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The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?
So wait, given that heroic actions get rolled against the Doom, that means that aside from oppressing the peasants to keep their Inspiration down, the nobles are actively incentivized to make the world a shittier place, because now they're harder to overthrow. And they know this. Really gives me a bit of a Brandon Sanderson vibe. What a cool system.

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Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?

This started out looking like a pretty straightforward fantasy heartbreaker, but it's getting more insane with every paragraph. I can't wait to see where this is going.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

AccidentalHipster posted:

The Whispering Vault! That game is so beautifully weird and surreal that I've always wanted to play it but I've never been able to properly express how weirdly beautiful it is. Please tell me that that's one of the games that's not too deep in you "to review" backlog.

I'm really hacked off about Whispering Vault. I used to have a full set of the PDFs and then one day DriveThruRPG just ate them and never restored them. The author sent me the core book after I mentioned it on Twitter but I lost all the supplements. Suck.

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011

???????
?

This game looks loving insane and I love it. I can't wait to see what other insanity comes up in addition to "Love can make you immortal and people know it"

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


The Lord of Hats posted:

So wait, given that heroic actions get rolled against the Doom, that means that aside from oppressing the peasants to keep their Inspiration down, the nobles are actively incentivized to make the world a shittier place, because now they're harder to overthrow. And they know this. Really gives me a bit of a Brandon Sanderson vibe. What a cool system.

I considered myself to be burned out on fantasy games but this one sounds like it could fill the void in my heart :stwoon:

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man


Nifara posted:

Not done one of these before, but this game needs more love. Like any loving love.

SPELLBOUND KINGDOMS PART 1: WELCOME AND CORE MECHANIC



Dice also explode, but not in the way they do in lots of other games: if you max out a die, you roll the nice die step up as a new die in the pool, but you still only pick the highest number out of all of them. If you think that rolling a 12 on a d12 sounds loving broken, well, Brunner thinks you might think that:



I feel like this game exploded its "fantasy heartbreaker" d12 and busted out the d20 "actually good game" die.

I am locked in on this ride.

Astus
Nov 11, 2008

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Doesn't that mean exploding dice rarely have any effect unless you're critting on a d12? That may be intentional, I don't know, but it seems like it's an extra step that rarely matters.

First, lower sized dice are more likely to explode, and also gain more from exploding. That, combined with the ability to spend mood to max out a die (but not make it explode), really helps PCs with smaller dice to punch above their weight. And if that's not enough, then you can stunt with an inspiration to make all your dice explode. Even better, both inspirations and mood can be used after you roll.

Valatar
Sep 26, 2011

A remarkable example of a pathetic species.
Lipstick Apathy

Nifara posted:

Or you could kidnap his wife, torture her and murder her, and then shoot him through the head.

Wait. How can you murder his wife? Does she not also get a love shield?

Lupercalcalcal
Jan 28, 2016

Suck a dick, dumb shits

Valatar posted:

Wait. How can you murder his wife? Does she not also get a love shield?

Only if she actually loves him back.

But yeah, that's 100% a complication you might run into. At which point you have to shift gears and really go to town on making them miserable and distrusting.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
What do you think the second step is for?

"Look, honey, it's obvious he doesn't love you. As powerful as he is, he could have stopped this days ago. Just give up, let it end."

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Nessus posted:

I should either finish Nightbane or abandon it and start in with System Shock one of these days.

Nightbane! I want to love it, but it's the only game where I couldn't even make myself slog through the process of making a character.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund
This sounds like it could get real catpiss real fast. It's like Narrative Causality, but much much worse.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Josef bugman posted:

This sounds like it could get real catpiss real fast. It's like Narrative Causality, but much much worse.

I don't really see the potential for catpiss here, at least no more than any other tabletop game. Could you explain what you're thinking of?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Fridges. Fridges filled with women.

And fresh orphans.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
You're getting confused. Spellbound Kingdoms wasn't written by John Wick.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.

Spellbound Kingdoms sounds like it gives a mechanical reason for you to go all Iago on the guy you hate instead of trying to stab him outright, which seems pretty cool, to me.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.



Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Spellbound Kingdoms sounds like it gives a mechanical reason for you to go all Iago on the guy you hate instead of trying to stab him outright, which seems pretty cool, to me.
Yeah, I like the idea because it widens the scope of the drama for explicit mechanical reasons rather than just "going straight for murder."

