Monday, March 14, 2022

A Grab Bag of Gaming and Not Gaming Thoughts

I just feel like posting some randomness. In no particular order... (although by numbering the list, I impose order upon it. Darn you numbers and your lawful neutrality).

1. I started week four of radiation treatments today. I am actually feeling stronger and have less discomfort today than I did a week ago. I have been diligent in things like my diet, water intake, physical therapy and light exercise, and my overall health is pretty good considering that they have been pointing lasers at my neck for almost a month now. 

2. I was thinking it might be a good exercise to try to write a poem a day for a year. I don't know that today is a good day to start that (March 14 seems pretty random), but April is National Poetry Month, and April 1 is my final day of radiation; I may not feel like writing a poem at that point, but that might be all the more reason to actually do it on that day. April 1 is the start of the next part of my life, so it all seems appropriate.

3. I have really enjoyed playing Resolute for a number of reasons, but the fact remains that it is holding up very well under relatively intense scrutiny. It does everything I need it to do, and I'm starting to think about how it could also do everything I might WANT it to do. I still don't know how much is actually baked into the rules proper, and how much is me intuitively knowing what I want the rules to do, and then allowing that to happen. I assume that it is somewhere between, but I hope that it is closer to the rules providing the framework and less about me making stuff up on the fly - but making stuff up on the fly is integral to it.

I was thinking this morning (I have been doing a lot of thinking today) that I could emulate the Odyssey pretty well with this game; for the most part, the people around Odysseus have very little impact on his efforts. I would think that having followers with you might give you a small bonus (maybe +1) to your Attack and Focus ratings, but would significantly upgrade your Resolve. Mechanically, it might look like this:

Followers of Odysseus. As long as you have at least one follower with you, receive +1 to Attack and Focus; for every group of up to 5 followers, add +1 to your Resolve. Track how many followers remain; every time you reach a threshold in increments of 5 followers, lose -1 Resolve. Your personal Resolve is not affected until all of your allies have fallen. For example, if you have 17 followers, receive +4 to Resolve (1-5 is +1, 6-10 is +2, 11-15 is +3, 16-20 is +4); When you drop to 15 followers, lose 1 Resolve; when you drop to 10 followers, lose 2 Resolve, etc. Attacks against you will strike your followers first; each point of damage kills one follower. If you have your noble son Telemachus with you, receive an additional +1 to Resolve; Telemachus will not fall until you reach Resolve 0, and he is subject to the same rules for Resolve 0 as you are, with the same outcomes. 

Yes, if you lead an army of 100 troops into the lair of a dragon, you have +20 to Resolve for that fight; the dragon however, will take out probably 2d6 of your followers with each breath weapon, and will take out 2-5 per round by any other attack, so it will still cut through your forces relatively quick. I'd have to play test this, but it seems like it would be fun.

This would then allow you to trigger henchmen effects. You could walk around with a healer to binds your wounds, a shield bearer to blocks attacks for you... any number of things are possible. These could also trigger in different ways; here are some examples:

Shield Bearer (costs 10 coins per day) Your shield bearer grants you unbreakable advantage with one Defend check each round; your shield bearer grants +1 to Resolve, and will not fall until you drop from Resolve 2 to Resolve 1.

Sage (costs 10 coins per day). Your sage grants you unbreakable advantage with up to three Focus checks each turn. Your Sage can also cast one spell per turn, using your Focus rating +1 to act. Your sage grants +1 to Resolve, and will not fall until you drop from Resolve 4 to Resolve 3.  

4. If numbers are lawful neutral (and they definitely are), then math is, too. Hmmm. What about Science? English? Social Studies? Lunch is chaotic evil. I think that Physical Education would be chaotic neutral, while English is chaotic good; science seems like it would also be Lawful, but I cannot decide if it is Lawful Evil or Lawful Good. Or maybe Science is completely neutral? Social Studies is probably Neutral Evil, since history itself is largely a story of evil with chaos pretending it's law. Let's think/pair/share this. Think for a minute, then share with a partner, and then tell the class what you think about this alignment system.

Or don't. As my students always want to know, this does not count towards your grade.


  1. First of all, it's great to hear that you are holding up well! Hopefully, you'll be out of the laser-dome with good results soon! Second, the "Followers" idea sounds like a great fit for "Resolute." It keeps things fast and simple, allows the followers to make a difference, but keeps the focus on the one Hero, which a solo game should do! Nice!

    1. Thanks, Max. My doctors are very happy with how I'm holding up so far... two weeks and two days left. :)

      I do like how Resolute has to fundamentally alter how I view some fundamental concepts. I'm leveraging my reading of the Odyssey here as much as I am anything I've done with game design before.

    2. 1. You got this! Be strong and courageous!

      2. A poem a day is a bold move Dr. D! As for your start date, it sounds good, but remember it is April Fools. I'm partial to St. Patrick's Day though.

      3. I can really see the card game roots in this when you talk about followers of Odysseus. I'd still be interested to see how the mechanics would work for a card game.

      4. My take on a few alignments...

      English: Neutral to Neutral good.
      English Grammer: Lawful Evil.
      Study Hall: Chaotic Neutral.
      Detention: Lawful Neutral. (But the in the Gaol, the Jailers...I mean teachers... might not be)

      Is a Hall Pass really dimension door or something else?

    3. Thanks! I cannot disagree with your alignments, although I think that English is Chaotic Good - it's such a mess, but it's a lovely little mess of a language. For every rule, there are a hundred exceptions to that rule. Study hall is completely chaotic neutral. And I do think that there is some potential of Resolute as a card game, but I'm not sure where to go yet... although the idea of making it solitaire definitely opens up more possibilities. I want there to be meaningful choices as you play, and cards can be pretty random. You'd need to have options as you go forward. Maybe drawing from multiple piles? Hmmm.