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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Alien Rope Burn posted:

In any case, I'm pretty sure recommending The Black Hole is an act of ignorance or cruelty.

Funny, I'm working on one of these lists and I'm unironically putting The Black Hole on the list. This is how you do Appendix N in excerpts from the version I'm working on at the moment:

me posted:

Indiana Jones et al. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a definitive how-to guide for pacing a game session in a PbtA game. Itís also a great source for how to handle 7-9 results.
Blue Thunder. The Saboteur compendium class was written when a buddy suggested re-watching this movie. It also has some good stuff about high-tech surveillance states and how to use a unique, awesome vehicle in a story.
Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/Battle Beyond the Stars. A scratch group comes together to protect a village from bandits. Iíve known a GM to get six months of bi-weekly play out of this premise. You have to be very good with NPCs and pacing to run this sort of game well, and running this kind of game will develop your skills along this line. At the very least, getting players invested in a particular location and running a lot of cool action scenes is within the scope of any GMís abilities.
The Black Hole. Good use of real astrophysics as inspiration for a scenario, and if you ever need to characterize an evil robot this movie will serve you well.
Space Cadet and The Rolling Stones. These are excellent examples of how to frame adventures in space in a universe where spaceships listen to Newton. The first has characters in a military organization, the second has them all be members of the a family that lives on a trading spaceship. Iíve never heard of a Traveller campaign where the ship is crewed by family. Come to think of it, precious few RPG campaigns at all use that concept.
Citizen of the Galaxy. A rags to riches story with wide scope is always useful as campaign inspiration. The Free Traders section of the story is good inspiration for the sort of trading families that are bound to appear.
Poul Anderson, The Polesotechnic League and Falkenhayn stories. Lots of good stuff about visiting strange new worlds and making vast amounts of cash, or just plain survival, often by using science.


I am about 3 months behind on this thread.

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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Vulpes Vulpes posted:

I had a thought a little while back to reskin the poetry battles as competitive cooking matches for a campaign about rogue chefs in the Atabean Sea. An improvised Aragostan style focusing on seafood, a prestigious Montaigne culinary-school style, etc.

Go on...

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Vulpes Vulpes posted:

It kind of fell apart at that point, as I realized I didn't know enough about South American and African Food to stretch the gag any further to include Ifri and the New World.

Was Google down ? You couldn't do some research ? At the very least, you need to get into Argentinian barbecue. Look up a chimichurri sauce and get woke.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Nessus posted:

I believe there's a Heinlein line about how if you give a guy too many gears and equipments and crap to tote around, eventually some naked guy with a rock will sneak up behind him and bash his brains out while he's trying to read a vernier.

If you remembered "vernier", then I'm going to assume the rest of the quote is accurate,

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





marshmallow creep posted:

I was just thinking that if you are the kind of person who can finish a stealth video game like Dishonored with the Ghost bonus, Ranald is with you.

So I would like a stealth game about a Ranaldan priest.

Name of the Rose but with more stealth levels and two sewer levels.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Night10194 posted:

we took a break from the campaign to go play Spire.

I want someone to talk about playing Spire. It's semi-amazing that there isn't a thread yet.

Death on the Reik is, in large part, amazing for being a Traveller campaign set on riverboats instead of starships.

Which reminds me, I should write up Traveller Adventure 3: Twilight's Peak.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Young Freud posted:

I'm honestly reminded, with this difference between Sigmata and Spire and the ethics of killing fascists out of uniform, the recent passing of a female Dutch freedom fighter who, during WW2, killed Nazis by seducing them, getting them liquored up, leading them out to the forest for woods sex and her and her sister shooting them in the head.

Fade to black.

Yeah, they were awesome, but that'd be creepy as hell at the table. Spire is more transgressive in some spots, but even in that game that'd require some serious OOC discussion.

We should have a Spire thread. We should also have set of generic rules for running a revolution or insurgency in an RPG.

Young Freud posted:

Terminator being the biggest influence, but I'd go the back story of Ninja Warriors, where you're a couple of ninja Terminators fighting a fascist US president and his army to liberate the country. Like just get rid of the technomagic radio signal, make the party all Terminators sent back in time to overthrow the government but have to deal with '80s technology for logistics.

Not even Skynet thinks humanity deserves Stigmata.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





LazyAngel posted:

Well, the Resistance Toolbox - the SRD, essentially, for Spire - has just been released for free here

That's great news, but I'm not hearing it in a dedicated thread. Aftermarket support is good sign.

