Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Problem With Complexity

So okay: I've gone through three (or four if you count Just Plain Strength) abilities and I need to try 'writing them up' for the book. Here's what a sample of layout looks like:

This is the stat-block for Dense Physique (Dense). As you can see there is a lot of information to covey and I'm trying to figure out the best way to convey it. Here's what I need to communicate.

  1. Name and Cost Schedule (Dense Physique [4 'or' 8 AP]. 
  2. Type (the TAG). Extreme means it's okay for mutants or super heroes or whatever but not good if you are staying 'strictly' to natural things.
  3. Description: Here I put in a very vital piece of data--the -2 to AGI Bonus and Initiative. I show it with a bullet point and hope people will understand it.
  4. Buying the Armed vs. the Unarmed schedule. If the character is going to commonly carry a bladed weapon or do PEN damage with their STR then they need to buy the Armed Schedule. I show that in the Unarmed/Armed designator.
  5. LEVEL 1 vs. L+. Remember that the first level of attack abilities gets you comparatively more than each level thereafter. So that means that if you are buying Base Damage Enhancers (of which Dense Physique is certainly one: it improves STR and BLD) then you can only have one L1 ability on the list. I have delineated the purchasing of L1 from L+ with both the square L1 Icon and the purple-ish color.
  6. One-Time-Buy. I have decided that "half levels" round up so if you spent 12 AP on Dense you will get the L1 8 AP level and the 4 AP L+ Level. This is good for you--but you can't then go and buy another L+ 4 AP level. If you spend 16 AP on Dense you have to buy the full 8 AP level. So I have the hexagon 1x designator.
  7. Multiple L+ Buys Allowed: That's where the circular M(ultiple) icon comes in. You can have more than one of these.
  8. Adds to Base Damage and A-Cost. The A-Cost is marked with a '+' sign telling the reader that any level of this Trait will add to the Base Damage and the A-Cost of their Base Damage in a way that, for example, buying "Optical Blasts" would not.
So here's the question: is this clear?

Also Note: I have opted for the 'standard' 2-column format for the book. It'll help save space and page count. However, it means that (a) the type-face has to be somewhat smaller than I'd like and (b) I can't just get columns for -2 AGI Bonus and -2 Initiative into the stats-list as I'd prefer.

I tried it. 

Several times.


No comments:

Post a Comment