« first day (2603 days earlier)      last day (649 days later) » 

12:10 AM
@BESW this story just keeps getting better
 
> McFarlane, however, disliked the job intensely, only writing the fourth volume after requesting and receiving a higher fee than usual. He declined to write any further titles, writing afterwards that "starvation seemed preferable." McFarlane's antipathy towards the series stemmed largely from his discomfort from writing about two girls under a female pseudonym.
Adams assigned the series next to Mildred Benson, who was also writing the Nancy Drew series. Benson also did not particularly enjoy writing the series, stating at one point that "I never felt the same kinship with the Danas that I
Whups, little earthquake there.
 
12:31 AM
Yep felt it down here too
 
Where?
 
Not a big one at all
Guam
 
hey there @inthemanual
 
howdy
 
what's up?
 
12:37 AM
finishing up at work
 
ah. not a whole lot here
hoping we can get together and move the dungeon forward some :)
 
12:58 AM
hey there @nitsua60
 
@BESW True. I was thinking in the context of the game's history and development. Probably because I've been reading Playing at the World for... oh, about ten months now?
@Shalvenay hiya
 
how're things going?
 
@nitsua60 Yeah, that stuff's interesting, but not particularly useful for evaluating the product's table-level impact.
 
@Shalvenay busy busy. You?
 
@nitsua60 alright here
 
1:39 AM
@Shalvenay when? I think I'm busy doing something with my brother tonight
 
@inthemanual dunno. mostly depends on when Ben pops on
 
2:02 AM
> 1. D&D 3.5e 2005-2011
2. Mage: The Ascension 2005
3. Stargate SG-1 RPG 2008
4. Dogs in the Vineyard ~2009
5. Dawn of Worlds ~2010
6. D&D 4e 2011-2013
7. My Life with Master 2012
8. Fate Accelerated 2013-2017
9. Fate Core 2013-2017
10. Dresden Files 2013
11. Roll For Shoes 2013-2017
12. Aeon Wave 2014-2015
13. Cthulhu Dark 2014-2016
14. The Princes' Kingdom 2014
15. Dresden Files Accelerated Beta 2014
16. A Penny for My Thoughts 2014
17. Microscope 2014-2015
18. Atomic Robo 2014-2016
19. Lady Blackbird 2014-2017
 
Is there a location for asking about homebrewed game mechanics?
I'm in some need of a brain-trust to help me consider
 
ask here for starters :)
 
@HadesHerald Depends on what you're asking - some questions work on the mainsite, some don't. You can ask anything here in chat, but no guarantees of a brain-trust forming.
 
RPG.SE can handle particular kinds of those things on main site, depending on what the question is specifically (goals are important to define). And this chat can often be helpful, provided it's for a system that the chatizens are familiar with.
 
Apologies, I know homebrew aren't for RPG.SE, I was wondering if there were other sites for that.
 
2:14 AM
Otherwise...
53
Q: I've been told my question is better suited to a forum, but where should I go?

SevenSidedDieI asked a question that got closed for not being suited for the Q&A format that RPG.SE uses, and was told that my question would work better on a discussion forum. Where can I find an RPG discussion forum well suited to my question? Guidance for answers This should be a curated list of direc...

 
And the system is Call of Catthulhu so...
 
You might check if there's an active Call of Catthulhu community on G+; a lot of indie RPG community dialogue happens there.
 
G+?
Oh, nvm, got it
 
2:33 AM
@BESW oh wow
 
2:50 AM
hey again @inthemanual
 
 
1 hour later…
4:02 AM
Can users without close-vote privilege see the count of how many close-votes have been cast?
 
@nitsua60 I'm pretty sure not
 
Gotcha.
 
4:26 AM
@Ben To be fair, you actually bothered with the math, as to why it wouldn't work. I just said nope :P
Hey folks
 
hey there @Nyoze, how're things going?
 
Good thanks, how're you?
 
alright here. how goes it with getting back into the swing of things?
 
