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  #121  
Old 12-02-2018, 02:51 PM
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Patrick Patrick is offline
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One more question: one of my players wants to know more about the game backstory in order to help build his character. I went over some of the basic stuff, but I didn't want to bore them with details so we just jumped into play and I filled in stuff about ghosts or electricity barriers as it came up. Is there a resource for the players to find out more aside from just asking me or reading the book themselves? I'm hesitant to loan them the book because it gives away a lot of stuff about characters they haven't met yet. Or is that even something I should worry about?
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  #122  
Old 12-02-2018, 03:22 PM
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Karzac Karzac is offline
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That's awesome! I'm so glad that you had a good time and it sounds like you did a really wonderful job of running the game - and that the players did a great job of playing it, which in Blades is almost more important than how good the GM is. You're right that Blades does an excellent job of making failing forward easy. Also, absolutely agreed about the quality of the handouts - you can tell John Harper's former career was in marketing graphic design.

As for setting info, I think the map of the city and the map of the Shattered Isles which are included in the player kit give about as much information as you need to know. For more detail, I would encourage you to let the players fill in some of that detail. For instance, if one of the players is from Skovlan and wants to know more about that island, you can turn the questions back on them and let them fill in the detail for themselves. Obviously, you have some back-and-forth there to make sure that everything fits together tonally and logistically with what you've already established, but that sort of self-creation helps give everybody a stronger sense of ownership over the setting. And the Blades setting is drawn in broad enough strokes that things can be added or removed without too much trouble.

In terms of having stuff spoiled for them if they read the book, I wouldn't worry too much about it: I personally find it fun to have a little bit of dramatic irony between the character's knowledge and the player's knowledge. If the player knows that two factions have a secret alliance, for example, you can still make them work to gain that knowledge in-character, but it gives the player some direction rather than needing to grope in the dark. It's a fine line and certain tables are more or less stringent about it, but I'm personally willing to trust players to make honest decisions about what their characters know.

EDIT: Speaking of playing indie RPGs, I'm gonna be playing Monsterhearts from the PC side of the table for the first time in a couple minutes. I'll report back!

Last edited by Karzac; 12-02-2018 at 05:03 PM.
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  #123  
Old 01-16-2019, 08:25 AM
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I recently picked up Knave by Ben Milton (who also wrote Maze Rats). My brain has basically exploded, and now I want to run D&D without classes. You can check out the full size preview here (which gives you 6 of the 7 pages), or pick it up for $3.

It's built to be compatible with D&D B/X or any OSR system, and the basic idea is that instead of having classes, all player abilities come from items and they have a limited inventory. So you might start with 11 inventory slots (linked to your CON score), and a single slot can hold one of light armor, a dagger, a rope, two days of rations, a spellbook, or whatever other things you would see at a shop in D&D. Bigger weapons and armor take up multiple slots. Spellbooks usually can't be bought, they each contain one spell, and can be used once per day.

So if you want to be a wizard, just seek out spellbooks and carry around a library. If you want to be a tank, get heavy weapons and armor and maybe some magic items that improve your physical abilities. But, the more stuff you carry around the less space you have for loot, so you have to make some hard decisions when setting out or when finding a bunch of stuff.

There are also some other smart changes, like using the copper standard for treasure so that good equipment is actually restricted by cost, and using a very simplified system for generating ability mods and scores. Also, there's a list of 100 level-less spells that are really creative (though it's compatible with any list of D&D spells). He also includes commentary for pretty much everything, and advice on how to hack the system or add it to other systems, and if you buy it he includes a word doc of the whole game that you can edit and change whatever you want.

And I've been thinking about how well this would mesh with D&D 5e. The ability scores don't line up exactly (it's built to be much more deadly), but you could use 5e bounded accuracy and make a lot of class abilities from 5e into items or magic items. So you could have an instrument that grants bardic inspiration, hand wraps that allow you to fight barehanded and get extra attacks, a headband that lets you rage out, an amulet that lets you refresh a limited number of spell books once per day, etc. It would streamline the game and add a lot of weight to encumbrance and shopping, which are both handwaved in most games. The biggest issue would be balance, so the GM would need to be careful about how common/expensive/heavy they make class ability based items. I would probably want to write up the whole system and run it by people before running anything, then maybe just start with one shots to see how it feels in play.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot since I found it last week, and I thought some other people here might be interested in it too.
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  #124  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:22 AM
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Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
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I just wouldn't worry about it; most class abilities aren't that good on their own, so you're shopping for synergies, really. The handful of class abilities that are that good (Portent) you can just adjust or simply not include - or even make them "side effects" of a particular set of equipment.

Also play FFTA2 which has a ton of great ideas about how to implement a system exactly like this.
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  #125  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:41 AM
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Ooh, abilities from sets of equipment is a really good idea. Thanks!

I liked FFTA a lot but I never checked out the sequel. I'll keep an eye out for a copy.
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  #126  
Old 01-16-2019, 10:29 AM
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Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
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It's got a lot of tedious elements, but also some good ideas - you can probably get most of the effect by reading a guide.
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  #127  
Old 03-07-2019, 06:05 AM
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JBear JBear is offline
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Boy Problems: A Carly Rae Jepsen-themed Heist Tabletop RPG One-shot
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  #128  
Old 03-07-2019, 04:18 PM
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Johnny Unusual Johnny Unusual is offline
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Into it.
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