Blog Post One - Reworking Game Design Theory for Dystopia Rising: Evolved

Welcome to the first in a number of posts over the coming year relating to theories, potential design choices, and thought processes behind potential changes in existing LARP mechanical design.

First of all, this is all theory design conversation. None of this is set in stone, and if you find yourself getting anxious or angry about potential changes in mechanical design in your hobby I suggest not reading it. If you get angry, treat the internet like a bathroom stall wall, or really want to just be super negative this isn't really the place for you.

As a follow-up to the anxious aspect, if feel like responding to the thread, feel free to. However if you do a very long response your response may be better suited as feedback to your Director. As a blog, reading a post that requires multiple scrolls of my track wheel just isn't going to happen.

I want to talk a little bit about one of the largest changes proposed for DR 3.0, which is body and mind shifts.  As you may have seen in the initial announcement, our current proposal is to have both body and mind have an exponentially growing cost until 5 XP per point. This means the first 10 you buy costs 1 each, the second 10 you buy costs 2 each, the third 10 you buy costs 3 each, the fourth 10 you buy costs 4 each, and from that point forward all mind and body costs 5 each.

PDF Attached of expanded base body and mind charts combined with damage squash to show comparable number of uses / strikes taken. 

PDF Attached of expanded base body and mind charts combined with damage squash to show comparable number of uses / strikes taken. 

With this is also a proposed flattening of both damage and mind point costs for skills to adjust to the lower levels, and to provide standardized damages and expenses to simplify player book keeping in the field. This does include a rework of armor values that will shift from 1-100 to 10,20,30,40, and 50 points of armor at flat levels. This does include a rework of weapon damage to have weapon damage do a scaled range of 1,2,5,10, and spike 20 damage.  This would effectively make the new slaughter 20 points of damage, to use casual tones.

Mind points is a little bit more of a case by case shift, where crafting and resource production skills will have slightly higher cost but produce higher valued resources. This will cut down on the numbers of trips back and forth, will increase the potency and strength of brew and meal uses, while cutting down on the sheer volume of prop and production materials needed. Improving equipment will be on tiers instead of an analogue, so players can make more out of their crafting role-play instead of seeing it as a detriment or time sink that they “need to get through over and over”.

With the mind point shift, concentration skills would shift from the 20-mind point cost down to a theorized 10 mind point cost while secondary concentrations (based on the framework of advanced professions with new additions and revisions) would shift to a 10-mind point cost. While reducing the massive increase at the multiple hundred XP mark, it still allows progress and growth to allow for "massive undying survivor" builds while increasing the ability for new players to use their new character sheets and become involved. 

This will also result in reworking on certain mechanics (like Baywalker & Pureblood flaws) since maximum numbers are so much lower. Being struck with 10 Poison to a Baywalker ends up being the same as being hit with the new equivalent of a slaughter (which is a bit much). This will also require a rebalance adjustment of starting mind and body totals since having less than average mind and body is now more of a detriment for a Strain than it was in the past. 

This design change will also make firearms deadlier in the wasteland. With proposed weapon reworks your ability to unload a stream of 10 damage hits from range becomes much more powerful than it once was.

Later I’ll talk about either skill consolidations or the idea behind having three mechanically identical Strain variants within the Strains.