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Messages - Rubberduck

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blood & guts / Re: How many playbooks do I need?
« on: May 08, 2017, 04:37:02 AM »
I'd say it depends.

I could see a game with just 4 playbooks, if that game is about just playing those 4 archetypes.

7 playbooks widen the field, but is still pretty focused. Players have a choice when the game starts, but there is not a lot of choices if they can change playbooks during play (can they change playbooks during play?) Though this also depends on how flexible the playbooks are. Can a player pick the same playbook as another player, and most of the time not be stepping on that player's toes?

Original AW has 11 playbooks (if I'm counting correctly), with 5+ more extended playbooks. They run the gamut from hyper-violent to very social, from loner to leader to team player. So even if they aren't that flexible, you can play a lot of different scenarios.

I wouldn't stress out about it at this point. Try it out with 7 playbooks. That should be enough to start. And then you might find that you need more. Or maybe you'll find that you don't need more. Unless you already predict that your players will be swapping playbooks a lot. Or unless you want the game to encompass a lot of different scenarios from the very start. (Playstyle vs. Scenario: To allow a playstyle, you need a single playbook with that style, so a player can follow that playstyle. To allow a scenario, you need enough playbooks of that style that all or most of the players can fit into the scenario.)

Monster of the Week / Re: Custom Move for Slenderman
« on: April 18, 2017, 04:36:11 AM »
In my experience, 10+ can even be made more active without actually changing the rules.

On a 10+ you resist the slenderman's will (for now) and get to act immediately without being compelled.

That might be exactly the same as 7-9 minus making an X, but it feels more like something was accomplished.

brainstorming & development / Re: Eldritch Sigils
« on: March 20, 2017, 06:39:26 AM »
My real name is Thorbjørn Steen, so I'd just go with that :)

For facilities, I'd consider not giving it any detail at all, and leave it up to the group to define. It is kinda obvious from the HQ sheet what they do/are, with the possible exception of the Beyond-focused ones. But especially with the Beyond-focused ones, it would make sense to leave it vague, since you are leaving the Beyond itself up to the individual group.

brainstorming & development / Re: Eldritch Sigils
« on: March 16, 2017, 08:44:29 AM »
Okay, first off, awesome. I like it. I want to run it. But there still are some rough edges, some more rough than others.

This still needs editing right? There seems to be a bunch of places where the game terms doesn't match up (for instance on the Operational HQ sheet under Surplus it says you need [datalink] for data. But there doesn't seem to be a [datalink] tag. There is a [data] tag though). I've run into a bunch of those.

I feel that there need to be a bit of a description of the Beyond, if only conceptually. I kinda feel like I need a bit of guidance on the outer limits of the concept. I'm aware that it is probably meant to depend on the game, like the Maelstrom in AW, but the game also seems to make a large amount of assumptions about the Beyond, without actually saying what those assumptions are based on; Bleeds, Opening Portals, Sigil Magic, various Beyond Studies, etc.

Is there a rule way to add additional crews to the base beyond the one from Staffed? I feel like I'd want a staff crew, hanging out at the base, researching and stuff, and a spec-ops crew to take with me to take down bad guys.

Resist Damage (p. 12)

I don't really understand this move. It seems on a solid success you suffer harm as established, and otherwise you suffer more misfortune. Where does it actually say how you reduce the harm?

Using Sigils (p. 18)

Should maybe be renamed "Using Sigil Tokens". I spent a minute or two confused about how the sigils of "Sigil Magic" would result in a permanent legacy or turning point. There is a bit of the same problem under strain (p. 20) "Eldritch Sigils uses two different types of damage". I caught on pretty quick, but it could still be confused with magical sigils, instead of the game name.

Character Death and New Characters (p. 20) paragraph 3

"Each player who resolved Strings to that player’s dead character may now mark a new Strings for the new character." Is that "a new String" or same number of strings as the old character?

Suffering Harm (p. 20)

"The most common way to character to suffer harm is attacking an opponent in close combat or shooting them from afar." should probably be "The most common way for a character to suffer harm is by being attacked by an opponent in close combat or being shoot at from afar."

Straing Scales (p. 21)

The harm scale seems very.. pirate focused.

Debilities (p. 21)

Could you squeeze the modifiers into the character sheets. It would be useful so you don't have to look up/remember the effects of the debilities in the heat of combat.

Healing Characters (p. 22)

"Any character may may try to help with Harm". One "may" may be enough.

"Whenever a you is treat". Drop the "a".

"If you are in a hurry or want to try to heal more lost Strain, the GM may require a skill roll. Usually each success should heal one lost Strain." Probably rephrase somehow. Unless first aid is supposed to grant more healing when you are in a hurry.

