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Topics - joshroby

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AW:Dark Age / MCing Agenda: Denying Rights?
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:16:53 PM »
I think I've put my finger on my confusion regarding Denied Rights, and that's how I'm supposed to approach that element of the game as an MC.

Obviously "deny their rights" is not one of the Agenda listed on the Master of Ceremonies sheet.  However, it's hardly difficult to argue that denying a character's rights is an easy way to make their life eventful.  You could also say that it's part of making things vivid or that you're trying to find out what happens.  There are easily half a dozen places in Principles, Your Moves, and Use Your Moves… that could also qualify.

By contrast, there's "Give the players' characters their due," of course.

With all the other Basic Moves, I read those as flags for where I should push the game.  I should introduce action that the PCs can leap into, warriors they'll need to muster, opposition to win over, single combat to join, and so on and so forth.  All of these things make for that vivid game where the PCs lives are eventful.

What I'm not sure is if I should be aiming to deny the characters' rights.  Is that a button for the GM to push?  Or is it really there for PC-vs-PC interactions?  Or is it a safety net for when events in the story push that way, and we have some recourse to keep us on the right track?

AW:Dark Age / Where Do Rights Come From?
« on: September 10, 2014, 02:42:13 PM »
So after our playtest last night, we were discussing the somewhat problematic space that rights presently occupy.

Rights seem to describe a sort of generalized public opinion and support; a liege lord is a liege lord because her subjects recognize her authority.  Or to go supernatural about it, the wicker-wise can perform enchantments because the Other World respects their wisdom/power/connections/what-have-you.

The only thing is, when the right is denied, that support and respect is more or less ignored.  This happens in the fiction—the usurper dismissing the lord's proper place—but it also occurs mechanically—the people who recognized you as their proper lord are suddenly looking the other way and making embarrassed coughing noises. All the support and respect implied by the fictional positioning is revealed as completely useless and ineffective.  Which seems weird.

Which got us to thinking—what if rights are specifically bestowed by their domains?  When they are denied, the "gods are angry" option is replaced by "the bestowing domain is angry."  So if you trample on the ancestral right and title to rule a stronghold, the ruler might declare that the people are revolting against the usurper's misrule.  If you disrupt somebody's good investments, then the Wider World gets angry at you for disrupting trade.  If your right to lead worshippers gets denied by your domineering liege lord, the Old Ways might surface to teach him a lesson in respect and humility.  If you prevent your war-leader from sending out scouts, War gets angry with you, which doesn't bode well for the battle you're about to fight.

This also puts a little more flavor into the fiction, so not just the gods get angry at the abused rights, but the Land Itself and the Other World and all sorts of juicy goodness.

AW:Dark Age / Crown of Towers Playtest
« on: September 03, 2014, 12:59:52 PM »

Players: Josh Roby, Judson Lester, Tony Delgado, Adam West

We started off with our Stronghold.  Both the harbor and the trade route + market town sounded promising to most of us, so we picked that the latter.  We each picked an enemy, ending up with Fractious and rebellious free landowners, hostile clans, and the remnants of the former crown's rule (we also ticked Raiders by Sea, but then realized that we hadn't picked the harbor, so we un-ticked the Raiders).  We chatted about the fortifications and we each picked one: Deep cellars, crypts, and bolt-holds; a hilltop position; watch- and signal towers; and a well or deep cistern; so basically we're the center of a network of towers, built on top of a hollow hill.  Later we considered if our People had built the place or somebody else, and resolved that everyone had built on and in this hill, generation after generation, and we're merely the most recent occupants.  We each picked a dot for our armory and got Spears, Hide coats and leather helmets, Bows and arrows, and upgraded the lot to "For 20."  (We're assuming the For 10 / For 20 / For 60 applies to everything else you bought.)

Our People, the Abrika, was fun to make.  We decided on a single family displaced here by the Empire—brought here to be governors, now half-stranded and half-dutybound to stay.  We suspect the father of the present liege was the last governor to actually report to the Empire; the present generation is holding on by momentum.  We are tall and olive brown—short note, I wanted some more options here beyond build and skin tone; hair color, facial features, big hands, long fingers, and such.  We are an enclave, and so number 20 souls, in 4 households, with 5 warriors.

