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Thread: Whats in a PBP system? HELP Needed

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    Lightbulb Whats in a PBP system? HELP Needed

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    Okay, so I have noticed a lot of PBP games have a very custom game system. I have been mulling this over for some time and come to the conclusion that the reason for this is that there is no system that has a good PBP rules set. Everyone that I have seen doesn't handle conflict resolution in a way that is fun and still works well with the post as you go format of a PBP. So I had a question for all of you PBP people. If a system were designed specifically for PBP, how would you suggest making it simple enough that doesn't get in the way of the very storytelling fashion of the PBP Game or the limited communication aspect of the game?I have begun programming a character build software for a generic PBP system that provides characters with stats and skills. They choose these with a simple -1 to +10 rank given in both numeric and a text name system (bad, average, talented, skilled, gifted, etc...) The stats are extremely generic in that there are 3, Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. The whole system is designed to be versatile and adaptable. So exactly what the ranks do is up to the GM. I am writing a document that will accompany this that is a list of suggestions or examples of rule sets for the system so you can pick and choose or just make up your own. Oh and I don't plan on selling it I'm just making it to pass the time. I will probably just post it on the forums download section for free.Is that an interesting idea for a system? Do you think any of you would use it? Is there any suggestions for how I can set up some combat / contest systems to work efficiently in a PBP setting?I have one idea now that I stole from the forums here. For each section of the story, each player rolls dice a number at a time writing down the results and saving them, they continue doing so till they reach a target number. For example say you went White Wolf with the system and had each rank represent a d10. so now players can roll a crap load of d10s or you could have them roll a huge pool of d10s and then they can choose which rolls to apply when gambling on how much they need to succeed. Just one option I need more to really make it keep with the game's design of diversity and adaptability. Okay so suggestions welcome...

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    what do you mean by custom game system in pbp games? i'm not sure i understand. so far as i've seen, all pbp's use whatever game system they choose, just like tabletop gamer groups. some use D&D, others Palladium, others FATE or FUDGE or GURPS... please explain?

    for example: what i would want in a pbp software, is a light-weight forum which can be hosted on a windows, mac, or unix server as well as on a windows, mac, or unix personal computer that supports pictures and dice rolls of all sorts, that can be posted to via sms, mms, email, or direct forum posts; and is thus accessible both for posting and viewing from android, ios, mac, windows, and unix platforms. it should also be able to send update notifications to email, sms, mms, and upon login from a computer.
    Last edited by nijineko; 12-10-2013 at 06:15 PM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Sorry I was not very clear. I was discussing the fact that no real format of game is designed to work with forum games. So they have issues that slow the game down. I've been attempting to create a simple system that can be modified easily with lots of pick and choose rule options. The idea being that your players can create a simple character with lots of story hooks and story based character abilities and concepts. What I was asking for from this thread was ideas for rule options. Like the one described above. Simple options that can speed the game along. That way I can modify them to fit my system also it would be nice to have some abilities for different formats of games The system is points driven with characters getting points in skill categories base on the three basic stats. I can explain the system more if anyone is interested. But to tell the truth this is just a hobby of mine. I like making new game stuff, the system is just a bland platform to modify to fit as many situations as possible. Again I'm not trying to sell this, I plan on give it away on the download section of this site.

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    Sounds like FATE, FUDGE, and GURPS. you might want to check out those systems first to see what they did right, and what they did less right. what would set your system apart from all the others, was if you coded it so that it became an add-on module for the forum software itself (maybe several forum softwares, if you are ambitious). THAT would garner interest and attention. being able to have a simplistic yet capable dice roller, character/npc manager, conflict manager, map manager, and campaign manager would be a serious bonus power up for the forum.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Yea I would love too but I don't think I'm that good a programmer its just a hobby at this point. Though if I did that I would have to do Kickstarter cause that would take a lot of time to code the interface between the forum and the software would be very difficult. It might not be hard to create a program that will create posts of the data but that would be easy to fake and cheat although a conflict management program would be great that is one of the biggest issues I've heard of with forum games the conflicts take far too long. Anyway that gives me something to chew on. This was really just an excuse to program a character generator to see if I could anyway so if the system is a bust I don't really care I'll just mod it to a savage worlds character maker that is a similar system as far as programming goes.

