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    108 KB Shinobido Returns Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)16:39 No.6986810  

    There was also a thread earlier this morning due to insomnia, but nothing happened and nothing was saved.

    Today I'd like to work on some of the fluff, since mechanics are mostly in place for the bare bones system. I will need to work on powers and abilities, and later I do need to run my own game.

    In the meantime, though, ask questions. Questions are how I come up with answers, because quite frankly I make a lot of shit up to answer questions. Getting that shit I made up to work within what I already have is how I can form a relatively cohesive world.

    Current rules are here, though there's not much of them.

    >> The Dark Path Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)16:47 No.6986926
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    One of the things I keep mentioning is The Dark Path. Just what is it?

    Well, like I said, characters will often be placed in a situation where they're forced or encouraged to use 'forbidden' techniques. Early on, these techniques are easier than normal, and a lot more powerful. The thing is, much like the Dark Side from Star Wars or Black Magic from Dresden, characters can't just use a forbidden technique and then go about their day.

    The Dark Path is a lot of things, all of them related to the use of power. The first thing is that it's the power itself. While not every power on the Dark Path is from the same source, the things they do to the psyche of a shinobi are the same. It's the overall school of thought for these powers. Each and everyone of them corrupts the user, making them more likely to use that same easy power, again and again.

    It also doesn't really matter why you've used a power from the Dark Path. Whether it's to slaughter a village or save it, the outcome is the same. You become tainted, and going down that road becomes more enticing, and above all easier. However, going down other roads becomes harder, and getting off that road becomes an effort of heroic willpower.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)16:55 No.6987033
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    The lure of the Dark Path is one of the main themes of Shinobido. What you do today will have a heavy price tomorrow.

    Once a character goes down the Dark Path, they start to care about nothing else, and the things that they DO care about become twisted. I'll use an example from Revenge of the Sith, because despite hollow acting, it sums things up pretty well.
    Anakin cared about Padme more than anything else, but his passion for her was tainted by the Dark Side. In the end, he killed her, because he thought she was betraying him.

    That's sort of how the Dark Path is. You see betrayal when your allies want to do the right thing, because all throughout your slipping into the darkness, you've been ostensibly doing it for them. At least, that's how most see it. They kill the person who's giving an ally trouble, because it's easy. They heal their friends with powerful dark arts, because it's easy.

    But what's easy today costs something tomorrow. It's not so much a deal with the devil as it is drawing on your own inner darkness, but the metaphor is apt. Especially considering most on the Dark Path are likely to give their bodies over to demons in exchange for more power. All too often they toss away any humanity they might have as a weakness, taking on twisted and mutated forms.

    This is why the players are a squad. When one member goes down into the darkness, there are two more to pull him out.
    All too often, he pulls the others down with him, and all go tumbling into darkness.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)17:00 No.6987088
    Seems interesting, Thumbs up!
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)17:10 No.6987209
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    Another thing that needs to be addressed is the countries at war. At the moment, they're called the Land of Light and the Land of Shadow, and that sort of obvious duality is probably going to stay in whatever their names become.

    However, those names are misleading.
    Shadow might be the country that uses necromancy and the powers of the Dark Path, but the Land of Light is often times just as dark as Shadow.
    After all, this country is willing to send children to war.

    Both countries make heavy use of forbidden abilities, but Shadow is more apparent about it. Light abhors the Shadow, and yet without Light there could be no shadow. The basic way for Light to operate as it pertains to forbidden techniques is to kill the person when their will breaks.

    The Light is also more than willing to leave their shinobi to die in the heart of Shadow, disavow all knowledge of their existence, and claim that they weren't acting under orders.
    >> Unique Characters Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:12 No.6988065
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    While every character will have the same six core Attributes (Intellect, Wits, Strength, Agility, Tenacity, and Charisma), what differentiates them--besides the personality that the player adds to the characters--are the character's Concept, Merit, Flaw, and Specialties.

    These are the things that you, the player, get to work out with the Narrator when you create a character.

    In theory, no two characters will be the same. With the Concept, Merit, Flaw, and Specialties, your character can become colourful and unique.

    In the following posts, I'll explain them in a bit more detail.
    >> Concept Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:18 No.6988145
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    Concept is the core of your character. While it has little actual gameplay use, it serves as a template that you will use in building your character.

    Concept primarily covers your character's motivation and what you want to do with them mechanically. It also serves as a fall back when you don't have any ideas, or if you don't know whether something is right for your character. A character with the Concept of "fire ninja searching for her lost sister" wouldn't take ice powers, for instance.

