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Messages - Natalie

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Dungeon World / Re: Dragonborn Racial Move(s) in Dungeon World?
« on: March 13, 2014, 08:10:24 AM »
To me it's obvious that a dragonborn racial move would have to incorporate the breath weapon somehow. At least when playing with 11-year-olds. So:

Dragonborn breath
You breathe forth a plume of fire, ice, acid mist or lightning (choose one at character creation, then always use that one). Anyone within its reach takes 2d4 damage.

is a cantrip for you.

I'm a bit unsure about the balance. This is essentially a close-range magic missile as a cantrip, as compared to the Elf racial which gives an ordinary Detect Magic as a cantrip. An alternative is to make it 2d6 damage, i.e. a close-range fireball, and have it count as a level 1 move that you have for free (but need to prepare). That's a bit weird though, because it's not really a spell. If it's a cantrip you get away with it because the spellcasting move fits: on a 7-9 you put yourself in a spot, mess up your future spellcasting (including firebreathing) or lose the ability temporarily (run out of fire oil in your belly). They kinda work for the breath weapon.

Apocalypse World / Re: Obligation Gigs: How do people get 'em?
« on: December 27, 2013, 09:17:50 AM »
It comes down to how the operator views having sex with someone. I'm playing an operator in our current game, and I've done exactly that: had sex with people with the (as a player) hidden motive that I will get +1 juggling and hopefully come out on top. So far young Transfer has fucked two people:
- Manja, who is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, and who runs an establishment in one end of town (pretty much an NPC Maestro d')
– The Patriarchy, who is an old man who runs the bustling marketplace and bloodsports arena in the other end of town. Transfer wanted to set up shop at his place selling drugs, maybe stationing one of her crew there at all times doing business, and fucking The Patriarchy seemed to be the fastest way.

Now, both of these people mean a lot to me, to Transfer, and to the game. If I screw up "Keeping Manja happy", Transfer won't be happy – from the outside view it's probably mostly infatuation with a beautiful girl who has, for some reason, noticed me (dream come true!), but it sure feels like true love. I work that gig every other session.
"Keeping The Patriarchy happy", aside from being the best name for an obligation gig ever, is also important. If I don't, my little herion tent near the arena won't stay in business, and The Patriarchy is generally not someone you want as an enemy; I do a lot of business in that marketplace (other gigs are surveillance, delivieres and brokering deals). I just got it, but I definitely plan to work this obligation gig now and then. 4-juggling doesn't seem so much now, just as you said – getting new obligation gigs from sex need +1juggling to keep things even.

What would happen if Manja got herself killed? What if I made Transfer kill her? I haven't talked to my MC, but I actually expect to keep all the juggling increases. Because i have to fight for them, either by being plagued by those obligation gigs or by resolving them. Resolving means either spending an advance, getting the people killed (which might not help with The Patriarchy, but instead just transform it into "avoiding The Patriarchy's men") or really working to get the relationship to a stable place. Advancing Manipulate and turning them into allies might work.

In contrast, consider an Operator who has cheap sex with anyone and then leaves them. Now, the rules still creates those obligation gigs, and the MC must still regard them as golden opportunities for complications when you don't work them. So yeah, you're going to be haunted by all those exes. Depending on who they are, you could get them killed but... In a way, the main this shows is how effective a ruthless approach can be – all it takes is that you don't care at all. For the people you got to sleep with you. Fuckin' thumbs up, mr super-Operator.

I say keep the +1juggling from all obligation gigs. The fact that you have them as obligation gigs means you're working to pay it off, one way or another.

Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate Hx rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: December 27, 2013, 08:32:11 AM »
(Arvid is the MC in that campaign, I'm a player)

I think they work out just fine. They do't feel like an obvious improvement, but not worse either. Now, not all the players are well read-up on all rules, and sometimes mostly go along, like "okay, so now you increase your Hx with me by 1" "What was that again?" "Those numbers in the middle, what's it say for Transfer?" and so on. With bonds, I don't think anyone but me and Arvid made sure to read and understand the document before we started playing, so there has been a fair bit of this, too – more than there would have been if we'd used the original Hx rules. So I consider the rules a failure for simplifying things. It doesn't seem to be more intuitive for our players than Hx. Maybe for a group who has played a lot of Dungeon World, though.

I would be okay with doing what Arvid says, and make everything positive.

Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate Hx rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: October 07, 2013, 09:18:14 AM »
As an update, we're playing with these rules in our new game, and after first session it feels like they're working out. I might drop in with more thoughts after a few sessions.

