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Messages - Jeremy

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Dungeon World / Re: "Engineer " style class for DW?
« on: August 24, 2015, 12:02:25 AM »
Check out the Artificer in Jacob Randolf's Alternative Playbooks (available on DriveThru RPG). Also, Johnstone Metzger's free (pay what you want?) playbooks, also on DriveThru. The Dungeoneer has some engineering moves. Oh, and the Technician from Adventures on Dungeon Planet.

brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:33:44 AM »
Regarding corruption: check out Urban Shadows (here and on google+). They've done some nice things with it.

Concept-wise: you could have the PCs be renegades from the Jedi order. Give them some reason to think its been corrupted from the top town, that there's some major badness coming and they feel compelled to do something about it. Start the game with questions about the who what where when why. Heck, maybe bake it into the character sheet.

Alternately: the could be padawans cut off from the order and their mentors. Perhaps, even, they're undercover infiltrating a sith cult or something like that, smelling where they might need to embrace the dark side to fit in.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Before play: battle
« on: September 05, 2014, 11:28:25 PM »
Related question.  Suppose two forces meet each other on an open plain.  There are some preliminaries, but they end up charging each other.

Do both war-captains lead an attack and come under attack simultaneously?  So they both roll twice, make choices from each move, and then we figure out what happened and what happens next?

Dungeon World / Re: The Gospel of Dungeon World
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:03:22 AM »
Amen, brother. PREACH!

It's from the AW: Dark Ages first look document. The warherald' band.

Dungeon World / Re: Druid and animal companion
« on: May 14, 2014, 08:03:25 PM »
Any ranger move is legit, core or advanced (though she can't take the level 6-10 ones until she qualifies).

I keep meaning to reply to this post.  It makes me sad that this hasn't gotten more attention.  It's a really good hack, with some smart, clearly intentional design.

Things I really like:
 - The way you use the Health stat (and have them roll +current Health to exert themselves); it's really clever
 - The fact that all the playbooks' signature moves are a choice between "being more badass" and "bringing more fiction to the world;" that's a really nice application of Johnstone's old essay on what makes a good AW playbook
 - The way you merged DW's "damage is based on you, not the weapon" with the AW harm system and tags
 - The idea that you define a handful of rituals up front, including the costs/requirements; that combined with the various "magician" moves really evoke a particular type of sword-and-sorcery magic
 - The XP triggers are pretty sweet, too (and I like the fact that both the triggers & rolling a 6- only give you one XP per scene)
 - In general, the playbook moves are all really well done; yeah, I recognize a lot of them (or at least their origins), but lots of them are new and show a real knack for it (I think my favorite might be the barbarian's Halfbreed)
 - The playbooks themselves are a nice take on the fantasy archetypes; I really like the presence of The Youth.

I'm not *sure* that I like the stat compression (Might/Wits/Spirit) but I totally respect the decision.  It seems to work.

I'm not really a fan of the Poison/Potion thing; it seems unnecessary, and I dislike that a poison always works as if it's a 10+ (even against a PC? can't I defy danger?)

My biggest concern is the lack of backstory and setup material for the PCs.  AW, DW, and MotW all benefit from the "how do you know each other" options & questions built into the playbooks.  A lot of them also have world-building questions.  Some of your PCs will have the world-building stuff (via their signature moves), but not all of them.

From the intro notes, it sounds like you and group have been playing this.  How's it been going?  Have there been any significant changes?  What's working and what isn't?

Apocalypse World / Re: Health and damage.
« on: April 05, 2014, 10:08:46 AM »
If you haven't already, give this hack (and if you have time, the whole thread) a read. It's going a similar direction.

At first glance, I really like the Stress economy you have you going.

I think my favorite detail, though, is in the 7-9 result for Help. "Expose yourself to danger, cost, or truth.

Truth. I love it.

AW:Dark Age / Fates: a Dissenting Opinion
« on: March 06, 2014, 10:40:10 PM »
I dislike Fates.  I realize I am in the minority.

My initial thoughts were very positive.  I still find them very evocative, and I really like the elegance of "cross one off for every harm you suffer; the top one that's uncrossed is currently true." 

I very much like the lists used for NPCs, Groups, and Monsters.  I could quibble about the wording and the ranking a little, but I think they're a great way to sum up the combination of physical harm and morale.  The problem is, none of the choices on those lists are fates.  They are descriptions of the current state.  Status, maybe.   

As for the PC Fate, I feel that it fails to live up to a promise, or at least its potential. When I first saw the Fates list and the fact that you crossed options off, I was really excited.  I thought to myself "oh, cool, if you ever take harm, then you'll never live to be 100!"  I assumed that crossing off Fates meant that those fates were closed to you, forever.  And that's cool and tragic and hardcore.

