16 December 2016

Fragments of principles of prop design in LoSt


Props (and skills) are slightly stylized representations of a characters resources. This stems from back when LoSt (Boot Hill RL, at the time) was a cardgame/RL hybrid. I didn't want the player to become too much like a "paper doll" with assorted inventory. Some learnable skills may assume you to have the necessary tools at hand, as some props assume you possess the necessary skills to use them.

Encumbrance, inventory space

All the dead dudes …
I never much cared for detailed weight systems. Instead, LoSt sets a fixed limit to how many props a critter is allowed to carry. Inventory is capped at six slots, which is just enough to get by. To simulate encumbrance, some items are tagged as "heavy" or "stackable" (light). Heavy items impose a penalty on your initiative, making them practically impossible to carry during combat. Stackable items are consumables and commodities: If you're holding a stick of dynamite, you might as well be holding five. Stackable items only take up one inventory slot (per item type), regardless of how many you are carrying.

I'd rather a sledge-pick.

Wearables, containers, more tools and actions …

… building houses, skinning animals, modifying items and mailing them to your future incarnations, gambling, rail laying, light landscape gardening … Who can tell if and how they will appear?

Lead slugs

Lead (♄) is the most important prop in LoSt, doubling as money and ammo. As a symbol of prosperity, it could even be used as a stat akin to karma. Instead of a food clock, a system where the player spends 1♄to rest each night?

Current list of props in LoSt

Glogious death awaits!
Salt crystals, emeralds, rubies, corpses, heads, lead slugs, spirit stones, dynamite, bricks, barb wire, smoke bombs, adrenaline shots, the beads of poverty, prayer books, ladders, lynchers' marks, dice, loaded dice, sledge picks, bowie knives, kiri knives, swords, whips, chainhooks, cats o' nine tails, javelins, spear throwers, sixshooters, pepperbox guns, pistolknives, triguns, game rifles, sniper guns, periscopes, field glasses, rubble, gravel, smithereens, dust, timber, splinters, shards, cigars.

Wishlist and ideas

Shotguns (fire several buckshot i randomized directions), punt guns (like a shotgun, but ten feet long; perhaps for crowd control or safaris), gatling guns (mounted mayhem), stockmarkers (burnmark cattle and people), tripwire and fuses (detonate dynamite from a safe distance), booze and drugs (it all starts with an innocently puffing cigar; fancy becoming an amphetamine addict or ingesting the poison seeds of holy plants), chloroform, tonics, poisons and antidotes, sandbags (why not?), ropes and lassos (for sure!), badges, books, lanterns, pliers, lead ore, caltrops, instruments, stilts, bear traps, nets, eggs, mummies, letters, mirrors, chain and tackle.

All that stuff.

As always,

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