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Messages - HyveMynd

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Dungeon World / Re: (not so) New Races & New Race Moves
« on: June 26, 2012, 02:44:53 AM »
I like them, though I'm not familiar with Cambions. I've thought about making other Racial Moves for the classes, or making a list of "generic" Racial Moves that could be plugged into any class playbook.

Dungeon World / Re: AP: First time running the game
« on: June 26, 2012, 02:32:53 AM »
I'm not an expert on the Apocalypse World style games by any means, so take anything I suggest with a grain of salt. :)

It sounds like the combat you described went fine up until this point:

6. Wizard casts MM, rolls a 7. Chooses to draw attention to himself. This is where is gets screwy (for me). In response, three of the goblins charge the wizard. One is knocked off his feet by the Fighter's defend move, the other two beat the wizard with their clubs. Was I supposed to roll anything here? Do the goblins just automatically hit, and automatically do X damage?

Having the goblins automatically hit the Wizard and deal damage seems like a Hard Move to me. I would have done that if the Wizard player rolled a 6 on his Cast A Spell attempt, as a miss means the GM can make as hard of a move as they want. A 7-9 is still a partial success.

Instead of having the goblins hit and deal damage, maybe a better GM move would have been to put them right up in the Wizards face. Have the goblins identify the Wizard as the biggest threat (attracting unwelcome attention) and start to rush towards the character (putting him in a spot). This way you are setting up your next GM move. "The goblins shriek and rush towards you full tilt. They'll be on you in a slipt second. What do you do?" If the Wizard just stands there or gets a miss on the dice, then I would have the goblins beat him silly.

7. The Fighter and Cleric start hitting goblins, and the Wizard starts trying to cast invisibility on himself (was never succussful, ends up dying lol). I don't have turns as such for the goblins, they just get to hit the players whenever they roll <10 basically.

Generally, the GM only makes a Move when the players miss a roll (<7) or ignore a threat. Remember, the 7-9 result is still a partial success. The Hack & Slash Move specifically says that the character takes monster damage on the result of a 7-9, but I think that's just about the only Move that results in damage on a "soft hit".

8. At this point, the thief has been sitting patiently, waiting for his 'turn'. I had to break up the flow of the combat with the other guys to deal with him.

I think this is just a skill that comes with practice. Some players will wait until they're asked for their action while others will jump right in. As the GM you just kind of have to be aware of how much time you're spending with each of the players and try to balance it. Sometimes it's easy to do that, as each Move can sort of be one turn. "OK. Wizard, you tried to cast a spell, Fighter and Cleric you both traded swings with the goblins. Thief? What are you doing?" Sometimes it's not that easy though. Generally I try to switch back and forth between groups when it's both a) logical to do so (meaning that we've resolved everything related to a single Move) and b) when it's dramatically appropriate. Cutting away right before something resolves is a great way to build tension.

I'm also unsure when I'm supposed to use any of the GM moves. When there's a lull? Cause with my group, someone is always wanting to try something.

Again, basically you're supposed to make a GM Move when your players look at you to find out what happens. When that happens, you make a soft move and ask them "What do you do?" You also make a GM Move when your players miss. If your group is always trying something, then that's great because it means that they're making Moves and should be rolling dice. Some of those actions will succeed outright (10+), some will snowball into more Moves (7-9), and others will fail (<7). When they fail, that when you make your Moves.

If you and your group are having fun, then you're not "doing it wrong". MCing or GMing an Apocalypse World-style game does take some getting used to. Listening to The Walking Eye Podcast's Dungeon World AP episodes really helped me. Maybe they'll help you too. :)

Monsterhearts / Re: Things!
« on: June 25, 2012, 10:46:57 PM »
The game has a reward system, and it seems to break.
I admit, in Monsterhearts it struck me as odd if the path to mostest continuing advancement (including getting all your stats yet higher) was switching skins, which is much more... fraught than changing playbooks in AW.
I probably wouldn't say that the reward mechanic is broken. It's just designed for short term play. After you go beyond that point, it doesn't really work anymore.

I think this is where tweaking the XP costs of Advancements can be used. If you're planning to run a long-term game, you'll probably have to make the Advancements cost more than 5 XP. Once a player has marked all the Advances on their Skin sheet, offering them XP isn't really a motivator any more. There isn't anything they can spend that XP on and so no reason for other characters to bribe them them with XP or for them to make Moves that would generate XP.

