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Messages - strongbif

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Dungeon World / Re: Mini-campaign clinic: fronts and intro moves
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:11:51 PM »
I had an idea. I think I'll pretend some grim portent (a big one) has already come to pass, and tie in the intro moves to that portent, and include "Mark XP" in each one to give them all an advancement headstart.

Potential examples:
  • You manned the walls of the Bright City when they fell before the shimmering horde. Describe your foes and what you sacrificed to escape, and mark XP.
  • Had you returned in time, the artifact you recovered from the tomb of High Bierbalang might have averted the massacre at the Bright City. Name the artifact and describe its appearance, and mark XP. Roll+INT. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 2:
    • You didn't lose the artifact when the Bright City fell.
    • You know how to activate it.
    • You have what you need to activate it.
    • You know what it does.

Something along those lines. So far I've had someone call dibs on the Fighter, and another on the Paladin. We've got 2-3 more players who haven't stated a preference.


EDIT: I had some thoughts. For four sessions, there's no reason not to do these for every session. I can come up with a new set after each session based on fiction established during play, pretty much right after I make or update my fronts. It'll be like the flashbacks in Lost. I can start with fairly vague ones and bring them into clearer focus with each iteration as the field is seeded with story bits. I think I'll keep them focused on Acts I and II, and then incorporate their fruits as the adventure culminates.

I'm thinking maybe the party has been sent to investigate and secure the fabled Deep Sanctuary as a place to house fleeing refugees, and we'll start play at the entrance. I'll make another intro move dealing with how this mythical ruin was recently located (I'm sure we'll have a bard or wizard for that one). The refugees are only a few days behind, so the task is urgent, of course. I think I have a good start now.

I guess writing it out on the forum did the trick, eh? Well begun is half done, indeed.

Dungeon World / Mini-campaign clinic: fronts and intro moves
« on: August 27, 2013, 05:33:25 PM »
I have a precious school-free month coming up and plan to run exactly four sessions of Dungeon World with friends (all experienced roleplayers with varying Apocalypse Engine experience). I plan to run a mini-campaign with a satisfying conclusion in that short duration. I'm basically skipping Acts I and II and starting at the beginning of Act III. Here's how I think I'll do it:

1. Plan really good introductory moves

2. After the first session, develop one or two very urgent fronts

I'd like help with both of these things. Specifically, how do I find the sweet spot between enough detail to kick things off with momentum and enough vagueness to respect my players' contributions?

I get the sense that I'll want my intro moves to provide me the detail I want by having the players supply it, with me simply suggesting urgency and consequence without defining it.

Am I on the right track? Any advice how to accomplish this? What am I overlooking besides all this?

I would love to see an AP thread focused on the steading rules and how they played out during a campaign. Especially, what surprises developed, and how the steading rules affected play at the table. Anyone?

Dungeon World / Re: Dangers, Impending Dooms, and Grim Portents
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:31:16 PM »
I see. In that case, grim portents could apply to either a danger or an overall front. The key relationship, then, is between grim portents and impending dooms. Grim portents can be, but don't have to be, sequential, and they are the pieces that fall into place to bring about the dooms.

Dungeon World / Dangers, Impending Dooms, and Grim Portents
« on: November 21, 2012, 04:59:52 PM »
Could someone clarify something for me? The summary talks about impending dooms and grim portents in one way, but the body of the chapter seems to talk about them differently.

Specifically, the summary tells us first to choose an impending doom for each danger, and then to add a handful of grim portents for the overall front. The body of the chapter then discusses grim portents first, and then impending dooms (in reverse order from the summary), and talks about grim portents in terms of dangers rather than fronts, tying grim portents to impending dooms in a way that isn't clear to me (e.g., pg 250 reads, "When all of the grim portents of a danger come to pass, the impending doom sets in.")

Please clarify the relationship between grim portents, dangers, and impending dooms.


Apocalypse World / Re: AW Breakdown of success/failure die rolls.
« on: November 21, 2012, 10:25:09 AM »
He probably didn't need to do the analysis himself, since others have done it already.

Edit: How about some interpretation? Basically, on 2d6, the odds are weighted about 60%/40% in favor of success, but complete success is only about 10% likely.

Dungeon World / Re: Help a newb
« on: November 16, 2012, 10:32:57 PM »
Well put, Scrape. Thanks adam and noclue, too. I will heed all this advice.

Dungeon World / Re: Help a newb
« on: November 16, 2012, 07:08:09 PM »
OK, so PC-NPC-PC triangles also aren't as important then, since they serve to foster instability and foment PC conflict, which isn't so much the point.

