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Realmreapers

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kbranden
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Background:
The player plays a particular class of immortals know as a RealmReaper. Currently, these classes are Guardian, Mage, Assassin and Forgiver. RealmReapers live in a plane of existence known as the Realm Void which exists in the voided spaces between time and existence. They have the ability to enter any plane of existence at will to ‘reap’ the benefits of past adventures, quests and ‘whatever the author chooses’ to deliver.

Game Design Concept
RealmReapers RPG is a game where players participate in a ‘Choose Your Own adventure’ style of gameplay while seated at table. Each player (RealmReaper) works cooperatively to beat the adventure/quest by participating in a ‘Game Book’ adventure, making choices and partaking in combat which is decided by a strategic play of Ability Cards and Dice Rolls. Players level up gaining more AP and continue into other realms taking with them items they retrieved from other adventures.

Game Essentials

RealmReaper Ability Class Deck: Each player chooses the class of RealmReaper and rolls up a light character sheet of information. Dice rolls are for establishing 4 stats; Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, and Wisdom. Each of these stats have a particular importance to the class of RealmReaper the player chooses. Each class also has 10 ability cards that they can use during any combat encounter. Each ability card comes with an Action Point (AP) cost and each class has an expenditure cap of AP they can use per battle.

Some examples of these abilities:

Guardian

Second Wind (AP Cost 1) – Attack twice during the same turn. Player can choose which position in the combat order they wish to take their second attack.
Eye Gouge (AP Cost 1) – On a successful attack, the enemy cannot attack the next round.
Grapple (AP Cost 1) – A Successful attack allows the Guardian to hold an enemy. Each round the Guardian can elect to keep the hold, but the enemy can make a determination roll to successfully struggle free. All other players get a +5 on their attack roll while the enemy is being held.

Assassin
Create Opening (AP Cost 1) – An attack that on a successful attack, the next player to attack the enemy on that round gets a +5 to attack.
Make it Bleed (AP Cost 2) – On a successful attack, the Assassin does initial damage, then 1d4+dex bonus to the enemy for the remainder of combat.
Stamina Boost (AP Cost 2) – Take 3 abilities from the discard pile and place them on the bottom of your abilities deck.
Maneuver (AP Cost 1) – At the start of the round, the Assassin can play this ability to place his token anywhere in the battle sequence.

Tokens: Tokens represent the combat layout. Each Round of combat begins with an initiative stage which determines an order of attack. The tokens are lined up by initiative and players/enemies are only allowed to attack token adjacent to their own token. The token line does wrap, so the last token can attack the first. Some RealmReaper abilities allow for modifications to the line as in the Assassin’s Maneuver ability above.

Dice: Dice are used to determine things like Roll initial abilities, Combat Order, Attack, and Damage.

Adventure: One player reads the adventure to the other players and they make decisions when they come to them. Think of the digital ‘Game Books’ that are currently available for purchase especially for mobile.

How are these adventures made?

Several 1 to 2 hour adventures are currently being developed and/or tuned. These are currently being used during playtesting. These adventures are developed using the RealmReapers development tool. This is a full featured application that will allow anyone to create an adventure from a short ‘dungeon crawl’ adventure, up to an epic campaign adventure. This development application just doesn’t allow you to simply give the player choices which takes them from Scene A to Scene B, but built around the internal use of variables and decision tracking to allow the developer to create even the greatest of complicated traps and/or puzzles.

How are these adventures going to be made available?

A site is currently in development to allow users to visit, log into an account, and play adventures straight from any device, be it mobile or desktop.

How many adventures are there?

Currently there are 3 working adventures, but the current plan is to eventually allow anyone to download the development tool and create their own adventures and distribute via our Reaper Portal. Possibilities could be endless.

How long does it take to make an adventure?

Using the tool, you can easily create a good running dungeon crawl in one day that would give the players 1-2 hours of gameplay. Complexity of the choices, the amount of choices, and the length of the adventure, all determines how long it will take. But, that’s the cool thing about it. If you want to download a 1 hour crawl by your favorite RealmReaper author to play a quick solo game, you should (or we hope) you would be able to.

So is adventure content going to be only community driven?

No, but we do hope that several known/unknown talented writers come forward and like our concept enough to contribute. We think it would be a great way for writers to get known for their imagination and creativity.

