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[Roleplaying Games] New Year, New Dungeons, Same Ol' Bane

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Posts

  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    Okay, simple intro is up. You can click the dice in my sig to go right to it if you're interested.

  • CarnarvonCarnarvon Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

    Most PbtA have something like Fronts and Dangers (Apocalypse World itself just calls them Threats). I found them difficult to understand as well and feel that other PbtA games explain them better. The basic idea is just that Fronts and Dangers describe the ways the world will change for the worse if the players do nothing to interfere. This guide does a decent job of explaining Fronts, I think. I believe the Apocalypse World 1E PDFs are free now, which might also help clear things up.

    That is super-fucking-helpful, actually. It's just a way to break down a campaign into plot points, motivations, and consequences. I thought it was supposed to have a mechanical effect on the game or something.

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    Carnarvon wrote: »
    admanb wrote: »
    You know what system is really good at managing narrative spotlight and pacing? Powered by the Apoc--Imma shut up before GG has Geth ban me from this thread (which I would not blame him for).

    Actually, I was just looking through Dungeon World. The system looks really cool, but the fronts and dangers made like no sense to me. Are they the same in pbta?

    Most PbtA have something like Fronts and Dangers (Apocalypse World itself just calls them Threats). I found them difficult to understand as well and feel that other PbtA games explain them better. The basic idea is just that Fronts and Dangers describe the ways the world will change for the worse if the players do nothing to interfere. This guide does a decent job of explaining Fronts, I think. I believe the Apocalypse World 1E PDFs are free now, which might also help clear things up.

    That is super-fucking-helpful, actually. It's just a way to break down a campaign into plot points, motivations, and consequences. I thought it was supposed to have a mechanical effect on the game or something.

    You got it. PbtA games can be a little odd to read because they don't draw a line between "game rules" and "GM guidelines". Building and executing your Fronts and Dangers is considered as much a rule as, say, dealing damage on a 7-9 Hack and Slash roll. But of course one is purely mechanical whereas one is purely fiction.

    Matev
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    Well I just printed out like... fourty pages to act as a quick start kit for Blades In the Dark tommorow.

    Two of every character type and ref sheets (only one GM ref sheet).

    One of every gang except Cult (too weird for a first time) and smugglers (too specific for the first time). Including one faction status sheet.

    The vice and occult lore.

    The Duskvol map and districts explanation.

    The Rat's Nest district map and quick start situation run down.

    I just realised I missed the world map but that's probably not too big a deal.

  • The SauceThe Sauce Fleur de Alys Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Anyway, the other thing I wanted to say is: how do you handle things when the rogue or ranger goes off scouting alone? What do the other players do? That's the same sort of question that hacking poses and it actually has the same answers, just with plastic and chrome instead of wood and leather.
    This can be generalized more broadly into "How do you handle one player doing a thing by themselves that's the thing they're focused on / good at?" because the answer is general, too.

    The short answer is, "this should never happen."

    As a general rule, RPGs are team games, played together by groups of people. So there should never be any situation that's best handled by one player going off on their own to do a thing. D&D doesn't expect Fighters to go off by themselves and kill monsters, so why permit this with any other main mechanic?

    Of course it's nice to say that from a system designer's perspective, but what if you're using a system that doesn't really solve this problem?

    One option is to simply allow all the players to be involved, and permit them to help without increasing the likelihood of failure due to their presence. If a Rogue joins a Fighter in combat, then the players now have a higher chance to succeed even if the Rogue is more built for exploration-related tasks versus the Fighter being alone. Do the same thing with stuff like stealth. Too often a by-the-books approach means that success or failure of stealth comes down to the weakest PC's roll. While that's arguably realistic, it's also annoying and frustrating as a game mechanic. Let the sneaky Rogue or Ranger make the main checks for the whole group (exactly the same as if the sneaky character were by themselves; don't just use the sneaky character's stats for the whole party and continue to roll individually, as this can really muck with probability). Give the rest of the group some way to help out (or at least come along for the ride so they're involved at some level).