Incentive is easy in Apocalypse World, just threaten something they need and rock the boat all day. Since I'm not looking for where they're not in control, and not confronting them with wedge NPCs, what replaces that?

Do I learn this from the players, like "so why do you spend most of your time in lethal dungeons?" and then reinforce that periodically?

Or is incentive just not as important, like "adventure this way... take it or leave it?"

Dungeon World / Help a newb
« on: November 16, 2012, 12:46:17 PM »
I've read Scrape's excellent beginners' guide and I've MC'ed a healthy portion of Apocalypse World - I'm very comfortable with AW's approach to generating fun.

What I haven't done is ever run an old-school RPG, or even D&D 3e or later. I cut my teeth on 7th Sea and moved on to Savage Worlds settings like 50 Fathoms and Deadlands.

I ran a game of DW and got the sense that I was running it too much like AW (in the types of questions I asked, the bonds I elicited, etc.). 

How do I need to adjust my thinking? What assumptions do I need to ditch, and which do I need to take up, in order to get into the old-school mindset?

Apocalypse World / Re: Extended Mediography
« on: October 09, 2012, 08:50:43 PM »
The current Humble eBook Bundle includes Pump Six and Other Stories by Mario Bacigalupi: great apocalyptica.

other lumpley games / Re: [AP] Psi*Run over Google+
« on: October 05, 2012, 11:54:06 AM »
The Crash

The Runners awaken next to the wreckage of an unmarked ambulance. Through the acid drizzle they see the cab completely compressed into a nearby tenement wall, and signs that the driver's liquefied remains cover everything inside. Why are there no tire skid marks?

A crowd of onlookers accumulates; Seven and Lawrence duck their heads low and head for a nearby tenement entrance, while Bloom walks up to one of the crowd.

"You need to give me your phone."

The guy looks at him, startled and skeptical. Bloom notes his uniform and name tag: Brian, Team Member at FedEx-Office Depot-Staples.

"Brian, give me your phone now."

(He uses his suggestion power, so this is a significant action. He rolls high enough to meet his goal with no negative side-effects, but only if he puts his low die in Reveal.)

Brian complies without hesitation or comment, and continues on his way.

Over at the entrance, Seven confronts a locked door with a panel of dozens of call buttons. He presses them all at once, and faces a cacophony of tinny voices.

"Hey, it's John," he bluffs, "Buzz me in." (He rolls. Low die goes to reveal, and everything else is high enough to avoid problems.) Sure enough, someone does.

Lawrence and Seven push through the door, and Bloom hurries forward to catch it before it latches closed.

Next up: The Lobby

(Organizing the game space around location cards makes it very easy to organize an AP thread, by the way.)

other lumpley games / Re: [AP] Psi*Run over Google+
« on: October 05, 2012, 10:27:23 AM »
Of course!

Shoot, that reminds me I haven't finished this. Thanks for the prompt. :)

Apocalypse World / Love and Infection: [AP] The Silo
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:03:43 PM »
Love and Infection
I'd like to elaborate on some parts that I really enjoyed.

During this session we got to see Toshiro's shiny new Visions of Death move in action, and he used it to preserve the life of East Harrow, the already-injured thug from last encounter. Then we cut to Home for my (October's) scene with Lena, and left off just before the scene where Toshiro arrives at the infirmary behind East Harrow and Twice. I'm looking forward to seeing that play out.

October shows up at Home to lay the groundwork for some revenge for the disturbance at his Passion Palace. Home occupies an entire silo level and it's wide open, with separate spaces discouraged and delineated only by flimsy curtain screens. The whole place smells like curry and is hot (by Silo standards) and cloying and maybe a little suffocating. It reminds October of the Passion Palace, but bereft of glamor: just desperate folks rutting and artlessly clinging to each other for comfort.

He finds Lena alone with Lion; they quarrel over something but quickly cease upon his arrival. October's purpose coming here has been (up to this point) to seduce another family member and Hypnotize him or her into another spy. The ensuing back-and-forth with Lena changes his approach, and maybe even his outlook.

They start with terse pleasantries, then October comes on to Lion, who just scowls back. October asks Lena why the earlier disruption. Lena responds that October perverts the true meaning of sex, to which October replies that she could have just stopped by herself, no need for a mob. She claims that she tried once and was ignored. October says "I'm listening now..." and invites the sales pitch.

Here we each decide to Read a Person and each score a weak hit, holding 1.

