Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Auburney

Pages: [1] 2
brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 07, 2014, 06:49:57 AM »
Oops, sorry - link to char sheet was rubbish! (Accidentally uploaded the wrong file)

This one should work:


brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 06, 2014, 07:29:15 AM »
So this is what I've got so far:

I appropriated a combat system I had flying around from a previously attempted hack (trigger warning: it has initiative rules, and a distinction between active/reactive moves to go with it! But it it intrinsically powered by the Apocalypse, and while I have yet to see it in actual play, it may work nicely to emulate those breathlessly action-packed fight scenes...)

There may seem to be a whole bunch of moves, maybe unneccessarily many - but seeing as this is a "one playbook game" so far, I preferred building it broader instead of narrower, when in doubt.
This is why all character get access to all the Combat and Non-Combat basic moves.

There are a number of "Jedi moves" (for current lack of inspiration for a better term, and not wanting to name them "special" moves), which should serve to distinguish individual PCs from each other, despite the many similiarities between them otherwise.

Also, a whole bunch of Force powers, each their own move. I think I'm at 24 right now - another way to customize and distinguish PCs, as each chooses only 6 of them to start out with.

For the whole "combat, damage, harm and dying" stuff, I borrowed a bit from here and there (DW mainly, plus some assorted stuff), and ended up going with Hit Points basically (called Endurance here), but also Named Wounds (of which you can suffer three before going down).

Things I'm interested in at this stage:

* the Taint & Corruption mechanics - do you think they will work, do you think they are cool, fit the theme, etc.?

* the Combat moves (both supportive & set-up moves, and actual hack-and-slash moves) - too complex? Too confusingly written? Anything missing, or anything redundant?
Also of course, do you think they will work and feel right?

* the Force powers - did I miss any that would be really essential to have? Is there any unneccessary overlap between some if them? (I keep feeling there is, but can't pinpoint it when I go looking...)
Also, are they represented in sufficient accordance with the source fiction? (I.e., do I very badly violate any SW fluff here?)

In short, any comments or observations are welcome! :-)

Oh yeah, and a char sheet is here:

brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 04, 2014, 11:54:22 AM »
re: Corruption, yes, Urban Shadows does some real good stuff with that mechanic. It's not quite where I see my hack going, but there are a number of similar basic assumptions at work I feel.

you could have the PCs be renegades from the Jedi order. Give them some reason to think its been corrupted from the top town, that there's some major badness coming and they feel compelled to do something about it.
This, while not exactly spot on in every detail, is essentially pretty much the gist of what I was gonna go with, yes!

I was actually imagining a jedi mentor guy who was with the order, but unsatisfied at how things were done there, and very worried about the near future. Just in time before Order 66 hit, he finally worked up the nerve to grab a few of his most promising and dearest students, and made off to some backwater planet in order to escape the order's enemies long enough to bring those apprentices up and finish their teaching... but according to his own criteria.

He would basically tell them "giving in too deeply to the dark side is dangerous, yes yes, but the order's complete refusal to even consider going anywhere near it was just as wrong - see where it got them, and what good it did for the rest of the world".

This mentor would work on finding a middle path between those extremes, and bring up his pupils to to the same.

"For all the order's talk of peace and patience and negotiation... their individual Jedi were in practice awfully quick to leap into battle with the ever-so-feared Dark Side. But he who is at war with outside forces, is also always at war with himself, and thus ultimately no better than his enemy. It is only through balance that we shall find what both of these sides seek in vain - true power, and true peace."

could be padawans cut off from the order and their mentors. Perhaps, even, they're undercover infiltrating a sith cult or something like that, smelling where they might need to embrace the dark side to fit in.
These are cool ideas as well! I think maybe its best to have several version for how a game could be started up, i.e. the group would get to choose what type of basic setup they wanna go with. But they all result in a party of "grey" Force users, well removed from the entrenched "Order vs. Sith" moral lines of old.

