Barf Forth Apocalyptica

powered by the apocalypse => Urban Shadows - A Modern Dark Fantasy game => Topic started by: Pheylorn on February 13, 2013, 05:05:52 PM

Title: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 13, 2013, 05:05:52 PM
Hey all!

I'm designing an apocalypse world hack called Urban Shadows. It's a game meant to emulate stories like The Dresden Files and Angel.

I have nine playbooks completed and an MC playbook in the making. Here is the link to the files.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v1dzfzn0bvdxgr4/IlfhqzalfY

Here's the blurb;

Urban Shadows is a table-top role-playing game set in a modern urban setting with a dark shadow cast over it. In Urban Shadows, Vampires, Were-wolfs, Faeries, Ghosts and all manner of powerful creatures roam our world preying on humanity and it's ignorance of their existence. But not all of them want to hurt or hunt humanity, some of them fight against their natures and expectations to try and live a life among mortality, constantly struggling to be a part of our world yet always apart.

But where there is life, there is hope. Humanity is not alone in their struggles, there are some who have seen the darkness, have let it in and choose to stand up and face the night.

In the game, you control a member of one of four factions in play around the world. Mortality, the humans with nothing to offer except insight, guile and resolve. Power, humans who have been imbued with awesome powers and heavy burdens. Night, those who were once human and now stalk the nights and hunter. Wild, creatures and being from outside our world who have come to stake their claim.

Who will you be? Which side will you choose? Will you be strong enough to face the darkness without and within?


We also have a google community with members always welcome to add insights and feedback.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101690788864141664454
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: arscott on February 17, 2013, 03:47:41 AM
This is great.  You did some really cool stuff with this, especially with the corruption mechanic.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: hanklevoncrankle on February 19, 2013, 04:03:51 PM

We play tested Urban Shadows on Sunday and had a blast!

Set our game in Boston, and our playbooks are; The hunter, the vamp, the changeling, & the Tainted.

Some thoughts;

Basic moves are solid, Debts are awesome (like strings), and the corruption mechanic is an awesome idea, but I would like to see an MC move for tapping corruption that a PC may hold... as far as I can tell, the only current downside for corruption is that you may have to lose the PC to become a baddy NPC /threat once you tap all the advances... so idea...
perhaps when a pc is created, player has to choose from a list about how their corruption manifests or become active when called for (like a hard mc move)?

Overall, great hack...keep up the great work!
Hankle : )
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 22, 2013, 12:21:32 PM
Actually it was London that we played in, but Boston was our second choice. And it was a super fun session! Thanks Hanklevoncrankle:)

Corruption moves are supposed to be powerful. They are free advances that you get for killing people and giving up part of your humanity. Once you start down that path though you will inevitably turn into a monster, almost certainly.

Your idea regarding some pre-determined corruption manifestations is totally work-able but I would prefer to keep to the philosophy of 'less is more'. The idea is already in there to use in the MC's toolkit. When a player take a corruption advance 'tell them the possible consequences and ask'  'ask questions like crazy' and 'offer them an opportunity with or without a cost'   All those moves/principles can let you ask some loaded questions of a player when they advance corruption. Examples like "How has your soul changed irrevocably?", "What's with that change to your body? Is that normal?" "When you look at Chalmers, he smells like food now, what do you do about that?"
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: hanklevoncrankle on February 22, 2013, 06:45:41 PM
Yeah, London... doh. thanks Pheylorn that was a good session ; )

Ok, makes sense to incorperate Mc moves with the corruption and ask many ?'s
to each pc about what their coruption might be.

but...

I still would think it would be good to add it to MC moves list for new Mc's so its not forgotten... I forgot to use them first game, and a few of you I think racked up at least 2 or 3 ticks.

Hankle
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 22, 2013, 07:18:22 PM
What would you even call that MC move? Or is it a Principle or Agenda?
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Aaron Friesen on February 23, 2013, 02:48:32 AM
"Hold a mirror up to Corruption" sounds like a decent Principle. Or Move, really. Could go either way, depending.

Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 23, 2013, 04:00:02 AM
"Hold a mirror up to Corruption" sounds like a decent Principle. Or Move, really. Could go either way, depending.

Could do. Could do.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 23, 2013, 04:53:24 AM
Spent some time re-making the character sheets into tri-fold legal size sheets. They looks pretty sleek if I do say so myself. The pictures were generously modified so this use by @revel911. Check em out if you get the chance.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v1dzfzn0bvdxgr4/IlfhqzalfY
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Sequitur on February 27, 2013, 03:52:16 PM
I only just saw this, but I'm going to be following closely - As it happens I've been working on a hack with a pretty similar premise, though enough differences in tone and mechanics that I don't feel redundant. I really do like the corruption mechanic, by the way.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 27, 2013, 04:14:48 PM
Thanks Sequitur,

I don't suppose you're the one working on the Modern Fairy Tale hack I've heard about? Cause from what I've seen of that one, it looks pretty frickin' awesome!
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on February 27, 2013, 04:40:49 PM
Andrew, which one Midsummer or Whispering Willow? There are two .... both playtest are very good.

I can send you links to both.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 27, 2013, 04:42:19 PM
I believe the one I know of is Midsummer. Don't know much about it but saw some of the art and it looks pretty sweet.

I'll take a link, sure!
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Sequitur on February 27, 2013, 05:32:01 PM
I'm working on a hack which I'm tentatively calling The Good Fight. It's an urban fantasy/horror game in the vein of Angel, built explicitly to emulate serialized television, about the largely unironic supernatural struggle between good and evil in modern times. It's not really ready to show off yet; I don't even have a full set of playbooks.

I realize it sounds horribly pretentious when I say it like that, so here's the silliest move in the playbooks that are completed:

Quote
I've Got a Theory: Whenever a supernatural threat presents itself, make a wild guess about it's true nature. If it reveals itself to be true, everyone who heard your hypothesis gets +1 forward, and you mark experience.

Oh, and Midsummer does sound interesting. I'd love a link too.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on February 27, 2013, 05:50:53 PM
Midsummer:
http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?672584-Midsummer-an-Apocalypse-World-hack-for-urban-fantasy-fairy-tales (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?672584-Midsummer-an-Apocalypse-World-hack-for-urban-fantasy-fairy-tales)

Whispering Willows (which I am liking just as much): https://plus.google.com/u/0/113613753677984569531/posts

Whispering Willows is based about a book Redwall, which I am not familiar with where all the heroes are animals, but after chatting him with him, you could just as well use the animal races as totems or spirit guides for human characters as well.

So, back to Urban Shadows!
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 27, 2013, 06:04:13 PM
So, back to Urban Shadows!
haha Here here!

I have added in The Immortal archetype, it'll be in the download link in the original post. I'd love to hear feedback for it. Thanks!

Also working slowly but surely on The Spook, The Wyrm, The King and The Oracle. We shall see what comes of those. :)
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on February 27, 2013, 06:07:41 PM
Spook the new name of the Specter?

Oraclem is that the original Oracle and reader combined?
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 27, 2013, 06:14:19 PM
Yeah Spook the new name for Specter. I'm really struggling on what kind of Ghost I want to make. It's a hard thing to define.

Oracle will be it's own thing I think. All about visions and foretellings. At least that's my hope.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: hanklevoncrankle on February 27, 2013, 07:39:32 PM
Yeah Spook the new name for Specter. I'm really struggling on what kind of Ghost I want to make. It's a hard thing to define.

Oracle will be it's own thing I think. All about visions and foretellings. At least that's my hope.

