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Messages - Sequitur

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I think TGF is "feature complete" right now. Some stuff bears fleshing out (Subplots), and most stuff bears changing in some way or another (The playbooks and basic move set may have moves added or removed, for example). But I don't think there's any major component of the design that's missing. The most important thing that's actually missing from the design right now are endgame specials; the entire obols/arc/endgame system is the shakiest in general, because it's the part of the design that has less precedents to draw on (So, truly, I have little to no idea what I'm doing). It's also inherently hard to playtest because, well, it takes a long time to even get to an endgame. I wonder how McDaldno playtested his series finale rules for Monsterhearts.

Right now my focus is on continuing playtesting (You can never have enough data, right?) and on moving the magic system towards something that fits this game more (As you can tell, ours is very similar to how Monster of the Week does it). I think that this is a game where magic is more prevalent than in MoTW, so I'm making changes to let players take more control of how magic works in their game and fleshing it out a bit (Because I expect magic to come up more, I'm also making it so SRs have more guidance in how to play out Work Magic moves). Magic may eventually be split into two or even more moves, and the delineation between magic-users and non-users will probably change. We may make Hidden a more relevant rating for characters that aren't "spellcasters," or we might leave it as the designated dump stat.

I actually can't tell which moves you used, besides adapting the Gifted's flashes of insight move for the Malkavians. So it's cool; I mean, it's not like I haven't adapted a ton of moves.

Using UD as the basis for your game is probably correct - TGF's arc mechanics wouldn't serve a game about inter-player intrigue and shifting agendas (What I think is the heart of WoD) very well.

It's pretty explicitly something that started out as an expansion of Monster of the Week, but ended up looking to a lot of different games for mechanical ideas.

I haven't really looked at Midsummer yet, but I skimmed Urban Shadows and I think the games fill very different niches... Urban Shadows has its faction and corruption mechanics and plays to a totally different sort of arc in the same general milieu.

In my current game (Which isn't straight AW but rather a hack) I just straight-up tell players, at least for the first few sessions of their character's lives: "If you just wanna go ahead and say you have a relationship to X NPC, even in the middle of play, go ahead."

The basic contract though is that when the character goes and meets said NPC, they might be surprised by who they find and the positioning of their guts relative to their body. Looking through crosshairs, no status quos, &c. It's cool to let characters have ties to the world that go beyond what the playbook explicitly includes - those things are also all the more justifiable to set on fire.

I've been working on this on and off for the better part of a month and, having finally had a chance to get it to a playtestable state and play it, I'm sharing the first draft with the good people of Barf.

The Good Fight is a game about the supernatural struggle between Good and Evil in a contemporary setting. It started as an attempt to essentially build the Angel to Monster of the Week's Buffy, but it has in the meantime changed into somewhat more than that, with a throughline and subtext that I wasn't even aware of when I started sketching it out. You can think of it as a "prequel" to Apocalypse World, the massively multiplayer crossover edition of the old World of Darkness, Monsterhearts with grown-ups, tragic long-form Fiasco, a mash-up of Primetime Adventures and Monster of the Week, or even Dungeon World transposed into the modern day.

At this stage, it's also highly experimental and very broken. You can get it from here:

Here's the opening blurb:

The world's going to hell. We all know this, or at least our entrails do. But not everyone knows just how.

There's Evil out there. Honest, no-shit, capital-E Evil. Things go bump in the night. The whole crawling, walking, talking, shrieking mass of cliches.

Then there's also evil out there. Honest, no-shit, small-e evil. Children with distended bellies. Squats full of reeking addicts that no-one will get to in time. Soulless bourgeois assholes murdering people in droves, with pens and figures and apathy. That always-falling sensation of imminent collapse we've been wallowing in for the last forty-odd years of our civilization, where apocalypse seems just around the corner but never actually comes to end our misery.

And on this corner, there's you lot. The mass of unfortunates who, by some ugliness of fate, sheer bloody-mindedness, or plain old misfortune, are clued-in to the fact that those two things are anything but unrelated. A lot of people go mad when they scratch the
surface of the world. But there's an alternative.

You say: It doesn't have to be like this. And you go out into the world to make it so. Regardless of the cost.

If you do read it, or even run it, please let me know what you think and how it goes for you; I actually think this could be something really interesting - but I also think making it so would take more playtesting than only me and my group of (lovely, dedicated) playtesters can accomplish.

brainstorming & development / Re: Reasons to include a move
« on: March 03, 2013, 03:16:28 PM »
Also, having something be a basic move lets you build specificity into how different playbooks make that move. My hack has a generic "work magic" move that's used for more or less every type of supernatural power, but the different magic-oriented playbooks have moves that change the rules of how that move works:

Magical Prodigy: When you work magic to cast a Forces spell, on a 7-9, you can take 1-harm and treat the roll as a 10.