    Likewise, if she was given a chance to find her sister, she might be more inclined to take it. Even if it means dealing in the Dark Path. It's not that your character should never do something against their motivation--the fire ninja doesn't have to go down the Dark Path--but it would make it harder for them. It's in this way that Concept can influence the game, by acting as a bridge for the character to walk along, and for you as the player to go back to if you ever are unsure of what to do.

    "Would my fire ninja use ice?"
    "Would she want to use forbidden techniques to find her sister?"
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)18:19 No.6988157
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    >> Flaws Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:25 No.6988242
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    Characters have Flaws. It's what makes them interesting. Beowulf was laid low by his own greed and arrogance. Many shounen heroes are brash, and hot headed, running into trouble despite it obviously being a trap.

    It's these traits that Flaws represent. They are the worst aspect of your character's personality. Perhaps they can't stand people who won't stand up for others, or maybe they're a coward in spite of their training.

    Whenever a character acts in concert with their Flaw, they gain a Merit Point. If a character is brash and hotheaded, then the character would earn a Merit Point when they don't stop to think or plan, and just run in head first into a trap. It might be dangerous, but the player gains a Merit Point for acting as their character would.

    BUT, know that when a character goes against their Flaw--for instance if the character instead chooses to stay and plan--then they're at a disadvantage. The question then becomes "is it more beneficial to put myself into a dangerous position, or to act against the character's nature and go the easy way?"
    >> Merits Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:33 No.6988368
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    While Flaws are a character's Hamartia, Merit represents their Arete.

    Merits are the character's greatest qualities--again, usually a personality trait--and when characters use Merits, they're acting on those heroic traits.

    When a character acts on a Flaw, they gain a Merit Point. That point is then used to invoke the Merit. This allows them to play to their strength, and in a way, it lets them break the rules in minor ways. Not every Merit can be Invoked in every situation, but when they do, they give the player an upper hand. A character with "Brilliant Academic" wouldn't be able to invoke their Merit during a fight, for instance, but they might be able to invoke it if they were trying to research a forbidden technique.

    When a Merit is invoked, different things can happen depending on the circumstances.
    The first is that the character either gets a bonus, or succeeds automatically.
    The second is that a character might be able to do something they normally wouldn't. A character with the Merit of "Inspiring" might be able to grant a bonus to any allies that they try to inspire, or even allow them to regain health--more on that later.
    An invoked Merit might also allow the character to take control of things, if only slightly. "First Responder" might allow a character to get to a scene before anyone else does, even the enemy.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)18:35 No.6988395
    This is intriguing OP
    >> Specialties Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:44 No.6988531
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    Specialties are things that your character is good at. Basically, they're things you can say about your character's abilities that grant a bonus to their use. While Strength tells you strong you are, the specialty "One Ton Punch" tells just what you know about using that strength. At their core, Specialties are things you can do better than everything else related to that Attribute.
    Specialties aren't necessarily tied to one attribute, though. They're things that can come up in any situation as long as they're applicable. "Craftsman" might be a Specialty that comes up when a character builds something, but it could also come up when they appraise an item they find, or in finding a flaw in something that they examine.

    While Attributes are ranked from 1 to 5, Specialties are only ranked from 1 to 3. The more in depth the Specialty, the bigger it's bonus. Generic Specialties only give 1 point, while more specific things give 3 points. "Fighting" might give 1 point, "Kung Fu" might give 2, while a specific technique or power might give 3.

    At any one time, a character can only benefit from one Specialty at a time.

    Note: This is just one idea. The other is that Specialties will be ranked 1-3, and how specific they are doesn't matter. The Narrator will be the one to decide if a Specialty is too broad to be used. "Fighting" could potentially cover a wide range of actions, from archery, shuriken, swordfighting, and martial arts, for instance. That would be too broad to use.)
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)18:48 No.6988582

    >Dark Path

    Are you aware of the SW Dark Side Point system? For each dark action your character takes, he gains a dark point (or rolls to gain one, can't remember). If it goes over some character-specific threshold, he becomes an NPC.

    Aside from that last part, does that sound anything like what you were thinking of?
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:49 No.6988606
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    If you've got anything to add it would be helpful. I'm running out of things to say that I haven't already said, and I've got a game to run in an hour or so.

    I'm not really sure on whether or not the Merit/Flaw system I have works, and I'm also not sure of which way to go with the Specialties.

    Also in writing up the Specialties, I realized that some might be close to Merits--things like "Never Gives Up" would be a good Merit, or a good Specialty for a character that can resist torture well.

    I'm also thinking about adding something called Edges, which are basically like Feats from DnD. They're a separate type of Specialty that stacks with normal specialties, and allows a character to do other things. It might also be used to show what a character has, and what they know (owning a sword, for instance. This makes it closer to White Wolf's Backgrounds/Merits)
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)18:56 No.6988691
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    That's actually pretty close to what I was going to go with. I'm using the "Villain Point" system from the Corrupting Power Flaw from Mutants and Masterminds.