But that's not how it works.  The Fates are, when it comes down to it, hit points.  This fine Summer morning, I wake up and I will live to be 100.  I don my helm and armor, heft my shield and sword, and go into battle.  I suffer 3 harm, indicating that I will not live to be 100, nor will I live to advanced old age.  I don't even have more to do before I die.  But I will yet survive this.  So that's cool.

Then some time passes. Let's be generous and say it's a season or so.  The first three heal themselves.  So by the end of Autumn, maybe, I will live to be 100 again. 


If they come back with time and/or medical care, then those fates weren't lost to me.  I'd argue that they aren't even fates at all.  And while they are evocative, they don't actually help me, the player or MC, determine right now what is going on in the fiction.  Not the way the NPC, Group, and Monster lists do.

Vincent mentioned in another post that disease will also eat away at Fates, and that's cool.  Maybe it will address some of my concerns.  But right now, as written, the rows of PC Fates seem to be no more than hit points with labels.

So, what would I suggest instead?  Some or all of the following, perhaps?

1) Rename the current lists of NPCs, Groups, and Monsters to something else.  State, Status, Condition, Plight, Health, whatever.

2) Give PCs a similar track.  For example:
 - am strong, sure, and whole
 - bear the marks of violence or duress
 - struggle to fight on
 - seek only to survive this
 - can threaten no one
 - lay on my deathbed

3) I'd give PCs a set of actual Fates, things they are owed by the fiction.  Maybe the list is generic to all playbooks, maybe playbook-specific.  Maybe some of each.  Examples:
 - I will live to a ripe old age
 - I will see my children happy and wed
 - I will see the Dragon rise
 - I will reclaim what is mine by birth
 - I will die peacefully in my bed
 - I will die a hero
A player gets a certain number of these, maybe 3-6?   Maybe there's a list, and you pick your fates?

4) You can cross these fates off as plot armor, much like taking a debility in AW.  Like, you can cross of "I will live to a ripe old age" to negate an instance of harm.  You don't suffer the harm (or maybe you don't die?) but you are no longer going to live to a ripe old age. 

Ideally, there'd be other things to spend these fates on than just avoiding harm.  Like, you can burn one to turn a roll into a 12+? 

When or if you retire your character to safety, his Fates apply.  If he will live to see his children happy and wed, then the children are off limits for the GM as well as the retired PC.  At least until they are married and the retired PC sees them happy, that is.

Dungeon World / Re: Stun, Debilities and taking penalties forward
« on: February 05, 2014, 12:52:07 PM »
1) If a player rolls a six, but is assisted up to a 7, do they still mark XP?

No. The roll result is no longer a miss (6-). 

2) I'm still a bit unclear about range and assigning negatives.  For example:

Bob the fighter is locked into melee with a nasty orc.  He swings his broadsword and misses and the orc slips in past his guard into close range, bull rushing him up against the dungeon wall.  Bob, what do you do?

a) I skewer the brute with my trusty sword!  But at this range, it's awkward; do I just arbitrarily say he can't, or should there be a -1 or something?

"Cool, Bob, but how do you run him through when he's up close and in your face and about to stabby stab you in the gut with his 6-inch knife?"

b) I grab my sword with both hands and smash the pommel into its head!  So... is that just standard hack'n'slash, doing normal damage?  Doesn't that make the range tags pretty much pointless, since they can always be circumvented by the fiction?  Or should/can I say that the damage is halved or something, using the weapon in that way?

Couple ways you could deal with this, and there are a few principles and your agenda to guide you.  Be a fan of the characters tells you to let it be a normal H&S, so does Think DangerousFill their lives with adventure and begin and end with the fiction might tell you to do reduced damage.  And you might want to ask questions and use the answers before you decide.

Is the orc wearing a helmet?  Have you established that orcs are big, tough, I-don't-give-a-fuck types?  Maybe the move just does stun damage, enough make the orc stagger back and get back to a more optimal range.  Or maybe it does half damage.  I could go either way, and my answer would be informed by who the PC is.  I'm much more  likely to let the figher or paladin get away with dealing damage in a suboptimal situation than the bard.  Fighters and paladins are badasses.

c) Holding my sword in one hand, I bash my gauntleted fist into its face: normal hack and slash?  Defy Danger if the orc is wielding a dagger?  Any negatives or anything unless the player has fictionally created a backstory of fisticuffs?  Or would the punch just stun the orc?