4:45 AM
Wait, whoa: it happened. Must've over the weekend? In any case, congrats @Miniman =)
 
@nitsua60 Thanks - pretty scary thought from where I'm sitting.
 
Getting there slowly. My main game I was playing before I disappeared is still up and running, so that's been good. :)
Congrats Mini! Though I don't know what for :P
 
@Nyoze Thanks! A standings increase; only really of interest to those of us who indulge in petty competitiveness.
 
Oh, well. That's always a good thing!
Oh hey, Top 5 now! :O
 
@Nyoze cool
 
5:20 AM
> Talking with myselves. Once per session you can confer via interdimensional hologram with a version of yourself from an alternate universe. After the conversation, pick one: earn a fate point; learn the answer to one question and make it an aspect with a free invoke; or gain access to a new stunt until the end of the session.
 
Very nice aspect
Errr stunt
My brain is fried today
 
> I'll save me! Once per adventure you can concede after taking stress by revealing that you were an alternate universe version of yourself. Remove any physical consequences you gained in that conflict, and don't get fate points for the concession.
 
Lol
How silly
And yet I think it is pretty balanced
It could just be the brain fog talking though
 
 
2 hours later…
7:07 AM
@BESW I SUMMON YOUR DARK KNOWLEDGE
ARISE TO THE CALL OF EVIL
What is the name of the Dark Sun adventure in 4e that was clearly written by someone with no idea about Dark Sun? It featured a river, horses, and other blatant gaps in the implementation of the setting. You have spoken of it before
 
I have?
 
Someone here has.
But the only other 4e expert I have that is awake A. knows what I'm talking about but B. not its name
 
I'll see if I can dig it up but it'll take a while. My dad just got home from day care.
 
No rush
In other news we just started the playtest for the Psionics Guide, our Starfinder-compatible offering
I have begun the ritual Extended Scream of Soul-Shredding Terror which is the right and proper reaction of all authors to the public exposure of their work
 
Ah, yes.
If you ever need a palate cleanser, I'm seeking playtesting feedback for the newest version of Long Live the King of Monsters!.
 
7:17 AM
Would a link be objectionable?
 
Go for it!
 
Unfortunately while I can give you reading feedback on ya game my complete lack of a vehicle and thus access to players means that if I do play it it's because I'm drunk enough that the slowly-swelling collection of stuffed dolls in my home has started to talk to me.
 
A lot of the LLKM playtesting so far has actually been done on RPG chat!
But an eye on it would be welcome too.
@Lord_Gareth Marauders of the Dune Sea. You probably heard about it on the GitP forums.
(A quick Google for "dark sun" river horse adventure turned up this forum thread and this DTRPG write-up for confirmation.)
 
@BESW I don't suppose you have such a thing as a page reference for the flagrant river & horses 'cause the guy I'm talkin' with seems to think it's a hidden underground stream treated as the wonder it ought to be
 
[rummages]
 
7:30 AM
mmmm underground horses
XD
 
No worries this'll work
Now I must seek tacos so that I may sleep
 
Note that there's a freaking chuul in the stream.
 
Are you meaning to tell me that the free-flowing water also contains food
 
lol
seafood
 
A fledgling chuul. Which implies an aquatic ecosystem.
 
7:35 AM
disgusting disgusting seafood
 
And so far as I can tell, the stream is never referred to again.
"And if you'll look out the right side of your railroad car, you'll see a much more interesting plot hook."
It looks like the stream, and the horses and oxen, were the result of 4e's attempt to streamline (npi) its production and advertise its secondary products, by using its licensed Dungeon Tiles art for all its adventure maps.
And of course those tiles weren't illustrated with Dark Sun in mind.
So you get Generic McSameoldmap for your All-New All-Different Post-Apocalyptic Hellscape publication.
But apparently it had further continuity issues:
> - The use of apparently steel weaponry on the cover, despite the fact that Athas is metal-poor.
- The appearance of a Urikite templar in the heart of Tyr.
- The use of a written note as a plot hook in a world that is primarily illiterate.
- The alliance of Thri-kreen and elves, two races that hate each other.
- The inclusion of magic items in treasure parcels, rather than the alternative treasures suggested in Dark Sun Campaign Setting.
 