All this is a general overview and much more actually goes into combat, but if interested in more information I will certainly provide it.

Well there you have it.. Thoughts? Too ambitious?
This is a general draft of what we would ‘like’ to do, but I am curious on your thoughts. Right now, the development tool is pretty much done, adventures are being made and play testing in going on. The distribution and community driven aspects are still in 'deep' thought.

Thanks,
Kevin

ElKobold
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Disclaimer: only read the

Disclaimer: only read the first 3 paragraphs.

What's you ambition with this? To play with friends?

kbranden
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Ouch..

Well, I guess that isn't a good sign if you didn't make it past the first 3 paragraphs lol. Most of my answer is detailed further down the original post, but in short, yes to play with friends, but also to definitely make it available to others.

ElKobold
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kbranden wrote:Well, I guess

kbranden wrote:
Well, I guess that isn't a good sign if you didn't make it past the first 3 paragraphs lol. Most of my answer is detailed further down the original post, but in short, yes to play with friends, but also to definitely make it available to others.

Thing is that there were so many "RPG in a box" type of games released recently, that you'll need to have something really unique to stand out.

Check out Gloomhaven, 7th continent and Kingdom Death for example.

Hence was my question regarding what was your ambition. I don't believe there's a market for something like this, but as a "play with friends" - everything works.

Good luck with your project.

Gabe
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First of all, welcome to the

First of all, welcome to the BGDF. I hope you'll find plenty of opportunities to learn here and also opportunities to help others.

There are a TON of fantasy games out there right now, but if you use the "adventure book" in a really cool, interesting way, you might be able to stand out from the rest.

And for future reference, you'll get far better response with shorter, more pointed, posts.

BHFuturist
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Above all work hard and don't give up

It can be very hard to pitch new ideas that have "words" in common with a large genre like Role Playing Games (RPGs).

You might instead tell people what makes the game more unique and boil the game idea down into a synopses that can sit a the top of the rest of the information.

You might also consider splitting the two main aspects of the idea into separate branches, "The Game" branch and the "Content Creation" branch.

These two are very different ideas that will appeal to different people. Only talking about one at a time will help to keep things concise depending on the audience you are speaking to.

For instance:

"The Game" branch:

    RealmReaper is "an evening with friends" "lighthearted party game" for 2-8 players that plays in about two hours. With only a few dice and cards the game is approachable as there are no massive rulebooks to constantly reference or detailed character sheets to update. Each game's adventure is a self-contained module that works to guide all the players to take part in the fun.

"Content Creation" branch:

    The RealmReapers development tool is a easy to use interface for crafting your own adventures and then distribute them via our online "Reaper" Portal. Create custom locations, encounters, and enemies in minuets! Select the path for the adventure from thousands of story elements or even write your own!

The whole idea sounds great on paper (I loved the Choose Your Own adventure books growing up), but most people who search out these types of games will need a very compelling "hook" to make your game stand out. And one cold hard fact is that text heavy story games are not "in fashion" at this time. So, you will have to work all the harder to try and revive that sub-genre in a meaningful way.

I wish you all the best in the design.

-Eamon

kbranden
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Eamon and Gabe.I appreciate

Eamon and Gabe.

I appreciate your guys input. Thanks a ton.

Eamon, I agree with what you are saying and I think you understand the game concept and the two divisions are accurate The idea is probably more closely related to a rework of traditional PnP RPGs then it is a board game. It hopes to give you a feel of that PnP genre, yet attempts to give you more of a tactical challenge to the actual combat. A merger of the two types of game play/genres, but keeping the story and adventure as the focus.

I'm not trying to create another 'Mage Night' (Which I love and finally got the lost legion expansion in today!) or the examples given to me by 'Elkbold'. Which, looking at their kickstarter fundings, it says (to me) that the RPG Card Games are still going strong even with the saturation. Although, I also don't think those games fall similar in lines to my idea.

A little background as well, this idea has been in the works for 3 years now. The initial concept was mobile only (solo player only) with no card strategy option, but rather a a simplified dice rolling mechanism for combat. There was some strategy involved and it also maintained character persistence from adventure to adventure. The problem currently is that mobile development is constantly changing and a project to this size with a few individual lends to loss of motivation quickly as just a side project. I modified the player design and play based on if response dictates, it would be something easier to port to mobile.

