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Messages - Paulus

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brainstorming & development / Re: Road of Kings - Sword & Sorcery Hack
« on: August 14, 2017, 05:35:18 AM »
And I've got a considerably updated draft:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_5copIAo-7UTlFlRWtZejRGZVU/view

Please tell me what you think.

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So, Skills is something I'm on the fence about generally. It's a mechanic I wrote for a different hack I was thinking of, one where Skills essentially replace most moves -- like in combat, you wouldn't be able to hit 10+ without a 'Aim' or 'Melee' skill, or you couldn't hit 10+ on Seduce/Manipulate without a 'Persuade' skill or what have you. There, it was a way to capture some of the character-building feeling of more traditional RPGs with the mechanical philosophy of AW, but that may not be appropriate here.

It is not my intention that helping and hindering stack, and I should clarify that. (I guess I don't have a mechanical objection to one level of nesting helping and hindering -- if the rule is "only one person can help with a move", that still means Person A could help Person B help Person C, where Person A gives Person B a +1, making it more likely for Person C to get a +1 -- but it's kind of silly.)

I wish, frankly, that there was a better system for multiple PCs helping or hindering another, but just straight stacking causes issues, I think.

It's not intentional that Might is barely used. I suppose I imagine 'Take A Risk' to be the Ur-move, and many of the things heroes are going to want to do that are risky are physical things that take Might.

Still, there is a risk that Cunning becomes too many things; it may be that I should eliminate Skills but add in 'Finesse' or something like it as a fourth Trait.

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brainstorming & development / Road of Kings - Sword & Sorcery Hack
« on: June 07, 2017, 01:57:38 AM »
Guys,

I'm working on an AW hack for a Sword & Sorcery game I'm going to run at Gencon this summer, and I'd love feedback.

The link to my work in progress is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11nd5yEVDdO32mvUBlrI-gbK9xR3MJtHpCIvT_u-ZC5Q/pub

It doesn't include playbooks yet; I'm working on the basic moves and system outline stuff.

The game is intended specifically to mirror the feel of some of the Howard Conan stories later in Conan's life -- the ones where he is a king and deposed for whatever reason and has to retake his throne.  In my focused story, the king is dead, and the playbooks will represent his heir and allies as they try to retake the throne.

Here are some specific questions I am working through:

1.) I have three traits (compare to AW's five.) Is that too few? I have five players.

2.) Inspired by World of Dungeons, I have written a mechanic called 'Skills'. You can see it in the WIP document, but essentially, if you don't have a relevant skill -- and playbooks will grant skills -- then you treat 10+ results on my Act Under Fire equivalent (called Take A Risk) as 7-9 results. Are there unintended consequences there?

3.) I have written an "Allies" mechanic, also granted by playbooks. (I have gone back and forth between calling them 'Allies' and 'Contacts'.) In the game, the players will be gathering support to retake the throne, and the allies they select as part of character generation in their playbooks -- one character might have Allies among the nobility and the temples, another might have Allies among the thieves and the seafarers, etc -- should sort of signpost places for them to go. Right now, the primary mechanical impact of that is that it can act as a 'reason' -- the old 1E leverage -- for the Seduce/Manipulate move. Is that enough?

4.) More specifically on Allies, I have considered writing a more expansive Move, something like 'Gather Support', one where you ask a group for support -- on 10+, they help you, no problem, and on a 7-9, they need something first. If they aren't already your Allies, treat 10+ as a 7-9. I think maybe that's covered already by Seduce/etc, but perhaps it would benefit to be called out. Anyone have any thoughts on that topic?

I've also reworded a few things in some of the Moves from vanilla AW, which might provoke opinions. I'm not sure.

Anyways, tell me what you think!

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brainstorming & development / Re: Apocalypse World and Kin, on a MU*
« on: August 15, 2016, 07:10:54 PM »
The compelling reason to my mind is that it provides a persistent space for players to find each other even when not everyone is on. I suppose Skype + Roll20 can do the same, but it means that if there are three people around one afternoon-- even if one of them isn't the MC-- they can get together and play easily.

One of the things that AW's rules light nature does is give people really good tools to play with each other without an MC and still have consequences. If Joe and I get in a scrap with some gangers, we don't need someone to be deciding how skilled those guys are and what they roll. We set a scene, make some moves, and the fiction means we can tell at least small scale stories by ourselves.

The other, mechanical advantage is having a bulletin board and the like. You could replicate that with Skype + roll20 + a google group or something, sure, but.

Actually -- the third advantage is that it is text based. You can mix playing with other stuff, whereas a headset and roll20 you need uninterrupted time and a closed door.

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brainstorming & development / Apocalypse World and Kin, on a MU*
« on: August 15, 2016, 04:24:58 AM »
So.

I am basically in love with AW and all of its descendants, and I want to play more of it.  I used to MUSH a lot; less so now, but there are some things about the format that I like -- it lives in a sort of middle ground space between Play By Post and tabletop, for instance. I also have some server space.

My question to the community at large is this:

If I was to set up a space intended to be used for people to play in and/or run PbtA games in a MU-y format, would people be interested? Would people want to play?

The vision I have is not of running a full-scale MU with staff and a lot of players, but having small stories with maybe like 3-10 people (no more than that) who get together with the MC and also play amongst themselves when they are on together -- somewhere between traditional play and co-MCing.

What do people think? Are there pitfalls? Cool things that happen because of such a format? Other reactions?

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Apocalypse World / Re: When do you reveal custom threat moves?
« on: July 20, 2016, 04:51:10 AM »
The thing that gets me thinking about this is a map, or something map-like.

(By way of digression, while I've only ever run AW in tabletop, I am presently contemplating running some sort of PbtA online game in a MUSH/MUX format, which is what in turn drives this line of thought.)

On such a game -- or with a sufficiently detailed map in a regular tabletop game -- you might mark things on the map: "Over here is the Fire Hills. When you try to drive the bandits from the Fire Hills, roll+Hard. On a 10+..."

As soon as you write that move down on the map, the players know something -- there's bandits in the Fire Hills, and by the way, I can try to drive them out. What I'm interested in is that sort of signaling: inviting players to 'go here and try to do something'. Publishing custom moves is one way, but there might be other good ways, too.

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Apocalypse World / When do you reveal custom threat moves?
« on: July 17, 2016, 10:25:46 PM »
I mean moves like "When you go into Dremmer's territory..." -- PC moves linked to a threat.

Do you put them on the table as soon as you mention Dremmer has territory, or do you wait until a PC says "I am heading to Dremmer's territory," at which point you say 'About that...'

Putting them out front signifies that 'hey, here is something interesting.' Waiting means that there is an element of uncertainty.

It may be that some go in one category and others in the other category -- any thoughts, though, on which go in which?

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