One of these days I'ma run the home campaign I've always wanted to run, where a portal to the Nine Hells opens on Athas and this turns out to be a serious problem...for Hell.
 
[amused]
 
Which is now being flooded with refugees seeking its bounty of free-flowing water and food
 
lol
 
7:44 AM
That are quite willing to just throw down with devils like they ain't nothin'
 
I did try to run a Dark Sun Campaign at one point
and I took the setting to heart a little too much and killed the PC's repeatedly
and then the PC's proceeded to become badass killing machines that murderalized all that they saw
 
"I am a demon of the blackest depths!"
"Buddy, have you MET a psionic hellpig?"
Yeah, on reflection Dark Sun was not a great match for 4e's "PCs are more durable than literal gods" design philosophy.
 
I mean. On the other hand it could be.
 
I am still, for the record, sorry about that
 
DS's original release back in the ancient days of horror and woe had you start the PCs at 3rd level
 
7:47 AM
but not so sorry for the experience
 
Because "reach adulthood" qualified you for that level of power and experience
 
Nice.
 
@Lord_Gareth seems entirely fair
 
Like, DS has a brutal rep, which it deserves
 
The catch being, everything else you encounter did too.
 
7:47 AM
But it applied it in an evenhanded manner
You are a deadly and awful occurrence too
 
While in 4e, PCs are just hands-down more awesome and unbeatable than almost anything they encounter.
 
yes
 
(This incidentally is the crux of the "this is bad for Hell" plot hook; Athasians that survive long enough to be adults have the psionic acumen and combat experience to throw down with Outsiders)
 
I just, the deadly awful occurances in my game happened with frequency but were always one-sided
at some point it was not reaaaaly DS anymore and had become the same as any normal game
personally I don't think my idea for running that campaign was a good match for our group
 
Yeah, Troggy beat us up mostly by ignoring the delicate balance of 4e.
That, and we were kinda not too serious about our PC builds at first.
 
7:50 AM
I made things too deadly to start with and then tried to pull my punches later when the group had hardened as a fighting force
 
When we straightened out and flew right, well. I was covering the whole board with wandering buffs.
 
I had one encounter where the single monster fighting them could have killed them if I wanted it to, but of course that had never been the point
(this was later, not the first one that actually did party wipe)
@BESW not to mention the "you will never hit anything again" rogue
 
I wonder what non-D&D system would be good for an Athas game now...
 
I mean
 
It might actually be a candidate for BRP.
 
7:53 AM
Fate could always be made to work
 
You could apply a lot of the principles for running horror in Fate
 
And Gumshoe One-2-One would be a good fit.
 
Although
 
@BESW BRP?
 
What about, and bear with me here
What about Dread
 
7:54 AM
@trogdor Basic Role-Playing, the engine behind Call of Cthulhu.
 
ah ok
I had never heard of the engine before
that or I forgot that incredibly generic name
 
@Lord_Gareth I still need to play that some time...
It's kinda hard when most weeks 1/3 of your three-person group is Skyping in.
 
oooh I saw a session of that on Geek and Sundry
@BESW yeah that would be a problem XD
 
@Lord_Gareth I wonder what would happen if you just took fate points out?
 
@BESW You run up on doing psionics and put them back in
After, you re-read Fate Worlds II: Worlds in Shadow for better advice
 
7:58 AM
Heheh.
 
(For that matter, the Fate System Toolkit)
 
They've got a horror gaming toolkit in the pipeline, too.
 
8:44 AM
@Miniman I'm increasingly convinced that owlbears go ARUUUUUUUGULA! though I have no evidence to support this.
 
