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Topics - Ariel

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brainstorming & development / Sincere advice for hacking and fuckery.
« on: November 02, 2012, 01:32:26 PM »
If you haven't, go a play Vincent's other games a couple of times each.

I strongly recommend playing the Rock of Tahamaat and GHOST/ECHO (otherkind dice). You might get some stuff out of Dogs, Puppies or IAWA, but I think Rock of Tahamaat and Otherkind are both important to playing AW well.

I just played it (RoT) for the first time last weekend and I've been playing Apocalypse World on and off for three years now. And I finally just deeply grokked Moves and the relationship between the MC and the PCs.

I think it's also, after playing some Monsterhearts and a bunch of Dungeon World, that while Dungeon World is extremely successful (and I say this with zero malice; Adam is a personal friend) DW shouldn't have been an AW hack. And suffers for it. It's a great game, though, and remains my D&D emulator of choice.

Also, after a year of contemplation, the problems I'd been having with Eschaton are starting to be solved. Being solved because for that year I played other games. Like, card games, board games, computer games, (I also studied games being made, but that's another weirder thing) etc.

Just an idea.

Dungeon World / Order Hireling?
« on: September 30, 2012, 11:00:08 PM »
I see references to it in the text, but it's not a move in the current build.


Eschaton / The end of the world hosted by Johnstone and Orlando
« on: September 06, 2012, 10:19:32 PM »
Me and Johnstone are writing two games are are sort of one game that are sort of like maybe an anthology of games.

It's about the end of the world. It's about trauma. It's about hard-minded agents and surreal demons. It's some of those things, it's other things, it's none of those things.

Essentially, we're producing at least two games that share some common elements. Both mechanically and as he writes: 'This game is intended to cover the common ground between Bladerunner, Event Horizon, Solaris, and the works of William Gibson and H. P. Lovecraft."

One is Johnstone's tentatively titled "Black Seas of Infinity." Mine is I don't know, ???????, I guess. In BSI, you fight, perhaps nihilistically and desperately, to save the future against the seemingly implacable advance of the Eschaton. In the other, you surreally and poetically tackle the thematics of posthumanism: finitude, grief, extinction, desire, affect, non-subjectivity, incomprehension, etc.

Basically, it's the difference between The Borne Identity and Last Night. If both of those screenplays had been written by a collaboration between Lovecraft and Lem. Directed by Riddly Scott. Definitely with no budget to speak of.

The reason I say anthology at all, is because we're thinking about a sort of 'playset' style books, depending on the kind of apocalypse you want. Like Christian, Nanobots, Cthulhian, etc. Not entirely sure yet. It'll probably look like one and three halves of a game.

When either of the games have workable alphas, we'll post them here. You're welcome to mess around with anything we've already posted.

Please let us know how and when they break!

Eschaton / Eschaton moves.
« on: September 03, 2012, 02:49:38 PM »
    [Working on this thing again. Striped down frames. Four stats, five moves (plus maybe a generic, statless, act under fire)]

    Another is any person, place or thing.

    When you traumatize another, roll fray.

    On a 10+, have them mark trauma; brutal, sudden and irrevocable.
    On a 7-9, instead they may choose one:
    • Evac from terrible you.
    • Reboubt their position.
    • Cause collateral.
    • Exchange trauma for trauma.
    • Comply with your sick heart.

    When you are traumatized, mark that trauma down. If another takes vantage of it, you take -1 or they take +1, as the case may be. All traumas effect the fiction and consistute the characters affects. Some traumas may worsen and cause that that character to die, or otherwise leave the narrative.

    When you want to recover from trauma, frame a scene with another where they help you heal and explain how you do it Give them a sync with you, and roll scar.

    On a hit, strike-out that truama. On a 10+, both. On a 7-9, one. You may either take a sync with them, or erase that trauma completely. When a trauma is striken, it is less volatile in the fiction and, rarely, you might take vatage of it for a +1. Traumas that are striken are refered to as scars.

    You sync whenever you stalk, seduce, manipulate, turn-on, gain trust with, or commit similar intimacies with another. This may occur in a scene framed explicitly for this purpose, retroactively, as a flashback, or in the heat of a moment. When you do with, roll vamp.

    On a 10+, sync with them.
    On 7-9, they can decide to either:
    • Have you both sync with one another.
    • Answer any one question of yours.
    • Take direct action based on your explicit desires.

    Sync may be spent to:
    • When traumatizing, have the victim mark trauma in addition to the outcome.
    • Interfere with their actions causing them to act at a disadvantage.
    • Aid in their actions, causing them to act with an advantage.
    • Ask them a single question.
    • When they must answer a question, you may instead answer for them.

    Whenever you beseech the eschaton to commit acts inhuman, impossible and graceless, tell the field what you desire and then roll moth. You may not refuse its gifts; your reciporicity is demanded in return.

    On a 10+, it fulfills your hearts dark desires.
    On a 7-9, as above but also, mark an additional moth.