    Characters gain a point for using forbidden techniques. They can get rid of it with another point (probably a Merit Point), but if they use it, then it becomes permanent. Characters with a total of X number of Dark Points--or whatever--will be the ones who are effectively NPC'd.

    I'm also thinking of making it some sort of addiction, where characters who have X amount of Dark Points need to roll to avoid using a Dark Point.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:03 No.6988762
    Where would the powers such as elemental control (fireballs and all that) and other "magical" stuff like that come in? are they all forbidden techniques or are they with the Specialties
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)19:10 No.6988860
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    At the moment, I don't really know how I'm going to have special attacks be used.
    There's a chance that I'll go with something like Mutants and Mastermind's or Tri-Stat's power creation, because they're relatively easy on the designer, but then forbidden techniques become just something with the Dark Point drawback.

    However I do it, I'd like to playtest without the powers before I try to make them.

    To be honest, I have no idea how things will go. Things will be very different depending on whether I use 2 dice or 4, and there are a lot of things to work out.

    That said, I am willing to hear out anything anyone has to suggest about the powers.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:14 No.6988904
    Given how much you keep referencing these systems, why not just use them with some slight house-ruling?
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)19:26 No.6989050
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    Takes the fun out of things. I'm using ideas from other systems, but so far I've used very loose ideas taken from some five or six systems, and none of them would work together.

    The point isn't to take another system and houserule it, it's to make a new system specifically for what I want.

    It's just easier to explain something when you use an existing example that's already similar.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:27 No.6989069
    I like how Fantasy Craft handles corruption—every time you do the evil action in question you make a save, and if you succeed then you're fine. However, making that save gets progressively harder with each time you do an evil act. If you fail the save you take a step down a preset path of darkness, and the saves are reset in terms of difficulty. You could have it so that it with each step along the path the saves become harder much more quickly than the previous step, showing how the what was initially a taste of evil becomes a fall into darkness.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:44 No.6989322
    I'm not a fan of Dark Path being about techniques. I could see some techniques giving corruption (or requiring a certain level of it), but basing the whole thing on them sounds bad. It should be about actions. Leaving teammates to die, killing innocent witnesses, and so on.

    Whether it's easy or hard to "fall" would then depend on the ST, if the world is harsh, nearly everyone will end up a cold hearted bastard. If not, then most people will be able to avoid it altogether, or only get a few points.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)19:50 No.6989386
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    Well, it is primarily about the techniques, but they aren't the only part of it. The Dark Path isn't just a source of power, it's a philosophy.

    "Power no matter the cost".

    The techniques set you down that path, but your actions solidify it. Leading to the other obvious theme of "Power corrupts"
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:53 No.6989425
    How do magical techniques work, fluff wise?
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)19:55 No.6989461
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    Actually, in thinking about it, it could also be possible to use Dark Points to invoke your Merit. In doing so, though, you brand yourself with a permanent Dark Point.

    Even in taping into darkness to invoke your Merit puts you closer to the Dark Path. Evil is easy, good is hard.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)19:57 No.6989479
    theres bad necromancy being lol zombies billions of dem and good necromancy being ghost whisperer medium.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)20:02 No.6989554
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    It's the character's ability to tap into the essence of the world and channel it.

    This is represented by a character's Focus, which measures how much of that energy they start with.

    When characters use a technique, it's a sort of mind over matter thing. They impose their will on their bodies, and anything they can interact with. Controlling the flow of essence allows them to control themselves and others. This involves healing by manipulating the flow of blood and platelets, as well as creating great water dragons by tugging on the essence like a puppet string. When a character uses Focus, they lose that Focus, and it disperses around the area, allowing other characters to draw in that Focus and use it themselves, or keep it from others.

    Focus is one of the core mechanics that's interesting. Of course, without playtesting and powers, there's not much I can do with it.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)20:02 No.6989562

    To expand on that, are you still using Chakra? Cause I was thinking that a system similar to that used in The Wheel of Time would be interesting: you have two "pools" of power throughout the entire world that everyone in the world can access to at least SOME extent (thus you cannot "run out" of magic). Talented individuals (most PCs) exist that can utilize these pools consciously, while most can only access them unknowingly, with some being exceptionally gifted (thinkin' Rock Lee here) at unconsciously drawing from the pools to enhance themselves in some specific field.

    One of the pools appeals to "warm" and "soft" feelings, such as love, selflessness, and happiness. The other feeds off of "cold" and "hard' feelings, like hatred, selfishness, and despair. They are technically of equal strength, but in such a setting as this it is massively easier to access and grow oneself the "dark" pool than it is the "light". Hence, the dark pool is the one with more practical value to most people.
    >> Praetor 12/03/09(Thu)20:05 No.6989601
    Holy fuck this is awesome. Just reading through the archives.

