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playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition 
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
walkerp wrote:
There is a lot of really neat stuff in here. I'm jumping around, reading bits and pieces when I have the time (it's 400+ pages), but mechanically and setting-wise there are so far many really cool ideas here. It is really built around long-term, campaign play which is something I miss these days, so it is probably speaking to me on that level as well. Also, the science fiction in it is really cool. I'm finding the section on the tech levels to be purely enjoyable sci-fi reading, practically like a good novel.


So I'm not usually a Sci-Fi guy, but Walker may have just sold me on this. <mutter>Damn Corvus Disorder.</mutter>

I wouldn't be able to play it (we just lined out our schedule for the fall and playtesting my own game takes priority ;) ), but I'd happily give more reading feedback if your interested.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:40 am
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
MountZionRyan wrote:
walkerp wrote:
There is a lot of really neat stuff in here. I'm jumping around, reading bits and pieces when I have the time (it's 400+ pages), but mechanically and setting-wise there are so far many really cool ideas here. It is really built around long-term, campaign play which is something I miss these days, so it is probably speaking to me on that level as well. Also, the science fiction in it is really cool. I'm finding the section on the tech levels to be purely enjoyable sci-fi reading, practically like a good novel.


So I'm not usually a Sci-Fi guy, but Walker may have just sold me on this. <mutter>Damn Corvus Disorder.</mutter>

I wouldn't be able to play it (we just lined out our schedule for the fall and playtesting my own game takes priority ;) ), but I'd happily give more reading feedback if your interested.


On it's way to you, Ryan! I already had your email. :D

Any and all feedback is a GOOD THING! It's very difficult to see one's own mistakes, gaps, and habitual thinking. I have found people who read and don't play give a different but valuable feedback from those who play the game.

-clash

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:54 am
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
I didn't see it in the Design Notes section, but is there any major difference between the various mechanics in terms of how they influence probability and thus the grittiness of the game? And if I understand StarRisk correctly, a player can simply choose to succeed if they don't want to make a contest of it?

Do you discuss anywhere your decision to go with the idea of interchangeable mechanics and the reasons behind each one? It might helpful to know which kind of player would like which kind of playstyle.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:10 am
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
walkerp wrote:
I didn't see it in the Design Notes section, but is there any major difference between the various mechanics in terms of how they influence probability and thus the grittiness of the game? And if I understand StarRisk correctly, a player can simply choose to succeed if they don't want to make a contest of it?


There's nothing in the design notes yet, but the probabilities are different, and the grittiness of the game depends on the mechanic used, intentionally. The possible amount of success from chance varies enormously among the various mechanics. StarNova is, I think, the grittiest mechanic, and StarRisk probably the least gritty. The combat grittiness can be easily adjusted by changing the multiplier on the physical attributes to generate the Constitution, if you wish, without affecting the chance of success. I will have several other mechanics downloadable for free from the site when I publish the game.

StarRisk allows players to assume a success, though it is the lowest level of success. In order to make a good success, you have to risk rolling, and possibly failing the roll, thus its name. So, basically, if it isn't important how well you succeed, why roll?

Example: Walking a tightrope. If you can take your time, clutching the wire and inching along with your eyes closed and pulse hammering, you can make it. If you need to get across quickly and elegantly - and are skilled enough to bother even attempting quick and elegant on a tightrope - you need to risk failure. That's the whole concept right there.

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Do you discuss anywhere your decision to go with the idea of interchangeable mechanics and the reasons behind each one? It might helpful to know which kind of player would like which kind of playstyle.


No, but perhaps I should. I didn't know if this process would particularly interest anyone. Each mechanic has its own flavor, and those varying flavors very much interest me, and hopefully interest others. As for the decision to go this way, the StarCluster system was designed from the beginning to do this - be used with various drop-in mechanics. I just had a couple of stumbling blocks preventing its realization until I wrote Blood Games II in 2006, which used the StarCluster System with a d20 roll under attribute dice pool called StarPool.

I resolved the problems with that release, and then began experimenting with various drop-in mechanics. Last year I released Commonwealth Space and this year In Harm's Way: StarCluster - the last is the military SF version of SC 3, and is entirely compatible with it - both of which had three different resolution mechanics available. Of course the various mechanics for SC 3 will work with either of them as well.

-clash

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:27 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
It's a really neat approach. I'm not good enough that I can read rules text and determine how well it fits my playstyle or what the results will be like on the table. So I think a simple chart of explanation would be quite helpful, showing the name of the ruleset cross-sectioned with how it affects the various levels of gaming or a brief paragraph saying how using this ruleset will affect the game.

