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[Roleplaying Games] Thank God I Finally Have A Table For Cannabis Potency.

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Posts

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    RPG playtesters always have interesting names and you'll find them at the start or back of the book!

    Having my name in the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting book is still one of my chief sources of nerd pride. That book was so good.

    Especially after we helped quash the Initiate of ... feats. :D

    They came back eventually, though, and were just as broken as before. :(

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    Looking at the Genesys PDF, does the Genesys dice have a kind of Force Dice?

    No.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    MrAnthropy wrote: »
    Looking at the Genesys PDF, does the Genesys dice have a kind of Force Dice?

    No.

    Dang. I was thinking about using Moxie in Eclipse Phase like a Destiny Pools.

  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    There’s probably nothing stopping you from working that in

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    Battletag: Threeve#1501
    PSN: Threeve703
    discriderjdarksun
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    There’s probably nothing stopping you from working that in

    Yeah, but I don't want to add another die to the game that people may not have. But I am thinking of ways around it. Right now I got the Genesys PDF on my phone and the EP PDF on my tablet and a blank Google Doc page blinking at me while I figured out how to make square peg fit a circluler hole.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    So for the Genesys stuff, they seem to have decided not to go for Archetype stuff like Careers for the Star Wars games or am I missed something?

    I see they got a list of Talents that seem to be like pick and choose for anyone to grab vs. hardwired into a Career. If so then I really feel stupid for sitting here for the last hour trying to figure out how to do Careers in an Eclipse Phase game...

  • FuselageFuselage Bantha Three ValhallaRegistered User regular
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Genesys talents are free range, you just have to stack them in order.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    jdarksunArdent
  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime FiresideWizard Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    If I get Genesys should I go ahead and buy 2 packs of Dice? Or is there anywhere generic selling the dice?

    MagicPrime on
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  • jdarksunjdarksun Scion of Chaos Registered User regular
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...

    discriderElvenshaeArcanisTheImpotentGoodKingJayIIIMatev
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...

    You have my blastknucklers.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    DevoutlyApatheticjdarksunOatsGoodKingJayIII
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...

    Your devotion to the Lifeday festival.

    jdarksunOatsMsAnthropyElvenshaeOptimusZedToxitalianranmaGoodKingJayIII
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...
    I'll be there with Ewok arms on.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...

    It's the caroling; it warms up your shouting voice.
    Pretty sure I played a shouting Imperial commander of some sort in one of Jdark's campaigns.
    The guy only had the intimidating presence skills and inflicted combat strain by yelling at everyone in fights

    discrider on
    Steam Community page: http://steamcommunity.com/id/discrider/
    Oh hey! A knife!
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Specialty: Psychological Warfare

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    Every December, I get the itch to run Star Wars. Not real sure why though...

    Your devotion to the Lifeday festival.

    Somehow it has been a year since our Holiday Special in @jacobkosh's Star Wars game:



    In other news, my in person group has decided to play Age of Rebellion while we wait for the next conversion in our D&D Zeitgeist game. Now to try to force the game's mission-based style into a sandbox shaped hole...

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
    JacobkoshElvenshaejdarksun
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    MrAnthropy wrote: »
    Now to try to force the game's mission-based style into a sandbox shaped hole...
    Psh. Episodic all the way. All the travel, none of the glamour, enough mission to make Moneypenny blush.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    edited December 2017
    Ardent wrote: »
    MrAnthropy wrote: »
    Now to try to force the game's mission-based style into a sandbox shaped hole...
    Psh. Episodic all the way. All the travel, none of the glamour, enough mission to make Moneypenny blush.

    Eh. I spent many years as a preparation fanatic GM and it led me to burnout on all but one campaign. At this point, I would rather just mine all of my WEG materials for planets and NPCs into a deck I can use to 'populate' a sector (somewhat on the fly) with various paths for the party to explore. I'd rather have the players decide what their agenda is as they build their own rebel network than try to predetermine every mission or story arc. Running all the NPCs, describing all of the settings, and hosting every session is enough work without me having to also be the driving force behind every avenue the PCs traverse.