    By the way the crunch is extremely elegant. Seriously. AND I like the way crunch is tied in with the fluff. They seem to be linked. That's pretty rare to see in... hell, in any system.

    The descriptions of attributes are so great, you might want to consider making them one unbroken narrative from start to finish. I.e. the description for Wit would continue the story from the description for Intellect, and so on. One single scene is the whole "tutorial", as it were. Just tossing this out there.

    Keep up the good work.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)20:05 No.6989603

    Disregard the Chakra mention and etc. I wrote this before reading your response.
    >> samefag 12/03/09(Thu)20:06 No.6989630

    P.S. I think my concept might be compatible with yours.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)20:23 No.6989856
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    Running a game at the moment, so I'll be a bit unresponsive.

    It is something like that, but there's only one such pool, and emotion doesn't really weigh much into it.

    I should explain that Focus itself isn't the energy, just how well a character can use it. The energy has a lot of names, from essence, chi, ki, chakra, mana, manna, to just plain energy. Focus represents how well a character can draw on that energy, and how much they can hold onto without concentrating. In a battle, even a person with low Focus can draw in tons of energy. Outside of a battle, though, in times of relative calm, characters can only hold so much.

    Focus is what measures how much they can store, and have ready for when a fight does break out.
    >> No Man 12/03/09(Thu)20:23 No.6989857
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    Did someone say exalted?

    Because I think I heard someone say Exalted.

    I'm sorry, I encourage stunting in every system.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)20:43 No.6990125
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    Stunting is heavily encouraged.

    I don't know why more systems don't have Stunts.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)21:04 No.6990415
    Why do you have to become an npc when you go dark side?
    Just play an evil ninja or what not.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)21:30 No.6990760
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    Well, it's something that's common in a lot of games. Going all the way down the Dark Path becomes incredibly difficult to play as a player character. Your character is no longer able to interact with most people, and he's certifiably insane. He's likely to also have a number of mutations.

    It's like being a Centimani in Promethean. It's hard to interact with normal people when you've got seven arms, you're insane, and you have three eyes in the back of your head.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)21:33 No.6990802
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    That is to say, while it's a viable play option if that's what your group wants, and it's certainly possible to play as a trio of shinobi that fall to the darkness, the general assumption is that you'll want to avoid that, and when it does happen you get NPCed as soon as narratively possible.

    It's like going insane in CoC.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)21:45 No.6990926
    Maybe insanity but you forgot there are disguise Justus seven arms isn't an issue
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)21:53 No.6991019
    are there any 'neutral' sides in this war between the countries of Light and Dark?

    For instance, in the first thread someone started posting some stuff about a mad scientist clan. Poorly written things, but with interesting concepts. I could imagine some kind of 3rd party, perhaps a much weaker country or state either near or even located between the two warring countries that would take advantage of the cold war and start selling things like tech to both sides.
    >> samefag 12/03/09(Thu)21:55 No.6991034
    I think you should have the divide between the two nations be between North and South; the land of light being in the frozen, almost inhospitable tundra of the North.

    Yes, geographically speaking the LOL resembles Russia more than the U.S.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)22:02 No.6991118
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    That was actually just fanfic of some home made clan.

    There would be third parties, though. In fact, the states that make up the Land of Light wouldn't exactly be on good terms with each other. Defeating the Land of Shadow isn't the only trouble that players would have. In fact, that would be the least of their troubles.

    One of the primary things would be keeping from pissing off their neighbors then they're doing a secret mission in someone else's territory. No one trusts anyone, not even their allies. That's why the players trusting each other is all the more important.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:07 No.6991178
    Just imagine it. You're a simple scientist type from some shitty little island somewhere between the Land of Light and the Lands of Darkness, and one day you get hired by the Land of Light for your skills with a scalpel and the molding of flesh to act as a medic.

    And then, suddenly, you're right in the middle of it all, and with the kind of funding you had never even dared imagined was possible on your shitty little island. It would start slow at first. You would do your job with both glee and effiency, your new funding allowing you to understand the human body, the systems inside it, and the natural energies surrounding it like you never have before. Soon your studies gets to the point where you aren't just repairing bodies any more either- your modifying them, making them better. Maybe the man your working on what's to spit acid, or have a tougher skin.

    And then, just as smoothly as it had started, and in a manner that is almost completely unnoticeable, even to you, you start thinking of surgery as less of a medical procedure and more of an art form.

    Things just go down hill from there. Local petty prisoners or other such undesirables start mysteriously go 'missing'. The local graveyards are suddenly besieged by a tidal wave of grave robbings.

