[EPI] Test Concept

RusRus
edited February 2013 in Pitch
I'm looking to test a concept/idea. Just a quick exchange of play with a very simple rule set.

It is a focused (possibly sub-system) primarily to facilitate PbP play.

Here are the rules

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MC, describe a charged situation.

Player,
Describe your character’s reaction, but limit it to: physiological changes, emotional response and beliefs about the situation. Then state your character’s intended action. “What do you plan to do?”

Spend points from your Pool. (Pool start with 5 points).
Max spend of 3.
Min spend -1 (earn one pool point)

Roll 2d6 +Spend.

Strong Hit (10+)
MC
Describe the outcome given the character's beliefs and emotions from the previous roll were accurate and true and what you feel would logically and naturally follow given the stated intention.

OR

Give them two(2) pool points and turn into a weak hit.

Weak Hit (7-9)
MC, describe additional facts and observations that clarify or create ambiguity in regard to emotions and beliefs described for the character. Offer a chance to change or modify intent. Then describe outcome.

Miss
MC, introduce facts, memories and observations to the situation. Facts can show just how confused the character was, add complications or threats. Describe the outcome even and up to changing the character’s intention.

Comments

  • It sounds interesting to me. If you need a tester, I'm game.
  • Great. Do you want to be MC or Player?
    I'm sure it could handle more players too.
  • I would imaging if you were to play for reals you'd agree on a genre and theme.

    But for just jazzing around with the mechanic I would say just start with a charged situation and let the genre and theme develop through the point mechanism.

    ----
    "You are on a merchant ship, hiding on on the deck between cargo containers. The second sniper bullet has just snapped off the corner. You can hear the voices. Are they from Cuba? Columbia? Either way, a team of about four or five men are approaching on your flank."
  • Sorry, work has been workular, and I was up late hosting a party, and cetera. Let's give this a try, let me know if I'm doing it right.

    My racing pulse slows. The first shot could have been from Castro's thugs, but now I know Johnny's still alive. We'll get through this. All I have to do is reach out my hand and paint the targets for him.
  • I'm going to spend two points to try to highlight the biggest looking guy with my laser pointer without being immediately seen.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 ) (3 pool)
  • RusRus
    edited February 2013
    You called it. The grim red light finds the biggest brute. Pop. The shot echoes through the containers with a strange reverberation. The thug, he's down. Johnny's the best and trusts your targeting implicitly.

    You're pretty sure they never saw the laser let alone you. They all freeze for a moment in the dusk orange-red evening light. Then they drop to the deck. Pinned.

    You see a light flick on in the bridge. Did you need something from that room? The manifest, was it? Or something else?

    Anyhow, Johnny's got that small squad of thugs pinned. You just might have time to get to the bridge before they can return fire on Johnny. And just then you hear helicopter blades in the distance.

    What do you intend to do?
  • edited February 2013
    I flush. I'm worried. What the hell is a chopper doing out here? I didn't think these goons would have access to one. What's on this boat?

    Nevermind. If I can get that manifest, I can find the gold, and then I can be off this scow with Johnny before that damn whirlybird knows to look for us. I'm heading to the bridge to retrieve the manifest.
  • I'm spending one point to try to get the manifest from the bridge undetected.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 ) (2 pool)
  • You expertly make your way up to the bridge. Stealthy and silent. Their is a man in there, he's the one that turned on the light. He has some binoculars and is looking out, he has a radio in the other hand, he's also looking for the sniper. He looks sort of meek, nonathletic, though. Like, what sort of guy would turn a light on when their is a sniper about. Clearly this is not a combat type. Thick glasses and is that a lab coat under his jacket?

    He clicks the send button on his radio and starts talking in some Slavic language, do you know Russian? He must have seen something out their and now he's reporting it.

    The manifest is right there, next to him. But next to the manifest, is a large box like device, it has a sensor attached to it. Have you ever seen a Geiger counter?

    The radio starts to crackle. Shouting barks out at him. Even you can tell-- they want him to turn off that light. He looks panicked, sort of ducking and is about to turn toward you, though he's looking for the light switch. He has no clue you're here.

    What do you intend to do?
  • What the hell is he saying? Whose boat is this, with nerds and weird science machines on board, and helicopters? I'm a little more worried about what we've gotten ourselves into, but I still think we can get out of here with what we came for if we act quickl. This guy talking on the radio can't be doing us any favors, so I'm gonna knock him out.

    Do I need to roll for that?
  • Max, this helped quite a bit. I'm seeing the weak hit has some problems. Going to re-write the rules. Then we can continue if you would like.

    What were your thoughts? Questions? Feedback?
  • I'd enjoy continuing, this has been fun.

    I think figuring out what a typical scene/session/game length would be might be instructive for pool size/balance purposes. Since I expected this to not be very long, I felt comfortable blowing a lot of it pretty quickly, but if I expected to be making a dozen or several dozen rolls, I'd hold onto points a bit more.

    I think it's fun for a quick exchange, as intended. The focus on character reactions divorces the mechanics from the setting, which can allow it to work for a lot of different stories. I'm interested to see what sort of things change when actual failures occur.
  • Sweet. Let's continue.

    Here's weak Move version 1.1

    Weak Hit (7-9)

    Player,
    Your character is slightly confused or unaware.

    Tell the MC one of the following:

    - My character failed to completely realize a danger here.
    - My character mis-remembered something, or failed to remember something, just now.
    - My character has overestimated their abilities.

