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12:00 AM
It's a feel good transforming animals (or other mythical creatures) fixing problems in a small village or town kinda game
Player characters are hengeyokai, Japanese spirits which are both animals and small children. Play revolves around developing relationships in a rural Japanese village by helping make people's lives better.
Sounds cool. My wife would love that.
Advancement currency is awarded for being helpful or adorable, as determined by anyone else at the table.
Advancement is represented by investing points in relationships with other characters, which increases the resources which fuel your powers.
@linksassin it is a pretty interesting system :) very good for more socially-oriented groups
or at least, in my reckoning from the one-shot troggy ran
Yeah I mean, I wouldn't jump a group who has only ever played DND to it
12:02 AM
@BESW Okay I am all for this
But it's one of my personal favorite systems right now
@Ash GSS is pretty great
@Ash In the game Troggy ran for us, a kitsune tried to trap us at her shrine so she wouldn't be lonely anymore. Instead, we took her out for tofu.
Dear self - find some local humans to play things with.
@BESW awwwwww yes I love this.
I've only played it twice but I've enjoyed it a lot
12:04 AM
It sounds lovely.
@trogdor Out of curiosity, what other scenarios are there?
@BESW I ran the same scenario again for @Shalvenay, @KorvinStarmast and @MikeQ and they took her to an arcade a library and to show her some of thier metalwork
@MikeQ there are a bunch in the first book,maybe a couple more in the other I have, and even one in that demo PDF you found
I didn't use it because it had more than one character, I had already run the other one, and you guys were all new
So the one I ran already seemed like a safer bet for me
@trogdor this is lovely too!
Honestly I think the kitsune shrine one is by far the easiest to run anyway
It just feels so...nice.
12:09 AM
@Ash that's what the game is supposed to be XD
@BESW hooray!
thanks :D
Oh good
It's worth watching that I think
Reading is cool too though
@BESW More things need to have transcripts.
I'm still annoyed that I couldn't get the embedded vids in Karl and Ian's Defcon Sky Talk PPT to work
('twas on 3d printed firearms, from two dudes who have forgotten way more about guns than I'll ever know)
(no video of the presentation, either, since there never is for Sky Talks)
@nitsua60 my swag arrived. three t-shirts, coffee cup, etc. Lovin' it.
12:15 AM
hey there @KorvinStarmast
hi shal, wazzup
Just got home from work, gaah, what a long day.
not a whole lot here
@Ash Do you have any indication Sheldon wouldn't be down for some adorable friendship gaming?
@BESW Nooooo I do nooooot. bounces I bet I could rope a couple others in too!
(Who knew that finding a faith community would solve so many problems? giggles)
12:21 AM
I don't know that it wouldn't work with just two people but it would probably be optimal to have at least a couple more than that
I can think of three including me that I could likely ask.
That sounds good
Maybe I will get brave about it!
I definitely recommend the Kitsune Shrine scenario if you get around to asking people
I assume whoever runs the scenario probably won't have played GSS before, and only needing to handle one character and having some guidelines about what you should do to move things along helped me a ton the first time
And also substantially the second time
@Ash If nobody's willing to run the first session, I might be able to do it long-distance.
12:25 AM
That also works
From what I saw in the one shot, I think it can be done with 2 players
It can
I don't doubt it
But the thing is that I don't know the group dynamic involve
And as @BESW and I discovered for ourselves that's important with a smaller group
I think it's much better to have at least two hengeyokai players plus a GM.
I mean it always is but more so with just two people
@BESW same
And yes, one-on-one games are a completely different beast. It's the horse-with-an-arrow-in-its-head principle.
12:28 AM
@BESW I know that principle now!
I suspect I could get two people and a me.
And I have never run things but hey I could try
@Ash Unicorns are nice, but arrow-headed horses are much less stressful.
Q: Should I post a question to which I have an answer?

Victor BSpecifically, I was trying to understand abilities like a mule's "beast of burden" and a goliath's "powerful build trait" which both state that the carrying capacity is measured as a "large creature". After doing some research for the answer by flipping pages and using a PDF's search function, I ...

@Ash that's always an option too
12:30 AM
@BESW this is true!
I just suggest that scenario principally because the factors I meantioned did help me lot when I ran the game
Oh gosh I am delighted at this tiny baby plan of maybe gaming.
Also I enjoyed playing that Kitsune
It was nice
That didn't hurt the choice to run it a second time either
@trogdor Regarding the kitsune scenario, was there some mystery or motive to uncover? Or were we expected to just casually entertain the kitsune, like we ended up doing?
