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The Travels of Mendes Pinto: Team Game

The Criminal Always Comes Back to the Scene of the Crim

by Sergio Mascarenhas
Dec 31,2002

 

THE TRAVELS OF MENDES PINTO, GAME DESIGN GOES LIVE

If you are new to The Travels of Mendes Pinto (TToMP from now on), this is for you. Otherwise, just skip this intro.

TToMP is a role-playing gamebook design column. As the column unfolds in a roughly monthly base, I'll be designing the core gamebook for a new role-playing game aptly titled "The Travels of Mendes Pinto".

TToMP is a game set in 16th century Asia. The characters are Europeans (mainly Portuguese) that travel to Asia in the fleets sent by the King of Portugal.

TToMP is based on a 16th century book called "Peregrinacao" (in Portuguese), meaning Pilgrimage written by a Portuguese adventurer called Fernao Mendes Pinto that reached Asia in 1539 and lived there for the next two decades. In his book Mendes Pinto narrates his travels and adventures from Etiopia in Africa to Japan, and from Tartary to Indonesia.

When the gamebook is over, you will get the rules that will allow you to play an adventurer in the vein of Mendes Pinto.

Each month you will find a development in the gamebook design. This will be in a separate file that can be accessed through the links below. The column proper will provide my notes and comments on the design effort of the month.

I hope you enjoy being part of this journey.


THE CRIMINAL ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME

It's turning into a habit. I mean, spending two columns with the same section of the TToMP game book. But, as I said before, time is not on my side. So, this month all I have to show is a revised Section IV. [DOC (74K) - PDF (107K)]. It's still work in progress but at least the pieces are finally in place.

What did I change (besides some minor corrections, thank you Frederic Moll)?

First, I simplified the 6 stage action resolution process. Now it only has 5 stages:

  1. Context. (Corresponds to phases 1. and 3. in the previous version.)
  2. Aims.
  3. Commitment. (Where you still find space for randomisation.)
  4. Performance.
  5. Outcome.

Next I made things more complex by specifying in greater depth the outcome. I distinguish now between automatic plus impossible outcomes; and alternative outcomes. The latter can be handled either through the random or the deliberate determination methods.

Further to this I also added more details on the differences between isolated and combined actions (actions performed by several parties).

Please, just click here [DOC (74K) - PDF (107K)] and tell me what you think about this revised action resolution for TToMP.

Sergio

PS Next time I'll jump to section 6, combat. Not that I think you will indulge in such shameful behaviour, let's just see how the general principles of action resolution apply to conflict.

INDEX

PREFACE

TABLE OF CONTENTS
- DOC (48K)
- PDF (16K)

I.	"DO I THUS START MY PEREGRINATION"
Introduction
- DOC (224K)
- PDF (272K)

II.	"OFFERED TO ANY VENTURE, GOOD OR BAD"
Fast play

III.	"BEGINNING IN MY CHILDHOOD"
Character creation
- DOC (196K)
- PDF (128K)

IV.	"TRAVAILS AND MISFORTUNES"
The basics of action or the action resolution system
- DOC (74K)
- PDF (107K)

V.	"MISERIES, POVERTY, AND MISCHIEVOUS ACCIDENTS"
Descriptors and activities

VI.	"LIKE ONE THAT SAW DEATH IN THE EYES"
Combat

VII.	"READY TO SAIL"
Seamanship

VIII.	"THANK THE LORD FOR HIS GIFT"
Religion

IX.	"IN GOOD REASON I MAY COMPLAIN ABOUT FORTUNE"
Character advancement and development

REFERENCE MATERIAL

INDEXES

CHARACTER SHEET
- DOC (44K)
- PDF (32K)

SAMPLE CHARACTERS
Fernao Mendes Pinto 
- DOC (44K)
- PDF (40K)
Alvaro Pires
- DOC (52K)
- PDF (48K)
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What do you think?

Go to forum!\n"; $file = "http://www.rpg.net/$subdir/list2.php?f=$num"; if (readfile($file) == 0) { echo "(0 messages so far)
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All The Travels of Mendes Pinto columns by Sergio Mascarenhas

  • Not Dead Yet by Sergio Mascarenhas, 18jul03
  • Still Struggling With Section 4 by Sergio Mascarenhas, 07mar03
  • It's Time For Combat by Sergio Mascarenhas, 31jan03
  • The Criminal Always Comes Back to the Scene of the Crim by Sergio Mascarenhas, 31dec02
  • Tahahahahime Is On My Sahide! Yes It Isn't! by Sergio Mascarenhas, 07nov02
  • Character Creation for Dummies by Sergio Mascarenhas, 08aug02
  • Thus Do We Start by Sergio Mascarenhas, 01jul02
  • Can You Give Us a Descriptor of the Subject? (Part II) February 21, 2002
  • Can You Give Us a Descriptor of the Subject? (Part I) December 6, 2001
  • Time for a Hiatus October 23, 2001
  • System as Language September 27, 2001
  • Don't Forget the Damn Index! August 30, 2001
  • R-O-L-E-P-L-A-Y-I-N-G  G-A-M-E  C-O-R-E  R-U-L-E-B-O-O-K.&nb\ sp; UFF! July 26, 2001
  • Who is this Mendes Pinto, Anyway? June 28, 2001
  • Once Upon A Time ... (How It All Started) April 25, 2001


    All Ruleslawyer For Free columns by Sergio Mascarenhas

  • Experience: From Fiction to Roleplaying Games September 11, 2000
  • The Applied Experience Curve Concept June 26, 2000
  • Experience Curves May 30, 2000
  • Trait Curves March 28, 2000
  • A Change of Course November 28, 1999
  • Spotlight on Alternacy, A Roleplaying System October 26, 1999
  • Introduction September 21, 1999

    Other columns at RPGnet

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