I especially like the "undercover infiltration" angle - this is something I never would have thought of but that would make a lot of sense and could work beautifully for the whole "temptation" thing, so thanks for this piece of input! :-)

brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 01, 2014, 06:30:00 PM »
Thanks for the positive feedback so far - good to know I don't seem to be talking entirely crazy! ;-)

Have you seen any of the AW hacks for Star Wars by chance? Some are pretty darn good IMO.
I looked around a fair bit, but I'm sure I haven't seen them all... Any you'd like to recommend, I'll gladly take a look at!

The "manipulate as if on a 10+" thing does sound pretty cool, true. It gives the MC the choice on when to tempt PCs and what to tempt them to...
Also, I bet it nicely "turns the tables" on the PCs - seeing as its usually only them rolling the dice, being compelled like this by the MC will surely feel... humbling, shall we say? :-D
The Dark Side is after all, a force greater and more powerful than any particular individual. In the end, it devours all who dare meddle with it - and this rule might well reflect that.

Oh, yeah, on an unrelated note: my hack is intended to focus on "grey" Jedi, because precisely this element of temptation, of flirting with the Dark Side, but being reluctant to wholly give in to it, is important to me to have as a focus of the game.
I want to avoid "light side starch-asses" just as much as "all is lost to me anyhow, so why hold back" darkies. The middle ground here, is where the interesting decisions get made, imho.

brainstorming & development / Re: "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 01, 2014, 05:10:32 PM »
Now, I'll want there to be consequences to reckless Force use, of course. The current system for that goes something like this:

As you collect Dark Points (DP), each time you have gotten 3 of them, they culminate into one Corruption Point (CP). CP are even harder to get rid of than DP are. Also, they may negatively affect your character's actions:

"Whenever you make a roll for a move in the game, and your natural result on the 2d6 is equal or lower than 2x your CP, the Dark Side overpowers you, and takes control of your actions. This allows the MC to make a hard move reflecting the corrupting influence."

The power may still manifest, especially if the roll was a success, but the MC is free to add troublesome consequences and unwanted side-effects. 

(Yes, that means that at, say, 3 CP, every roll of 6 or less will have you lose control to your inner darkness. They always told you that the Dark Side is a perilous path that sooner or later devours all who walk on it…)

MC advice: Fill the lives of Dark Jedi with Frustration, Betrayal and Tragedy. Good tools for this are Destruction, Madness, Confusion, Anger, Fear, Hatred, Murder and other pathways to misery. Have those things affect the corrupted Jedi themselves, or the people around them.

(An ally or minion who is so filled with hatred that he kills someone he was supposed to capture, will produce good frustration, for example. Or perhaps you lose control yourself and alienate or anger the only person who has the information you seek. Stuff like this can also very well lead to underlings becoming scared enough of you, to betray you in an effort to save their own hides… and so on…)

CP naturally max out at 6, which is when any roll you can make is automatically corrupted by the Dark Side.
Whether to let players keep "controlling" their characters at this point, or not, might be up to the individual gaming group, perhaps? Some MCs may want to de-PC-ify characters at 3 CP already, or perhaps at 5 CP (when even a roll of 10 leads to a darkness-corrupted result)


A more complete write-up is in the works. I will keep presenting intermediate stages here.

For now, though:
Any opinions or thoughts on this?
Has something similar been done before?
Are there apparent problems I seem not to have taken into account?

Glad about any feedback! ^^

brainstorming & development / "grey" Jedi hack
« on: November 01, 2014, 04:46:05 PM »
Who amongst us doesn't occassionally get this urge, you know, the one to get some roleplaying going on in that most well-known, and one of the most popular, fantasy-in-space settings out there?

I for one certainly do - but somehow, none of the existing games out there ever seemed to get all the important elements quite right... so what other choice than to try my own hands at it? So that's just what I'm proposing to do in here.

As behooves any AW hack (the way I see it, anyways), I intend to focus on just those elements I find most interesting about the source material, and strive to get them represented just right.

