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Messages - Simon JB

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Apocalypse World / Re: First try today!
« on: July 01, 2010, 06:30:45 AM »
Thanks for posting Nils! My thoughts...

Yes, without intending to we very much made this a one-shot rather than the first session in a campaign. Quite typical for our group, as we tend to escalate stakes rather quickly and usually burn out our campaigns by the fifth our sixth session at the latest. But no worries, we will have a better start next time, now that we are a bit more informed!

It's interesting to note that all the things that didn't work that well had to do with me forgetting parts of the game's instructions. Like pushing a bit more to have the characters be allies from the start. Not like here, just fellow travelers without any reason to trust or help each other. Or like forgetting the to do it, do it-rule when it came to interfering, which made those rolls seem abstract or meta until I remembered.

A matter of taste, as well, that I carry with me from the game, is to make an effort not to let human lives get too cheap, at least in the protagonists' eyes. I mean, I love it that the world is such a harsh place and all, but I can feel a bit degraded myself and lose my engagement when the protagonists, or their gang in this case, constantly strive to behave like fucking savages . A matter of taste, as I said, but in the future I'll try to steer players away from that kind of character.

A funny thing, in the example about serious harm and taking debilities Vincent mentions that he's never seen that kind of violence between player characters in actual play. We went way beyond that on our first session with the game! :)

A couple of things I'm wondering about is if we made brain whispers to useful and experience progress too swift. When Smith the brainer was taking cover from the gang's fire, he was firing off brain whispers as fast as the player could shout it out, via his brain relay in front of the cover. One thing about this was that it seemed very potent. Sure, a miss would have led to a hard move by me, but with +3weird he didn't miss much. Has anyone experienced this as an issue?

Also, with weird highlighted - new to the game we naturally found that interesting - he made two advances in like two minutes of in-fiction time. And about the same with the chopper and his highlighted hard. I'm not personally bothered by that, but I'm wondering if I've missed something, if it's not intended to work that way?

Anyway, the game itself was as awesome as it seemed before, and actual play experience is bound to improve.

Gonna reread the book now that I've tried tried it in real life! :)

brainstorming & development / Iron World
« on: June 30, 2010, 08:39:22 AM »
Awright, time to get my hands dirty and try to do some hacking.

I'm looking at making a hack for something based on Iron Empires, Chis Moeller's setting for Luke Crane's Burning Empires. At the moment I'm not that interested in the whole meta-plot conflict with the Vaylen (parasitic aliens), but that might change. But right now playing warlords, planetary governors, criminal bosses, court diplomats and stuff seems interesting enough.

Stats might be something like Bold, Hard, Comely and Sharp, perhaps Mantle (inspired by Nathan Orlando Wilson's Bulwark)

My current list of character types include the Ruler, the Commander, the Diplomat, the Provider, the Boss, the Pilot, the Spy and the Grunt.

Obviously this game is going to be a lot about running stuff. Running your country or your world, keeping your liege happy, taking your anvil army toe to toe with rival armies, going after space pirates with your hammer fleet, but also brokering deals in back-rooms, sneaking about and getting into serious scraps in space stations and on the ground.

Strata are orders of magnitude and size and are used with things like wealth, armies, populations and so on.
  • 1-stratum is people and groups of people, households, gangs and squads, hammer gunboats.
  • 2-stratum is small towns, small businesses, anvil platoons, hammer corvettes.
  • 3-stratum is large towns, anvil companies, hammer frigates, small strategic nukes.
  • 4-stratum is major cities or small countries, anvil regiments, hammer fleets based around a cruiser.
  • 5-stratum is major countries or whole worlds, anvil armies, large hammer fleets with a line of cruisers.
I have this idea or armies and navies requiring wealth of an appropriate stratum for supplies and repairs and so on, and that a worlds of lesser strata might not be able to supply that, thus driving the anvil or hammer lord to go mercenary or pirate or risk desertion and breakdown. I don't know if this will actually be interesting, though, but for now it's still there.

So a country or a city generates wealth of its own stratum, but I'm not sure how that should translate to the ruler's wealth, for example.

A ruler's realm
A large town or small city, with a couple hundred thousand people, or an equivalent piece of countryside. (3-stratum surplus: 1-wealth)
Levied militia soldiers for defense. (2-stratum 2-harm army unprofessional 1-armor)
Choose a few of these options:
  • +1stratum for both the realm and the army.
  • -1stratum for the realm, +1good option.
  • Trade lanes. Surplus: +1wealth, want: +piracy
  • Heavy industries: Surplus: +1wealth, want: +pollution.
  • Your army is well trained. Drop unprofessional.
  • Your army is well armed. +1harm.
  • Your realm has fortified borders. +1armor when defending.
  • You rule a civilian fleet instead of a city or country. Defense is a 2-stratum navy, like a hammer corvette and a bunch of gunboats.
  • Anvil Lord. If you have an army, it is +1stratum, if you have a navy, you also get an army of the same stratum.
  • Hammer Lord. If you have a navy, it is +1stratum, if you don’t, you get one of the same stratum as your army.
Choose two of these options:
  • You are a vassal under a more powerful lord. Surplus: -1wealth, want: +obligations.
  • Your rule is under constant scrutiny. Want: +judgement.
  • Your army is -1stratum.
  • Border world. Want: +anxiety.
  • Not self-sufficient. Want: +supply crisis
  • Corruption. Want: -1wealth.
Uhm, gotta go, but I'll be back with more. I guess there isn't much to say about this yet, but that's cool with me.