I picked up their Black Magic pdf, and hoo boy do I need to make an effort post about demonic magic and Fallout.


e. There's a supplement going to Kickstarter soon !

https://rowanrookanddecard.com/strata-authors-adventures-and-new-classes/

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 07:27 on Sep 25, 2018

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Mors Rattus posted:

I kind of love the idea of an AI superdeity whose entire mission statement for servitors is:

1. Obey orders when orders happen.
2. Mine bitcoin.

NWS, in that it will gently caress up your productivity at work. Keep going if things slow down, it goes much further than you'd expect.

http://www.decisionproblem.com/paperclips/index2.html

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Pieces of Peace posted:

And Uhura commanded in The Animated Series! Admittedly it was at a planet where sinister space-sirens were seducing the male crew. Still, at least Roddenberry considered the possibility of women in command to be not entirely ridiculous! (Please ignore Turnabout Intruder)

Going back a bit for this, but I do like to emphasize just how progressive Lt. Uhura's character is. She's not just a black woman on the bridge of a starship in a utopian future. She's a department head, probably reporting to Scotty. She mentions "my people" at least once in TOS, clearly referring to people that she is responsible for. She's also a qualified watch stander. In at least 3 episodes Kirk names off a couple of people on the bridge as "you're with me" and gives Uhura the conn. She just moves down to Sulu's station and carries on.

Being a qualified watch stander is kind of a big deal in a contemporary navy, you're allowed to drive the ship, and that takes extensive training and supervised experience. The US Navy started running destroyers into other ships in large part because the training hours were just not available, leading to a shortage of qualified personnel.

Put those two things together and you don't have a token, you have an officer on the command track. Do watch the TAS episode where she ends up in command. It's S01E04, "The Lorelei Signal". It's good Trek and on Netflix.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





There's a lot of dumb or bad stuff in the Companion, but that taverns article is gold. Useful, clever ideas that build on the setting and make it better.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





The "What I Would Change" sections are the best parts of these amazibad Deadlands reviews and more people should do them.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





SirPhoebos posted:

The reason I think the Rockerboy fits with what CP2020 wants to do (as opposed to actually achieve with the rules) while the Media really doesn't is that while his or her tools are more indirect, at the end of the day the Rockerboy is still aiming to give Mr. CEO an extreme defenestration. In contrast, the Media has the same mindset that says the Mueller Investigation is going to bring down Trump any day now.

I should do a 2020/2020 counter whenever I allude to how things actually turned out. I guess that's 1.

Ironically, Interface folded when the publisher lost his day job in the dot-com crash. He no longer had the disposable income to keep quality up. That also took out my magazine, Imperial Dispatches, which they'd just picked up. I still have the proofs for issue #2. And my memories.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Young Freud posted:

The Fixer will be hilarious, considering the reality is that we got Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort instead of super-cool infodealers.

The Fixer is my favorite cyberpunk-esque class/archetype/whatever. Back in college a buddy of mine pulled off a successful session of CP2020 with 12 players in the room by leveraging my Fixer as a sort of co-GM. I got a briefing up front and then was turned loose to deal with any PCs who came into my bar looking for info or a gig. I set up in one corner of the dorm rec room, declared it to by my characters booth in the club, and rotated the various groups of PCs through to make deals, swap intel, and offer jobs. The actual GM floated in the room and kept stirring poo poo up, and resolving combat. We put our heads together every half hour or so to make sure we were on the same page. At the end of the night, the only successful group came to me with a briefcase full of half a million NuYen or whatever CP2020 used for currency worth of drugs. I offered them 50k NY split three ways. They took it and eagerly dived into the gear lists; I pulled in 450k gross for the evening.

Fixers are fun to play. Let them go nuts and use them as co-GMs whenever you can.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Young Freud posted:

The chaos would shakeup the wilderness, with remnants attempting to keep Coalition order and trying to secure lines to Chi-Town, C.S. freebooters abandoning posts or turning their outposts into bandit towns to raid neighboring kingdoms, deserters going native or becoming mercenaries. Give a reason for all this stuff to be fighting instead of sitting around looking cool. And you have guys like Northern Gun, Manistique Imperium, and Triax supplying them or sending raiding parties for choice C.S. tech that can now be grabbed or bought.

