enemies of the Balance. Though they may swear fealty to Chaos or Law, their methods prove to be too extreme and become a threat. Chaos is imaginative and creative, but in extreme it becomes destructive and unsettling. Law is grounded and focused, but in extremes can be tyranical and iron fisted. Characters would often be opposing these extremes on one level or another. On a smaller scale, they might simply be opposing forces on the opposite side of the balance.

          I think that with character, it might do to figure out what kind of archetypes that they embody, what eternal aspects that they are identified with. You have Eternal Champions, Eternal Companions, Eternal Predators (well one in the case of Gaynor von Minct), even Eternal Lovers and so forth.

          Setting is variable as well, and depends on the setting you want. Loose outlines of major worlds would likely be touched upon. Though full tratments of any one world would be an epic in itself. So perhaps the focus should be on character and perhaps Mood. I would start with Archetypes myself, since ultimately MM stories are character stories.
          Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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          • #50
            The key is that the game takes place in a moment when the balance is upset by the actions of a group or a man ............

            The character, even unknowingly, act in this setting and must opt ....... for balance, law or chaos !

            Comment


            • #51
              I hope I'm not muddying the waters here, but I'd like to throw into the discussion that in any EC RPG scenario, I'd initially see the PCs are more in the role of Temporal Adventurers like Una Persson and Oswald Bastable rather than as clear-cut Eternal Champions or Eternal Companions. During the course of a campaign it might become clear which PCs are Champions, Companions or just 'moonbeam travellers'.

              How do you guys imagine the characters 'walk' the moonbeam paths between universes? I kind of think of it a bit like in the tv series Sliders, although I'm sure that doesn't reflect the modi operandi in Mike's novels.

              If this is all jumping the gun a bit, then feel free to ignore this comment for the time being.
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by David Mosley
                I hope I'm not muddying the waters here, but I'd like to throw into the discussion that in any EC RPG scenario, I'd initially see the PCs are more in the role of Temporal Adventurers like Una Persson and Oswald Bastable rather than as clear-cut Eternal Champions or Eternal Companions. During the course of a campaign it might become clear which PCs are Champions, Companions or just 'moonbeam travellers'.
                I think that this is an excellent idea, and it would probably make for better gameplay in the long term if the characters were moonbeam travellers rather than iconic champions or companions.

                You can, of course, have games where the Champion features, but those games by definition would be set at times of great peril for the multiverse. Not all games need that climactic, apocalyptic feel and should (imho) be in the minority so as to preserve the strength of their appeal. I'd argue that the rules should support both kinds of game, but that the more common game features less iconic moonbeam travellers.

                How do you guys imagine the characters 'walk' the moonbeam paths between universes? I kind of think of it a bit like in the tv series Sliders, although I'm sure that doesn't reflect the modi operandi in Mike's novels.
                There are different ways of "walking" the roads in the books. Literal physical movement along the moonbeam roads takes place, as well as transport through gates, portals and spells. Then there are the ships of the chaos engineers or the ship in Sailor on the Seas of Fate, as well as freescalers like Kaprikorn Shultz and one or two others, who move through the scales of their own accord. The rules and setting need to cover all of these eventualities. I'd say that you could strip it down to four basic methods: moonbeam walking, spell or device, vessel, or freescale. Most techniques fall into one of those categories. This covers all the bases while still keeping it relatively simple and manageable for smooth gameplay.
                The name that can be named is not the true name.

                Comment


                • #53
                  The Oswald Bastable option where the character " jumps " without knowing it at first view is to be considered !

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                    The Oswald Bastable option where the character " jumps " without knowing it at first view is to be considered !
                    Agreed. This is less problematic than the other methods, though, as you can just handwave it without any recourse to mechanics. You just shift the scene to the new location.

                    The other methods are different because they presume some action on the part of the characters, NPCs or other agency, and have some mechanism involved that facilitates the travel. Bastable's travel is performed by the narrator, and so is easily handled by GM fiat.

                    It's a good point, though, and would definitely need to be mentioned, even if only to say that the GM could handle such an instance with minimal fuss.
                    The name that can be named is not the true name.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Although one can argue left and right about which comes first, mechanic
                      or universe, in most cases, both should be tackled, at least in core discussion
                      form, at inception. Then, you can detail one or the other, and return.

