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OOC: A House Divided (A Despair and Desire RP)

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Since we have enough interest to get the ball rolling, I'm setting up this OOC thread so we can hammer out the details before we get started--as well as having any other relevant OOC discussions as the RP continues. I'm going to start with just some links and info:
--Game Master--
Morathor

--Potential Players--
Freeko
LeaT
JovialTraveler
Tenshi
YourFavoriteSenpai


Game Rules
Profile Thread
Interest Check Thread


So! A brief recap. We're going to be using my homebrew system, Despair and Desire, to run an RP wherein the characters will be subject to bad ends--they will be be defeated, ravished by their enemies, and be corrupted to fight against their former allies. In terms of genre, my first choice would be something focused around transforming heroes, such as magical girls or power rangers, but that's not set in stone; I'd like to get input from all of you on what sounds good.

There are some other areas I'd like to get input on as well, so please everyone feel free to weigh in on any of the following:

--Do we want this to lead to a final boss who can be defeated to win the game? Or do we want to play this as more of an endurance trial, where the question isn't if the heroes will fall, it's how long they will last?

--How do we want to handle dice rolling? I have a hamete server, which several of you are already signed up for, but we could also set up a discord server with a dice bot if that would work better. Do we want to just let everyone roll dice on their own and report the results? I'll admit I'm most comfortable being transparent with my dice rolls, so you know I'm not fudging numbers.

--What optional rules, if any, should we use? I came up with quite a few optional rules for Despair and Desire, to make it more customizeable. For this, we're almost certainly going to want to use the Fallen Heroes rules, but aside from that, what do you all think?

That's all that occurs to me for now. I look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions.
 
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freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Point 1: I would like to see a final boss

#2: I have no opinion on this, and would defer to whatever everyone else wants.

#3: I would like to see "stamina" but perhaps changed to fit into the theme. regular characters when not transformed and then a "meter" for transforming. What better way to lose than to run out of power before the enemy is defeated? I would say that this likely only works if we have some level of control over when/if we transform from regular/magic girl states.

Just my thoughts on things that are fairly vague since I have no real problem with none of this being put into play.
 

YourFavoriteSenpai

Big Weeb Energy Surges
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
I believe that a final boss would suit the setting perfectly. One that gives most/many of the heroes motivation to explore and risk their lives/futures.

As for the dice rolls, I'm very open to any that others would prefer. There's fun in getting the wrong dice roll every now and then. Since this story will be based around bad ends, there's not too much reason in adding a few numbers to rolls.

Stamina, purity. To be honest, I do like all of them as well. The ability to eventually bring in new heroes and see them get corrupted or weakened over time might help drive the story rather than, once the party fails: That's the end.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
I concur with YFS on their first and third points.
I would prefer transparency in dice rolls. Perhaps hamate or discord.
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Seems like several votes towards stamina and purity; sounds good to me.

To be honest, I'd like to avoid bringing in new heroes when current heroes are defeated; I was hoping to focus more on the corruption, and heroes being turned against each other. Partly because I'm interested in the theme, and partly because it gives a more defined ending point to the game. A final boss does that too, but if you always have the option to replace your characters and keep trying there's not really a way to fail.

(For the record, when I asked about the final boss, I was talking about the campaign design, not the narrative. There would be a big bad that all the other villains answer to regardless, the question was whether you are ever going to be in a position to fight them.)

Regarding modifying stamina to serve as a transformation limit: for this game, your basic stats and abilities already represent your transformed state. A normal, untransformed person is completely helpless against these foes, and when the heroes take enough damage to be defeated, their transformation is undone. So using stamina as a transformation meter doesn't seem necessary. However, you could take passive abilities that buff you based on your remaining stamina, so that when that runs out you're weakened.
 
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YourFavoriteSenpai

Big Weeb Energy Surges
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
That's fine then. I was thinking that maybe over time. The heroes would be strong enough to fight him only to be overwhelmed in combat. There's many ways you could spin it.

