Questions and Answers

  • 11 Replies
Questions and Answers
« on: April 23, 2014, 07:17:29 PM »
When you have a question related to Uncharted Worlds or the design thereof, ask it and Roll+Influence
On a 10+, Arch answers immediately with the answer you were looking for
On a 7-9, Arch will answer quite quickly, but might meander or go off on a tangent
On a 6-, Arch is busy at work, and will only answer a few days later, and is very sorry about it

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 07:07:59 AM »
Hi Arch,

I rolled a 7 (5+3-1) XD.

First off, nice hack. I really enjoy a lot of ideas in UW. I will be starting off a campaign on Wednesday.

I do have a question about advancements though:
How do you increase stats? Have I missed something in the 0.81 pdf?

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 04:20:52 PM »
Heya, glad you're digging it.

Aside from the Origin-based stat boost during character creation, I've not included stat increases as part of advancement. I've found that in the *World's 2d6 system, stats higher than +2 (or +3 at the outside) can really unbalance the game, especially with Codex Entries and the way Get Involved works. Also the greater the disparity of stats, the more players are encouraged to warp the narrative to focus on that power-stat (note the Artificial Origin, which calls out that kind of behavior :P). I toyed with it for a while, but eventually decided that it needed to be cut from the base game at least. I may reconsider or add in an optional rule, but I'm focusing on getting the core rules down before making variants.

If you're starting on Wednesday, I might be able to drop in the v0.82 rules before then; I've done a few weeks of playtests with various groups, and the next version will be seeing some pretty major changes all around. Keep an eye on this forum!

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 04:21:28 AM »

thanks for the reply. I have the same opinion about the stats, I just wanted to know if it is intentional.
Btw. as you hack is still incomplete (no offense, your doing a great job there) I will extend some rules.

Do you want me to share it?

I saw the v. 0.82 is online. Just in time for my session this evening!

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 06:23:01 PM »
Heya! By all means; it's Creative Commons after all.

Also, I uploaded a new fixed version of 0.82, the old one was a bad version.

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 09:32:06 AM »
I rolled 2d6+0=6. Damn

while doing some open-gaming I offered a few AW hacks I found interesting. Uncharted Worlds was one of games we actually played.

First I must say you did really great job here!
The game was funny, we had really good action, space combat was especially amazing and players successfully manipulated some fractions against each other using the favour mechanic. They even asked me for another game, so I'm preparing it.
We had some problems with the rules, but then I found I had seriously outdated version (0.6 I guess) and you have already corrected most of it, so again - really good job here.

Probably major problem was slow start and preparing phase. We spent more than two hours setting up, which is more than in any other AW hack. It was mainly due to now outdated mechanics - one player describes a fraction, second one describes his link to this fraction and another says how he was involved. Resulting fractions were awesome though, and it somehow bonded characters together.

As GM I missed some kind of "bonds", "Hx" or "oaths" between characters at character creation, because resulting characters somehow "floated in a space". Are you going to implement something like that? It would probably get better in a long-term game, especially with players that know each other, and with help of the "cramped quarters" move. I quess that you can nicely fit something like that into the Origin.

I understand that you put "Seduce or manipulate" and similar social moves under generic Face adversity, but I am still missing something like that. What I miss even more is read person/read situation. Move like Deduction with a roll required would work perfectly.  Or it could be put into Assessment move as a way how to get Codex entry. I really liked abandoned idea of "Ask a question, on partial success I will answer you, on a full success you can ask me two following question."

Well, I yet have to play new version with leveling, but I have a few questions: would it be possible to gain xp in your origin somehow? There are some cool moves and it seems that you cannot get them.
It says "At the end of each session, if the player has achieved a milestone similar to one of those, the player earns 1xp in that Career" in Leveling section and "At the end of each session you can spend 1 XP in this career if you accomplished an appropriate milestone during the session" in each career description. I guess the first wording is better.
Also, does it mean that you automatically gain an xp in Commercial when you "Have a Great standing with a commercial or corporate faction" at the end of the session? So, if you are on good terms with merchants, you will eventually become an merchant yourself?

In case you are going to make a new class, lots of guys around me expected some kind of psyker class.

It seems that you were thinking about shields ("Shields: The person manning this Station can Patch Up depleted Shields and can Override to provide case-specific shielding."), but there is no description how shield works. Last time I resolved it according to fiction (It seams that they are targeting the engines, what are you doing, shield guy?). Frankly, I am not sure how it could interact with the Brace for impact move.

But anyway,
last UW session was really good and I am really looking forward to another one.