    MsAnthropy on
    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
    SleepJacobkosh
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Episodic doesn't mean you have to do a lot of preparation, though. I spend maybe two hours a week deciding what sort of TNs and enemy dice pools I'll be using, what the general thrust of the episode is (i.e. topic sentence), updating the dossier with information about the planet(s) they'll run into (the dossier being "pretty much anyone can discover this information without much trouble"), and then figuring out the major "beats" I want to occur.

    You just need an overall plot arc and an understanding your players may play it through straight, or they may decide they want to go smash windows on Corulag.

    What the dossier's Gazetteer looks like:
    Dantooine
    Capsule: Dantooine is a pleasant world of grasslands, rivers and lakes. The planet was located in the Raioballo sector of the Outer Rim at an endpoint of Myto's Arrow, the other endpoint of which was in the Obtrexta sector, though Dantooine itself was still far removed from most galactic traffic. It hosted a small population spread amongst single-family settlements and small communities with large land holdings. Its sentient population consisted primarily of simple Human farmers, though Dantooine was also home to the primitive Dantari race. Native wildlife included the kath hound, the iriaz, the kinrath, and the graul. The planet has no industrial settlements or advanced technology.
    Dubrillion
    Capsule: A world of beautiful oceans and lush, green continents framed by fluffy white clouds, it was one of the core worlds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Its sister world, Destrillion, supports a significant Tibanna gas mining operation, making Dubrillion relatively wealthy without having to destroy its environment. Prior to the Clone Wars Dubrillion was a feudal world.
    Gabredor
    Capsule: Nestled at the heart of Myto’s Arrow, Gabredor is a humid world covered in jungles, mountains, temperate canyons, and rolling plains. During the Clone Wars the planet was a popular smuggler’s stopover. That tradition has continued and sitting in equatorial geosynchronous orbit is a old Republic Canton-class starport station the locals refer to as “Blackwater Hole.” The planet itself supports an Imperial-class starport near the main settlement, Crispin’s Chance.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • FuselageFuselage Bantha Three ValhallaRegistered User regular
    I had posted that Runehammer video because I thought the AI/flowcharts/dice would be useful in games where I want to play a dumb character while DMing, but now I'm utterly distracted.

    My girlfriend got my turned on to watching The Crown on Netflix, and now I'm considering what a campaign would look like where the party members are all close advisors/servants to a monarch that maybe used to be a member of their adventuring party or something. Now they're royalty and the missions are sort of at the whim of the monarch, or to avert social/political disaster. Sort of a mix between ministers and knights of the round table. I think you'd need any system with Intrigue or social combat rules like SIFRP, Spellbound Kingdoms, or Burning Wheel. I suppose PbtA would be uniquely suited for that as well.

  • MsAnthropyMsAnthropy Our Lady of Perpetual Mazes The CageRegistered User regular
    Ardent wrote: »
    Episodic doesn't mean you have to do a lot of preparation, though. I spend maybe two hours a week deciding what sort of TNs and enemy dice pools I'll be using, what the general thrust of the episode is (i.e. topic sentence), updating the dossier with information about the planet(s) they'll run into (the dossier being "pretty much anyone can discover this information without much trouble"), and then figuring out the major "beats" I want to occur.

    You just need an overall plot arc and an understanding your players may play it through straight, or they may decide they want to go smash windows on Corulag.