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013

It feels like what John Wick wants his games games to be, actually, but without all the Wickness. Being a lone wolf murderhobo makes you less powerful than the guy with a loving, caring family. And the game does it with style instead of straight up going 'you suck, nya nya!'

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Tsilkani posted:

It feels like what John Wick wants his games games to be, actually, but without all the Wickness. Being a lone wolf murderhobo makes you less powerful than the guy with a loving, caring family. And the game does it with style instead of straight up going 'you suck, nya nya!'

How dare these pesky PCs actually get anything out of having these "flaws"!

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Kurieg posted:

What do you think the second step is for?

"Look, honey, it's obvious he doesn't love you. As powerful as he is, he could have stopped this days ago. Just give up, let it end."

And then because she loves her husband, he chooses to bust into the room at that moment, comrades at his back. And then Kevin Costner sword fights Snape through a castle as his band of merry men hold off the sheriff's back up. Digging how heroic you can make the important events.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

^ This is true. It's not that she invulnerable / steel skin, it's that the future in which her throat gets cut will not occur. Something will happen such that she doesn't die. Maybe her husband bursts in with his retainers. Maybe the monster you keep in the basement gets free and you have to run off to deal with it. Maybe she slips the knots and now you have a dramatic swordfight with her.
(Assuming I'm understanding things correctly)

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

Maybe it turns out she's the one who taught him how to swordfight and she's still the teacher.

Valatar
Sep 26, 2011

A remarkable example of a pathetic species.
Lipstick Apathy
It would be a cool scene for the evil vizier to come into the torture chamber and find the wife standing over the bodies of the ex-guards inside, with but one line reaching the room outside as the door swings shut:

"Thou done goof'd."

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Bieeardo posted:

Fridges. Fridges filled with women.

And fresh orphans.

This, and the fact that you can't die and yet you probably can still feel pain. I mean of course every system has the potential for cat piss, but I'd just be a bit worried about people going all "Look at all the cruelty I can inflict and the person still won't die!"

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
lovely GMing, like Nature, will always find a way.

Something like this, in its natural state, makes me think of things like the latter half of the Princess Bride, when Westley's been electrocuted and the only thing that keeps him hanging on is true love, or when Inigo goes all slasher on the six-fingered man.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib
I don't get any sort of "uh-oh catpiss imminent" vibe from Spellbound Kingdoms, like, at all.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Kai Tave posted:

I don't get any sort of "uh-oh catpiss imminent" vibe from Spellbound Kingdoms, like, at all.

I am still very new to how the systems of RPG's work, it is just something I could potentially see happening. I don't mean to downplay the coolness of a setting, but I just think that it could end poorly. That and a slight dislike I have for "The world sucks entirely" settings.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine
So has anyone done a review of either Mekton Zeta(and/or the Z+ supplement) or Battle Century G, cause if not maybe I'll give it a shot, haven't done this sort of review before but it seems fun to me

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Josef bugman posted:

I am still very new to how the systems of RPG's work, it is just something I could potentially see happening. I don't mean to downplay the coolness of a setting, but I just think that it could end poorly. That and a slight dislike I have for "The world sucks entirely" settings.

Unless Spellbound Kingdoms has a whole chapter on lovingly detailed rapetorture and how to inflict it for maximum cruelty points, it doesn't strike me as any more susceptible to this sort of thing than any given RPG not written by Chris Fields or Abby Soto. It's going to have a ways to go to even stand on the same pedestal as Cthulhutech with it's actual literal Nazi rape machine.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Kai Tave posted:

Unless Spellbound Kingdoms has a whole chapter on lovingly detailed rapetorture and how to inflict it for maximum cruelty points, it doesn't strike me as any more susceptible to this sort of thing than any given RPG not written by Chris Fields or Abby Soto. It's going to have a ways to go to even stand on the same pedestal as Cthulhutech with it's actual literal Nazi rape machine.

Very true, but prior to this I didn't even know those things existed and now I want to go have a good long cry.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD
Giving a poo poo about fellow PCs in spellbound kingdom seems hella imba and I love it.

You're a Young Knight staring down a firing squad of archers in the grand cathedral? Too bad, your devotion to the Capricious Sorceress means that there's a convenient rope tied off just an arms reach away that leads to the chandelier all the archers have chosen to stand under.

