Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack

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Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:37:05 AM »
Hey all,

I haven't posted much here before, but I am a rabid fan of both Vincent's work and Apocalypse World in particular. His thinking on game design and his games have transformed the way I play. The various hacks have been awesome. So, I'd like to give back.

I've been developing a hack that I intend to publish called Midsummer. It sits squarely in the urban fantasy genre, and in it, you play fairy tale characters caught in the modern world. Think along the lines of Fables, Once Upon a Time, Sandman, American Gods (hell, Gaiman in general), Grimm, and the works of Charles de Lint. You take a character that everyone knows, such as the Beast or Tinker Bell, and make them your own. You explore what it means to be a fairytale in the modern world, and find out what magic still exists.

The game will include:
- a full game
- 10 storybooks (playbooks): Child, Domestic Animal, Fairy, Hero, Magician, Prince, Princess, Villain, Wee One, and Wild Animal
- 5+ realm books (playbooks for locations): other realms including Cloudlands, Fairy Court, Neverland, Oz, the Wild, and Wonderland
- adversaries (fronts and threats): building opponents for the players
- magic items (items): rules for designing and a catalog to get you started that ranges from Excalibur to magic beans to wishing rings

What I'm looking for is play testers. I've completed the internal play test and would  like to move to external play testing. So, if you are interested, send me a message or reply here.

Here's the art for the Princess and the Wild Animal:



That's all for now.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 02:07:57 PM »
I put up a rough draft of the Wild Animal storybook:
http://midsummer.raventower.com/downloads/wild-animal.zip

It's meant to be a bifold, but you can also just use the 2 sheets together.

For those playtesting, I've updated the playtest downloads with a link to an updated character book to match.

I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. I'm working on locking down the format before moving on to the rest of the books.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 06:59:35 PM »
Looks interesting.  As far as format goes, the fancy fonts are pretty hard to read at that size.  I also notice several references to boon tokens, but there's no place to write them down.  I assume these are meant to be physical tokens, but you might want to provide a space to write them down for folks who don't want to use actual tokens, or especially if they're meant to last between sessions.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 07:52:50 PM »
I would be interested in seeing more. I put out a call for more play testers for you in my G+ Tabletop Roleplaying Community today and there has been some interest in getting a group together. My email is cryiron at gmail.com. Let me know what I can do to help. I have one con organizer interested in demoing the game as well, so let's do this!

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 08:02:14 PM »
Looks interesting.  As far as format goes, the fancy fonts are pretty hard to read at that size.  I also notice several references to boon tokens, but there's no place to write them down.  I assume these are meant to be physical tokens, but you might want to provide a space to write them down for folks who don't want to use actual tokens, or especially if they're meant to last between sessions.

Great points! We're such physical token junkies around here that I totally forgot boon tokens. I'm exploring some other font options too.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 08:03:14 PM »
I would be interested in seeing more. I put out a call for more play testers for you in my G+ Tabletop Roleplaying Community today and there has been some interest in getting a group together. My email is cryiron at gmail.com. Let me know what I can do to help. I have one con organizer interested in demoing the game as well, so let's do this!

That's awesome! I sent you info on the playtest. Let me know how it goes.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 08:00:58 AM »
For those playtesting, I have placed an updated packet up on the download site. It includes a change list in the front of the main book and an updated character sheet based on the feedback for the Wild Animal.

Thanks again for your help.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 08:14:42 AM »
Here's the current list of basic moves.

Basic Moves (I want to...)
Every fairytale can use the following basic moves.

Perform a Feat of Fable (Perform)
When you Perform a Feat of Fable, trust to your luck in a situation, or attempt something legendary, roll the dice and add your Courage. On a 10+, you do it and gain 1 boon token. On a 7-9, you do it, but choose 1 cost:
  • you look foolish
  • you hesitate at a key moment
  • you only succeed by pure luck
  • you take 1 harm

Sidebar: Defending Against NPCs
When an NPC attacks you in some way, usually the narrator will give you a chance to react before the attack completes. They may say, “Hook points the wand at you and the tip starts to glow. What do you do?” At that point, any move that makes sense within the fiction is a valid response. The two most common moves used to respond are Perform a Feat of Fable and Strike A Blow. The former generally represents some sort of defense or dodge, while the latter represents trying to strike your opponent before they strike you.

