Wednesday 14 May, 2014

To Be Continued… Styles

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So the idea behind Styles was to replace the attribute with something more story orientated.  How were you going to take your action? This was the question of the moment. Were you going to do it with Daring, Brains, Wit, Charm, etc.?

In the first version of Pulp Era it worked OK for what it was. A very slick mechanic that Jon Richardson and Jared Sorensen made work at the time. the Mechanic lived on in Jared’s OctaNe, but for whatever reason I began to poke giant holes in not the design, but the purpose. Ultimately what you ended up with was a way for players to try and figure out how to use the Style with the biggest bonus on situations where in made no sense. I tried to duplicate this again when I was working on Death Race Z to no avail and lastly finding FATE Accelerated uses a similar mechanic called approaches which I ended up having the same issues with.

Now perhaps it is the type of player I game with? Not my normal group, but when I take the show on the road to conventions I always have the same issue… players trying to shoehorn their highest stat into the action of the moment. Yes as a GM I should have to shut that behavior down, BUT why should I interrupt the story for some mere power gamers. Long story short, I just don’t use the mechanic.

Well now that I am on the Pulp march again I want to go back to those humble beginnings and dust off the old Styles mechanic once more… My question some years later is, how do I do this and not return to the clusterfuck this mechanic always provides? Since I will be marrying this with the *World engine how with this effect Moves? Should I create Moves specific to the Styles? Well that sounds like a pretty lame way to fix the problem, but it would prevent power gamers from taking advantage of the bonus.

So before I even design Moves, I need to nail down how Styles will work. I want them to have that dynamic impact that was the core design of the original Pulp Era RPG, but also to give using Moves a bit of on the fly nudge,

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