Dungeon World / Re: Clock spell list
« on: June 04, 2013, 04:37:57 AM »
I tried to write up my issues with the Mage over on the Something Awful forums, but I didn't get much response. I guess it was a tad rambly, though:


Okay, this is me trying to put into words my beef with the Mage spellcasting as opposed to the Wizard's. I know that a lot of you are having fun with the Mage, and I'm not denying that, but trying to explain why it doesn't gel with me.

It's not grounded in a specific action.

Like all good moves, it starts and ends with the fiction, and it's grounded in a concrete action. I mean, you can't just say "I use magic to solve this problem!", you have to describe how. But whenever you do anything that counts as "attempting to solve a problem with magic", you roll that move. That's not… specific enough for me, I guess. Hack and slash doesn't say "when you attempt to solve a problem by melee combat". Shapeshifting doesn't say "when you attempt to solve a problem by shifting into animal form". The one move that's as generic is Defy Danger, and it highlights what Mage casting is missing (for me). In one end it's generic since the danger to be defied isn't specified in the move, just like the problem to be solved isn't in the casting move. On the other end, "how do you do it", Defy Danger provides categories (like "… by powering through") etc. Mage casting is generic in both ends. The player freely describes how they go about solving, and doesn't change anything in the move.

(For reference, using this classification wizard casting is (very) specific in the solution but doesn't assume any problem at all. You could cast a wizard spell even when there wouldn't be any apparent problem to solve.)

Also, unlike Defy Danger where their description is grounded in the fiction very concretely since they can only do things that make sense (so no leaping over buildings), Mage casting can choose from anything at all accomplishable by magic as long as it's not in their opposed elements.

This means that the Mage's "Cast a spell" move has no internal sense of scale. Defying Danger limits what you can do based on who you are physically. A fighter could plausibly power through a horde of Goblins while a halfling Thief could only power through a swarm of rats, and neither of them could ever (use that move to) power through hewn stone walls. This is fair to everyone since everyone agrees on the power scales of physical feats. Wizard casting also works, since the spells clearly include scales. And we get level progression along that power scale, too! At first level, "plausible for a magician of your sort" clearly includes summoning one spirit for one question. At fifth level, you can summon a monster to fight by your side. At ninth level, you can summon anyone to your side by teleport!

In contrast, all things described as "problems" that magic could solve are not equal in my mind. This includes the problem of a Mage attempting to solve super-epic problems - and the move would trigger, right? It also includes the other end of the scale, where the Mage wants to do some small prestidigitation. The Wizard does not make that much easier than other spells, granted, but it does differentiate in some way - easier spells are easier to keep memorised, so keeping it in your array isn't as much of a sacrifice as keeping a high-level spell. Move-wise, I won't say the Mage only has a hammer and thus everything looks like a nail, but… all the Mage's tools look like a hammer and they're definitely all the same size, regardless of the size of the problem.

So I guess two problems:
- the lack of a sense of scale
- it's generic in both ends (both what the problem is, and what your solution is)


Dungeon World / Re: Discern Realities order of questions
« on: May 22, 2013, 05:04:16 PM »
The "ask all questions right away" thing is as I see it only there to prevent holding on to questions, doing something that changes the sitch, and asking "well, who's in control of it now? I've never had it mean you have to state all the three questions before getting an answer. So maybe you ask "Who's really in control here?", and if it's under control (heh) you can ask for previous events and useful or valuable things, but if it's unstable you can ask what you should be on the lookout for specifically.

That's how I'd call it anyway: ask all your questions before people start doing things again, but if you want to wait for my answer to one before deciding on the next one, that's fine.

Dungeon World / Re: Druids and Dice
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:41:44 AM »
For the miss, a fun thing to do is think of the ways the given animal would not be useful in the situation, and give them a move based on that. Like, someone wants to transform into a mouse to scurry past orcs to the treasure, and on a miss you just give them the moves "hide deep in a hole" and "squeak helplessly". If you really want to be harsh you can say: the ordinary rule about giving up unspent hold to transform back? That doesn't apply this time. They'll have to use one of those moves.

Apocalypse World / Re: Gigs and how they work
« on: May 12, 2013, 12:50:35 PM »
Juggling is rules terminology, since there's a value called 'juggling'. It's simple, yes, it represents pretty much what it sounds like – how many gigs you can juggle – but writing it like 'You get 2-juggling' and 'choose no more than your juggling' implies it's this whole secondary stat, at least if you come from more rules-complex games.

But yeah, it doesn't do anything else, just caps how many gigs you can choose to work on at the same time (juggle).

Dungeon World / Re: My Magic Items 1.0
« on: May 04, 2013, 05:45:56 AM »
To build upon the idea that 'magic items should be more than just stat bonuses':

Lightning Arrows: fire one of these and it transforms into a bolt of lightning. Hit something made of metal, or into water, and it'll damage and stun everyone touching it. Fire into the sky and you might attract stormclouds or storm archons [maybe exchange for some other sky creature relevant to your world].

