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Topics - benhimself

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Dungeon World / New Miniclass: The Chaos Mage
« on: September 09, 2012, 11:12:24 PM »
New miniclass idea I had, originally posted over at G+ but I figured I could share it here, too.


When you gain a level, if you have experimented with wild and uncontrolled magic, you may take the following move:

Wild Magic: Add " The spell manifests unusually, or has strange side effects, while still fulfilling its basic intent" to the 7-9 options on Cast A Spell. These side effects are not necessarily cosmetic.

Once you have taken Wild Magic, the following moves count as class moves for you.

Unstable Magic: When preparing spells, you may prepare any number of spells you wish as if they were one level lower. Level one spells prepared in this fashion are counted as half a level each. When you cast any spell prepared thusly, on a 10+, choose one from the 7-9 list, and on a 7-9, choose two options instead of one.

Greater Unstable Magic: When you cast a spell prepared with Unstable Magic, and roll a 6-, you succeed regardless, but choose three options from the 7-9 list, and choose one of the options, except "the spell is forgotten" to have a very pronounced effect. (The spell attracts a lot of unwelcome attention, the spell disturbs reality greatly for a -2 penalty instead of -1, the spell manifests extremely unusually with serious side effects, etc)

Warpwright: You are practiced at using the Ritual ability to give a willing or restrained subject a random mutation.  When doing so, you can ignore one of the conditions the DM selects for the Ritual's completion. (The Metamorphica, by Johnstone Metzger, is an excellent free resource with hundreds of mutations arranged on one convenient table, should the DM not wish to make their own.)

Versatile Caster: You may attempt to cast a prepared spell as any lower level spell, including one not in your spellbook. To do so, roll +int, modified by any -1 ongoing to Cast A Spell you may have. On a 10+, you succeed in shifting the pattern, and may cast it normally. On a 7-9 you succeed, but cast the new spell as Unstable even if the original wasn't (and if the original was, choose an additional 7-9 result from Cast A Spell on top of the extra Unstable Magic normally gives you).

Discharge Flux: You may discharge all accrued -1 ongoings to Cast A Spell caused by 7-9s from that move. The DM will tell you what the flux appears to be about to do, some harmful (or at least unusual) effect: you may opt to "ground" the flux and take 1d6 armor-ignoring damage per -1 ongoing you had rather than let this effect come to pass.

Monsterhearts / Skin: the (alternative) Mortal
« on: August 29, 2012, 02:26:04 PM »
So, I've had to tell multiple people that the Mortal is "The Bella, not the Xander". You know what I mean? So it got me thinking. A skin for Mortals who aren't in love. A skin for somebody wrapped up in all this weird shit over their head, who succeeds despite being human, who succeeds BECAUSE of being human. It's not finished yet but here's a few thoughts:

Backstory: You tend to find yourself at the center of things. Get a string on everybody, everybody gets a string on you.

Somebody finds you kind of annoying, if they don't actively detest you. Get a string on them, that attitude is so easy to exploit.

Somebody's revealed their secret nature to you, or maybe you found it out by accident. Get an extra string on them, they get an extra string on you.

(Maybe allow you to pick more than one player for that last one?)

Stats: Add up everybody else's scores in each stat. The stats with the lowest two sums, you have +1 in. The highest two, -1. In the event of a tie, you decide. (And then add a +1 to any stat like normal.)


Only Human: You can turn a 10+ result into a 7-9, or a 7-9 into a failure, after rolling. Mark experience if you do so.

Need A Hand?: If somebody's supernatural weakness would (or is) causing problems for them, and you help out with your lack of absurd vulnerabilities to things like cold iron bars or crosses or pineapples or whatever, they mark experience and you get a string on them.

Comic relief: If something you say IC causes another character (or player) to laugh out loud, mark experience.

Underdog: You reveal your true spirit by pushing the hardest against impossible odds. When making any basic move except gazing into the abyss, give your target a string against you to get +1 to the roll.

Down The Rabbit Hole: From the original mortal playbook, totally appropriate still.

Some more moves of some sort, maybe?

Sex Move: When you have sex with someone, they escape their darkest self. (Maybe? I was just amused at the inversion of the 'default' mortal sex move.)

Darkest Self: I dunno, something about feeling kind of useless or bland or ordinary? Or maybe having to escape all this craziness?

Monsterhearts / Conditions: Second or First Person?
« on: July 26, 2012, 10:28:00 PM »
So I'm working on a Skin called The Shadow, and one of the moves potentially gives other players (or NPCS) a condition that represents them struggling to contain their Darkest Self.

What I'm wrestling with is whether to call it "Struggling To Contain Your Darkest Self" or "Struggling To Contain My Darkest Self". Opinions on which of these seems more naturally? My instinct was the first one but I'm hella second-guessing myself and curious what other people think.