I'm not looking at this game in a way to support my future financially, but honestly, I just want to finish an idea that I have for once, regardless if anyone else likes the idea. Through play testing, we love it.. but of course, we developed it, so hard not to..haha. Also, like I said, this is all conceptional, if you have some ideas you think need to be changes, then I'm all ears of course.

Thanks,
Kevin

BHFuturist
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Intresting

Well given you comments, I get the feeling you would like to see this through to the end.

The question you need to ask yourself is; "Do I mind this game evolving into something that might look a little different as long as I still get the same "enjoyment" from the end state.

Just like in game design, you need to define for yourself the "victory conditions" that tell you that you have reached the end. This is in effect setting a "goal". Once you have set that "end state" at least in concept, then you can start asking more about what it will take to get to that end.

As to suggestions, you should not really "think" about suggestions for "how to change things" or "what to change" about the game, until that "end state" is clear in your mind.

This is because, until you do, suggestions can steer you in "new" directions only to leave you "unfulfilled". On the other hand, once you have that end state firm in your mind, you can "correctly" frame the suggestions through the lens of whether or not the suggestions bring you closer or farther from the goal.

Your game (as described) sounds fun, if played in the right group of friends. That being said, it does not sound like something "marketable" to the masses. Not that pen and paper role playing games were ever really for "the masses". So in this sense I mean the current "role playing" masses. There are any number of things that you "could" do to make it fit a wider audience but ...

Set your victory conditions first!

-Eamon

Midnight_Carnival
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hahahah

Aaah, what a baptism of fire you received.
Do not worry, this sort of thing is typical and you shouldn't take it personally.
You will find many different sorts here. For myself I am not as grumpy as some but tend to have very strong opinions (basically that everything should be free and released into public domain, that "true originality" is the best thing, intellectual property laws are evil and unnecessary and that everyone must just starve to death and not sell their games, etc...)

With than in mind, onto your game.
I am interested more in the community driven aspect (the writing bit) than the premise, but I'm sure I could get into that. I support this kind of RPG and would like to see more of them (although naturally I lean towards those which are free as opposed to those which are made to sell) -
Ok, when I joined this forum I had too much time on my hands and nowhere near enough money (as in I went to be hungry several nights a week) - now I have the opposite problem - I'm working but don't have time to do anything else. As a result of this my writing and game design have evaporated. Nevertheless, I'd like to read a few of your adventure things if you will share them (I won't "reap" them, promise) - Because of time constraints I can't promise I'll get back to you soon... or ever, but I may help with some editorial type suggestions and even write one or more (unlikely, but...) If you have people doing this then use them, I have to put work first, but If not I'll happily at least read through them and get back to you sometime on what I thought.

PS: thanks for providing a detailed and in-depth first post, had I not read it I wouldn't have shown interest in this game.
Good luck.

kbranden
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Sorry that I was a couple

Sorry that I was a couple days late in replying, but I'm glad that you interested in the idea. The idea definitely isn't your traditional game design idea and I realize that it is tailored more for the PnP RPG lovers than it would be for a board gamer. It also surprised me that are 'interested more in the community driven aspect (the writing bit)', because that's what I am/was mostly concerned about as far as the idea goes.

I have several ideas with the Reaper Portal when it comes to Authors and submissions. All merely ideas at this point, but one is actually allowing authors to sell their adventures through the portal as well. But, when doing that, you must also consider implementing several other things such as a adventure rating system.

As far as letting the adventures out - Currently the adventures themselves are only playable through the RealmReaper Editor. But, once that is finalized we will be writing a web-based version which will allow you to import the (story/game) created by the editor and play the game via your browser. At that point we may consider getting some outside play testers and authors to help collaborate the idea. I'm not sure when this will be, this is also a side-project from my current job. But, if you don't mind me PM'ng you sometime in the future and check if you are still interested, I will.

Thanks,
Kevin

Midnight_Carnival
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ok

I can't promise I'll reply to PM promptly (I too work) but feel free to get in touch any time.

Perhaps I came across in a way I didn't intend when I introduced myself. I don't strongly believe that ALL games should ALWAYS be absolutely free. I actually designed a P'nP RPG which used cards which I kind of threw out all over the internet with too many disclaimers saying I was releasing it as public domain. My idea was that the game, the rule book and the basic cards would be free but I would encourage artists to create their own card sets which they could sell without giving me a cent and I would encourage writers to write solo adventure books which they could sell without me getting anything from it. I think you can see how there are some parallels which is why I am interested in your game.