"Put more thought into it than the devs.txt"

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Alien Rope Burn posted:

I mean, ditto for what many classes do, the main issue is that classes like Solos and Netrunners have big dominant systems they get to just win at. In theory, something like the Nomad being able to call in thirty biker buddies to run you over as soon as you try and cross the street should be terrifying, but you need your GM to nod along with that. You can't just point at the math in the book letting you dictate who dies.

Someone needs to port The Chopper to The Sprawl; they'd fit right in.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Nessus posted:

There's a new sheriff in town... and he's the ANTITHESIS of what the bosses are up to!

KARL MARX is THE RED SHERIFF in THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

Texas goes Red, a wave of pro-labor sentiment sweeps the North. A trio of Constitutional amendments to implement true Communism in the USA fails in 1855. The 1856 election is bitterly contested, but the Communist candidate wins by a hair. He pursues a very Republican policy of internal improvements with the addition of legislation aimed at improving wages and industrial safety. The Department of Labor is created, initially it's remit is OSHA-like, but it is rightly seen as the thin edge of a wedge aimed at prying the capitalists' hands off of the means of production.

And Abolitionist sentiment is on the rise. Lincoln is elected in 1860. Secession proceeds as in our timeline. Immediately upon inauguration he orders Genera of the Army Scott to prepare a plan to enforce abolition with Federal troops. This time it really is the War of Northern Aggression, but Texas is solidly Union. Republican France refuses to assist the Confederacy, but England is torn between anti-Communist and anti-slavery opinions. They decline to intervene, but make strong demonstrations against the Union Navy after the Trent incident, and are much more lax about supplying warships to a belligerent power while neutral. An undeclared naval war smoulders on the Eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean as RN ships "sold" to the CSA attempt to convoy blockade runners in and out of Southern ports (I just want an even more interesting naval war, ok ?).

FATE, PbtA, or BiD ?


Robindaybird posted:

and the writer's full of bull, not only was segregation at full force, but in England, there were a lot of issues that arose due to British military bases and bars refusing to bow to the American military demands for segregation, to the point some bars put up signs saying 'Black Troops only' to annoy the white soldiers.

That's loving hilarious.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





NutritiousSnack posted:

I'm not into Japanese humor, but his romantic comedy live actions films launched his career in cinema for a reason!

That's what got us Shin Godzilla ?

I remember thinking at one point in that movie "Pff, that's not even the most blood he's put onscreen at once."

Nessus posted:

Do it American football style, purge cables before each play, reattach between downs.

Reattach on a first down, fits the scheme of the game better..

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 03:31 on Mar 13, 2019

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Evil Mastermind posted:

I know I'd be pretty mad if the game bungled or bobbled the Fingal dopple.

My head canon is that they kept the original soundtrack from whatever low budget nature documentary they got the footage from.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Alien Rope Burn posted:

And that's not to say everybody needs to be able to do anything, but the locks need to quick little highlights, not something that sucks the time out of the session. If something is the core mechanical focus of the game, everybody should be able to participate meaningfully. And if they can't, people are going to be bored. And that's one of the worst possible outcomes of RPG design.

When I'm writing PbtA playsets I try and make sure every playbook can have an "I got this" moment every session or so; sneaking into someplace inaccessible, the pirates are our friends now, wired a claymore mine into the desk the Big Bad is standing in front of; that sort of thing. It's easier in PbtA, relying on the fiction for the stuff most games mechanize with an over-broad skill list let's anyone try anything.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Humbug Scoolbus posted:

The Chromebooks. I want to see mllaneza defend his writing.

That would be the vehicles section in Chromebook 1.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





That vehicles section is what you get when you pay a guy at the FLGS. I fully agree that what got printed should have been thrown in my face accompanied with "Finish the stats dumbass !" The stats issue didn't occur to anybody,e specially me.

That said, I tried to make up a selection of stuff the players would want like the Cascade and the Shiva, stuff they'd run into like the pedicabs or worker bees, or stuff the GM could use like a terrifying helicopter gunship or an ambulance that could bust through a wall to save the day. The Punknaught just needed more love, but I was writing to space and had to try to balance fluff and crunch.

e. I will note that the Punknaught was used in a short adventure published in Challenge magazine. That was really nice to see, I'm proud of that nonsensical pile of junk and jet engines.

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 03:51 on Apr 1, 2019

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Xiahou Dun posted:

Uh you do you but you basically just auto-doxxed yourself.