    What the dossier's Gazetteer looks like:
    Dantooine
    Capsule: Dantooine is a pleasant world of grasslands, rivers and lakes. The planet was located in the Raioballo sector of the Outer Rim at an endpoint of Myto's Arrow, the other endpoint of which was in the Obtrexta sector, though Dantooine itself was still far removed from most galactic traffic. It hosted a small population spread amongst single-family settlements and small communities with large land holdings. Its sentient population consisted primarily of simple Human farmers, though Dantooine was also home to the primitive Dantari race. Native wildlife included the kath hound, the iriaz, the kinrath, and the graul. The planet has no industrial settlements or advanced technology.
    Dubrillion
    Capsule: A world of beautiful oceans and lush, green continents framed by fluffy white clouds, it was one of the core worlds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Its sister world, Destrillion, supports a significant Tibanna gas mining operation, making Dubrillion relatively wealthy without having to destroy its environment. Prior to the Clone Wars Dubrillion was a feudal world.
    Gabredor
    Capsule: Nestled at the heart of Myto’s Arrow, Gabredor is a humid world covered in jungles, mountains, temperate canyons, and rolling plains. During the Clone Wars the planet was a popular smuggler’s stopover. That tradition has continued and sitting in equatorial geosynchronous orbit is a old Republic Canton-class starport station the locals refer to as “Blackwater Hole.” The planet itself supports an Imperial-class starport near the main settlement, Crispin’s Chance.

    Honestly, I think the only big difference between what you are suggesting and what I plan on doing is on who is setting the topic sentence. Rather than defining it myself, I plan on letting the players decide what they want to try to accomplish. That’s when I spend a couple of hours pulling NPCs, motivations, and locations from my stack of index cards and jot down some notes on possible skill checks I think might be applicable. The arcs and plots arise from the interplay between the PCs’ goals and the NPCs’ situation or motivation. The only times when I am planning on predefinig the topic sentences are at the start of the campaign and when they hit a contribution level high enough that the Empire notices their activities in earnest.

    "The only real politics I knew was that if a guy liked Hitler, I’d beat the stuffing out of him and that would be it." -- Jack Kirby
  • TimFijiTimFiji Registered User regular
    I'm pretty much won over with this GeneSys system. I kind of want to run a campaign that's Shadowrun-esque, but includes more space travel. Like Shadowrun meets The Expanse; I don't know.

    Switch: SW-2322-2047-3148
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  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, penny and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    I like the system and felt that the Star Wars system is more exciting than DH's percentile D100 system by the special dice. Just never was that invested in Stair Wars. If I ever had the opportunity and the time I would love to try it.

    Also wrote what I felt was some really nice NPC stuff and a good reason for my players to meet them. Been wanting to use these characters for a while but they make more sense in the situation the players are going to find themselves in then they were when they were originally supposed to meet them. Kind of glad they acted counter to what I thought they would.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
  • KadokenKadoken One batch, two batch, penny and hIIIIII Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    YES. My buddy who’s at the local game shop a lot and his friends are setting up a Hunter: The Vigil game. I have always wanted to play that ever since I saw Supernatural and Buffy. I’m okay with whatever we do, unless it’s the Most Dangerous Game asshole club who hunts humans, but I kind of hope we’re going low level average joes. I’ve read up on Hunter stuff and I would be up for anything though.

    Edit: We’re doing the Man in Black cabal or whatever. That will be fun. If an intimidating Agent Smith kind of guy is taken, I might go against type and be a nerdy computer analyst which helps the rest.

    Edit 2: he describes more as Rainbow Six with mansters. That could be fun, but I was hoping to stare down a conspiracy theorist out in the boonies who were getting just a little too close to the truth and then finding out the werewolf preying on the small town is that guy.

    Edit 3: I want to give my players an Elquon manhound, or a standing doggo. It can’t shoot for shit but it’s a decent melee fighter and it is also a doggo that can’t speak but has just below human intelligence. It would be part of a batch of manhounds grown on Desoleum that were abandoned in the underhive when it was found out the program was going to be unprofitable. I think I only want to do this because I like doggos though and since it walks and kills like a man but is a dog I don’t have to dig up old DH apocrypha for pets. I should probably just ask them if they ever thought of getting a pet.
    https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/15601-elquon-manhound-a-new-type-of-familiar/ Here’s the background and stats. It’s based off the one from Ravenor.

    Edit4: also it would still have a doggo head and could walk like a doggo and not the weird human-like features thing.