                      However, since the EC universe is already well detailed, mechanic seems to be
                      the more important subject to nail down right now. When you start talking
                      about how the game should be played to capture the essence of the EC - you
                      are talking mechanic. The questions posed in the beginning of the thread are
                      more about how to fit the game mechanic to the universe than the other way
                      around. Once the mechanic is derived, with some idea of how the universe
                      works, then we can adjust either mechanic or universe to fit (and yes, often
                      times, universe has to be adjusted to be playable under some mechanics - if
                      yuo want cooperative storytelling, then the mechanics need not matter as
                      much, but if you want more of a roleplaying game, certain things may have to
                      be altered to fit).

                      As far as travelling the moonbeam roads - all methods in the books could be
                      represented by a single core mechanic that can be embellished by the
                      narrator/GM, or have different "flavor" rules attached.

                      Ian
                      Diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to
                      go to hell so that they will look forward to
                      making the trip.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Some great ideas being presented in this thread.

                        How about a system which has 'layers' of rules that take effect according to the multiversial environment in which the characters find themselves. In a Dancers at the End of Time environment for instance, pretty much the only mechanics that would be relevant (at least for the Dancers themselves) are those relating to personality, because everything else can be 'created/manipulated' by the power of the energy rings/cities. In spite of having the ability to manipulate their environment as they please, the Dancers are still very much unique and identifiable personalities, manifesting homes and appearances by choice very much in keeping with their natures.

                        You'd maybe somehow need to design modular guidelines for mechanisms of science and Law, with those of sorcery and Chaos, and a blend of the two for those environments in which the distinction becomes ambiguous like the End of Time.

                        I'd also add a mechanic/parameter for level of awareness of Multiversial law and structure as a core parameter. In the old Elric game this was a knowledge skill related to the multiverse, but I think this could be expanded to become a central concept with greater sophistication. Initial characters would have a low value in this characteristic as starting characters for instance, but as they adventure and learn more about the multiverse, this would increase. Dancers in general seem to be mostly indifferent to this characteristic, but a couple like Brannart and esp Jagged, seem to have greater knowledge of multiversial structure. Metatemporal adventurers and Chaos Engineers the more knowledgeable Champions like Erekose would seem to have a high rating in this area, Corum less, but still more than Hawkmoon.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          I feel that we agree that the aim of the character must be awareness of the multiverse and control of their destiny .......

                          Acts helping this aim must be awarded, contrary acts sanctionned .....

                          For instance, a character who gives himself to law or chaos regresses from this point of view, even if he wins power at short term .........

                          The red bower is an example .....

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Wouldn't it be a better to provide guidelines and exaustive desciptions of the locations, cultures (motivation and general worldviews), and styles of magic and science within each of the worlds Mike has described, rather than tying down the game to a specific system or mechanic.

                            Tend to play Heroquest myself, which promotes a more creative style of play than say D&D, Gurps, or BRP (Stormbringer), though it isn't everyones cup of tea.

                            I'm really interested in exploring Mikes vision of the Youngkingdoms and Post nuclear war realm Hawkmoon frequents. It would be so cool to have detail backed by the author rather than ideas that have grown in a spurious direction.

                            Stormbringers background wasn't that bad but you can see where the writers of the game have drifted off into their own creative tangent. But it seems to have lacked any direction - the only way I can see of improving on Chaosiums offering is to get Mike involved in the fleshing out of the worlds (whether he has the time is another matter), otherwise things will suffer from the same drift as the Stormbringer.

                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              This is very interesting

                              Hello!
                              I can't believe what I've just read...I've been searching and analizing and writing and thinking about an EC rpg for years and now I found this site and this forum...Fate is a god, somewhat benevolent to me today.

                              I will have a lot of problems with my awful english to communicate but I must write down my own ideas and have them confronted with yours.

                              I think we can create something really NEW in an rpg-world full of copies and missed good ideas...I'm playing rpgs, being a master and a collector of rpg-books since I was 11 and I know hundreds of systems and mechanics so I can help a bit with rules & Co.

                              Unfortunately I'm still searching many MM's books through bookstores, Internet...cause only few MM's works have arrived on the forgotten shores of Italy. I hope I can learn something more about the Multiverse and even about rpgs in this forum. If you know where I can buy MM's books please give me some information...I must read all he has written.

