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Messages - nemomeme

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The Regiment / Re: The Regiment Alpha Playtest Kit 1.0
« on: March 08, 2012, 06:07:30 PM »
I played a guy with Explosives Expert at GPNW.  I gave the feedback that some kind of mechanical benefit on a 10+ might be nice, especially as you 1) first have to roll that and 2) are expending gear.

I created a distraction and things blowed up real good but my pinned down buddies didn't really get any mechanically substantive relief from the distraction I'd created...

Thoughts? Is that all best covered by Beta GM guidance or might some kind of +1 forward or similar be appropriate?

Dungeon World / Re: Make Camp
« on: March 08, 2012, 05:30:46 PM »
That makes sense, and I had the same thought but didn't go into that with them. 

It was just a weird case where they were making a camp next to a river about a mile outside a village in an area filled with olive groves and deer.

Dungeon World / Re: Make Camp
« on: March 08, 2012, 06:51:29 AM »
When we played, my players asked, "Why the heck do we have to be in a dangerous area to have a chance to forage and not have to consume a ration? That kind of sucks."

I read the move over again, shrugged, and told them not to worry about it - that they weren't in a dangerous area and weren't going to have to worry about rations running out.

Dungeon World / Re: New Monster Building Guideline Weirdness?
« on: February 28, 2012, 04:05:21 AM »
How does this look to people? Is there anything that sticks out as crazy? Can you think of key monster characteristics that aren't covered?

Nothing crazy, no.  But here's my 2 cents based on only two Beta playtests (plus four Basic) so far.  All the damage seems off (high) to me given how I want to consistently apply it on 7-9 H&S's and on Misses when the monsters are narratively established as within range and trying to kill the PCs.

The hitpoints seem a bit high given the case that there's not much damage increase for the PCs between Basic and Beta.  You moved up the bottom of the range.  Were combats too short or were you not happy with the power level of the monsters relative to the PCs in some regard?  The goblin warrior of the Bloodstone Idol dungeon from Basic had 5 hit points which was just a shade too high for my tastes.  Now he has 6-10 hit points depending on GM interpretation.

My baseline for a good humanoid monster in a "cannon fodder" classification for Dungeon World is one where even a Wizard has a *chance* to one-shot a goblin footsoldier with his dagger.  Hence, 4 hit points at most.  I want my Fighters and Paladins to kill those guys a good percentage of the time and get on with the next foe.  Or get on with defending their comrades from incoming damage, or any number of interesting things.

Look at it this way.  If, as I infer elsewhere, your design philosophy is that applying damage is the least interesting thing a monster can do, then the the same should apply to PCs, no?  If you want Dungeon World fights to be at least as much about positioning, i.e. Defying Danger and correctly Discerning Reality and such, to get into the state where they can then assign damage to the monsters, that damage should be *nasty* most of the time when it lands.  When a PC goes through all that interesting stuff and then rolls a "1" or a "2" against that spear-carrier orc with 10 (!) hit points they've shaved only 10-20% of the damage needed to off him.  Well... fuck.  Is that really Dungeon World?  Maybe it is, but I doubt it.  At 10 hit points even a Fighter who's been adventuring for quite awhile is not killing that orc all the time.  That looks off to me.

There is also the principle that it is easier for a GM to increase opposition as needed than it is to dial things back once the fight has begun.  In my second Beta playtest, faced with a large number of bandits in an mine, the PCs retreated to to a pinch point where the bandits could only get at the PCs two at a time. Even with the 1 armor and 8 hitpoints I assigned them (at least 10 by the above rules), the combat overstayed its welcome a bit before I felt I could justify the remaining bandits retreating to fight another day.  This is a case that is going to crop up in dungeons from time to time.

I really like the kind of descriptive questions you're asking and think this is a great direction.

What do you think about meta questions like, "This monster is here on this day but to add to our heroes' name, +nameless, -2 HP"

I will also echo John's "0 armor" comment.

Dungeon World / Re: Dungeon World is...
« on: February 25, 2012, 07:59:20 PM »
I did, and others definitely should too.  It is helpful. 

It was that, combined with posts here and some tone confusion I've seen in playtesting that prompted this post.

Dungeon World / Re: Dungeon World is...
« on: February 25, 2012, 07:48:58 PM »
nemomeme, are you more interested in various peoples' opinions, or the designers'? I don't want to spoil the thread.