    An even better option is to design situations in such a way that everyone has something to do all at the same time that plays to their own individual strengths. You may be limited by your system here somewhat, but push it as far as you can. For example, continuing with a D&D theme, let's say the PCs are hiding out in the woods bracing for a company of orcs set to be passing through on their way to join a battle / raid a village / whatever. While the ranger goes off to scout their numbers, what can the other PCs be doing to prepare? Perhaps the fighter digs some fortifications, the cleric performs rituals for divine blessing of the upcoming battlefield, and the wizard tries to craft some situational magical traps or search the area for poisonous plants to augment the fighter's wooden stakes. The results of all of these efforts put together creates the complete upcoming combat scenario.

    This same thing can be done in traditional dungeon settings. 4E showed how to combine traps with combat encounters, but you can create complete dungeon experiences that involves everyone, too. Spruce up the trapped hallway by providing multiple points that must be simultaneously disarmed (and without having to roll some class-specific disarm traps check). First, an athletic character must climb up a pillar to hit a switch that exposes a mechanical panel that a roguish character can access to disarm the thing. But flipping that switch up high sets off a secondary failsafe element with magical properties, requiring the teamwork of arcane and divine casters to counter. Failures at each step can result in pain for one or more characters, but each bit can be repeated, and everyone plays a part. Adjust as necessary for your particular setting and party layout.

    Sometimes, though, you just have a story need for someone to go and do a thing that they do. In these cases, I'd say to just play it out quickly and strictly narratively. Let the PC succeed at the thing they're doing and move on. If you want to have a roll you can, but it would need to be a roll that can't result in the character being captured or killed (because this results in nonsense with split parties), and failing can't result in the inability to move forward (which is a general rule for any such checks).

    The Sauce on
    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    Elvenshae
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    That's a pretty D&D-centric view, to be honest. There are plenty of games that handle characters going off alone to do their thing. Some games are perfectly functional even when none of the characters are in the same place at the same time.

    What you have to be careful about is pacing the game so that all the action is moving forward at the same time. Jumping back and forth for two hours between a character who's hacking and a character (or group of characters) who are fighting is good. A group of characters sitting around doing nothing while the hacking character spends two hours opening a door is bad. Pacing your obstacles so that the second situation doesn't come up is key.

    jdarksunOatsArdentDarkPrimusArcanisTheImpotentThe EnderMcKidThe SauceRhesus PositiveMrVyngaard
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    Blades In the Dark seems expressly made for splitting the party on Scores, during downtime and planning.

    Really you could probably play a session of that game where the only time the characters are together is to plan the job.

    Fragged Empire is more D&D like where it's probably not a good idea to super split the party but you still have spare time points to let people be individuals during more calm moments.

    Oats
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    I would actually argue that the scout in a D&D game is somewhat unique in that it's a) hugely important, so it typically sucks a bunch of table time and b) there really isn't that much that the rest of the party can be doing between scouting beats to keep them involved outside of spectation.

    Even this same action in other games or settings usually involves non-scouts doing things like hacking open doors or even having other adventures while this happens. The always-together dungeon-delving setup of D&D is uniquely bad for spotlighting the scout.

    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.
    jdarksunMrVyngaard
  • jdarksunjdarksun Scion of Chaos Registered User regular
    I've had my parties split in half, split into thirds, and at one point all six players were doing different things.

    As long as everybody gets a share of the spotlight, it's cool. Just keep things cooking along.

    OptimusZedOatsArcanisTheImpotenttastydonuts
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    At some point we're going to figure out a way to fractal into more groups than we have characters.

    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.
    OatsjdarksunDevoutlyApatheticMatevBrody
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    My money is on skeletons.

    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.
    jdarksunDarkPrimussullijoMatevRingoBrody
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    Scouting, like "gathering information" when done as a single player action should generally be a single check.

    Here is how i handle it: Player: "I go scout" -> Rolls stealth and investigation -> Ok, you find out X but were spotted and you've got gnolls on your tail as you lead them back to the gang.

    Think of it like a video game. You can handle the scouting in two ways. Pop up a dialog box and then reveal the map if they make the check. Or you can have the player move the rogue through the level.