@MikeQ the only mystery was the one you figured out
12:36 AM
She was lonely and making poor choices about how to fix her problem, which could make other people unhappy.
That she was lonely and trying to keep you from leaving
That's it. GSS is a game where "someone is unhappy, we should try to help" is sufficient for a satisfying story.
@BESW yeah this
I realize as a mystery that's probably a little unsatisfying
But the mystery wasn't the important element
You guys finding a way to help her with her problem without being trapped I the Forrest forever or treating her like a monster
@trogdor Definitely wasn't unsatisfying, more like it seemed my mystery-solver character felt out of place and had little to contribute
That's what was important
@MikeQ we'll see, you blew the problem wide open actually
You figured out what was wrong way faster than the scenario suggests for me to reveal it
And also
Sharing your characters interests
All of you did that
And it made both times I ran the game unique
Yeah they started the same, but they very quickly changed into two different stories
I wish I could bottle the way I feel about it and sell it
Or heck give it away
12:45 AM
Aww that's awesome that you have those feelings from that
I certainly think so too
1:33 AM
It's like a mixture of the warm fuzzies with a personal accomplishment, and a little bit if doing something you like that you don't get to do often
oooh that is a fun mix of things
Plus i guess other people were involved in it, wtv :P
2:08 AM
@trogdor Yeah, that was fun, I was sorry to see our session end. It went well.
There was only so much further I could stretch it after a certain point
But yes it was a nice little time for sure
@trogdor And thank you again. Good game, good feels. :)
Hey yeah no prob
I enjoyed it too
@trogdor It will take a week or so, but I think I can get Pirates and Dragons ready for a slow night ... still working through a one page summary sheet for all to ease the intro session.
2:16 AM
Unwise to sell Alcubierre technology to dark wizard.
Finding the right place to stop a session/adventure/campaign is, in my opinion, an underrated skill.
A hollow voice whispered "long rest"
If only long rests actually worked as a legit pacing tool.
2:36 AM
hey there @chaosTechnician, welcome to the RPG.SE lair :)
@BESW yeah I figure it's about finding that sweet spot between going as far as possible and ending at a point at which everyone is hopefully satisfied
It's one of those things I didn't even realize was a thing until I got training as a Ruhi tutor and one of the skills they emphasize is recognizing when the group's conversation has plateaued.
Same concept in a game: learning to tell when the group's got more good stuff it can do in a scene/session/adventure/campaign, and when continuing is just going to water down the impact of what's already been done.
But part of it for me is just recognizing that I myself can go further but not so much further that we can still add something to worthwhile in anymore
Yeah, definitely including myself in "the group" when making that assessment.
3:05 AM
The second custom pregen character sheet for an all woman heist one shot using @EvilHatOfficial's Scum and Villainy RPG. The Speaker. She is the genetically engineered twin of the crew's muscle.
I've found that more often than not I am the one who runs out of steam first if I happen to be GMing something
I usually find that I want my players to just get to that next thing to set up a cliffhanger end to a sesion
I more often run over than not though.
Yeah, I did that for a while.
Once I stopped trying to pre-plan how sessions would go, it became easier to find a satisfying stopping point.
I think my problem is that I pick the end point with an hour left in the session and it always takes longer to get there than I think
3:20 AM
It also helps that I started using systems that cover more narrative ground in less time, so we hit more different beats faster per session.
I was stunned when I first noticed a three-hour Fate session had covered more ground than one of my six-hour D&D sessions ever could have.
You want a slow system? Try shadowrun...
With 7 players... it was a nightmare
We played for nearly a year and I think we only finished 3 missions.
It's not my favourite system to say the least
A single check can take >2 minutes due to the number of dice involved and the fact you have to count them
3:36 AM
...I imagine CthulhuTech would have a similar problem.
Haven't played that one
Oct 12 '18 at 22:29, by BESW
@Shalvenay One step in the resolution of an action is to choose whether your dice pool will use the highest single roll, OR the sum of the highest set of multiples, OR the sum of the largest straight.
Oh, please take the first option. Any mechanic that involves convoluted addition of dice is terrible
Your dice pools are at least 5d10, up to 15d10 or more for really complex powerful stuff you've taken time to set up.
The base pool for actions is usually 5d10 to 12d10 + a couple dice if it's your specialty.
3:49 AM
shadowrun is similar, could easily be up to 30d6
5 and 6 count as success. So you have to count how many of them you had
some abilities let 6 be exploding so more rolling and counting
And a crit fail occurs if more than half the pool are 1s. So you have to count that
but some abilities let you reroll 1s
took a long time
@BESW zoinks!
all the dice
roll dice to determine how many dice you roll
Then there's Danger Patrol: Pocket Edition, where you're rolling maybe a dozen dice at most, but they're a variety between d4s and 1d12s and you're looking for 4-or-higher and looking for 1s AND looking for dice that rolled their highest possible number.
