Author Topic: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions  (Read 11349 times)

wightbred

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Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« on: June 23, 2012, 01:42:15 PM »
Just finished my first playtest of the version of the Number Appearing supplement I've been sharing. Will post a writeup after I get some sleep, but here's the gist:
- Dungeon design went really well, but we thought of a couple of improvements.
- Basic play was great, but as the Lycanthrope became a Greater Lycanthrope some weird interactions started to happen on triggers. Worked out a solution that simplifies the race sheet and gets more shapeshifting flavor in (like the Druid).
- Hill Giant became a Restless Dead seamlessly. But then he died again and we needed a new bargain with Death. Hard to think of a bargain for an already undead creature on the spot, but we got there.

Let me know if you'd like a copy, and feel free to leave suggestions or typo shoutouts here. (Already picked up the ones I got via G+ so no need to repeat.)

Antisinecurist

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 06:31:43 PM »
Hey there! Super excited for this and would love to check out the playtest...
AEDsoftware AT gmail DOT com is the email if you'd like to send one. Already started my game, so it might not be used right now, but I'd love to work in some of the content.

Thanks!
- Alex

wightbred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 11:43:36 PM »
Our playtest:

We made a forest dungeon, the 100 hectare wood, with a cramped giant tree stump full of goblins, a group of hill giants and a bandit leader (Shank) running the show.

Two players:
- GT played Pain, a Goblin Werespider Ranger with a Stirge animal companion. Definitely female, to avoid any death in lust incidents with other spiders...
- Jim played Princess, a Hill Giant Thief. All the inns in the local village are named after Princess, but we aren't sure why yet...

As a first adventure, Shank summoned and sent the two of them to find Brin the Hairytoe slave who had not returned from a task at the hanging tree. Pain tracked him to the pit traps at the crossroads, where Brin had fallen in, and then been captured by Trollbabe the Troll. Princess talked nervously to the always hungry Trollbabe, and learnt that Brin had told a tale and put Trollbabe to sleep then escaped to get on with his task for Shank.

They travelled on to the hanging tree and found two Earthcutting Sunlovers (human farmers) and their dog looking cautiously at a small body lying directly under a larger hanging body. Princess slipped quietly away, but Pain stood gawping (the first in a series of failures that almost saw her level up). The Sunlovers advanced on the apparently lone goblin with their pitchforks, but she fled and the dog chased and caught her leg and mauled her again and again until she changed into hybrid goblin-spider with the pain. Princess jumped out before the Sunlovers could advance further and smashed one on the head with her club. Princess eventually knocked the first Earthcutter out and used its body to bludgeon the other into unconsciousness. She then went and killed the dog and rescued Pain from the mauling.

Now the two of them turned back to the two bodies at the crossroads. Princess went in and tried to search Brin's body which was lying under the tree, but Brin jumped up suddenly and asked why she was going through his pockets. Naturally Princess replied "what have you got in your pockets?" Brin jumped in and bit Princess messily on the hand so Princess smashed him dead. Pain was standing back and working out what happened before they arrived: that Brin had climbed onto the body to retrieve something; that the hanging man was a ghoul who bit Brin and then dropped him; and that Brin had turned into a ghoul. They started to talk to the hanging ghoul, Farley, who was trying to get them to cut him down. Eventually they decided whatever was happening was out of their jurisdiction, and they took Brin's body and went back to see Shank.

Shank was a little surprised to see Pain as a goblin-spider, but after their story sent them back to kill Farley and bring him the message Farley was carrying. When they got back to the hanging tree a Heretic Sunloving Butcher (human cleric) was torturing Farley by turning him and watching him spin. Princess snuck up and attacked, but they faced a tough fight until Pain shot the Heretic in the back with her bow. Princess took the Heretics armor as bracelets and then started beating Farley like a Piñata. Farley begged for mercy and then Pain set him free accidentally with a failed called shot that hit the rope instead. As Farley ran off into the corn he threw his boot back at them with the message inside. Pain read it, even though she wasn't supposed to, and learnt that Shank had agreed with Farley's master to kill the local Sunlover lord as he rode past the hanging tree the next night - an attack that would likely kill most of the goblins. As they travelled back they had some shenanigans with Trollbabe who killed and stole the Heretic's horse.