    Don't do the second thing! It even sucks in video games. Do the dialog box thing. Draw them a map on a piece of paper and tell them what they're up against.

    wbBv3fj.png
  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    My money is on skeletons.

    I vote astral projection. You have the groups of the PC's bodies and those of their spirits!

  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Right. Pacing is always key. Don't draw something out just because it feels more realistic; the amount of time and mechanical effort you commit to something should be commensurate to how narratively interesting it is.

    DarkPrimusOptimusZedWolf of Dresden
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    The Sauce wrote: »
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Anyway, the other thing I wanted to say is: how do you handle things when the rogue or ranger goes off scouting alone? What do the other players do? That's the same sort of question that hacking poses and it actually has the same answers, just with plastic and chrome instead of wood and leather.
    This can be generalized more broadly into "How do you handle one player doing a thing by themselves that's the thing they're focused on / good at?" because the answer is general, too.

    The short answer is, "this should never happen."

    As a general rule, RPGs are team games, played together by groups of people. So there should never be any situation that's best handled by one player going off on their own to do a thing. D&D doesn't expect Fighters to go off by themselves and kill monsters, so why permit this with any other main mechanic?

    Of course it's nice to say that from a system designer's perspective, but what if you're using a system that doesn't really solve this problem?

    One option is to simply allow all the players to be involved, and permit them to help without increasing the likelihood of failure due to their presence. If a Rogue joins a Fighter in combat, then the players now have a higher chance to succeed even if the Rogue is more built for exploration-related tasks versus the Fighter being alone. Do the same thing with stuff like stealth. Too often a by-the-books approach means that success or failure of stealth comes down to the weakest PC's roll. While that's arguably realistic, it's also annoying and frustrating as a game mechanic. Let the sneaky Rogue or Ranger make the main checks for the whole group (exactly the same as if the sneaky character were by themselves; don't just use the sneaky character's stats for the whole party and continue to roll individually, as this can really muck with probability). Give the rest of the group some way to help out (or at least come along for the ride so they're involved at some level).

    An even better option is to design situations in such a way that everyone has something to do all at the same time that plays to their own individual strengths. You may be limited by your system here somewhat, but push it as far as you can. For example, continuing with a D&D theme, let's say the PCs are hiding out in the woods bracing for a company of orcs set to be passing through on their way to join a battle / raid a village / whatever. While the ranger goes off to scout their numbers, what can the other PCs be doing to prepare? Perhaps the fighter digs some fortifications, the cleric performs rituals for divine blessing of the upcoming battlefield, and the wizard tries to craft some situational magical traps or search the area for poisonous plants to augment the fighter's wooden stakes. The results of all of these efforts put together creates the complete upcoming combat scenario.

    This same thing can be done in traditional dungeon settings. 4E showed how to combine traps with combat encounters, but you can create complete dungeon experiences that involves everyone, too. Spruce up the trapped hallway by providing multiple points that must be simultaneously disarmed (and without having to roll some class-specific disarm traps check). First, an athletic character must climb up a pillar to hit a switch that exposes a mechanical panel that a roguish character can access to disarm the thing. But flipping that switch up high sets off a secondary failsafe element with magical properties, requiring the teamwork of arcane and divine casters to counter. Failures at each step can result in pain for one or more characters, but each bit can be repeated, and everyone plays a part. Adjust as necessary for your particular setting and party layout.

    Sometimes, though, you just have a story need for someone to go and do a thing that they do. In these cases, I'd say to just play it out quickly and strictly narratively. Let the PC succeed at the thing they're doing and move on. If you want to have a roll you can, but it would need to be a roll that can't result in the character being captured or killed (because this results in nonsense with split parties), and failing can't result in the inability to move forward (which is a general rule for any such checks).

    This is all well and good, but then it begs the question of what's the point of individuality? Rogues are suppose to be sneaky, Fighters are suppose to be good at smashing. Wizards are suppose to be good at magic. While it's great to try to design everything so everyone is working together, sometimes, the players want to shine on their own. A rogue picking a lock is what rogues do. A ranger scouting in the woods is what rangers do. If everyone can do it, there is no point in playing different classes or characters.