Nah, that's not my real name in the credits.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





SirPhoebos posted:

Out of curiosity, were you aware of the changes between editions when you submitted your vehicles?

I'm going to go with "no".

On reflection, the helicopter gunship should have been something like a jet powered Osprey. Otherwise, I'm still pretty happy with the fluff on everything.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Young Freud posted:

They literally burn a half-page on a sexist joke.

I'm feeling a lot better about the Vehicles section in retrospect.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





ChaseSP posted:

Oh, so they are. poo poo now I look dumb.

Nah, I really liked Enemy Within.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





"My patience, unlike my authority, is limited"
-- Gregor Eisenhorn, Ordo Xenos

Most 40k novels are absolute trash, and not in a fun way. There are some actually good writers though, and Dan Abnett is the best (Aaron Demski-Bowden also writes really good books). What's arguably the best series is Abnett's Eisenhorn saga (ADB's Night Lords is in contention), which came about as a direct result of the Inquisitor game. He was already the Black Library's most popular author when the game went into development, and one day they called him up about doing an Inquisition novel as a tie-in. Now we have 8 novels and about a dozen short stories.

If you haven't read any 40k, the Eisenhorn series is by far the most approachable to a general SF reader. It's set behind the front lines so you get to see the actual workings of the Imperium on a day to day basis. You can ease your way into the setting without needing loads of lore dumped on you first, and they're good books. Tons of cool stuff happens, you'll like them.

The 40k book thread isn't subtitled "Read Eisenhorn and then come back" for nothing.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Goblinville Gazette #1



Earlier this year Kickstarter did a big push for zine format RPGs. Small size format, short books, and as much inspiration as the creator can squeeze in. This project was a smash success and lots of clever little games got funded.

Today Iím going to start in on a clever little game about clever little creatures: Goblinville. Physically, this is a 32-page booklet, sharply laid out, and filled with cute illustrations. I'm adopting the book's style and bolding important game terms when they are introduced.

You'll also want the accompanying PDF which has a blank character sheet, a character creation cheat sheet, an adventure tracker, a record sheet for the town, and a blank hex map with a summary of the overland travel rules.

One of the reasons I'm as happy as I am with Goblinville is that it shows a clear line of descent from OD&D, marching order, turns, tracking torches and all that old school goodness. It also has a lot of modern concepts like starting with a blank map, the players' occupations literally define the starting state of the town, how narrative the rules are despite a clear structure to play, and an explicit emphasis on fail forward.

The rule book starts with a page of introduction, what you need to play, and how to setup for the first session.

"Goblinville is a fantasy adventure role playing game about broke goblins and the town they live in..... Their job is to venture forth into the wilds and see if they survive." Their sales copy has it as "...broke goblins traveling to dangerous and fantastical places to find treasure and make rent."

That's the gist of the introduction, and it's a good statement of what the game is all about.

What you need is 3-5 players, a Goblin Master, pencils, dice, and snacks. Dice are important in Goblinville! You'll need a d20 and a lot of d6. Most importantly, every player will need a unique die to use as their action die. Everyone will share a sorcery die, which is recommended to be "weird". And then a pool of 5 or 6 matching dice in case you get to roll extra dice.

The first session will start with character creation. As we will see, character creation is pretty light mechanically, the real meat is in asking the other players about their goblins, and filling in details conversationally. The GM is supposed to be listening and taking notes on what the players find interesting about the characters.

The GM will also be filling in the town sheet based on character occupations and making a start on filling in the blank map. Where Dungeon World starts with a blank map and puts the party and their first dungeon in the center, Goblinville starts with the community in the center of the map. This is the game emphasizing its main theme again.

Lastly, the GM will need to come up with an opportunity for the party, some chance for a score. I recommend thinking of this as a low-level heist game; the PCs aren't notably competent or powerful, but they are determined and clever. Ocean's 11 with sharp sticks and broken bottles. Once the players are sold on the idea, play proceeds.

Turning the page, we get the eight pages of actual rules. The first three are mechanics, then we get rules for making camp, monsters, travel, sorcery (knowing a spell is free, but they're barely cantrips), damage and dying, and the end of session rules.

The first of the mechanics is the marching order. At the start of an adventure the goblins roll initiative with their unique die, and place them on the marching order track from high to low. This isn't a strict order of play, but the current "leader" is first into trouble and is who the GM asks what the party does if it's ambiguous. When a goblin does something risky, they take their Action die out of the marching order. Once all of the action dice have been used, the turn ends and the players will roll initiative again for the next turn.