Lena preaches about love and connectedness, and the true meaning of sex.  For the most part, October politely listens. At one point he asks how Lena's approach differs from his own, and she attempts to explain that October's approach to love is hollow and desperate, that it would never fill the emptiness inside.

Here I spend my hold: What does Lena wish I would do?

After some thought, her player decides: I wish he would find his true self and turn away from his sinful ways.*

Super. Knowing that, I Seduce; October moves closer and obviously invites sex (to Lion's dismay) "You're right, there is something missing. Maybe your faith is the thing to fill it. Perhaps you should show me." I roll 12.

Lena (wisely) doesn't trust October, but sees a clear opportunity to advance her cause. She agrees to show him, if he first shuts down his sex show for three nights as a gesture of good faith. He agrees, saying he'll arrange for Lavender to put on that ridiculous variety show she's been bothering him about for months. Lion clenches his jaw.

Before October leaves, Lena asks him if he would ever really give up all his sinful trappings and join the family. He replies that he doesn't know (implying he hasn't ruled it out). Her player spends her hold: Is October telling the truth? Shoot. Well-played, now I must commit to something. I decide that October is in fact telling the truth. He leaves. Now both Lena and Valentine intend to "fix" October. I'm sure that will work out just fine. Also, I can't wait to see the Hocus and Skinner specials kick in at the same time.

Lena and Lion have a new argument. Lion (who wants Lena for his own despite her polyamorous religious convictions) doesn't like where this is going. She reminds Lion that the family is in serious trouble (6- on her Followers roll; wants: desertion, desperate, and disease), and that converting October would transform their single biggest recruiting obstacle into an enormous asset. Lion tries to pull away, but Lena rests her head on his shoulder.

At this point we call for a Manipulate roll. It's pretty clear she's leveraging his desire to possess her in order to get him to go along with her sleeping with October. She rolls 7+, and he capitulates after a night of one-on-one attention.

At some point during that exchange with Lion, Lena's player uttered the phrase "love and affection," which I misheard as "love and infection," which is right on the nose. We had a good chuckle.

Next week, we're picking up in the infirmary and then dealing with Lena's promise.

*(I paraphrase).

other lumpley games / Re: [AP] Psi*Run over Google+
« on: September 27, 2012, 02:58:00 PM »
The City

"Has everyone seen Blade Runner? It's that."

Comment: I chose Blade Runner L.A. for a shortcut both because it's a common frame of reference to get everyone on the same page, and because it's visually well-developed and evocative - easy for everyone to visualize. I try to use shortcuts like this whenever I introduce new rules, to cut down on mental overhead. (Zombies are another favorite.) Notably, this decision prompted Bloom's "Am I human?" question, and consequently influenced other things in unexpected ways.

The Chasers

Suits and Lab Coats (always immaculate)
Innocuous seeming stethoscopes
Surgical masks (always)
latex gloves

Psychic manipulation
In-brain puppet strings
Deep brain scan

Scalpel kits (never sterile)
Violation Gloves

Comment: I had something else (vaguely supernatural) in mind until I heard the Runner intros, at which point the chasers were obviously medical-themed psy-somethings. At first I tried to find other ways of expressing the obvious Brainer moves and gear, but gave up because nothing says it quite like Apocalypse World.

Next up, The Crash, and maybe The Lobby.

other lumpley games / The Runners: [AP] Psi*Run over Google+
« on: September 27, 2012, 12:55:50 PM »
The Runners

  • In the mirror: a pale man, maybe late 20s, with well-kept hair in a rumpled, bloodstained suit. Remembers being a con man once.
  • Powers: He can implant suggestions into others' minds and they obey
  • Questions:
    • Am I human?
    • What happened on my last job?
    • Who is Nora?
    • How far can I push someone?
  • In the mirror: completely hairless, well-tanned except for tan lines around his wrists and ankles, and in bands around his thighs and chest. Riddled with hard lumpy protrusions under his skin, apparently implants of some kind, all over his body, and significant scarring along his spine.
  • Powers: He collects latent memories from nearby people and experiences them as if they were his own.*
  • Questions:
    • Was I always a freak?
    • Who did this to me?
    • What are these implants?
    • How can I become normal?
*As you'll see, this interacts with the Reveal rules in remarkable ways.

  • In the mirror: 25-ish bald man in hospital scrubs, missing his right ear
  • Powers: He communicates telepathically.
  • Questions:
    • Who is Damien Vespen?
    • Why am I missing an ear?
    • Why was I locked in a room for a long time?
    • What came before the room?
Next up: The City and The Chasers

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