9:13 AM
they just like it I guess
 
9:47 AM
@Lord_Gareth i am imagining farmers and scraggly peasants beating back on demons and shouting things about letting them finish their soup first
it's like those movies where there's that one character who turns out to be surprisingly radically strong, except it is everyone from athas
@BESW we can still play dread, i'll just have one of you pull my pieces for me and if the tower falls over i'll berate you for doing it wrong
(i'm joking of course)
“TIL macs have a keyboard shortcut for begin/end quotes”
which is pretty cool
 
10:03 AM
....that's a shortcut I don't know.
I mostly learn the ones to force smart quotes to not apply.
 
@BESW alt + [ for opening double quote, alt + shift + [ for closing double quote. the same again with ] for single quotes.
or since there's unicode for this i'm gonna have fun with: ⇧⌥ [
 
10:24 AM
and alt-\ and alt-| for international quotes « »
 
@Erics guillemets! \o/
 
\o/
I'm also partial to middots ... That·little·dot·seen·here. (alt-shift-9)
 
just as long as you're not suggesting those for quotation marks
:D
 
Mid-word punctuation.
Hmm ... planning on starting a 2e campaign (for reasons). Got a bunch of day 2 options worked up, but don't have any inspired starting missions. We know all the cliches (shady stranger in a tavern, prison break, caravan raided, etc) ... got any non-cliche suggestions?
 
I once started a campaign with "You're at the dock trying to get a berth on a boat across the sea."
 
10:38 AM
Nice.
Has options for multiple adventures, plus handy excuses for meeting ppl
Some nice ones here too: reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/2icqv1/…
Hmm .. maybe I'll ask as part of session zero for the players to write up a one-liner reason why they're in or passing-thru some village.
 
I usually give players a hook that they all need to design characters who will respond to.
Sometimes it's "Why you're part of X organization" or "Why you're invested in Y thing happening."
 
Which reminds me .. I probably should work on what the typical background could be for 1st level adventurers. That is, how do they fit into the world, demographics, economics, sociology, etc
 
One campaign, everyone was rounded up by the local authorities and assigned a recon mission for a tip-off about trouble that the authorities needed to say they'd done something about but didn't think it was really legit and maybe it was a trap.
 
@BESW That could work. "Please email me a reason you have come to this frontier town, reknonwed for X, Y, Z. Are you running away from something, or towards something?"
 
@Erics "What does your character want?" is a good hook question.
Basic writing 101: what is the status quo? what is the destabilising condition? why does it matter?
In RPGs, the destabilizing condition is often the PCs.
I have thoughts about the status quo and the hero, but they'll have to wait 'til i'm done making dinner.
 
11:03 AM
I had a surprise cancellation in my Apocalypse World game. This means I'll be running a one-shot for three people.
This might be a good thing, to be honest. I can squeeze a lot more "character-driven" stuff in that time.
 
So, there's a thing about traditional fantasy heroes which I find kinda interesting, especially in the context of RPGs.
But the Standard Dave Barry Disclaimer applies: "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care."
Heroes are reactive, not proactive.
The villain wants to change the status quo; the hero wants to preserve it. The hero kicks out on his quest because he wants to Put Right What Was Made Wrong.
This is... kinda passive and boring. It's a big reason why villains tend to be so much more interesting than heroes.
 
Except in resistance stories, but even then "status quo" is often flaky - does it refer to status quo as in "before the bad guy took over" or the status quo of "where the story begins".
 
Villains have goals! Ambitions! They see something wrong with the world and they want to fix it!
 
Aye!
 
Heroes... rail against change. They aren't proactive, they only respond to change.
 
11:08 AM
I think LotR would've been a better novel if Denethor was actually a good ruler.
Would've given Aragorn some extra depth to consider if he, being the legitimate ruler, is necessarily the best ruler.
 
So let's look at D&D PCs in that light.
Traditionally they're not the instigators of the plot. They don't start with a goal beyond "kill stuff and take its stuff."
D&D wants us to be the heroes, and that means the GM has to convince us there's a reason to go adventuring.
 
@BESW That's one of the reasons I like political fiction myself - it's often easy to motivate players to fight for changes they would like to see in their own world.
 
But constantly reacting to things is frustrating. There's a reason one of the most tired "edgy" superhero plots is "The superhero gets tired of waiting for the villain's next plot and does something about it."
 