Additionally, I have tried to identify some "common problematic areas" in existant Star Wars games, and tried to avoid them. Here goes a brief list:

1.) mixed Jedi and non-Jedi groups
2.) how "light" and "dark" Jedi (and their powers)  are rendered, both rules-wise and in the fluff
3.) the (imho) most important theme at the core of the entire setting: the temptation by the dark side of the force

The resolutions to each of these will narrow down my premise for this hack.

ad 1.) mixing Jedi and non-Jedi in a player group, I always felt this to be problematic. Not only does it bring up issues of "power balance" and all that stuff, but it also can feel pretty limiting as regards properly exploring the various' characters' themes and story arcs.
By which I mean, a smuggler, or a diplomat, or a bounty hunter, will almost certainly require different types of stories (scenarios, NPCs, agendas, etc.) to be able to really sing in a game, than a Jedi character will.

It is insofar no great wonder why Luke splits off from the rest of the party on several occassions in the movies - since he just has decidedly different things that are important or interesting to do, for him.

Most games I have seen so far that have tried to get all of those different types of character under one ruleset, have achieved only to either make the Jedi character ridiculously overpowered (sometimes to a degree where there seems no point in playing anything else, really), or virtually unneccessary to play (for the opposite reason).

In short, I resolved to try making a game about "Jedi only". No non-Force-users as PCs.
This is sort of the reverse approach from what "Edge of the Empire" does (which focusses on smugglers, rogues, bounty hunters and mercenary types exclusively), and which I think works really well for what it does.

So, this is likely going to be a "one playbook hack", i.e. there will be only one type of character to play: a Jedi apprentice.

This makes the group of PCs by necessity a bunch of apprentices, most likely taught by a common (or several separate) Mentor(s). Or who have a missing mentor and are now on their own.

ad 2.) "light" and "dark" force powers, here is my usual problem with those:
Let's face it, the Dark Powers are just more fun, usually. The Light Powers are often mostly described as defensive, perception-related, and/or weak. The Dark Force stuff is where the fun is at, however - zapping your enemies with lightning, strangling them and throwing stuff around with telekinesis, you name it...

Now, the ususal drift that I see in a Star Wars game is to punish the player for indulging in the fun too much. That's supposed to represent the dangers of the Dark Side, of course, but I also find it's actually pretty bad design.

Part of this is that individual powers are often "typed" as being either dark or light, with (often) nary a "grey" or "neutral" power in the mix.

This all leads me straight into my 3rd point -

ad 3.) the temptations of the Dark Side, I can't help but find it distasteful to write the rules in any way that basically says "now roll for whether your character succumbs to the temptation". This often leads to (more or less) elaborate simulationism, but it does little to involve the player themselves, give them meanigful choices about the matter, or evoke that awesome, terrible feeling of temptation, the lure of power, fear, guilt, consequences, etc.

I would try a (perhaps radically?) different approach: put the temptation not into the characters (and its stats and mechanics and so on), but move it to the player themselves.

The idea came to me when I thought about that the lure of the Force could be modelled pretty much similar to an addiction. Because what does the Force mean in essence? It means power. And few things should be more addictive than that, really.
The craving for ever more power, the increasing recklessness in pursuing it, the piling-up of sacrifices made to that end... all those things, if effectively transported away from the sheet, and into the player, could make for an intense gaming experience, I'd argue.

So that's why I decided against "light/dark" typed Force powers. A Force power should in most cases be just that - a neutral ability, at least in its basic form. Most powers would get a list of "optional upgrade options", which you could make use of if you tap into the Dark Side of the Force - but only then.

So, for example, there could be Force Hold power, allowing you to immobilize people in a certain range from you. The move for it would give you several options, e.g. near range in stead of hand range, or affect up to 3 people instead of affect 1 person - available depending on how well you rolled (10+ or 7-9, as familiar)
Now, you could "augment" this power with "additional options" by "accepting Dark Side points". For each Dark Side point you accept (and which gets recorded on your sheet or handed out as tokens to the player, whatever), you can make use of one of the move's additional options - which might include things like affect a huge-sized monster (like perhaps a Bantha or something) or up to 7 people instead of up to 3 people, or far range instead of just near... and of course the ever-popular choke 'em to torturous death option!