Long-term Care: The rules for removal of debilities between the text here, and the Downtime sheet doesn't match.

Curing Tells (p. 23)

The Downtime sheet specifically mentions the Purification Ritual for removal of taint. Maybe make that more clear in this section.

Facilities (p. 25)

I'd consider removing this entire section, or at least all duplicate information with the Operational HQ/Facilities sheets. I feel the list is less intuitive than the sheets, and just add a chance for information to become out of sync (so the rulebook and sheet rules are different).

If you want to go in depth about a facility, by all means do so. But avoid the duplicate rules.

Example Front Progress Tracker (p. 37)

Is the progress tracker usually connected to clues? Is it only affected by clues about the cult?

When making moves remember: (p.38)

Looks like it should be Moves, plural, rather than Move

Apocalypse World / Re: Hardholder's Wealth
« on: March 15, 2017, 05:36:37 AM »
Those require a gang, and, well, they aren't one.

Aren't they though? Honest question here.

My interpretation has always been that a gang is just a sufficiently large group of people. So if the hardholder gathered up his entire population and sent them to war, he would have a large gang (or maybe depending on population, a new category, a huge gang). Sure, their weaponry and amor most likely stink (to the extent of having only their bare hands), and morale probably isn't good. But if you can get 200 people to ambush the traders in the market place, they are still going to do some damage. You could just resolve that on the fly. Or you could use the gang rules.

I like it. The Bladesoul really fits nicely into the Faceless moves.

With one possible exception. I don't feel like Roaring Rampage quite fits. Or rather not always. It fits nicely if you're a huge beast of a swordsman. But for the wiry/tall gangly/more human-sized swordsman it doesn't quite fit being able to bash through walls. Maybe make it more about the navigation, than the destruction of the scenery?

Roaring rampage: roll+hard to get past a scenery obstacle to get to or away from
something. On a 10+, you bypass or smash through the scenery and you get what you want. On
a 7–9 you get what you want and bypass or smash the scenery, but you take 1-harm (ap),
and are disoriented and under fire in follow-up actions, leave something behind, or take
something with you. On a miss, you get caught in the scenery.

Maybe something like the above, though I'll admit, that doesn't seem quite as evocative. Maybe an entirely new move to perfectly fit the Bladesoul archetype?

Also, in the minor stuff, I've just noticed that Scent of Blood hasn't been bolded.

Apocalypse World / Re: Session 1 advice
« on: February 10, 2017, 05:08:43 AM »
Could I start by saying, "Savvyhead and Maestro D, How did you both end up at this covert meeting to overthrow the hardholder?"

That depends on your style, and how far the players are willing to go. What Deadmanwalking says above is quite right.

Personally, I don't generally go that far. My leading questions are generally a lot softer, along the line of "Hey Hardholder, why are you entering the Savvyhead's shop seeking his services?" or "Maestro, you are in the market looking for something dangerous. What is it? ... Angel, you are also in the market. Are you looking for the same thing?" Either stuff that it is safe to assume is happening (due to logic or preestablished facts), but let's get the details. Or stuff where characters get to opt in or explain what interesting thing they are doing instead of opting in.

And you can also set a scene with them together without presuming anything "Okay Angel, it has already been established that you are a regular at the Maestro'd's place. So you are sitting at the bar, when suddenly you hear an explosion outside. What do you do? How about you Maestro?"

Apocalypse World / Re: Custom Playbook - The Huntress
« on: February 09, 2017, 06:01:33 AM »
@Ebok I kinda disagree with you point about the hardholder. Some of the hardholder's stuff goes with him (the gang), but the hold doesn't. The hardholder can't leave the hold behind and still be a hardholder. He would still be a character with Leadership and a gang, but he would lose some of his stuff.

So as long as the Hunter can use a sufficient amount of his stuff outside the Landscape, then I'm okay with it. And it probably needs to be more stuff than the Hardholder, since the hold invites other characters to play around in it, while the hunting ground doesn't. And I think the current version works. The Hunt requires the hunting ground, just as I'd say that Wealth requires the hold. Of the other five moves, only 1 requires the hunting ground, and as long as the hunting ground is generally near, I think it is thematically appropriate that the Hunter would draw people from elsewhere and into the hunting ground to take care of them.

The hunting ground is the defining part of the Hunter, and making it so that the Hunter can leave it behind and be just as effective anywhere would kinda defeat the point in my eyes.

For an on the road game, I could kinda see saying that the hunting ground is the dominant terrain. So the hunting ground would be "The Wastes", which is everything that isn't the small patches of other terrain. So the stationary holds would be in small oasis or canyons and stuff, but it would all be surrounded by The Wastes a short distance away.

