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Topics - tehnai

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roleplaying theory, hardcore / Terminology project - Color
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:56:27 AM »
I'm a student at the University of Ottawa, currently working on a degree in Translation (into French).

I have a project to do in a terminology class (that is the study, writing and creation of terms) in which we are asked to create a couple of terminology records in a field of our choice, that it must not have been already covered by the two major Canadian term banks.

Essentially, I need to find terms that nobody important ever bothered translating in French, translate them, and publish the research and the record. I've chosen as my field of study RPG design.

Which brings me to the reason of this post. I'm looking for essays and discussions on the concept of "color" in roleplaying game and was wondering if the good people at the RPG theory forum could help me out with some research.

I do have to say I'm enjoying scurrying around in the Forge's archives, during class, and not being a terrible student.

Dungeon World / So, The Druid
« on: June 14, 2012, 03:23:10 PM »
The druid playtest just appeared on Kickstarter. What do you guys think?

I've never been much of a druid kind of guy. I voted barbarian. But I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. It's not what I expected (a spell list and such) but by the gods, I would play that druid and play it hard.

Dungeon World / (AP) Hall of the Vampire Queen
« on: June 14, 2012, 10:04:56 AM »
I love this system. Sadly, it wasn't the case for all of my 3 players in yesterday's playtest, and one of them was being sort of a douche by the end of the session, thus ruined the last hour or so of gaming. I'll get to that in time, though! Let us talk about Dungeon World, point by point!

Character Creation

Everybody loved it, I believe. It's fast and flavorful, and even the die-hard D&D player (3.5 and down) thought Bonds were clever and wonderful. I loved the speed of it and how unique characters were. In less than 15 minutes, we had established that the rogue and the wizard were trying to establish said wizard as a God (one for money, the other, because he truly believed he should be). The third character was a Paladin of a bloodthirsty and violent god. So the cast was Xeno, the elven wizard aiming for godhood, Omar, the halfling rogue, and Sanginus, the Lawful paladin.

Later on the paladin died (to a party of sahugins) and made a ranger.

So we essentially ended up with an evil party, which I don't normally agree to, but I figured "eh, what the hell, they have fun characters". Evil parties work pretty great in Dungeon World, I would say.

GM's prep

Adventures really do write themselves. I made a simple front, where a cult trying to resurrect their vampire queen (Lady Elvira), kidnapped the virgin daughter of a local lord (The Duke of Garmholm). The cult was currently residing into a haunted castle (unholy place) in the middle of the nearby swamps. So essentially, I had 2 dangers: The Thralls of the Vampire Queen and The Haunted Castle of House Fizlaus.

The Game

I really enjoyed the simplicity of it. Two of my three players were more open to narrativist gaming than the third had fun, but both felt that the game did not seem like it would work as a very long-term campaign, and that was fine for both of them, as most gamers nowadays are adults with responsabilities that can't really handle a 3-years long campaign. I usually run short, 5-10 session campaigns myself, so I found the pace pretty great.

This wasn't the case with our DnD player, who's last few campaigns were all over a year in lenght. I felt like he sort of lost patience or interest after 3 hours or so because of a lack of tactical diversity available in the game. And he was the loudest one at the table (while the two other players were much more reserved), so I felt like his rather obvious dislike of the system hurt the game session for everyone.

Overall, I really liked it, but one of my players resisted a too much to the change for it to have been an amazing session (which is a shame, because honestly, some really cool things happened, such as the ranger leading a troll into the Vampire's castle, or the invisible wizard throwing the sleeping vampire queen out through a window in the middle of the day). I was very surprised at the game's lethality. Pleasantly so. Granted, they fought pretty high-damage monsters.

The players got to fight a group of 8 Sahugins, a group of cultists lead by a Vampire, a Troll, and finally, a group of 3 vampires and 4 cultists with an hostage.


I vote yay. I have no regret for my kickstarter pledge and am looking foward to receiving my copy of the book. I'd really like to play under an experienced GM as to get a better idea of how it should be done, but it's a new game, so I'll have to figure that out on my own. Bonds are really great, but I'd like aid/interfere to have more impact. I feel like alignment moves aren't quite where they should be yet (some are much easier to do than others), but otherwise, this is a game I want to play more of. It was a little weird to have no structure in combat, but I rolled with it and it worked, but I would've liked to have more information on how combat works (I very rarely used my monster moves and generally had my players try to Defy Danger to evade it, I wasn't sure if I should have).

Loved: Bonds (They are more interesting than Hx, in my opinion), Spellcasting, anything being rolled at 7-9 (except one or two things), Discern realities (which is essentially an excuse for me to give tips on being awesome to my players, I love that)

Liked: Simple mechanics that encourage cool descriptions, variable power level based on whatever the group agrees is appropriate.

Needs work: I'd like to see failure being a little more defined (with volley and backstab, specifically), I felt like getting a partial success volley was underwhelming (players always chose to lose 1d6 damage and never risked having to move and exposing themselves to danger) and finally, the pace of leveling feels too different from character to character and class to class, I'd like to try it with 1 attribute highlight and see where that goes.

