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Help me start writing a narrative matrix

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Joined: 09/25/2012

Hey guys,

I'm fixed on creating a narrative game, as I love Tales of Arabian Nights and Agents of Smersh.

The theme I'm going for is space exploration, the recent advent of FTL communication means you and your other explorers can for the first time go into the deep unknown and report back to an inquisitive earth.

I think the board will be set up as per TOAN so multiple nodes, which are either space (where you would draw a space card, with a reaction matrix reference, like the TOAN beg, steal, attack as before), or planets. The planets would be colour coded, and you would draw out of different bags to represent them, so green planets would come from the green bag.

These planet chits would then have a tech level (so 1 would be a barren planet through to 6 being an advanced civilisation)

In the current iteration you would then draw a card based on that level, which would tell you what you had found on the planet, and again refer you to a reaction matrix. Thats what I've come up with so far, and the choice I'm trying to introduce is that the green planets will naturally have higher odds of containing life whereas a red/grey planet may well be a natural source of resources.

How does this sound to people ? After that I think I need to come up with 20 or so cards for each "tech level" and then the possible outcome will be different depending on the planet type as well as the players choice per the reaction matrix. Skills from TOAN would be replaced with ship upgrades and crew skills.

stevebarkeruk's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Sounds good to me!

You could simplify the card draws a little by making them like "terrain" cards in TOTAN so they have a paragraph reference on them for each tech level rather than than 6 different decks. A card could be "Hostile lifeform" with a different number for each tech type which could mean anything from an amoeba to a pirate.

Have you seen Star Trek: The Adventure Game? It was made by the same company at the same time as the original TOTAN and has a system of pulling planets out of a bag; each planet has a name and you then roll a die (like the +/- die in TOTAN) to determine which of three versions of that planet encounter you experience.

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