    Edit 5: I think the other reason I want the doggo is because my alpha team’s campaigns have been kind of lonely. Except their handler and a smuggler they forgot about for a year they don’t really have a lot of reoccuring characters they interact with. I think that’s why I’m introducing these NPCs I have a good reason to call upon again in this underhive adventure. They are about to start working closely with the head of a great house and the enforcers of the special initiative the house made that have been built up since the beginning of the campaign. I’ve got a character that’s basically the Punisher in a medieval doctor’s mask that has been built up as well and will lead them on an adventure to clear out a well entrenched cult. He doubly makes sense since enforcers on Desoleum suck and barely fight actual crime. They just keep quotas so him as basically a vigilante and the iniative make sense to pop up. I’ve got an officer of that initative that will lead them on a spooky ghost story and become a regular medium between the acolytes and the iniative. I’m probably going to put in the grand provost judge of the local arbitrators as a regular ally as shit starts ramping up. He will be old, crotchety, and no nonsense.

    Edit 6: they don’t want a dog. They want a pet squirrel. Okay.

    Edit 7: One thing that annoys me, these guys, my main group never asks questions about characters. I write up this shit and they're never interested in that character.

    Edit 8: they did actually explain why in character they wouldn’t ask everyone like it’s a bioware game and it made sense. They passed up two NPCs that I was going to use as companions if they mentioned the thing they were doing but they were tightlipped.

    Kadoken on
    I am going to shoot this mystery with my pistol of deduction -Sherlock Holmes (Scott Benson)
    Mine TTRPG blog http://darkheresychainsofmalice.blogspot.com/
    Tox
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    So, I've fallen down the Dark Souls rabbit hole again, and I'm feeling more than ever the urge to try and write a campaign that will evoke a similar theme. I'm not looking for a mechanical match, but more a similar feeling of a dense, weighty history. Something similar to the Malazan books as well, I guess. I just really like the idea of being in a world that is ancient, and everything is built on what came before, in an endless cycle that you want to break, but do you have the strength.
    I'm thinking it will start with a generic enough fantasy world, where a group of adventurers are sent to explore some catacombs. These will end up being deeper, and older, than the group was led to believe, and when they reach the bottom, they wake up "an ancient king" or something. Ancient king will basically ignore the party, raise his section of the catacombs to ground level, disrupting the kingdoms central city in the process, and manifest some bigass dracula castle over the catacombs. The door into the castle will be locked, with a map showing some almost recognizable geography, and 4? big gem holes or something. The party then has to follow the map, dungeon dive at each of the locations (the 4 main city's of the kingdom), kill the King's 4 generals, and acquire the keys. Then you return, open the door, clear the castle, and fight the Ancient King. At the end of the fight you will find that the ancient king was himself a seal between the Abyss and existence, and the players can either choose to sacrifice themselves to seal it, welcome the abyss into themselves, or just leave it open and see how the world handles the change.

    I'm just not sure how to go about trying to invoke a feeling of history. Especially since I haven't ever actually GM'd before. Also, if I go through all this work, its going to require a certain amount of buy in from the group, and I'm not sure how well they will handle that. We are generally pretty chaotic, and turn every game into a sand box. But I almost feel like thats because its always felt like there is a certain lack of structure in the games we play.

    Mostly I'm just asking for thoughts on making story feel weighty, and the history like something that needs to be/is interesting to uncover.

    Also, I'm debating on what system to use. I feel like 13th Age with Fallen Icons would work so well with this.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
    Kadoken
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    Dark Souls has such great imagery , and it’s difficult to capture that same mastery with words. At the very least the exchange rate is terrible. That being said I’ve got a couple of techniques to try. First, for your adventures, make them location based. Kinda old school dungeon delving types. Then write out and practice your descriptions for thes locations from the vantage point you expect the party to arrive from. Take special consideration into how the human eye goes over a scene: we look for movement, bright or reflective things, then unnatural shapes (unnatural as in not made by nature) and then into details from big to small and high to low. Watch the Dark Souls or other video game cutscenes in order to get a feel for this. The other thing I would take care to do is to introduce foreshadowing in the form of sounds or sometimes smells. Things like a dull roar prior to a waterfall or sickening sweet rot prior to a bog.

    By starting with strong visuals you’ll get your players interested in the history behind these scenes.

