Dev Diaries #1: Basic Mechanics

Horizon Break is designed, first and foremost, to give players as much control of their characters as possible while simplifying the number of things that they need to care about. Players should always feel like they have options, and there should never be any single choice.

To accomplish this, players are given a limited pool of six-sided Dice (also called d6s), which they can allocate to various tasks to give them a better chance of succeeding. When a player wants to do something, they don’t just say what they’re trying to do, they also say how much effort they’re actually willing to expend. An attacked backed by only a single Die is weak and easily parried, while a strike supported with four Dice is going to require a great deal of skill–or luck–to deflect.

Since players have a limited number of Dice that they can be spending on things at any given time, they’ll need to prioritize. A heavy attack–like the four dice swing–will leave a character weak on defense, or cause them to ignore that sneaky rogue who just disappeared, or unable to remember what the monster’s weakness is, or any number of other things that a clever adventurer might want to do. Social encounters operate on a similar principle, with characters trying to identify what leverage or possible offers they might be able to make while negotiating back and forth.

Outside of specific back and forths of conversation or combat, the game works the same way, although abstracted a little: investigating a library might require a player to prioritize between speed, breadth, and depth of their search, along with staying vigilant against the ghosts that are said to lurk in the halls.

The end result is a game where, if a player wants their bloodied and broken character to throw away self preservation and fight, it has mechanical consequence. If a character wants to brew a potion quickly and damn the risks, they can do it easily. If a player wants to jump on top of a flying dragon, climb over it’s back while it tries to force them off, and then drive a blade into the beast’s eye… well, they can, but that’ll be in a later Dev Diary.

If this has been interesting, illuminating, or… well, anything to you, feel free to leave a comment, like, or any other internet-based communication you feel like! There’ll be more coming in the new few months.

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