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Messages - Hildy

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The Sprawl / Re: Occult Playbooks for The Sprawl
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:32:42 PM »

I tried to post to G+, but for some reason only I can see what I post to G+ communities. If I visit them without signing in, or on another account, I can't see my posts.

I've looked into correcting it, but the main support forum for G+ is a G+ community ...where my posts aren't seen. I tried deleting my G+ account and recreating it. Maybe I'll try to set up an entirely new Google account and see if that works.

The Sprawl / Occult Playbooks for The Sprawl
« on: May 03, 2017, 10:47:52 PM »
I'm currently working on my take on supernatural playbooks for a magic infused sprawl. I've been messing around with playbook images when my brain stops wanting to form words.

brainstorming & development / Re: Metroplex - Alpha Playbook Preview
« on: October 28, 2016, 01:31:54 PM »
Please note that I have removed the document linked in the original post. There has been much.. work on this that I didn't feel that document accurately reflected the hack anymore.

blood & guts / Re: Order of moves listed on playbooks
« on: October 05, 2016, 09:16:29 PM »
In my hacks, I tend to order them by kind.

• Preselected moves (which also follow the below order if more than one).
• Stat increase moves.
• Stat swap moves.
• "Complete" moves.
• Equipment moves (e.g. you get a car).

brainstorming & development / The Shambling Dead
« on: August 18, 2016, 06:00:02 PM »
  • Yes, this makes three active hacks for me.
  • Yes, I’m trying to conjure Vincent Baker level multitasking.
  • Yes, I know zombie hacks already exist. I reinvent wheels. It's what I do.
  • I don’t normally enjoy games that emulate a movie or TV show.
  • I’m not even actually much of a zombie fanboy.
I… just had a few ideas in my head, and this seemed like the best way to combine them. This hack will likely look the least like Apocalypse World (of my hacks) when complete. I kinda dig that. Here are some early concepts.

I don’t feel like playbooks are the way to go here. I considered roles, but I’m already doing that in a hack so I’d rather not duplicate the effort. Characters will all be drawn up using the same character generation rules.

Moves will be broken up into something resembling skill trees, with dependencies like D&D Feats, and a number of trees will be available. The depth you go into skill trees will allow you to develop the niche of your character further.

Everyone gets to claim one skill tree for their character. That tree is locked to everyone else. Nobody else gets to take skills from that tree; even with improvements. So if you take the Leadership tree, your character is THE leader. If nobody claims the leadership tree then maybe several characters exhibit leadership potential. So..
  • If you take the crossbow skill tree, then you are “the dude with the crossbow.”
  • If you take the sword skill tree, then you are “the chick with the katana.”

  • All moves will be made at a base +0.
  • Characters will have access to individual pools (currently being called Hope). Characters may declare they will spend 0 to 3 points of Hope on any move they are going to make, and add the spent points as a modifier to the roll.
  • Running out of Hope, leaves you Hopeless.
  • Hope will regenerate between sessions in some way. It will likely regenerate faster with comfort, safety, and good health. Don’t expect much of those things.
  • You can also lose Hope as the result of moves. Attacks that don’t actually leave you hurt, will often sap you of hope instead.

I haven’t decided how big a Hope pool needs to be yet, or how it will be generated exactly… but I want to incorporate Trust (this game’s version of Hx). The idea is that you have Trust with every character in your “group” (PC and NPC alike), and the score on your sheet indicates how much they trust you. The more trust you have (deserved or not), the higher your maximum Hope pool will be.

  • For this reason, Trust will NOT reset like Hx does (that would be a penalty). It will still cap at +3. The plan is to incorporate Trust into the dice mechanic and/or moves so that you are constantly doing things to earn or decrease trust.
  • I’ve considered using the advanced basic move mechanic here, allowing you to gain trust with someone when you roll a 12+.
  • An end of session move will likely allow players to designate who their character has gained and lost trust in as well.

Harm will be replaced with 4 conditions.
Fatigued — Caught — Hurt — Dead

  • Fatigued, Caught, and Hurt each incur a -1 Ongoing to rolls (so that base +0 you roll on all moves could drop to as much as base -3 in the worst situations).
  • If you are Hopeless (your Hope pool is at 0), you are automatically Fatigued.
  • If you are killed (dead). you may become Maimed instead (a permanent Hurt condition) to save yourself from death. This can only happen once.
  • Zombies will be immune to fatigue.
  • The natural progression for zombies is to run you down (fatigued), corner you (caught), claw and bite at you (hurt), and eat you (dead).
  • Human opponents won’t necessarily stick to that script. They might corner you by surprise, or attack you from afar. It really depends on their motivations and whether they want to take you alive.

Weapons won’t have harm tags. The move you make determines which status you apply to your target. Instead, I’m considering a Noise stat on weapons, that determines how much attention you might draw with it. When there is a chance that using the weapon will draw attention you would make a reverse roll (like the harm move) to figure out if you did.

