Part One (subparts a & B) of my design goals for Dokkodo
was to make a game that had dueling mechanics I liked and reinforced the kind of samurai game* I wanted to play. Although it is still largely confined to poorly formatted notes, I believe this has been achieved.
Part Two of my design goals was more nebulous. I want the GM to be able to create scenarios easily. I want the players to look over the setting info and understand what to expect. I want to give the reader an impression of the setting not an essay on Edo period as depicted by Mssrs. Koike and Kojima. “Let Wikipedia by your sourcebook” is my philosophy when it comes to historical RPGs.
Then I read Technoir. Transmissions are perfect. Players can look over them and get a sense of the setting (it's like they are looking at postcards and snapshots instead of reading a detailed history of the FuturePunk LA) and GMs have an excellent tool for creating scenarios.
To that end I made a sample transmission for a Dokkodo location (posted below). This got me thinking more about the kinds of stories Dokkodo will tell. The protagonists in these stories usually encounter the plot after it's already begun (not unlike a noir detective) and have to untangle it. In the case of Ogami Itto (Lone Wolf and Cub
) he almost always leaves town after the plot's end. Yojimbo
comes to mind as being the same thing.
The same is true of another of my Dokkodo
influences: Usagi Yojimbo
. Usagi, as shugyosha, is a wanderer. He wanders into a situation, fixes things, and wanders out.
What I need for Dokkodo
is a way to easily generate Transmissions for many locations. One could argue that the need for multiple scenario generators in Dokkodo
is no different than Technoir
. That may be true, but my gut says it isn’t. What I’m thinking about is a set of node tables you could drop into a transmission based on geography, socio-economic situation, and the “personality” of the location.
So if I have three dials with three possible settings, thus:
- Geography: Coastal, Mountainous, Plains;
- Economic: Wealthy/Prosperous; Average/Growing, Poor/languishing;#
- Ruler: Benevolent, Neglectful, Tyrannical.
27 possible combinations. That sounds like a lot of transmissions. But, there’s no reasons certain things can’t be repeated. For example, a festival as an Event could happen in any combination. It would be a prodigal celebration in a wealthy town, and tainted with desperation in the Poor village. So maybe a transmission generator?
Or perhaps, I’m trying to combine to things that need to be kept separate. What I’m addressing above is strictly setting information: Is the town ruled by a jerk, is it prospering, is it along the coast? Transmissions are scenario elements that carry setting color.
Hmm. Pondering this...
* By which I mean "Koike and Kojima The RPG."
# I’m not solid on these