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Messages - Margolotte

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In summation:
"Did you see Mad Max: Fury Road? Did you like it? Ok, it's kinda like that; you play the badass heroes, you do amazingly cool stuff, sometimes things go terribly wrong. Here's the playbooks you can choose from" [places playbooks I want in the game on the table]
They start sifting through playbooks, I watch the players. Who came to the table together? Who lets on they know the game? Who is totally new?

Once someone grabs the Gunlugger, I say "what's you name? Ok, Keeler, tell me a about yourself. Everyone, see the looks and such on your character sheet? Which are you, Keeler? Ok, cool. What weapons do you have? Cool So you know those old water towers? Dremmer's got you tied to a chair up in the bowl of one, and he's pacing back and forth in front of you, whacking a length of chain against his leg. He's sweating and looks really nervous. What did you do to piss off Dremmer so bad he wants to maybe kill you?

While you're thinking about that, which of you grabbed the chopper? Cool, tell me a bit about yourself? Cool. One of your gang, Jackbite, comes screaming in and runs over to you shouting that Keeler's in Dremmer's Tower and it doesn't look good from what they could see from the lookout. What's your Hx with Keeler?

Ok, Keeler, what did you do to piss of Dremmer and get him so scared he's got you tied to a chair? Ok cool. Now you probably want to read a person here - check out these basic moves. [Let them roll, follow up the roll, make sure everyone sees how the dice work.]

Inter-cut fiction with character creation, make sure you are bringing everyone along at roughly the same pace, don't spend more that a couple minutes with any one PC in isolation, get them together in the same location even if it's inside and just outside the water tower, so their actions have effect on each other. Ask questions , sure, but follow their lead like crazy as well. If one of them throws down a Brainer with a violation glove, I am for damn sure going to give them a chance to use it! if they need a second, I give it to them, and once I've got everyone's names, I lean back and recap and make sure everyone is clear on who is where before diving back in.

That is literally it. No further prep for a one-shot than "Dremmer has a PC tied to a chair in a water tower*, the other PCs know about it, go" Start in media res, follow the fiction, ask questions, barf forth apocalyptica: "Ok, so outside there's like this scrubby little stand of pine trees and couple rocks, enough for some cover and some high ground, and across the way there's Dremmer's gang (small gang rules apply) and two-three beat up pickup trucks, one's fitted with a gun turret. You might want to read a sitch there, Chopper PC."

For an example, listen to episode one of +1 Forward:

AW:Dark Age / Re: Asking people to do something
« on: October 23, 2014, 10:44:46 AM »
If the PC made a move and rolled, follow the roll to determine the outcome, making your moves as appropriate. If the PC is just asking an NPC person or group to do something, follow the fiction: what would that NPC say or do in response to being given direction?

So basically it sounds like you're using the two strategies you have and applying them as needed, which sounds reasonable to me.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest feedback
« on: October 20, 2014, 09:00:28 AM »
Thanks, they were!

AW:Dark Age / Re: What binds the PCs together?
« on: October 16, 2014, 10:33:49 AM »
Thanks, this is useful! Glad you had a good time.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest feedback
« on: October 14, 2014, 10:15:03 AM »
Thanks for your feedback! I'll answer a couple of your questions, but mostly we are now working on the next iteration.

Did we miss an indication of how wealthy characters are?
Nope. It's just a matter of scale - if you have a royal PC, they will probably be more well-off than the peasant beauty. There will probably be more on  this in the full game

Are the seasons supposed to follow the yearly seasons of spring, summer, harvest and winter, or are they of arbitrary length, a time during which circumstances are comparable or something like that?
Generally it's the actual season of the year.

What is the mechanical trigger of “sizing someone up”? In particular, do I need to interact with them, or can I do that from a distance?
From a distance, you may not have as much info to work with, but if the fiction dictates, for example, that you are wary of someone approaching down the road and you want to pay attention and see what they're about, you could use "sizing someone up" for that.

During a small battle, we managed to outnumber our fighting enemies 3 to 1, because some of them were incapacitated and some out of range (it was a battle between three boats, so some melee fighters on a boat could not come closer to the action), which skewed the odds extremely in our favor. Are we supposed to have such an immense difference in fighting capability?
Sometimes the luck is in your favor, sometimes it is not. Imbalances like this are a thing, yes. This time you got lucky!

Is it on purpose that hindering other characters is not in the rules, but helping is?
Generally, if you are hindering other characters you are either scheming against them or directly opposing them. Single combat covers the second and role-playing covers the first.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« on: October 04, 2014, 05:55:08 AM »
Meg is fine, and I hope your group is down for round two when it happens. Thanks!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« on: October 03, 2014, 12:39:22 PM »
Well yeah, if you have a Troll-killer, naturally you'd lead with that! And yes, tactical advantage makes solid sense here. After all, the Troll Killer knows about killing trolls.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest concerns and questions
« on: October 02, 2014, 11:12:38 AM »
All these questions are super useful! I know it may be frustrating not to get answers right off, but know that we are mulling over what you ask. Also, sometimes my answers and Vincent's will differ! Given that, here are some answers to some of your questions:

-With gaining new rights, how does that work narratively? Should we address a scene to it? Should it happen between sessions off screen and they just start with it? Should people in the setting know and react to the change?

All those "shoulds"are fine options - pick the one that feels most authentic to the instance.

-Does the Right to a Title imply respect? We lost some time to this debate
Not necessarily. Someone might be the Rightful Heir but also a right bastard who nobody likes or trusts. Earning respect might bring a title, but the other way doesn't always work.