I’ve put the least thought into resources, but they will play a huge part in the game. Part of the reason I liked eliminating stats was because some sort of resource tracking will be necessary, and I didn’t want to bog down the game with multiple sets of numbers.

One idea I had was to give guns and vehicles “stats” for ammo and fuel. So one of the tags on a gun might be “3-Ammo”. Attack moves would decrease the stat. Certain moves would allow you to avoid the stat decrease (your skill allowed you to conserve ammo).

Not much work done here yet, but gangs provide a great base for zombie herds.

On the face of it going native doesn't sound too bad. Why not learn to thrive where you are? Now I know you are not necessarily going for a horror theme but I would propose a looking at the negative result as a kind of insanity, at least from the point of view you're typical civilized people. To me it actually has to be something you wouldn't want, Im talking lord of flies, cannibalism, erratic behavior, superstition, excessive violence.
That's it pretty much exactly. The more native you go, the more comfortable you become in this new environment.. and the more hostile and frightening you chance becoming.

To me that means it needs to come from the moves not the stats.
I agree, that *is* where all of the fun happens. My approach of using stats (and this is all just theory until I actually get something on paper) is intended to open up those moves to you when you take the "native" stat, but also to hinder any sort of further advancement of a civil stat (thus you never get better at the civil moves attached to that stat). Essentially, I don't want you to be able to improve a stat to have a better chance of doing native things and also improve your chances of doing civil moves attached to that same stat too. It might not work. I'm not so attached to it that I won't change the approach if it turns out too clunky.

brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse World and Kin, on a MU*
« on: August 15, 2016, 12:58:03 PM »
Maybe? I'd need compelling reason to use that format though. I used to MU* a lot too, and loved the format for rules-driven games to be played by a large number of people at once. A MU* could totally be set up to do what you're talking about, and a couple of decades ago it would have been the ideal platform for this sort of thing.

But the rules light nature of Apocalypse World, with moves providing choices and campaign specific custom moves, limits the usefulness of a MU* environment. I have a hard time seeing it offering much more than communication (via text), a dice roller, character sheet management, and possibly a session log.

So, why would I use this over a virtual tabletop, like Roll20, which is already overkill mechanically? The VTT usually offers the dice rolling and session logging. Communication is usually done via voice (and sometimes video), and character sheets are usually intuitive form fields that don't require commands to edit. Most also offer image/file sharing/editing as well.

The game, as I currently envision it, is about being stranded on the planet. I would expect, particularly early on, that getting off the planet would be a primary driver for the characters. Doing so may well be the way a campaign ends.

Pitch Black absolutely fits the theme I'm going for, but they get off world relatively quickly. It would probably still be a good example of a one shot game.

Undecided on moves. Haven't gone that far down this road yet.

I absolutely want the NPCs to be critically important. I want them to be a source for tension (like how Monster of the Week uses bystanders), and the heart of the game. I'd like them to be a sort of shared resource that the player's characters can invest in. The players are dealing with problems, potential threats, trying to find a way off the planet, or whatever... it's the NPC's that are building things, preparing food, farming, and so on. The less of them you have, the harder things should be.

In theory. I haven't actually worked on any of that yet.

Do you wish for your players to be naturally inclined to go that path or do you plan to allow them to pull a "mysterious island" on the game? ... What they do is that they use their "civil" knowledge (Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry...) to transform the environment into a much more friendly one for them. Adapt, and not get adapted.
I'd love for that to be an option. I think the whole civil-native thing adds a wonderful opportunity for tension within a game, where more civil characters begin to become unsettled by more native ones. That might even be something worth exploring as a mechanic (e.g. NPCs get scared of you and strike off on their own.)

I think most characters will eventually want to unlock at least some native stats, but it should be designed in a way that they can maintain civil dominance. If a character with +3 Duty unlocks Instinct, they now have it at -1 also. They don't start to lose Duty unless they use improvements to increase Instinct. They might be able to take a move for +1 Instinct and get it to 0. Sure, they've become a little more comfortable with life in the wilderness.. but they still rely more on their expected function and training than their gut in most cases.

Everyone could go native, or everyone could stay civil. Ideally, I'd like for the game to be more challenging for anyone who attempts to be a purist in either direction and for "shades of grey" to be the norm.

"Janet has turned into quite a tracker, and Abraham has gotten pretty lethal with that bone sword of his. Wally is still back at camp fiddling with the generator and making sure everyone knows all hope is lost if we can't get it working, and Bill... we haven't seen Bill in weeks. Sometimes we hear someone whistling a funeral precession in the badlands though. Pretty sure Bill's never coming back."

Ohhhh... Maybe going full native is tantamount to character death? You want some of that juju, but you don't want too much!

Thanks! I have to admit. I only have a page of notes on this one, so a LOT of this probably subject to change as the idea fleshes out. I'm 75% done with my other hack and I still find myself writing something that requires me to go back to another chapter and rewrite or add a whole section to facilitate it.