About the topic of avoiding bringing new heroes, I don't know how difficult you run your campaigns. However you'd like to run it, I'll be happy to join. I just hope that it doesn't end too quick, that's all. To an extent, corruption is a slow but dreadful process. One that creeps within the cracks of purity and poisons from within. I'm excited!
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
@Tenshi : By no means too late, welcome on board. Let me know if you have questions or if there's anything I can make clearer.

@YourFavoriteSenpai : So, in the game I ran in the first draft of this system, we didn't have any casualties until the seventh fight. In the more recent game I ran in the second draft, we didn't lose a single character in combat. Players dropped out, and we used what I later adapted into the optional Last Stand rules to remove their characters while letting them help move the party forward, but in terms of characters actually being defeated, we never reached that point. So, I don't expect characters to be dropping like flies or anything.

For overall structure, I'm thinking something of a monster of the week kind of thing. Starting with a roleplaying/investigation segment, then a couple of puzzles and/or minor enemies leading to the boss monster of the episode. After taking down several normal bosses (probably three or four but we'll see how things flow) you'll go up against the general who was commanding them. And after you've taken out all the generals (probably also three or four) you can go after the final boss. Does that sound like a plan?
 

Tenshi

Supernova
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
In the Moonwood, chasing unicorns.
:) I'd far prefer a scenario like that to a corruption scenario. i mean, if I'm ready for t, it's okay to turn a PC temporarily against the others, but I prefer to be properly braced for PVP!

So, we're magic girls. Are we modern magic girls? Maybe in a low gun region, like japan or London? Or are we Renaissance magic girls protecting a great city who's learning and forward-thinking politics could change the world?

:) That's a combination of question and suggestions in case you don't already know the answer.
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
I tend to equate magical girls with.. magical attacks like throwing fireballs from a wand and the like. How would that relate to this system that seems to be dependent on close quarters combat? I think that is really the hurdle my head is failing to process at this point.
 

YourFavoriteSenpai

Big Weeb Energy Surges
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
I do see some forms of magic being utilized in close quarters, not all. PvP would be very exciting. I'm fine with playing a girl or a magical girl, but I wonder how dependent magical girls are to melee. I'm fine with it either or, but I do see where other's could be confused.
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
@Tenshi : I didn't intend that setup as as like... an alternative to corruption, just a framework for it. Like I said, I don't expect the characters to be falling left and right but I am looking for occasional losses. I would like the defeated heroes to be corrupted and continue on as antagonists, rather than being replaced by new characters. That allows a player who loses to stay in the game in a different capacity, rather than dropping out or coming up with a new character.

For setting, I was thinking modern, or maybe near future--but I'm also down for Renaissance if that sounds good to the majority of players. One thing I had in mind, was that the heroes' power source should be the same as the villains, basically something that was reverse engineered from the bad guys' equipment or remains. That lets the heroes stand on equal footing with their enemies but it's also what makes them susceptible to corruption.

@freeko : There's plenty of precedent for magical girls with melee weapons. If you've got a few minutes to spare, here's a large teamup of girls from the Precure franchise. Plenty of ranged attacks at work to be sure, but there's also no shortage of swords, whips, punches and kicks.

Additionally, the concepts of "melee range" and "long range" can be adjusted to fit the needs of the setting. For this, I would say that close quarters might encompass a ten or fifteen foot radius. That accommodates melee weapons with a significant reach (whips and whip-like weapons really are quite popular), but also the speed and mobility to close those kinds of distances in an instant.
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Pretty much! You can put together your character however you like, as long as all their individual abilities are valid, they have at least one weakness, and their level comes up to 5. You're also welcome to use a pre-built class, though you may want to rename abilities to better suit the setting
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
Speaking of which, we now have a profile thread up for anyone who's got their character ready. However, please don't post your character directly--send it to me in a private message. Once I've reviewed it and made sure everything checks out, you can post it in the thread.
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
@Tenshi : You might want to consider saving that look for if/when your character gets corrupted. You don't have to, of course; the heroes are getting their powers from the same source as the bad guys so that very demonic aesthetic could reflect that. But it might also be interesting to start with like... a more angelic look, and then bring out the demon dragon form after you've fallen.

