Author Topic: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread  (Read 4144 times)

Freebird

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 09:39:12 PM »
Here's my current outline of things to write. I'm sure there's more that I haven't put together yet. I'll add to it as I go.

RM Black Death Outline

1. Pre-Plague Setting Information

Economics
  Feudalism - distributing capital control in exchange for loyalty
  Manors, agriculture and serfdom
  Property and inheritance
  Towns, trades and specialists, guilds
  Finance, usury, and commerce
Social Arrangements
  Gender roles, marriage, family
  The Estates of society: nobility, clergy, commoners, serfs, burghers
  Loyalty, hierarchy, and order
  Minorities and outcasts
Religion
  The Church: authority, hierarchy, and discipline
  Church property, wealth, and political power
  Doctrine, tradition, learning, and scholarship
  Religious orders
  Popular movements, itinerant preachers, heretics
  The economics of piety
    Tithing
    Charity
    Benefices
    Indulgences
    Simony
Languages, Literacy, and Latin
  Literacy was usually restricted to Clergy and (some) Nobles
  Latin was the language of law, religion, politics, scholarship, and history
  Common vernacular languages recorded commerce, some law, day to day political affairs and letters, and some new literature
  Local dialects were typical for commoners
Warfare and conflict
  Titles and claims of nobility, competition
  Knights, allegiance, chivalry, and glory
  Common soldiers, mass armies, conscription and mercenaries
  Castles and fortifications
  The economics of chivalry
    Fiefdoms, military obligations, and scutage
    Conquest and capital
    Plunder
    Ransom
    Political Marriage and Courtly Love
Historical Situation
  The Hundred Years’ War (England vs. France)
  The Avignon Papacy
  The Holy Roman Empire (Imperial claims in Italy, conflict with France
  The Hansa (Lübeck and the guild trading leagues)
  The Italian City-States
  Holland: The Hook and Cod Wars

2. New Rules
New Skills:
  Literacy (INT)
  Languages (and Latin) (INT)
  Ride (replaces Drive, a SPD skill instead of ADP)
  Professions: (see Canterbury Tales & Decameron)
  Melee Weapon Specializations: only required for Upgraded weapons (except bows, crossbows, firearms)
New Character Creation Packages: Original Estates
  Laboratores (Commoners): +1 ADP, +1 Profession (in a craft skill), +1 free skill point
  Oratores (Clergy): +1 INT, +1 Literacy, Latin for free
  Bellatores (Nobles): +1 STR, +1 Melee, one free weapon specialization
  Mercatores (Merchants): +1 CHA, one free language, +2 starting Bounty for gear
New NPC Relationship: Retainers
  Retainers function similar to Contacts, but with some qualities of Dependants
  Retainers require regular Bounty for Support (like Dependents), and can be tasked with various duties and missions (for   automatic success, like Contacts)
  Some gear requires one or more Retainers in order to be purchased, such as full armor and cavalry equipment
New Reputation Currencies: Glory and Piety
  Glory - chivalric reputation for military prowess and loyalty
  Piety - religious reputation for good works and devotion
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theblazeuk

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 12:19:21 AM »
Might I suggest you don't need to take the Stokesian approach to the size of your work  :P Part 1 feels like a medieval studies syllabus just from the outline and even a dozen words on each will leave you a massive word count.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 08:47:59 AM by theblazeuk »

Dadalos

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 01:53:49 AM »
*Languages, Literacy, and Latin ect could be summed up in a kind of 'education' skill (int) instead of breaking them into separate things.
*ride was covered on the horse gear entry. Profession animal handling or something determined by the market.
* Melee Weapon Specializations: only required for Upgraded weapons (except bows, crossbows, firearms) :  the only reason that i can disagree is that while most of the common folk served in some form of army as red-shirt cannon fodder most dident get the dedicated training required for proficiency. with perhaps the exception of the British and the bowmen they are quite renowned for. and the specializations conceivably still apply but for just a different reason then is standard for RM. in this case its because the nobility dident want a well armed serf revolt come tax season.