    And the next thing you know, you're leading a small horde of lobotomized abominations with knives for fingers on top of a chariot of still screaming flesh, raiding small fishing towns for fresh 'supplies'.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:08 No.6991196

    That sounds like a good addition.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:14 No.6991266

    The ultimate lure of the dark side for all brainy types.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:32 No.6991481
    grimdark deconstructed Naruto is interesting.

    can't get behind the idea of two polar opposite nations, though. There should be neutral groups, peacemakers, those pretending to be neutral, or trying to play one against the other to keep their own safe. Archives talked about a cold war, and those are mostly fought though proxy nations, right?

    curious about forbidden techniques. What about them is so damning?
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:34 No.6991501
    I always imagined the 'dark path' stuff as kind of being like using magic in CoC. You can, but you're ultimately dealing with shit that which man was meant to know and or fuck with, so the consequences for such actions can be quite... devastating.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)22:38 No.6991549
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    It's mostly a Cold War in the sense that there's no open hostilities, it's all fought in the shadows, because anything in the open would start a hot war.

    There are neutral nations, though, and the Land of Light and the Land of Shadow aren't exactly polar opposites.

    The Land of Light is composed of a number of smaller nations, while the Land of Shadow is only comprised of one nation.

    Light's problem is that within the Land of Light, those smaller nations don't get along on anything other than fighting against the Land of Shadow. There are also the other small nations that don't really have anything to do with these two superpowers, but they're mostly not worth talking about.

    I will, however, draw a map some time.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)22:47 No.6991661
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    Oh, and this.

    It's pretty much that. Forbidden techniques are either dangerous or addictive, usually both. Actually, pretty much just both.
    >> Anonymous 12/03/09(Thu)22:50 No.6991703
    The Land of the Heavens and the Underworld. Alright, not really all that great. I wanted to move the titles from sounds too much like "these are the good guys" and "these are the bad guys". Land of light does sound like the kind of folks that would smash your cities and turn their enemies into pillars of salt.

    Anyway, can you up the Feudal Japan feel? Land of Light is not unified but it is all under the rule of their Emperor or whatever you want to call him. Each place in the land would have its own feudal lord and the different domains would have old standing rivalries.

    Can I suggest that the Land of Light and the Land of Shadow are separated by ocean? Like, the Land of Light is Japan and then the Land of Shadow is this seemingly huge and unknown dark continent. Let's say China. The vast fleets of these dark lands constantly assail the Land of Light and have secured a beach head. There's armies of terracotta warriors with the souls of the dead bound to them. The actual forces of the Land of Shadow are always uniform and with great demon faced masks and stuff.

    The job of the ninja is not the job of the samurai. The samurai are the ones who battle the armies of the Land of Shadow. The ninja are all about covert missions deep in enemy territory and rooting out the Dark Path where it takes hold in the land.

    I'd also suggest making that the forces of the land of Darkness are seemingly without number and are only held at bay by the landscape of the Land of Light. Make it an actual viable opinion that the Dark Path could very well be the only means of defeating the assailing hoards.
    >> Shinobu 12/03/09(Thu)23:23 No.6992063
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    Actually, the Land of Light isn't exactly clear cut good. Though the names are stand ins. They'll eventually probably be something like the countries of Harafuda and Jigokuro or something.

    The Land of Shadow isn't separated by an ocean, but it is separated by a large sea.

    There are no Samurai, though, as that would mean open war. Well, there are samurai as the guards of the Daimyo, and things like that, but they don't see as much use now that the Great War is over.

    I wouldn't say that the Dark Path is the only viable way to beat them, but it is the easiest. Of course, power, price, etcetera.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)00:19 No.6992734
    So what's the scope of this? It sounds like your only (or at least primary) is to let people play as Light-land shinobi taking on the shadow-land.

    Eventually turning dark-pathers into NPCs makes it hard to do a game serving the Shadow Land, for whom the shadow path would be par and it's reservation that would be unorthidox.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)00:42 No.6992944
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    Alright, let's go back to the mechanics themselves for a moment here.

    What do you guys think of them at the moment?

    To refresh everything, and keep people from needing to go back to the old threads, the mechanic is that you have red dice and green dice. One adds to your total, and the other subtracts from it.

    Not really sure which of a few ways to do things. Using 2d6 means that you've got a trait from 1 to 5 being added to a Specialty from 1 to 5, and the dice adding in -5 to 5 more.
    With 4d6, you have a the above, only now the swing is -10 to 10. At the moment, I'm liking 4 dice better.

    I think I need to figure out how Focus will come into play, though. Likely as something to be used for abilities, but I'm also thinking the ability to buff up your defenses and attacks.