Now, with someting like this, no more need for "typed" Force Powers, or, in fact, typed Jedi "classes" or anything. Instead, it is now the player's responsibility to judge and decide on how many (if any) Dark Points they wish to incur at any given time they use this power.

Dark Points, of course, get recorded, and they accumulate. Jedi can undergo cleansing rituals, or abstain from the use of the Force for a while, thus decreasing their Dark Points. But barring that, they'll only become more with time (and reckless Force use).

Apocalypse World / Re: Color: Little Boxes of the Apocalypse
« on: October 31, 2014, 06:59:24 AM »
These are awesome!

Thanks for the great find :-)

Apocalypse World / Re: Scarcity of room
« on: October 30, 2014, 12:07:17 PM »
Also, I wouldn't be too wedded to this idea that letting the players go off in umpty different directions is necessarily "being a fan of the characters." The PCs are at their hottest when they're interacting with each other. Maybe giving them some gentle corraling is being more of a fan than letting them hare off into realms where they only get to interact with NPCs.
I'd have to agree with Munin on this. It does, after all, say "Bring it. MC the game." in the book as well...
Or in other words, complete freedom is perhaps not always the ideal way to go. Creativity can profit from a certain amounts of limitations, sometimes.

There have been plenty of suggestions already, on how to "tie characters back in" to each others' stories. I'd like to add two:
For the Brainer in the maelstrom, detached from his body - consider bringing into play something that threatens his physical body. (A plague, a big raid, some shenanigans that Hoarder is unwittingly up to...) He will be able to feel (or even precog) this in the maelstrom, perhaps, making him strongly consider to return to his body... at least for as long as it takes to avert that threat.

For the guy who goes off to another hardhold over the mountains, and starts a new life there, makes new alliances, etc. - consider revealing that this hardholder's leader(s) is/are planning to raid, or even annihilate, the other hardhold. The one where that PC originally came from, and where (some of) the others still are. Now with that, even if the PC doesn't decide to abandon his newly-found alliances and return back home to warn/help the others... even when he stays right where he is and keeps on doing his thing - the situation will become of greater (and increasingly more immediate) interest to the other PCs... one of which may just decide to drop by one day... or at least send a few goons over perhaps...

Alternately, you can perhaps fruitfully go the other route, and permit the PCs their wandering-around every which way into the larger world (and other worlds). In this case, sooner or later, consider giving all of the players addititional PCs to play in each other's stories.
If, as you said, you're becoming "eager spectators" to each other's doings, why not have the group create some people who are all disembodied people who have gotten dragged into the maelstrom - or entered it of their own free will. Your Brainer would have good company, and the other players would get something to do, above and beyond just watching the 1-on-1 play...

The same thing can be done with PCs who have gone to other hardholds, are hanging out in different social strata of the same big hardhold, etc.

Just try to avoid hardcore hermits alone in the middle of the desert, and you might just be fine ^^

If, at some point, the stories of the (original) PCs should happen to re-align, fine. You can have a grand finale that wraps up a lot of common threads then.
Or the stories may remain separate, but then at least all of the players are invested in all of them and each gets to shape each other's while it happens...

brainstorming & development / Re: Viking World
« on: October 28, 2014, 01:37:40 PM »
Hi everyone,

so there's been a couple playtests, and a sizeable update to the game has been made by yours truly!

I added two more playbooks (for a total of 6 now), as well as some guidelines on NPCs, animals and monsters, wrote down the advances for the various playbooks, and did some other stuff by way of making this a more complete, more readily playable hack.

I still have nowhere nearly enough moves for longer-term play - but then those should be easily salvageable from AW and its various hacks if needed (I myself did borrow a lot from AW and DW already).

