Mechanic Sketch – The Limit Break

Posted: September 9, 2011 by Guy in Design, Rough, The Tribal Game

Just came up with a small idea for a limit break mechanic, and then expanded it some, and decided to jot it down before forgetting.

I began thinking of “thematic batteries” while also thinking of the manga Vagabond and the long long fight contained therein, and since I’m also thinking of Go again these days the idea of the River mechanic from Weapons of the Gods also popped into my mind, which gave birth to all of this, which I think could and should be slotted into my Tribal Game, should I pursue it (I should, but it’s really about the would).
(Much of it came as generic, but tying it to keys made it neater. I think it’s pretty easy to see how they can be divorced again – just change the conditions).

Mechanic is for a “Roll a bunch of dice, use highest”, or “Highest makes a big difference” system.

When a condition set up by the Key appears, the player can (must?) take the highest die they roll and place it in the magazine. The other dice get a minus (either a static minus 1/2… depends on the die size, or more likely, an increasing – -1 for the first die you add, -2 the second time you add a die…). You can only add one die per roll.

Magazine size I think should be limited at ~5, thinking of a system using D10s, and especially when coupled with the progressive minus. If the minus grows more slowly, (-1 for the first 3, -2 for dice 4-6, etc.), then it could go longer.

Once the Magazine completely fills up, it starts discharging, perhaps one could “hold it in” till a big opportunity comes along, but once you begin discharging, you must keep going: You either don’t roll the dice at all, or you add the dice from the magazine to your normal rolls – you go in LIFO order – Last In, First Out. One die per roll, plus a bonus for its position (as above, either you get a +1 for the first, +2 for the second… or +1 for 1-3, +2 for 4-6…).

Once you finish discharging the magazine, you would get an “Advancement” in The Shadow of Yesterday terms, or some other change should be undergone by the character.
Considering the penalty for “holding it in”, so as your Limit Break fills up you either get a certain benefit or limitation.
Considering the option of discharging the magazine before it completely fills up – makes it more tactical, less thematic – inclined not to. But listing possible permutations.

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