Yes, I wanted to destroy the world...
But not this way.

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 05:34:46 PM »
Hey there Faskal! As you correctly rolled/predicted, things have been rather busy for me lately, and I want to take the time to answer you properly. I hope to have a chance to address your post tomorrow evening, but I just wanted to make sure you knew that I've read your stuff and am not ignoring the forums. :)

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2014, 11:01:04 PM »

The slow start is indeed an ongoing battle, entirely agreed. When this thing gets closer to a real release I'll be including a quick-start mode, which will have pre-generated character archetypes and list of factions to roll on.

I've toyed with a lot of 'bond/strings/hx' mechanics, but they've always felt a little... mechanical and game-y. If I come up with something I like that feels like a good fit, I'll definitely include it. But as noted above, character creation/setting creation already takes quite a while, so I'm not sold on adding another step. Currently, I'm toying with a bit of a different mechanic entirely: At the beginning of each session after the first, the GM picks or randomly determines two characters, and has a very short 'flashback' scene to when they first met. The setting and events in the flashback are entirely up to the players, but the GM is encouraged to ask leading questions.

To me, seduction and manipulation are means to an end, not goals in an of themselves. To 'Seduce' or 'Manipulate' is to use Physique or Influence (respectively) to get something done. What you want to do with that seduction/manipulation is the Move (convince a guard to not alert the base by seducing him/her? Face Adversity, etc), deciding to accomplish it through seduction or manipulation determines the stat you use. The Codex entry from Assessment basically unlocks 'advanced/intimate knowledge' about whatever the subject is. Funnily enough, the old 'Ask a question' Move got used so often, I just removed it and made knowledge binary: You either know something (and thus your question will be answered), or the information is esoteric, secret or confused enough that you'd need to make an Assessment to know about it

Gaining levels in your Origin: The only skill in an Origin that is not available in a career is the first, 'born-and-raised' skill that increases your Stat. And that's one I'm quite content leaving locked off after character creation. It's an important decision; do I start with an extra skill or a better stat. Since you can gain XP in any career, you can pick up any of those other skills. Note that having skills in a career make it MUCH easier to earn further xp in that career, meaning that the Origin Skill can give you a foothold in a career outside of your own two career choices.

The wording of the leveling system is a bit inconstant for now, granted. It's been through quite a few mutations. :)

Yep! Remember that you only gain an XP in a single career per session; hanging out with certain types of factions will naturally give you opportunities to advance in careers they approve of (if you have a Great relationship with a galactic navy, picking up a Military career will be much easier for you, etc)

So you may have noticed in the latest rules, I removed the Artificial Origin and the Cybernetic career. To me, there are certain classes and origins that absolutely need to bend or circumvent the rules in interesting, splashy ways in order to do justice to the archetype/expectations. Robots, Cyborgs, Clones, Aliens (enlightened, warlike), Mutants, Psykers (empaths, kinetics) all fall under that category. So I've put all of those aside until I've got the basic rules solidly down and released, before I start breaking the rules in a supplement. Also, I want to make it clear that all of them are optional, their existence in the universe is to approved of by the table.

You handled spaceship stuff quite correctly. For the most part it is just narrative, no stats or anything, but rather "this is happening to the environment (the ship), what do you do to mitigate it". That said, I need to hunker down and properly write that out in a "running a starship" chapter, just to make it nice and clear.

Thanks for all your feedback, it's always very appreciated. I'd be interested to hear how any future sessions went! Also, if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to post. I'll be sure to get around to them as soon as possible (your mileage may vary :P )

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 04:52:24 AM »
It seems to me that the slow start problem would be greatly reduced if each career had a starting skill instead of picking from the full list - I assume there's a reason you don't want to do that?

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 01:02:36 PM »
Thanks for your response!
So after another game, this time using v0.82...
I really liked previous game, and this one was even better.

Well, start of another game was quite slow again, almost three hours with four players, but again - I guess it was worth its while.

I asked my players to pick the Origin and the Careers before session. At the table, we started with character creation, and then continued with rough description of fractions and their connections to players and possible ongoing conflicts. As it took too much time, I decided to start with dramatic flashback, in which they bought their ship from space pirates (well, they stole it and successfully leveraged the fraction to let them go with a huge "debt") and then connected characters more strongly with fractions and then we finally started. Some of my guys had problems to describe their "iconic gadget" so I let them to do it later and I wanted my players to describe their quarters only when appropriate (it was usually during "cramped quarters"). So, it was like 3 hour setting stuff up and 6 hours of game itself. And it was AWESOME.