    MC, describe the outcome on the assumption the character almost assessed, remembered or performed correctly. Answer the player’s questions as part of the resulting description.
  • It seems to me from the guy on the radio and the helicopter that Julie failed to realize that this boat was carrying something considerably more interesting than a few creates of old pirate gold. Am I supposed to be that specific about what happens, or should I just be saying, literally, "My character failed to completely realize a danger here" and leaving the particular danger up to you? Should I be specifying a different thing that what's already become apparent through play?
  • RusRus
    edited March 2013
    The second option. A low roll it essentially gives authority to the MC to define reality. A weakhit allows the Player to dictate what area of reality the MC can no-redefine or introduce.

    I have been tinkering and tinkering with the rules. I hope you don't mind if I update them again? As always, if you could let me know where they are not clear.


    EPI - Version 1.2

    -----------------------------------
    MC, describe a charged situation.

    Player,
    Describe your character’s reaction, but limit it to:
    - Physiological changes
    - Emotional responses
    - Memories and thoughts.

    Then state your character’s intended action.

    Spend points from your Pool. (start with 5).
    Max spend of 3.
    Min spend -1 (earn one pool point)

    Roll 2d6 +Spend.

    Strong Hit (10+)
    MC
    - The character correctly assessed their own abilities and the dangers of the situation.
    - The character’s memories were accurate and true,

    Based on: fiction established, what you feel would logically, naturally and artistically follow combined with the stated intention, describe the outcome. After this, advance the fiction toward the next charged situation.

    OR

    If you disagree with the character’s assessment or memories, give the player two(2) pool points and turn into a weak hit.

    Weak Hit (7-9)

    Player,
    Your character is confused or unaware in some way.

    Tell the MC your character has made wrong assumptions regarding:

    Pick one
    - Incorrect or incomplete memories (got the contextual facts wrong)
    - Incorrect judgment of their abilities (overconfident or underconfident)
    - incorrect assessment of the situation (errors evaluating tactics and threats)

    OR

    Take one(1) point and let the MC pick one.

    MC, decide what actually is the case, then describe the outcome. After this, advance the fiction toward the next charged situation.


    Miss
    MC, introduce any facts, memories and observations to the situation. They can show just how confused or blind the character was or add simply introduce things you want to introduce. Describe the outcome even and up to changing the character’s intention. After this, advance the fiction toward the next charged situation.
  • Okay. I think I'm not hitting the memories enough in my descriptions, so let's go with:
    My character mis-remembered something, or failed to remember something, just now.
  • Ok. Progressing from here.
    What the hell is he saying? Whose boat is this, with nerds and weird science machines on board, and helicopters? I'm a little more worried about what we've gotten ourselves into, but I still think we can get out of here with what we came for if we act quickl. This guy talking on the radio can't be doing us any favors, so I'm gonna knock him out.
    You've got him totally unawares. In classic style you smash him in the back of his head and he crumples. His thick glasses skitter across the floor.
    You gather up the manifest while the radio, also now on the floor, continues to relay questions from the other side. Even in that strange language you can tell they are asking questions frantically.

    As the chopper nears you realize, you've heard this chopper before. Yes, you know for sure you've heard it before. Milos Turner, famous treasure hunter. He used this monster helicopter to help pull some sunken artifacts several years ago. Didn't he steal your notes and got to the spot first? Yes, that was it. Years ago he had spies inside your crew and got to the treasure first and used that same helicopter to make off with loot that was rightfully yours.

    From the bridge you would guess that chopper will be here in about five or six more minutes. Maybe ten if they are not in a rush.
  • Milos! Dammit. He's the one who scooped Mantorok's tomb out from under us. Literally. We were standing above the main chamber when he blew some charges and started hauling the whole room away. Dam near broke my leg jumping into the jungle. Johnny was the only one I could still trust after that, I cut the rest of those jokers loose. How did he still find us? Must have been from my notes; there's no way Johnny's working with him. Not my Johnny.

    Things just got a little colder. I don't think Milos would kill us if he didn't have to, but he's also not going to arrest us and take us back to shore. I need to get Khrushchev's gold and skedaddle.

    I'm going to find the crate with the gold and try to push it to the edge of the boat. I've got an auto-inflating rescue raft to throw it in if I have time, and if not, I've got a locator beacon I can tag it with. If we have to sink it and come back later, that's better than getting caught.
  • I want to find the crate with Khrushchev's gold and get it to the edge of the deck.

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 ) (1 pool)
  • Cool, Mantorok's tomb. I'm assuming you're letting me pick and taking the 1 pool point for the weak hit?

    Incorrect assessment of the situation.
    You flip through the manifest. And there you see it Khr-2243, Lot J. That must be the gold.
    You have just traced your finger to that location in the ship (right on the edge where you needed it!) and you're about to move out when the cold click of a rifle alerts you.

    "I told them CIA would betray us. I told them." The leader of the squad is at the door. He's talking to a companion. His thick Russian accent is hard to understand. "We brought double gold, just like you ask, and still you stab us in back. Call your men on chopper. They better have plutonium or I'll shoot you right now. Call them and tell them to drop the material onto the ship."

    He is trying to sound tough, but you can hear he is afraid. You see a trickle of blood down his leg, Johnny must have made him pay the price to get up here.
  • Pulling the plug on this, Max.
    Thank you so much for playing. I really appreciate it.

    If you, or anyone that happened to read it, have any ideas, thoughts feedback, please.
    I think for a sub-mechanic there is something there, but needs some type of book end establishing setting expectations and possibly a pacing mechanism (like S/lay/w me). Maybe some phrases like Polaris/Archipelago2 or something.

    Again, thanks. I got my pbp fix while waiting for Rich-- so it kept me alive.
  • Sorry about that, we've having a conference at work this week which is slowing me down a lot. Good times while it lasted, thanks!
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