    As for buy in from your players, make the history significant in a mechanical way. The older the Magic is the more powerful it is.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
    destroyah87FuselageElvenshaeMrVyngaardKadokenGoodKingJayIII
  • jdarksunjdarksun Scion of Chaos Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    So, I've fallen down the Dark Souls rabbit hole again, and I'm feeling more than ever the urge to try and write a campaign that will evoke a similar theme. I'm not looking for a mechanical match, but more a similar feeling of a dense, weighty history. Something similar to the Malazan books as well, I guess. I just really like the idea of being in a world that is ancient, and everything is built on what came before, in an endless cycle that you want to break, but do you have the strength.
    I'm thinking it will start with a generic enough fantasy world, where a group of adventurers are sent to explore some catacombs. These will end up being deeper, and older, than the group was led to believe, and when they reach the bottom, they wake up "an ancient king" or something. Ancient king will basically ignore the party, raise his section of the catacombs to ground level, disrupting the kingdoms central city in the process, and manifest some bigass dracula castle over the catacombs. The door into the castle will be locked, with a map showing some almost recognizable geography, and 4? big gem holes or something. The party then has to follow the map, dungeon dive at each of the locations (the 4 main city's of the kingdom), kill the King's 4 generals, and acquire the keys. Then you return, open the door, clear the castle, and fight the Ancient King. At the end of the fight you will find that the ancient king was himself a seal between the Abyss and existence, and the players can either choose to sacrifice themselves to seal it, welcome the abyss into themselves, or just leave it open and see how the world handles the change.

    I'm just not sure how to go about trying to invoke a feeling of history. Especially since I haven't ever actually GM'd before. Also, if I go through all this work, its going to require a certain amount of buy in from the group, and I'm not sure how well they will handle that. We are generally pretty chaotic, and turn every game into a sand box. But I almost feel like thats because its always felt like there is a certain lack of structure in the games we play.

    Mostly I'm just asking for thoughts on making story feel weighty, and the history like something that needs to be/is interesting to uncover.

    Also, I'm debating on what system to use. I feel like 13th Age with Fallen Icons would work so well with this.
    TRV ran a game like that in 4e once. It was pretty cool.

    Re: spoilers
    We didn't do anything related to Fallen Icons prior to the Big Reveal of (potentially) needing to take the Ancient King's place. It felt weightier that way.

    Oats
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    Sorrow, tragedy, regret. That’s why Dark Souls is different to regular DnD fantasty; all that “lore” is just a vehicle to make you feel pity for the bosses.

    It’s not a barbed demon, it’s the last child of the witch queen, the rest long slain, and it tends to her as she lays crippled in her fungal bed.

    He’s not a undead fighter, he’s Sir Aludane, loyal knight who guards a massacred fortress long abandoned.

    Look at that giant, it is blind and hunched, lashing out wildly at whatever draws near. A whistling hole is where it’s heart should be.


    Oh! You could also straight up curse them with undeath! House ruled to Hades, like they can still use ordinary healing, but every time they beat a boss they each get a tell, like pale skin and so on.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    Brody wrote: »
    So, I've fallen down the Dark Souls rabbit hole again, and I'm feeling more than ever the urge to try and write a campaign that will evoke a similar theme. I'm not looking for a mechanical match, but more a similar feeling of a dense, weighty history. Something similar to the Malazan books as well, I guess. I just really like the idea of being in a world that is ancient, and everything is built on what came before, in an endless cycle that you want to break, but do you have the strength.
    I'm thinking it will start with a generic enough fantasy world, where a group of adventurers are sent to explore some catacombs. These will end up being deeper, and older, than the group was led to believe, and when they reach the bottom, they wake up "an ancient king" or something. Ancient king will basically ignore the party, raise his section of the catacombs to ground level, disrupting the kingdoms central city in the process, and manifest some bigass dracula castle over the catacombs. The door into the castle will be locked, with a map showing some almost recognizable geography, and 4? big gem holes or something. The party then has to follow the map, dungeon dive at each of the locations (the 4 main city's of the kingdom), kill the King's 4 generals, and acquire the keys. Then you return, open the door, clear the castle, and fight the Ancient King. At the end of the fight you will find that the ancient king was himself a seal between the Abyss and existence, and the players can either choose to sacrifice themselves to seal it, welcome the abyss into themselves, or just leave it open and see how the world handles the change.