    At some points, you give a player a spotlight, not no two hour long spot light like admanb said, but something that lets them shine for a few minutes and reinforces the concept of "Yeah, that's why I brought him". Sure, you can give other players things to do, like you have above, but really, that's not going to be as interesting as what the ranger is doing. Like, do you really want to spend as much time with the fighter digging a ditch as the ranger who is tracing an orc army?

    There is a movie called Super, which is a Superhero movie about a guy on a spiritual journey and becomes a costumed hero to save his ex-girlfriend from her drug crime lord boyfriend (and gets raped by Ellen Page... it's a weird movie.) But in it they talk about the boring stuff that happens when they are waiting for things to happen, the "Parts Between the Pages" and how it's stuff we don't see in comics because they aren't interesting. When you are doing RPGs, you have to avoid those things, just the other players say "I do a thing" and be done with it. But the Ranger spotting a group of orcs, and doing things to weaken them for when the party gets to them, or whatever things the ranger wants to do is interesting, and should be rolled and seen. Just don't let it take up the whole game.

    admanbFuselage
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    My money is on skeletons.

    I vote astral projection. You have the groups of the PC's bodies and those of their spirits!
    Pet classes. Summoning classes. Demonic possession. The list goes on. :D

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    My money is on skeletons.

    I vote astral projection. You have the groups of the PC's bodies and those of their spirits!

    Only if those bodies are in exosuits that then go out and solve crimes.

    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.
    OatsRingo
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    jdarksun wrote: »
    I've had my parties split in half, split into thirds, and at one point all six players were doing different things.

    As long as everybody gets a share of the spotlight, it's cool. Just keep things cooking along.
    It's a hard thing to do right. Games would benefit from minimizing opportunities to leave players bored.

    That's why I love NBA's chase conceit; one person is getting chased, everyone else is suggesting obstacles.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
    MrVyngaard
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    also sometimes it is nice to let someone have a spotlight so you can recharge your RP-Meter and enjoy someone else's story a little

    Spotlight is honestly a meta thing that should be handled by the table

    Ringodestroyah87Captain CarrotEdith Upwards
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    I feel the need to tell a story and I don’t know who else would understand/appreciate it so I’m posting it in the RPG thread.
    Monday night I found out my best friend in high school passed away in his sleep. We were still close for the first few years after high school but as we entered difference jobs, schools, and eventually different branches of the military we drifted apart. Honestly the last time we had talked over emails or IMs it’s probably been 13 or 14 years. I’m sick that he’s gone and I’m sick that I lost that opportunity to reconnect just because I got busy with my own life.

    So why is it in the RPG thread? Because when I think of Sam one of the things I think of is his Warhammer Fantasy game. He was a late addition to our RPG group (he had played for years with a different circle of people). When he pulled out the Warhammer books most of White Wolf or Shadowrun players just weren’t interested. I wanted to play since I already loved the setting and soon we picked up one other player, Chris. Eventually as the game went on Chris and I made multiple characters and usually ran two at once, it was the only time I’ve ever done that and it worked.
    Sam started us in a little town. My first character was an orphan raised by a local hunter. Chris started with two, an apprentice to the local wizard and the son of the blacksmith. It was those humble origins that eventually became a massive epic that involved armies marching across the land and our group trying to save their little village as well as the rest of the world around them.

    The apprentice lost his arm at one point, picked up some chaos taint that replaced it with a tentacle, and then eventually burned off the taint again. A Dark Elf mercenary caused as much trouble as he helped; eventually leaving the group claiming to kill them if he ever saw them again. His own selfish plans ended up helping the village in the final battle at an epic moment. The climax of the game was that lowly orphan hunter (now a bad ass archer) stopping a massive demon summoning ritual.