Like any other RPG, Monsterheart characters will eventually hit a ceiling. A point where they're kind of too much of a bad ass to continue playing. You can't really prevent that from happening, you can only push it back. You could tweak the Season Advance rules so that the game lasts four or five seasons rather than just two.

Normally, the Season Advances unlock after someone takes their 5th Advancement and the next session is the last of the current season. That means normally once someone hits 25 XP, the next session is the Season Finale. If you increase the cost of the Advancements to 10 XP each and have the Season Finale trigger when someone takes their third Advancement (30 XP), you can have the game last for (potentially) four seasons.

  • Season One - Advance 1; Advance 2; Advance 3 and unlock Season Advances
  • Season Two - Advance 4; Advance 5; Season Advance 1
  • Season Three - Advance 6; Advance 7; Season Advance 2
  • Season Four - Advance 8; Advance 9; Season Advance 3

Monsterhearts / Re: Things!
« on: June 25, 2012, 03:47:22 AM »
As far as the XP goes, that is addressed in this thread; Advancement Options, XP, and Manipulate. Basically you can tinker with the number of XP required to buy an Advance if you want to prolong the "lifespan" of your characters. I'm of the opinion that Monsterheart PCs just have a set lifespan though, and you're not going to do epic, five year long (real time) campaigns with this game.

Apocalypse World / Apocalypse World Review on Idle Red Hands Podcast
« on: June 24, 2012, 11:49:41 PM »
After failing miserably as an MC and having our Apocalypse World game go belly up after just three one-hour sessions, my co-hosts and I decided to record Idle Red Hands Episode 73: Campaign Confessions: Apocalypse World. It's a pretty balanced review in that one host loves the game, one is kinda neutral, and one didn't care for it very much. We're also evenly divided about the profanity and writing style of the book, and evenly divided about whether we'd give it another shot or not.

While collecting my thoughts for the episode I realized all the stuff I did wrong as an MC. Listening to my mistakes and the other host's comments may help burgeoning Apocalypse World MCs out there. If my screw ups can help other people succeed when running this game, then my failure will not have been in vain. 

If people have the time and inclination to give us a listen, I'd love to hear comments on what I could have done better, or how you set up your own successful games. Thanks.

Monsterhearts / Ghoul's Hunger
« on: June 19, 2012, 10:20:28 PM »
Apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere on the forums. If so, feel free to call me a lazy ass and point me in the right direction.

I MCed the first session of our three player Skype game last night (four, if you include me). It was mostly us talking about the characters, me asking a few questions, and trying to make sure that everyone was on the same page about what the game was. Our Apocalypse World game died after only three sessions since everyone was expecting different things, so I'm trying really hard to not have that happen again here. Despite me repeatedly saying that Monsterhearts was a "supernatural teen horror romance" game and referencing media like Jennifer's Body, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Jawbreaker (I refrained from mentioning Twilight) some people seemed to think their PCs would have super powers.

Anyway. One of my players chose The Ghoul with a hunger for flesh (which is the coolest choice, in my opinion). Now I'm just wondering  how often those feeding opportunities should pop up. Of course the answers are "whenever it's dramatically appropriate" and/or "whenever the player misses a roll and hands you a golden opportunity", but I want to pick other people's brains about this. I've played Vampire: the Requiem and we used little glass drops (red, of course) to track our blood points. If you dropped to half your total you were hungry, down to a quarter and you were ravenous. It let both the players and the Storyteller note when they should be making Frenzy checks, or at least when the fiction should start focusing more on how tasty people started looking.

So what have other Monsterheart MCs done with the Ghoul's feeding opportunities? My player chose the skin so he could play as Megan Fox from Jennifer's Body (because she is totally a Ghoul), so part of me thinks he should get hungry at regular intervals. I think it was around a month in that movie, which is far too long for a game. Once a day? At "regular" meal times? Any thoughts?

Monsterhearts / Re: Advancement Options, XP, and Manipulate
« on: June 19, 2012, 03:47:47 AM »
Well, I guess you could increase the amount of XP needed to take an Advance. Instead of advancing when you filled in that fifth bubble, it could be the sixth bubble, or the eighth, or even the tenth. That would essentially double the "lifespan" of a Monsterhearts PC.