I like the retainers option and may include that as a base rule for my next RM as a default... fewer names for my group to forget the better and the more invested they are.

ck2 : nobles care for prestige, clergy cares for piety, everyone cares about gold.

so far its looking great, I look forward to seeing more of it develop XD.
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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2017, 05:57:50 PM »
Might I suggest you don't need to take the Stokesian approach to the size of your work  :P Part 1 feels like a medieval studies syllabus just from the outline and even a dozen words on each will leave you a massive word count.

Since I want to empower people to run a Tight campaign without having to read as many books as I'm reading, that section's gonna be pretty long, yeah. :)

*Languages, Literacy, and Latin ect could be summed up in a kind of 'education' skill (int) instead of breaking them into separate things.
Maybe that would work better, but speaking languages and reading documents were separate skills in the Middle Ages, and Literacy was a much more complicated issue in the pre-printing age. We'll see whether that's too granular for play.

Quote
*ride was covered on the horse gear entry. Profession animal handling or something determined by the market.
I think it's probably best to make it its own full-fledged skill for RMBD, since it's pretty much the only method of active locomotion besides walking. Much like Drive, you can still ride a horse without Ride, you just can't do anything tricky or dangerous.

Quote
* Melee Weapon Specializations: only required for Upgraded weapons (except bows, crossbows, firearms) :  the only reason that i can disagree is that while most of the common folk served in some form of army as red-shirt cannon fodder most dident get the dedicated training required for proficiency. with perhaps the exception of the British and the bowmen they are quite renowned for. and the specializations conceivably still apply but for just a different reason then is standard for RM. in this case its because the nobility dident want a well armed serf revolt come tax season.
I gotta be honest, I've never liked the specialization rules when it comes to weapons. It makes more sense to me for a specialization to grant extra bonuses above normal proficiency, rather than being a gatekeeper against basic use. And from a gameplay perspective, since pretty much everybody is going to want a melee weapon, requiring specializations would basically be a flat 1-Bounty tax on every character instead of actually distinguishing characters from each other.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Dadalos

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2017, 08:04:53 PM »
Thanks for the feedback!

thats what were here for XD,

* Its probably to granular of a distinction for most groups to make (mine would prefer the education route) but that plays into the boom bust loose tight rule sets.
* I agree with the ride = drive conversion just playing devils advocate to point to all the options.
* as for the weapon specialization it seems reasonable to have the cost attached as a gateway to represent what you gave up in exchange for skill, anything that's ubiquitous in skill such as driving in the modern day anyone can do sure, but for difficult things there's the drive skill and its for things that normal people dont run into on a day to day basis. in regards to weapons the way Ive always seen it is that sure anyone can pick up a sword and swing it at something, but to do so in an effective manner requires training, one reason Knights were so expensive to maintain was the years and years of training they received.

that actually could be reasonable a workaround, one of the background 'classes' could be some form of military man with the training to justify the hand-wave.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2017, 09:40:04 PM »
* as for the weapon specialization it seems reasonable to have the cost attached as a gateway to represent what you gave up in exchange for skill, anything that's ubiquitous in skill such as driving in the modern day anyone can do sure, but for difficult things there's the drive skill and its for things that normal people dont run into on a day to day basis. in regards to weapons the way Ive always seen it is that sure anyone can pick up a sword and swing it at something, but to do so in an effective manner requires training, one reason Knights were so expensive to maintain was the years and years of training they received.

that actually could be reasonable a workaround, one of the background 'classes' could be some form of military man with the training to justify the hand-wave.

I'm already planning that, with the Bellatores background, which gives you one free specialization.

I'm still planning to require specialization for archery and early firearms. The reason I don't like the normal specialization rules for melee weapons are that I think:

1. They discourage character build diversity by making it twice as expensive to build certain types of characters than it is to build others, when the mechanical benefits for investing in the specialization are marginal at best. In normal Red Markets it sort of makes sense to push everybody toward the optimal combat toolkit (i.e. fully-upgraded rifle, freebie club for melee backup), but I want more melee weapon diversity in RMBD since that's mostly the only kinds of weapons there are.

2. I think RAW are unrealistic in how they assign specialization to certain things and not to others. E.g. shooting a handgun with tactical effectiveness is at least as "specialized" as learning how to use a sword effectively, but it's not treated as a specialization in the rules.

3. If all specialization does is allow you to use a piece of gear like you would any other one, it doesn't feel "special" to have a specialization. It just feels like a normal skill that you're paying double for.