-The encounter unnatural thing right, does that only refer to living things? My troll killer was presented with an unnatural thing, a man's face flayed by the hand of a troll. Should that have triggered the move?
Is it outside the natural order of things? Could it be part of the Weird? If it was in AW, would it make you think about the psychic maelstrom? Then it could be considered unnatural. Trigger the move as you and/or the player see fit. You may decide that while it's weird and creepy to see a man's flayed face, this is a known thing that trolls in your game do, and thus not unnatural; while and animated flayed face is all kinds of unnatural.

-Having a lot of trouble figuring out when to trigger take stock and when to just give them information.
Don't hold info back just in case they go for that move. If there's an increase in tension or the opening situation of the scene changes, that's a good indication that they may want to Take Stock.

-The single combat rules are really really brutal. Despite knowing that I don't think we were really ready for how brutal they were.

-For the dragon herald should shields count as armor?
Hmm. That makes logical sense to me; I'd say if it makes sense to you as the GM, then fine. If there's a reason for it not to, make sure everyone understands why not.

-Can the peasant beauties rights that effect someone effect trolls?
Are trolls people? Do your trolls respond to things in the same way humans do? Does the peasant beauty view the trolls as people who could be affected by their moves?

-Can I use war parties against trolls? How would I go about that?
I certainly would not recommend single combat with a troll! Make your war party, treat the troll as an opposing war party.

-On take stock, Win some one over, or size someone up, can all the questions asked be make one of your own?


-The cover your distance option in leap into action, I don't like it. My players keep using it regardless of whether they would really be at distance that would require them to cover it.
If they are not at distance, they can't use a move that lets them cover a distance. If you are at sword range, you are not going to get out your longbow.

-It is difficult to bring in new character into the game if one loses a character. Considering how likely that is some direction on it would be nice
Agreed! For now, look to the people on the dead PC's sheet and pick one who cares that the first PC died.

-Some defined wealth system would be good. Hard to really tell what a bounty is and who is rich vs poor.
I hear ya. For now, Bounty can/should fall in line with your PCs. What is a feast to a poor person is an afternoon snack for a wealthy person. So, if your peasant beauty receives a bounty of rabbits, that might be 3 or 4 rabbits. If your liege lord receives a bounty of rabbits, that's more like 10 to 20 rabbits.

-One of the players thinks the ease of death and the fact that harm becomes permanent is at odds with all the Rights you have to choose from. The giant lists of rights implies a game about improvement and becoming more. The high likely hood of death implies the opposite.
Yeah, that's a really useful thing to come out of this round of playtesting.

-Would love some direction on how to run seasons or possibly a set of MC moves specific to changing seasons
For now, do a character-specific short scene (and really, I would time them to be 10mins) where you see a little bit of what happens. Is there a wedding? Cool, let's see what you say as a blessing to the new couple. Did you travel? Cool, let's see you stopping at a new place - what is noteworthy here that makes it memorable at the next season? Did you spend time healing? Cool, tell us about the worst part of the process. MC moves here are a thing we're thinking about too.

-should the harm for shields apply against things like giant trolls? I know this isn't a game about tracking simulationist minituea but I really don't see how a shield helps you hurt a dragon.
They sure don't help you hurt a dragon, but they could conceivably help you survive one.

-Again, the lack of a clear act under fire came up and was awkward. It felt very railroady, Gm fiat, and just went against all my instincts.

- The I still draw breath, seems like a great mechanic that should be more formalized. I had two players there in the last session and they both kinda went, "eh, guess I'm dead." Some sort of mechanic that deliberately calls for pausing the game to focus on this characters last moments seems appropriate and will push the drama



The chances we have to listen to audio AP are very few and very far between - a summary of play with things that stand out as really cool and smooth or really clunky and not-fun is fine. I say this having played in a game decades ago where every session was recorded on 4-track and then painstakingly transcribed, so if audio is your group's standard for note-taking, carry on!

The thing I'm most interested in at this point is how the PCs move through the world in terms of relationship maps - is there enough direction to push them into dynamic situations or do things tend toward static? How easy is it to get fully rounded NPCs? Does the world seem real? I know half of this is group-specific, an that some groups will have an easier time than others, but it's where I'm most curious.

(Re: Psi*Run - thanks :D )

Your instincts in blue seem pretty spot-on here, as well as the 'hide nothing' part. Thanks for the write-up!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest report : the Golden Woods
« on: September 26, 2014, 01:29:30 PM »
Yeah, that push to create a situation in motion instead of a static one is really key, in many games.  Thanks, and I'm looking forward to hearing more!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Denying mechanical rights
« on: September 26, 2014, 01:27:18 PM »
Thoughts are good!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Slavery
« on: September 26, 2014, 01:23:32 PM »
Thanks, that raises good questions.

AW:Dark Age / Re: [Rhode Island Playtest] Wicked Ways
« on: September 26, 2014, 01:20:45 PM »
Thanks and I look forward to your thoughts.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Some setup questions
« on: September 17, 2014, 05:09:52 PM »
On one hand, all the playbooks are definitive. There is one Keep-liege. There is one war-captain. There is one Blacksmith. On the other hand, there may be other definitive playbooks - I can imagine perhaps a Midwife or a Weaver - that hold the same sort of mythic place. If we had intended this to be the Skilled Craftsman playbook, we would have called it that instead and laid out options there unto.

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