Or instead of a flat advancement line you could have an exponential one. After you take your first Advance the next one costs six XP. The third is seven XP. The fourth is eight XP, and so on. The Advancements don't get "better" with the increasing cost, it's just harder to learn new tricks. If you use this method, the Season Advances will only become available after someone racks up 45 XP (instead of the usual 25).

Monsterhearts / Re: Advancement Options, XP, and Manipulate
« on: June 19, 2012, 01:58:35 AM »
I see what you're saying now Alfred. After a certain point, XP isn't as much of a motivator as it once was, especially when players aren't interested in taking that last Advancement.

This is all theory since I haven't actually experienced this, but I feel that Monsterheart PCs just have a certain lifespan; once they've taken a certain number of Advances, their story is just kind of over. Maybe they should fade into the background and become a recurring NPC as the player has another PC step up into the spotlight. Based on the number of available Advances and just the type of game Monsterhearts seems to be, you're not really going to take your character all the way up to level 30 like in D&D.

Monsterhearts / Re: New Skin: The Kitsune
« on: June 18, 2012, 11:20:03 PM »
I plugged the first kitsune skin move into the InDesign template I set up based on the actual skin books, and it was absolutely massive. It took up almost the entire first column on the inside right-hand page. Way too long. So I cut it down and changed the name.

Choose an item (circle one):
a bundle of reeds, a broad leaf, an animal skull

When you place this item on your head you assume human form, though you cannot mimic a specific individual's appearance.

If you suffer damage or encounter dogs, choose one: roll to hold steady or run away.

I tried to put too much information into the first version, I think. It's tough to boil something down to it's component elements sometimes. I also have a bad habit of trying to direct people too much. You know. Push them towards the way I think something should be done.

Monsterhearts / Re: Consentual
« on: June 18, 2012, 08:21:28 PM »
Thanks for clearing that up mcdaldno. I had this nagging feeling in the back of my brain that the Fae's Sex Move was meant to be taken literally (since it was worded differently) but it's nice to have the creator explain what they intended. Thanks. :)

Monsterhearts / Re: New Skin: The Kitsune
« on: June 18, 2012, 03:46:45 AM »
Turns out there's the kitsune in Japanese folklore, the huli jing in Chinese folklore, and the kumiho in Korean folklore. All are multiple-tailed (usually nine) fox spirits that can assume human form (most often that of a young girl or a beautiful woman). The kitsune was "generally" good though there were mischievous or malicious versions called nogitsune), the huli jing had that changeable faerie morality, and the kumiho were always malevolent (often depicted as killing people and eating their livers).

While part of me hates to lump all the "Far East" mythologies together (since they're distinct cultures) the different takes on a similar folktale creature will hopefully provide good fodder for the different options under the origin section.

Monsterhearts / New Skin: The Kitsune
« on: June 18, 2012, 02:21:41 AM »
Even though I'm still kicking around ideas for a collection of different vampire skins, the Shinto spirit Inari Okami dropped an idea into my brain that won't go away; The Kitsune. Since I've been a resident of Japan for the last 6 years I figured it was kind of my duty to make this skin happen.

For those who aren't familiar with them, kitsune (pronounced kit-sue-nay) are Japanese fox spirits noted for their ability to assume human form, to step into people's dreams, to possess people, and for their role as consumate tricksters and/or protectors. The form most often taken by kitsune are young girls or beautiful women, and Japanese folklore is rife with stories of men taking "fox wives" who often pass on some sort of magical or supernatural ability to their children. The fact that this romantic (or at least sexual) aspect is already present in their legend makes me think they'd make a great Monsterhearts skin. Of course they wouldn't only be limited to assuming a female shape in the game.

I'm still brainstorming ideas, so this thread will slowly grow as I add to it. I'm trying to decide what aspects of the kitsune to set in stone (making them mandatory moves) and which should be optional. Part of what makes the other skins so great is that they capture many different (sometimes disparate) aspects of the creature they're emulating.

This Kistune Skin Move (or some variation of it) would be mandatory.
Fox's Mask
Choose one:
  • a bundle of reeds
  • a broad, flat leaf
  • an animal skull
As long as you wear your chosen item on your head, you may assume human form. You can appear however you wish, and your form may include functional clothing, jewelry, and personal accessories. You may change your appearance each time you transform, though you cannot take the form of a specific individual. Once placed, the chosen item will not fall off under normal circumstances, but whenever you suffer damage or encounter dogs while in human form, you must either hold steady or run away.

