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Messages - McDaire

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brainstorming & development / Re: City of Myst
« on: November 24, 2016, 01:04:17 PM »
Hi Wambly, this is Amít, creator of City of Mist.

I'm sorry that you felt that a real-world religion was being marked as the villain in the Case "Demons in Cross End". In my perspective, there are no villains in City of Mist, only agendas. Neither the 'Church' portrayed in the case nor the 'Demon' are good or evil; they are just stories trying to take place in the City (which is the premise of the game). To wit, some players have identified with the desperate actions of Christina, the main representative of the 'Church', while others though them morally wrong. This is exactly the type of morally gray story that City of Mist tries to tell, in accordance with its noir theme.

If anyone else wants to read the Case, it's free to download:

At any rate, Wambly, thank you for sharing the Kickstarter link and for the kind words -- 10 hours to go!

Thanks for this feedback, Dabrainbox. I don't find it over-critical at all, it's actually very important.

It was not my intention to give new MCs the impression that they can deny players of what they earned, but I guess that can be construed from what I wrote and especially the example I gave. My intention was to indicate the points at which MCs have an opportunity to make a move or influence the game and the last point is there to let new MCs know that they don't need to wait for a miss to make a move. The question of which move they will make is a different one -- one that you addressed very accurately.

So I think I will change the example in the last point.

I noticed a lot of GMs / MCs new to AW and PbtA games miss out on some of the best parts of the system because they don't know when to cue in. So here's an article describing the points where MCs can influence the game:

I'd love some feedback on this, let me know what you think.

Check out the free starter set for my game City of Mist:

It's a game of film noir investigation and super-powered action, set in a modern metropolis rife with crime, conspiracies, and mysteries where ordinary people  become ‘Gateways’ – living embodiments of a legend.

The game uses some interesting new features added on top of the Moves, such as the roll+tags system I discussed here before, and the Status system for conditions. Also we have really nice art :) Kickstarting soon!

I would really appreciate your feedback on the game and specifically the mechanics. If anyone wants to run the game and has any questions please hit me up.

Thanks Aaron and Paul for the feedback.

We've been playtesting this mechanics quite intensively in the last few months. Definitely the points you made are present, here's how I tried to handle them:

Players trying to use tangential tags
I've been able to easily control the use of tangential tags in all the games I ran with a kind of a straight forward approach that I tried to descibe in the "You as a referee" part of the MC sheets The one time it got out of hand was when Mitosis got into a fight with a group and all his tags became relevant at once, granting him +5. I still need to work out how to handle that, if at all, because it IS where he is supposed to be the most useful.

Too big a bonus, breaking AE
The second problem, too great a bonus, is managed with:
  • Statuses, which are conditions that grant a penalty to all rolls related to them.
  • Weakness tags that the player or MC invoke to reduce the bonus (players get XP for that).
So all in all, it ends up being a much more loose range of numbers with more factors affecting it, but the end result almost always stays within the AE range. There is another factor that mitigates the effect:
3. The moves have nastier 7-9 effects so that even high bonuses do not save a character from taking some kind of Status.

Another suggestion
A suggestion made by the players was to set a limit of 3 tags per action (they can still get a greater bonus using positive Statuses). This way, there is not so much a rush for relevant tags, just a quick scan to see if you have 0, 1, 2, or 3 tags. On the other hand, knowing that the max is 3 can drive players to try to max it every time, only increasing the tangential tags issue.

What do you think?

Hi everyone,

I just published a post about the roll+tags mechanics I am using in my street-level super-powers and investigation hack, City of Myst:

Do you agree on the benefits mentioned? What do you think might be the possible breaking points of this system? Does anyone know about other AE games or creators using a roll+tags system that I can consult with?

brainstorming & development / Re: City of Myst
« on: February 16, 2016, 04:11:46 PM »
We just released more free content: "V for going Viral", City of Myst's first playable scenario ("Case"), tells the story of an infectious new evil that's plaguing the City. We also released the MC moves and principles, as well as a tracking sheet for the MC that helps follow the PC's motivations, a crucial component of the Mythos & Logos character development system.

brainstorming & development / Re: City of Myst
« on: February 03, 2016, 05:23:16 PM »
Anyone has some insight about the roll+tags mechanic?

brainstorming & development / Alpha version is out
« on: January 29, 2016, 04:25:00 PM »
Here we go -- the alpha version is available on our website along with some nice art, check it out:

I'd very much appreciate any kind of feedback, from the concept down to the smallest detail.

Specifically, the roll+tags mechanic is pretty experimental and it would be great to get your thoughts on it. It's been going very well on playtests so far, but maybe that's because I was running all of them. Same goes for the status spectrums and Mythos\Logos mechanics.

If anyone is up for running a playtest, I will give you all the support you need. Contact me at .

Hope you enjoy the read!

brainstorming & development / Re: City of Myst
« on: January 21, 2016, 03:34:34 PM »
So the answer is: absolutely not.

City of Myst is not a game about superheroes. It's a game about super-powered street-level individuals and the inner struggle within them between a greater power trying to manifest through them and their personal lives and identity. It's all about the gray tones - not necessarily the dark tones - but the grays. Characters are complex and can have a variety of motivations which conflict not only with other character's motivations but with motivations within the same character. So players can choose to play any kind of character really.

The first showcase character we started sharing info about, Fire Salamander (seen in the above pic, link to post below), is a 'hero' in the sense that he's a good guy: he's kind, he's committed to helping the City, and in a way he's naive and traditional. That can get him into a lot of trouble in City of Myst. Most importantly, it's his personality, not a core theme of the game. The next few characters we'll elaborate on will clarify the game's direction by revealing more complexity.

Hope that answers the question :)

brainstorming & development / City of Myst
« on: January 21, 2016, 09:49:34 AM »
Hi everyone,

I've been working for over a year on a PBTA game called City of Myst about super-powered individuals in a dark urban mystical setting. The two cool game mechanic elements that characterize the game:

1. It runs on roll+tags. The characters are basically lists of tags and the moves are powered by the number of relevant tags you use in a a move. This is a fusion of Apocalypse Engine with tag-based games, e.g. Lady Blackbird.

2. Status spectrums replace harm. Status combines a tag, often negative, with a tier. Whenever the tag applies to what you are doing, the tier acts as a penalty to your roll. The status spectrum is a nice way to merge different effects into one value ("Are they on the same spectrum?") and make the penalty stacking non-linear. I'll share more about that when the Alpha is out.

The Alpha release, due in the next few days, will include the core moves and mechanics and seven ready-made character playbooks (not archetypes but finished characters - the character creation is a whole 'nuther ballgame).

If you want to check out the game website for some more info -- it's at . I will post an update here when the Alpha docs are available for download.

For now - does anyone know of any other games/hacks working with the roll+tags mechanics that I can check out? What do you think about this direction?

Oh and check out some of the art our illustrator has been working on:

Holding Pen / A new Song of Ice and Fire hack - playbooks
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:21:22 AM »

I'm new to Barf Forth Apocalyptica. Been playing Apocalypse World and "powered by" games for a few years now.

Since last year I've been working on a hack for a Song of Ice and Fire with a new approach. Before sitting down to design it, I saw the posts here on the subject by Jeff and I read the other hack by Andrew Medeiros, which were cool, but I needed something that could really help my players sink their teeth into the ASOIAF feel.

I'd like to share the playbooks I created and get feedback, ideas, and comments. So here it is:


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