@linksassin The thing about CthulhuTech is, you're rolling d10s and your target number is never lower than 8, and can go up to 32.
So just taking the highest single roll will guarantee failure at all but the simplest tasks worth rolling.
4:06 AM
@BESW Oh yeah I understand you can't actually just change a mechanic like that. But that sounds horrible.
Honestly I think the game would be improved by removing the "single highest" option.
Since it's effectively useless and serves only to create a possibility of failure for rolls so easy you should probably have handwaved them anyway.
Reduce complexity by taking out the option you shouldn't use.
Oh wait... you choose which method to use on every roll? That's so weird
Oct 12 '18 at 22:55, by BESW
Cthulhutech is one of those ridiculously overengineered games that disappeared up its own ruleset and never noticed that it stopped being fun to play.
If the most disruptive part of your game is the system itself, then it's not the right system for you.
4:21 AM
Well said.
1 hour later…
5:44 AM
@MikeQ There are no bad systems, only bad GMs who can't make creative and good judgments and house rules on-demand with a 0% rate of bad calls /s
There are definitely extremely bad systems
@kviiri (I know you're joking) But if you measure a good dm by % of bad calls. I don't think any of us will every pass that test.
I mean, I have no idea what the ratio is but I have had plenty of instances where I think I botched something GMing
I generally distinguish a "good DM" by flexibility and willingness to learn and improve. So it's hard to quantify.
I'd hate to track the number of calls that I think are good or bad. I wouldn't score well there.
Interestingly I think my players would score me better than I score myself
Often I think I screwed something up, but when I ask them about it later they didn't even notice
@MikeQ I just like to measure it by "did everyone in the room have fun?" At the end of the day that's your job. More than anything else
5:51 AM
That's fair
It's hard not to judge yourself though
I always believe I could have done better. I think there is only 1 or 2 session where I am genuinely happy with how I did.
I like to believe I'm a pretty good DM. But I hold myself to a high standard too.
@linksassin I think the whole idea of a Good GM is near-fictional
So I agree
I mean, my personal philosophy is that everyone will botch, and make bad calls, and we build based on that --- make games that are tolerant of human limitations.
@kviiri Hard agree. "Good GM" implies you're not gonna go from one group to another, or even one system to another, and find that you suddenly can't find the pacing, can't make characters the players care about, can't set atmosphere...
You're not a good GM. You GM good things.
There's lots of useful skills, but their usefulness is dependent on the context--some skills are vital in one group and useless in another.
6:06 AM
@kviiri As any sort of universal concept, yes. You can be a good GM of your game/table, within a specific context :)
And all that really takes is for you and your players to be having fun.
How do you quantify or determine your players' fun?
^ That's actually a very good question, at least assuming it's not a rhetorical one.
Half rhetorical, I suppose. Unless player feedback is consistently glowing or scathing, I really don't know how to gauge what they experience. Maybe there are cultural factors, but I always get confused or skeptical when folks don't give critical feedback.
There's more or less normal tell-tale signs of pleasure and displeasure, but I think it's a pretty complicated thing.
I mean, I was quite entertained during the sessions in our CoS campaign, but after the sessions I felt a deep frustration about how the game was developing (it wasn't...)
@MikeQ I don't enjoy getting critical feedback, but I think I'd need it all the same
6:19 AM
The tricky part is interpreting the unspoken criticism or lack of feedback
Regarding the "good GM", a problem we've repeatedly encountered and still haven't solved is that issues in the game only get solved on the "a good GM should handle that well". It lacks substance, as a solution. It's nothing that can be implemented. "Just be better, GM."
It's the "git gud" of TTRPGs
So we're building a ship that sails against the winds and currents by putting a Good GM under its deck, while we have no Good GMs.
May 11 '16 at 2:30, by BESW
- What do you want to see more of?
- What don't you want to see again?
- What would you like to add?
- What would you like to change?
Those kinds of questions step away from Feelings, which can seem judgey or awkward and often people just aren't self-aware enough to vocalize them effectively.
Instead it focuses on action: planning what happens next.
You can say "I want more teenage sex draculas" without having to explain (or even know yourself) why.
That's a good framework. What if the player feedback is a unanimous and consistent "whatever" or silence? How does a DM distinguish player disinterest from contentment?
6:26 AM
One good thing to do (always, but especially if others are reluctant to share) is to include yourself as someone an equal who answers the questions.