We could potentially rewrite my suggestion to make the Hunter always like this, making it setting-defining like the Quarantine/Waterbearer/Marine Mammal. If there is a Hunter in play, then there is a dominant terrain, his hunting ground, which is everywhere that isn't somewhere else. But that kinda moves the Hunter from a guy who knows one specific piece of terrain really well, to am all-round ranger guy who can do well in most of the wilderness (since most of the wilderness is his terrain).

Or, if you are ready to go freaky maelstrom, the ghostly revenants of his gang returned to his side, and by virtue of their nature are bad-ass enough that they count as medium-sized.

Apocalypse World / Re: Session 1 advice
« on: February 09, 2017, 05:32:06 AM »
Remember that just because it is "a day in the life of..", it doesn't have to not be exciting/dramatic. What can go wrong today for this character? What opportunity that seems too good to be true can be offered to this character? What NPCs are important to these characters, and what are their (potentially problematic) relationship to other characters? What threats are in the area, and what are the characters' relationship to those?

Going down to the specifics in this case (and acknowledging that I'd never have given it this much thought if it was my own game):

First out, figure out the basic inter-character relationships. Who works for the hardholder, and what is the relationship if they don't have a direct boss-retainer relationship? Are anyone part of the Maestro D's staff? What is the business model for the angel/savvyhead if they aren't on retainer. Where do they each work? Set their starting scene in their place of work, and have them describe the place as the scene is established. Though, also try to place two characters in the same scene from the very start, so they can play up against each other instead of your NPCs.

Then the NPCs/threats. The hardholder has two problems, an external and an internal. The external could be a gang, a rival hardholder or a natural/maelstrom threat to the hold that needs regular attention. The internal could be another player, could be the behavior of his gang (savages) or a rival/power broker inside the hold (who he can't just kill/exile without trouble). The hardholder has all this power, but he also has all these problems he needs to be on top of.

The Maestr'd has his worst customer, and the person with an interest in his biz. If that doesn't provide any trouble, maybe somebody is trying to get protection money ("It would be a shame if this place burned down"), or maybe a golden opportunity with strings attached drops into his lap.

Does the savvyhead have a project? If not somebody shows up with a project (consider enlisting another player for this). Now what does the savvyhead need for this project, and what prevents him from getting it on his own (found in dangerous place, belongs to another character, consists of another character's expertise, requires more Barter than the savvyhead has).

What sickness is the Angel dealing with currently? Maybe there isn't a sickness, and the Angel instead needs to deal with a sudden outbreak of gunshot wounds. For more enduring trouble; Is someone shaking down the Angel for protection money? Is there a sickness the Angel might try to wipe out (potentially in cooperation with the savvyhead)? Does the Angel have assistants? What trouble are they getting into? i always have hard time with Angel. Maybe the answer is to lure the Angel towards non-medical territory. What does it take to make the pacifist doc kill? Can the doc be lured into becoming a drug lord?

Now all of this is just stuff I remember from previous games I've run. And they've almost all been forum games, so I had an easier time running parallel threads, with everyone doing their own thing, than you would at the table. Don't treat the above as a checklist, but food for thought/inspiration. The Hardholder and the Maestro'd are the two important characters to get nailed down and involved in troubles. If the Angel and Savvyhead can get involved in their troubles, that is just dandy, and there is no need to give them troubles of their own (thus far at least).

Apocalypse World / Re: Custom Playbook - The Huntress
« on: February 08, 2017, 04:30:35 AM »

The Hunt [Starts Marked] - At the beginning of each session, roll + sharp. On a 10+, your hunt was bountiful, gain the fruit of your labor. On a 7-9, you can abandon your fruit, or keep it and invite a soft move from the Landscape. On a 6-, the Landscape acts according to its nature.

Hunting Grounds
You have a preferred ground for going out and hunting prey. While you may not have uncontested control of this land, it is yours just the same.

Choose a landscape for your hunting ground. Then choose a direction. The hunting ground will Near in a direction of your choice on the MC's threat map. Talk with him about it, he knows what we mean.