Hermetic Magic: When you work magic to cast a Ritual spell, with access to your research materials and books, roll +grave instead of +hidden.

Appetite for Destruction: Your Forces spells that inflict harm are treated as 2-harm close auto ignore-armor. You can spend holds from your power source to inflict +1-harm.

Blood Magic: When you work magic, before you roll +Hidden, you can choose to open a vein (Yours or a willing victim's). This inflicts 1-harm; you get +1 on your +Hidden roll. After you roll to work magic, you may continue the bloodletting: For each 1-harm suffered, increase the result of the roll by 1. You must do this at least until the total roll is 7.

Similarly, the playbooks oriented towards phsyical violence tend to modify the basic "inflict harm" move. Vampires fight better in melee where they can use their unnatural strength, for example.

This would be a lot more complicated if I wanted to give each playbook its own magic-using move, or if I folded magic-using into a more generic move. Oh, and this is important because playbooks blend together with off-playbook advances, it makes it so those moves interact with one another in ways that are more evident for the player.

brainstorming & development / Re: Reasons to include a move
« on: March 03, 2013, 07:23:52 AM »
One more thing: to make the impossible possible. One basic idea of AW is that things that aren't covered by moves fall either in the "you just do it" camp and the "you can't do it" camp. So for example, your Driver can cheerfully open a can of peaches without rolling any dice; but he can't flap her wings and fly under any circumstances.

So we use moves to mess around with the physics and the metaphysics. Open your Brain in Apocalypse World basically signals that in this setting, everyone is wired into the psychic maelstrom. Similarly with Use Magic in Monster of the Week and the similarly-constructed Work Magic in my own hack. Especially in a game mixing the mundane and the supernatural, having those moves helps establish that the characters aren't mundane people.

This is also why a lot of playbook moves exist - in AW, Brainers can mess with people's heads and Savvyheads can talk to technology, and so on.

I'm working on a hack which I'm tentatively calling The Good Fight. It's an urban fantasy/horror game in the vein of Angel, built explicitly to emulate serialized television, about the largely unironic supernatural struggle between good and evil in modern times. It's not really ready to show off yet; I don't even have a full set of playbooks.

I realize it sounds horribly pretentious when I say it like that, so here's the silliest move in the playbooks that are completed:

I've Got a Theory: Whenever a supernatural threat presents itself, make a wild guess about it's true nature. If it reveals itself to be true, everyone who heard your hypothesis gets +1 forward, and you mark experience.

Oh, and Midsummer does sound interesting. I'd love a link too.

I only just saw this, but I'm going to be following closely - As it happens I've been working on a hack with a pretty similar premise, though enough differences in tone and mechanics that I don't feel redundant. I really do like the corruption mechanic, by the way.

Monster of the Week / Re: Custom Playbook - The Hex
« on: February 26, 2013, 12:47:05 AM »
That's brilliant - occasionally have them go "Oh yeah, I totally want the backlash from this to happen again."

Especially in combination with Bad Luck Charm.

Monster of the Week / Re: Custom Playbook - The Hex
« on: February 26, 2013, 12:18:11 AM »
I actually came up with a variant text for rotes that might be better:

Rotes: After you use magic successfully, you can opt to declare that spell as one of your rotes. Write down the spell, give it a name, describe how you cast it and what it does; then ask the Keeper to tell you what it does on a 7-9 or on a miss. Then erase one of the requirements to cast it. Casting a rote is just like using magic - but you know the (Discount!) costs and risks in advance. At the start of play, you can learn a maximum of three rotes.

Makes for a bit more of a "spellbook" feel since they can have more rotes and cuts back on complexity a lot, I think.

If you try this out in play, let me know how it turns out!

Monster of the Week / Re: Custom Playbook - The Hex
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:30:24 PM »
Oops! I could've sworn it was shared. You should be able to read it now.

Monster of the Week / Custom Playbook - The Hex
« on: February 25, 2013, 10:37:51 PM »
I've been playing around with hacking and customizing Monster of the Week (Which, by the by, is fantastic), and to get a handle on the system, I've built a custom playbook. The idea here was that while the Spooky seems to suggest someone who has inborn or unwanted supernatural power, the Hex is someone who deliberately went after it. The touchstone is obviously Willow, but also Giles in his "Ripper" days, Tara, Ethan Rayne, a dash of John Constantine.

Do I have totally the wrong idea about how to go about this, or is this an interesting playbook? Does it overlap too much with the Spooky to be useful?

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