Threaten Harm (Threaten)
When you Threaten Harm against an opponent, or attempt to throw your size around, roll the dice and add your Brawn. On a 10+, they must either decide to take their medicine or do what you want. On a 7-9, they must choose 1 of the following:
  • flee with their tail between their legs
  • find a hidey hole
  • offer you an easy bargain
  • throw down their arms
  • reveal a secret

Strike a Blow (Strike)
When you Strike a Blow against an opponent or group of opponents, roll the dice and add your Brawn. On 10+, you choose 3 results from the list below. On a 7-9, you choose 2 results from the list below. You can choose from the following results:
  • you steal something from them
  • you avoid serious harm
  • you inflict terrible harm
  • you stun them

Tell a Tall Tale (Trick)
When you Tell a Tall Tale to an opponent, engage in a battle of wits, or try to trick them, roll the dice and add your Cunning. On a 10+, your trick works. On a 7-9, you must provide them with some proof to make the trick work. Against PCs: On 10+, they also mark experience. On 7-9, they may mark experience to accept your trick.

Sidebar: Tricks
A good example of a trick is when the Evil Queen tricked Snow White into eating the poison apple. Snow White didn't trust the old peddler offering the apple, so the queen cut the apple in half and ate the white, non-poisonous part to show the princess that the apple was safe.

Ponder Fate (Ponder)
When you Ponder Fate, size up your opponent, or consult a source of lore, roll the dice and add your Wisdom. On a 10+, ask 3 questions of your opponent or the narrator. On a 7-9, ask 1 question of your opponent or the narrator. Gain 1 boon token when you act on the answer to one of your questions. You can ask the following questions:
  • which way should I go?
  • do you have a weakness?
  • who’s in control here?
  • where do I get it?
  • are you telling the truth?
  • what are you really feeling?
  • what do you intend to do?
  • what do you wish I would do?
  • how could I get you to believe my tale?

Live to Tell the Tale
When you want to Live to Tell the Tale, roll the dice and add your Popularity. On a 10+, you survive with one heart token remaining. On a 7-9, you survive and the narrator must choose whether you are merely unconscious, mostly dead, or lost. On a miss, you must choose a debility. If you have already received all of the debilities, you are dead. The available debilities are:
  • Shattered: -1 Courage
  • Crippled: -1 Brawn
  • Addled: -1 Cunning
  • Broken: -1 Wisdom

Special Moves
The following special moves may be available to fairytales, at the narrator’s discretion.

Bargain
The narrator may allow you to make bargains with the following move. When you Bargain with another, roll the dice and add the value of your offer. On a 10+, you may strike an unequal bargain. On a 7-9, you must strike an easy bargain or they reject your offer. On a miss, they reject your offer. Against PCs: On a hit, they also mark experience. See the Bargains chapter for more information.

Cast a Spell
You only gain access to spells if it says so in your Storybook. When you want to Cast a Spell, roll the dice and add your Wisdom. On a 10+, your spell is cast and you gain 3 boon tokens. On a 7-9, your spell is cast and you gain 1 boon token.

Counterspell
If you have access to Cast a Spell, you also gain access to Counterspell. When you want to Counterspell magic cast against you or others, roll the dice and add your Wisdom. On a 10+, the spell is countered. On a 7-9, the spell is countered, but choose 1 cost:
  • the spell is redirected to a different target
  • the spell is only held at bay for a time
  • the spell takes on a different form
Against PCs: On a 10+, you also take 3 boon tokens from them. On a 7-9, you also take 1 boon token from them.

Test Fate
At the end of each session, roll the dice and add your Popularity. Unlike most rolls, you want to roll low. On a 10+, you must discard 1 magic item worth more than 1 wealth. On a 7-9, you must discard 1 magic item worth 3 wealth. On a miss, you can keep all your magic items. Signature items are never discarded.

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 03:12:39 AM »
What do you do with Boon tokens?

Re: Midsummer: urban fantasy / fairy tales in the modern world hack
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 10:08:44 AM »
Boon tokens can be spent to add 1 to a roll or subtract 1 from a roll. Your roll or another player's roll. Basically, they take the place of carrying +1 forward, as well as helping and interfering.