Quick-start possibility would be nice, but this type of game start makes really nice content and it’s quite common for apocalypse engine games to need a few sessions to really kick in. Your flashback mechanic may work, but I would have to try it to be sure. I had similar idea, but I set the premise of a scene myself and all characters got involved eventually.

Just a personal note, I didn't find 'bond/strings/hx' too mechanical and it usually worked nicely in fiction for me. Well, I'll definitely look forward to your implementation.

Concerning codex... For some reason it didn't work well. Players acquired some, but rarely used one. How do you explain that a new codex entry overwrites old one? I just said that the old entry is now outdated and irrelevant, as something changed, but this is somehow... non-trivial and not supported by rules.
I usually gave codex entry as a "reward" for something in fiction, as no one used assessment move on their own (I suggested it a few times, though). I guess a list of "good, example questions" would really help.
Well, should I generally understand codex more as "+1 ongoing on a topic" or something like "hold +1, and act quickly, as it may change any moment"?

"The Codex entry from Assessment basically unlocks 'advanced/intimate knowledge' about whatever the subject is." ... This was quite unclear for me and my players during last game. Only our scientist was quite able to get something really useful - she hacked a few systems to get layouts of a space station, and then successfully analyzed swarming signal of some primitive aliens, so she used this knowledge to disrupt their communication. At you say "Physique Assessments: Climbing/hiking through hostile terrain to make an Assessment about the terrain, wildlife, etc... Seducing/sleeping with someone to make an Assessment about them." It makes sense to me to make assessment roll, but I probably wouldn't give a codex entry for that, as I understood Codex entry as a quite specific piece of information and for me the assessment examples above are too broad.

While I like the idea of Codex mechanic, I think it yet needs some tweaking. I'm not sure if "old 'Ask a question' Move got used so often, I just removed it and made knowledge binary" is good idea, though. I think it may coexist.

I love the idea that careers and origin define what is in your living quarters. While I liked previous version more (the one where it was bound to your moves), a list of possible "rooms" you can have worked really well and we used a few of them nicely in fiction (mainly supercomputer for hacking/data storage and hydroponic plant for restoration of a life support station - on a side note, the most important part of a life support station seems to be a coffee machine)

Some notes...

CRAMPED QUARTERS! That move is awesome! I randomly picked one player for every week of space travel and ask him to pick another player, so it was one CQ during typical jump on an established route. And four CQs after a wild jump (House rule - we used hex-grid for a star map, one day/hex following an established route, one week/hex for a wild jump) following partially successful attempt to destruct an enemy frigate, after which they had to outrun the blast from prematurely activated three MIRV missiles (each containing four nuclear warheads) melted together for bigger blast, which they had to deliver to close proximity of the frigate. (Captain: "I knew I should not allow civilians to operate nuclear weapons!" Theoretical physicist: "Well, it did explode eventually, didn't it?")

While I miss Artificial origin, it was least preferred origin last time we played and now origins and careers seems to be nicely balanced. I am looking forward to "expanded rules", with artificials, cyborgs and aliens :-)

Simplified version of "run a program" worked better; more abstract "PROGRAM" really suited us.

"Gear" section seems for some reason to describe only (space)suits. Do you plan to broad scope of this section? Or is everything else going to be covered by "gadgets"?
- my players were able to make "clumsy&inconspicuous combo, as I found in a middle of a combat :-)

Patch up now works only on human and "repair" move is mentioned there, but you cannot use most of the available options.

Technobabble is really cool; I allowed my player to use it as a substitution for influence even during a face adversity move, I think it was appropriate. Stat substitution can be really powerful.
It used to be possible to "brace for impact" inside vehicle, I missed it this time. A ship with PCs finally got some beating :-)
- Brace for impact is fantastic, I like how abstract it is. However, I found it quite complicated to constantly invent new ways how to say to our soldier, that he is suffering from critical injury. :-)
-- As default, I used "severe injury" most of the time thinking that guy with armor +2 can easily soak some damage, but he failed all the time. It's fine you put there"extra costs/troubles" at fail, I'll probably use it more next time.

I understand why it is not possible to get a level in your origin, but I still missed it. I will probably award some for fulfilling significant personal achievement. It has to be consistent for all players, though.

My friend who leads an independent UW game (yes, it's quite popular around here :-) noticed, that it is better to pick +1 move from your origin, as you can get some cool moves later in the game, but you would never get +1 to your stat, so 3 of his 4 players picked this move. In my group it was opposite though, and only one player picked +1 move; she also understood from its description that it's limited by fiction "(You’re good at making do with limited resources, and getting the most out of what you have, making you a bit of a hoarder." So she used it only when "resources were limited"; at least until I found out).