If you say "I liked the teenage sex draculas, I want to see more of them, but I've got a hard pass on ever seeing the energy-draining Tamagotchi again," that's going to help prompt a discussion.
In particular, be vulnerable. "I thought the haunted bouncy castle would be fun, but now I'm not so sure."
Dec 30 '18 at 0:36, by BESW
@Rubiksmoose Model it yourself! Be open and honest and center your input on your feelings and concern for others' feelings.
@BESW ha skin horse just slipped into that one did it? come along sir it's a dreadful crime
Dec 30 '18 at 0:41, by BESW
You can model concern by saying things like "I noticed Susan was especially quiet during [scene], and I wondered if that's because she didn't feel comfortable about it."
Try to celebrate successes more than focusing on failures:
Dec 30 '18 at 0:46, by BESW
"I noticed that Tåsi was smiling a lot during [interaction], and I really liked it too. I think I'd like to see more that kind of thing, but I'm not sure exactly what about it made me so happy. Tåsi, what did you like about it?"
Dec 30 '18 at 0:48, by BESW
"I liked our interaction with [NPC]. I'm thinking about making her a recurring character but I'm not sure how; can you help me figure out if/how to do it?"
Dec 30 '18 at 0:50, by BESW
As a GM, a big thing you can do to facilitate these discussions is to model vulnerability and emotional trust.
@BESW So far my plan is to tell players at the beginning of the session that I'll reserve a few minutes for feedback at the end. That could encourage them to think about what they like/dislike/want/unwant during the session, and then provide more substantial feedback afterward.
@BESW The per-player observation / concerns is good. I'll write that down.
6:33 AM
@BESW lol
I think it's definitely worth asking individuals for feedback, not just the whole group
Dec 30 '18 at 0:33, by BESW
Though there's also value in getting peoples' considered opinions after they've had time to percolate their thoughts, the hot takes are usually more important. I like trying for both when I can.
Dec 30 '18 at 0:37, by BESW
If longer talks are needed, have them outside game time, preferably while sharing food.
I don't mean to reiterate the horrors of our CoS game again in full, so in a nutshell: I was frustrated between sessions, posted my feedback and suggestions on our group's IRC channel, never got a reply from the GM but the same guy always showed up to defend the status quo without addressing my specific complaints
Please, reiterate away!
@kviiri wow
6:40 AM
@kviiri Ah yes, "I cannot dispute your problems but care more about my comfort than yours so will loudly pretend you did not say anything worth responding to."
And then those discussions gradually escalated into civil but fruitless arguments
Y'know, "your response makes it seem you missed my point so I'll repeat it louder"
@kviiri That sounds really aggravating. If it's any consolation, other tables would likely value a player who communicates feedback and voices concerns like you did.
@MikeQ It really was, although it took me a while to figure out the pattern. I could've also resolved it more constructively
The player who did this isn't really a jerk in general, I just think it was some mixture of wanting to see the campaign "as-is", or respecting the GM's vision, or whatever. Anyway, he (probably inadvertently) came off as being hostile towards any criticism towards the game, which is a problem
(We don't usually play premade campaigns)
@MikeQ I've whined plenty of the campaign's actual content, but the main issues I think the GM could've rectified was the endless flood of sidequest hooks and padding
So we had sessions where we literally did nothing but talk to a bajillion named NPCs who essentially told us the same things. I zoned out after the first two.
7:03 AM
Yes I recall. It seems like the DM had a pacing / story-structure style that didn't work for you. (Probably wouldn't work for me either)
7:16 AM
@kviiri "Hooks and Padding" would be a good name for a band.
Also urrrrgh. do you have a sense why there was so much padding? In my experience it's usually because they want the adventure to hit more XP tallies than the story justifies.
@BESW I think the GM was running it "by the book", which includes random encounters. The story hook thing is probably related too
We used story-based leveling so XP padding wasn't an issue, luckily
As for the story hooks: he was, by his own words, fascinated by the depth of the Ravenloft world and the idea that wherever we look, we find something interesting. This sounds nice on paper, but let's face it, it works far better in a computer game that tracks your quest log and lets you, a single player, decide which ones you work on now.
I managed to do that kind of world once in D&D.
It was predicated on custom-building a world so the first half of the campaign was a "what are you interested in?" exploration and then I wrote the second half of the campaign so all the things they were interested in tied back in on each other.
Otherwise the best you can hope for is a West Marches campaign that doesn't really do... story.
7:35 AM
A major problem I don't think anyone considered but me was that every time a new sidequest jumps out of the bushes, it's a group decision moment. Group decisions halt the game for analysis paralysis to set in. And if both outcomes get interrupted by new sidequest hooks including MORE decision moments, cynicism starts to set in. What's the point of starting anything if it always gets interrupted?