Mithril armour and Glintaxe are fine, just that they are not Dungeon World-class Magic Items. Masterwork, special materials. These things obviously have a place and I'm not saying don't use them, but when awing the players with magic items, aim higher.

Boots of Elvenkind: A pair of finely made leather traveling boots. When walking, your footsteps make no sound at all. When running on naturally uneven ground (forests, underbrush, swamp) you never stumble or trip.

Grasp of Droskar: A left handed black iron gauntlet that changes size to fit any humanoid person. Placing the gauntlet on your left hand causes excruciating pain as you forearm and hand is transformed into a dense black stone. The fingers of that hand cannot move, but your left arm is now pretty much a mace. It's at least as hard to make a dent in as regular stone, maybe it's indestructible. It's said only powerful magic can make the gauntlet come off.

Crown of the Kobold King: This burnished bronze crown is set with various spikes and knotted wire. When you wear it, you are filled by the spirit of an ancient dragon and lord of kobolds. All who see you recognise your royalty. It grants 2-armor, too.

Heartripper Dagger: If the dagger is used against a completely helpless (tied up, completely unawares, etc) the Heartripper dagger pulls the heart from its victim (automatically killing the victim) and you can use the heart for one of these benefits;

* Consume the heart and regain all lost HP and all debilities that the victim did not have.

* Utter a command word and the heart bursts into flame and crumbles into ash and causes the dagger to do +1d4 fire damage that ignores armor for the next 24 hours.

* You may speak another command word and the heart bubbles and smokes. Breathing in the smoke allows glimpses of far off places or of the future.

Most often, just describe what happens, no mechanics. "Your hand is flippin' made of stone, how are you holding those lockpicks?" is completely legit without the specified -3 penalty. That kind of all-inclusiveness is what allows for loads of weird stuff when playing DnD RAW. Better just trust that if the fiction tells us something doesn't make sense, the fact that the emchanics doesn't give it a -5 is not reasin it works as normal. If you can't do it, you don't do it.

Dungeon World / Re: End of session: resolving more than one bond
« on: May 04, 2013, 05:30:02 AM »
That last suggestion in Sage's post, that's what we use. Resolve more than one if they're resolved, particularly if they are resolved by being irrelevant or untrue (as opposed to completely explored but still true, like '__ has my back when I'm in danger'), but only take one xp even if you resolve more than one.

Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate xp rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: January 16, 2013, 01:49:09 AM »
You're entirely right. What I meant was that I can go into a session in which I got hot highlighted thinking "I'm going to try being Hot today, and seek out opportunities to roll that hot and get me some xp" and then I can succeed with that goal to a higher or lesser degree. If I get to roll hot thrice and fail all the rolls that's pretty much a success, since I got my xp.

Failing that goal could stem from one of:
– I ended up in situations where I really didn't want to risk going hot (my hot is at -2, I'm a gunlugger, and the session mainly dealt with a very deadly firefight)
– I tried going for hot but for some reason I didn't get to roll (I made a great deal, mutually beneficient, and the MC said "that's not even a roll, they just go with it", another PC broke in and stole my thunder meaning I got to aid their manipulation roll)
– I tried going for a social situation but I wanted to resolve another scene first, and all five players were there so none of us didn't get very much screentime, and someone was late so we didn't get started on time, and in the end I only got to play out the situation I started in, and never got to the part where I wanted to hot

Now to be fair, if all players have a really good handle on where the session's going, especially noticing when the third is going to happen, they won't highlight stats that they don't think will have a chance of being rolled. But we do have a bit of a problem in our group that scenes tend to drag out and we end up not having accomplished much in the session, particularly when the time is split between five players (four would have been more ideal but we all like playing with each other :) )

Apocalypse World / Re: Alternate xp rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: January 15, 2013, 12:26:28 PM »
I think it would be slower than a "fast highlight", like hard on a gunlugger in a fighty session or weird on a brainer, but faster than a slow session – in my experience even sessions when I felt like I succeeded in being hot I only rolled the stat once or twice – and I've definitely played sessions where I haven't succeeded, and thus got zero experience whole session. In my system you'd get the same amount of xp regardless of which stats you rolled for, and if you did little or no rolling at all you still have five questions+Hx at the end, a potential whole advance on a jackpot on the questions.

And losing the possibility for 25 experience in a session or whatever that one guy keeps talking about, isn't something I'd mourn, actually.

