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Topics - Hildy

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The Sprawl / Occult Playbooks for The Sprawl
« on: May 04, 2017, 02:47:52 AM »
I'm currently working on my take on supernatural playbooks for a magic infused sprawl. I've been messing around with playbook images when my brain stops wanting to form words.

brainstorming & development / The Shambling Dead
« on: August 18, 2016, 10:00:02 PM »
  • Yes, this makes three active hacks for me.
  • Yes, I’m trying to conjure Vincent Baker level multitasking.
  • Yes, I know zombie hacks already exist. I reinvent wheels. It's what I do.
  • I don’t normally enjoy games that emulate a movie or TV show.
  • I’m not even actually much of a zombie fanboy.
I… just had a few ideas in my head, and this seemed like the best way to combine them. This hack will likely look the least like Apocalypse World (of my hacks) when complete. I kinda dig that. Here are some early concepts.

I don’t feel like playbooks are the way to go here. I considered roles, but I’m already doing that in a hack so I’d rather not duplicate the effort. Characters will all be drawn up using the same character generation rules.

Moves will be broken up into something resembling skill trees, with dependencies like D&D Feats, and a number of trees will be available. The depth you go into skill trees will allow you to develop the niche of your character further.

Everyone gets to claim one skill tree for their character. That tree is locked to everyone else. Nobody else gets to take skills from that tree; even with improvements. So if you take the Leadership tree, your character is THE leader. If nobody claims the leadership tree then maybe several characters exhibit leadership potential. So..
  • If you take the crossbow skill tree, then you are “the dude with the crossbow.”
  • If you take the sword skill tree, then you are “the chick with the katana.”

  • All moves will be made at a base +0.
  • Characters will have access to individual pools (currently being called Hope). Characters may declare they will spend 0 to 3 points of Hope on any move they are going to make, and add the spent points as a modifier to the roll.
  • Running out of Hope, leaves you Hopeless.
  • Hope will regenerate between sessions in some way. It will likely regenerate faster with comfort, safety, and good health. Don’t expect much of those things.
  • You can also lose Hope as the result of moves. Attacks that don’t actually leave you hurt, will often sap you of hope instead.

I haven’t decided how big a Hope pool needs to be yet, or how it will be generated exactly… but I want to incorporate Trust (this game’s version of Hx). The idea is that you have Trust with every character in your “group” (PC and NPC alike), and the score on your sheet indicates how much they trust you. The more trust you have (deserved or not), the higher your maximum Hope pool will be.

  • For this reason, Trust will NOT reset like Hx does (that would be a penalty). It will still cap at +3. The plan is to incorporate Trust into the dice mechanic and/or moves so that you are constantly doing things to earn or decrease trust.
  • I’ve considered using the advanced basic move mechanic here, allowing you to gain trust with someone when you roll a 12+.
  • An end of session move will likely allow players to designate who their character has gained and lost trust in as well.

Harm will be replaced with 4 conditions.
Fatigued — Caught — Hurt — Dead

  • Fatigued, Caught, and Hurt each incur a -1 Ongoing to rolls (so that base +0 you roll on all moves could drop to as much as base -3 in the worst situations).
  • If you are Hopeless (your Hope pool is at 0), you are automatically Fatigued.
  • If you are killed (dead). you may become Maimed instead (a permanent Hurt condition) to save yourself from death. This can only happen once.
  • Zombies will be immune to fatigue.
  • The natural progression for zombies is to run you down (fatigued), corner you (caught), claw and bite at you (hurt), and eat you (dead).
  • Human opponents won’t necessarily stick to that script. They might corner you by surprise, or attack you from afar. It really depends on their motivations and whether they want to take you alive.

Weapons won’t have harm tags. The move you make determines which status you apply to your target. Instead, I’m considering a Noise stat on weapons, that determines how much attention you might draw with it. When there is a chance that using the weapon will draw attention you would make a reverse roll (like the harm move) to figure out if you did.

I’ve put the least thought into resources, but they will play a huge part in the game. Part of the reason I liked eliminating stats was because some sort of resource tracking will be necessary, and I didn’t want to bog down the game with multiple sets of numbers.

One idea I had was to give guns and vehicles “stats” for ammo and fuel. So one of the tags on a gun might be “3-Ammo”. Attack moves would decrease the stat. Certain moves would allow you to avoid the stat decrease (your skill allowed you to conserve ammo).