Eschaton / Re: New stats, stats renamed, more basic moves.
« on: June 30, 2010, 06:04:15 AM »
I might borrow that Mantle stuff for a thing or other. Looks great for a nobles-heavy setting.

the preapocalypse / Re: Typos
« on: June 29, 2010, 06:23:19 AM »
Maybe it's too late now, but page 191, under 'examples', third line, "maybe she I give her" reads funny.

brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse Warhammer
« on: June 27, 2010, 06:42:36 PM »
Amigo, that looks like some very nice stuff! Please fill us in when you've got more stuff detailed!

Eschaton / Re: New AW Playbooks!
« on: June 25, 2010, 04:26:40 AM »
Good, then you know what you're doing and all's well.

Eschaton / Re: New AW Playbooks!
« on: June 24, 2010, 05:35:13 PM »
Nah man, I think you should go the opposite way on some of this with the lovers. Maybe you all have different kinds of lovers in mind than I do, but when I think of The Lovers, I think a couple that's all about trying to be together but having to fight all hell for it, again and again. It's not being a dynamic duo that defines them.

So I'd give them bonuses not for being together but for being separated, especially when they're trying to get back together. The times when they're actually in each others arms should only come intermittently, though not never, I suppose. But those times are not where the drama is.

Way cooler, I think. And you wouldn't have to make one mute.

the preapocalypse / Re: welcome to the preapocalypse
« on: June 24, 2010, 02:20:30 PM »
Even life doesn’t always suck.

Ha ha! I kept trying to edit that sentence, but always came back around to it. Finally I was like, fuck it, that's the sentence you want to be?


I suppose you already discarded "not even life always sucks" or "not even life sucks all the time"? Personally I like the way it reads now, but if you native speakers think it's odd I guess you're right.

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbook: Faceless
« on: June 24, 2010, 11:05:33 AM »
I miss the original Pit Bull a bit, that was Darth Vader-cool. Couldn't it be a free move that doesn't take the place of any of the more useful ones? I don't think it's overpowered, since it only gets used when the character leaves play.

the nerve core / Re: private message notification
« on: June 23, 2010, 07:46:39 PM »
I got a nice pop-up when I got a message the other day. Just for the record.

Apocalypse World / Re: Playbook: Faceless
« on: June 23, 2010, 07:43:12 PM »
Brett, awesome idea! Looking back over my rpging over the years, I've always been looking for stuff like this, but it usually didn't work that well in the olden-school days. So of this i approve!

Oh, and a comment on this:
As a side note, have you ever noticed that the secondary characters in Mad Max are always ten times more interesting than Mad Max?

This is an old and obvious observation about the difference between different storytelling activities, but still. In a film like Road Warrior, the protagonist is little more than a focus to give the audience a viewpoint on the world around him, which is why it is suitable to have him as neutral a character as possible. Just a bit of charm to make him likable. And a bit of heroism to make us cheer for him.

Since rpgs, on the other hand, puts the player-audience underneath the skin of the protagonist it doesn't hurt one bit that the character is exotic or extreme in ways that would be problematic in (mainstream) film. Hence, it is beautiful and right that we use RPGing to dig into and explore and enjoy completely different heroes than the movies usually give us (come on, how often isn't the bad guy waaay cooler than the hero!).

So, again, I totally approve of the Faceless!

Vanguard / Re: earnin' them xps
« on: June 23, 2010, 11:07:27 AM »
My suggestion would be to find concrete yes or no situations tied to those things and then award those. Like getting credit for improving the commonwealth, or just going to bed with an alien, presuming that it's probably going to be a hot one and not really minding if it's not.

Something like that.

Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: Sagas of the Icelanders
« on: June 22, 2010, 06:03:31 PM »
Cool. I'll probably have more later on. But I guess you're not interested in feedback on typos and stuff in this?

(Oh, and you've got a message, since that still doesn't seem to be flagged.)

Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: Sagas of the Icelanders
« on: June 22, 2010, 05:35:02 PM »
That stuff is smokin'! The way you've captured what men and women do in the sagas is spot on. Very nice example of how you can set a game in a culture that is extremely strict on gender roles without the game in itself being sexist or ignorant.

A question though, are you sure you want women in general to be great at providing by living off nature? You sure you don't want to use fierce for running the household very tight or something like that?

Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: Sagas of the Icelanders
« on: June 22, 2010, 04:08:18 PM »
Scandinavian as I am, I'm looking forward to diving in!

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