Monsterhearts / Blank Skin Template?
« on: July 20, 2012, 12:13:31 PM »
Is there a blank template out there somewhere for making one's own skins? Ideally one that doesn't take paid software to use?

Apocalypse World / Help with a custom move
« on: February 28, 2011, 03:25:51 PM »
So I'm idly toying with some ideas for a playbook called the Secretmonger. One of the moves as it stands (name still open to being changed) is:

POKER FACE: When a PC rolls to read you, or rolls their hx with you, they take -2.

Now, I'd like it to do something to your interactions with NPCs, too. But my various ideas so far haven't felt right. I mean, I could just leave it as is: there's plenty of precedent in moves like Opportunistic and such that only mechanically influence your interactions with the PCs. But if any of you all have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

the nerve core / Playbooks and refbook?
« on: December 27, 2010, 10:58:52 AM »
So when are we gonna see these things again?

Knife & Candle / Any news?
« on: September 09, 2010, 09:29:48 PM »
So I just started playing Echo Bazaar the other day, and it's gripped my mind like wildfire. The Brass Embassy! The Great Game! Prisoner's Honey! Endless dreams of mirrors reflecting ashen deserts! And so on! And so forth! Man. Oh man.

So naturally, I'm curious how development of this is going. Is it one of those quiet spells that means work is happening, or one of those quiet spells that means John and Vincent are working on any of the other hojillion projects they've got going on?

Apocalypse World / Relationship map!
« on: August 26, 2010, 06:41:45 PM »
So DannyK's running a PbP over at, and before the official start asked us a whole bunch of juicy provocative questions, especially about relationships with NPCs and such. Here and there a few people accidentally used the same name and decided they were the same person, or deliberately reincorporated other people's NPCs, and somebody said "Man, we should make a relationship map to keep all this stuff straight."

And one of our players, named Megavzer, actually did!

It was a little too awesome not to share.

Apocalypse World / Highlights for the MC
« on: August 10, 2010, 11:22:06 PM »
So I was thinking about the MC's moves in my head on the way to work, inspired by the other thread, when this idea suddenly hit me:

Whenever stats get highlighted, the MC picks two players (if you've got at least 4, pick two that didn't get to highlight last time). Each of those players picks a move off the MC's list of moves, and highlights it.

When you make one of the highlighted moves, and misdirect and never speak its name, hold 1.

Spend hold to... I dunno? I'm open to suggestions, here. Spend 5 to mark improvement? Open certain new options to the MC, put new custom moves in play, unlock the ungiven future for the MC after you've done it at least 5 times? I'm open to suggestions here.

But I really like the idea that, for example, one player might decide, for a session, they want to encourage "Make then buy", and another might want to see some "Activate their stuff's downside" action, or such.

brainstorming & development / Blood and Shadows
« on: July 05, 2010, 08:41:01 AM »
Rereading some of the old development blog posts, and noticed somebody mentioning a World of Darkness hack, which got me to thinking. Here's a few ideas, I don't know if I'll run with them at all, so feel free to contribute your own, or take these ideas and run with them yourself.


When you rise at sunset, roll +blood. On a 10+, you're fine for the night. On a 7-9, you feel the pangs: take -1 ongoing until you feed on blood. On a miss, anything you do until you feed is acting under fire, where the fire is losing control.

When you feed on someone, gain +blood equal to how much harm you deal to them, to a maximum of +3.


The Predator
The Shadow
The Rose
The Prince
The Elder
The Wretch


When you feed upon a mortal's dreams... (stuff)

When you swear a binding oath... (stuff)

Apocalypse World / Introducing... the Weeder
« on: June 30, 2010, 11:26:26 AM »
So a friend of mine, Erik, made a playbook called the Weeder. It's in a friends-locked lj post, but I got his permission to share it. Here ya go!

The Weeder

Amber waves of grain, that was part of the golden age, food enough to eat for everyone.  Food enough to waste, and the trash pits of the old days overflowed with things to eat that command serious jingle these days.  You ever been hungry then I know you heard that shit, we tell it to one another every time the only other thing to hear is the growling of an empty belly.  Nowadays, farming's a sucker's bet, where the wheel comes up famine, disease, famine, disease, and only the desperate scrape at the ground in hopes of something both green and edible.  Only the desperate and the Weeder, who knows a thing about that which comes out of this poisoned, scorched soil green and how to make it grow.  You ever not been hungry, you've got one to thank.

To Make a Weeder, choose a name, look, stats, moves, farm, gear and Hx.  Choose in any order you like.

Jessamy, Folger, Scrape, Ivy, Cass, Daryl, Marco, Vavilov, Chorey, Cincinnatus, Jackass, Daisy, Ramiya, Devin, Yingxia, Tappuah, Concupiscentia, Sanada, Nathaniel, Roman, Demeter, Gorey.