    When you listen for echoes, roll moth.
    On a hit, you may witness distant events, either temporal or spatial, or ask a single question of another.
    On a 7-9, as above but also, mark an additional moth.[/list]

    Dungeon World / The Sorcerer's New Spells
    « on: February 20, 2012, 07:43:19 PM »
    So, this counts as a currently being playtested hack of the Wizard I've been calling the Sorceress/Sorceress. It's been through a few iterations but it seems to be working at the table pretty well.

    It's basically my response to the fact that the Wizard is suppose to have phenomenal cosmic power but actually is kinda useless a lot of the time - aside from the one or two maybe critically useful spells they might know and have prepared. Also, you don't have the time or the resources research a Ritual while you're in the dungeon. I wanted something a little more practical for dungeoneering as well as something that rewarded player creativity.

    So, here's a thing. It hasn't been game breaking and the Magic-User is still really, really pathetic when it comes to combat even with the greatly expanded options. Casting takes a little more handling time, and some more GM Fiat that before. However, it's been giving the Sorc some concrete tools to be good what he's suppose to be good at on the tin. Like magical shit and eye-fireballs.

    There are some gaps in the document. It's mostly meant to share some of my design thoughts and not be like, a complete thing. So, that being said, infer or as questions.

    Dungeon World / GM play-aid sheet
    « on: February 07, 2012, 03:09:37 PM »
    Just the Principles, Moves, on the fly Monster creation and a big list of names on a landscape legal, one-sided.

    Nothing fancy, just thought I'd share it.

    Dungeon World / Monks?
    « on: January 26, 2012, 02:33:19 AM »
    Putting together a playbook for the Monk class. I've got the core of it more or less sorted out combat-wise but I tend to find that stuff easy to come up with, but I usually want a little more out of a playbook.

    So, I was wondering what kind of things Monks do in a Dungeons & Dragons kinda game?

    What kind of fictional or non-combat stuff or Moves would you like to see?

    What's cool about the Monk class? What do you like about it?

    So, we ran DW yesterday!

    Great time, and surprised at how it played just like older incarnations of D&D and similar (which for me is a mix between 2nd Planescape, 3.0 and Palladium Fantasy). I imagine, that depending on the GM and the prep, it might look more like B/X or something. The major difference is that it just runs faster and more smoothly. Combat is relatively straight forward, although I was surprised that the least tactical of my gamers wanted more variety in her Hack and Slashing and the more story oriented dude was quick to push the limits of Defend (“Can I reduce the damage to 7/8th?”). 

    The party comprised of:

    Corvus, Paladin of the Argent Heart, and his NPC attendants Secundus the Scrivener and Cedric the Neophyte. His mount was named Pepper.

    Va'enya, the Elven Sorceress (Sorcerer? Elves have ambiguous sex characteristics. A magic user at any rate), it's raven Familiar and Bodie the Human Apprentice.

    Hern, the Barbarian, and her tribe-sisters and handmaidens Morag and Sheena.

    The Barbarian is a class I threw together after reading some discussion on it over at SG, particularly Johnstones' Berserk move. Making DW playbooks is way easier that AW ones, by the way.

    I printed all the available dungeon starters and trifolds I have access to a asked them which one seemed most interesting to them.

    So, the Adventure started out at the back entrance to the Spanterhook Thieves' Guild. The Barbarian promptly smashed her way in as we didn't have a Thief. This basically set the tone for the session where the Barbarian went smashing around and the Paladin and Wizard cleaning up the mess, taking prisoners and providing some healing. I got some interesting mileage out of random traps and poison darts. Cedric the Neophyte was turned into a Frog and the Barbarian was poisoned with Goldenroot. First level characters are fragile! Even Barbarians and Paladins! The party nearly TPK'd during the final conflict with the president and his pair of Minotaur guards but the Barbarian cut a deal with Death (More skulls for the skull throne! More blood for the Raven Queen!) allowing her and the Pally to live and aid the Wizardess in finishing off the president and retrieving the Eye of Entax.

    They returned to the Shrine of the Argent Heart to rest, divvy up the loot and fence the Eye.

    I'm using Gold/Barter spent for XP + Alignment Keys instead of Highlighted stats + Alignment Keys. This seemed work well, as I can pace leveling via Treasure and is more evenly distributed around the party.  It seemed to work well. Everyone leveled at the end of the adventure after doing some shopping.

    I was nice to run a 'classic' style of game again. Lots of fun, easy to GM as I got to lean on the 'module' and use my energy to focus on the details rather than the plot or Fronts or whatever. Fronts will be useful next session but having a dungeon, a list of Mobs, and a list of NPC with a situation baked in is a breeze to run. Light, fun and scratches that D&D itch that was the core of my formative RPG experience.

    We forgot to make saving throws against higher level Mobs often. I think I only remembered to do so once, despite many of the Mobs being level 2.