There's not really a good way to make a battle pet as an independent character that has its own turns and takes damage separately from you. However, it should be possible to make the dragon an extension of your character and their abilities. We don't need special rules for, say, a sword; you can just say "my melee attack represents me attacking with a sword." Similarly, your melee attack could be "I order my dragon to bite them." The biggest issue is that you and the dragon would have to function as one; you couldn't occupy separate melee groups and you couldn't take damage separately. Possibly the two of you have a link, so damage dealt to one is dealt to the other; possibly the dragon is invulnerable, and only the girl can be damaged. Or it could be the other way around--the girl is super frail, but the dragon defends her from physical damage; when the dragon falls, she's helpless. And you wouldn't need rules or special abilities for any of those, they're just narrative interpretations of what the game mechanics are representing.

That said, if you did want to do a link, where damage dealt to either of you is dealt to both of you, that offers up a potential weakness you could use. (As a reminder, each character needs at least one weakness, although you're welcome to take extra weaknesses in exchange for higher stats/more powers.)
Weakness: Divided Essence-- You take double the damage and other effects from attacks that affect an entire melee group, and you may be targeted twice by abilities that target multiple creatures.

Orrrrr if you want to keep it simple, you can have the dragon manifest while attacking and then vanish when you're done.

@everyone: On the subject of weaknesses, I had a thought and I wanted to see if you all would like to implement it. So, your characters are going to level up periodically, probably after defeating each general. Those encounters are going to be far enough apart, and I want them to be a big enough deal, that you might gain multiple levels each time.

I was also thinking about the heroes gaining extra levels on top of that if their allies are defeated. Partly as a consolation for the shrinking party--although to be clear, I will always scale the challenges to the size and strength of the current party; I am not ever going to throw an encounter designed for five heroes at a party of two. But the other part of that is, from a narrative perspective, that you are taking up the power of the fallen hero (who will now be getting their power from the "main" source that the villains use, as opposed to the semi-purified fragment that the heroes have acquired).

But I like the notion that taking on the power of the fallen hero comes at a cost, so to that end, I'd like to propose a special type of weakness; let's call it an Impurity. Here's what I'm thinking:
--Every character needs one of their weaknesses labeled as an Impurity.
--An Impurity must be unique; two characters can't have the same one, and even when giving characters extra weaknesses, you can't give them a weakness that overlaps too much with somebody's Impurity.
--You can't remove Impurities while leveling up; you can get rid of other weaknesses, but not that one.
--When you're leveling up, you can take on the Impurities of fallen heroes to gain extra levels. This works the same as gaining a weakness when you level up--you gain the Impurity, then choose two of the other level up options (increasing a stat, gaining a new power, getting rid of a non-Impurity weakness).

What do you all think?
 

YourFavoriteSenpai

Big Weeb Energy Surges
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
That;s fine! Hmm.... To consider whether I should create a healer based magical girl or a tank based magical girl. One with some sort of shield to make up for her lack of offense. Oh.. or maybe I can consider creating someone with a mix of both as well. I do like the idea of impurities. I probably need a good couple hours to come up with a character all nice and ready!
 

Morathor

Supernova
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Location
Midwestern USA
I have adored the idea of a healer/tank since Super Mario RPG. (There was this very powerful armor you could equip to any character; I put it on my healer and it was awesome.)

Healing in Despair and Desire is a bit on the limited side, but it is still a thing, and a fairly useful thing. But also, part of the stamina system we're using gives everyone a little bit of self-healing. So if you wanted to go full tank that works too.
 

freeko

Star
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
I dont quite understand something. What controls if/when we transform? Especially since we seem to have no ability to do anything unless we are transformed?
 
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