Man, Woman, Ambiguous

Overalls, casual wear, utility wear, scrounge wear

Sunburnt face, pocked face, pretty face, gaunt face, broad face, smiling face, inscrutable face or young face.

Squinting eyes, unreadable eyes, staring eyes, bluging eyes, dark eyes, doe eyes, mismatched eyes or hawk eyes.

Bent body, sturdy body, plump body, wiry body, lush body or odd body.

Callused hands, scarred hands, dirty hands, stained hands, square hands, sure hands or hidden hands.

Choose one set:
Cool -1 Hard 0 Hot +1 Sharp +2 Weird +1
Cool +1 Hard +1 Hot -1 Sharp +2 Weird 0
Cool 0 Hard -1 Hot 0 Sharp +2 Weird +2
Cool +1 Hard 0 Hot +1 Sharp +2 Weird -1

All the basic Moves, which I am not putting down here.  You can go here and get your own.

You get this one:
Feast or Famine: At the beginning of a session, roll + Sharp.  On a 10+ you've grown enough to eat and a lot to sell.  On a 7-9, you've got enough to eat  and a little to sell, or you can skip a few meals and have a lot to sell.  On a miss, your crops are fucked and unless you come up with the means to fix them this session, you don't get to roll them next session.  If you didn't roll last session because they were fucked and you didn't fix them, you can roll this session.

You also get one of these:
Whispers in the Weeds - As long as your crops are not fucked, you can walk through your garden and gain Insight.

Tracker - When entering or examining an area, roll +Sharp, on a 10+, ask three questions, on a 7-9, ask 1:

    * Who came through here last?
    * Where are the people who came through here last headed?
    * Has ____ been here recently, and where did they head?
    * Were they expecting trouble?
    * Were they trying to hide or protect something?

Heel on the Blade - When you roll to seize something by force, you can roll +Sharp instead of +Hard to do it the clever way.  If you do this, you cannot choose to inflict terrible harm.

Green Fingers Know - When facing a blight, disease of plant, animal or human, or a poisoned, blasted, blighted or weird area, roll +Sharp, on a 10+ ask 3 questions, on a 7-9, ask 1.

    * What's causing this?
    * What's the best way to stop or contain it?
    * What's the best way to use it to my advantage?
    * What's the best way to cleanse or clear it?
    * How can I keep from getting sick on it?

If you follow the advice, get +1 forward for dealing with it or using it.  On a miss, you poor bastard, you get sick off it.

It's all Sex and Death - Choose a Special move from one other Playbook.  When you have sex with someone, both apply.

For personal gear, you get

    * A farm tool that has been somewhat modified on the basis that all flesh is grass: hatchet, sickle (2  Harm, Hand) or scythe (3 Harm, Clumsy, Hand).
    * Oddments worth 1 barter.
    * Fashion suitable to your look, including, at your option, a piece worth 1 Armor.

Your farm features 3 of the following: hothouse, grow lights, meat animals, labor animals, fur/leather/textile animals, tractor or atv, a freak of nature with beneficial properties, orchard, farmhands (Pippa, Gorge and Big Sally).

For security, you get either this 1:
a real gang of farmhands (Aloyshka, Tifa, Spleen, Charmschool, and Mikado - 3 Harm small 1 Armor)
or 2 of these:

    * doggies (Sarama and her pups, 2 harm gang, small - 0 armor)
    * downright evil boar that, for some reason doesn't try to eat you (The Beast - 2 Harm, 1 Armor)
    * rifle on the porch (3 Harm, Loud, Reload)
    * fence with some razor wire (1 Armor)
    * secret boltholes and hide-aways
    * poisonous plants (1 Harm AP)

You're a farmer, you're not very complicated.  Everyone gets +1 with you.
You're a farmer, everyone comes to you if they want to eat.  You get +1 with everyone.

Weeder Special
When you have sex with someone, you get to read a sitch from the point of view of your partner, and get +1 forward to anything you do to help or interfere with that sitch.  If you miss, you totally misinterpret what's going on with them in various hilarious and potentially bloody ways.

Weeder Improvement
__ get +1 sharp (max sharp +3)
__ get +1 cool (max cool +2)
__ get +1 hot (max hot +2)
__ get +1 weird (max weird +2)
__ get new Weeder move
__ get new Weeder move
__ your farm now functions much the same way as a Savvyhead's workspace
__ add a feature to your farm
__ get a move from another playbook
__ get a move from another playbook

brainstorming & development / Dungeon World
« on: June 25, 2010, 10:26:36 PM »
With loving thanks to Tony Dowler's Apocalypse D&D hack, and Vincent Baker for the whole game in general. I had a long day at work in a post where I just get to sit down and not do much, and these thoughts were what resulted.