PS: mine is fully developed (although of course it could do with refinement) so don't worry that things you or your co-writers come up with will suddenly appear in mine, anyway, even if that was my intention, I can't copyright it.

saluk
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I like the idea and I think

I like the idea and I think there are people looking for these sorts of games. Only, which side you fall on (the board game, the app, or the rpg) is a delicate balance... If there isn't enough board game, it will be hard to get board gamers interested, and the same with the other categories. I enjoy games like Mice and Mystics, Pathfinder Adventure Card game, Descent, etc; which all integrate rpg storytelling and adventure game mechanics into a board game, though without much in the way of dynamic storytelling. I myself am working on such a game with a buddy, which takes a similar approach of integrating a book with a board/card game, but trying to punch up the storytelling a bit more.

And quite a few games are on the horizon this year that are kind of in that veign. So I think there is some market for this kind of content. But actually getting them to pick yours in particular is going to be a challenge. Especially since, from what it sounds like, your game is completely reliant on the app. If there are only a few cards, why have cards at all? Why not just make it a storytelling app like the others, but integrating multiplayer right into the app?

It might be a better way to go, than expecting people to sit around a table to do storytelling - but not just play a "real" rpg game. All you would need to do is add some basic combat mechanics into your app or the web page you are making. Have a screen pop up that says "now player 3, enter your action for this combat", and handle describing the results. It can still be a shared, in-person experience, but doesn't need any tablespace to accomplish it. Kids can play it together on the bus, or you can play it on a road trip or on an airplane.

What are you gaining from treating it like a boardgame?

Just a thought. I really wanted to make a board game, so I am having to pull back from the story a little in my game to actually make the cards matter, while still having more hooks into the storytelling than I've seen in other games. But it's still a board game - you should be able to set up your own scenario and play it without the story.

kbranden
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Hey Saluk

For starters, I want to thank you for the reply. Now, to answer a few of your questions.

Initially, the idea started and was developed as a mobile app much like the game books you can find currently in mobile device stores. What would set us apart from the current genre is the ability for others to create adventures for the device using the development application. For the player, things like character development through one adventure and taking items gained from an adventure to another adventure was really appealing to us. The background concept to a Realmreaper is that the story genre didn't matter, if you wanted to take your blaster pistol you gained from a space adventure later into a western adventure, you could do so. The development tool allows for the writer to basically create any item they wish to allow the player to achieve/receive in their adventure. These items of course are bound by a set of rules to insure they would function within the application and also bounded by level (For instance, you couldn't write a level 1 quest and give a player a persistent amulet that gave you +5 strength and + 5 intelligence, or perhaps a special ability. Most Gamebooks currently on the market (IMO), lack a non-repetitive, strategic means of combat.

Now, with this initial concept above it was really intended to be single player adventures, but we kept development in mind the fact that multiplayer was something we wanted to do eventually. Multiplayer mobile game development is a whole new department as well. If you take any gamebook on a mobile device and add all the additional features needed to facilitate 'multiplayer' capabilities, you have doubled or maybe tripled your game code.

Now for the reasons we are integrating the card game into the idea at this point.

1. Bringing the combat outside the gamebook itself would allow us to develop a good strategy based system which would work better with the defining core of our semi-bounded system. Also, creating a mobile combat system that worked well with our idea took many development turns and none really satisfied us. It just didn't have the feel we were looking for.

2. Multiplayer would be solved away from the mobile application and the writer wouldn't have to tailor his story based on whether or not there are multiple players or not. Writing a 'choose your own adventure story' seems like an easy task, but if your not careful, you can really overwhelm yourself quickly. The more options you give, the better experience and replay-ability the player will get, but it comes with a cost of time (That tree gets huge quick).

With all this said, it doesn't mean that later we couldn't possibly add the 'card game' aspect of the combat and character sheet into a mobile application. In fact, the card game system of combat came into existence when we created cards to simulate a combat system which we intended to develop into the mobile app. But, we had so much fun with it and it started to give us the game feel we were looking for, so we started to migrate in that direction.

I do appreciate your thoughts and you gave me more things to think about, that's why I joined the forum and so far it is being very helpful in my own quest here.

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