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Messages - Tim Ralphs

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Dungeon World / Re: Hard moves for Failing a Shapeshift
« on: December 24, 2014, 08:32:39 AM »
Well, it depends a bit on what shapeshifting is like for your Druid. It's worth chatting with them about what it feels like, how it relates to the spirits, what they have to do to manage things and so forth. But off the top of my head - say the spirits withhold that animal or that domain until some future point. Or have them shift into a different animal. Or have them shift and get stuck. Or have them partially shift and be stuck with stubby, useless wings. Or have some of their belongings shift into them. Or attract the attention of malign spirits.

It's been a while since I DM'd. Failed Healing moves were always my least favourite, I'm glad you're rocking those.

AW:Dark Age / Slavery
« on: September 25, 2014, 05:00:36 AM »
My wife and I were trying out the setup and creation rules on a long train journey home. She's a bit of a Dark Ages buff and as we built our stronghold on a contentious border she laughed and said "So we're basically Mercians, right? Keeping down the local British population. We've probably got a handful of Welsh slaves."

And that made me a bit worried. I have no real knowledge of how slavery was practiced in the Dark Ages beyond the fact that the life of a slave was worth less in wergilt than the life of free person. It felt like such a contentious topic that I almost wanted some guidance.

As it was we continued and ended up with a really interesting set up. The dominant people in the stronghold were not well known for their rites, and there was a welsh wicker-wise slave who appeased the local Gods on their behalf. She, in her turn, was owed a life every mid-winter and we set it up so that the Gods chose who they wanted as sacrifice. If they chose one of the Saxons (or if the Wicker-wise reported back that they did.) then custom was that the Saxon was offered up. It was a nice and tricky power dynamic and I'd be interested to see how it played out.

But yeah, slavery. Am I over-reacting in wanting a little guidance? Is this a topic that other people have run into?

AW:Dark Age / When and What
« on: September 04, 2014, 02:50:44 PM »
Hey Vincent, what sort of time scales do you expect to have for things being useful to you? If my regular playgroup takes a few months to finish up our Monsterhearts game, does that probably mean that anything we'd gather from playing Dark Ages would likely be too late? Should I be trying to get something done promptly? Would you like first impressions of the text before playtest reports?

I expect vague and shifting answers.

I'm with Yarrum! Keeping everyone involved. Sometimes it feels like all the threats and fronts I create don't seem to give the player characters stuff to do, because they don't seem to threaten things the player characters care about. It's a two way process though, the game is a lot easier when the player character have plenty of things and people they care about!

There's a whole host of apparently little things you can do if the Act under Fire is missed but there's no obvious fire. If they were seduced, consider moving one of their highlighted stats into Hot, because now they've got sex on the brain. If they feel messed up because they were manipulated so, maybe drop the relevant +Hx down by one. Or, in the sit and stare blankly case, you can always ask the player - "So when you get wound up and can't think straight, what do you do to vent some steam?"

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbook focus: The Operator
« on: June 06, 2014, 06:43:00 AM »
Just wanted to add to the collection of good Operators in fiction. The Marquis de Carabas from Neverwhere. Short on actual gigs, but his cool, favour driven economy and skillset are perfect inspiration.

Monsterhearts / Old Pdf errata
« on: January 26, 2014, 09:03:47 AM »

Last week I bought the Monster Hearts pdf from Buried without Ceremony. My wife is planning on running it, I'm very excited. As she was reading it this morning she commented on how odd it was to have playing a second character as a season advance, as you only got one more session in that season and it seemed like a weird time to be bringing in another character. That made sense, and it reminded me of a thread on here where the Second Character advance had been discussed as a relic from Apocalypse World that had been abandoned.

Have we got an old pdf? I notice it has the update about when to change highlighted stats, so it's not super old. Are there any other errata we should know about?


Apocalypse World / A dark room
« on: January 08, 2014, 09:40:54 AM »
I don't know if anyone here has already mentioned A Dark Room. It reminded me of Apocalypse World (especially the way it felt like I was changing playbooks!) But I feel bad for saying that it reminded me of Apocalypse World, because part of what makes the game fun is having no idea what's going on or what kind of world you're in.

