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Messages - Simon JB

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Apocalypse World / Re: AW over Google Docs
« on: October 21, 2010, 03:24:19 PM »
(Bah! Vincent, a move please? To the Apocalypse World forum? Thanks!)

EDIT: (Thank you!)

Apocalypse World / AW over Google Docs
« on: October 21, 2010, 03:22:34 PM »
So, now that google is discontinuing wave, I've started experimenting with different tools. Forum or blog format has been too unefficient, I mean, there's too much space between the text in each post, making it annoying with really short posts. And I think really short posts are important for getting that easy, creative conversation.

So, after sketching up how I'd like it, and discussing it a bit on some swedish boards, I realized I had what I wanted in google docs.

So, now I've got two games running. Thought I'd show and tell, in case someone else would be interested in play-by-posting.

(Big disclaimer, though: It's played and written in Swedish, and just run through google translate. So don't hit that link looking for litterature! I just translated it so you'd have an idea of what's going on, how the dynamics of play looked when we did that. But the text will look awful and occasionally unintelligible. Also, it's set in Scandinavia, hence the names.)

We played this session, our first this way, as a real time session, all three of us online at the same time. There's a chat built into google docs these days, so we kept commenting there while the game ran. The person who had the ball, who was writing, passed the ball by adding a new line, showing that sie was finished. For dice rolls we used an online roller with a game room, so we all saw each roll, in a tab of the browser. Oh, and at the opening, where Frost and Stieg are in different scenes, we had those two scenes running parallel.

Anyway, take a look if you've been thinking about running a game over wave or forum or something.  See if it's something useful for you.

Here it is.

blood & guts / Re: Sex moves => vulnerability moves
« on: October 16, 2010, 06:12:41 AM »
Interesting indeed. I suspect we're finding different sorts of meaning and importance in it. I'll be sure to report how this change works when I get the chance to try it out, whether it's more trivial or meaningful.

Looking forward to it!

A Song of Ice and Fire Hack / Re: Playbooks
« on: October 14, 2010, 04:44:07 PM »
(okay, okay, I've been doing other things and occasionally feeling guilty about my lack of visible progress, but I have been thinking about it)

Never feel guilty! :)

On the other hand, having played some for reals AW, I really really appreciate how the playbooks a) give clear but not overly constraining direction to what the players are about and the sort of conflicts they should gravitate towards, and b) they concisely convey the world in intuitive bits and pieces. With a game set in an established setting, this latter consideration might not be as necessary, but would be helpful for people who get pitched a highly political historical-feeling fantasy game, rather than knowing Martin's work already.

The other AW related thought I've been having recently, and I think will *really* apply to SOIF is that the MC's job is soooo much easier when a) the characters have strong agendas and b) the situation generating moves come into play. The very first session I ran, the Hocus's followers provided loads of juicy NPC-PC triangles, potential conflicts and future badness, and so forth. When I ran again and all I had to work with was a successful operator's roll where the player played it safe and only did one gig, it was much harder.

All of this is a way of saying I'm very fond of building in MC fodder into the character types, and a purely 'pick your moves' modular approach might have the players avoiding such moves unless the potential gain is just too darn juicy to pass up.

So, to come back around to your suggestion, having written this post, I'm liking it more and more. I might make a number of playbooks that then have subtypes (come to think of it, like the monsterhearts playbooks). So you can be a high lord or a bannerman if you pick "Lord", you can be a sellsword or a sworn sword if you pick "Stabby Guy", et cetera.

And then maybe have some optional "make your own" rules akin to the custom moves and what not in "Advanced Fuckery", like the way Lady Blackbird gives you pregens and a super tight opening situation, but later on gives you complete character creation rules.

If you will permit me some more opinions on your hack, I think you're spot on here. As mentioned upthread, the option of switching character types after a bit of play covers a lot of your need for complex characters moving between different strata of the world, especially with the possibility of having rather different options within the types.

Oh, and, a shameless suggestion! Consider making a playbook for 'Lordling', for high-born youths. This would of course be quite different from the Lord, since they don't hold the power themselves, but have lots of connections to different people with different skills. Maybe with a move like the fucking thieves but for finding people with certain skills or professions. It would be wonderful to see this kind of character enter the game, and then, when the time is right, switch playbooks in any number of directions, depending on what comes out in play!