    I'm just not sure how to go about trying to invoke a feeling of history. Especially since I haven't ever actually GM'd before. Also, if I go through all this work, its going to require a certain amount of buy in from the group, and I'm not sure how well they will handle that. We are generally pretty chaotic, and turn every game into a sand box. But I almost feel like thats because its always felt like there is a certain lack of structure in the games we play.

    Mostly I'm just asking for thoughts on making story feel weighty, and the history like something that needs to be/is interesting to uncover.

    Also, I'm debating on what system to use. I feel like 13th Age with Fallen Icons would work so well with this.

    If you want a sense of dense, weighty history, get together with your players and run a session or two of Microscope to design the setting collaboratively. Getting players to sink their teeth into a homebrew setting involves getting their buy-in, and having them lend a hand to designing it is a way to put that buy-in on fast forward.

    RendElvenshaeArcanisTheImpotent
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    History is in the details.

    I'm reading a fantastic book on the Balkans right now and if you want to make things feel old, you have to remember that before this nation there was another, and before that another, and another and another... borders and boundaries and people change, rulers change, politics change, cultures change.

    So take your modem Kingdom. Where did it come from? What groups rule it? What was there before? Is this an amalgamation of principalities, a much reduced Empire, a conquered area that developed a sense of cultural identity amongst people of power that then became independent? Does it have a Suzerain or is it fully sovereign? Do other nations pay tribute? For how long? Why?

    Then when you've got that, take it back a century. Then another century. Then another century. Change the dynasty, the people, the culture, the political structure, the sense of national identity if it even exists? Take it all the way back to the ancient guy.

    Then get stuff from various eras and throw it into the setting. Oh you passed your lore check? Yeah this church was built during the 2nd dynasty of the Principality era, by migrants from the Imamate who secured right to worship in return for military service to the Prince, you can tell by the carved scripture which is emblematic of Imamate revival calligraphy, and the high arched entrance which was very popular at the time. That makes it roughly four hundred years old! Clearly there are some independence era extensions however, such as the side-chapel and rebuilt tower...

    Then it feels real, and old.

    Solar on
    ElvenshaeRhesus PositiveMatev
  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    Dark Souls

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert... near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away


    The history is not just dense (I love the microscope suggestion) it is that it is also all forgotten.

    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Incidentally if you want to get inspiration for Dark Souls I'd say that your biggest source would be post apocalyptic in nature.

    Barely any people around. A sense that this is it, this is the end. Abandoned and empty, the world crumbles into the abyss.

    I think it'd be hard to get the DS feel in some ways, if only because there is an intense sense of isolation and loneliness to those games, that you don't get so much in an RPG.

    italianranma
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Also really obnoxiously vague NPCs that chuckle at the end of every conversation. Or is that too on the nose?

  • GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
    Dark Souls is also really effective because when every game starts, you just go. There’s very little context or direction. You awake in a cell. You pull yourself out of your own grave. The players own curiosity forces them to move forward.

    Dark Souls is steeped in history, but that history is also written by liars and cheats. Narrators are unreliable and motivated by their own desires. Just because you read something doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you’re given a quest doesn’t mean it’s good, or right. Dark Souls subtlety tells players to doubt everything they’re told.

    The game is about human folly and failure as much as lofty gothic themes and ideas.

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  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Also really obnoxiously vague NPCs that chuckle at the end of every conversation. Or is that too on the nose?

    That pretty much describes all my normal NPCs to be honest.