    Another thing to note is that at the moment, the number you get over on an attack (or the other side gets under on defending) doesn't actually matter, unless except for every third pip.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)00:48 No.6993010
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    That's a bridge I'll have to cross when I come to it. For the time being, I'm focusing on the Land of Light and it's shinobi. Playing the bad guys is the kind of thing that you save for the expansion.

    Solars come before Abyssals, and all that.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)00:52 No.6993066
    -Just how 'bad' is Shadow? Are there atrocities which the Light-side can point to to validate their hostility? How do neutral nations react to Shadow? Does Shadow inspire disdain, fear, or friendship in any other nations, or are their relations with other nations primarily driven by their relationship with Light (i.e, people only shun them because they don't want to draw the anger off the Daimyo)?
    -Speaking of which, DOES the Shadow have any allies or lackies among the "neutral" nations? Do 'puppet-wars' happen as with America vs Russia?
    -Does Shadow still aspire to control the Daimyo, or at this point do they basically want to be left alone to live in their towers and basements wallowing in black magic and metaphysical debasement? And are they of one mind here?
    -Do any of the "light" nations secretly serve or at least deal with shadow? How deep does the intrigue go?
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)01:02 No.6993189
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    >Just how 'bad' is Shadow? Are there atrocities which the Light-side can point to to validate their hostility?
    Well, the Shadow Lord did sort of try to kill the Daimyo. And they use forbidden techniques from the Dark Path, so for the most part their shinobi are all a little insane. Other than that, not much, just a desire to overthrow the Light.
    >How do neutral nations react to Shadow? Does Shadow inspire disdain, fear, or friendship in any other nations, or are their relations with other nations primarily driven by their relationship with Light (i.e, people only shun them because they don't want to draw the anger off the Daimyo)?
    A little of both. Light is bigger, and has a better economy. Shadow is across the sea, and only one nation. They still have trade, but they don't send the
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)01:03 No.6993206
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    >-Speaking of which, DOES the Shadow have any allies or lackies among the "neutral" nations? Do 'puppet-wars' happen as with America vs Russia?
    No, not really. It has a few allies, but they're mostly just people who don't like the Daimyo, and think the Shadow Lord should have been chosen.
    >-Does Shadow still aspire to control the Daimyo, or at this point do they basically want to be left alone to live in their towers and basements wallowing in black magic and metaphysical debasement? And are they of one mind here?
    The Land of Shadow isn't all that great a place. It's rocky, and much less hospitable. But, the Shadow Lord's loyalists can't live in the Land of Light. It's actually another one of the things the Land of Light handles badly. The average person in the Land of Shadow isn't a monster, they're just normal people who've been forced from home.
    >-Do any of the "light" nations secretly serve or at least deal with shadow? How deep does the intrigue go?
    Not really. There are plenty of spies and traitors, though. Of course, at this point, the nations aren't differentiated in the fluff, so it's possible that they might be once we go down to the local level. They might even get real names!
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)01:05 No.6993228
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    If anything, I'd say that the biggest difference between Light and Shadow is that Shadow is smaller, and in a tighter spot, so they're more willing to go the extra mile, and give up their humanities and seek dark power.

    If you want to get right down to it, they're only like that because of the Light.

    If a cat forces a mouse into the corner, it will fight back.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)01:18 No.6993359
    Why did you put a sea between them?

    That seems so prohibitive to the whole "shadow-war" thing. Granted, that's how it was during the real cold war, but that was fought mostly through proxy.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)01:39 No.6993570
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    Because if they were right next to each other, a hot war would be more likely. It's also because for the Land of Light, it means the Land of Shadow is invading, and for the Land of Shadow it means they've been exiled from their rightful home.

    Other than that, there's not a real reason. I just sort of pictured a rough map in my head, and went with that. I do like the idea of a geographic feature making all out war unreasonable.

    It's less likely that the players will be going into the Land of Shadow as it is that they'll be dealing with people from the Land of Shadow who are spies and traitors.
    >> No Man 12/04/09(Fri)01:46 No.6993649

    I keep seeing CoC references. 'strange phenomena' before 'cultists' before 'SEALAN GREAT CTHULHU.'

    I think I told /tg/ about the tale of the man who rolled 01 on his sanity loss for seeing Great Cthulhu. "I thought he'd be a lot bigger..."

    Actually, that's a great idea for an 'okay' bad guy. The most lucid man there. Granted, his body looks like the closing lines of 'The Festival,' but for using Dark so much, he's remarkably lucid.

    Or were you going to go with the effect of using Dark be less like SAN loss and more like increasing Mythos?
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)01:52 No.6993719
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    I only barely understand what you're saying...
    I don't remember what increasing Mythos knowledge does, other than allow you to read ancient texts or something.