Halfway across the castle, the Capricious Sorceress is fighting the dark wizard. She doesn't love the Young Knight back (And might even routinely mock and berate him when they travel together), but as long as she has SOME place in her heart, as long as she has strong emotions about him? She'll get that same plot immunity.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Spellbound Kingdoms makes me mostly think - so far - of the tendency for fans to insert explanations for things which are usually just genre conceits. I'm not looking to prejudge, but it makes me think of a lot of the self-referential media landing lately where people are at least vaguely aware of the genre they exist in and can exploit its rules for their benefit.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

drrockso20 posted:

So has anyone done a review of either Mekton Zeta(and/or the Z+ supplement) or Battle Century G, cause if not maybe I'll give it a shot, haven't done this sort of review before but it seems fun to me

There's an unfinished review of Mekton Zeta, nothing about Zeta+ and also nothing about BCG. Feel free to inflict any of these upon us.

Tasoth posted:

And then because she loves her husband, he chooses to bust into the room at that moment, comrades at his back. And then Kevin Costner sword fights Snape through a castle as his band of merry men hold off the sheriff's back up. Digging how heroic you can make the important events.

I love this system already.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015
Valor - The Heroic Roleplay System


That took a bit longer tha expected, but here he is:

Example Character: Kirby

I love the 90s.

A starting character has 25 Attribute points to play around with, with an initial maximum of 8 on any given Attribute. Since he's a small, pink orb of doom bouncing all over the place, spreading chaos and misery and switching powers at the literal drop of a hat, I went with making Agility his top Attribute. A bit of Guts can also never hurt (he is pretty darn durable compared to other denizens of his world), and we should points in other Attributes to cover the damage dealt by his copied powers. Lets stick with Strength and Spirit.

To further go with his speedy death theme, I use the starting Skill Points to purchase Balanced Fighter (always handy, though for him it'll mostly be for out-of-combat utility), Feint (for possible extra damage), Jump (he does jump pretty good), and one level in Sprinter (for more speed) and Tireless (for more Stamina to spam Techniques).
Now this puts us a bit into the negatives, so I'll also get the two Flaws Compulsion (he really likes to eat) Feeble (he's small and lightweight, after all).

This makes his character sheet now look like this:

Level: 1

Strength (Muscle): 6 (5)
Agility (Dexterity): 8 (5)
Mind (Intuition): 1 (2)
Spirit (Aura): 6 (5)
Guts (Resolve): 4 (4)

Health: 130
Health Increment: 26
Critical: 52

Stamina: 34
Stamina Increment: 7

Strength Attack: 14
Agility Attack: 18
Mind Attack: 4
Spirit Attack: 14

Damage Increment: 6

Defense: 12
Resistance: 9
Move: 5

Valor: 0

Skills
  • Balanced Fighter: +1 to all Active Attributes lower than the highest
  • Feint: Opposed Dexterity Roll to an extra Damage Increment on next attack.
  • Jump: Can attack flying enemies
  • Sprinter 1: Move +1
  • Tireless 1: Stamina +8

Flaws
  • Compulsion (Eating): Must sacrifice Suppoer Action every other turn or lose 1 Valor.
  • Feeble: -1 to Defense vs Muscle attacks.

Now for Techniques, I have 12 points to play around with. The most important Technique will be a Mimic Technique for his power copy shtick. This one definitely needs to be at the max starting level of 4 so he can make full use of any Technique he might come across at level 1 (in fact copied Techniques with a lower level with just level-up accordingly).
The nice thing is that every mimiced Technique will use the Active Attribute assigned to the Mimic Technique, but not the damage (which is why he can't slack off when it comes to the other Attributes).
Now the slight drawback of this system is that we can't limti this Technique to only work on stuf he has swallowed. It's just a slot to swap out for a Technique he has seen. He just got a whole lot scarier.

Of course, Kirby can also inhale stuff to either steal its powers and puke it out again. This one's a bit tricky to pull off as you can't just swallow people in Valor, so I'll abstract it to a Technique that deals damage and lets him move around his target, possibly throwing it against a wall or another target. He's basically doing the inhaling and puking in one move.

