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Messages - Simon JB

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Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 14, 2016, 09:32:04 AM »
Ah, thanks, Borogove, that's great!

Apocalypse World / Re: 2nd Edition Kickstarter
« on: April 14, 2016, 07:59:50 AM »
Very excited about getting the whole text at some point! Lots of interesting changes, super keen on hearing about what makes a fight a battle in the new rules, especially considering the Battlebabe's Ice Cold.

I just noticed a few things!

The Battlebabe seems to be the only one that can pick "an ally" as an improvement. Very interested about seeing more about what Vincent has thought about this!

Since the Quarantine is now amongst the basic playbooks, that means anyone can take their move Combat Veteran and get cool+3 even before their fifth improvement. That's an interesting change.

What does "push reading a situation" mean?

AW:Dark Age / Playtest Report: Sweden/internet
« on: September 17, 2014, 11:45:54 AM »
Platest report 1

Playing in Swedish, over google documents. An example of how it looks when we are playing is here

Setup continuing earlier play
We are playtesting the Playtest One version of the rules by continuing exactly where we were when we paused playing with the First Look rules. This meant a variation on the setup in the Playtest One documents.

Previously on...
Previously, we had created a teenaged Outlaw Heir and a middle-aged Troll-Killer that had allied in the struggle to take back the throne from the Heir's brother, the king.

We started play outside an inn at an important crossroads, which serves as a safe house and winter hearth for our heroes since the family that runs it owe their lives to the Troll-Killer. A fight with bounty hunters we thought were after the Heir, but the Troll-Killer revealed that she had belonged to and left a monster hunter sect and that they were actually after her as punishment for leaving.

I tried, as I usually do when MCing, to follow the characters around to get to know them, and managed, as I usually don't, to not escalate everything to an end of the world level right away.

The duo talked and sang through the evening and had a training session the day after, with the Troll-Killer instructing the Heir in close combat, using different circles on the ground to train fighting at different distances. Very fun. Not completely clear what moves we should use, but we decided to call it going into battle in order to try out the rules.

Then they started north into the Songswood, a mystical forest, to try to get an alliance with the bandits living there. There they met undead, whom only the Troll-Killer's cursed sword could harm.

That's how far we got before the previews of the new rules came. We're playing online, via Google docs, so this was about the equivalent of two table sessions.

Oldish New playbook: The Outlaw Heir
We decided to remake the characters with the new rules, so I proposed an Outlaw Heir looking like this:

High stat: +2 Strong.

  • Special: Add 1 to your Bold, to a maximum of +3.
  • Special: Add 1 to your Strong, to a maximum of +3.
  • Your foremothers were queens of the Old Blood. You have these rights:
    • To fitting tribute and recognition from all your neighboring queens.
    • To bind warriors and sages to your service by oaths and blood rites.
    • To solemnize the turnings of the seasons and the bonds between the the Human World, the Natural World, and the Other World.
  • When you inflict harm, or lead warriors who inflict harm, you have the right to inflict 1 additional Harm.
  • When you give someone an order or a warning, you have the right to roll Strong. On 10+, they choose 1 of these:
    • They follow your order or heed your warning.
    • They freeze or back slowly away.
    • They attack you.
    On 7–9, they choose 1 of the above, or else 1 of these:
    • They scoff, but hesitate.
    • They demand proof, an assurance, or an explanation.
    On a miss, they dismiss your words and continue on their course.
  • When you judge someone strong or weak, enemy or ally, you have the right to treat it as sizing them up, but roll Strong instead of Wary.
  • You have the right to seize authority over a counsel of war.
  • You are beautiful and doomed. When you enter into a new social setting, you have the right to roll Bold. On 10+, choose 2 of the following. On 7–9, choose 1.
    • Someone here falls in love with you.
    • Someone here is afraid of you.
    • Someone here must meet you.
    • Someone here is a friend of your family.
    On a miss, choose 1 of the above, and in addition:
    • Someone here will try to kill you.
Map and groups/peoples
The map of the land is here.

From our setup with the old rules, we had a map, populated with groups, which made the next step, writing down peoples, interesting.