And maybe pairing that with an 'Urchin' type, as well! Imagine starting as that and later turning into a Sword, or Spider, or Lord, even!

blood & guts / Re: Sex moves => vulnerability moves
« on: October 14, 2010, 09:08:28 AM »
Nah, screw home base if it doesn't do it for you! But I don't think you would benefit from having it be about 'showing your vulnerabilities' or something more fuzzy like that. I mean, getting romantic or getting intimate is pretty clearly about the stuff you do after the dialogue ends and the action starts, whatever that action is, smooching, sexing, whatever.

The other stuff, the sharing of secrets, trust and so on, that's gold, that's food for drama, but I don't think you'll need a variant of the sex moves for that.

A Song of Ice and Fire Hack / Re: Playbooks
« on: October 13, 2010, 10:22:17 AM »
Strictly speaking, I believe a bannerman is a knight who is responsible for raising an army in his lords service. The term comes from his right to carry his own banner into war to act as a rallying point for his troops.
I guess the playbook could be expanded to handle guys like mercenary captains, who have a similar gig but aren't sworn to a lord and therefore aren't strictly speaking "bannermen" though.

You might have left the playbook aproach for something more modular, but still, if we keep thinking playbooks, did you consider this:

You lord over lands and men, yadda yadda. Choose one:
  • You are a bannerman and owe fealty to a higher lord.
  • You are a high lord, second only to the King.

I've only read a third of the first book, but I get the impression bannermen are definitively 'lords', just not high lords like the wardens of entire regions. And with good reason, since feudal power comes from lording over lands and having soldiers in your service.

And for something parallelling the driver, wouldn't it be awesome with an Outrider type, one with his horse, scouting and screening an army's flanks? A virtuoso on the horseback?

blood & guts / Re: Sex moves => vulnerability moves
« on: October 13, 2010, 07:54:06 AM »
Any comments? Does this mean anything?

Yeah I'm not surprised. I guess it would look the same if you compared "friend" and "happy" and "agreement" to "shot", "stabbed", "gun" and "violent". The game has a harsh take on humanity, and both sex and conflict are right there at the core of being human.

So yeah, I'm pretty sure it's significant!

blood & guts / Re: Sex moves => vulnerability moves
« on: October 13, 2010, 07:41:31 AM »
I'm pretty sure it will work well with 'getting romantic' as the trigger. Getting into a sitch where there's some drinking and talking one-on-one a late night, and it could be quite natural to round it off with a "And I guess you get romantic? Well, the next morning..."

blood & guts / Re: Playbook Directions
« on: October 09, 2010, 06:54:46 PM »
To me, mindshare effectiveness seems to be about everyone around the table leaning forward, going "Ooh! I wanna see this! Where's this going?"

That's something like it for you?

brainstorming & development / [Super World] Some Basics
« on: September 29, 2010, 04:18:22 PM »
Working on a hack for playing a superpowered campaigning with an AW base. Primary inspirations is part Marvel and part Aberrant RPG, I guess you could say. What is important:
 - People are real people, with superpowers.
 - Personal relations are central. Stuff that are what makes the supers people, just like us, the players.
 - No measuring of the exact tonnage the hulk can lift or of how far spiderman can jump.
 - uhm, more, I guess. It'll get clearer.

Some basic moves
These feel really basic, and maybe too flat or something. Many do just what the AW basic moves do but with different wording, I think...

When you fight for something, you get worn and hurt. Roll+strong. On a strong hit, you choose three. On a weak hit, you choose two:
  • You get what you fight for
  • You opponents are defeated
  • You are not worn
  • You are not hurt
  • There is no collateral damage

When you try to outspeed someone or something, roll+fast. On a strong hit, you're fast enough. On a weak hit the MC tells you what it will cost you if you keep speeding, like getting you worn or hurt or causing collateral damage, for example, and then you choose.
When you defy the odds, roll+cool. On a strong hit, you pull through. On a weak hit, you can choose to do it, but the MC will tell you the consequences, like getting worn or hurt or causing collateral damage, or something else depending on the situation.

When you set something up, describe what you do and how it gives you or an ally +1forward, and roll+bright. On a strong hit, it goes as you say. On a weak hit the MC tells you what consequences you must accept if you go through with it and lets you choose.

When you push people to do as you want by telling them something good or bad that will come to them if they do or don't, roll+suave. On a strong hit, they take your word for it. On a weak hit, they need you to prove it before they do as you say.

When you go up against superior numbers, take -1ongoing against them if they're a bunch. Take -2ongoing if there's a shitload of them.

When you attempt something that is obviously out of your league (according to the MC's judgement), you just can't do it.

The last one might be a bit superfluous, but it's there as a reminder that, since we don't measure how super someone is, there's going to be some calling to on the MC's part. There's an "obviously" there, because it should be apparent from how things are established in the fiction, but the MC needs to be the one to ultimately call it. I think.

