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  #1081  
Old 01-29-2019, 10:46 PM
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By the time I heard about this it's already been about 300% funded.

Sentinel Comics Roleplaying Game. It looks neat.
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  #1082  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:24 PM
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Yo, is Numenéra worth some money, vis a vis the Humble Bundle this month? It's like, $15, I know, but it's more the time commitment and convincing my players to potentially break away from DnD, however short the break.
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  #1083  
Old 02-01-2019, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by gahitsu View Post
Yo, is Numenéra worth some money, vis a vis the Humble Bundle this month? It's like, $15, I know, but it's more the time commitment and convincing my players to potentially break away from DnD, however short the break.
I mean, what are you looking for? The system does a tolerable job of adapting a few neat indie design concepts for a general audience. It's the second edition, which is widely regarded as patching up a lot of the issues with the first. But the setting is, shall we say, aggressively weird?
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  #1084  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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We ran our second game of Blades in the Dark yesterday! We got a new player who made a super creepy Whisper, and we decided to be Shadows and built the crew. That took a while, but we still ran a fairly long heist. The first suggestion listed under Shadows was an Iruvian jewel heist, and since the last heist was against the Red Sashes I thought it would be a good follow-up.

I had planned a bunch of obstacles about guards and violence before the session, so I had to switch things up on the fly. I took a ten minute break and came up with a handful of notable attendants, the security situation, and a vague layout for the gallery. The crew used fake documents and a good roll to get into the opening party at the gallery, and basically split up for the session and did their best to plan and create an opportunity for the heist. The Hound scoped things out and subtly let others know about guards, the Whisper socialized with a spirit medium and got her to help with a distraction, the Slide tried to sneak up to the second floor to find a piece of jewelry that was missing from the display, and the Leech sabotaged the alarm system and set up a device to turn off the lights.

I ran into the same problem that I did in the first session: I got nervous that things were moving too fast and tried to slow things down. In the first game I introduced an empty room, and in this one I said that time passed and more guests arrived. In both instances I didn’t give them any clear obstacles and it led to the players being uncertain and overplanning. Going forward I think I just need to be less controlling. As the book says, you play to find out what happens.

Anyway, that was just a roadblock & they were able to summon a ghost, shut off the lights, and steal the main jewels. The Slide got caught sneaking upstairs (a 1 on a desperate roll), and she got beat up & thrown out. She was able to get the escape boat ready though, so it all worked out. Looking forward to the next one.
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  #1085  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:18 PM
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That sounds really fun Patrick! I'm glad you're having a good time with the game!

I know what you meant about trying to slow things down, I get that impulse sometimes too. I think you're right, the key is to let go a bit - if the score is going quickly and seems to easy, that's fine! Finish it up, move on, go to the next thing. There's very little need to worry about providing a "balanced challenge" or anything.

The other thing is that you can offer the players hooks to screw things up for themselves - opportunities to indulge their vices or pursue their personal projects in the middle of the score that will complicate things for everybody else. Devil's Bargains are great for that. The nice thing about that is that you put the onus on the players - take the bait and risk their current success (but get rewarded with XP later), or sail on through unscathed. It takes the decision out of your hands, which can be pretty freeing.
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  #1086  
Old 02-09-2019, 02:31 PM
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Blades also provides pretty good feedback mechanisms in the core resolution system to correct for things being too smooth or too easy - even on a safe roll with high effect, a failure or partial success can reduce the character's position, right? And my memory of the way the probabilities hash out is that if characters are consistently getting full successes they're probably expending resources to do so. Resources they'll have to refill.

And really the important thing to ask is "what should happen next?"
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  #1087  
Old 02-10-2019, 07:55 AM
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Yeah, those are two very good points. Also, even if the current score goes smoothly, they are going to gain at least a small amount of Heat and have to roll Entanglements, which will entail expending resources, which means taking bigger risks next time to make up the difference, which will cause more problems, etc., etc. The game is very good at letting players defer consequences, but it's also very good at making sure those chickens come home to roost.

I will say that there is one way the GM can screw with this a bit, which is in mis-assigning effect levels. It's important to remember that, at least at the beginning of the game, the PCs' equipment and abilities just are not on the same baseline level as their opposition. How hard you push on that idea is ultimately a matter of taste and tonal preference, but it's important to consider, for example, that when your Cutter goes toe-to-toe with a master Red Sash swordfighter, he's going to have a very difficult time getting the Sash to even break a sweat. Unless, of course, he pushes himself and makes a desperate move and gets help from a friend, etc. And the benefit of really emphasizing the skill of the opposition is that when the Cutter does expand all his resources to do an incredible pile-driver and knock out the Red Sash in one crushing blow, it feels absolutely amazing.
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  #1088  
Old 02-10-2019, 08:17 AM
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Yeah, I let the characters get away with a lot more in our first session because I was mostly concerned with getting through the game, but in the second session I made the tier 2 swordsmen pretty powerful. Also, they were able to fake their way in because the specifically chose an upgrade to document quality for their gang and rolled well to pass them off as real tickets.

Using vices/heritage/etc as a devil’s bargain is a great idea! We’ve mostly been getting XP from desperate rolls and the playbook specific options, and we have sometimes struggled to come up with good devil’s bargains. This would solve both issues.
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  #1089  
Old 02-10-2019, 01:34 PM
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Oh nice, it's always fun when the upgrades players choose make a real impact on the game.
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  #1090  
Old 02-10-2019, 07:42 PM
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If I want to run a superhero game, what's the system to use? Is Mutants and Masterminds still good?
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  #1091  
Old 02-10-2019, 08:33 PM
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I've heard good things about Spectaculars.
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  #1092  
Old 02-10-2019, 09:05 PM
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It’s not out yet alas.