As Kirby also has that thing where he can shoot out inhaled air from flying, I give him an Air Blast for a general attack. I deliberately make it only level 2 and save up some Technique Points for later so he has a very cheap to use attack to fall back on if his Stamina reserves go a bit low.

Now for him to actually fly, he has to wait till he reaches Level 6, since then he qualifies for Season 2 Skills and Modifiers and can get Season 3 Skills (which is where Flight is located) through a Boost Core.

Techniques (2 leftover points)
  • Air Blast (Lv2) : Damage Core Lv1 (Agility), Damage 38, Stamina 2, Ranged Technique 1 (4 Spaces), Movement Limit (-2; 2 Spaces)
  • Copy Power (Lv4) : Mimic Core Lv4 (Agility)
  • Inhale (Lv4) : Damage Core Lv1 (Agility), Damage 38, Stamina 6; Reposition 2 (3 Spaces), Throw

Example Mimic Techniques (Everything boosted to level 4)
  • Bomb (Lv4): Damage Core Lv4 (Agility); Damage 38, Stamina 38; Blast Radius 1 (1 Space) Ranged Technique 1 (4 Spaces)
  • Ice (Lv4): Damage Core Lv1 (Spirit), Damage 38, Stamina 6; Immobilizing Strike
  • Sword (Lv4): Damage Core Lv4 (Strength), Damage 37, Stamina 6; Piercing Strike
  • Fire (Lv4): Damage Core Lv1 (Spirit), Damage 34, Stamina 6; Rush Attack
  • Cutter (Lv4): Damage Core Lv3 (Agility); Damage 33, Stamina 6; Piercing Strike, Ranged Technique 1 (4 Spaces)
  • Stone (Lv4): Boost Core Lv4 (Guts; Iron Defense 1, Resistant 1); Stamina 8; Grant Flaw Limit (Slow), Self Limit (-1)
  • Wheel (Lv4): Damage Core Lv2 (Agility), Damage 43, Stamina 6; Rush Attack
  • Hammer (LV4): Damage Core Lv4 (Strength), Damage 53, Stamina 6;

Now since this post took a bit, here's a second character who totally works well with Kirby in a group:

Dante

Too cool for White Wolf to not trace.

Level: 1

Strength (Muscle): 8 (5)
Agility (Dexterity): 7 (4)
Mind (Intuition): 2 (2)
Spirit (Aura): 2 (2)
Guts (Resolve): 6 (4)

Health: 160
Health Increment: 32
Critical: 64

Stamina: 28
Stamina Increment: 6

Strength Attack: 24
Agility Attack: 22
Mind Attack: 6
Spirit Attack: 6

Damage Increment: 6

Defense: 16
Resistance: 10
Move: 4

Valor: 0

Skills (1 leftover point)
  • Jump: Can attack flying targets.
  • Physical Attacker 1: +6 Strength and Agility Attack
  • Resistant 1: +4 Resistance
  • Tireless 1: +8 Stamina

Techniques
  • Rebellion (Lv2): Damage Core Lv2 (Strength), Damage 49, Stamina 4
  • Stinger (Lv4) Damage Core Lv3 (Strength), Damage 36, Stamina 6; Piercing Strike, Dash 1 (+1 Space)
  • Ebony & Ivory (Lv3): Damage Core Lv1 (Agility), Damage 42, Stamina 5; Ranged Technique (8 spaces)
  • Two Time (Lv3): Damage Core Lv1 (Agility), Damage 42, Stamina 5; Ranged Technique 1 (4 Spaces), Multiple Targets 1 (3 targets)

I build him as more of a pure physical attacker, using most of his Skill Points to cover his weaknesses while not having any Flaws for foes to take advantage of.

He translates a lot better to Valor, and I already know how his Devil Trigger would look like: an Ultimate Transformation Technique granting him more levels of Physical Attacker (for even more damage) and Sprinter (since he's faster). Once Regeneration and Stamina Recovery are available to choose, they will end up there as well.
Oh wait, Transformation can let you pick any skill from the start. Nice.

Next Time: The GM section - how to build mooks.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Apr 16, 2016

Lupercalcalcal
Jan 28, 2016

Suck a dick, dumb shits
SPELLBOUND KINGDOMS PART 3: SKILLS, HISTORIES AND CLASSIC VS SCENE ORDER PLAY

So weíve seen how inspirations can give a character some dice, but where do the rest come from? The answer is characteristics (which weíll come onto later) and skills and histories.