Also, I guess setting something up should give you hold to spend instead. I'll rewrite that.

Next up, a different way to do injury and the like...

Getting worn, getting hurt, and Recovering

When you get worn, you check one of the worn traits and follow what it says, and the same with getting hurt. If you have one checked, you cannot choose it again, obviously.
Worn traits:
  • Angry: you take -1ongoing when you do things that requires calm demeanor or a friendly face.
  • Stressed: you take -1ongoing when you don't go for immediate results.
  • Down: you take -1ongoing when you do things that require confidence.
  • Desperate: you take -1ongoing when you don't act self-destructively.
  • Scared: you take -1ongoing when you act boldly.

Hurt traits:
  • Stunned: you take -1forward directly after you get bruised.
  • Lost balance: you take -1forward when you need to be quick with a follow-up.
  • Slowed: you take -1ongoing when you need your speed.
  • Hurting: you take -1ongoing on everything you do that requires your health.
  • A mess: you take -2ongoing on everything you do that requires you health, but this does not stack with Hurting.

When you spend some time recovering in some way with at least one other person, like chilling out, sparring to blow off steam, getting drunk, having sex or something similar that means recovering in some way, you can remove one of the worn traits.
If the recovering includes getting patched up or healed in some other way, you also get to remove one of the hurt traits. This has to take some reasonable time, depending on how you are hurt.

Yes, recovering is very much based on refreshment scenes in Solar System/Shadow of Yesterday. I've had so much fun with that in the last few years.

The idea with the hurt traits is of course that you take the "lesser" ones first, and then you have to take the harder ones. Also, in a physical fight, you generally would prefer to get worn instead of hurt, since getting worn usually does not ruin your ability to fight on. But they are all ongoing, so you'd probably like to get rid of them soon. Thus, more recovery scenes, for that lovely change of pace in the session.

Of course, there will be character moves that will trigger from these traits and manipulating them. I'm thinking a standard toughness move will let you become worn instead of getting hurt.

Oh, and since I don't track damage the same way AW does, I need different gang rules. Hence the rather primitive -1/-2 move above. I'm not sure if this is a bit lame or not.

Stuff on threats, and lives, and super types will follow, but thoughts on just this is welcome!

Western World / Re: [Western World] The Drifter and Names
« on: September 14, 2010, 03:56:15 PM »
The idea is, in the Names section, there aren't any. You just don't have a name. Period. People call you what they will.

You can always just omit the Names list for The Drifter, and make no mention of the fact.

And then when other people are picking their names, and it becomes clear to the person holding the Drifter book that they don't have a name, you can just watch the grin dawn on their face.



Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: Fronts in SotI
« on: September 14, 2010, 03:53:37 PM »
Ok, my first impulse is to remove Grotesques alltogether. My intent was to keep the supernatural dial as low as possible, probably at zero, and the historical dial high. So mutant-types and cannibals are out...but Disease-vectors or pain-addicts could work. And it's just too tempting to put in a Grendel-type as a Perversion of Birth or something of the like. Still, Grotesques are out. The good ones will be relocated.

As before, I'm super-enthusiastic about all this!

I'm sure your thinking is good here, but spontaneously I feel there should be a place for grotesques as a threat type in this setting, even without any supernatural component. Apart from disease-vectors you could have the physically and mentally twisted. The simle, the demented, the freaks. Sure, they're not that common in the sagas, but they must have been there, historically, and I think they would fit right in in the setting.

Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: Sagas of the Icelanders
« on: August 21, 2010, 07:05:42 AM »
Sometimes, yeah! ;)

Apocalypse World / Re: Changing prep
« on: July 30, 2010, 10:42:49 PM »
That helps a lot, thanks! If nothing else just for restoring my confidence. I'm totally down with the agenda and the principles, and I'd have no problem making the game rock all over the place with just those and my feeling about the threats and the setting.

However, I'd still feel I was missing something if I didn't use the countdowns and all. But then again, maybe that's just me wanting to play with the shiny new bandsaw even if I'm not that good with it yet! :)

the preapocalypse / Re: Help me pitch sales?
« on: July 30, 2010, 09:58:39 PM »
I'm not sure about the whole Jain thing, but my last game had helluva lot of lasers inside, including 3 m height battle mech, seizing Golden Gate-sized bridge by force, dodging nukes, and basilion of nanobots transfoming British Isles. Not to mention fighting fastfood chains, Al Donaldi and KFC Sheikh. So, being a modal realist myself, I'd say: as written, Maybe Lasers.

I want to be in that game!

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