Physique stat was hardly used at all (mostly for face adversity) and I don't get why it is used for fighting using pistols and shotguns. Also, concerning LAUNCH ASSAULT and OPEN FIRE, I really like more abstract moves, but "The encounter creates a short-term complication." and "The encounter will have long-term ramifications." is maybe too abstract for me :-) The way how the move is described (pick one complication) enables to write more possibilities from which you pick one (like old "there are still lots of enemies" and such)

So, that's all I guess,
I must say I really like your game. Especially space combats are awesome.
I am quite busy right now, but I hope we are going to play another game in a few weeks.
Yes, I wanted to destroy the world...
But not this way.

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 07:40:34 AM »
So we did another playtest, v0.83 this time. Gameplay is really getting more and more smooth.

We especially liked change in the Assessment standard move and Data Points. It worked nicely, players were actively trying to get some data points and used them occasionally.

Removal of gadgets was accepted with enthusiasm (I liked them, though).

I really appreciate rewriting of common moves. I had an argument with my friend if it's better to link a specific stat to a move (like cool => acting under fire in AW) or to allow player to pick which stat is he or she going to use (like Defy Danger in DW or your Face adversity). I think it dramatically changes tone of the game; in space opera I prefer your Face-Adversity-style-moves. But anyway, why have you decided to use this "roll+stat" instead of having a stat like "Cool" in AW and using it to Face adversity?

What I didn't like in the new version was the "barter" move and current "cargo" rule. I think it complicates things too much, and "barter" seems to me to be a perpetuum mobile. To gain new cargo my players were required to become either hardholders or exploit resources on uncharted worlds.
Original commercial's trade worked better, I guess, as player had more interesting options:
On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1, or suffer significant delays and choose 2. On a 6-, something prevents you from selling your good here (legal issues, market saturation, etc)
* Gain 1 Favor with an appropriate faction
* Gain 1 Favor with an appropriate faction again
* Buy enough local trade goods to fill a cargo hold
* Make an automatically successful Acquisition

- with this move they could either refill cargo or gain another nice thing, but they had to find cargo elsewhere. Now cargo has rating, but nice point of original normal/valuable cargo was that at different place different cargo type is normal/valuable.

A few notes:
"Full character creation" is not updated from 0.82 to 0.83. Therefore it is not clear how many upgrades should a gear in newly defined gear-packages have.
New character sheets are cool. Though my players would prefer more space for "faction standing" and "weapons, gear, vehicles & crew" and less for skills, as they have skills on separate cards and they have written down only their names.
Concerning advancement, I think it is too slow and I allow players to put two points into careers. Currently it is too easy to get a point in a career you want, maybe it would be better to be able to get 2-3 points, but only if you accomplish more (three?) milestones in a career you would like to improve.
Yes, I wanted to destroy the world...
But not this way.

Re: Questions and Answers
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 09:54:26 PM »
Hey Faskal, thanks for the feedback! Super useful as always. :D

Glad Assessment worked out for you; confirms what I'm getting, both from my own group and others.

I liked Gadgets too. They still exist! They're just in the Career Kits in the Gear. Funnily enough, since the change, my players have used MORE Gadgets from their kits than when they had free reign. Go figure.

why have you decided to use this "roll+stat" instead of having a stat like "Cool" in AW and using it to Face adversity?
An excellent question. I think a lot of it has to do with Dungeon World's influence on my own work, and how natural it felt to do so. Mainly, I like people to come up with inventive and 'fitting' solutions to overcome danger/adversity. It didn't feel right restricting it to a single stat because Face Adversity applies as a true catch-all for any situation; physical, mental, social, technical, etc.

The old barter system was sadly one of the causes of the economy spinning out of control. Gaining Favor with a Move has been almost completely removed, and I've flattened the costs/economy in general. That said, I wanted something that scaled up and down to represent economic growth without making Favor/Debt a currency. For the moment I'll keep it in the current incarnation, but I'd be interested in hearing about any experience you have with it in play.

Full character creation will indeed be updated for the next version. I've broken a LOT of stuff hahah.

Interesting feedback for the character sheets. Are the cards fun/satisfying for the players? I remember having power cards in 4e was pretty satisfying in a tactile sense. I could certainly shape things so that the skills descriptions are presented in a more card-like, and that would indeed give more room for gear and faction on the sheet.