We picked +1 Rites, 0 War, and +1 Wealth.  This was a little weird but driven by the prep so far.  As governors of a trade hub, we figured we should have some Wealth, and as a distant enclave that had retained its sense of identity as outsiders, we figured we should have some Rites.  Since only one option allows you a positive value in two slots, that's the one we went with.  Consequently, we have a 0 in War, which nobody really wanted but we settled on due to mechanical constraints.  We are known for the Might of Our Gods, Our Sorcery and Enchantments, Our Archers (going back to our Stronghold), Our Subtle Fashions, and Our Generous Hospitality.  Our language is Berber.

Then we made PCs!

Judson made Agerzam the War Captain, of the Abrika.  A man, he is typical of his people, and is "Tall, sharp eyes, straight nose, heavy brows, cheerful."  He's got Bold +2, Good 0, Strong +1, Wary +1, Weird -1, and took as his Rights the beginning-of-session right, a trained warhorse, supplications to the gods of war, and can wage war as you see fit.  He also got a ton of stuff which I am not transcribing here. When fully kitted out, he rolls in at Harm 4 and Armor 3.  He is the head of his household, which has Devotion, Professional Warriors, Hunting Lands, a Great Hall, and an Ancestral Shame.

Tony made Tinitran the Outranger, also of the Abrika.  A woman, she is typical of her people.  She's got Bold 0, Good +1, Strong -1, Wary +2, and Weird +1.  She had Bold +1 and Good 0 until we realized that nobody had positive Good, so Tony volunteered to be somewhat likable and persuasive.  Her rights are to find her way by road or trail, to keep acquaintance with the people she's met, she is of noble blood but a lesser descendant, and she can step out of her earthly life.  Tony voluntarily downgraded Tinitran's customary gear to a staff and little else; she rolls out at Harm 3 and Armor 0.  She has a place of honor in the household of her father, the liege, and that household has Fortifications, a Great Hall, Fine Furnishings, a Kitchen, Pantry, and Buttery, a Treasury, a Sacred Shrine, and Burdensome Duties (protecting the trade route and town).

Adam made Idus the War-Champion, of the Abrika.  A man, he is "a tall, imposing warrior.  He dresses in fine, elaborate clothing in contrast to most Abrika.  His brashness and lack of courtesy make him ostracized, despite his glory."  He has Bold +1, Good -1, Strong +2, Wary +1, and Weird 0.  He is known by reputation, can confront his betters for justice, owns an enchanted weapon (the holy ash boar spear), and does +1 harm in single combat.  Idus' gear puts him at Harm +4 and Armor +3.  He is the head of his own household, composed of the orphans and widows of the area; they have a kitchen, pantry, and buttery, many generations, professional warriors, a river, farmland, and too many dependents.

Josh made Tatbirt the Castellan, also of the Abrika.  A woman, she is "tall and broad, bronzed in the sun and built by long hours of honest labor."  She's got Bold 0, Good -1, Strong +1, Wary +2, and Weird +1.  She can commit or withhold the stronghold's resources, she can feel the pulse of the stronghold's walls and stones, she can muster laborers, and she can offer sacrifices for luck, harvest, or victory.  While her arms and armor are more often than not on the rack, when she dresses to defend the stronghold, she has Harm 4 and Armor 3.  She has an honored place in the household of her father the local liege, and therefore the details are the same as Tinitran's.

AW:Dark Age / The Most Important Question
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:41:42 AM »

What's your drinking cup like?

Mine is simple and bronze, like Tatbirt herself.  Daughter of the local liege, she serves as his Castellan and speaks to the castle itself.  She works hard, not that anybody notices, not that she particularly cares.  Somebody's got to build a wall around the stronghold before one of the clans comes a'knocking.  And Tatbirt's going to make sure that happens.

AW:Dark Age / Fronts?
« on: September 01, 2014, 09:04:19 PM »
So I see no mention of Fronts on the MC sheet.  Does Dark Ages run without Fronts, just on MC Principles and MC Moves?  Or should I port in Fronts from AW?

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