I have noticed that some players have reported confusion with the small numbers in the options for peoples, and many seem not to have used the Or as you choose option for bigger areas or towns and so on.

Here, I will have to do that, since we already have groups of people defined from before, with thousands and thousands of souls defined by the Heir’s old playbook. To stay true to the fiction, we will keep those numbers, and then add subgroups when, for example, play focuses on a village or something.

We have farmers of the lowlands, clans in the highlands, robbers and other woodspeople in the forest, townspeople on the coast, the royal house, and other groups mentioned on the map.

I’m currently torn between writing up more of the groups, because it makes things concrete and that is generally good, but writing up too many groups at once that have not yet been on screen will just be confusing. So at the moment, I’m writing up a few groups in detail, and noting the others with just headlines and vague numbers for later, or for when the players feel like filling in the blanks.

The groups that are written up in detail are:

Farmers of the Saroan lowlands
5000 souls, 600 households, 800 warriors. Bronze-brown and gold-brown, stocky. English names.
0 Rites, -1 War, +2 Wealth.
Known for their patience in suffering, their loyalty, their rich land, their beauty and their feasts.

The Filled Bellies Inn
The people living in and around the inn. 25 souls, 4 households, 3 warriors. Mostly bronze and golden brown Saroans.
+1 Rites, 0 War, +1 Wealth.
Known for their vigilance against monsters, their veneration of priests and priestesses, their crafts and their cuisine.

The robbers of the Songswood
40 souls, 4 households (they are a bit spread out), 20 warriors. Most are bone-white or pink, a few are dark brown, some are lighter brown.
0 Rites, +2 War, -1 Wealth.
Known for their insularity, their advanced tactics, their mercy to the defeated and their hospitality (to those few who manage to get it).

The royal house
One family, worshipping the Old gods, descendants from a mythic queen. Have a secret, ancient language. 5 or 6 living persons. Persian names used within the family, and more common, English or Latin, names used otherwise.
Very dark brown skin, almond-shaped eyes, short and slender.
+1 Rites, 0 War, +1 Wealth.
Know for their powerful, but dying gods, their devotion to the old law, their mercy, their rich land, their generosity.

The Circulus Serpentis
Sworn together by holy oath (obediance and slaying monsters). 30-40 souls, 1 households, all are warriors.
Variety of colors and looks. Dress to blend in. Snake tattoo. Latin names, or local to blend in.
+1 Rites, +1 War, 0 Wealth.
Known for their fearlessness, their vigilance against monsters, their blood-vengeance, their skills at arms and their crafts.

Groups that are mentioned but not defined are the highland clans, the townsfolk of Viserto, the people and vassals of the north-west coast, and so on.

Some comments
Since starting with the new rules, there haven't yet been many rolls for moves. I bet they will come, though.

We havent made new maps since changing to the new rules, so we haven't yet used the Voronoi sheets.

The rules for creating peoples and NPCs are very inspiring.

The same group is playing a space game, with rules that are inspired by Uncharted Worlds, but that are mechanically very close to these AWDA rules. That game has been moving faster, and our experiences from that game is also that the groups/people rules are great, that the system with moves divided between domains is very nice since it makes it so easy to tailor a playbook after a character concept, and that there is a bit of confusion between the moves Size someone up and Win someone over.

Um, that’s a kind of report. Not sure what to say now, and it’s long enough, so I’ll stop until either someone asks me to expand on something, or I think of more to report.

We have great fun playing, though!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Denied right
« on: September 09, 2014, 06:33:36 AM »
I see, thanks!

Is it the same for you in general with choices that weigh fictional resources against mechanical resources? I'm trying to think of an example from regular AW, but I can't think of any instance of fictional resources that don't carry mechanical weight as well. Hm.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Denied right
« on: September 08, 2014, 03:50:28 PM »
The in-fiction rights give you some character motivation and plot hooks.  If you are denied your rights, then you get the opportunity for cool monologues, vows, more character motivation and plot hooks.  All good things. 

But if I don't choose the in-fiction rights, I can do all that anyway. 
Suppose I make a War-Champion or Troll-Killer who goes around imposing law, even though he has no right to do so.