Having specialization unlock the upgrade benefits for having a really *nice* sword seems like a more exciting game benefit.
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Dadalos

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 12:26:00 AM »
I'm still planning to require specialization for archery and early firearms. The reason I don't like the normal specialization rules for melee weapons are that I think:

Having specialization unlock the upgrade benefits for having a really *nice* sword seems like a more exciting game benefit.

it actualy make quite a bit of since to have it on the melee weapons and not the ranged. theres a reason guns became so popular after all, similar to the advent of the crossbow over the long/short bows. and the prime reasons in modern times why more people dont use swords. and I agree that its kinda lame that there is such a bias to everyone running the same kit but in a way its almost Darwinian, the kits that work get used more. it MAY be interesting to see if theres any shift if you removed the specialization cost but id be willing to be that the majority would still favor ranged options.

in the time period your going for long bows were a massive factor in the downfall of the noble knight era warfare as for the same price of 1 knight someone could field many times more bowmen who at range no less were more effective, add in the crossbow which required less training... if memory serves the pope actually banned the use of the cross bow as a weapon of mass destruction. https://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A2866061

ps : just re-read this and noticed how it might be taken as condescending / aggressive / antagonistic which was totally not the intent, Im more or less playing devils advocate to an issue I myself have with the setting in the lack of diversity with justifications ive had to face myself in my own games.  ;) .
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 12:31:22 AM by Dadalos »
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2017, 05:44:14 PM »
I'm still planning to require specialization for archery and early firearms. The reason I don't like the normal specialization rules for melee weapons are that I think:

Having specialization unlock the upgrade benefits for having a really *nice* sword seems like a more exciting game benefit.

it actualy make quite a bit of since to have it on the melee weapons and not the ranged. theres a reason guns became so popular after all, similar to the advent of the crossbow over the long/short bows. and the prime reasons in modern times why more people dont use swords. and I agree that its kinda lame that there is such a bias to everyone running the same kit but in a way its almost Darwinian, the kits that work get used more. it MAY be interesting to see if theres any shift if you removed the specialization cost but id be willing to be that the majority would still favor ranged options.

in the time period your going for long bows were a massive factor in the downfall of the noble knight era warfare as for the same price of 1 knight someone could field many times more bowmen who at range no less were more effective, add in the crossbow which required less training... if memory serves the pope actually banned the use of the cross bow as a weapon of mass destruction. https://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A2866061

ps : just re-read this and noticed how it might be taken as condescending / aggressive / antagonistic which was totally not the intent, Im more or less playing devils advocate to an issue I myself have with the setting in the lack of diversity with justifications ive had to face myself in my own games.  ;) .

It's fair enough, I didn't take your perspective as antagonistic. :)

It's more a matter of what experience I would like the rules to facilitate: that there should be a real difference between a swordsman and a guy with a sword, but that difference should be that the swordsman is more effective and cool, not that only a trained swordsman should ever touch a sword.

And I might not have made it clear above, but I'm keeping the specialization rules as-is for archery. That really is a gateway skillset.
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Dadalos

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2017, 07:52:07 PM »
cool cool, if im able to get my crew to do another round of RM instead of DnD ill try and run a play-test of this. though I might simplify it as I doubt they would appreciate the level of detail that we enjoy  ;D.
"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone, I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2017, 08:25:43 PM »
cool cool, if im able to get my crew to do another round of RM instead of DnD ill try and run a play-test of this. though I might simplify it as I doubt they would appreciate the level of detail that we enjoy  ;D.

Super cool!
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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2017, 10:55:08 AM »
interesting idea, I think it is safe to say that archery at least wouldn't be considered a specialization.
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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2018, 06:03:35 AM »
Great minds or something here. Was thinking down similar lines with tweaking red markets for the same time period.

The biggest thing I saw as an issue for player characters was the idea that communication just isn't really there. Towns are far enough apart that things can often go vector, go cold and shamble into the next town to start the whole thing over again.

I think one of the ways to shift the balance is that melee options that protect you from bites and infection are more common, but more modern things (like medicine and first aid) are not as available.

I totally think this is doable, and would love to see where you take this.
 

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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2018, 05:44:29 PM »
Thanks! Yes, communication is much more localized, medicine is much less capable (though maybe not as much as the stereotypical impression; first aid techniques were okay, especially in the context of violence and warfare), and basic melee combat skills were much more widespread.

