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  #61  
Old 12-26-2016, 08:33 AM
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Ryuutama is fantastic. Despite some translation hiccups, it gets pretty much everything right, with a simple, consistent system that's well-tuned for actual play. PS: read the letter from the creator in the back; it's fascinating.
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  #62  
Old 12-26-2016, 09:49 PM
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That game caught my eye back when Roll 20 did a series on it. It seems really neat.
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  #63  
Old 01-22-2017, 09:29 PM
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Reading Ryuutama, for all the sweetness and light of its tone, it's not not difficult at all to imagine a subversion of it. Part of the Ryuujin's jobs is to fuck with the players if things get too boring, after all. It's not difficult to extrapolate that to the half-dragons - particularly the Crimsons and Blacks - actively destabilizing civilization to keep things interesting, in the Chinese curse* sense.
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  #64  
Old 01-23-2017, 04:30 AM
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When asked how exactly a journey with a black dragon is supposed to work, Ryuutama's author described one campaign he did where the PCs were travelling through the end of the world with the full knowledge they were likely to be the last people to see most of the sights they saw, if not the last people period to go travelling.
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  #65  
Old 02-06-2017, 03:02 PM
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Reading through the official release of Blades in the Dark right now. This game is really good you guys.
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  #66  
Old 02-06-2017, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
Reading through the official release of Blades in the Dark right now. This game is really good you guys.
Tell me more; I've been on the fence about it for a long-ass time now.
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  #67  
Old 02-06-2017, 06:58 PM
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Well, I just spent like half an hour writing an essay in answer to your question and then got on error on posting it and lost everything.

Do you have a more specific question, to save me from writing all that again? Any particular worry that was keeping you from buying the game?

If you want a quick taste of what the final product is like, here are all the reference sheets http://www.evilhat.com/home/blades-i...ark-downloads/. Giving them a glance will give you an idea of what the full rules are like.
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  #68  
Old 02-06-2017, 07:52 PM
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Blades in the Dark is the Camora/Lahnkmar-style heist RPG, right? Looked super good from the Kickstarter pitch. Only reason I'm skeptical about it is that getting four players to vibrate on the right tonal wavelength seems trickier than some games, which is compounded by how heists are inherently more proactive than a lot implied narratives in RPGs. Like, I'm the only person in my peer group that's read Gentlemen Bastards or Mistborn, and replicating those sorts of stories with neophytes seems a bit aspriational.

Looking over some of the available resources, though, it seems like the rules do a lot of the heavy lifting, as far as tone and narrative beats. I'd like to hear some play reports to make sure the rules aren't borked or self-sabotaging.
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  #69  
Old 02-06-2017, 08:37 PM
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I'm mostly interested in what it does well for genre emulation, and exactly what style it is. Super gritty death comes easily? Super capable crime thriller a la Ocean's 11?
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  #70  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:13 PM
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The version of Blades we played during the playtest was definitely not "gritty". Think 'Han Solo running into the room full of stormtroopers'. Han doesn't die, neither will you. Characters emerge from setbacks looking cooler and smarter than before, and they dig themselves into deeper trouble every session.

We stole a carriage and raced it through cobblestone streets in the rain while I flirted with the countess in the passenger seat. There was a high-speed crossbow shootout. The chase ended with the carriage exploding (I saved the countess and got her number).

Death is difficult to achieve, but we had some kind of magical device powered by a ghost, so presumably someone has died in this universe.

If you've played Harper's Lady Blackbird, it's like that for Dishonored and Locke Lamora and Lankhmar. If you like witty repartee and cool characters, the game has your back. I love it.
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  #71  
Old 02-07-2017, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
I'm mostly interested in what it does well for genre emulation, and exactly what style it is. Super gritty death comes easily? Super capable crime thriller a la Ocean's 11?
Cool, I can answer these questions!

The second question first, with a resounding yes. The main structure of the game is split between Scores and Downtime. Scores are the Ocean's 11-style heist part, although whether they are specifically heist will depend on the focus of your crew - maybe instead you're pulling off an assassination or smuggling goods into the city. When you start a score, the game is emphatic: do not plan everything out. Your characters are good at this shit, so you don't have to be. Instead, you pick the type of plan (for instance Assault or Social) and the key detail we need - the point of attack, the contact who got you into the party, etc. Then we cut straight to the action, just like in a heist movie, with a die roll to determine whether things are going smoothly or poorly. Then the actual action starts. If, during the Score, you think "wait a second, my character would have planned for this" that's fine, we just do a flashback showing them planning for it. Inventory works the same way - you decide how many items you're bringing, but not which ones specifically, instead picking what you need as the challenge arises. That way, you get to play cool scoundrels who prepared for precisely the problems they were going to encounter, instead of worrywarts who prepared for every eventuality and still got screwed by the dice.

Once downtime hits, the game is more The Wire than Ocean's 11. Characters indulge in their vices, prepare for the next score and deal with the problems that arise from the last one.

In terms of grittiness, some of that will be determined by what sort of crew you pick - Robin Hood-style thieves are going to be inherently lighter than cold-blooded killers for higher. Although even the happiest-go-luckiest characters are going to run into the darkness of the setting - literally, in that there's no sunlight, but also from the fact that the ghosts of the dead automatically come back to the living if their bodies aren't properly disposed of. I'd say as a baseline, Blades is quite gritty, but in the "happiness comes hard" rather than the "death comes easily" sense. It's very, very difficult for a player character to die in Blades - I think you'd have to do it on purpose, which maybe you would, if you want your character to be a Ghost now (there are rules for that). But by the same token, it's very difficult to come away from a life of crime clean - characters accrue Stress, the Crew accrues Heat, anything you do is going to piss off somebody in the city. Your actions won't kill you, but they'll leave you bloody and bruised and in desperate need of a drink.