                              Thank you all for writing here. One of my dreams comes true today.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Grey Mouser
                                Some great ideas being presented in this thread.

                                How about a system which has 'layers' of rules that take effect according to the multiversial environment in which the characters find themselves. In a Dancers at the End of Time environment for instance, pretty much the only mechanics that would be relevant (at least for the Dancers themselves) are those relating to personality, because everything else can be 'created/manipulated' by the power of the energy rings/cities. In spite of having the ability to manipulate their environment as they please, the Dancers are still very much unique and identifiable personalities, manifesting homes and appearances by choice very much in keeping with their natures.

                                You'd maybe somehow need to design modular guidelines for mechanisms of science and Law, with those of sorcery and Chaos, and a blend of the two for those environments in which the distinction becomes ambiguous like the End of Time.

                                I'd also add a mechanic/parameter for level of awareness of Multiversial law and structure as a core parameter. In the old Elric game this was a knowledge skill related to the multiverse, but I think this could be expanded to become a central concept with greater sophistication. Initial characters would have a low value in this characteristic as starting characters for instance, but as they adventure and learn more about the multiverse, this would increase. Dancers in general seem to be mostly indifferent to this characteristic, but a couple like Brannart and esp Jagged, seem to have greater knowledge of multiversial structure. Metatemporal adventurers and Chaos Engineers the more knowledgeable Champions like Erekose would seem to have a high rating in this area, Corum less, but still more than Hawkmoon.
                                OK, I bring this up only for example/exposition, and perhaps as something to
                                use as abasis to build upon.

                                Chaosium had an interesting take representing Law vs. Chaos vs. Balance in
                                game mechanics. The Allegiance mechanic gave points in each based upon
                                actions of the players. Gaining a signficant total number of points in one allowed
                                a character to become a Champion of whichever. There were special powers
                                and benefits associated, and some penalties. The basic premise was OK, but
                                could be fleshed out and expanded upon. Integrating Call of Cthulhu's Sanity
                                mechanic, or the one used in Unknown Armies, or Corruption/Conviction type
                                mechanics found in other games, you could really make characters who sway too
                                far to Law or Chaos loose some control. I'd also tie it into extensive use of
                                Sorcery and Science/Sorcery - which also exists in Chaosium's Allegiance stuff
                                to some degree.

                                The pseudo Sorcery-Science found in Darcsyde's Corum has a very similar
                                mechanic to the sorcery found within as well. The use of a Power stat to
                                represent a character's raw energy seems logical, and then applying some
                                other knowledge or something from an Allegiance system to be able to fully
                                manipulate things (or both) on the multiversal level. I had been working on some
                                expanded Dreamthief rules within the scope of the Stormbringer game that
                                attempts to codify things in a similar fashion. I haven't seen how Loz
                                Whittaker's Hawkmoon dealt with Science/Sorcery, perhaps I can get some
                                sort of manuscript from him. From what I hear, people who played in his games
                                really enjoyed it.

                                The older versions of Stormbringer had an Elan mechanic - characters would
                                gain Elan by performing certain tasks. Elan could never exceed 99. A character
                                could trade in 50 Elan points to improve Power, or, if they decided to become
                                a Champion of a specific force (Lord of Law or Chaos, or even Elemental Ruler
                                or Beastlord), they have to roll against their Elan (some percentage of it
                                at least), and once a Champion, could use their Elan as a roll to contact
                                their chosen deity. Again, this came with some associated boons/penalties,
                                and each time it was utilized, you lost large amounts of Elan so that it
                                would take some time to regenerate (thus limiting the abuse). I was trying
                                to find some way to incorporate Elan and Allegiance together.

                                Also, the skill that made you "aware" of the multiverse was "Million Spheres".
                                It was pretty simplistic, and needs some more effort. The same idea from Call
                                of Cthulhu was similar - called Mythos. One interesting relationship - the
                                higher your Mythos skill, the lower your max Sanity. This reflected Lovecraft's
                                concept of "the more you know about the Mythos, the worse off you are".
                                A similar opposed mechanic might be good for an EC game. And going beyond
                                a single "Million Spheres" skill - it could be made a more multilayered approach
                                with different cause/effects.

                                Just some ideas so toss out.

                                Ian
                                Diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to
                                go to hell so that they will look forward to
                                making the trip.

                                Comment

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