    You can be lucid and still be on the Dark Path, but that requires a great deal of will. Remember, this is an addictive power that drives most people insane. The average person can end up an atavistic monster from going down that road.

    Someone who can calmly delve into the Darkness and keep their paranoia and fear and rage in check is a very dangerous adversary.
    That's also likely how the Lord of Shadow is. Either that or completely insane and half-man, driven low by his desires to give his people a better home, their original homes, to make a better life for them like the Daimyo should. That's something that should best be left in rumour.
    >> No Man 12/04/09(Fri)01:59 No.6993783

    So it's better for him to ACT almost totally gone?

    Anyway, what i mean by SAN loss is sanity loss in Call of Cthulhu. You got temporarily insane. As you lose sanity, the easier it is for you to lose more. You can, however gain back sanity by killing monsters, solving puzzles, and mastering a skill: anything that meaningfully demonstrates you have power, that you can impose your will on the world and it is significant.

    Raising the skill % of Cthulhu Mythos PERMANENTLY LOWERS MAXIMUM SANITY.

    The more you know, the less significant you feel, and the less anchored to mundane reality you are, unti-P͕͕̝̬̟͑̿̈́̀ͧ͆h͈̼̦ͫ̑ͫ'̖͎͔̙͇̱̠͎͑͑ͦ̊̏ͯ̌ṉ̖̣̒̉͊ǧ̒̓ͣ̆͒̎
    ̣̎l͓̜̩ͧ͊̔̓̓͒ͯ̓u͈̩͓̿i̱͈͚ͪ̉̌͆ͫ̋̚ ̙̣̥̘̙ͩ̎̒̈̆͋m̜͍̯ͬͦ͒ͅġ̪͙̜̥̗̬͊͑ͯ̂͑ͫ̇l̖̈́̓̅̌w͓͓̝̘͕͖̩̿͂'̔̓
    ̖̼ͭṋ̟̝̭͇̝̪̲̞͐̒̉̑a̹͋̈f͎̞̅̽̉ͬ̒ͬ̃h̘̻̥͕̠̙͇͐ ̖̟͈̈̆ͯͭ̄͌C͚̼͚̫̩̈̂t̗̬̗ͩ̊̈́̾͋̔̇ḧ͈̳̣̘̼́ͬͯ̏u̝̱͚̜̓͂l̝̱̼̥͙̑͂
    ͇̩͎h̝͖̀̇͋̉͗̔̋ǘ̼͓ͦ̔͌͛ ̘͈͈ͣ̃ͩR̯̄͛̓̆̓̍ͭͯͫ'͍͚̫͓̻̼̋͛̐̓l̰̟̺͚̯̪͙͎ͧy͙̦̱̘̜͆̾̔̉̌̈́̎̚
    ̰ẹ͈̍ͦ͌̈h̥̩̭͇̦̹̐̇̇̑͛̇̇ ̤̭͈̩̖̗͚̞ͯͩͬ͐ͫ̅͊̈́w͇̙̜̭̎g̥̞̼͔͇̭͓̍̎͗a̜͕̲̹̱̱͓͓͉ͯ̓hͥ̌̋ͮ̓ͦ
    ͓̰̗̖̦̺ͣl̗̒ͤͭ ̞̝̗̓͗̾̽f̞̳̩̄͑̇̀h̩͈̗͚ͫ̊̇ṱ̺̭̤̖͑ã̞͇̩̯̋ͤ̀̆ͯ͛ͦg͇͇̬̈́̓n̂̾̈́
    >> No Man 12/04/09(Fri)02:00 No.6993795

    Also, in Call of Cthulhu, you investigate strange phenomena, which leads you to cults, and, if you're lucky, sealing away R'lyeh and Cthulhu.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)02:16 No.6993969
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    I knew about SAN, just not what Mythos Skill did.

    It's possible that going down the Dark Path might keep your total sanity from reaching a certain number, but to use an example from WoD, just because you have 1 Morality doesn't mean you'll be full of derangements. It's just HIGHLY likely that you will be.

    Among the things the Dark Path makes easier, insanity is one of them.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)02:19 No.6993991

    Okay, that makes sense.

    Though I personally like the idea of there being a lot of tangental politics that they have to stick their fingers into (for instance, punitive missions against a neutral nation that is considering a treaty with Shadow, or furthering the goals of a troublemaking Shadow-clan just to make life harder for Shadow's rulers).

    If I ran this I would totally have proxy-conflicts- real wars between small nations- which Light and Shadow shinobi try to influence without being drawn too far into.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)02:32 No.6994141
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    Perfectly viable, I'm just trying to keep the focus on the Cold side of things.