    Hours and hours were spent on this game. Looking through books, game maps, and character sheets. During the overnights Sam and I spent so much time in the local Denny’s that we were free to get our own coffee refills. He was a great friend. He was intelligent, funny, so smug you wanted punch him, and beneath everything caring. He was an awesome story teller and my friend. I’m sorry I’ll never get to laugh with him again. I’m sorry he’ll never get to meet my son. I’m sorry he’s gone.
    Thanks for letting me vent RPG thread.

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
    Grunt's GhostsAuralynxjdarksunArcanisTheImpotentdestroyah87tzeentchlingDarkPrimusThe SauceadmanbHahnsoo1MatevRingoArdentElvenshaeRhesus PositivesullijoBrodyAnialosAmiguSageinaRageMrVyngaardWolf of Dresden
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    also sometimes it is nice to let someone have a spotlight so you can recharge your RP-Meter and enjoy someone else's story a little

    Spotlight is honestly a meta thing that should be handled by the table

    Kinda so so on this. Not on the implementation, people should play games the way that works for them, but on the design ideas. I think in designing a game one that avoids one player getting disproportionate spotlight time is well designed and one that encourages disproportionate time is poorly designed. Good design is partly about not encouraging bad habits.

    That said, I've certainly been in games where time is spent more on a single character and it worked fine. A lot of times it's the party face and at least there everybody else is paying attention to how well they're actually representing the party instead of themselves...

    Elvenshae
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Ken O wrote: »
    I feel the need to tell a story and I don’t know who else would understand/appreciate it so I’m posting it in the RPG thread.
    Monday night I found out my best friend in high school passed away in his sleep. We were still close for the first few years after high school but as we entered difference jobs, schools, and eventually different branches of the military we drifted apart. Honestly the last time we had talked over emails or IMs it’s probably been 13 or 14 years. I’m sick that he’s gone and I’m sick that I lost that opportunity to reconnect just because I got busy with my own life.

    So why is it in the RPG thread? Because when I think of Sam one of the things I think of is his Warhammer Fantasy game. He was a late addition to our RPG group (he had played for years with a different circle of people). When he pulled out the Warhammer books most of White Wolf or Shadowrun players just weren’t interested. I wanted to play since I already loved the setting and soon we picked up one other player, Chris. Eventually as the game went on Chris and I made multiple characters and usually ran two at once, it was the only time I’ve ever done that and it worked.
    Sam started us in a little town. My first character was an orphan raised by a local hunter. Chris started with two, an apprentice to the local wizard and the son of the blacksmith. It was those humble origins that eventually became a massive epic that involved armies marching across the land and our group trying to save their little village as well as the rest of the world around them.

    The apprentice lost his arm at one point, picked up some chaos taint that replaced it with a tentacle, and then eventually burned off the taint again. A Dark Elf mercenary caused as much trouble as he helped; eventually leaving the group claiming to kill them if he ever saw them again. His own selfish plans ended up helping the village in the final battle at an epic moment. The climax of the game was that lowly orphan hunter (now a bad ass archer) stopping a massive demon summoning ritual.

    Hours and hours were spent on this game. Looking through books, game maps, and character sheets. During the overnights Sam and I spent so much time in the local Denny’s that we were free to get our own coffee refills. He was a great friend. He was intelligent, funny, so smug you wanted punch him, and beneath everything caring. He was an awesome story teller and my friend. I’m sorry I’ll never get to laugh with him again. I’m sorry he’ll never get to meet my son. I’m sorry he’s gone.
    Thanks for letting me vent RPG thread.

    I know that feeling. My friend Brandon passed away last June from his second fight with cancer. He was such a Warhammer 40K fan, it's because of him I got into the Tanith First and Only series (my name was suppose to be Gaunt's Ghosts but I fucked it up when I was typing). I still have his rogue's character sheet for a 4E game we played and now it's framed and on my wall...

    It doesn't get easier, at least not for me. Stupid things remind me of him all the time, like the other day I was thinking about how someone would make gunpowder in a zombie apocalypse and then nearly broke down crying because it was one of the conversations we had last on Facebook and looking back at all the Chemistry stuff he said I was just tempted to just write him back...