Apocalypse World / Alternate Hx rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: January 15, 2013, 07:40:13 AM »
Okay, here's another port. I can't say I've played enough AW or DW, or played around enough with the design of either, to say that one system fits better than the other to a certain game. But I do like the Bonds system, and I don't think it's a bad fit for AW, at least. So I wrote up a bonds hack, replacing the Hx rules. There's an added bonus of having the Hx assignment not be a double moebius round-robin – you just dole out all your bonds in order.

Here's a link to the document.

Feel free to comment, either here or in the doc (insert->comment or something).

Apocalypse World / Alternate xp rules (à la Dungeon World)
« on: January 15, 2013, 04:26:56 AM »
Here's a set of alternate experience rules I'd like to try out sometime.


Firstly, everyone marks experience every time they roll the worst result on the dice. That means a 6- on any roll except harm rolls and other custom moves the MC cooks up.

Secondly, at the end of each session, ask yourselves as a group the following three questions:
– Did we learn something new and important about the world?
– Did we resolve a threat to the community?
– Did we create something new in this world?
For every question answered with "yes", everyone marks experience.

Thirdly, everyone has two highlighted stats, just like normal. However, don't mark experience when you roll for them. Instead, after the session ask the group:
– Did I show how cool I can be?
– Did I show how hard I can be?
– Did I show how hot I can be?
– Did I show how sharp I can be?
– Did I show how weird I can be?
That is, ask the two questions corresponding to your highlighted stats. For each question the group answers with a "yes", you mark experience.

Fourthly, you mark experience from resetting Hx and being manipulated and following the advice of someone who's oftener right and stuff like that just as you always did.



For marking on a miss, I guess the MC could judge a custom move they made to not have any result worse than the other, and then you'd get no xp regardless. It'd be a pretty boring move though.

For the questions, I recommend you pick three questions appropriate for your campaign. Here are the ones I can come up with, feel free to add your own.
– Did we learn something new and important about the post-apocalyptic world?
– Did we learn something new and important about the apocalypse?
– Did we meet a notable new NPC?
– Did we resolve a threat to the community?
– Did we create something new in this world?
– Did we make a notable change in any power balance?
– Did we bask in the decadence, filth, or misery of the apocalypse world?
– Did we overcome a notable adversary?
Dungeon World also has "Did we loot a memorable treasure?" but that feels a bit off here.

Dungeon World / Re: That group stealth roll irks me...
« on: December 20, 2012, 06:08:54 AM »
When you sneak through hostile territory, assign the following jobs:

- A lockpicker, rolling +DEX. On a 10+ the lockpicker gets the party there quicker than expected, or find an alternate route bypassing a known obstacle. On a 7-9 they find the least patrolled route and can lead everyone along it. (This job also includes leading the party along a precarious precipice, setting up a rope to climb a wall, and the like – all the acrobatics of breaking and entering.)

- A lookout, rolling +WIS. On a 10+ the scout will spot any trouble quick enough for you to get the drop on it. On a 7-9 neither party gets the drop on the other.

- A sweeper, rolling +WIS. On a 10+ the sweeper clears the tracks, making sure the simple passage of intruders goes unnoticed (if you start a fight or steal an object, that might be noticed, but not footprints, unlocked doors etc). On a 7-9 choose one: they notice something's amiss right now, but not what; after you're gone they can piece together exactly what you've done.

- The lockpicker needs a new name: it's like a guide and stuff as well, the one knowing how to actually get to where they want to go. Failure on their part includes getting lost. If I called it just the Guide it wouldn't be clear it includes picking locks and stuff. I don't want to make that a fourth job either, or mash it into the sweeper's. Maybe some other division altogether could work better.

- The sweeper might roll+DEX instead depending on how you visualize their job. To me the important part is notice to the details, realising that the curtains used to hang just so. Someone with the wizard move Logical might even do it with INT. If you think the main skill involved would be the sleight of hand aspect, have them roll+DEX instead.

- Traps in the area, if there is no Thief there to roll for Trap Expert, are not really covered. The lockpicker's 10+ option might mean they notice a trap and bypass it. On a 7-9 though, it's legit to say the "immediate path" runs through a room you know contains a trap, and play out passing that room as usual. What the lockpicker's roll gave them is that this path will definitely lead to the right place, and it's the least patrolled.

- This move doesn't say what happens if you have less than three people in the party. You could treat the missing rolls as being 6-, meaning you'll either take your pretty time getting there, risk running into guards unprepared, or leaving glaring tracks for anyone to follow. Or you could say that with fewer people it's easier to stay alert and get everyone to move along, meaning you treat a missing roll like a 7-9.

- A Thief move corresponding to the Ranger's Follow Me and Strider would probably make sense. Especially if you do the "missing rolls treated as 6-" – then the Thief is the only one who can do even a half-decent job on her own.

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