I guess other peoples' opinions initially?  And then if you see something you think is interesting or curious you can comment or not later?  Thanks, sage.

Dungeon World / Re: Dungeon World is...
« on: February 25, 2012, 06:43:08 PM »
I want to make it clear that I don't think it's important for designers to provide this kind of detailed blueprint to anyone other than themselves for most game development.

It's the baggage and disparate visions associated with more than thirty years of dungeon adventuring games that makes me think it might be useful for a game like this while it's in beta and while people are beginning to playtest and provide feedback on the beta 1.1 version.  A game that is also weaving in some awesome Nu-school tech and technique.

That baggage is there when players sit down to a game of Dungeon World in a way that is not present for Apocalypse World and the final game text should be cognizant of and reflect on that.

Dungeon World / Dungeon World is...
« on: February 25, 2012, 06:24:27 PM »
There's a lot of suggestions in this forum and elsewhere about things that might be tweaked for Dungeon World Beta.  Some of these suggestions are reasonably good mechanically.  Others, especially those offered in brainstorming mode, are awful.  Or they transparently do not fit the current direction of the game, either thematically or on a crunch spectrum.

As I understand it, while it's maybe close to finished, the Dungeon World XP system is still in flux.  This indicates to me that what Dungeon World is about is still in flux; the reward system for PCs is a core element of a role-playing game like this.

Is there somewhere a clear mission statement about the kind of game Dungeon World wants to be that Adventurer's Guild people can look at?  I suspect Sage and Adam have a very clear idea about the kind of game they are designing but reading some playtesters' suggestions, I feel like some of us have a much less clear idea of what Dungeon World wants to be.  Or maybe it's clear to people but they can't help going into hack mode to create a game that's more to their own group's vision of what a dungeon game should be, even though it doesn't really align with what Sage and Adam are going for.

I really adore Dungeon World.  I have several ideas and criticisms regarding different parts of system but if I had a clearer vision of what Dungeon World is I, (and perhaps others), would know when to simply shut the fuck up.  And Sage and Adam might benefit from having fewer suggestions that are not useful to them.

To be clear, I'm not talking about "Dungeon World is a world of fantastic adventure.  A world of magic, gods, demons, Good and Evil.  Brave heroes venture into the most dangerous corners of the land in search of gold and glory."  That's clear enough.

I'm talking about the feel of the game with respect to what editions of D&D or OSR-clones it looks to.  I'm talking about a spectrum of tactical decision making, a spectrum of lethality, a spectrum of niche protection, a spectrum of the importance of gear relative to character abilities, a spectrum of detail, a spectrum of exploration versus party dynamics versus combat.  Those kinds of things.

Do you sometimes offer suggestions for changes that you suspect are perpendicular to the current direction of the game?  Do you think the skeleton of the game is transparent and solid enough that you will feel confident in hacking the game to your tastes when the game is "complete"?

What do you think Dungeon World is?

Dungeon World / Re: "The Enemy Makes An Attack Against You"
« on: February 25, 2012, 02:13:09 AM »
I don't know whether the Thief player considered "more promising" narration. He's still going to have to roll if he does something. In my mind there was no safe Move once the Thief was on his back with a ghoul slavering over this throat, and he'd already gotten into that position via Attacks from misses and 7-9 H&Ss; the only Move that makes sense to me if the Thief misses again is the hard one to do damage. The safe maneuver was to instead look pleadingly at the Cleric (and to me for my okay) even though the Cleric had just done a couple cool things.

Maybe it was just a perfect storm of me assigning too high of damage for my ghouls, the Thief going ahead of the rest of the party for one round, the Thief H&S'ing early w/o benefit of a Defender, and a Paladin that decided to give the Thief a +1 forward with his 7-9 Defend hold instead keeping it for a re-direct or a half-damage when he did join the fray. If we hadn't *just* finished character creation for a new game that I wanted to make sure these buddies would enjoy, guys I hadn't gamed with for a few months, I probably would have said "Piotr (the Cleric) is busy dealing with his situation. We're back in time a few moments and *you've* got to do something to get out of this mess." And then had him roll and risk hitting him again for 8 damage.

It definitely felt lame. Letting the Cleric go again and thereby keep the Thief alive felt lame and having the Thief make the Last Breath move would have felt even more lame.