    But remember the good memories, enjoy the things that you guys loved together, and keep positive. None of our love ones would want us to be sad long for their passing.

    Ken OtzeentchlingHahnsoo1RingoRhesus PositiveMrVyngaard
  • ZomroZomro Registered User regular
    @Ken O I know what you're going through. My older brother, Carlos, passed away in January after battling leukemia. He was usually our groups DM / GM, and some of my best moments in roleplaying games have been in his games.

    It's super rough when you're missing a member of the grouo and you know why. But, as much as it hurts knowing that he's gone, I'll always remember the fun we had together. And now I'm the DM / GM and I try to run my games like Carlos did, because they were always fun.

    Currently doing a Deathwatch 40k campaign, and to honor my brother I made the PCs' Watch Captain a Dark Angel (his favorite chapter).

    I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. If you need somebody to talk to, I'm all ears.

    Grunt's GhostsKen OtzeentchlingHahnsoo1RingoRhesus PositiveMrVyngaard
  • Ken OKen O Registered User regular
    Thanks for the support everyone!

    Also, fuck leukemia so hard. My mother fought for two years. It's a horrible, horrible thing.

    http://www.fingmonkey.com/
    Comics, Games, Booze
    ZomroHahnsoo1Grunt's GhostsRingoMrVyngaard
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    @Ken O I'm so sorry for your loss. I know what it feels like, losing your best friend who was also your partner in RPGs. The bond is particularly strong there because of all the shared stories and adventures.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Ringo
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    admanb wrote: »
    Right. Pacing is always key. Don't draw something out just because it feels more realistic; the amount of time and mechanical effort you commit to something should be commensurate to how narratively interesting it is.

    But sometimes a player decides to make his/her character do something that you know is incredibly stupid, yet entertaining at the same time. And you have to see it through. To the bitter end.

    tastydonuts on
    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • The SauceThe Sauce Fleur de Alys Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    That's a pretty D&D-centric view, to be honest. There are plenty of games that handle characters going off alone to do their thing. Some games are perfectly functional even when none of the characters are in the same place at the same time.

    What you have to be careful about is pacing the game so that all the action is moving forward at the same time. Jumping back and forth for two hours between a character who's hacking and a character (or group of characters) who are fighting is good. A group of characters sitting around doing nothing while the hacking character spends two hours opening a door is bad. Pacing your obstacles so that the second situation doesn't come up is key.
    You are right, of course! I used broader language than I intended. If you're playing a game that's designed from the ground-up to support and even encourage characters acting independently on different things then you clearly have no problem to solve and thus need no advice on the topic.
    This is all well and good, but then it begs the question of what's the point of individuality? Rogues are suppose to be sneaky, Fighters are suppose to be good at smashing. Wizards are suppose to be good at magic. While it's great to try to design everything so everyone is working together, sometimes, the players want to shine on their own. A rogue picking a lock is what rogues do. A ranger scouting in the woods is what rangers do. If everyone can do it, there is no point in playing different classes or characters.
    I take the 4E combat approach; everyone has a part to play, but they fulfill that part differently, and to differing levels of competency depending on the situation. The Ranger might shine the brightest when scouting the woods, but does that mean everyone else has to sit and wait until the Ranger is finished, or can they contribute in a lesser fashion to ongoing events?

    Small things like picking locks are usually fine because they take no more time than a single turn of combat. Often it's also something that has no real point to bothering with, which is why 3.5's Take 10 for rapidly bypassing such things was a great idea (and even Take 20 for when you really have a ton of time to blow picking a difficult but ultimately safe lock). No need to slow the game down; you do your niche ability thing, and the game moves on for everyone.

    But you can make more (mechanically) interesting situations by using encounter design principles outside of battle. The Rogue is off to pick a lock again, but this time it's under serious pressure while the Fighter tries to hold back the wall that's moving forward to crush everyone and the Wizard battles back the magical darkness threatening to give the Rogue an even tougher time of it. Obviously you don't do this with every locked door in your game, but you do it when you want to engage the system's mechanics without using the combat engine to make your dungeons and the like come alive.