Sounds cool. That's like playing a vigilante who pretends to be police even though they are not. That's just going to be a different thing than playing a cop whose badge is bona fide.

If you want to play a knight, that's cool. If you want to play someone who falsly claims to be a knight, that's cool too.

It is clearly different situations, but I don't see what the problem would be.

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest from Tucson Az
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:48:15 AM »
Great to hear. Thanks again!

Uncharted Worlds / Thank you, Archangel!
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:26:20 AM »
I have now played enough of Uncharted Worlds to realize that its design goals and methods are a bit too different from my taste for me to keep using these rules.

But I'm really happy for the hack, and for your work writing this down, Archangel! It got me and my group finally playing a PbtA space game seriously, and it has given me an excellent starting point to get my own space hack going!

Also, the generous CC license means I don't have to invent the wheel all over when it comes to a lot of stuff.

So, a big thank you for this! I'm super-happy you wrote these rules and made them accessible, both for playing and for re-hacking!

Keep up the good work, and have fun both playing and designing onwards from here!

Best, Simon

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest from Tucson Az
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:06:11 AM »
That's super, thanks!

It sounds like you've played regular AW a lot. What's your impression from substituting Win someone over for Manipulate, if I might keep asking?

AW:Dark Age / Re: Playtest from Tucson Az
« on: September 06, 2014, 08:43:11 AM »
We stumbled a little over the difference between and the best times to use Size Someone Up or Win Someone Over.  We're good now.

Can I ask how you resolved that? I haven't gotten to playing yet, but looking at those moves makes me expect a bit of stumbling on my own, and it would be great hearing what you learned!

AW:Dark Age / Created maps?
« on: September 05, 2014, 11:53:07 AM »
It would be super-nice to see what maps get created by different groups. Maybe we could show them here? (Thank you Toronto! Lovely!)

Hope it's not bad form to ask before I have something to offer, but it'll be a few days before I have a chance to sit down with this, and it's fun to see!

AW:Dark Age / Re: Denied right
« on: September 05, 2014, 06:10:22 AM »
P: I'm choosing Liege Lord, and I'm taking all the in fiction rights.
P: I demand that my daughter's suitor be brought before me!
J(MC): Not gonna happen.
P: A right denied! Instead, that my daughter be brought before me!
J: Nope.
P: Then I will hold it against you!
J: You do that.
J: Moving on as if none of that had happened...

Am I being a dick? Yeah. But I'm also being a dick within the rules.

Sorry if I'm butting in, but have you had this problem in actual play? Or is it a purely theoretical situation?

Like noted before, that seems not to be within the rules at all, since it ignores a whole bunch of the MC's rules and instructions.

AW:Dark Age / Re: war companies...
« on: September 04, 2014, 10:58:11 AM »
As I read it, it this game, a war company is not something that you have (like you have a gang in AW), but instead is a mechanically much more loose group that needs to be called together, used and then released (since most warriors probably have households to look to).

So I then read your question as, can the war captain start the game with their company already mustered? If you ask me, I'd say, why not. For example if the captain's player chooses soldiering as their pre-game season move, it seems reasonable that they would start with their company mustered (and perhaps weary and wanting to be released).

AW:Dark Age / Re: Crown of Towers Playtest
« on: September 04, 2014, 05:29:19 AM »
Nice read, thanks!

AW:Dark Age / Re: A few initial thoughts
« on: September 04, 2014, 04:04:21 AM »
-On the list of things your stronghold's armory can contain, the formatting on the "For 10/For 20/For 60" at the bottom confused me for a minute; I wasn't certain whether it was referring to every possible option in the armory, or if it was a part of the "Horses, lances, kite shields" option above. Similarly, I didn't immediately read the "For 10" as indicating that by default the armory options were sufficient for 10 people; at first glance it looked like this was another option I had to select. Not a gameplay issue, but I think different formatting could make everything clearer at a glance.

NOW I understood that part! Thanks, E_FD!

AW:Dark Age / Re: war companies...
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:57:16 AM »
The war company inherits its numbers from the people that the company is mustered from. If it is composed of groups of fighters from different peoples, say archers from one and cavalry from another, then the company gets its War from the majority or largest fraction.

That's how I read it.

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