I told another Adventurer's Guild member about some of the issues I'd seen with combat and he wrote, "Damage as a hard move is a challenge for me. It feels transgressive, like bullying."

Without some sort of changes, I think it's going to feel like that to me sometimes too for a Step On Up X-World game.
Regardless of *my* comfort level, I wouldn't be surpised to hear of other situations where PCs are looking to the gal nearby who's at full hitpoints to do something (again?) rather than stepping up to try something heroic and interesting themselves when they're in the soup.  This is the exact opposite dynamic from even the grittiest of the D&D OSR clones where doing *something* is always better than doing nothing when you're in dire straits, when you're at that that moment where heroes and the most enthralling of war stories are born.  Or to hear of other GMs who are uncomfortable pulling the damage trigger in a pattern unpredictable to their players.

Dungeon World / Re: "The Enemy Makes An Attack Against You"
« on: February 21, 2012, 01:25:00 AM »
I ran a 1.1 game Sunday.  Three PCs.  A Paladin, a Cleric a Thief.

There was a combat against ghouls early on.  Five of them.  3 HP & 8 damage as I'd settled on it, with a couple Moves as determined by the nature of the ghouls in their environment.  It was the Thief with two of the ghouls for the first "round" with the Paladin, the Cleric, and three more ghouls joining in thereafter.

I felt like I had to really pull my punches at a couple points to keep the Thief from having to make the Last Breath Move forty-five minutes after he'd been created.  Even with the Cleric's Turn Undead Move about.

Worse, there was a narrative/fun break down as the Paladin and the Cleric had done a couple things each and it felt like the Thief player's "turn" to perhaps do something about the ghoul slavering over his throat but he indicated he felt a strong disincentive to do anything because he only had 6 hit points and the ghouls "hit for 8 damage."  I'd already had the ghouls make a non-damaging Move against him on his prior Miss.  He looked to the nearby Cleric character to bail him out of his predicament again.  The flow of the story just... stopped.

That's when I realized it doesn't only matter that the GM feels confident about how they're consistently applying their Moves & Damage.  If the player isn't sure how the rules work with regard to when they're going to get hit with a lethal dose of damage, the game can grind to a bit of a halt.  And this is with a friend I've been role-playing with for more than ten years with a lot of trust between us.

All three of the players felt doing a Hack and Slash Move was a huge risk if you were wounded.  We carried on with the session.  I think everyone had a great time overall but I didn't initiate a second combat even though there were a couple opportunities where I might have.

I freely admit my opposition budget may have been off as I feel my way forward with a new game.  But the decisions of what to do for "The Enemy Makes An Attack Against You" when the PC is down to their last hp is still going to be present for me as the rules stand.

There are some interesting thoughts in this thread and in some of the others about various alternatives.  A couple seem promising, most others feel very "off" to me right off the bat.

Also, I'm sure you're aware the Cleric's Turn Undead still references monster levels.

One thing I like about monster levels with regard to some of these possible solutions is that they have the potential to provide an additional dial to the GM in monster creation.  Like monsters of a higher level threaten PCs this way but monsters of equal level threaten PCs that way.  (modifiers to death rolls or armor or -1 forwards or stat drain options, etc.)

Dungeon World / Re: Last Breath
« on: February 21, 2012, 12:47:37 AM »
Those injuries sound really painful.

On the contrary, you could hit your 15 your 11 and your 8 stat the first three times you "died" and feel zero mechanical effect to any of your modifiers.

Not saying that as an argument for or against a rule like that, but simply to clarify what it is doing.

Dungeon World / Re: New Monster Building Guideline Weirdness?
« on: February 19, 2012, 06:06:28 PM »
That's a good point that I've been thinking about too, Mike.

Somewhere in the beta process, I think Adam and Sage will want a "Keep on the Shadowfell" baseline dungeon with fixed damage, armor and numbers of monsters in each "room" and ask playtesters to use that as written and report back how it goes with a fixed number of PCs. 

That might not be how most would want DW dungeons to be written/created/run going forward but it might be necessary for playtesting.

And maybe the dungeon should be for 5th level so more mid-level playtesting is done.

Dungeon World / Re: "The Enemy Makes An Attack Against You"
« on: February 19, 2012, 05:57:05 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far.

I'm about two hours from rolling dice with a bunch of friends who mostly play 3.X & 4E.  It will be their first exposure to DW.