How many primary and secondary roles will you try to support ? A set number ?
My notes include 17, subject to change. You would use the same roles for both primary and secondary. The key difference is that the primary is unique, and your primary role provides most of your starting assets (NPCs, equipment, etc.)
  • Holy Man      +1 Duty, +1 Manner, -1 Sway
  • Courtesan      +1 Duty, +1 Manner, -1 Insight
  • Pilot         +1 Duty, +1 Sway, -1 Manner
  • Soldier      +1 Duty, +1 Sway, -1 Insight
  • Colonist      +1 Duty, +1 Insight, -1 Manner
  • Laborer      +1 Duty, +1 Insight, -1 Sway
  • Celebrity      +1 Manner, +1 Sway, -1 Duty
  • Aristocrat      +1 Manner, +1 Sway, -1 Insight
  • Doctor      +1 Manner, +1 Insight, -1 Duty
  • Scientist      +1 Manner, +1 Insight, -1 Sway
  • Trader      +1 Sway, +1 Insight, -1 Duty
  • Engineer      +1 Sway, +1 Insight, -1 Manner
  • Bounty Hunter   +1 Instinct, -1 Duty (locked)
  • Pirate      +1 Domain, -1 Manner (locked)
  • Convict      +1 Rage, -1 Sway (locked)
  • Smuggler      +1 Sense, -1 Insight (locked)
  • Mad Man      0 Weird
I wonder how you plan to deal with stats ?
For now, each role includes a set of stat. You get both.
Characters only start with access to 4 stats (Duty, Manner, Sway, Insight). The other 5 stats (Instinct, Domain, Rage, Sense, Weird) have a nil value to start, except for in a few special cases. Weird may not be available at all in some campaigns.

As an aside, I am intrigued by your decision to duplicate secondary roles.
It would probably be more useful to the group to not duplicate secondary roles, but I like the idea of leaving the option open. For instance, if you wanted to play a group of stranded marines: One character, probably the guy in charge, could have the primary role of Soldier. Everyone else, probably, has that as their secondary too though.

brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse World - Waterworld
« on: August 02, 2016, 08:05:17 AM »
I'm wow'd by Tatourmi's excellent response. It's one of those "if we wrote a whole book on hacking, this would be in it" posts.

I don't think you are out of bounds at all. You've already looked at other hacks, so I know that you know that messing with the format totally works. Monster of the Week is an *awesome game*, and it's prep (the idea of creating mysteries and determining the monster the players will face) flies in the face of "play to find out" (in my opinion), but it works perfectly for that game. Don't be afraid to add to the game. That contribution may just end up being your gift to the PbtA world.

I'd never tell you to just play Monster of the Week. Game design is fun, and hacking Apocalypse World is super fun! (when it isn't frustrating as hell..) I'm writing a cyberpunk hack and I've managed to write it slow enough that about a half dozen others have made it to market before me, but I'm still writing it!

I'm still hard at work on Metroplex, which I've taken to just calling "The 'Plex" recently in an homage to The 'Hood, but I was binging science fiction movies the other day and I took note of a trope I enjoy. Civilized space farers stranded on a hostile planet. Unlike Planet of the Week (an idea I am ridiculously jealous of) this game wouldn't hop from world to world. Here are some thoughts.

No Playbooks, just Roles
You start character creation by choosing your primary and secondary roles from a list (e.g. command, science, pilot, trader, pirate, convict). Primary roles should be unique. Secondary roles can be duplicated. Your roles dictate your starting stats, as well as any equipment you were able to salvage from the wreck, and a number of NPC's who have survived (with the ability to detail a few of those closest to you).

There are nine stats: Weird, plus four pairs of opposing stats. The opposing pairs contain a Civil Stat which reflects how civilized space farers deal with conflict and a Native Stat which reflects how one deals with conflict on a hostile world with limited or no resources. To start, characters ONLY HAVE CIVIL STATS (unless otherwise notes as is the case for pirate and convict). All of the others are locked, and don't have any rating at all.

Going Native
One of the central themes of the game, though one that can be avoided in part or in total (at least for a while) is the act of going native. As you learn to survive; you sharpen the skills that keep you alive and relegate the trappings of civilization to the past.

When you gain an improvement, you may unlock a Native Stat. You gain that stat at -1, and you gain the ability to make moves associated with it. You still have the associated Civil Stat, but it becomes locked. You can't advance it any further.

Further improvements may be used to increase a native stat, but each increase also decreases the linked civil stat. When a civil stat reaches -3, or a native stat reaches +3, you can not increase that stat further though normal improvements.

There will likely be a secondary way to gain ratings in stats (i.e. moves), but I haven't considered it yet.

Weird is special in that, if there isn't anything weird on your world, it might never unlock. More details on that to come, but this is intended to cover those stranger stories where one might gain access to the power of a living world, alien hive mind, or such.

More to come...

Great idea! ..and great spin off of Monster of the Week. I never considered doing that. I'll take a look at your stuff.

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