Character Creation:

Distribute points between the stats (cool, hard, hot, sharp, weird) such that they total to +3. The first +2 just costs you +2 points, each other +2 costs +3. Keep stats between +2 to -2 at character creation, and don't have more than one stat at -2.

Next, pick a race and a class. You've got 3 special moves to choose: unless you're a human, pick at least one from your race. Unless you're a hero, pick at least one from your class. ("Hero" is sort of intended to replicate the option in old books of your entire character concept just being 'elf' or 'dwarf' or such.)

Basic moves are what they are in Apocalypse World. There's no psychic maelstrom though: weird is pretty much only used in special or custom moves, but almost all moves that resist magical effects will invoke it, so put it at -2 at your own risk.

(Note: "Training" means to take +1 to any going aggro or seizing by force rolls when you're wielding the weapon in question. You can be trained in unarmed combat, of course.)

* Dwarven Weapons Training: You're trained in all axes and hammers.
* Pack Horse: Dwarves laugh at puny encumberance issues! Take +1 to all provisions-spent rolls. Also take +1 to all barter moves that involve a roll, you've always got a little something extra you can throw in to sweeten the deal.
* Hardiness: You've got +1 armor on top of whatever you're wearing, take -1 to rolls when you suffer harm, and +2 to any rolls reflecting resisting the effects of poison.

* Keen Senses: When you enter a place where there's something hidden, the DM will tell you to roll +sharp. If you get a 10+, you notice it, clear as day. If you get a 7-9, your suspicions are raised. You don't know what or where, but your gut's telling you there's something there. On a miss, if it's a monster or a trap, you're taken by surprise.
* Elven Weapon Training: You're specialized in long-swords and bows.
* Nature Magic: As Divine Magic, except you commune with nature, rather than a god (or gods).

* Perseverance: Whenever you fail a roll, take +1 ongoing until you roll a 7+. This stacks with itself, so if you fail three rolls in a row, for example, take a +3 to your next roll.
* Jack of All Trades: Pick a special move from a class other than your own.
* Specialist: Choose a special move from your class moves that requires a roll: take +1 ongoing to that roll. Alternatively, increase the bonus a special move gives you by +1.

(More races to come, probably?)

* Divine Magic: Through the medium of extended prayer, you can commune with your god (or gods), and use both the 'read a person' and 'seduce or manipulate' basic moves. Breaking any promises you make your god isn't quite recommended.
* Healing Touch: As the angel move.
* Divine Blessings and Curses: You can roll +weird instead of +hx to help or interfere.

* Ritual Magic: Say what you want to accomplish with magic, then roll +weird. On a 10+, choose two, on a 7-9, choose one.
  ~Quickly: If you don't choose this, the DM will tell you how long it will take to do.
  ~Cheaply: If you don't choose this, the DM will tell you what it will cost you.
  ~Masterfully: If you don't choose this, the DM will tell you what the side effects the spell has, in addition to achieving your basic intention.
* Recall Lore: Roll +sharp to see what you know about a place or thing. On a hit, the DM will tell you something useful, and on a 10+, you can ask up to three yes/no questions as followup.
* War Magics: Choose an energy type or two (fire, cold, lightning, acid, etc). You can wield these energies as a weapon in battle, (2-harm close loud reload magic).

* No Stranger to Pain: Take -2 to all 'when you suffer harm' rolls.
* Weapons Master: Pick three types of weapons. You're trained in all of them.
* Battlefield Tactics: Take +2 instead of +1 whenever you act on a read situation.

* Traps expert. Whenever there's a trap, the DM will tell you to roll +sharp. On a 10+, choose both, on a 7-9, choose one: What does it do? What sets it off? On a miss, you're unaware, but you won't necessarily set it off, unless you're going in front and that happens to be enough.
* Stealthy: When you try to do something sneakily, roll +cool. On a 10+, both, on a 7-9, one: You pull it off. Nobody notices the attempt.
* Sly: Take +1 to all attempts to manipulate people, and all attempts to interfere with anybody trying to read you.

* Teamwork: Take +2 instead of +1 whenever somebody helps you. When you help somebody else, they take +2 instead of +1.
* Reputation: As the operator move.
* Exemplar: Choose a stat. Take +1 in that stat. (Max +3) ((If you're a human hero, you can take specialist in exemplar for a +2 to any stat, but the max is still +3.))

I have some ideas for extra moves, but I want to wait until I have a few more before I give, say, fighters and clerics bonus moves to choose from while the other classes still only have 3. Suggestions welcome!

Apocalypse World / MC Playsheet/1st session worksheet?
« on: June 18, 2010, 12:35:59 PM »
When are these handy tools, and the other "pullouts" like the HX grid and expanded character sheet, going to be available on the site? What about a fronts booklet?

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