Not much work done here yet, but gangs provide a great base for zombie herds.

I'm still hard at work on Metroplex, which I've taken to just calling "The 'Plex" recently in an homage to The 'Hood, but I was binging science fiction movies the other day and I took note of a trope I enjoy. Civilized space farers stranded on a hostile planet. Unlike Planet of the Week (an idea I am ridiculously jealous of) this game wouldn't hop from world to world. Here are some thoughts.

No Playbooks, just Roles
You start character creation by choosing your primary and secondary roles from a list (e.g. command, science, pilot, trader, pirate, convict). Primary roles should be unique. Secondary roles can be duplicated. Your roles dictate your starting stats, as well as any equipment you were able to salvage from the wreck, and a number of NPC's who have survived (with the ability to detail a few of those closest to you).

There are nine stats: Weird, plus four pairs of opposing stats. The opposing pairs contain a Civil Stat which reflects how civilized space farers deal with conflict and a Native Stat which reflects how one deals with conflict on a hostile world with limited or no resources. To start, characters ONLY HAVE CIVIL STATS (unless otherwise notes as is the case for pirate and convict). All of the others are locked, and don't have any rating at all.

Going Native
One of the central themes of the game, though one that can be avoided in part or in total (at least for a while) is the act of going native. As you learn to survive; you sharpen the skills that keep you alive and relegate the trappings of civilization to the past.

When you gain an improvement, you may unlock a Native Stat. You gain that stat at -1, and you gain the ability to make moves associated with it. You still have the associated Civil Stat, but it becomes locked. You can't advance it any further.

Further improvements may be used to increase a native stat, but each increase also decreases the linked civil stat. When a civil stat reaches -3, or a native stat reaches +3, you can not increase that stat further though normal improvements.

There will likely be a secondary way to gain ratings in stats (i.e. moves), but I haven't considered it yet.

Weird is special in that, if there isn't anything weird on your world, it might never unlock. More details on that to come, but this is intended to cover those stranger stories where one might gain access to the power of a living world, alien hive mind, or such.

More to come...

brainstorming & development / Metroplex - Alpha Playbook Preview
« on: April 21, 2016, 09:12:51 AM »
This effort was (obviously) inspired by Vincent's excellent previews for Apocalypse World 2nd Edition. I thought I knew what my playbooks were going to look like, so I actually wrote several other sections of my hack in advance of the playbooks only to find a whole lot of my plans flew out the window once I started to flesh these out. Now, thanks to that burst of creative energy, I'm going to have to rewrite a bunch of other stuff.

These have not been play tested. Quite a few of the terms used on these point to systems that haven't even actually been written yet. I'm far too close to this project to objectively tell if I'm actually onto anything here, so I'm hoping some knowledgeable eyes will grace my pages and offer me some constructive feedback on what I've done here.
Thank you for your consideration,

brainstorming & development / Metroplex: The Edge
« on: December 20, 2015, 09:01:55 PM »
Hello! I've been working on a hack recently and thought I'd share some of it, and maybe get a little feedback. It's a dystopian, near-future, cyberpunk game. Others have tackled the genre already, but a lot of those stray from AW elements I enjoy or emulate a specific game setting. I really dig the collaborative storytelling of AW, the collective campaign setting design, and the "day in the life" sandbox approach to adventure.

The Metroplex setting assumes it is the near future and that around 50 years ago some trouble befell our world. Humanity fled to cities in safe zones which eventually merged into massive mega cities. Your group decides what the trouble was (i.e. WWIII, global financial collapse, biblical apocalypse, alien invasion, a dimensional merge with the faerie realm, etc..) but, regardless of what happened, the world outside of the city is still a lawless and dangerous place.

Refugee colonies formed on the perimeter of the mega city. Eventually the flow of refugees into the city stopped and those on the outside were left largely to their fate. This became "The Edge"; a sort of demilitarized zone occupied by the poor that insulates the city from the world beyond.

This game focuses on life in The Edge. The characters are inhabitants of a neighborhood there doing what they need to do to survive, find a way out, or maybe even fighting to keep things the way they are.

I have this long term goal of building overlapping games that occur in the same shared setting, each using the AW rules, but with different stats and moves to reflect the most likely forms of conflict in that game. A companion game to this one might focus on the perils of corporate executives, celebrities, and the wealthy elite in the same metroplex.

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