I really like the mechanic in the StarPers system where you can "sell" your place in the initiative order to buy greater chance of success or to improve the success itself. It seems like it makes a certain amount of common sense, but would be also a fun toy to play with as a player.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:20 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
Offering multiple different resolution systems is quite exciting. Can you mix and match them, meaning I use option one for social rolls, but in combat, we use option two? Do the different options result in different character statistics? Are all of the options task resolution?

I cannot wait to get home and pore through this PDF. As soon as I refresh myself on World of Near for Sunday's podcast! Geez, gotta keep this straight.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:50 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
orklord wrote:
Offering multiple different resolution systems is quite exciting. Can you mix and match them, meaning I use option one for social rolls, but in combat, we use option two?


Hmm - I never thought of that! I suppose you could. I see no reason why not.

Quote:
Do the different options result in different character statistics?


No - The system is a framework system. All the resolution mechanics are designed to an interface, and anything matching the interface will work. The character is the user interface, and remains the same no matter what resolution mechanic is plugged in. What changes are the chance of success and quality of success - and since one of the mechanics is randomless, chance wouldn't even apply.

Quote:
Are all of the options task resolution?


So far, yes. My personal preferences are for traditional task resolution, so that is what I have been working on. There is no reason why a conflict resolution mechanic couldn't be built to fit the interface, though. :D

Quote:
I cannot wait to get home and pore through this PDF. As soon as I refresh myself on World of Near for Sunday's podcast! Geez, gotta keep this straight.


Cool! Looking forward to your thoughts!

-clash

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:07 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
walkerp wrote:
It's a really neat approach. I'm not good enough that I can read rules text and determine how well it fits my playstyle or what the results will be like on the table. So I think a simple chart of explanation would be quite helpful, showing the name of the ruleset cross-sectioned with how it affects the various levels of gaming or a brief paragraph saying how using this ruleset will affect the game.


See, an excellent suggestion! The playtest is bearing fruit already! Thank you, Walker! :D

Quote:
I really like the mechanic in the StarPers system where you can "sell" your place in the initiative order to buy greater chance of success or to improve the success itself. It seems like it makes a certain amount of common sense, but would be also a fun toy to play with as a player.


All of the mechanics have something similar, though some have combined chance+quality rolls, and one has no rolls at all. It's what I call "Abstract Tactics." Tactics are moves to gain advantage in a situation. Instead of naming every maneuver and listing a modifier for it, I let the player name it and take the advantage, so long as there is a consequent balancing disadvantage taken as well. My preference is always for creating self-balancing systems rather than hard-wiring balance in.

-clash

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:15 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
flyingmice wrote:
orklord wrote:
Offering multiple different resolution systems is quite exciting. Can you mix and match them, meaning I use option one for social rolls, but in combat, we use option two?


Hmm - I never thought of that! I suppose you could. I see no reason why not.

If you speak a bit about the systems and how they affect play, you could perhaps mix and match the resolution systems and emulate particular sci-fi genres or push particular types of play.

FREX -
1> grim and gritty combat plus strategic but not terribly risky social conflict leads to one kind of story that grim and gritty across the board would not.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to read this stuff.

* Would this game emulate the video game Mass Effect?
* How about Star Wars?

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:42 pm
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Post Re: playtesters needed for starCluster 3rd Edition
orklord wrote:
flyingmice wrote:
orklord wrote:
Offering multiple different resolution systems is quite exciting. Can you mix and match them, meaning I use option one for social rolls, but in combat, we use option two?


Hmm - I never thought of that! I suppose you could. I see no reason why not.


If you speak a bit about the systems and how they affect play, you could perhaps mix and match the resolution systems and emulate particular sci-fi genres or push particular types of play.

FREX -
1> grim and gritty combat plus strategic but not terribly risky social conflict leads to one kind of story that grim and gritty across the board would not.


I could see how that would work, but I'd have to think about it. You would be able to do that particular thing more simply by reducing the constitution modifier for a more loose/cinematic mechanic, making combat more deadly.

Quote:
But I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to read this stuff.

* Would this game emulate the video game Mass Effect?


Unfortunately, I don't know much about Mass Effect, not being a video gamer myself. IIRC, Mass Effect is a more military oriented game, so In Harm's Way: StarCluster would probably be more appropriate. It is the model for StarCluster 3, and entirely compatible. It focuses on the military, where SC 3 focuses on civilians.

Quote:
* How about Star Wars?


Could be done with a more powerful PSI system from one of my other games, or a looser interpretation of the current PSI system. Otherwise, I'd use the StarNova mechanics with a multiplier of 10 rather than 2. I'd make extensive use of mooks, too.

-clash

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:01 pm
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