I like the sounds of the specter playbook, but don't like the spook name so much (sorry!), too much like a govmnt agent...  Ghost, Shadow, Wraith, Haunt, Revenant, Shade, Apparition, Phantom

types of ghosts; what about give the player a list to select what type of spirit there are; example - of passion, or rage, of vengance, of unfinished deeds, of war, etc.. or have them fill in a blank...

many ghosts have something that ties them to the mortal world - perhaps you can use that in the playbook for some sort of intersting mechanic or move for them?

there's my 2 cents ; )

HanklevonCrankle
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on February 27, 2013, 07:48:34 PM
Yeah Spook the new name for Specter. I'm really struggling on what kind of Ghost I want to make. It's a hard thing to define.

Oracle will be it's own thing I think. All about visions and foretellings. At least that's my hope.

I like the sounds of the specter playbook, but don't like the spook name so much (sorry!), too much like a govmnt agent...  Ghost, Shadow, Wraith, Haunt, Revenant, Shade, Apparition, Phantom

types of ghosts; what about give the player a list to select what type of spirit there are; example - of passion, or rage, of vengance, of unfinished deeds, of war, etc.. or have them fill in a blank...

many ghosts have something that ties them to the mortal world - perhaps you can use that in the playbook for some sort of intersting mechanic or move for them?

there's my 2 cents ; )

HanklevonCrankle


I was thinking the same thing, but an item, place or person that makes them more powerful or weaker around.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 27, 2013, 07:53:03 PM
That could work. Maybe something like the Selkie's pelt from Monsterhearts. This bears research!
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on February 28, 2013, 02:46:06 AM
As I mentioned before, I really would love to see the Ghost also be able to take over a human for a short period of time (say one who is weak minded)
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on February 28, 2013, 02:50:57 AM
As I mentioned before, I really would love to see the Ghost also be able to take over a human for a short period of time (say one who is weak minded)
Seems like a fair playbook move. I'll see what I can do. :)
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on April 18, 2013, 01:41:20 PM
Need some insight on something.

On more than one occasion a player who is rolling+trust to interfere with a fellow player has expressed a concern with the mechanic. Rolling+Trust to help someone, gather resources or hit the streets seems great, but when it comes to that interfere, something is jarring.

"I don't trust this guy's faction, so why am I hindered in trying to resist their moves?" It's a valid question. When I first designed this section I meant Trust to be how much you and a faction's member trust one another and how much you understand the other. I think the wording of Trust is misleading and leads a player to interpret this as their character's Trust in a faction solely.

So, how do I fix this? Do I simply change the naming of the system to something like Affiliation or Rapport or Kinship? Or do we change the way Interfere works. I've had it suggested that when you Interfere with a player, you invert your score. For example, if you're Trust in Wild was -2 and you were Interfering with a Fae, it would change to a +2 for these purposes but remain a negative number when rolling Help or the other Faction moves. This may work, but I feel like adding in a negative/positive switch-up like this is going to confuse players, especially the less rules-intrigued ones. Less is more after all.

Any input would be appreciated. I'd rather make a change with other points of view considered. Thank you.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Aaron Friesen on April 18, 2013, 03:17:47 PM
By getting rid of the Help/interfere roll and shifting that role to Debt, essentially.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: trayburn on April 18, 2013, 08:43:34 PM
Then what is the point of Trust? Trust is an awesome idea, we just need to keep it semi-balanced.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: arscott on April 20, 2013, 06:58:57 AM
Why not just go back to the AW wording and call it "History".  History very much describes connections without coloring them as positive or negative.
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: Pheylorn on April 20, 2013, 02:17:40 PM
@Arscott. Mostly I want to avoid Hx to be more original. I feel like an AW hack should bring new ideas into the fold rather than just re-skinning Apocalypse World.

We had some good alternative ideas over at storygames and google+. Here's the link in case you wanted to check it out.
http://www.story-games.com/forums/discussion/17890/urban-shadows-an-urban-fantasy-rpg-powered-by-the-apocalypse#Item_78

Thanks!
Title: Re: Urban Shadows - An Urban-Fantasy RPG Powered by the Apocalypse
Post by: zarathud on June 05, 2014, 02:49:33 AM
The Kickstarter for Urban Shadows is live and runs through the end of June:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1287928832/urban-shadows-rpg