|Eow Links 89|
Eow Links 89
"Eow" for End Of Week. TTRPG Links I gathered during the week. This is iteration 89.
My favourite for this week is Stealth Turns, "add procedure to sneaking in a way that makes it feel more like a Thief or Splinter Cell game than a roll you make to turn invisible"
The “trick” being: sympathizing as hard as I can alongside the players and treating myself as much a victim of circumstance as they are. No wicked cackle, no gleeful sadism (I mean yes of course both of those things are happening but only inside my head!), just a very sincere I am so sorry, look at what the game is making me do. I think maybe it helps them embrace what’s happening, whereas a mean guy being mean evokes more confrontational vibes.
. Solving problems with tactical infinity
. Exploring an interesting world
. Seeing a story emerge as a result of our own actions
You’ve met the two warbands in a previous post: the Cannibals led by the vicious slaughterer Janos, and the Undeadites led by mummified barbarian Queen Heldu. Here are the warbands and their starting warband sheets (empty sheet is from the Forbidden Psalm book)
Originally she was obviously some sort of demon related to the night. She is not listed as a "Lord" so we assume she must be of higher rank along with Lolth and Zuggtmoy. Obviously, the name caught my attention then as it does now. Though there is almost nothing about her in any products outside of the MMII.
Those who safeguard these training methods are rigid in their orthodoxy and will guard them dearly but there are always rebels and heretics at the fringes...
My concern in this regard is the rapidity of the development. How long have we been playing around with this technology? 5 years? What will happen if we fastforward 10 years from now?
Last train out of Warsaw by Jason Morningstar is a free (as in beer) game. It follows what happens around a train that, in the first days of the Nazi occupation of Poland, leaves Warsaw for the romanian border and is full of refugees fleeing the city about to capitulate.
Players are prone to mechanical thinking. They often start with the character creation section of the rulebook, and they think mechanically about this or that ability. No thank you.
Looking at the long list of games played we see a lot more variety than in the anglosphere — while this is a list of all games played the fact that D&D tops out at 52% is very interesting. I would have expected that to be ~75% at least if the question is 'what games have you played'.
I’m working on a series about how I build sandbox campaigns.
Every player takes on the role of a character who interacts with and explores a world described by the Game Leader. The character’s capabilities are defined by their potential and advantages.
. Potential is how much a character can do
. Advantages are what they can do and how well they do it
My stealth turn doesn’t seek to solve or even change that: one of the skills a player can have is Sneak, and it works exactly how you’re thinking. What it does do is try to add procedure to sneaking in a way that makes it feel more like a Thief or Splinter Cell game than a roll you make to turn invisible.
First of all, something I consider a golden rule, not just in sneaking, but in all adjudication that happens in a game: Just-In-Time rolling. Arnold K goes into detail, but the gist of it is: never roll when the action happens, roll when the consequences of the action matters.
Willpower is another thing where it gets a bit odd. Willpower is used to power spells, but also by various other talents used by other characters. But the main way to get Willpower is to suffer damage to an attribute when you pushed a skill check and a 1 came up. The only other way is to get 1 Willpower point when you return back to your base after an adventure. 1 point. If you play a spellcaster and don’t want to get all bruised up by plenty of dangerous exercise, you need to find opportunity to cause yourself mental stress.
More exciting fights leave many monsters standing until the last round, when most of the monsters fall in a turning tide of battle. So hindering the players’ ability to focus fire not only helps keep more monsters fighting, it also helps keep combat interesting to the end.
This will mostly be a photo post — over that of a long written account. So my Thaumaturge and his Sigilist opponent is going into the Maze of Malcor for treasure and glory. And we've finished the first battle — a fairly brutal affair.
Like Michael Moorcock, I'm not as certain as Livingstone that Big Brother would necessarily oppose the escapism of RPGs, since it might help to distract one from the shackles of everyday life under an oppressive regime.
What I love about this setup is that I can instantly ditch set item prices. I have converted a lot of the D&D items to Gil within this paradigm, but when it comes down to figuring out how much some item should cost that isn’t listed, I’ve got some lines I can color within.
This post seems to line up with the widespread idea that the DM is an entertainer of the players. While that is surely true to an extent, being a skillful player in social games like these also means finding ways to engage with the game and make it meaningful. A skillful player finds a way to motivate the character to take action, any action. Unskillful players sit there and say, "Why should my character care about anything in this setting?"
This creates a really weird dynamic where at 1st level your characters struggle with dire wolves, casting dancing lights, and picking the lock on the back door of the tavern. And at 20th level they’re soloing Smaug, summoning meteor swarms from the heavens, and… still having trouble picking that lock or kicking down that door.
At 20th level for most characters, the odds shift. Now characters often have a +5 attribute bonus, and a +6 proficiency bonus. You going to automatically succeed at DC 10 (Easy) task. 85% success for DC 15 (Moderate) tasks, and 60% success for DC 20 (Hard) tasks.
"The adventure is a cornucopia of gleefully executed dungeon crawling stables. Falkrest Abbey is not an exotic module, and it doesn’t try to be. It is a brilliant piece of earnest, uncomplicated, and utterly joyous classical fantasy adventure purity. In a way, it almost feels like something from another age, reformatted to modern OSE standards." — Augury Ignored blog review