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Author Topic: Playbooks  (Read 17745 times)

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2010, 02:30:18 PM »
Thanks, Bret, I'm starting to agree with you. As I mentioned up thread, I just really like the clear player directions playbooks give you, and the way they interact with each other. If I could figure out a way to get something similar out of customized qualities-based characters, I'd really be cookin with gas.

Antisinecurist

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2010, 11:50:10 PM »
Archetype books which are collections of Qualities for characters.

Depending on how many Qualities a given archetype contains, you could "buy" some or all at start up. And you can also mix-and-match or choose only parts of an archetype.

So you still have playbooks, but with the flexibility and coolness of Qualities.

Maybe?

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2010, 04:48:22 PM »
I was thinking something along those lines, but I know that whenever I saw "archetypes" in traditional RPG books I sneered and thought "I'm too creative for that, I'll make a character from scratch". I think presentation here might make a big difference, something like "if you know AW, then trust me that these are good stuff" and/or "I strongly recommend using these unless you have a particular concept in mind".

FigureFour

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2010, 05:40:08 PM »
I like what you're doing with Qualities in the other thread, and I like that more than I like Apocalypse World style Playbooks. I think maybe Playbooks would be a good starting point but man how would you cram all the really great concepts of the protagonists into niches? Like the Noble bastard turned Night's Watchman or the reviled dwarf noble turned general turned fugitive.

Qualities are the way to go here I think.
I like qualities, but I like Playbooks too. I wouldn't want to see playbooks disappear completely. Besides, those characters obviously just went past 5 advances and changed playbooks, right?

Bret

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2010, 08:22:52 PM »
Yeah, you could see it that way, but I think Qualities are SO BIG that I'd have to see them implemented in a Playbook because my suspicion is that they make Playbooks redundant.
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FigureFour

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2010, 04:06:11 PM »
Hmmm . . .
I've always thought of Qualities as modifying a playbook instead of a character creation system on their own. Basically adding mechanical weight to some of those lists of traits in the playbooks.

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2010, 06:12:03 PM »
Figurefour,

   The qualities I'm envisioning for this hack, at this point at least, are a little more comprehensive than that. I'm thinking that they will be somewhat like 'mini-moves', in that they expand on your basic moves' options.

Here's an idea I just had while responding to this: perhaps 'playbooks' (or the equivalent) will be a set of moves based on what your 'job' or 'social role' is. Qualities will be where the customization comes in predominantly (with later advances allowing moves from other playbooks, switching playbooks, et cetera).

So, it might work that you pick a 'fighty person' playbook if you want to be any of a range of water dancer, knight, sellsword, or whatever. They way you distinguish between these would largely be through qualities, rather than oodles and and oodles of specific playbook moves.

In other words, I want the character creation to be fairly modular, but for each module to be distinct and whole enough to make sense and be worthwhile.

Antisinecurist

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2010, 06:53:18 PM »
And you could have qualities that expand playbook moves instead of basic moves, I imagine, and so on. Qulities that affect your stuff, qualities that affect... well, near-anything. It's pretty flexible.

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2010, 06:56:50 PM »
Right! Exactly! That's what I'm going for, at least. But it's a tall order. I need to knuckle down and actually make some stuff that doesn't use words like 'fighty' and 'sneakthief' :)

Christian

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2010, 08:12:52 PM »
The qualities definitely need to follow the "prescriptive and descriptive" path.  That is, if you have "Nobility 5", people treat you that way, but if you get screwed out of your title in-game, you lose that quality and go to "Outlaw 1".  Right? :)

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2010, 08:39:47 PM »
Super good call, Christian. The whole prescriptive/descriptive breakdown in the rules made me really happy, and not just because I'm tired of feeling like one of 3 people who uses those two terms in everyday conversation the way they're used in the rules. It's also just good stuff :)

That being said, it'd come with the same MC caveat that the 'scriptives get in AW: don't take away stuff that makes the characters cool and themselves, and remember your job is to make things not boring, not to fuck them over necessarily. So, yeah, if you get screwed out of your title, you lose that quality, but it damn well better make life more interesting for your character and not just happen because the MC doesn't know what to do with your success as a schemer and maneuverer.

Simon JB

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2010, 02:22:17 PM »
Strictly speaking, I believe a bannerman is a knight who is responsible for raising an army in his lords service. The term comes from his right to carry his own banner into war to act as a rallying point for his troops.
I guess the playbook could be expanded to handle guys like mercenary captains, who have a similar gig but aren't sworn to a lord and therefore aren't strictly speaking "bannermen" though.

You might have left the playbook aproach for something more modular, but still, if we keep thinking playbooks, did you consider this:

Lord
You lord over lands and men, yadda yadda. Choose one:
  • You are a bannerman and owe fealty to a higher lord.
  • You are a high lord, second only to the King.