Ah, yes.
One solution I found was to put sidequests on bulletin boards.
Often literally, in adventuring guild halls.
That way if you're out on a quest, you only interrupt it if you go looking for an interruption.
And when you want a new thing to do and can't find one yourself, you can go check the board.
Gives the players the control.
(Of course, in games like Fate and Bubblegumshoe, the PCs themselves are the best source for new quests and sidequests.)
@BESW Yes, exactly
Overall I think if the players are committed to some quest, interrupting them for new sidequests is usually a bad idea. Our GM went by the book --- there is a knight with a tragic backstory on the way, we have to hear him out.
8:36 AM
Q: Player using charm spells on party players

GuestI'm playing a barbarian with a small party. My character's backstory was completely ruined because the caster decided to use charm on me when wanted posters that looked slightly like my character showed up, forcing me to explain that he was an heir to a tyrannical kingdom near by. So it ruined ...

Oh, boy. That's not gonna be pretty.
8:58 AM
Yeah uh, there's a lot of warning labels I'd like to give beginning DnD groups
like, in the books
CAUTION: Conflict between the party members is not as fun as it might seem. Discuss with your players before trying.
Not to worry, I'm sure there will be plenty of highly-voted answers giving helpful advice.
that is some stuff right there
3 hours later…
11:41 AM
This question is missing a question, so is acting as a discussion starter and inviting soapboxing rather than solving a specific concrete request (because there isn't one). Please detail what specific outcome you want or actions you want to take and request our assistance with whatever part has you stuck. — doppelgreener ♦ 2 mins ago
@doppelgreener I was in the middle of asking the answerer in a comment about the "some things aren't done" when you erased it. Not sure I've had that happen before. (Certainly agree with the put on hold move, question needs refining).
@KorvinStarmast Oh, the "don't do PVP" answer?
@doppelgreener yeah, that one
Happy Naw-Ruz, everybody!
@BESW Happy Naw-Ruz!
@KorvinStarmast Gotcha. I saw your comment just above mine, but yeah, that's the kind of answer we just ... get rid of. Nobody needs to see someone saying "this is why your playstyle is bad and wrong".
("your" being the reader's in this case)
11:54 AM
@doppelgreener I was hoping to engage with the person, but as it was already attracting dv's it was probably going to be doomed anyway.
I was thinking of linking to the "we embrace a plurality of play styles" meta but that's Overcome by Events. You were too fast for me! :)
@KorvinStarmast Understandable and laudable.
What's a 'DV' in this context?
12:11 PM
@vicky_molokh downvote
Ah, thanks.
I've added a description to the HNQ bot:
> This bot posts questions from RPG Stack Exchange that have hit Hot Network Questions for the first time. They remain on HNQ for as little as 15 minutes or as much as 72 hours from this point.
You'll be able to see the description in the popover if you click on its name or icon.
12:29 PM
So has anyone else watched "Love, Death and Robots" yet?
@Ben Some of my friends have, and they enjoyed it. I plan on watching it myself soon.
It is different from all the other stuff I've been watching lately. I to,, enjoyed it
I heard it has... challenges... with its portrayal of women.
I'm a little oblivious to all of that, so I can't really say
Mmm. Enough people I trust have said that it depicts women primarily as either objects and targets of violence, or deceivers, that I don't feel any need to spend my energies on a subgenre I'm not particularly interested in anyway.
12:45 PM
Fair enough. I didn't really focus on any of that, but just thinking about it now, probably.
Has anyone played the strategy board game, Cuba Libre?
A friend praised it a lot and I'm considering buying it --- but at 70 euros, I want a second opinion.
This is where my SO would, if she were present, step in and remind me that I paid 120 € for a melodica. And 300 € for an accordion.
@kviiri Have you considered trying it out on TTS first?
Phrasing the question this way because I'm not sure what your philosophical stance on the matter is.
@vicky_molokh There's a good idea I hadn't considered, thanks
morning folks
12:55 PM
Good morning o/
@goodguy5 I can respond in kind in.... 1 hour and 5 mins
ah, right. au
12:57 PM
tbh, I'm surprised that the powers that be allowed a penal state to be called "Queens" land
I think it happened as part of/after it was released from said title.
that would make a certain amount of sense
Also, happy vernal equinox!
We were also given Red Deer as a gift at the time, and they are now considered both a pest (due to numbers) and a protected species (because of said event). Lol
12:59 PM
@Ben wait,.... so are you allowed to hunt them or not?
it seems like they are an invasive species
Yes… and no.
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