Depending on what you want to do there’s a lot of more focused supers games now. Tachyon City does the gritty almost-cyberpunk Batman Beyond style with FATE. Marvel Heroic was a very flexible way of playing Marvel-style supers with Cortex - out of print but there’s tons of used copies floating around. The Sentinels comics RPG is its spiritual successor. Apparently several of the recent DC games are very good...
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  #1093  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:06 AM
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There's also Masks, which does the Young Justice/Young Avengers teenage superhero melodrama thing.
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  #1094  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Blades in the Dark
How have I never heard of this before? Because now that I've read up on it a little I need it!
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  #1095  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Destil View Post
How have I never heard of this before? Because now that I've read up on it a little I need it!
There's also Scum and Villainy (Heists! In! Space!) and the upcoming Band of Blades (mercenary company retreating to safety from a disastrous battle with a dark lord's undead legions) using the same system.
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  #1096  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Destil View Post
How have I never heard of this before? Because now that I've read up on it a little I need it!
It's a lot of fun, and it's full of good ideas. The core mechanic is fairly simple, but there are some more fiddly rules for systems that don't come into play as often. You can basically just run it using the core mechanic though. I forgot a couple of rules during my first session, and it all worked out fine anyway. But also, coming from D&D it's a pretty big change in how you think about the game from moment to moment. It comes from the Apocalypse World/Dungeon World school, so it focuses more on storytelling rather than simulation.

Some things that I really like about it:

The entire concept of clocks. For anything in the game that requires more than one success or failure to happen, just start a 4, 6, or 8 part clock (a circle divided into that many pie slices). This can easily replace hit points on enemies. If the players are facing a boss and you want it to be a longer fight, just start a clock for defeating them. A critical hit might fill 5 parts, while a regular hit fills 3 and poorer results fill fewer. But, you can also use it to create tension by allowing multiple failures. Someone failed a roll and made a bunch of noise, and so you can start a clock for how many failures it will take before guards find them. You can have clocks for how long it will take an organization to achieve their goal, how long it will take your players to finish long term goals, whether the crew can escape in a chase, pretty much anything. That means that the core rolling mechanic of the game can be scaled however you need and works as well out of combat as in. It's super useful.

The game book includes a ton of info on the setting, including neighborhoods in the city, tons of factions, notable characters, information about other lands and the history of the world, and ideas for making up stuff on your own. The great thing is that none of it it necessary and it's not ultra detailed. It's all made for inspiration and you can use or not use whatever you want.

There's a clear demarcation between action heavy scores, extremely structured/rule heavy downtime, and free play in between. It makes it really easy to let the players know that this part is more abstracted or this part needs to get more detailed without having to think about it much.

Characters actually gain experience for taking risks and role playing their characters. Like, it doesn't matter if you succeed, just if you play your character. It's great! Oh, and there's a character sheet for the crew that is a lot of fun too. Oh, and the downloadable player's kit is full of maps and helpful rules reminders. It's super great.

You can read a lot of the rules here, but it's worth getting the book for all of the cool setting info and GMing advice.
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  #1097  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:15 PM
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There's also Masks, which does the Young Justice/Young Avengers teenage superhero melodrama thing.
I don’t buy products from that publisher.
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  #1098  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:22 AM
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I don’t buy products from that publisher.
Oh really? Is there a particular reason I should know about, or just a personal thing?
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  #1099  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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Oh really? Is there a particular reason I should know about, or just a personal thing?
The owner went to bat for some really unsavory people.

(EDIT: and to be clear, they're absolutely not the only publisher I don't buy from over this shit. I've stopped buying WotC D&D products too. I'm skipping the new White Wolf stuff. There are other companies I won't buy from because of their shitty labor conditions or associations with shitty people. Yes, these companies can get off my shit list, but it takes more than a half-baked apology.)

Last edited by Egarwaen; 02-12-2019 at 12:05 PM.
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  #1100  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:02 PM
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That's totally fair. I had heard rumblings about some post Truman had made a while ago, but I didn't realize it was defending Zak S.

It's too bad too, because Magpie publishes some really interesting experimental stuff, like Bluebeard's Bride. It sucks to have that stuff alongside people defending abusers.
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  #1101  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:11 PM
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It's too bad too, because Magpie publishes some really interesting experimental stuff, like Bluebeard's Bride. It sucks to have that stuff alongside people defending abusers.
Yeah; I ... Feel like maybe I was too harsh there? I'm just frustrated with otherwise-socially conscious tabletop publishers being super eager to cozy up to really horrible people for a leg up. Magpie does a lot of good work putting forward marginalized creators, and I want them to be better.
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  #1102  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:34 PM
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Yeah, boycotts are always tough in that regard.

In totally unrelated news, a new edition of Burning Wheel was announced today and it's $15 to pre-order! I'd totally be picking it up, except for the fact that it's $25 to ship it to me. I ... may still pick it up.

It's seems like it's mostly going to be errata corrections and clarifications (they were intent on keeping the same layout for the book rather than doing a soup-to-nuts rewrite) but honestly, clarification and consistency is the #1 thing Burning Wheel has always needed, so I'm happy to hear that's the focus here.
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