Skills and histories are basically just measures of your characterís learned ability to do stuff. The terms are used pretty interchangeably, and in practice most of them are really histories - snippets of your past experience that give you an idea of the kind of tasks that your character would be good at. A history might be something like Tomb Robber for the Rithaign Factors, Haulers and Panhandlers. That history would let you roll the appropriate die (considering its value) when trying to do anything related to robbing tombs or interacting with the Rithaign Factors, Haulers and Panhandlers (a group from the setting thatís basically a thievesí guild).

Itís a cool idea, and cooler still because in play between levelling up you get experience in the form of history pointsÖ that you should spend on a history that describes what you were actually doing in that session, or on a history that youíve ďincreasedĒ by playing to it heavily. The book also encourages you to tweak your histories as you play, so you might start out with one that says Ran away to sea and then replace it with Able hand on the good ship Pentaghast and then eventually with Mighty pirate and veteran sailor. It allows you to really feel like your character is being directly impacted by the events of the game.

The bad in this section is that itís just not clear enough about what is an acceptable history and whatís not. It says ďthe GM and the group must accept your skill phrasingĒ, but there are very few examples given, and no good guidelines drawn. Itís probably the bit of the game most open to abuseÖ or just misunderstandings. With a few more paragraphs of detail, and some better advice on how to word them, this would just be an awesome thing. As it is, itís an awesome thing with some big flaws.

One important note is that histories canít aid combat rolls or magic rolls. That sounds a little strange, but weíll see in a future part of this review why thatís the case.

Brunner next outlines one of first big choices anyone playing the game will need to make: whether to opt for classic or scene order play.

Basically classic play unfolds like most other RPGs do - time passes as you do stuff, things happen in a chronological order for the most part and play has a recognisable rhythm to it. Scene order play isÖ not like that.

If youíve played a White Wolf RPG youíll probably recognise some of the concepts that Brunner explains in this section: instead of play just progressing organically, it instead takes place in scenes which have delineated beginnings and ends. Spellbound Kingdoms pushes the concept much further than White Wolf ever did, though.

In scene order play, the GM and the players take turns presenting scenes. Whoeverís presenting it outlines what itís going to be about, and what they want out of itÖ and who is in the scene. It makes the group much more of a collaborative partnership, with control over your character not being solely in your hands. It also relies upon the players being just as aware of and in control of the story.

I can totally see why you might want to play like this (it reminds me strongly of Dramasystem and I like that game a lot), but even though Iíve known itís an option, Iíve never played or run a game of Spellbound Kingdoms using it. Itís a cool collaborative idea, but itís just not one that appeals greater to me. Brunner covers the subject in some depth, and reading his guidance Iíd feel comfortable running it like thatÖ I just donít want to.

Next up: COMBAT

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011

???????
?

I feel like if you want to add more outlines to Histories, you could use 13th Age's Backgrounds as a good starting point. You can't level up Backgrounds like you can Histories, but the two have a lot of overlap.

Lupercalcalcal
Jan 28, 2016

Suck a dick, dumb shits
SPELLBOUND KINGDOMS PART 4: COMBAT (STYLES, MANEUVERS AND INITIATIVE OPTIONS)

Brunner introduces the combat chapter in his usual chatty style:

Spellbound Kingdoms posted:

Blade, pistol, and fist all have their place in combat, as do falling sandbags, eggshell grenades soaked in flake spores, and the most unpredictable destructive force of all, magic. No matter what your combat style is, clear tactical thinking is vital.

Part of that tactical thinking is the decision when to use Mood and Inspirations. Combat is so fast that the next round can start before a player realizes that he should have used a Mood or Inspiration last round. Donít be that player!

Another large part of the tactical thinking is the choice of fighting styles and maneuvers within those styles, as we shall see.

He then launches into an overview of how combat works. Basically, every character has access to one or more fighting styles, which range from free sword (classic fantasy sword combat) to swashbuckler (which involves lots of swinging on things and spouting insults) to more unusual fare like dagger and wine (which is half sneak attacks and half destroying your enemyís morale with nasty secrets).