Dungeon World / [AP] Hall of the Vampire Queen
« on: June 12, 2012, 03:13:07 PM »
Before starting on anything, this first post is not, I repeat, is not my AP. In fact, I'll only be playing tomorrow, I just figured I would post my prep here, in it's entirety, my thought process and current opinion of the system, which may or may not change after playing.

Let's take this step by step and create a monster post.

Tehnai's discovery of Dungeon World

Like so many of you, it started with Apocalypse World. A guy I once played a game of Dread with, friend of a friend and die hard small press RPG gamers, was showing off his PAX loot, a month or two back. He showed the crew his new copy of Psi*run (nice little game, recommended), Misspent Youth (heard good things) and Apocalypse world.

Since then, I heard of the game here and there, eventually got my hands on a copy, and I thought it was pretty cool, seemed clever, very new-school approach. I'd enjoy trying it.

And then I gave a listen to the AP from and was blown away. I then reread the game and found everything to be so much deeper than I initially thought. I was fascinated by the brilliance of it all. But then I realized that AW was a little too dark for my regular crew. That's when I found Dungeon World.

So I'm coming in with a great opinion of AW, without having actually played. I have been playing DnD for half of my life (a life which as lasted me 24 years up to this point), and have opened myself up to other, less traditional rpgs for the last few year. I'm still itching to try Burning Wheel (not to mention saddened by the lack of PDF support, but I digress).

Getting the beta access

I started scrambling for a beta document, pledged 25 bucks to the kickstarter (and did some spreading of the word), and finally asked the devs nicely for beta access. And they granted it to me asking me to post an AP on these boards after trying out the game. I'd like to really insist on the fact that you guys are class acts. Seriously. I'd give you more money if I could only because of how awesome I was treated as a gamer and costumer.

Making a Front

I know, I know, I'm not supposed to make a Front for a first session, but I assumed that I was playing a one-shot, so I figured "what the hell?". My God are fronts magical! I spent much of my earlier years overprepping my campaign something fierce, and by the Gods is that relaxing. I'm looking at my Danger Moves and seeing them come alive before even starting.

Hell, my adventure description already assumed that 2 of my dangers had made moves already!

Hall of the Vampire Queen

First, the intro blurb, posted on facebook to attract potential players :

he Duke of Garmholm called upon you, heroes and adventurers, to find and save his virgin daughter, kidnapped by a man once thought to be naught but a monsterous village idiot, the deformed Crabhand.

Your small party tracked the "creature" to a flooded forest, quickly turning into a rotting swamp. In the middle of a smoking pool of swampwater, further on, you see an old manor, visibly on the verge of collapse. There is no doubt in your mind, that is where the Duke's daughter was brought.

You have found...


Classic, right? Let's get into the thick of it, our dangers.

First Danger : The Vampire Queen's Thralls

Description : The Vampire Queen as built a small society around herself, made up of a cult of human followers, lead by Crabhand, and a chosen few vampire spawns. The thralls are a cabal, their ambition is to grow in power through helping the Vampire Queen achieve her full power. For that, she must bathe in virgin's blood.

Cast: The Vampire Queen "Lady Elvira" (HP15, Arm2, Dam1d8+5, piercing 1), The vampire spawns (HP10, Arm1, Dam 1d8+5), Crabhand (HP7, Arm1, Dam1d6), a host of cultists (HP3, Arm1, Dam1d6). The vampires are modified from the rulebook, but otherwise have the same moves, but only Elvira can charm.

Grim Portents
-The last virgin is kidnapped
-The Last virgin is slaughtered
-The ritual preparation of the bath is complete
-Elvira Bathes in blood
Impending Doom: Tyranny (Elvira wants to make the world in her image)

Second Danger: The Fizlaus Manor and the Corrupted Swamps

Description: There's been something wrong with the manor for a long time. It was once owned by some important noble who died in a mysterious fashion. It's clearly haunted and it's evil as been leaking in the surrounding forest for decades, slowly turning it into a fetid, rotting swamp. It's obviously a unholy ground, with the impulse "to spawn evil".

Cast: The ghost of Gregor Fizlaus, Swamp monsters, The Thing in the Basement. Haven't decided what the thing was. Possibly an Otyugh or something similarly gross and tentacully.

Grim Portents
- The Old Oak dies
- The druids abandon their grove
- The village's well is poisoned
Impending Doom: Pestilence. The swamp grows and corrupts all it touches. Will our heroes stop it?

In conclusion

I'll be running that thing tomorrow, we'll see what happens, I can't wait. This game is so easy to prep for, it's a little scary. Stay tunned, folks!

Dungeon World / Blank Front sheet?
« on: June 12, 2012, 10:24:00 AM »
I wondered if someone had already made a blank Front sheet for GMs to use?

I'm pretty useless at graphic design, thus would not volunteer myself to create one...

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