Skipping ahead a bit... Pain didn't warn the goblins so most of them died in the attack when the Sunlover lord was killed. Princess died in the attack, but Brin's bite let her come back as a Restless Dead Mohrg on a roll of 7-9 on Last Breath.

Picking back up now they are Level 4-5... Our heroes discover a plot when they recapture Farley for his boss to kill Shank and not pay him by getting the new lord to hire Butchers (adventurers). Princess carries Farley suspended by his noose rope to the lord's castle and tells him of the plot and they shake Farley until he admits his boss is the Mayor of the local village. They then go back to Shank who tells them to hold up the Butchers and he will send help. An epic fight with three Butchers ensues, and Princess is killed, again, and Pain is down to 7 HP. But their forest home, or what's left of it, is saved.

wightbred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:56:01 AM »
So the playtest went pretty well. Some tweaks and typos, but generally OK.

One thing that didn't was the move to Greater Lycanthope by Pain. There was confusion between the banes and triggers and it was generally to complicated. Here's my writeup of an alternative approach which completely dumps banes and has a single trigger mechanism. Now, to kill a lycanthrope you get them to normal form where they can't regenerate. Also worked in Marshall's Gift move. Keen to hear suggestions.

All Lycanthropes get these four moves:

o   Three forms: You can change from your normal form into the form of an animal and a hybrid form which combines the best of both. In animal form you and your possessions meld into a perfect copy of the animal and you have their innate abilities and weaknesses. You still use your normal stats but some moves may be harder to trigger—a wolf will find it hard to open a door. In hybrid form you have animal abilities and all your own possession.

o   Chaotic form: Triggers outside your control cause you to change and stay in a new form. Normal form triggers take precedence, then animal and then hybrid. So you can only become a hybrid if there are no current normal or animal triggers. You change back to normal form when you are not affect by any triggers.

Choose five triggers:
1.   Two that change you to normal form.
2.   One that changes you to animal form.
3.   Two that change you to hybrid form.

Your trigger options are:
o   The full moon
o   No moon
o   Below half hit points
o   Inebriation
o   Anger
o   Fear
o   Passion
o   Close to fire
o   Close to silver
o   Close to cold iron
o   Close to wolfsbane

o   Diseased bite: When in animal or hybrid forms your bite does damage as Class (range Hand) and a creature that is bitten can turn into Lycanthrope if they are brought to the threshold of death. When a companion takes their last breath and rolls a 7-9, you may offer them your 'gift' of transformation to a Lycanthrope as though you were death itself.

o   Lycanthropic Regeneration: When you are in hybrid or animal forms: heal 2 hit points whenever you roll a 10+; and restore your hit points to 1d6 after a short rest instead of making a Last Breath move.

Greater lycanthrope Compendium class gets this:

o   Illusion of Control: While you are not affected by any triggers, you can change to any of your three forms at will.

John B.

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 02:35:25 AM »
I'm really enjoying the playtest doc so far. One small thing I've noticed is that throughout the text when you refer to adding a stat modifier, you don't capitalize the three-letter abbreviation (e.g., you write "roll+Cha" instead of "roll+CHA"). I'm not sure if that's technically a typo, but it's not consistent with the main DW text, so I thought I'd mention it.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts later after I finish reading it and hopefully playtest it. (To my surprise, my 9-year-old daughter is thrilled by the idea of playing a ratman, er, excuse me, ratwoman ranger with a swarm of rats as her animal companion(s).)

-John B.

wightbred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 03:20:24 AM »
Good pickup John. My capitalisation needs some work across the board, so I'll add this to the list.

Yeah, I added added Ratman even though it is not in DW because I love the idea of them with a rat swarm.

Hmmm. What's an alternative to Ratman that would work? Ratling does but might hit copyright with GW. Ratperson sounds lame. Maybe Mousling as a homage to Mouse Guard. Any other options?

We usually find playing our goblins as a single gender more fun.

John B.

