Saturday, May 30, 2020

Distraction in my Alternate Cepheus Engine writing - How to rewrite the Introduction

I got distracted writing my Game Prep. After some thought while I stretched and hygeine I realize I can break the problem down by approaching it Iteratively. This follows the Principle - that I can have more words in a digitial format as long as I have usable indexing and organizing. I can have a lot of Data and Information, as long as Visually the Reader knows to Check the outline and Scan the indexes for key words they want to jump to. 

My distraction is the Variance between Rules as Written and my own mental procedures. 
Rules as written: Roll Dice + Characteristic Modifier + Skill vs 8. 
My Mental Proceedure is: How does this Roll push the story Forward? Then Roll Dice + Modifiers vs 8. I want to explain Roll vs Modified Roll. I want to explain Scale, Scope, Competence and Function etc... 

So I realize I should Organize Information in this way Instead. 

Basic → Intermediate  → Advance. 

Basic: Roll Dice + Modifiers vs Difficulty. 
Intermediate: How does the story go forward with a Roll? Then Roll. 
Advance: How the story goes forward and Break this down to a 3 Part Tension Build Up: Expectation/Desire, Conflict/Unexpected Outcomes, and Closure/Resolution/Tension Release. Then Roll. 

Basic  → Intermediate  → Advance. focus on User/Player Experience. 

You can play at any level, and fudge everything when you hit a problem. The difference of each level and sub-element is how satisfying it is to everyone in the game and the Technical Debt it creates. In the game we are trying to Withold our Disbelief or Keep Immersed.  Inconsistency is what rules and standards try to manage, what was easy or hard in one point of the game cannot change without violating the expectations. 

The Terms Basic or Advance deal with the level of Difficulty and how much it affects technical debt build up in  game. You can always run games fast and lose, but there is a trade off when the world is not consistent and without consistency - there are no stakes. (rant of many regarding Starwars and Rick and Morty Story Lord episode - when deus ex machine removes the stakes). 

Basic is the Rules and Framework of the System. Basics can easily change and may change often because some mechanics may be better for Intermediate and Advance Conce. 
Basic 1: Limited Modifiers
  • Modifiers are Typically Comptence: Stat + Skill modifier. 
  • Limited Modifiers - Only what matters, assumption the we know all variables in the game and the roll is the variable that matters. 
  • Difficulty Benchmarks.   
Basic 2: There are only a Limit of Modifiers: 
  • Competence: Stat + Skill
  • Condition: Wounded, Tired, Dazed, Enhanced, etc... 
  • Advantage or Disadvantage. How we always simplify Adv/Dis, that it always negates each other, and either only exists int he absence of any competing or contradicting modifiers. The GM/Ref having perfect knowledge is the final arbiter.
Intermediate is Bigger Picture/1000ft view used to navigate the game if its going to the right direction. These techniques are supposed to let Players and GMs move to Big Picture or to Details. 
Intermediate Techniques is Analysis, Decision Making, and Problem Solving

Intermediate 1: Difficulty and Scale.
  • Scale. The concept of Scale (tackeled briefly by Kenneth Hite in GURPS Horror notes from my 2015 gaming ideas repository ) - this is the limitations and capacity of a given Character or Situation. 
    • This models if a Character is against Many. 1 man vs 1 team of 5. 
    • This models resources, time, tools, and output. 1 man with 30 days to prepare vs 1 team of 5 with a week to prepare. 
    • It modes tools allowing a Character to manage an organization of 1000 or an army of 10,000, against different scales of challenges. 
  • Scale is being able to identify where in a Big picture is the character, then Zoom in or Scale down to a Challenge suitable to Push the story forward. 
  • Scale is the ability to Reference back to Goals, Objectives, Criterias if we are going the right direction Technically. Being able to gauge player satisfaction or engagement is an Advance concept. 
Intermediate 2: 5Y, 5W, Pre-Mortem, Visualization, and Chain of Outcomes. I wont go into details of using these all for games and work. Lets just say Its easy to go endlessly in how these skills are all used, and we keep a collection of skills we can consistently depend on for solving these elements in the game. 

Advanced. These are a collection of Storytelling Devices, Framing Techniques, Active Listening, Empathy Aids, Interpersional and Team Skills and Conflict Management Skills. Advance techniques are difficult to Juggle while performing Basic and Intermediate processes 

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