•Prison (impulse: to contain, to deny egress)
•Breeding pit (impulse: to generate badness)
•Furnace (impulse: to consume things)
•Mirage (impulse: to entice and betray people)
•Maze (impulse: to trap, to frustrate passage)
•Fortress (impulse: to deny access)

Choose the fruit of your hunting ground. When you succeed on a hunt, you will gain the fruit, but others might seek it also.
Rare valuables [+barter]
Old world Salvage [+gear]
Medicinal Herbs [+remedy]
Cuts of meat [+tastes]

Choose 2 features of your hunting ground. These add an additional Threat Move to the terrain.
The predators are fearsome (Attack an interloper with shock and power)
The predators are intelligent (Stalk an interloper)
The prey are diminutive (Get into an interloper's stuff)
It is open and windswept (Reveal an interloper to a foe)
It is haunted (Stalk an interloper with a ghostly apparition)
It is being worn away by time (Crumble away or fall apart)
It is growing as time goes on (Consume nearby territory)

Finally detail the hunting ground according to its Landscape, Fruit and Features.

My Thoughts
So, making the hunting ground into a Landscape means that it becomes a Threat, giving it more of a presence and potentially active role. Making it a near Threat means that there is a good chance that stuff will happen there. If you want to go east, you need to go through Bodak's Canyon, or take the very long way around.

I gave the features Threat Moves instead of tags, to make them more immediately useable by the MC (not that tags aren't useable, just that the moves are faster to use). That does make the playbook rather MC mechanic heavy (revealing stuff that is usually in the background), including the way The Hunt move has been written.

This is just a quick thought I had, so more tweaking is definitely appropriate, if this is the path we go with.

Apocalypse World / Re: Custom Playbook - The Huntress
« on: February 07, 2017, 08:41:34 AM »
As a continuation of my previous thought. I'm thinking about The Frontier now instead. I think it still covers the niche I want, sounds cool and vaguely playbooky, and isn't gendered.

Though The Frontier makes me think of a Frontiersman. So a more civilized hunter (a dominator of wilderness) rather than the uncivilized/one-with-nature vibe I got from Huntress.

Apocalypse World / Re: Custom Playbook - The Huntress
« on: January 25, 2017, 07:45:51 AM »
I like it.

For critique:

Natural Camouflage should probably be rewritten to use "you" instead of "she" like the rest of the moves.

I feel like In Your Element should somehow reference the cat and mouse combat moves, but I'm not really sure how, or sure whether it is in fact necessary.

I feel like a miss on The Hunt, where you fall prey to two features, might end up being kinda samy if it happens multiple times. You only have two features (from start), so it'll generally be the same two features, and with some of the combos I'm hard pressed finding more than one or two ways you could fall prey to both. Maybe make the 7-9 a less serious danger (is that what beholden is meant to suggest? I'm not actually sure how to interpret beholden), and make a miss "You fall prey to a feature of your hunting ground".

  • Sewer Alligators
  • Mutant semi-anthropomorphic alligators with a hostile attitude and alien society. They ambush scavengers straying too far into their territory with spears and traps, and eat the dead, both intruders and their own. Not TMNT, but horrifying, intelligent ambush predators. They have pendants and shrines that seem to be dedicated to some kind of deity. Their territory is more or less known (though fluid), but whether they have settlements in there is only rumour.
  • When the sewer water turns red, it signifies heavy presence of the maelstrom. Is red water poisonous to normal humans?
  • A large chamber not too far from the surface. A huge hole has been knocked/blown up/collapsed from the ceiling, twisted girders sticking from the sides, with the cloudy sky far above. Red rain fails, and red waterfalls careen down the sides of the hole.
  • Mole people. Probably not intelligent, and more mole-like than anything else. Digs through the ground and other mole-like, non-person things. But when it looks at you with those sad, human-like eyes, it seems like there is a human trapped in there. Good eating if you don't mind the moral questions. They scream when slaughtered.
  • Shadows of people moving along the walls, without a person to cast them. Some say that they can somehow attack people, but it is not a known. Still considered best practice to avoid them.
  • Sections of corridor where emotions are trapped, hammering on any who move through. Despair, fear, anger. Those weak of mind succumb, and even those strong of mind may find parts of themselves that they had forgotten or buried deep.
  • A Hoarder (like the old playbook), deep in the tunnels. People ask what his goals are, but the real question is: what does his hoard want?
  • Electricity runs through the wires along the walls and ceiling of the corridors. In some sections they power the lights. But where does the power come from?
  • Trinkets. Pieces of pre-apoc toys. Figurines made from fingerbones. Bits of plastic inscribed with pictures and symbols. You'll find them in the water, in crevices in the tunnel, carried by the alligator-people. Are they connected to the maelstrom? Do they have minor magical powers? Are souls trapped inside?
  • Bunkers. Military bunkers. Science bunkers. Two-person fallout shelters. A bunker that seemed to have no way in or out before the wall collapsed.

Aw man. And I had just promised to myself that I wouldn't spend any money on crowdfunding this month.

Oh well, if I only back one project..

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