Heroes as staunch defenders of the status quo. OK
But those that set off into the wilderness to tame it, to discover, to boldly go .. are they too not heroes?
 
@Erics As played by many players, these tend more towards invaders and/or graverobbers ;)
 
11:14 AM
Of course, this could be interpreted as the heroes are reacting to the presence of the wilderness, to bring the status quo to it.
 
No, "taming the wilderness" is a polite term for killing the locals and taking their stuff. That's not heroic.
 
So, Terra Nullias?
"A great cataclysm has shook the land ... from the sea arose a dozen new islands, volcanic, wild, desolate" ... no, wait, there's nothing there to go kill :-(
 
With all the subjugation and genocide it's always implied, yes.
 
Yeh, no getting around the killing.
Then again, release some mountain lions and grizzly bears into a national park to re-stabilise the deer population and you've got killing.
 
Those aren't sapient beings with a language and a culture.
 
11:19 AM
@BESW Would the term terra nullias not apply to Antarctica then, because there are no indigenous peoples?
Crows have culture.
 
Are you seriously trying to equate genocide, child-stealing, and cultural eradication, with a mountain lion hunting a deer?
 
BESW is right here, the traditional DnD hack and slashing gets really unsavory if you think about it too much. Even if you assume that objectively Evil creatures exist, but that assumption itself is a bit nasty at times.
I'm trying to go deeper in the values tonight with my game, with the status quo being unsavory and players hopefully working to change it. In likely destructive ways - I haven't planned it at all but there's plenty of ways it could go horribly wrong... or right.
 
So, going back to the original premise of heroic tropes re: reactive vs proactive agency.
D&D is rooted in reactive heroic tropes, and the stereotypical "you all meet in a tavern and someone bribes you to have the adventure we're already gathered around the game table because we agreed we want to do this" opening scene is a good reflection of that.
 
@BESW equate? no. Some kind of imperfect parallel in which reflection might uncover nuances beyond the binary? Also no.
 
But players get bored of reactive agency pretty easily, and D&D offers the mechanical and narrative tools to become proactive agents of change very quickly. This is what's known as "going off the rails."
 
11:25 AM
@BESW Then again, going off the rails isn't very easy to do for the GM in DnD.
 
I find it's much more fun to expect and plan for players to take the reins of the story, than to try to keep them limited to reactionary agency, responding to the GM's proactive NPCs.
I'd set up NPCs' plots and plans, not my own: they'd have everything worked out carefully, and then the PCs come rolling through like a bowling ball over a chess board.
 
@BESW Drop a few hooks perhaps, but plan along the lines of problems rather than solutions.
 
Because I've got the NPCs designed based on their goals and how they've planned to achieve them, it's easier to improvise in response to the chaos.
The PCs have their own goals and they may not know or care about the NPCs' plans and desires--but simply by existing in the same area, the NPCs have to respond to the PCs as the PCs are wrecking their plans.
 
I retroactively started liking Apocalypse World 1e's front system.
 
Does the NPC try to stop the PCs? Work around them? Ally with them? Trick them into being helpful?
 
11:28 AM
There are these X who are doing A, and Y doing B, and Z also doing C. They can't all succeed, and the balance can be tipped by the entry of PC doing DnD.
 
PCs tend to be active agents of entropy and chaos in the fictional world. I found it was much easier to embrace that and plan accordingly, than to try and contain them.
Because, well, it makes the players happier: they're proactive! They're making real choices that make a real difference to the game world and the world is responding to them! That's awesome and affirming.
And it made me happier because I got to be surprised by the game too, and I wasn't constantly trying to herd cats.
 
Another consideration is "how big is the adventuring world?"
It's quite possibly much smaller than you might think.
The "wild west" was just one chunk of one continent, and then only for about 3 decades before civilisation ended it.
 
