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Karma Question?

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Krossus's picture
Joined: 01/15/2010

I'm designing a RPG-Strategy board game and was needing some input.

Currently the game allows 2-5 players. Each player represents either a Hero/Villain that is in the service of one of five Demi-Gods he/she can choose from in the beginning. Throughout the game a player has a chance to gain positive or negative karma depending on his/her actions and choices.

I have the "Karma" scale set from 5 (Highest) to -5 (Lowest) and 0 being neutral (Beginning Karma). Karma eventually unlocks different paths, abilities, and connections w/ various Factions and Kingdoms. With this said, I was going to have a "Quick Reference" chart embedded on the main board (side) w/ the various factions listed.

Should I use cut-out (paper stock), circular discs to represent the player's Demi-God (Kingdom) on the various Hostile, Neutral, and Friendly slots? Or does anyone else have a better idea. The whole idea is to give the players a quick glance on their standing w/ different factions or even with another player's kingdom.

Thoughts and suggestions more than welcome.

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010
On Karma

Are you certain that "karma" is the word you should use? If you are trying an Alignment or Reputation kind of skill, well Karma is not the word you are looking for. Karma tends to balance, while those tend to maximize.

From what I'm picturing in my mind, your Karma runs through a continuum from -5 to 5, so a circular representation sounds less adecuate than a line. But that depends on the Demi-Gods you have.

For a 3 gods example, you could have a Neutral-Balance-Preserver elven god in the middle, an Order-Purity-Honor human god to the left, and a Chaos-Battle-Daredevil orcish god to the right. Your allegiance with a certain god's minions could increase as you aproach them and could decrease as you pass them by. So a player with his token in the god position (say #2) or 1 step away will be treated as an allie, or as friendly 2 or 3 steps away, neutral 4 or 5 steps away or as enemy 6 steps and beyond. If its like I figure, I would definetly (¡?) use a line continuum and place your gods in the -4, -2, 0, +2 & +4 positions, use the other positions for the names of the guilds, cults or whatever other affiliations you have included in the history.

Another thing. If the players choose a god right from the start, maybe it's a better idea if they don't all just start at 0.

In terms of game pieces, five different color tokens (one per player) and an 11 squares line on the side of the board doesn't seem that much to ask for the design. I never endorse sub-boards by definition.

Keep thinking!

Pastor Mora

Joined: 01/26/2009
If it actually IS karma...

If it's KARMA,

when it's LOW (-5 to -1) does it raise the chance that:
1) certain bad occurrences will happen to you, or good occurrences WON'T happen to you (the king is under siege, and has to decide which one of 3 armies he will ally himself with and which one he will attack once he is allied - he will NOT ally himself with your army if your karma is too low, and subsequently WILL attack your army once he allies against you),
2) hostility will target you out of a group (as in, a volley of arrows is fired at your group, and low-karma players get hit, while everyone else has to ROLL to see whether they get hit, if at all),
3) hostility directed solely toward you is more aggressive (in a barfight, you MIGHT have been able to talk your way out of the fight, but since your karma is so low, the opposing character becomes adamant about fighting you),
4) luck ceases to be a factor (if you might throw your grappling hook to catch a tree when falling, you DEFINITELY miss, since karma says you are owed!),
5) your abilities are hindered when they are used (you miss detecting someone/something, your aim is off, you are unable to dodge when you need to, etc... all because of a minus to your die rolls due to a low karma value),

OR, the opposite of the above scenarios with good karma (or subtle layers therein with a "karma roll" on some scale which determines the direction of favor toward or away from that character in a given situation if karma does not equal "0")

Also, what happens with karma's PAYBACK?

If karma affects them (thereby balancing whatever they did to receive good or bad karma), it should move their score toward "0".

I would make the scale from -10 to 10, to discourage players from going too much against their GOD (or DEMIGOD) and to allow for many subtle layers in between.

And, if it really IS karma, then evil acts should be rewarded with POSITIVE karma from an evil god or demigod, and vice-versa...

Without knowing how far in detail karma affects the gameplay, it is hard to determine how to display this effect efficiently and in a user-friendly way for players to see. Also, do ALL players know ALL other players' karma values?

Krossus's picture
Joined: 01/15/2010

Perhaps "Karma" was the wrong term. I should have coined it "Fame" or perhaps "Reputation."

Basically what happens is when a player performs a negative deed, or a nefarious crime like slaughtering a village of innocent people, he/she would receive negative points and vice versa for doing good.

Players will have certain options open up to them considering their "Fame/Infamy" level. These options could range between unique quests, new units, tribute, etc. The mechanic is basically a way for a player to gauge his/her "Hero/Villains" realm perception.

Although at the end of each "Fame/Infamy" spectrum, there will be advantages/disadvantages to each. More detail will come later, but for now I'm just seeing what most think about the generalized view of having this mechanic.

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