Fudge version of PbtA

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2097

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Fudge version of PbtA
« on: May 22, 2016, 03:50:29 AM »
Cross post from S-G:

You can change Apocalypse World to not be so numbers-focused like this:
First of all, get fudge dice, you know the ones that have an equal number of pluses, minuses and blanks. Also known as fate dice.

Then change the playbooks and basic move sheets as follows:

When I refer to "the ladder" below, I'm talking about this list:
Unflinchingly
Intensely
Very
Kind of
A little bit
Not really that
Far from
The least

Unbeknownst to the players, but known to you, the converter, this scale is:
Unflinchingly: +4
Intensely: +3
Very: +2
Kind of: +1
A little bit: 0
Not really that: -1
Far from: -2
The least: -3

Do not show those numbers  to your players. I'm not kidding; do not let them start taking about +3 and -2 and stuff.


Then make new playbooks such that:

Choose one set:
• Cool+1 Hard=0 Hot+1 Sharp+2 Weird-1
• Cool+1 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird-1
• Cool-1 Hard+1 Hot=0 Sharp+2 Weird+1
• Cool+2 Hard=0 Hot-1 Sharp+2 Weird-1

Becomes this:

Choose one set:
• Kind of cool, a little bit hard, kind of hot, very sharp, not really that weird.
• Kind of cool, kind of hard, a little bit hot, very sharp, not really that weird.
• Not really that cool, kind of hard, a little bit hot, very sharp, kind of weird.
• Very cool, a little bit hard, not really that hot, very sharp, not really that weird.

Teach your players how to roll like this (I'm serious, follow this procedure, it'll become fast after a while and you'll use the scale in your head after a while, but be careful about shortcutting it in the beginning):
Let's say you have to roll to act coolly and that you are a little bit cool.
Put your finger "A little bit". Roll four of the dice. Remove any + - pair because they cancel out. Then for each remaining +, move your finger up once, and for each -, move your finger down once.
Let's say you rolled ++_-. The minus and the + cancel out, leaving +. Move your finger up once on the scale for the remaining +. It ends on "Kind of" You acted kind of coolly.

Before you teach them that (but I wanted to explain it to you, the converter, first), change the moves so that this:

DO SOMETHING UNDER FIRE
When you do something under fire, or dig in to endure fire,
roll+cool. On a 10+, you do it. On a 7–9, you flinch, hesitate, or
stall: the MC can offer you a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or
an ugly choice.

becomes:

DO SOMETHING UNDER FIRE
When you do something under fire, or dig in to endure fire, roll to
act coolly. If you act very coolly or cooler, you can do it. If you
act kind of, or a little bit cool, you flinch, hesitate, or stall: the
MC can offer you a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or an ugly choice.

(Uh, maybe that phrasing needs a little work.)
Anyway, the point is to change all 7-9 results to "Kind of" and "A little bit", all 6- results to "Not really that" and lower, and all 10+ results to "Very" and higher.
It's a lot of work converting or redoing all the playbooks but once that's done, your players won't see any numbers any more and you'll be happily in "word land".

Put that ladder right on every playbook near the stats, or on laminated cards. Use the version that does <em>not</em> have the numbers. I'm serious. Do not show it.

I've worked on the probabilities and they match pretty well from the start and across the advancements. You'll get pretty close to the same percentages of successes, misses, and 7-9:s.


----
I'm not saying "Do this" or that it's a particularly good idea to do it for all groups. It's just an option for some who hate adding small numbers together, to make those numbers even smaller and less numberlike.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 04:22:01 AM by 2097 »

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Ebok

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Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 03:37:48 AM »
That sounds like a lot of work. Especially for a game with so few numbers as is. I think that if your AW games feels too much like numbers then you're using the rules too much. I'd suggest, rather then turning the numbers into one-step converted abstractions, spend more time going into the cinematic of the events at hand. The numbers simply resolve uncertainty, and they do so in a very simple way. Complicating that doesn't really change much, nor would it solve the first issue unless you were doing this simply to train some munchkins not to powergame; although again, I don't think this is the best way to do that.

I got rid of numbers by embracing a different harm structure: abstracting gang stats, removing all harm stats off weaponry, turning armor into a roll. That removed a load of numbers there. We focus on how dangerous was that attack, rather then plus this minus armor. Or what happened when you got hit, rather then, how many hp-like countdown clock slivers are you at? The point is that each of these changes takes emphasis off what does the book say, and asks the same question, what does the narrative say?

I'm concerned that the plus minus dice doesn't aid gameplay, it just makes it harder to know what a success or failure looks like. Everything has to get converted through a scrolling list... which are really actually just numbers we aren't talking about. But more to the point, I'm worried that this removes a large amount of opportunity to achieve more then expected form a roll. There isn't critical successes 13+ options, and I somehow doubt that the percentages actually match the same. Handling +1/+2 forwards, -1/-2 interference. This seems to make the game much more complicated in favor of figuring out the rolls rather then watching the fiction.

Maybe I'm missing the point?

Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 07:23:39 AM »

Given 2097s hilarious GDNS post on Storygames, I just figured they were on an epic trolling spree.

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2097

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Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 02:49:58 AM »
That sounds like a lot of work. Especially for a game with so few numbers as is. [...]
Maybe I'm missing the point?
I wrote this up at the request of a new poster on Story-Games who had a player who previously had avoided all RPGs because of dyscalculia, even small number arithmetic.
I've had great experience playing the original Fudge using this method and this is even simpler. I haven't tried it out for AW yet myself, because I've seen greater value in using the standard 2d6, because of the network externality of wanting to play the same game that everyone else is playing.
it just makes it harder to know what a success or failure looks like. Everything has to get converted through a scrolling list... which are really actually just numbers we aren't talking about.
In the PbtA community, I've often heard the phrase "seven to nine results". Even in a hack I'm playing that uses a d20 and it's really 12 to 20, I've sometimes called it a "seven to nine result". So "success" and "failure" aren't as clear cut terms in the original AW, either.

Here, those "middle" results are a little bit and kind of. I chose those terms deliberately, to evoke that "seven to nine"-ness. Everything better than that is a full success and everything lower than that is hard move.

There are three points  to this.

First, yes, there is math "under the hood", i.e "numbers we aren't talking about". I've put in work that the probabilities match up pretty closely. But some people are scared of numbers.

Second, the arithmetic is even smaller. (4dF has a smaller range than 2d6.) Adding three +  four  + 1 to make eight is something a lot of us can do. Moving up one or down two on a scale is something even more of us can learn to do.  After a while, you learn to see quickly what pluses and minuses you need to roll. It becomes something akin to the shields and skulls in the old Hero Quest board game. The good part is that you get there in time, just by using the scale normally you'll internalize how it works.

Third. I think it looks cool to have "I'm kind of hot!" rather than "I've got hot + 1".

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2097

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Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 03:03:24 AM »

Given 2097s hilarious GDNS post on Storygames, I just figured they were on an epic trolling spree.
It's easy for me to take this comment as invalidating and hurtful, though I hope that that's not what you mean. I said explicitly (in this Fudge/PbtA post) that I was serious, that I wasn't kidding.

I'm glad you found the GDNS post funny because that one is HHOS - "haha, only serious". In other words, I've expressed the philosophy of play that I really believe, and believe is important, in a way that's meant to be funny to read as well. I was feeling self-conscious about having the gall to post some sort of theory so I cranked it up, exaggerated the "ex cathedra" nature of writing something like that, to lighten it up. So, yeah, a joke, but a joke with a purpose. I did seriously want to clarify some of the conflicts and overlaps in the way we approach roleplaying games. And I did want to be funny while I did it.

I'm trying hard to find ways to express myself and to take myself seriously. I've been trying other approaches too, like this thread and the "Spatial relationships in verbal games" thread. I have this sort of self-hatred when it comes to fancy words and academia.

The other day on RPG.net, I wrote "Correct. My objections to vector space / range band are presupposing a verbal-only/word-only setup. If you do sketch up a map, my objections aren't relevant [and a whole new set of objections would enter into it, but that's another thing entirely]." Then a few moments later, I edited the post, struck it out and replaced it with "That's right. I don't like using maps at the table, for other reasons, but it solves many problems with rules that rely on distances." I was such a bookish kid and got a lot of garbage for that. I'm trying to write clearly and plainly but I have to remember to do that, it doesn't come naturally like the awkward syntax and cumbersome words do.

I think Ron could be taken seriously despite his carnival barker humor (with jokey names like "Step On Up" and "The Right to Dream") because of two things: he had become central to this important creative community that he had worked hard to build and manage, and this new strain of narrative games were new and unlike anything the threefolders had ever seen (Theatrix doesn't come close), and Ron had made one of them (Sorcerer).

I don't have those two things. But... I also have thoughts on how to play these games. So :/
I guess this post might take all the wind out of the GDNS official, canonical theory and dour the mood; I don't want that, I want that theory to thrive. But I want to be taken seriously as well. Don't know what to do really.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 03:13:14 AM by 2097 »

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Ebok

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Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2016, 03:22:00 PM »
Well, you started going into topics that weren't mentioned on this forum, so I wont comment on those or anything mentioned around them.

In my group we call the rolls: "miss", "partial", "success".

Using dyscalculia as a reason to showing someone else how to play an alternative style game is fine. Although it seems out of place being presented without a visible request for such. The math in this game is about as simple as simple gets, I just find your version unnecessarily complicated in every way.

To each there own, do what works for you I guess.

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2097

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Re: Fudge version of PbtA
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 03:05:27 AM »
"Partial", I like that.

I'd like to make some of these playbooks but I don't have the font. That'd be the way to see if it still looked complicated; maybe it is simpler and maybe it is more complicated.
I obv believe (but do not know, and am curious to find out) that it would be simpler, but not simpler enough to be worth the hassle of redoing all the playbooks and movesheets. Then again, if one person does that, everyone could benefit.