    Remember though, the "Land of Light" isn't one self contained nation, it's a lot of smaller countries that operate under one banner.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)02:32 No.6994143
    An idea for jutsus/genjutsus/overall ninja techniques:
    Most techniques should start off "clean", (as in they don't draw you over to the path of darkness with their continued use.) However, this will change during the course of the game.
    Say ninja A is using fireball jutsu to battle an enemy ninja; fights happen, this is a fairly normal occurrance in this world, and ninja A recieves no negative karma or temptations to the path of darkness.
    Now, ninja B on the other hand, he is using that same fireball jutsu to raze a house of innocent villagers to the ground which allows him to escape during the confusion, this should change the jutsu altogether and start to pull him down the path of darkness, however this will apply ONLY to him.
    Then there are jutsus that have already been permanently branded to corrupt a person regardless of what they use it for.
    Take Ameterasu for instance:
    It's a powerful fire style jutsu and under normal circumstances, it'd bear no moral consequence. But because of the sheer amount of twisted shit you have to do to atain it, it comes with that extra bit of taint to shove you further along into the darkness.
    This is assuming we're using the techniques from naruto, you can make up your own for your specific game, but the system can apply to either.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)02:48 No.6994309

    A clan within Shadow is planning a raid for weapons that it plans on using to attempt a coup. Light shinobi are dispatched to watch over them and make sure they succeed, or perhaps even to soften up or sabotage their target. Another team, from another Light nation, appears to stop the raid and the PCs must take them out.

    Later, they may find that the other Light shinobi were really working for the Lord of Shadow, their goal (which happens to be perfectly legitimate and publicly defensible) being to stop the Lord's rival from acquiring said weapons.

    Witness to the conflict survived. Shadow shinobi work to find and protect them, so that they can spread word of the conflict and discredit the Light nations. Your nation will be forced to disavow and eliminate your squad (calling you traitors) unless you can find these witnesses and silence them. . .
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)02:52 No.6994339
    >Say ninja A is using fireball jutsu to battle an enemy ninja; fights happen, this is a fairly normal occurrance in this world, and ninja A recieves no negative karma or temptations to the path of darkness.
    >Now, ninja B on the other hand, he is using that same fireball jutsu to raze a house of innocent villagers to the ground which allows him to escape during the confusion, this should change the jutsu altogether and start to pull him down the path of darkness, however this will apply ONLY to him.

    Sounds like starwars bullshit to me. No thank you.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)02:58 No.6994409
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    Sounds more like Dresden Files to me. Which is a good way to go with things, but that's more in line with a Morality/Sanity thing than Dark Points.

    Of course, the two will likely be heavily related.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)02:59 No.6994425
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    I imagine that a good majority of the game would revolve around doing something completely illegal, discovering the other side is doing something completely illegal, and having to kill them to cover it up, and neither side can call the other on how against the Accords their actions were, because they were going against them as well.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)03:03 No.6994459
    What about that is "starwars"?
    There are a million different ninja flinging bolts of lightning and giant rocks at each other in the world, this does not make the jutsu itself EVIL by any account. It should only do so when the player makes the choice to run around killing everything weaker than himself. I only suggest this because of the dark path ideal that OP is applying to the game setting. I never said that it had to be set in stone, it's just an idea. Feel free to disregard it if you wish.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)03:08 No.6994506

    That's not a "dark magic" system anymore, that's just a plain old alignment system. Having "good tools" and "corrupt tools" is one thing; judging them based on how moral or immoral their actions are when they use the tool is completely different.

    Similarly, saying "this power is addictive and drives you crazy" is one thing, but saying "using this power is the same as burning peasants alive" puts a very different and highly simplistic spin on it.

    Alignment doesn't belong in a game of child ninja-battles and grimdark espionage.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)03:12 No.6994538
    "This power is lightside if your use of it is morally justified, but it becomes darkside if you use it to do something naughty."

    It's not just that you have magic which can be bad or good. It's that you have magic which is capable of intelligently judging PEOPLE'S ACTIONS as bad or good and which 'changes color' accordingly.

    Now, I enjoy alignments in D&D, and if I'm playing a paladin or a necromancer I love me some cosmic judgment, but they simply don't belong in this genre.
    >> Anonymous 12/04/09(Fri)03:18 No.6994600


    What I love about espionage-type games is how much the reality of a situation can grow to be at variance with the official story and public perception, and the complex ways in which that can both constrain and liberate your characters.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)03:28 No.6994715
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    The Boss

    Exactly. There will be a morality system, but it's only tangentially related to the Dark Path.

    Also, any ideas on how this sheet should be set up? I'm working on it at the moment.
    >> Shinobu 12/04/09(Fri)04:32 No.6995418
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    Current character sheet.

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