    Triptycho: A card-and-dice tabletop indie RPG currently in development and playtesting
    Elvenshae
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    Right. Pacing is always key. Don't draw something out just because it feels more realistic; the amount of time and mechanical effort you commit to something should be commensurate to how narratively interesting it is.

    But sometimes a player decides to make his/her character do something that you know is incredibly stupid, yet entertaining at the same time. And you have to see it through. To the bitter end.

    I think we said the same thing we just phrased it in two different ways:
    narratively interesting
    incredibly stupid

    The SauceArdentElvenshaeDarkPrimusCaptain CarrotRhesus PositiveBrodydestroyah87MrVyngaard
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    Played first real session of Blades In the Dark today. Crew was seven large with one of every role except Cutter and two Lurks.

    Score I set up for them was a Red Sash safehouse that got a carriage delivery of valuables every day. It started out with one of our lurks casing the joint. Seeing the iron barred up windows, a heavy iron door and that there was a hand signal to get in (but not seeing what the signal was).

    Following that the plan was to steal the uniforms and carriage then blag their way through the door before rushing in and grabbing what they could. The Spider and the Slide both consorted with the carriage drivers, drinking late into the night before drugging them and leaving them in a ditch. Though not before one of the drivers got suspicious enough to put a gash in Spider's leg with a knife as the drug took effect.

    The initial assault went smoothly if... rather brutally. The guards were convinced to open the door by our slide and spider in disguise. The spider was taken upstairs to present his forged manifest of the goods to the commander, a master swordsman playing cards with the rest of the garrison.

    Meanwhile one of the lurks slipped out of the carriage and stabbed the remaining guard in the corridor to death. Though not without the noise reaching upstairs. The rest of the crew, sans our Hound and Whisper, slipped into the building. Finding that the door on their left lead to the vault room where everything was being kept. The slide convincing the two guards that they were relieved of duty early thanks to the card game and leaving them both to catch knives to the throat from the two Lurks waiting at the door outside before the Leech got to work on tinkering her way through the vault.

    All was going extra slick until a guard upstairs voiced a need to go to relieve himself outside, temporarily held upstairs by a bottle of fine whisky, something that held him in place for a bit but left the swordsman suspicious of the spider. When the vault cracker made a loud thunk with the tumblers the swordsman sent two guards to investigate. The Spider speaking up again to convince them that he should go investigate. Which the swordsman agreed with, provided he also came.

    It was at this point that the crew cracked on stealth and paniced. The Hound and Whisper making their presence on the opposite roof top known as they fired two rifles into the gathered card game. Killing the leader before he even realized his suspicions were correct. The Spider darted out past two waiting Lurks at the opportunity as the safe finally cracked open. Joy ruined by both the presence of a mysterious lock box in the vault and the distant sounds of Bluecoat whistles responding to the sound of gunfire.

    The Leech got to work on the lock box and the rest of the crew got to work shifting the rest of the loot out into the sewers while the firefight raged above them. Rifle and pistol shots exchanged even as the Whisper summoned a thick fog to prevent witnesses identifying the crew. Catching a shot to the shoulder from an unlucky exchange of fire before retreating as the magically generated moisture foiled his rifle. The Hound holding the remaining guards pinned down as the crew got away before scurrying away as befuddled Bluecoats arrived on scene.

    Initial impressions:

    1) Clocks work really well as a way to abstract out the tension of time passing while doing something illegal without making 'then the cops arrive' feel unfair to the players.

    2) Even with seven people the crew was pretty engaged and everyone got to do something. Even if the focus was often on the Spider, Tinker and Lurks everyone got a moment to shine and feel impactful in the job going well.

    3) The continual focus on imperfect successes does a good job of developing a story as you focus on complications and harm.

    admanbThe SauceAuralynxArdentMatevMcKidRhesus PositiveGrunt's Ghosts
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Seven's a big crew! Glad it went so well.

    One of my favorite things is convincing a player to make an action Desperate (with a reward, of course! Usually bonus effect -- not to mention the built-in XP) because those Desperate consequences are soooo good.

