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Messages - Ariel

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Dungeon World / Re: Gold for XP ?
« on: January 24, 2012, 10:00:29 PM »
A much maligned 'feature'.

A Player-controlled to the extent that they can determine which moves to make when but not the sorts of situations and frequency with which they might make them. Some parts of play are move heavy, with lots of snow balling and such. Others are lots of saying yes and exposition.

Having played and run a great deal of AW and now some DW, I find the Highlighted stat thing to generally be unfun for my players. It's uneven, often forgotten, and gives extremely uneven advancement within a group. The idea only works if player's actively pushing to make Moves with the highlight Stats and are focused on or mentally prioritizing advancement. This is great for aggressive players that are constantly seeking to engage the mechanics and don't prize consistent character immersion. However, I find that it's typically one-in-five of people I've actually played with. Those same people are typically people who are also GMs and also post on internet forums about RPGs. They aren't my typical players, though. For the casual or character driven player, it's a headache and distraction.

Having it be a Spent-Gold-for-XP thing means that the whole XP thing is taken care of during the shopping downtime between adventures and remains largely abstracted. It also reduces handling time while making moves and keeps moves about the fiction and not pressing to make move to get XP. Plus it's a core motivation for the whole dungeoneering thing.

The Alignment Keys are great though. You get to pick them as a player, helping you inform your character vision, and since they're simple, fixed and mechanically isolated, they're easier to keep in mind. But there's not much of a penalty for ignoring them if they're not the main source of XP.

If it ain't broke for your group, that's cool but it's been a really great patch for they people I play with.

So, we ran DW yesterday!

Great time, and surprised at how it played just like older incarnations of D&D and similar (which for me is a mix between 2nd Planescape, 3.0 and Palladium Fantasy). I imagine, that depending on the GM and the prep, it might look more like B/X or something. The major difference is that it just runs faster and more smoothly. Combat is relatively straight forward, although I was surprised that the least tactical of my gamers wanted more variety in her Hack and Slashing and the more story oriented dude was quick to push the limits of Defend (“Can I reduce the damage to 7/8th?”). 

The party comprised of:

Corvus, Paladin of the Argent Heart, and his NPC attendants Secundus the Scrivener and Cedric the Neophyte. His mount was named Pepper.

Va'enya, the Elven Sorceress (Sorcerer? Elves have ambiguous sex characteristics. A magic user at any rate), it's raven Familiar and Bodie the Human Apprentice.

Hern, the Barbarian, and her tribe-sisters and handmaidens Morag and Sheena.

The Barbarian is a class I threw together after reading some discussion on it over at SG, particularly Johnstones' Berserk move. Making DW playbooks is way easier that AW ones, by the way.

I printed all the available dungeon starters and trifolds I have access to a asked them which one seemed most interesting to them.

So, the Adventure started out at the back entrance to the Spanterhook Thieves' Guild. The Barbarian promptly smashed her way in as we didn't have a Thief. This basically set the tone for the session where the Barbarian went smashing around and the Paladin and Wizard cleaning up the mess, taking prisoners and providing some healing. I got some interesting mileage out of random traps and poison darts. Cedric the Neophyte was turned into a Frog and the Barbarian was poisoned with Goldenroot. First level characters are fragile! Even Barbarians and Paladins! The party nearly TPK'd during the final conflict with the president and his pair of Minotaur guards but the Barbarian cut a deal with Death (More skulls for the skull throne! More blood for the Raven Queen!) allowing her and the Pally to live and aid the Wizardess in finishing off the president and retrieving the Eye of Entax.

They returned to the Shrine of the Argent Heart to rest, divvy up the loot and fence the Eye.

I'm using Gold/Barter spent for XP + Alignment Keys instead of Highlighted stats + Alignment Keys. This seemed work well, as I can pace leveling via Treasure and is more evenly distributed around the party.  It seemed to work well. Everyone leveled at the end of the adventure after doing some shopping.

I was nice to run a 'classic' style of game again. Lots of fun, easy to GM as I got to lean on the 'module' and use my energy to focus on the details rather than the plot or Fronts or whatever. Fronts will be useful next session but having a dungeon, a list of Mobs, and a list of NPC with a situation baked in is a breeze to run. Light, fun and scratches that D&D itch that was the core of my formative RPG experience.

We forgot to make saving throws against higher level Mobs often. I think I only remembered to do so once, despite many of the Mobs being level 2.

I made some changes to the rules. I let them pick their names. I gave them the option of having a few NPC mooks to start with (they act machanically like equipment). Slightly higher starting HP (equal to their Con Score) but gaining a randomized amount thereafter based on their class. Mobs did randomized damage instead of a fixed amount (e.g. 5 dmg becomes 1d10 dmg) which seemed to produce a little more tension. Although, occasionally, the Mobs hit pretty hard, but this is counterbalanced by the fact that sometimes they don't hit hard at all (when they roll under the armor value.) Oh, and we rolled the stats, which gave them better than typical sets as they all where quite lucky.

The first session seemed like just getting a feel for the characters and getting the ball rolling. Looking forward to building on the now established relationships and plot hooks to drive some sandbox play. I need some random tables for treasure and well, everything.

Dungeon World / Re: Gold for XP ?
« on: January 24, 2012, 08:01:02 AM »
I did it today and it allows you to pace advancement as the GM and not as a Player.

It's less random. It's easy to remember and most of the leveling happens at the end of the session / downtime.

blood & guts / Re: what if Read a Sitch/Person worked differently?
« on: January 22, 2012, 08:11:44 AM »
Just that you're 7-9 is too weak. They should get the info, but with a cost or complication, or even just no +1forward. On a miss, you can tell them how they might find out or give them bad info.