Dungeon World / Re: Paying Nature's Price
« on: October 17, 2013, 12:25:12 PM »
Thanks for the reply Uzio. That's an angle I hadn't really considered, I think because it seemed to overlap quite a lot with what I would expect to happen if the Druid lost control of the spirits.

In the instance I mentioned above, the Druid had come across a small, partially collapsed tunnel that was infested with a moss that possessed people. She wanted the fire to enter the tunnel and burn out all the moss. They were in a forest of largely petrified trees at the time, on the side of a snow covered mountain, though they managed to gather enough wood from more recent growths and from some collapsed buildings for the fire. I suppose that nature's price could include some sort of avalanche if they're going to go throwing fire around.

In the next session, I predict the Druid will be using the power of earth to collapse a wizard's tower. I shall have a think what local environment may be like and what may happen as a result.

Dungeon World / Paying Nature's Price
« on: October 13, 2013, 03:27:25 PM »
Finally the Druid takes Elemental Mastery, which I have always thought looked incredibly fun. She built a great heap of wood, set it alight, called on the spirits of fire and made the roll. But we ran into a total blank when it came to Paying Nature's Price. I, as I usually do, asked the players, everyone had a moment of looking confused and then I remembered that the players had, amongst their items, a magical torch that would always re-light itself and burned endlessly. That was what the primal fire spirit demanded as the heart of its blaze. Fine this time, the Druid payed up, but she mentioned on the way home that it's not like she has many magical items.

And I find myself at a loss. The move doesn't feel like Nature's Price should be something long winded, some task the Druid needs to perform, mid-ritual, to get the spirits to co-operate. Neither do I want to jump in and say: "The fire will burn you - take d8 damage" or something like that that will rapidly just become mechanics. So I thought I'd ask, what sort of prices have people been paying nature for this move?

Dungeon World / Re: NPC counterspell?
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:04:34 AM »
Wow, this got dangerous! Personally, I think that if we've let people roll dice, we've agreed that the move is happening.

It's like Aaron says, if a Fighter decides to stab a dragon and we roll Hack and Slash, I'd feel like it was a really cheap shot if I rolled a 10+ and was then told that the roll didn't matter. On the other hand, if I was told not to roll, then I think I'd be far happier with things. Question of psychology, maybe.

In game terms, if the wizard is says they're trying to cast a spell and they've done it near an evil mage who can counterspell then that sounds like they've given you an opportunity on a plate. I'd be asking for the defy danger roll before we made the casting roll. I totally agree that "All kinds of things can happen when you roll, right?", it just seems like we should all know what we're rolling for before the dice hit the table.

I think this is really interesting, because it raises the questions of how much description you get from characters about their Moonlighting and Wealth. Especially with the Operator, I enjoy asking them a bit about the gigs they choose to work or not, what job it is they're trying to get done, so that if things go wrong we've got something to work with. I think this is in accordance with the principle, "to do it, do it."

Anyway, to bring this back to your question, if no time has passed then maybe devonapple's point remains. But if you feel like maybe some time has passed then let the Operator roll moonlighting, but if they say they want to work Honour as a gig, ask them how? what are they doing to regain their honour after the last session? If they can't come with anything plausible, then maybe they don't get to work that gig. And if they do come up with something that might work then awesome, let them roll! Either way, it stops being your problem.

I swear, half of the time when I have problems with AW, I can fix it by turning things back on the players and asking them to help make up the details that make the fiction make sense.

Dungeon World / Re: Newbie questions about custom moves
« on: November 22, 2012, 05:13:19 AM »
I remember the Room of Pools! And the strange green gem that might grant a wish if you place a chip of it under your tongue. Hah!

Do you even want to roll? doesn't the module give a list of great descriptions of pools? (This pool is full of hissing, steamy lumps of white rock. What do you do? This pool is full of Green Slime. What do you do?)

Yeah, I don't have anything helpful to say. My first DnD experience was that module. I'm just going to sit here and glow in the memories.

Apocalypse World / Re: The Brain Cage
« on: November 22, 2012, 05:06:49 AM »
Those rules seem geared for the device being used by PCs and against NPCs. Is that the intention?

But it's a horrible device, and in that respect you've done the job spot on.


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