    RainfallCarnarvonElvenshae
  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Dark Souls has such great imagery , and it’s difficult to capture that same mastery with words. At the very least the exchange rate is terrible. That being said I’ve got a couple of techniques to try. First, for your adventures, make them location based. Kinda old school dungeon delving types. Then write out and practice your descriptions for thes locations from the vantage point you expect the party to arrive from. Take special consideration into how the human eye goes over a scene: we look for movement, bright or reflective things, then unnatural shapes (unnatural as in not made by nature) and then into details from big to small and high to low. Watch the Dark Souls or other video game cutscenes in order to get a feel for this. The other thing I would take care to do is to introduce foreshadowing in the form of sounds or sometimes smells. Things like a dull roar prior to a waterfall or sickening sweet rot prior to a bog.

    By starting with strong visuals you’ll get your players interested in the history behind these scenes.

    As for buy in from your players, make the history significant in a mechanical way. The older the Magic is the more powerful it is.

    I think the best way to capture the dark souls feel is have a really dark room that you can barely see the floor have a bottomless pit in it. This preferably should be within 10 feet or so of where the characters start. When they fall in and die horribly say welcome to dark souls.

    italianranmaElvenshaeBrodyArcanisTheImpotent
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited December 2017
    One of the hundreds of unfinished game concepts I’ve come up with was Darkest Dungeon and Dark Souls inspired; I was going to have sitting around a campfire telling a story from their past or revealing a weakness as the only way to heal. Finding somewhere safe enough to do that would keep players on edge and give them such relief when they do. But also, they feed me intel to wreck them later!

    I still think it’d work.

    Endless_Serpents on
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    kaid wrote: »
    Dark Souls has such great imagery , and it’s difficult to capture that same mastery with words. At the very least the exchange rate is terrible. That being said I’ve got a couple of techniques to try. First, for your adventures, make them location based. Kinda old school dungeon delving types. Then write out and practice your descriptions for thes locations from the vantage point you expect the party to arrive from. Take special consideration into how the human eye goes over a scene: we look for movement, bright or reflective things, then unnatural shapes (unnatural as in not made by nature) and then into details from big to small and high to low. Watch the Dark Souls or other video game cutscenes in order to get a feel for this. The other thing I would take care to do is to introduce foreshadowing in the form of sounds or sometimes smells. Things like a dull roar prior to a waterfall or sickening sweet rot prior to a bog.

    By starting with strong visuals you’ll get your players interested in the history behind these scenes.

    As for buy in from your players, make the history significant in a mechanical way. The older the Magic is the more powerful it is.

    I think the best way to capture the dark souls feel is have a really dark room that you can barely see the floor have a bottomless pit in it. This preferably should be within 10 feet or so of where the characters start. When they fall in and die horribly say “The real Dark Souls starts here.”


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  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    Some more things to think about; real castles were actually quite small and cramped with natural choke points and traps. Making your hallways narrow (single grid space for those sorts of games, single-file for narrative games) and dark adds tension and authenticity to your setting. Traps (pitfalls included) go a long way toward keeping the tension high in Dark Souls, but they require some finesse from the GM so as not to slow play too much (see the last 20 pages of the D&D thread for a lot of discussion on the merits of traps with some occasional nuggets of advice).

    Finally I think another important part of why Dark Souls succeeds as a game is through managing our familiarity with the setting. We all know that the first time going through a new area in Dark Souls is the scariest moment as we fall victim to its many surprises. That first venture is usually about risk management: can I continue on and reach another bonfire before I lose all my health? Once we become familiar to the dangers the game becomes more of a resource management exercise. Without knowing what system you're going to play I can't really give any advice on how you incorporate these elements, but the other take away is this: make your locations cramped, dense, and finite. Move your players on to something new before they become too familiar, and use some heavy foreshadowing.

    For example, in my current D&D Eberron campaign the players are in Sharn hunting down some stolen maps and surveying documents from an 'abandoned' creation forge in Cyre. Guess where they're going next?

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I would do a Dark Souls game in 4E, so that you can do traps based on locations. Heck, I would map out every area, making sure that my players can see every room and want to explore them. Sure, that's more work on you but I think the reward is worth it.

    If you want to do Icon stuff like 13th Age, just rip them whole cloth over. The mechanics behind Icons don't effect other aspects that much.

    Matev
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