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Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:47 pm
by kylesgames
With my Hammercalled ruleset I'm currently going through and making a couple little games, then I'm making a version 2 of the Rules Reference that's entirely modular.

We're still going to have core modules, but the idea is that you can take those core modules, any additional modules you want (or alternate core modules if there are ones you don't like),

My question is: What would you like to see in such a system?

I've already got a few ideas of what it needs, but I'm sure someone's already done this once.

Conventions for how to designate modules:

HCA-## (Hammercalled Core Addon): Represents things that I use in the Hammercalled setting, but which are dependent on other systems and don't typically have dependencies of their own.
HCM-## (Hammercalled Core Module): Represents things that I use as a baseline and serve as dependencies.
HCM-##x: Represents alternatives to published core modules. x can be any letter.

Versioning is independent of module number/designation.

Not sure if this works, but I've still got time to standardize.


Hammercalled Rules Reference: ... e.odt?dl=0

Example Rules Reference 2.0 Module: ... al-example

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:39 am
by Onix
Maybe you could give some examples of what you're thinking of for modules so we could have an idea of the scope you're imagining?

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:30 pm
by kylesgames
It's been so long that I've almost lost my notes, but here's a quick example:


Basically, the idea in this is that certain elements of this would be their own self-contained modules. For instance, the Characters module would be a core module, and then you'd have things like Specializations and Talents within it. Vehicles are their own module, as are Gear, and then these are hooked into by other systems.

Eventually you'd be able to graph out dependencies and the like.

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:37 am
by Onix
My biggest hang up with attempts at modular systems is that they have so many dependancies that they end up being not very modular. You usually end up tied to whatever data points you used in the character creation system. There are a few mechanisms that hang out on the periphery that can be easily swapped out, but they usually end up being just optional.

I'd be interested if a system was truly modular, where I could swap out each component and no individual module version was required to make things fit together. Even then I'd be mostly interested from a game structure point of view.

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:09 pm
by kylesgames
Yeah. The big thing that I'm hoping to work for is a character-driven core that's simple enough to be expanded out.

Basically, I'm taking the AR-15 approach to design; you can't just leave out pieces, but you have a choice about what pieces you want to have.

For instance, you need a core die mechanic, but you can swap one out really easily (right now we've got a percentile system, but you could move over to a dice pool easily by taking final ratings and either using a step system and sum like Earthdawn or a pool system that gives dice for every X points you have on a roll), complete with rules for exceptional successes.

Moving to something like a card is difficult bordering on impossible, at least unless you just assign them numerical values (and then why bother?) or come up with a convoluted system.

However, this also goes for things like combat. Even my military-focused game in the system uses a streamlined combat system, but you could layer in one that has grid-based highly restrictive play. Of course, you shouldn't unless you're really attached to other existing content, because you're going to have to redo a lot of individual elements, but since those are dependent on individual combat systems anyway it's largely moot.

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:31 pm
by kylesgames
Also, I just remembered this from a few years ago: ... BRWga?dl=0

As far as I remember, this was an attempt to make a modular system based on a d20 back in 2012. I think I talked about it at length here, but I really don't remember much else.

College, man. Crazy times.

Some obvious reflections:

Modular has to mean able to work with feasible alternatives, not just leaving stuff out.
Modular isn't worth it if you give a subpar experience to everyone.
Apparently I was a fan of 4" by 3.33" stickers, for some damn-fool reason.
Ironically, the easy part to change of pretty much everything would've been the core die mechanic, and I was really committed to a d20 for some reason.

Re: Modular Games Wishlist

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:01 pm
by Onix
So if you think it's something that will be cool, go for it. I just can't really imagine a lot of variation that would be worth all the extra effort. You'd essentially have to come up with a system you like, and then make a number of counterfactuals to it. I doubt I would be able to do that.