This is still pretty much what I would call a "close hack", i.e. I steer pretty closely to many of the AW-intrinsic assumptions and approaches. Don't be disappointed if there aren't too many radical innovations as regards gameplay and basic ideas... although I did include a few ;-)

Here's the whole thing:

And here's a character sheet:

for hardcore Vikings only - the sheet in a pseudo-runic font:

Feedback, Criticism, Opinions (and, dare I hope, playtest reports?) are of course always welcome! :-)

brainstorming & development / Re: Consensus
« on: October 04, 2014, 08:38:36 AM »
Arete: Gone
Spheres: Not relevant
ballsy decisions, both... but perhaps just what this hack needs for simplicity :)

Avatar: Mentioned in one playbook move, not core to play
Sure enough, the Avatar never really needed any hard 'n fast rules anyways. I kept it around for a "gazing inwards" basic move, which replaces "open your brain" in my hack. Useful for mystical introspection, and seekings mainly. But I see how one could just ditch the idea wholesale, too.

Paradigm: That's one of the systems we overhauled. It works much better now
I'll be interested to see that! :)

Rotes: Pretty much what playbook moves give you anyway.
true, I was thinking the same thing. Plus, you can always come up with new "spellcasting moves" if needed. If they're written in a relatively flexible / open-ended way, they can emulate general Sphere effects, if they are more specific, Rotes.

Traditions: You can easily make any of the traditions with the playbooks we're writing, but there aren't "tradition playbooks." We might include some "Tradition moves" in the hacking section.
That's a neat idea, putting them in the hacking section. They're certainly not required for the core game to work.

(Added merely for comparison of approaches: I ended up modeling the playbooks on various roles in Mage society, e.g. the Node Keeper, the Chantry Leader, the Fury (Battlemage), the Loremaster, the Seer, the Mercy (healer/preserver type), etc. Some of them map more closely to certain Traditions, but none of them are restricted to any of them.
But then, the Traditions were always the most wonky aspect of M:tA, imho added mainly to provide that "character class" feel the other WoD games so neatly had with their Clans and Tribes and all that. Except in Mage, that somehow never made so much sense to begin with... ;) )

brainstorming & development / Re: Consensus
« on: October 03, 2014, 11:21:57 AM »
I'm looking forward to that!

I tried my hands at a Mage (Ascension) hack myself, and found it really hard to include all of the important elements, but without all the rules bloat they tend to come with. My hack ended up having Arete, Spheres, Paradox, Avatar etc... but all modified to fit the much simpler (and more satisfying imho) systems that PbtA games use.
One thing that both our hacks seem to have in common is that they throw out the Traditions, and instead focus more on "archetypes". 

Never actually got around to test mine, though - but I may test this one once you update it! I got a couple of players again interested in Mage these days...

brainstorming & development / Re: Consensus
« on: October 03, 2014, 10:15:36 AM »
Ooh, this looks interesting!

Been skimming over it a bit - but there's one thing I can't figure out: how do you use the Rotes under this system? There seems to be no Arete rating and no "cast a spell" basic move as it were.
So, what do you roll for? Or is there no roll at all involved, just the tags and perhaps the Backlash / Vulgar Magic / Demonstrate Superiority moves?

brainstorming & development / Re: Viking World
« on: August 31, 2014, 07:58:03 PM »
Hi, thanks for the interest!

Well, "working on it" would probably be too strong an expression for it, but I've been thinking about it on and off those last few weeks.
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to run it yet, and so have no practical advise (or epiphanies about needed changes) to offer at this point.

But if you have any suggestions, ideas for further mechanics that might fit in, or questions about any given specific mechanics in there, feel free to post them here!

One thing I've been pondering long and hard is the Godskin's Destiny move. I'm not entirely satisfied with it - I want it to work different from the others, but not overcomplicate the actual handling of it...