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    i've been trying for a long while now to find someone who would be willing to help me create universal system-agnostic tools. sadly, i'm not really a programmer either. all aspects of a game system really consist of basically just three things: statistics, modifiers, and descriptors. the trick is setting up a tool that allows one to make and change the rules of how those three attributes interact, save it as a unique file, and then make and change the meta-rules of how the informations in the various files interact.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    I'm actually working on similar now I can talk more about it later with you in PM or chat if you want. it is a generic character creation software that lets you add games have adjustable setting options (like separate list of skills.) and adjusts to that systems stats and character rules, at the moment it is only for classless games. Mostly Savage worlds OpenD6 and D% like Runequest. I am thinking about adding AD&D skills and powers points build characters.

    The project listed above was the tester to see how hard a character maker would be and it was easy it took me like 20 hours to code by myself. which for a project like that is pretty good plus I coded it so much of it is already Generic/Universal so that it will copy directly over to save time on the much larger project.
    Last edited by falinxelote; 12-17-2013 at 02:15 PM.

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    if you have some character builder ideas or question I can try to address them.

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    very likely, but i would need to see what you have, screenshots at the least.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    when i get it to that point I will let you know

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    gotcha.

    well then, generally speaking - are you using a relational database? what is your information organizational strategy? how will you store character sheets (and associated data) separate from the core data used to create said sheets and characters? will you make editors that allow a player to input their own data sets and options? or do you want to keep the data safe from tampering? skinning? integration with other applications or systems? networking? dice rolling methods? i have a tool i could point you to for a comparison as to what i'm talking about and eventually looking for.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    hmmm some of that i haven't even thought about I am planning on using a database but I'm also considering an encrypted text file I'm making the platform modular where you can make new data for campaigns or house rules and the generator will comply to those standards. The storage of character data will be in an text file format for now and it will be stored after creation in a directory of the users choice. No encryption on the character data however I have been thinking of creating an encrypted back up so when you load the sheet if it differs from the back up it will notice that changes were made. The encrypted back-up could be your tamper proofing. All a Gm would have to do is ask for that file to prove the character out. Editing an existing character for levels is a possibility but at first I just want to make the generator modular enough to handle several systems

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    i've given this sort of thing a lot of thought, for various reasons, not the least of which is my previous involvement in the development of the crystalball lite tool.

    so, if you are interested in checking out a massively capable tool that is seriously generic, the get a free copy of crystalball lite. (http://crystalballsoft.com) read all six or so of the FAQs to see what it can do, cause it is NOT obvious from the interface. the dev got sick of his group and quit rp'ing (and working on the tool to boot, sadly) so it is slightly unfinished, but extremely capable... if one is willing to take the time to do all the data input.

    the trick for your software is making the core components able to accept the input of the metadata file (ie: the game system rules, data, tables and so forth) and then handle all subsequent input via those rules. you'll need to have the interpretive components separate from the metadata files (including database), which will also be separate from the end-user files. you'll also want to give thought to memory allocation and recovery, after all, loading the entirety of a complex game into memory will render lower end system incapable of running your software, but parsing the 'campaign data' to pick out which rules from the metadata set to load into memory will rather increase the loading time significantly. then again, having the core components search the metadata for what it needs every time will slow down the overall performance of the software... choices, choices.

    one point i'm fairly confident that you'll agree - few games are more rules-complex than D&D... if you can get your software to gracefully handle even just the SRD ruleset (including ALL the optional rules, mind you) then your software will be able to handle any game system.


    another note about leveling: in many game systems there are things like negative levels or level drain in D&D. it is critical to not only track the rules for adding stuff to a given character/monster/item/whatever, but to track how much was added to what, when, and be able to reverse the process. in other words, a history of changes will need to be kept. D&D's rules about what can be applied to (and negated from) a character are particularly complex.
    Last edited by nijineko; 12-22-2013 at 11:56 PM.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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