Bubblegumshoe has a fun set of character questions toward this end: "Why does your character try to solve mysteries instead of minding her own business?" and "What, unrelated to mystery-solving, does your character want to accomplish?"
Heh. For one of my last D&D 3.5 games, I put everybody on an island.
It was a complex island with a lot going on, but it was geographically very small.
One reason was to limit my prep requirements, but also it meant that no matter where they went or what they did, they'd be tripping over multiple NPC plans and plots that were interconnected with other areas and other people.
It was a good little microcosm that meant everything they did felt narratively coherent.
...I actually do that semi-regularly. Our Dresden Files Accelerated playtest was set on a tiny island off the coast of Hawaii, where half the PCs were trying to hide from the wizard cops.
 
Tonight's plan is this: a society is run by three rival leaders, each with their own virtues and vice. The status quo is unstable and unjust: one of the leaders is essentially the boss of the slave race whose unique abilities are needed to keep the community running. Furthermore, the community is under military pressure.
I really want to see how may players right the wrongs, or escalate it further. Maybe for something beautiful to emerge from the ruins.
 
@kviiri Cyberpunk stories in particular are active deconstructions of traditional hero narratives.
 
11:37 AM
@BESW one of my DM peeves are the PCs that go on a mindless road trip for no other reason than the map says there's another country over the next hill.
I've got this in part of the starter description: "Back in civilisation a bloody civil war is sparking, and capable folk will find themselves dragooned into militias and thrown into the meat grinder of the front lines, any special equipment confiscated for the King’s elite forces."
 
Well, in order for the roadtrip to be mindless they'd need to run into a band of intellect devourers... [grin]
 
Most players decide not to go to Camelot after all. Tis a silly place.
 
@Erics That sounds like fun to me... as long as we're talking about a system that lets me (and preferably the players) improv a lot to make the trip actually feel meaningful.
 
@kviiri I once ran a year-long campaign in D&D 3.5 where the first half was largely that, ignoring the system for freeform RP as needed.
 
Fun if you enjoy a stream of disconnected one-shots maybe :-/
 
11:40 AM
The second half was "Okay, so all those awesome things you learned about the setting? We're gonna fit them together into the big picture and OH MY GOD IT'S SHAPED LIKE THE APOCALYPSE."
@Erics Character arcs are the through-thread on those kinds of things.
 
@BESW Yep. Needs a rule set that is more geared to that.
 
Doesn't need one, but it'd sure help if the group has trouble doing it naturally.
 
@BESW was that where you had the guardians that reminded players of plot threads?
 
That particular group of mine would've role-played complex character arcs if they'd been playing Great Ork Gods, try and stop them.
@doppelspooker Yup.
 
noice
 
11:42 AM
I did enjoy High Road to China, both the book and the movie.
 
@BESW that one was pretty fun, and being constrained to a small island was part of the fun
 
We had an ex-patriot elf who was looking for a new community and concluded the campaign by marrying into a local tribe of catfolk.
 
A big "road-trip" campaign could also be structured around getting to some place, skilled up, for some big event. Means a rule-set that supports gathering skills and abilities like treasure, and not a simple consequence of levelling up.
 
@Erics I do!
 
like, our group contained a couple of people who were being actively hunted by the Wizard version of the Inquisition, and there was absolutely no way to simply get away form them. The farthest we could go was pretty close to everywhere, so we had to find ways to lay low, stay out of notice, etc.
 
11:44 AM
A pair of brothers who started out having given up on vengeance for their father's murder, then found out their traveling companion they'd made friends with was the genuinely repentant murderer, and that got all kinds of messy toward the end with struggles to retain faith in their gods and such.
 
But it doesn't have to be that way, really.
 
If we were on a large mainland, we could've just hopped in a car and started driving.
 
It's quite common for RPG campaigns to have two parallel plotlines: the GM's plotlne and the players' plotline. The GM's plotline usually gets more attention, but if you ditch it, you'll see the players work towards building a plot of their own. Hopefully.
 
And after they'd traveled a while, they started going back to places because they'd made connections and wanted to keep in touch, help with things they couldn't help with before, and so on.
 
@BESW omg.
 