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 03:45:45 AM »
What's an alternative to Ratman that would work? Ratling does but might hit copyright with GW. Ratperson sounds lame. Maybe Mousling as a homage to Mouse Guard. Any other options?

Is Ratkin copyrighted? A quick Google search shows the term has been used by White Wolf, Pathfinder, and Wizardry 8, plus I remember it was used in Shadow of Yesterday, so it's probably okay, right?

-John B.

stras

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 03:48:42 AM »
I'd have them always use a plural pronoun and refer to themselves as 'The Swarm' or 'Children of the Rat God'.  Maybe 'Vermin'.

mease19

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »
Rattus?

rubiconium

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 05:41:54 PM »
Thanks for sending me the playtest! I am trying to get some players together for to play it through. I know that my regular group back at school would love to play with this supplement. And sorry if any of this is nit-picky or pedantic.

Typos/Usage/Readability
Under "Possible True Facts" for Marauding Hordes, I think "bloody rights" is supposed to be "bloody rites".

In the blurb on Towering Brutes, I think the sentence "A tree in the forest cannot be felled easily, and nor can these towering brutes." seems a bit off. I think the consecutive conjunctions of "and nor" do it.

The Lycanthropic, Trollish, and Vampiric Regeneration confused me at first. Maybe state outright that the trigger for regaining 1d6 hitpoints is reaching zero hitpoints.

General Impressions

I liked how the Trollish, Lycanthropic, and Vampiric Regeneration powers give a conditional protection from death.

I liked all of the compendium classes, but The Chief stood out to me as particularly cool.

I liked the nonstandard lycanthrope creatures, like snakes and spiders, and that you make it easy to add creatures. I suspect one of my players would love to play as a were-bird.

I like everything about the “I knew your grandfather” move.

The “Transformation via Last Breath” is awesome. It is exactly the sort of choice I would want to give—it isn’t necessarily an outright disadvantage, but it carries serious consequences.

I am looking forward to seeing how these races interact with classes. I’m curious how a skeleton druid’s shapeshifting might pan out.

I have to give the caveat that I haven't had the chance to play through this yet, but it seems like Lycanthropes, even with the rules you posted, are much more mechanically complex than any other class. 
Maybe just have one trigger a roll to resist, and on a high roll, the lycanthrope can choose between full transformation, partial transformation, and negative effects, and on the partial hit and miss, they have fewer choices.

The "Ancient Dead" class name and the "I knew your grandfather" move don't seem to match up with the Compendium Class requirement, especially since the other compendium classes have such a tight thematic focus.

wightbred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 06:58:32 AM »
Thanks all. Great feedback, I think I have all of this in.

John B - tell your daughter the Ratman is now Ratkin just because of her.

I'm using your usernames in my thank you shoutouts, unless you've like something else.

Keep the suggestions coming as you see them. Only a few days left to get this right.

watergoesred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 10:40:08 AM »
This really is awesome sauce!

o   Illusion of Control: While you are not affected by any triggers, you can change to any of your three forms at will.
I don't get this advancement move. Or at least, I didn't realise from the other moves that you couldn't change between forms at will.

Is chaotic form meant to be the only way to trigger transformation? I got that the three triggers were sufficient for a transformation, but not that they were necessary. 

wightbred

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 11:27:08 AM »
Good point, need to fix the wording and make that clear.

My aim is that with a regular lycanthrope you are a slave only to your triggers, like an early infected person would be, which balances the power of regeneration. With experience (Greater Lycanthrope) you get some additional control, but can still be forced by triggers.

Interesting that Lycanthropy is proving so difficult, but I'm happy with the Vampire already. Maybe if I moved to a Lycanthropic Thrall. Hmmm...

stras

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 02:34:54 PM »
Wight.  I heart were-things of all breeds alot.  Where can I take a gander at a playtest type thingy?  I don't know if I can help, but maybe my random ramblings can shed inspiration.

Murgh Bpurn

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Re: Number Appearing playtest and suggestions
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 08:53:03 PM »
I've got an online session planned for this Saturday, is a new version of the pdf going to be available, if not could you post a list of the errata / changes?

Thanks, Phil.