Again, how far in one direction or another the game goes is somewhat up to the players. One of the central mechanics is Resistance. Basically, whenever the GM offers up a consequence for a failed roll ("you get stabbed" or "the guards notice you're lying"), the player can Resist the consequence, taking a bunch of Stress, modified by a roll. The key part is that Resistance always works, but the degree to which it works is up to the GM, depending on the situation and the tone of the game established at the table. If you want a gritty, injury-filled game,maybe that Stabbed condition turns into Bruised, but if you want to emphasize daring adventure, maybe they dodge the blade altogether.

What's great is that the rulebook is very explicit about this stuff. It explains the mechanics of the game and explains why those mechanics work to make the game what it is. Then it shows you the knobs you can turn to modify the tone in the direction you want. It's awesome.

If anyone wants to see some of the stuff I'm talking about in action, John Harper has done a couple actual play campaigns on YouTube. This one is really good, and shows players learning the game, which I always find useful.
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  #72  
Old 02-07-2017, 10:05 AM
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Well I'm sold.


Oh wait, I backed that, didn't I?
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  #73  
Old 02-08-2017, 12:48 PM
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If anyone has been curious about Lamentations of the Flame Princess (which is often incredibly juvenile, but also often very creative for a horror-esque retro-rpg), my friends posted a podcast of the module I ran for them.

Rag-nerd-rok presents: Fudge For Satan (language and content warning).
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  #74  
Old 02-08-2017, 03:36 PM
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Huh. The beta PDF for Pugmire - Eddy Webb's anthropomorphic dogs fantasy RPG - dropped to backers and... They seem to have switched the rules from a 3.5-analog to straight D&D5e-based.

Unexpected but welcome!
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  #75  
Old 02-08-2017, 03:46 PM
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Got mine~!
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  #76  
Old 02-20-2017, 07:03 PM
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Oh hey, I got that. I should dig into it at some point.
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  #77  
Old 02-23-2017, 02:51 PM
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Moving over from the MtG thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Büge View Post
...Everway?
Nope, The Primal Order. They engaged in the cardinal sin of printing Palladium stats outside of a Palladium Books book, and so got sued. Palladium was pretty notorious for going after anyone who did this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
Was Palladium behind that 3.5 knockoff that was everpresent on '00 bookstore shelves? I don't think I ever bothered to open one, aside from mentally remarking that they looked like a low-rent 3.xx set from the covers.
Probably not, unless you're talking about Palladium Fantasy, which predates 3.5 by a decade-plus, and has totally distinct trade dress.

Incidentally, I heartily recommend Designers and Dragons to anyone interested in the history of the tabletop gaming hobby; while the focus is on RPGs, Appelcline has to dip into board games, wargames, and CCGs in multiple places. He's done a fabulous job of pulling together information from all kinds of source and interviews, and weaving together the various threads of the hobby.
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  #78  
Old 02-23-2017, 02:58 PM
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No, the logo was "Steel & Sorcery" or something else super generic.
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  #79  
Old 02-23-2017, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
No, the logo was "Steel & Sorcery" or something else super generic.
Are you talking about White Wolf's Sword and Sorcery imprint, mainly used for publishing their Scarred Lands setting? That was straight up d20 OGL product.
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  #80  
Old 02-23-2017, 04:30 PM
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Yeah, that looks familiar.
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  #81  
Old 02-23-2017, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, that looks familiar.
It was terrible branding but actually pretty quality stuff.
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  #82  
Old 02-27-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
Incidentally, I heartily recommend Designers and Dragons to anyone interested in the history of the tabletop gaming hobby; while the focus is on RPGs, Appelcline has to dip into board games, wargames, and CCGs in multiple places. He's done a fabulous job of pulling together information from all kinds of source and interviews, and weaving together the various threads of the hobby.
Speaking of Designers and Dragons, allow me to direct your attention to this week's Bundle of Holding, with all four volumes of Designers & Dragons for about $20.
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  #83  
Old 02-28-2017, 07:06 AM
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At that price, I'd be a fool to pass it up!
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  #84  
Old 02-28-2017, 07:52 AM
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I was on the fence because pdfs are probably my least favorite option for ebooks, but I've been eyeing that series for a while and
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At that price, I'd be a fool to pass it up!
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  #85  
Old 02-28-2017, 08:11 AM
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If they use drive thru for delivery I think you get the mobi and epub as well.
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  #86  
Old 03-01-2017, 11:16 AM
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I downloaded direct from the Bundle of Holding site and the zip file I got had the epub and mobi in it. Convenient!
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  #87  
Old 03-02-2017, 03:09 PM
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I ran my first session of Blades in the Dark on Monday. We got through character and crew creation and started the first score (stealing a rival gang's treasury). It went really well! I'm excited to play more.
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  #88  
Old 03-02-2017, 10:06 PM
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I finally started reading Designers and Dragons '90s. It opens with a White Wolf chapter that is best described as "saucy".
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  #89  
Old 03-04-2017, 12:38 PM
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I recall a certain class of grognard-type dudes having pretty serious beef with White Wolf in the olden days because it brought women into the hobby who wouldn't sleep with them.

(no idea if that's what going on there, I just still find it really funny)
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  #90  
Old 03-06-2017, 08:11 AM
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I dug in vain for a discussion of the insanity behind Amarillo Design Bureau or Chaosium. Did they get skipped?
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