View Full Version : Running It By: Evolution Rules

2006-03-18, 08:15 PM
So, some may be familiar with the Evolution game. If not, check out this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=play_ooc;action=display;num=11077923 35;start=0#0), or one of the more recent ones in the PbP forums. However, I have in my experience with both GMing an Evolution game, and playing in it, found a few large flaws:

Firstly, it is difficult to estimate how much is too much. Sometimes an ability seems iffy, and it's game effect questionable.

Secondly, it is hard to determine how hurt the species is by a certain environmental effect. For the GM, it juggles between feeling like you're being too nice to feeling like a nazi.

Thirdly, it is hard to determine power level. Is this creature too powerful for him? Is it too weak? How challenging will it be to adapt to it?

Finally, evolving up is easy, easy, easy. An enemy? No problem, just pick a couple powers which totally trump any and all that your enemy has.

So, I decided to make a system on it. It's light, portable, and fairly simple, so it should roughly fit the feeling of the game.

Advantage: An advantage costs a whole point, and improves an ability in a way that it is not normally improved.

Changing: A previous ability of the same type (generally a Limb or a Terrain Capability) may be sacrificed for a full refund that may only be spent on another ability in the same category.

Limitations: A limitation allows a bonus point of the ability to be purchased. Some limitations allow double points on the ability.

Population: This is an integer that represents what is, in the game, the rough equivalent of hit points. It increases at a standard rate (5% of your present population). Although a particularly high population would increase the number of beneficial mutations, it would also reduce their spread - as such, a higher population does not grant a higher mutation rate. For balance reasons, it also does not increase your Attack or your Speed

Segmentation: Each creature begins play with a few segments: their head, their torso, and a free limb. The limb is chosen by the player, and there are generally a couple others added so that the species is better equipped to move.

Skirmish: This is the rough equivalent of a combat round in another game. In it, damage is dealt in the form of lost lives. You may choose to reduce your attack in a Skirmish, in order not to kill your enemy or to be nice or whatever.

Unbuying: You may unbuy a power - doing so removes points from the power in twos, and grants one additonal point.

Ability Types:
Limb: Each level grants an addition limb. A limb can have an attached attack, and limbs are generally required to move properly. Before a certain point, additional limbs (of the same type) add speed. This does not count limbs with different functions; for example, a species with four legs will still improve it’s underwater speed should it gain a fin.
Legs - Up until four
Fins - Up until three
Arms - Up until two
Wings - Up until two

Attack: Helps kill another creature. Is trumped by Defense of equal or greater value, but the closer the less overall loss. It’s always attached to a certain type of segment - arms, legs, head, torso, etc.
Armor Piercing - Reduces the enemy population in a skirmish by 5% if the attack is no less than two under the enemy’s Defense. Can be purchased multiple times, but does not increase damage or range of effect. It only serves to defeat Hardened on Defense.
Strategic - Causes the Intelligence of the creature to be added to the effective Attack value.
Otherwise Useless Limb - This limitation causes the attack to make a limb useless for movement.

Defense: Stops the creature from being killed. Things like a shell, scales, or a growth of rock on the back.
Withdraw - If the creature with this advantage chooses to sacrifice his attack for a skirmish, he gets two bonus Defense for that skirmish.
Hardened - Defeats one level of Armor Piercing. Can be purchased more than once, each level defeating an additional level of Armor Piercing.
One Segment Only - The Defense is only used for a single segment of the body. This doubles the effective value of any defense purchased with this.

Terrain Capability: Allows the creature to move in an additional terrain. Examples might include clinging (tree/cliff terrain), flying (air terrain), walking (ground terrain), swimming (water terrain), or tunneling (underground terrain). When initially bought, the ability is not as efficient as the character’s main or original terrain. For example, the character might wriggle along the ground, or walk along the ocean floor, or glide through the air.

Intelligence: Grants the ability to adapt strategies and such to defeat more powerful opponents.
Table - Intelligence
Level Abilities
1 Movement of immobile objects, simple creations (dams, walls, etc), simple strategies (attack their claw arms)
2 Complex strategic movement
3 Abstract thought (language)
4 Minor crafting (spears, clothes)
5 Complex creations (buildings, etc) - at this point, one can spend evolution points to assist technological advancement.

Other: This group includes things like temperature tolerance, adaption to alternative environments (such as a tree climber adapting to a mountain environment), additional food sources or similar. Things that have little effect on a Skirmish or your other abilites.

Combat Chart:
Victory Rating = One Side’s Attack - Other Side’s Defense
Victory Rating (Population% in Damage):
5 (too high - combat at this level is fatal)
4 (40%)
3 (20%)
2 (10%)
1 (5%)

“My Ability Doesn’t Seem To Be Here”
For some abilities, simple creativity can be used.

For example, suppose you want a stealth ability. If you were a predator, you could purchase Strategic on your (primary) attack power, and thus gain an intelligence bonus on your attack - the rough effect of a stealth ability in combat for you. If you were a herbivore or other noncombative creature, you could purchase Withdraw on your Defense, and thus gain an easy retreat - the rough effect of a stealth ability in combat for you.

Or, suppose you are want to gain long fur - simply purchase the temperature tolerance mentioned in “Other”.

Or perhaps your race wants some poison? Simply purchase Armor Piercing. It has the same rough end effect.

To put it simply: define by function, not by form.


Yuki Akuma
2006-03-18, 10:20 PM
I've never played Evolution, but I've always wanted to... Those rules look good. Reminds me vaguely of Spore...

2006-03-18, 10:40 PM
Sounds logical and pretty well thought out

Would this mean you are going to do a game like that on these boards?

2006-03-18, 11:13 PM
Sounds logical and pretty well thought out

Would this mean you are going to do a game like that on these boards?It'd still need a little work, but yes, once I've got a bit of additional things in there. For example, more advantages and limitations to make things more modular. A Skirmish effect for Limbs was noted to be nonexistant and has been added to my document of the thing. The effect is a small percentage off of losses (5% per limb of that type, up to maximum).

White Blade
2006-03-18, 11:19 PM
I've never played Evolution, but I've always wanted to... Those rules look good. Reminds me vaguely of Spore...
My brother's game predated the conceptualization of spore. Their watching us.. their watching us right now... If only this wasn't a public forum... Then they'd be using cameras, I'm sure... yes... yes... my madness... it hasn't been treated...
Also, we are awaiting people to steal his campagain world idea... all we have to do is wait two years...
And I still haven't read the rules: HA! (I don't like this idea.