Sunday, August 29, 2010
Rock-Paper-Scissors as Conflict Resolution
First, I want to present my thread over at RPG.net where the fine folks over there gave me some feedback on how we can add just a little dimension to RPS. Below I'm going to present the current format for our game engine and some of the ways we can tweak RPS to make it more than just a a simple three option game.
Ok, simple enough - you just play sets of RPS until someone wins 2 out of the 3. Sounds pretty boring, and - worse yet - because ties are losses and you don't carry your wins into the next set, this could take forever!
Ah, but that's where the secret of the RPS engine comes into play! Built right into the system we have the ways that we can make characters unique and good at different things. To be honest, coming up with the engine was obviously pretty straight-forward, but I was really concerned on what we could do to make the characters unique. Using a fantasy example, I would imagine a game where all the characters are equally as good at using a bow and arrow, a sword, and spells would make for some pretty boring play. I don't want to get into the details of what our characters look like or do at this point (since it's kind of the gimmick and it would be cheating to give it away without the final product!), I didn't want all of our players playing the same character just with different colored hair.
The two areas where characters can then have power is in ties and bringing wins into a set. I'm sure there are some other ways, but one thing I really wanted to avoid was adding more options to the R-P-S arrangement. We've come up with two separate powers that a trait can give a character:
1. You win ties.
2. You can carry over one win from a set to the following set - if you didn't win one set, you basically get a win leading into the next set.
3. You have one banked win that you can then use during a set to get a round. You'll only get one for the game session, and like with the tie winning power, it has to be in a set where you're actively utilizing the trait.
That's enough musing for now! Please, if you have other ways to extend the life cycle of RPS, please let us know!