Over the last few weeks I kept thinking about "raise the death flag/mark XP" type solutions but kept coming back to, "Naw, screw that - they raised the death flag when they decided to go on this adventure." 

I just need a way to arbitrate this consistently, something I simply didn't need and was not needed in AW.  Unless the PCs turn on each other or the fiction puts them in a spot like falling out of a hot air balloon, it is *really* hard to kill PCs in Apocalypse World because they can almost always "level-drain" a stat instead.  And that works really well for AW because the game isn't really about challenging the PCs with death in pursuit of their goals.  In AW there're almost always fates *worse* than death that you can throw into the mix that just aren't often there in a dungeon. 

Dungeon World, at least for the way I want to run/play it and the expectations most people I am likely to play it with, is a very different beast.

I really don't want to roll damage dice.  Not today anyway.

I am going to do what I tended to do with AW which is the first miss in a conflict/fight (or 7-9 on a H&S) is always setting up for Harm/Damage fictionally.  Even when I've already forecast that. (future doom/badness).  But then every miss (or 7-9 on a H&S) after that is Damage + fiction.  And I'm going to tell them that's how I'm handling it today.  With AW I was totally comfortable mixing it up.  Not with DW with this group, I think.

I think I'll have to dial back the damage on my creatures slightly and take a couple of them out of some areas as a result.

I wonder whether a small part of a long term solution is making Death care about CON for the Death roll.  Players would get to make a decision and flag for the GM how much they care that their PC lives, and it would be at an opportunity cost with other stats.

Dungeon World / "The Enemy Makes An Attack Against You"
« on: February 19, 2012, 05:12:24 AM »
"On a 79, you deal your damage to the enemy and the enemy makes an attack against you."

I am curious how often GMs are interpreting this Move result as "the enemy you are already fictionally engaged in mortal combat with at Close range does their damage to you."

How often do they instead do something like drive the PC back or do some kind of narrative only monster move like "attach to someone" etc.

Do you interpret monster Moves like "Catch something or someone on fire," "Spray forth acid, eating away at metal and flesh," "Pierce armor with sharp front teeth," or "Throw someone," etc. as also inflicting damage or do you more likely to interpret these as "Show Signs of Doom" and not deal damage yet? More importantly, how do you decide?

I seem to have zero issues making these kinds of Moves and decisions when running AW for people I know who've played a lot of "hippy" games but am much more ambivalent when running it for people whose experience is primarily D&D.  They want to know just how the fuck am I deciding whether or not to do 9 damage to the guy that has 8 hit points left or instead say, "the lizardman's club batters your shield and forces you back.  Your arm goes numb and you see another lizardman closing in with a net!" following an "8" result on Hack & Slash.

Part of me is asking because I think I'm suggesting elsewhere that Adam and Sage really make certain to get their damage numbers calibrated right and part of me is thinking, "maybe that doesn't even matter so much for Dungeon World when the lethality of a given scenario is going to so strongly hinge on GM convention."

Dungeon World / Re: New Monster Building Guideline Weirdness?
« on: February 19, 2012, 04:07:41 AM »
A question and some more damage thoughts.

Where does the 5/7/9 "base monster class" reference come from?  Is it not yet revealed or did I miss it in the Beta 1.1 doc or a thread here?

I'm running a Beta 1.1 playtest tomorrow but I'm setting the following guideline for what a scary single opponent looks like (not a faceless goblin or kobold, etc).  For my preferences, such a monster should *juuuust* one-shot kill a 1st level wizard who put an 8 in CON and was foolish enough to not be somewhere the party fighter could Defend him.  I think that means they do 12 damage!  What are other people thinking?
I think you guys are going to have a raft of people interested in making content/dungeons for Dungeon World and I think you should really concentrate on getting the monster/opposition build templates/rules as transparent as possible so that people are comfortable both in making content on-the-fly and for more carefully wrought scenarios.  One person's cannon fodder/lieutenants/bosses in a scenario intended for levels 4-6 should be similar to another persons.  To this end I think you should at least consider bringing back monster levels.  If not that, some other really clear scaling templates.  I don't think I can overstate how much interest in and audience/third-party creator potential are tied to this.

Maybe your current design direction will facilitate this just fine.  I'm just worried about it because I want to see a thousand dungeons bloom.

"Oh I see Maria has S3: The Idols of Blood coming out this fall...  You just *know* that'll be good."

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