I'm thinking of adjusting the operation of the Blight slightly, so that Vector activity isn't always guaranteed. Sometimes you go Vector, but sometimes you just die from the Blight and revive as a Casualty. That would make for a more plausible survival of humanity, and also potentially introduce an additional moral quandry about what to do with Blight victims.

I'm planning on doing a first playtest with Tech Diff next weekend, so we'll see how it goes from there!
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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2018, 04:07:44 PM »
The playtest went very well! We had a lot of fun, and I got really good notes and feedback on the game.

I'm attaching one of the pregens that I made, so you can see the current version of the character sheet.
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Re: "Red Markets: Black Death" - project updates and idea input thread
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2018, 04:19:45 PM »
Also, here's an outline of all the rules variants we played with in this test:

Existing Rules Variants:
  Permanent Injury (p. 282)
  Random Damage (p. 281)

New Rules
New Skills:
  Literacy (INT) - comprises both reading ability and overall academic study. Replaces Research.
  Languages (INT) - All Takers speak their native language for free . Use this skill for additional languages. Skill points in each language are bought separately from each other.
  Ride (SPD) - riding horses. Replaces Drive, and is a SPD skill instead of ADP.
  Craft (ADP): refers to trades requiring physical training or dexterity, e.g. blacksmithing, weaving, carpentry, etc.
  Professions (INT): now refers specifically to INT-focused professions, e.g. bookkeeping, law, scribing, alchemy, etc. (see Canterbury Tales & Decameron)
  Melee Weapon Specializations (STR): Melee weapons do not require specializations to use. A Specialization allows a wielder to add the amount of the Specialization to their damage rolls. No Specialization can exceed the Melee skill.
Archery (SPD) - replaces Shoot.

New Character Creation Packages: Original Estates
  Laboratores (Commoners): +1 ADP, +1 Craft (in one specific craft), +1 free skill point
  Oratores (Clergy): +1 INT, +1 Literacy, +1 Language: Latin for free
  Bellatores (Nobles): +1 STR or +1 SPD, +1 Melee, one free weapon specialization
  Mercatores (Merchants): +1 CHA, one free language, +2 starting Bounty for gear

New NPC Relationship: Retainers
  Retainers function similar to Contacts, but with some qualities of Dependants
  Retainers require regular Bounty for Support (like Dependents), and can be tasked with various duties and missions (for automatic success, like Contacts, or rolled success on difficult tasks)
  Some gear requires one or more Retainers in order to be purchased, such as full armor and cavalry equipment

New Reputation Currencies: Chivalry and Piety
  Chivalry - noble reputation for military prowess and loyalty
  Piety - religious reputation for good works and devotion
  Each five points of earned Chivalry/Piety lets the Taker add one point of Score to that reputation.
  Rep Scores can be rolled like social skills to influence NPCs, etc.
  Each point of Rep Score has an associated cost (Piety=Charity, Chivalry=Largess). This cost must be paid at the end of every session, or else the Taker will permanently lose one point from that Rep Score (points may be re-earned as usual).
  Rep Scores can be used as Retirement goals. Typically, achieving a +3 Score in one category is a milestone.

Infection Rolls Variants: split rolls and Black vs. Red Death
  Split rolls: There is no reliable test for Plague infection. Infection rolls are normally done secretly by the Market. However, a trained physician with leeches can assess the likelihood of infection from a bite. In this situation, use a “split roll.” The Taker rolls the Black die and sees the result. The Market rolls the Red die and secretly notes the result. The Taker thus knows the rough odds of whether they are infected, but can never tell for certain (until they develop symptoms).
  Black vs. Red Death: On a failed infection roll, note the oddness or evenness of the Red die. On an odd Red, the victim turns Vector as per the standard rules. On an even Red, the victim seems to die normally from the infection, but will rise as a Casualty after a period of Torpor.

Gear
  Gear list needs thorough revision and expansion. TO DO

Armor
  Two armor types: Light and Heavy
  Light armor works like normal RM armor, but it is not In Demand.
  Heavy armor works like light armor, but adds flat damage reduction, with more upgrades for further DR. It requires high upkeep and Retainers to use, though
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