That sounds like H&S to me, with stun damage as the result.  Again, might depend on who's doing the punching and the nature of the foe.  I'd probably go with stun damage.  "BAM! The orc staggers back a few paces, shaking it's head and spitting blood. What do you do?"

Of course, if the orc was already trying to knife the PC in the gut (i.e. you'd established that he was doing so, probably as part of the soft move that put him into close quarters), I might ask the player what he was doing about that knife.  If he ignored it, I'd deal damage from the knife and then let the PC H&S to punch the orc in the face. 

d) I bodycheck the orc, shoving it back, and the skewer him with my blade!  Defy danger to push it back then hack and slash, or is this combining two Moves into one?

I'd probably go with Defy Danger (+Str) and then (if successful) a H&S.  The range tags are what make me think that.  DD to address the imminent danger of an orc in your grill, making it possible for you to attack with your sword (H&S). 

Compare that to "The orc lunges at you with his rusty sword, like right at your throat. What do you?"  "I parry the thrust with a bind and riposte!"  "Cool, roll to H&S!"  You could argue that the PC is Defying Danger or Defending and then Hacking & Slashing, but I think almost every GM would call that just a straight H&S.

Dungeon World / Re: Stun, Debilities and taking penalties forward
« on: February 04, 2014, 08:24:18 PM »
If you like your answers all official-like, see page 167, 2nd paragraph:  "Note that “deal damage” is a move, but other moves may include damage as well. When an ogre flings you against a wall you take damage as surely as if he had smashed you with his fists."

Expanding on that: lots of moves subsume other moves.  And you'll often find yourself making a soft move as an immediate follow-up to a hard move.  It's far from clear cut. 

Like, I agree you shouldn't be like "the troll grabs you, smashes you against the wall--take 1d10 damage--then knocks your sword away from and then flings you across the room. What do you do?"  But if you choose to make the move "deal damage" and the troll's damage is forceful (and it probably is), the fictional effects of forceful is part of you dealing damage.  Likewise, if you use a monster's move (like the troll's hurl someone or something) and it would naturally result in damage, then damage is dealth.  (Forceful damage, in this case).

So: "You got a 4? Mark XP, Phinnigan. As you leap towards the troll, he spins and swats you out of the air with a backhand. The force knocks you clear across the room. Take 1d10 damage!  Ooh... 9?  Yeah, the wind got knocked clean out of you!  Ovid, you see Phin go flying and collapse in a heap and the troll turns and lumbers towards him.  What do you do?"

You could argue that I'm separating them, that I'm turning their move back on them, that I'm dealing damage, and/or that I'm using a monster/dungeon/location move.  Who cares which one I made?  I made my one hard move, beginning and ending it with the fiction.  Then, to reflect the fictional fact that Phin got the wind knocked out of him, I shift focus to Ovid via a soft move, the troll lumbering toward a dazed Phin. You could argue that's me showing signs of an approaching threat or offering an opportunity to Ovid or even putting someone in a spot. But again, who really cares which one it is?

I don't remember where, but I remember someone saying that the list of moves are only there to give you ideas for cool things to say when it's your turn to say something.  Lots of folks report ignoring the moves until they're stumped, otherwise just following the fiction. 

So, yeah, make your move. But as long as it begins and ends with the fiction, don't stress out over which move you're making.

brainstorming & development / Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« on: January 28, 2014, 10:56:11 AM »
Another observation/question:  both of your basic moves for violence work like this...

Roll +stat.  On 10+ succeed but pick 1; 7-9 succeed if you let the GM pick 2.
 - There are a number of surviving enemies
 - The attack causes unwanted collateral damage
 - Your side suffers harm during the attack
 - Your side ends up in a dangerous/costly position

Overall I really like this, but I'm concerned that there's never any "clean" success.  Say it's just me and another guy in a gun fight on the ship.  I can never just take him out, right?  On a 10+, I have to pick something.  So I either pick "there are a number of surviving enemies" (meaning he's still up and--I assume--fighting) or one of the other options that escalates the situation.  I roll 10+ again, same situation.  Etc., etc.  The fight can't end unless I accept some cost or escalation.

How does that work in play?  Is that what you want?

brainstorming & development / Re: Uncharted Worlds - Space opera hack
« on: January 26, 2014, 01:15:24 PM »
How are finding the harm rules work? I'm very interested in whether the various injuries types are compelling enough.

Also, how does enemy armor or shields play out, or other force disparities? As written, I don't see anything that would account for that. I seem to be just as likely to "take out" a heavily armored foe with a stick as I am to take out a nekked dude with a las cannon. 

So freaking interested.

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