Oh, and for a possible set-up for the first session, in case you are interested in these things, I was thinking about going with the following approach:
"your characters start out in your village, when one night some of the women and girls get kidnapped by unknown intruders. Suspecting a neighboring tribe (or clan, or settlement) to be the most likely culprits - and these events being more or less infrequent but not unheard of - , you resolve to go there as soon as your hangover from the previous night's feast will permit, and investigate the kidnappings. If they robbed the womenfolk in order to marry them off amongst themselves, tradition would dictate that you at least try to get them back before permitting that to happen. Or, failing that, maybe rob some of theirs in return at least..."

(I would then proceed to reveal that the suspected neighbors were in fact not the actual culprits in this case. In fact, some of their womenfolk have also been robbed, just a few nights before. Cue to the tribes teaming up and going to investigate about who actually might have done it... and I'll introduce a third, more sinister party as a result of that investigation (which may well involve some travelling the uncharted wilderness, sailing a few fjords, interacting with other Viking people, etc.). This third party will eventually be revealed to have much darker, more sinister plans with the stolen women and girls... )

(This should serve to establish the characters, explore their immediate surroundings a little (both people and landscapes), and give them an initial conflict to engage with. Wherever the story may go after that? No idea as of yet :D ... I'd want to permit and enable character-driven play for a longer-running gig with this hack, just establish some immediate situation and adversity in the beginning, to get things started out...)

ETA: Anticipating accusations of misogynism, I like to emphasize that player characters can of course be female in this game! There all sorts of spearwives, shield maidens, craftygirls, godsdaughters and female raidleaders in the setting I see for it in my mind's eye! ;)
The kind of women that would be abducted in such raids are just more likely to be the NPC types - hearthmaidens, field lasses, tavern wenches, young adolescent girls etc.

brainstorming & development / Re: World of the Apes
« on: July 22, 2014, 03:11:39 PM »
Hm, why not go with a half-and-half approach, and make both breed and role playbooks?

Players could then pick one of each, and get (or choose from) all the moves in both.

That way, all gorillas could for example get a (hypothetical) "biggest and strongest" move, regardless of whether they are warriors or teachers or whatever...

Of course, if you choose the "obvious" combinations, the moves could very well complement each other (so gorilla warriors might be full of moves that make them very strong at what they do), but other combinations (chimp warrior, gorilla teacher, etc) could also prove to be very interesting to choose.

brainstorming & development / Re: Hacking the MC
« on: July 18, 2014, 06:56:06 PM »
Can't say I've explicitly hacked the MC-side of the rules (yet), but I can see where you're coming from with the "hitting a bit of a wall" bit. Perhaps it's because AW is such a player-facing ruleset? Maybe that makes it hard to specifically hack the MC's role, arguably since that role is intentionally set up to provide the best possible support for the playstyle that the game seeks to enable its players to pursue / unfold / embark on...

Going with this idea of the MC role as a "supporting" role then, it might logically follow that it "gets hacked along with" whatever changes are made to the part of the rules that deal with players / PCs, perhaps?

On a different angle, while I agree that there are probably few "explicit" hacks of the MC role, I get a feeling that many MCs sort of "soft-hack" * (or drift) the ruleset for themselves, on an individual, and often case-by-case, basis.

Coming to think of it, AW in its entirety, and the MC sections in particular, seem like such a "peak" design, it's like standing on a literal mountain top - wherever you go from there, you can only move downwards.

The MC role as conveyed in the rules is such an ideal supporter for a player-driven playstyle, it's hard to hack without immediately making it worse in that regard.

* with regard to the "soft-hacking" / drifting, consider for example that the rules do not specify exactly how many questions you should ask of your players, or how often you should do so. Some MCs will "ask the players" more, some less. Some will present them with a lot of opportunities, but almost never separate them.
Also, the rules say to "take away their stuff", but also tell you to leave their important (defining) stuff alone... there's a lot of flexibility there for any given MC in any given game, scenario, or even situation.

Perhaps this large amount of wiggling room ultimately also makes it so that these parts of the rules don't lend themselves very well to "explicit" hacking?

Pages: [1] 2