    I made some changes to the rules. I let them pick their names. I gave them the option of having a few NPC mooks to start with (they act machanically like equipment). Slightly higher starting HP (equal to their Con Score) but gaining a randomized amount thereafter based on their class. Mobs did randomized damage instead of a fixed amount (e.g. 5 dmg becomes 1d10 dmg) which seemed to produce a little more tension. Although, occasionally, the Mobs hit pretty hard, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that sometimes they don't hit hard at all (when they roll under the armor value.) Oh, and we rolled the stats, which gave them better than typical sets as they all where quite lucky.

    The first session seemed like just getting a feel for the characters and getting the ball rolling. Looking forward to building on the now established relationships and plot hooks to drive some sandbox play. I need some random tables for treasure and well, everything.

    Dungeon World / Stat distributions and the d20
    « on: January 12, 2012, 10:52:09 PM »
    Hey Sage and Adam,

    I was wondering why the stat modifiers (Red Book p19) are the way they are? Why not have them map to 3e +/-1 per 2 zeroed on 10? You'd have the change the standard distributions a bit but you could have the similar results. I mention this only because the +2 to a stat at level three may or may not give you a +1 to one of your modifiers. Unlike in AW where a +1 to stat advance is just what it says. When rolling 3D6 for stats, I know what the modifiers are without consulting the chart. That and if I add +2 to my 17 stat there's no value listed for 19.

    A different but some what related question: why not use the d20 for move resolution rather than 2D6? AW is great because it only uses 2D6, but DW already has other polyhedral dice. I find the lack of the iconic d20 uhm, lacking.

    Anyways, it'd look like this: 8- miss, 9-16 partial hit, 17+ full hit.

    Crits/nat20 and fumbles/nat1 could be added as could the ol' take 10.

    Just some thoughts.

    PS math edit: having reviewed the probability distributions for AW Dice and d20, what the modifiers mean changes a fair bit. Like, with the d20 the odds of a partial hit stay constant unless you've got large values for the modifiers. Whereas with AW Dice, the weight shifts from miss, to partial, to full hit as the modifiers move from negative to positive.

    blood & guts / Co-MCing?
    « on: November 29, 2011, 06:28:33 PM »
    Elsewhere, Vx wrote:

    "I designed Apocalypse World with Co-GMing in mind. I'll try to write a bit about it during the week maybe. It shouldn't take much!"


    Here, on your blog, or whatever.

    I'd be extremely interested.


    Apocalypse World / Names play-aid sheet?
    « on: November 23, 2011, 02:53:39 PM »
    It's a one-page MC sheet with every name, in alpha order, from all the play books.

    Does anyone have it?

    Adam's been looking for it and I'm sure he's be stoked if someone delivered it up like magic.

    Apocalypse World / Blank Playbook Files?
    « on: November 15, 2011, 12:57:14 PM »
    Hey does anyone have decent blank indesign files / templates for the tri-fold layouts?

    I've got all the fonts and stuff, I was just hoping to make them totally consistent with the current 'official' ones.

    Eschaton / [Burning Apocalypse Con] Players and Scenario ideas
    « on: November 02, 2011, 03:27:26 PM »
    So, I'll be running the first playtest for Eschaton tomorrow and then against next week. Currently, I'm pretty happy where the rules and playbooks are at the moment. Just fleshing them out for tomorrow.

    I will be doing the first public playtest at the Burning Apocalypse Con.

    If you're attending, or not even, what are some themes or scenario idea that you as potential players would be interested in? What flavours of world-enders capture your imagination?

    Eschaton / Splats and Basic Moves Docs up!
    « on: October 22, 2011, 10:47:01 PM »
    Some of the playtest docs are ready.

    Probably not runnable unless you're me!


    Basic Moves!

    Eschaton / BASICS: Stats
    « on: October 13, 2011, 06:37:28 PM »
    The core mechanics are as follows, from Johnstone and I's design talks. These are still  subject to change, critique and modification.

    There are four basic stats, much to Johnstone's chargin I imagine, but in practice, it turns out to be more like eight or so.

    In AW, you roll 2d6 and add you stat, the degrees of success are: 0-6/7-9/10-11(12)/(12+).

    In Bulwark you have four stats. Two of them are roll 2d6, one of them is lucky roll 3d6 and keep the highest two and the other is unlucky, roll 3d6 and keep the lowest two. You add whatever modifiers you have, +1foward, +2 to dissect, whatever. The degree of success are 0-7/8-10/11-12/13+. That means you've got all the moves opened up by default.

    The four stats are Fray, Vamp, Edge, and Moth.

    Fray as in violence and trauma; doing it and recovering from it; psychical, social or psychic.

    Vamp as in hot, charming and sexy but also as in mindfuckery, manipulation, psychic warfare, using someone else.

    Edge as in a hard-edge or a keen-edge, but also having an edge or skirting edge. Resisting pressure, sneaking around, finding stuff, getting the jump on some one.

    Moth as in moths to a flame, but also moth as in the dual mean of the Greek psyche and the Latin anima: both soul and moth. It's the weird stat and it's how to get to information, navigate the network but also the go to weird stat, just like in AW.

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