11:48 AM
They learned that the governor of one city was secretly studying magical items, so they'd return to him whenever they found something cool or weird, and he'd show them the new stuff he'd invented based on the last stuff they'd brought him. Toward the end of the campaign he provided an armada of earth-sailing ships crewed by a gnome army who conjured arrows from thin air by telling jokes, all made possible by the PCs' relationship with him.
They helped a pirate king put his dead wife to rest and halt the slave trade he'd been supporting, and legitimized his hidden city with formal trade deals to other cities.
They bought a traveling salesman a dog because he was lonely on the road, and by the end of the campaign he'd been instrumental in helping them broker peace between two nations.
@doppelspooker Yeah, that one was intense. He'd been a paladin for a conquering empire and he'd killed the brothers' dad in battle invading their city. Then he realized that his cause wasn't just and joined a secretive order dedicated to making magic available to everyone in the world. The PCs joined him on a quest to defeat a demon for the order, and just before the big battle he came clean with his real identity.
After much drama, they forgave him... but the battle went badly and the demon escaped. The brother who was a cleric tried to comfort the paladin but the paladin lost faith and left the party.
The next time they saw him, he tricked them into helping with a coup to overthrow the secretive order so he could have the power and influence to make everything right again.
 
@kviiri The current campaign I'm a player in has a DM plot line, and only a DM plot line. We found a castle in a nearby forest (killed the locals, took their stuff) but if we decide to set up base there "you'd all become NPCs, because this campaign is all about the story of the Mary Sue Village".
("Mary Sue Village" not it's actual name, of course).
 
One of the brothers wound up killing the paladin in the ensuing battle, and another PC was appointed leader of the order for complicated reasons from his own character arc.
 
The fact that we'd be barely a day's travel outside the mandated base, and could be doing things totally aligned with the NPCs of MSV .. irrelevant.
@BESW sounds very cool (/me scribbles notes)
 
@kviiri I ran several games with the basic structure of "Here's some basic plot that's mostly an excuse to wander through this world I've made, and I'll take notes on what you like. All that stuff will come back as major elements in the main campaign, which I'll finalize once I've seen what you like."
 
@BESW I have a single player who usually takes way more notes than the others. I worry that he believes that every name drop might come back to haunt them later.
 
11:58 AM
@Erics Note, please, that "our dad was killed by a paladin and we've given up on vengeance" was the players' idea entirely, with the explicit hope that they'd get to meet the paladin anyway.
 
I've been thinking of a system where, when the players interact with a character, they can choose to "promote" the character to a "proper" NPC.
 
@kviiri I worry that he'll notice I forgot the gender of the barkeep from three months ago.
@kviiri Bubblegumshoe and Fate both do that nicely.
 
@BESW Oh, Fate has that?
Neat
 
Implicitly, yeah.
Fate assigns mechanical detail to narrative elements in direct proportion to each element's significance to the narrative.
 
@kviiri I really like that player because they mean I don't have to write down all these names for NPCs I make up on the spot ;)
 
12:01 PM
The more important an NPC is, the more important details accrue to their character and the more mechanics are needed to represent those details.
 
@kviiri With the current set of players I'm with that happens a lot. So much analysis paralysis. Lots of flavour etc in a campaign isn't inherently bad.
You need to provide lots of flavour, even for mundane things, but in a mundane manner.
You also need to ensure you abide by the "3 clues" rule (of thumb) for anything which is meant to be significant.
 
I prefer focusing my flavor on where the players want it.
 
You can start with a Tired bouncer but if the PCs stop to chat with him you'll discover through play that he's a Day trader with An uncle in politics who Plays in a band on Thursdays.
And any of that which is useful or relephant to what the PCs are doing... well, he's a more important person now.
 
@BESW Oh yeah, that's true.
 
If you get into a fight with him, you'll need to know that he has Fight +2 and Athletics +1, so that gets written down too.
The GM may not have known that before you get into a fight with the bouncer, but it's true now.
In Fate, simply spending time with an element of the story tends to make it more important, because the PCs are near it.
(This is true of many games, but Fate mechanizes this neatly.)
 