Dungeon World / Stat distributions and the d20
« on: January 13, 2012, 03:52:09 AM »
Hey Sage and Adam,

I was wondering why the stat modifiers (Red Book p19) are the way they are? Why not have them map to 3e +/-1 per 2 zeroed on 10? You'd have the change the standard distributions a bit but you could have the similar results. I mention this only because the +2 to a stat at level three may or may not give you a +1 to one of your modifiers. Unlike in AW where a +1 to stat advance is just what it says. When rolling 3D6 for stats, I know what the modifiers are without consulting the chart. That and if I add +2 to my 17 stat there's no value listed for 19.

A different but some what related question: why not use the d20 for move resolution rather than 2D6? AW is great because it only uses 2D6, but DW already has other polyhedral dice. I find the lack of the iconic d20 uhm, lacking.

Anyways, it'd look like this: 8- miss, 9-16 partial hit, 17+ full hit.

Crits/nat20 and fumbles/nat1 could be added as could the ol' take 10.

Just some thoughts.

PS math edit: having reviewed the probability distributions for AW Dice and d20, what the modifiers mean changes a fair bit. Like, with the d20 the odds of a partial hit stay constant unless you've got large values for the modifiers. Whereas with AW Dice, the weight shifts from miss, to partial, to full hit as the modifiers move from negative to positive.

Apocalypse World / Re: Disciplined Engagement and Bluffing
« on: December 11, 2011, 03:06:07 AM »
I think that's kinda the point of the Quran's move, to pull punches. That they get it and no one else does is okay with me.

But, remember, to do it do it. So if the Qurantine's going aggro with a shotgun against someone's temple, the Qurantine's gonna have to be able to explain how they do bingo harm. I think S-harm is fine in these situations.

Eschaton / Re: Citations and Quotations
« on: December 07, 2011, 05:15:02 AM »
"For a long time I had remained apathetic. So sure that my words meant nothing to anyone that I no longer spoke unless circumstances forced me to. So sure that my relations to the world were null that it didn't matter to what I said 'yes'. When I was young frivolity and and trivia had been my weapons; now I did whatever I was told because I was no longer me. That is, the I who was acting was theirs, separate from the I who knew and whom I had known. Lots of eyes were watching me.

That is, the I who had SEXUAL DESIRES had nothing to do with the high IQ/understanding. This IQ used to be high but, since now was corrupted blinded covered over, wants seemed more capable and intelligent than I had known. I found myself at that point, that bottom.

I thought all I could know about was human separation; all I couldn't know, naturally, was death. Moreover, since the I who desired and the eye who perceived had nothing to do with each other and at the same time existed in the same body - mine: I was not possible.


When all that's know is sick, the unknown has to look better. I, whoever I whoever I was, had no choice but to go along with Schreber. I, whoever I was, was going to be a construct."

From Kathy Acker's Empire of the Senseless (1988: 33)

Apocalypse World / Re: Question about Apocalypse World LE Playbooks
« on: December 05, 2011, 05:58:43 PM »
You have my endorsement.

I can do the image thingy.

I don't know anything about layout.

In fact, I think what I do know is how to make layouts worse that just .docs.

blood & guts / Co-MCing?
« on: November 29, 2011, 11:28:33 PM »
Elsewhere, Vx wrote:

"I designed Apocalypse World with Co-GMing in mind. I'll try to write a bit about it during the week maybe. It shouldn't take much!"


Here, on your blog, or whatever.

I'd be extremely interested.


Apocalypse World / Names play-aid sheet?
« on: November 23, 2011, 07:53:39 PM »
It's a one-page MC sheet with every name, in alpha order, from all the play books.

Does anyone have it?

Adam's been looking for it and I'm sure he's be stoked if someone delivered it up like magic.

Apocalypse World / Re: New Playbook? Lost Girl
« on: November 20, 2011, 10:36:36 PM »
Yeah, the Last Child is pretty groovy and not particularly childish, except for the Special and some of the Hx.

I think it might need a reskin to the Oracle.

Apocalypse World / Re: [Playbook] The Maelstrom Ghost Mk2
« on: November 20, 2011, 06:06:06 AM »
Oh, sure. But like 2-harm ap fells NPCs if they suck it up.

That big gang is my gang: I'm the Hardholder.

The fact that you don't get all the basic moves and stats is seriously problematic and it's not really addressed properly.

Apocalypse World / Re: [Playbook] The Maelstrom Ghost Mk2
« on: November 20, 2011, 04:49:06 AM »
I mean invulnerable in the sense of all the weapons that the other PCs can't hurt the Ghost at all. With the Gunlugger, at least it's possible. Moreover, at least the player is saying "I want to kill people with guns" when they take the Gunlugger. The Ghost isn't suppose to fill that role and yet they do it better than the playbooks that should.

I mean, I was recently in a PvP fight with between a Faceless with Rasputin, NOT TO BE FUCKED WITH, and Bloodcrazed and a fucking Maestro D' with Devil with Blade and the Maestro D' almost killed the Faceless. When you Seize, everyone takes harm - sure, the Gunlugger a little less but maybe not if they're going up against a large armored gang.

The Ghost can't participate meaningfully in combat without Hard and ignore guns and knives. So, there's no comparison really.

Apocalypse World / Re: New Playbook? Lost Girl
« on: November 20, 2011, 04:37:58 AM »
That's an apt way to put it!

None of the playbooks specify age. They all basically assume that you're an adult (so, probably no younger than 15 or so.) I agree that age isn't a necessary component of a playbook.

It should still work regardless of gender or age, more or less.

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