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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Badass Kung-Fu Demigods: Development Journal pt 2

Euugh, last week and a half I've spent battling a nasty cold. Finally starting to fade so I'll try and resume my lost momentum.

Back to Badass Kung-Fu Demigods.

Part 2: The Basics

Part of the reason I think this game has come together so quickly is that most of the basic concepts come directly from my Id. I started with just the basic concept of "player-controlled scaling power level, ramping up to the ridiculous." and after that I basically just decided to make every decision based purely on things I enjoyed from other games. Not necessarily the best or most coherent decision...just the one that I personally enjoyed. And as a result everything came together beautifully.

For comparison, Battle Royale was created mostly because I saw it as a good way to fill a niche that might appeal to people. I wanted a PDQ game, but I also kind of wanted to make a good first impression with what I planned on being my first "professional" game effort. I saw martial arts as a niche that wasn't being too thoroughly filled and I felt fit well with the PDQ system. I wasn't even a massive fan of martial arts media at the time (although in the process of making Battle Royale I have since become one). And while I still think that the final result is a good job it took a hell of a long time to get there as I didn't really have a clear vision when I started things.

So, back to BAKFDG. What kind of decisions am I talking about. Well, here are the basics:

  • First and foremost I wanted to use all of my dice. As a person who started with D&D and has since become a big fan of Savage Worlds I have a rather large collection of polyhedrals. While there are definitely mono-dice game I enjoy (such as PDQ and FATE), I always feel a little bad about all those other colorful dice sitting unused in my dice box. So I decided that I definitely wanted multi-dice and since I quite liked Savage World's dice-based abilities I decided to use that concept as a basis for my game. 
  • Second, I wanted exploding dice. My first experience with exploding dice came from the Storyteller system, but it was Savage Worlds that really made me fall in love with them. I just plain like them. My wife really likes them too and whenever we play a system where the dice don't explode she expresses disappointment that she doesn't get to roll again. I don't want to disappoint my wife, so exploding dice were definitely in. 
  • Thirdly, I like the DIY philosophy of PDQ, FATE and Unknown Armies where abilities are created by players for players and not restricted to a set list of specific, often bland, traits. So throw those in on top. 
  • Fourth, I wanted to be able to play Exalted with it. I don't talk about Exalted too much here (other than showing off my clunky-ass PDQ conversion), but it is kind of my gaming white whale. I was a big fan of the first edition but, like many many others, I got frustrated with the limitations of the system. 2nd edition compounded the problem with an even more insane combat system and a few questionable setting decisions. The third edition seems to have doubled down on "complex combat system" and the setting has (for me) gone off the rails by doubling the number of different Exalted "flavors". So, while I've always wanted to play Exalted I've never found a system that met the right level of "crunch vs fun" while still scratching a very specific itch Exalted has left me with. So a very big goal with BAKFDG is to create my own personal Exalted "emulator". 
Those goals already provided me with the very bare-bones of a system and it turned out that in the process of adding a bit of meat on I realized that the system was (with a few tweaks) surprisingly workable and a lot of fun.

I didn't feel like the whole thing needed much of a "native" setting (especially since I was probably going to be using it personally mainly for playing existing settings like Exalted and Scion), so I just decided to fiddle with the system until I got something that worked out for me.

That's all for now (still recovering from the cold) but next time I'll talk a bit more about the system itself. 

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