I toyed around with making the loss of your item it's own separate "roll with Cold" move. On a 10 up you were fine, on a 7-9 someone saw your fox tail or shadow and gained a String on you, and on a Miss everyone got a String since they all saw you. It just got too clunky though and didn't seem to make sense for both dogs and losing your special item.

In Japanese folklore, the fox woman almost invariable flees when her cover is blown (usually leaving behind her husband and children) so giving the player the option to run away seems appropriate. I couldn't figure out how to work a "you stand your ground" option into the 10 up result of the move though, which is why I gave the player a choice about which one they want to try. Maybe that's being too nice. Maybe the player shouldn't have a choice about what they do, but should have to hold steady after suffering harm and run away when confronted by dogs. Or maybe just always run away. Hmm.

Monsterhearts / Re: Consentual
« on: June 17, 2012, 11:06:37 PM »
Interesting takes pseudoidiot and lumpley. If you bo by the literal meaning, then yeah. I totally agree with you. The Fae's sex move triggers when they actually lie naked with someone, not when they have sex. It allows for one-sided triggers rather than both character's sex moves triggering.

I was mainly wondering about this because in several Monsterheart APs I have either read or listened to, "sex" didin't always mean sexual intercourse. Some groups decided that heavy petting would trigger it, or that fooling around in the car was enough. One of my friends/players who listened to the same APs noted that this really hoses the Fae's sex move. If other playbooks can "scale" their sex move down to something the group is more comfortable with (as some groups won't like doing actual sex), what happens to the Fae? Do they still have to strip naked and lie next to someone? There's no right answer here. I'm just throwing it out there.

Monsterhearts / Re: Consensual
« on: June 14, 2012, 11:24:40 PM »
Oh no no no. I totally get the Turn Someone On move. I left some comments on the GaW site about how this move doesn't demand any kind of reaction from the character, it just dictates that they get turned on.

A big thank you to mcdaldno for expressly stating that the Turn Someone On move works on anyone, regardless of gender, sexual identity, or preference. I don't know if my players will ever have the courage or inclination to use it in anything other than a heterosexual way, but I love how the move is applied evenly across the board. I also really like how you can Turn Someone On accidentally or without actually doing anything. You can just describe how attractive something about your character is a roll.

Reading the rules, it says "when you have sex..". Remember, you don't have sex with someone if you rape them, rape is something you do to someone, therefore sex is consensual.

This is a line of discussion that I don't really want to go down, but I think there's a strong case to define rape as "sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury". In my mind, rape is non-consensual or forced sex, which would trigger a character's Sex Move so long as sexual intercourse occurred. I can also see people defining "sex" as something consensual that happens between people who care for each other. As I said though, that really is a separate discussion.

I like how different play groups have the ability to qualify what counts as "having sex" based on their comfort level and what they feel is appropriate for the setting. What I'm mainly wondering though, is why the Fae's Sex Move is worded the way it is. Did mcdaldno simply grow weary of writing slight variations of "When you have sex..." for the Skins? I can see that. The few times I've attempted to write rules I usually end up wording things differently to avoid boredom on my part. But on the other hand, it's the one skin that is different from all the others. So I am a bit confused. I plan to have it trigger like every other Sex Move (except the Vampire's) but I'd like to know if I'm doing that "wrong".

Monsterhearts / Consentual
« on: June 14, 2012, 03:09:17 AM »
I think I've finally snagged three players to play Monsterhearts with me. After telling one of my players that I was going to push them into situations where their Moves would get them into trouble and using the Chosen's Sex Move as an example, one of them asked "So the choice will be either going to the hospital or raping someone?"

I thought about that and was sure I remembered someone saying that Sex Moves only triggered when the sex was consensual. Is that right? I couldn't seem to find that anywhere in the book though. Is that a rule, or is it intentionally left vague so that play groups can have their own, varying "comfort zones"?

Also, I just wanted to check the Fae's Sex Move. All the other Skins (except the Vampire) explicitly say "When you have sex..." while the Fae's says "When you lie naked with another..." One of my players read this literally and assumed the move will only trigger when you actually lie naked with another person. I said that I saw it as just another way to say "get it on" and it would be triggered from having sex just like the other Skin's moves. He agreed, but now I'm not so sure. Simply because all the other skins specifically say "when you have sex".

So is it meant to be a literal interpretation? Or is it just another way of saying "sleep with"? I'm pretty sure it's the latter, but clarification would be nice. :)

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