Arcanum as a PnP RPG - Possible?

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Forum' started by Wolfsbane, Jan 15, 2012.

Remove all ads!
Support Terra-Arcanum:

GOG.com

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!
  1. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    I happen to think it is, yes.

    And before you state the obvious - yes, I know perfectly well that you can use the lore of Arcanum and apply it to another existing system - but that's not what I want to do. I want to use Arcanums system in the PnP game.

    I would like to write and "publish" this system/game (as in distribute it for free), but the problem is that I know little and less about the system that Arcanum uses. If someone (like Muro) would join me and explain how certain mechanics work, I believe I could piece this together into a nice little game that people would want to play. The setting in Arcanum is fantastic and still quite unique in spite of the multitude of other steampunk-fantasy worlds out there. It's a shame it is limited to computers only.

    My goal with this is a PDF, or something in the neighbourhood of it, with all the necessary information to play in Arcanum with as much of the original system as possible.

    If you are interested in doing this with me, please write to me in this thread and tell me how you could help. If you think this is a silly idea or just feel like writing unhelpful stuff, know that I'll delete your posts before long, should you decide to spoil my fun.

    Let's get to it.
     
  2. Muro

    Muro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,175
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Should probably be said I have exactly zero experience with PnP RPGs.

    What kind of mechanics about which you know little would you like to have explained?
     
  3. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    I don't know if I can recall all of them at once, but I'll try to make the list as detailed as possible:

    - Skill success rate, how does it work? Has every lock and every NPC a fixed requirement before it yeilds to the player or is there a percentage which increases/decreases with the players skill?
    - How exactly does the heal rate function? How often does your fatigue heal?
    - What is the effect of magical and technological aptitude more precisely?
    - How does character speed, weapon speed and action points function in combat, more precisely?
    - The damage of spells, how does this work?
    - Are there "saving throws" against magic? If so, how do they work?
    - What is the function of Armor Class?

    The list could grow quite extensive. Basically, I want to use as much as possible of the skill system, combat system, magic system, tech system, system system ( :p ) and so forth, so that I can convert Arcanum into a PnP RPG. I would also like to see the stats of most monsters and common NPCs (think Tarant Guard, Molochean Hand Assassin, Human Commoner 1A, etc) so that I can put together a beastiary for the game.

    The one thing I WILL change is character progress. I hate leveling systems where you have to collect experience through combat. I will make it so that you earn character points for completing missions or especially difficult challanges.

    I can not do this by myself though. I can get some help from IRL friends, but I would gladly welcome the help of some serious fans of Arcanum who could help me with writing and balancing and stuff.
     
  4. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
  5. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    We must begin with learning the system, convert any aspects of it that needs converting (like character progress), and putting this on paper. Once this is done, we could use the Arcanum manual and borrow/rewrite some or much of its material (that we need to use). After that, it's simply the matter of putting together a couple of documents regarding the history and geography of Arcanum (not all of it, of course - just important places and events). Fleshing this out with fanart would be nice.

    I want gamers to be able to play the game with this one PDF in hand (dices excluded :p ). I want it to look and feel good. It has to be worthy of Arcanum. This is also why I need native english writers - I can write and read english well enough but I believe it takes someone who's really fluent to pull something like this.

    Hows that?
     
  6. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    I would lend a hand, but I would probably just be unreliable so I think it's best I don't! Still if you really needed help I would gladly write small parts of flavour text for the races or for regions - I'm sure anything not too time consuming or without too much responsibility I could stick with. As for saying that you feel like you need native english writers, I think that many peoples' english here when it's their second language is impeccable so I'm not sure that's necessary. Maybe a native english editor in case someone used an idiom that might be out of place, but apart from that I have full confidence anyone around here would be able to write decriptive english competently.

    Also about the specific game mechanics, maybe a PM to Drog might help. If anyone knows the mechanics it would be him, and even though he doesn't always seem to like Arcanum nowadays if he released the extra animations pack and updated his website he probably still has a fleeting interest in the game.
     
  7. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Likes Received:
    54
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    So half finished?
     
  8. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    English-speaking, Arcanum-loving, PnP-playing nerd, first-class, reporting for duty, sir.
     
  9. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Then I will contact Drog about system details.

    Ytzk or TheDavischanger, I would like one of you to become the fictional superviser of this project. Get hold of the manual, borrow and rewrite as much as you think is necessary from it, and put all other applicants to work. While the system will be the most boring part to write, the fiction will be the most extensive, so we need a couple of people on that.

    I will write down the system and handle the fanart (I have the privilege of having studied at a school for art for 2 years among other very talanted artists - If I'm not up to the task of doing this then they most certainly will be).

    When we have completed our seperate goals we will try to fuse this together. We can discuss this via PM or mail or whatever, but we must remember to keep record of the results of those conversations here.

    @Zanza: Touché!
     
  10. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    The Arcanum manual is sitting on my desk at the moment. I've been skimming it a great deal lately as my computer is bogged down in virus scans.

    Your English is more than passable; I would have pegged you as a native English speaker! I think Jojobobo's suggestion of using a fluent editor would be sufficient.
    Speaking of that guy:
    My dedication to the task is only a step up from Jojobobo's. If I can commit four hours per week to this, would that be adequate? I'll get cracking on plagiarizing the manual this weekend.

    I think Drog Black Tooth has mentioned game-modifying tutorials. I'll bet we can use these to learn how to unpack the game data to see how the mechanics interact.

    Do you have access to PDF-generating software?

    ytzk, how would you prefer to apply yourself?
     
  11. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Four hours a week sounds good to me. I'm working part-time/full-time at the moment, so I can't sit and work with this all day. You can participate as much as you want to, but if you say that you'll do something then I'm counting on you to actually do it.

    I am currently not in possession of such software, but I think we should be able to get hold of something in the time it will take us to write down everything.
     
  12. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    I may have access to that software. I'll investigate and let you know.
     
  13. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    I guess I could put myself in charge of digging through the libraries of Tarant and Tulla as well as any other in-game book I can find...?

    I don't have a manual nor a pdf program and I can't commit n hours/week yet either, sorry.
     
  14. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Wolfsbane, as open as Arcanum is, it does not allow for many actions for which tabletop RPGs have rules. This occurred to me as I was investigating the rules for dragging opponents in Pathfinder. How would you like to handle these rules? We could fall back on OGL for inspiration or direction.
     
  15. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Likes Received:
    54
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    What do you need done in the Tarantian library?
     
  16. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Likes Received:
    27
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Transcribe everything, starting with 'The Soot of the Gods" and working your way down through general Arcanum lore.

    I'll do the same in Tulla, (hopefully eventually) starting with "A Response to The Soot of the Gods."

    yesnomaybe?
     
  17. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Likes Received:
    54
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Gosh that is a lot. I'll let you know if I get bored enough during the week.
     
  18. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    We shall have to look at the current system first, and then edit and add whatever we feel needs editing or adding. A solution in line with the feel of the current system would be preferable.
     
  19. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    So, I've tested Arcanums system for some time and I've got to tell you - we might need to mod it if it's going to be good. It's possible to play it as it is but quite a few things get tedious very quickly, namely combat.

    I have an adaption in mind that will capture and (imo) enhance most of the current systems elements. It is not finished yet but I will post it as soon as it is testable.

    I have also had some progress with fanart. I have been in contact with an artist who just so happens to be a former classmate of mine and he's been responded posetively to helping us out, probably for free.

    Have any of you been making any progress?
     
  20. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,838
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Nope! My computer has been on the fritz for the better part of two weeks!
     
Our Host!