I've only read a third of the first book, but I get the impression bannermen are definitively 'lords', just not high lords like the wardens of entire regions. And with good reason, since feudal power comes from lording over lands and having soldiers in your service.

And for something parallelling the driver, wouldn't it be awesome with an Outrider type, one with his horse, scouting and screening an army's flanks? A virtuoso on the horseback?

Jeff Russell

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2010, 03:57:45 AM »
Hey Simon,

  That might be a good approach! I've sort of let this simmer (okay, okay, I've been doing other things and occasionally feeling guilty about my lack of visible progress, but I have been thinking about it) and I'm somewhat torn.

On the one hand, as a generic concept, I love modularity, and I think it might help get the sort of variety of characters you see in SOIF.

On the other hand, having played some for reals AW, I really really appreciate how the playbooks a) give clear but not overly constraining direction to what the players are about and the sort of conflicts they should gravitate towards, and b) they concisely convey the world in intuitive bits and pieces. With a game set in an established setting, this latter consideration might not be as necessary, but would be helpful for people who get pitched a highly political historical-feeling fantasy game, rather than knowing Martin's work already.

The other AW related thought I've been having recently, and I think will *really* apply to SOIF is that the MC's job is soooo much easier when a) the characters have strong agendas and b) the situation generating moves come into play. The very first session I ran, the Hocus's followers provided loads of juicy NPC-PC triangles, potential conflicts and future badness, and so forth. When I ran again and all I had to work with was a successful operator's roll where the player played it safe and only did one gig, it was much harder.

All of this is a way of saying I'm very fond of building in MC fodder into the character types, and a purely 'pick your moves' modular approach might have the players avoiding such moves unless the potential gain is just too darn juicy to pass up.

So, to come back around to your suggestion, having written this post, I'm liking it more and more. I might make a number of playbooks that then have subtypes (come to think of it, like the monsterhearts playbooks). So you can be a high lord or a bannerman if you pick "Lord", you can be a sellsword or a sworn sword if you pick "Stabby Guy", et cetera.

And then maybe have some optional "make your own" rules akin to the custom moves and what not in "Advanced Fuckery", like the way Lady Blackbird gives you pregens and a super tight opening situation, but later on gives you complete character creation rules.

Simon JB

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Re: Playbooks
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2010, 08:44:07 PM »
(okay, okay, I've been doing other things and occasionally feeling guilty about my lack of visible progress, but I have been thinking about it)

Never feel guilty! :)

Quote
On the other hand, having played some for reals AW, I really really appreciate how the playbooks a) give clear but not overly constraining direction to what the players are about and the sort of conflicts they should gravitate towards, and b) they concisely convey the world in intuitive bits and pieces. With a game set in an established setting, this latter consideration might not be as necessary, but would be helpful for people who get pitched a highly political historical-feeling fantasy game, rather than knowing Martin's work already.

The other AW related thought I've been having recently, and I think will *really* apply to SOIF is that the MC's job is soooo much easier when a) the characters have strong agendas and b) the situation generating moves come into play. The very first session I ran, the Hocus's followers provided loads of juicy NPC-PC triangles, potential conflicts and future badness, and so forth. When I ran again and all I had to work with was a successful operator's roll where the player played it safe and only did one gig, it was much harder.

All of this is a way of saying I'm very fond of building in MC fodder into the character types, and a purely 'pick your moves' modular approach might have the players avoiding such moves unless the potential gain is just too darn juicy to pass up.

So, to come back around to your suggestion, having written this post, I'm liking it more and more. I might make a number of playbooks that then have subtypes (come to think of it, like the monsterhearts playbooks). So you can be a high lord or a bannerman if you pick "Lord", you can be a sellsword or a sworn sword if you pick "Stabby Guy", et cetera.

And then maybe have some optional "make your own" rules akin to the custom moves and what not in "Advanced Fuckery", like the way Lady Blackbird gives you pregens and a super tight opening situation, but later on gives you complete character creation rules.

If you will permit me some more opinions on your hack, I think you're spot on here. As mentioned upthread, the option of switching character types after a bit of play covers a lot of your need for complex characters moving between different strata of the world, especially with the possibility of having rather different options within the types.

Oh, and, a shameless suggestion! Consider making a playbook for 'Lordling', for high-born youths. This would of course be quite different from the Lord, since they don't hold the power themselves, but have lots of connections to different people with different skills. Maybe with a move like the fucking thieves but for finding people with certain skills or professions. It would be wonderful to see this kind of character enter the game, and then, when the time is right, switch playbooks in any number of directions, depending on what comes out in play!

And maybe pairing that with an 'Urchin' type, as well! Imagine starting as that and later turning into a Sword, or Spider, or Lord, even!