Fighting styles are made up of a number of different maneuvers - specific moves you can make that have different effects and let you do different things. But you canít just choose maneuvers freely - you have to work your way through the styles like combat styles. Hereís what free sword looks like:



Letís drill down a bit before we talk about how the styles themselves work as a whole, and look at a maneuver on its own. Hereís Dodge and Feint:



The number to the bottom left of the circle is the attack die - in this case itís zero because you donít actually get to attack when you perform this maneuver. The number to the bottom right is the defense die, which you roll to contest any attacks made against you in the round of combat when youíve selected this maneuver. d8 is pretty good, making dodge and feint, as youíd expect, a good defensive choice.

The underline indicates that this maneuver is a balancing maneuver. That means that you can open up a combat in it, and when youíre forced to rebalance (some moves for your enemy to rebalance, and some make you rebalance) you can select it as your next maneuver. Once youíve selected a balancing maneuver, on your next turn you can move to another maneuver, as long as itís in line with it, and youíre not jumping over any gaps. So from dodge and feint I could choose: spin, counter strike, unbalancing feint, lunge and warriorís strike.

The line underneath the name of the maneuver tells you what the maneuver does - there are more in depth guides to what each maneuver actually does if itís not clear. Most of them do some amount of damage (which depletes your body, or if you spend mood gets absorbed by that). In this case, dodge and feint makes your attacks and defenses better until youíre forced to rebalance.

Alongside the more mundane combat styles, youíve also got magic styles. Every type of magic (and weíll look at that more later on) has a style sheet to go alongside it. That means you can use every type of magic in the game in combat, and theyíre super cool. Magic styles have a very different feel - they tend to have a lot more wind up than combat styles, but a big pay off when you get through the process. So, hereís Death Lore:



And hereís Death Spell, the pinnacle of that style:



The M means this is a mastery maneuver - you can only use it if youíve mastered the style. The ability to use a combat style comes in one of three levels: neophyte, apprentice and master. Neophytes can only use the balancing maneuvers and three others, apprentices can use all of them except the master maneuvers, and masters can use all of them.

The (r) means that you have to rebalance after performing the maneuver.

If there are dice in the top left or right that means that they have magic attacks and defenses - which circumvent mundane defenses and can defend against magical attacks.

So, to recap: everyone knows some combat or magic styles, and in combat you broadly pick maneuvers off of them with some restrictions of which ones they take and when. Thatís pretty much the basics, and the styles themselves are awesome. Theyíre extremely pleasing to use (my groups have had minis or tokens to keep track of where they are), and for the GM theyíre incredibly quick and easy to use - if youíre running 8 antagonists in free sword, you just need the one sheet and 8 numbered tokens.

Initiative has a couple of options: duel and traditional. Traditional is a standard initiative order - you all roll, and then act one at a time in order. We tried it, and itís fine, but honestly it misses a lot of the excitement of the styles.

In duel initiative, you all pick the style you want and then reveal them all at once. You then resolve the effects simultaneously. That works brilliantly in practice, and makes the whole thing feel very tense and exciting. One on one duels are great fun, but actually group combats work as well - the whole thing breaks down into little back and forths, and thereís a lot of cool tactical stuff to do with anticipating your enemy.

The styles are one of my favourite things about the game, and thereís a lot of variation. In total there are about 40 styles in total, some of which are only for enemies. Dragon is terrifying:



Next up: COMBAT (MOVEMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL TRICKS, GEAR AND THE REST)

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015
There is some eurogame in my combat system, and it is glorious.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Nifara posted:

I can totally see why you might want to play like this (it reminds me strongly of Dramasystem and I like that game a lot), but even though Iíve known itís an option, Iíve never played or run a game of Spellbound Kingdoms using it. Itís a cool collaborative idea, but itís just not one that appeals greater to me. Brunner covers the subject in some depth, and reading his guidance Iíd feel comfortable running it like thatÖ I just donít want to.

Having run Dramasystem, it's definitely an element that makes a game almost run on its own. Dramasystem and Apocalypse World have done a lot to push me towards handing control over to players. It's worth a try, even if it's only for a lark.

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Cassa
Jan 29, 2009

Nifara posted:

Fighting styles are made up of a number of different maneuvers - specific moves you can make that have different effects and let you do different things. But you canít just choose maneuvers freely - you have to work your way through the styles like combat styles. Hereís what free sword looks like:


I can't help but feel this is crying out for some colours and shapes to break it up a little.

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