    Of course, half the time they just roll sixes and I'm like :(

    admanb on
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    I didn't really impress upon them the idea that they could help dictate when stuff is desperate and how effective it is. Will probably do that next time.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Any old school Traveller fans that might care should check out the Starship Deck Plans on DrivethruRPG. I'm not sure if it's ok to link.

    But they're free through the end of December.

    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.
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    Now I'm super fidgetty that the next session for Blades in the Dark is two or three weeks away.

    RIP.

    On the plus side:

    Albino Bunny on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    So on my week off, I've been playing the shit out of Fallout New Vegas, and it occurred to me: what about a control group? Only one vault was ever actually intended to save anyone, as far as we know, but what if someone at Vault-Tec decided to have a vault designed to house people normally, as a point of comparison for all the experiments? This, to me, forms the decent start for a campaign: the players are by default vault residents, and the place is about to open/has recently opened. The challenge would be establishing a new society, in the same vein as the Commonwealth/NCR, while dealing with raiders, tribes, experimental Vaults in the area, mutated beasties, etc.

    Elvenshae
  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited December 2016
    So on my week off, I've been playing the shit out of Fallout New Vegas, and it occurred to me: what about a control group? Only one vault was ever actually intended to save anyone, as far as we know, but what if someone at Vault-Tec decided to have a vault designed to house people normally, as a point of comparison for all the experiments? This, to me, forms the decent start for a campaign: the players are by default vault residents, and the place is about to open/has recently opened. The challenge would be establishing a new society, in the same vein as the Commonwealth/NCR, while dealing with raiders, tribes, experimental Vaults in the area, mutated beasties, etc.

    If I remember the Fallout Bible correctly, about half the Vault were control vaults. Other than Vault 8, which opened on time as a test, and Vault 3, which opened to let the Fiends in, the others are destroyed or still operating - waiting for the Enclave all clear.

    Of course, Fallout 1, they were all just...vaults. Which makes for a better setting if you want to go for the bleak severity half-parody of Fallout 1 rather than the goofier more satirical later games.

    Professor Phobos on
    Edith UpwardsMrVyngaard
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    Hey guys, so I bought a bunch of Warhammer Fantasy 3rd stuff from the FFG holidays sale. Was anybody else into this game? And if so, what kind of storage/transport stuff did you use? I really like the warhammer fantasy setting, but I never got into the 3rd edition because of the cost.

    MrVyngaard
  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    Just ordered the hardback Fellowship and Spellbound Kingdoms book. Pretty excited, especially since the SK book two Kickstarter is around the corner and it includes a Bard among other things.

    o4n72w5h9b5y.png
  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I don't know what Spellbound is, would you mind describing it?

  • FuselageFuselage Oosik Jumpship LoungeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2016
    I don't know what Spellbound is, would you mind describing it?
    @Endless_Serpents
    I still haven't played it but I read through the PDF a while back and really took to it. It's an RPG where it matters what your character cares about. If Cersei Lannister was in your game as an NPC it would be very difficult to kill her due to her love and devotion for her family. Heh.

    Basically, if somebody has a strong enough bond it can help them push through and stay alive to see another day. That means you need to attack or degrade what somebody loves or their motivations before you can kill them. The setting handles this by having the ruling class understand this, so they oppress the common people and keep their lives depressing because inspiration can be dangerous.

    It has a few different classes with a few options for fighting styles and feats to really customize your character. I believe it uses an Exploding Dice system (roll a 4 on a d4 and you get to roll a d6, etc) that I'm still less familiar with.

    It seems to have a very small or hidden community based on how old the articles or posts are but I've spoken with the creator before and am very excited for what a Kickstarter could mean for the game and community.


    http://www.spellboundkingdoms.com
    http://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/63931
    https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?513933-SpellBound-Kingdom-Pros-amp-Cons

    Fuselage on
    o4n72w5h9b5y.png
    Elvenshae
  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Special Associate Model Registered User regular
    So, could someone spell out the outline of FFG's Star Wars system? Both in terms of what to buy and how it works?

    Fuselage
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