12:17 PM
Now I need to work on my thesis
I'll pop in later to tell you how my game went :)
 
12:27 PM
ttfn
 
12:48 PM
@ACuriousMind I have lists of campaign ethnic names written down (99 dwarven names, 99 elven names, 99 anglo-saxon names, etc). Whenever I have a random NPC that needs a name I take one down, pass it around, now I have 98 names on the list.
And I write on the list who I assigned it to.
 
@BESW Decided to pop back earlier to ask your opinion on a little NPC tracking scheme I thought to use, basically a modification on the "threat map" or "fronts"
 
Go on
 
I want to keep my PCs aware of named NPCs without them having to take the notes and remember their role in the world
So I have six piles for NPCs: three, one for each of the major factions, fourth for "society's dregs" who are outsiders to the factional politics, fifth for external threats, and sixth for the PCs and their allies
Each item on the pile would be a small card consisting of a name and the briefest descriptor that adequately captures a character's role: "Sheriff - Slaver, Warrior, Leader" for example.
Are there any obvious ways to improve the visualization?
 
Use colored cards to help with sorting.
 
1:03 PM
Splendid idea!
 
Any good at sketching?
 
Not that good - even if I didn't have to do it while the others were waiting :)
 
Especially not that good.
Spend some down time finding some clip-art, paste them onto blank cards.
At game time you only need to write on your "briefest descriptors"
 
 
There are decks of NPC cards. They're overdone in my view - way too much detail.
The basic idea though is good, a deck of faces, blank backs to write on, and a list of random names to pull from.
@BESW Nice. That from some game?
 
1:10 PM
The pictures on the top row, and the info for all the cards, are from The Fathomless Sleep adventure in the Cthulhu Confidential manual.
 
If your game is set in contemporary times it's even easier to find photo headshots. Heh, you could even go raid LinkedIN
 
The cards are my own design, and the photos are all from my own searching.
It's a one-on-one game I played with @doppelspooker. I uploaded them all to Google Photos and added them to a shared album as he met new people during play.
 
1:35 PM
It worked out very well for us; I just glanced at the screen full of cards when I needed to recall who someone was.
 
@BESW Nice use of Google Photos
 
It was! :)
 
 
3 hours later…
4:28 PM
This is one of the finest comments I've seen in a while:
That chart is based on rope made from materials found on earth. D&D rope is based on materials found in popular fiction, which have a well documented history of having a tensile strength inversely proportional to the dramatic tension of the scene. — Derek Stucki 1 hour ago
3
 
5:06 PM
Only quibble is that there is a wide variety of categories, and thus only a short few in each category
 
5:18 PM
And some distinctly weird ones
Meet Olaf, Sheriff of this 'ere town. Slaver, Warrior, Leader
 
6:14 PM
Gibbering mouthers are so cool
 
@Erics ah yes i did need a pile of ... that ... for my ... thing
@nitsua60 nice
 
 
2 hours later…
7:59 PM
The game went nothing short of excellent!
The players decided to interrupt an arrest of an intruding slave caste member, our Brainer used Unnatural Lust Transfix to make him spill the beans about a low-intensity terror plot to hurt the oppressing class, and decide to help the slaves.
They intrude the slaves' turf to meet their leader, and come to terms about killing the SLAVER WARRIOR LEADER. However, the Brainer made a show, so the slave leader decided to order a hit on her as well.
The overall result was a revolution in both the slave and the master communities, with our Chopper emerging as the leader of the community and the Brainer becoming a religious liberator icon for the slave caste.
She became a revered icon after using that lust transfix too much ;)
Everyone had fun and I managed to showcase some really appealing sides of the system - for one, being able to fit a movie's worth of story in a single sesh.
 
8:40 PM
 
 
2 hours later…
10:55 PM
@nitsua60 It's the best answer in the whole thread. :) (Derek's)
 
11:14 PM
hey there @KorvinStarmast
 
11:33 PM
hey there @JoelHarmon
 

« first day (2603 days earlier)      last day (649 days later) »