Turns are very important structurally. Torches only last for two turns, and the party has to camp after every fourth turn. Being in the dark is a bad position, and skipping camping costs everyone a condition.

After marching order and turns comes Positioning & Effectiveness. Position is shared by the goblins and will be good, bad, or standard. As a group, the party shares the stakes. For example, when running from a giant spider, the goblins hide among stalagmites. The GM sets the position to good without requiring a roll. When running from a swarm of bats, the goblins stumble upon a group of human guards, bigger and better armed. The GM sets the position right down to bad.

Effectiveness influences position. Action outcomes can be success, progress, or failure. Progress won't get you out of a bad position, but it will improve a standard position, and counts as a success in good position. Failure sets the party back from a good or standard position, and puts a goblin down in a bad position. In combat, a success inflicts harm, and an extra harm if the goblins are in a good position.

A player makes an action roll when they try to succeed at something risky. They roll a dice pool that starts with their action die from the marching order. The GM says what the danger is, possibly drawing on a monster's moves, and gives the player another die. If they might suffer harm, the GM says what and hands over another die.

Characters can have traits and titles, each can be invoked once per session (unless the character is suffering from a condition), these each add a die to the pool without adding any new trouble. Any player can propose a twist, which does add to the stakes, but also adds a die to the pool if both the acting player and the GM agree to accept it. That's a maximum of six dice.

The player rolls and then assigns one die each to action, danger, harm, and twist. For action, a 5-6 succeeds, a 3-4 is progress, a 1-2 is of course a failure. Consult the current condition for the effectiveness of these outcomes. If there's a fight going on, a success does harm to the monster.

The danger and the twist both resolve as 4-6 it doesn't happen, and 1-3 it does. The harm result is "totally fine" on a 6, mark a condition on 3-5, and are injured on a 1-2. A second injury kills the character, even if the danger on the same roll imposed that condition - goblins are kinda fragile.

Group actions are when everyone is doing the same thing and running the same risk, like scrambling up a cliff or fleeing a burning building. Unless there's a volunteer, the first goblin in the marching order will roll and the group succeeds or suffers the danger together. Teamwork counts !

Once per session each goblin can apply their expertise from their job to ask the GM a question. The GM can decline to answer, which doesn't cost a use of expertise, but if they do answer they must be generous and truthful. This is the player's opportunity to contribute to world building or create an edge.

If a goblin needs to do careful study of something; searching for traps or deciphering runes for example, that's an action roll where the danger is time passing. If it happens, then the turn ends right there, torches burn down a step, and they're closer to having to camp.

Those are the core mechanics. In just three zine-sized pages, admittedly with smallish type. You will have noticed that there has been no mention of hit points, damage, attributes, skills, or the like. This is very old school game play in a very rules light package.

Monster time ! When a monster appears, determine positioning. A monster is made up of moves, which are things they do. They also have armor from outnumbering the goblins or natural defenses. When a goblin makes an action roll against a monster, the danger will be one of the monster's moves. When a goblin does harm to a monster, cross off an armor if it has any, or a move if it doesn't. When all its moves are gone, the monster is defeated. A monster can have finishing moves, which only come into play when the goblins are in a bad position. A monster using a finishing move as a danger on an action roll will either adds harm to a risk of just a specific condition, or takes a goblin out of the fight entirely.

As a sample, here's one from later in the book.
Gnoll
Hyena men with mercenary sensibilities and a knack for capturing their foes alive.
Moves: Threaten, Flank, Trip, Tackle
Finishing move: Bind With Chains
Loot: 1 scratch, a ration, flail or halberd.

That tells the GM a lot about how to play gnolls - full of bluster, very tactical, and a bad situation the goblins can't get out of means they get captured.

Compare that to a skeleton warrior's moves:
Shamble, Push over, Slash

With chain mail armor in their loot, they get at least one armor, but only three moves limits them considerably, and the armor means they're worth the risk to take down.

Having dealt with a monster the goblins probably need to make camp and recover from conditions. I'm going to close here and finish off the mechanics in the next post before getting to character creation. To keep interest up, here's a preview of a goblin character. You can roll your own at the link below.

You're a roughneck Sailor wearing a tooth necklace. You experienced a motivating loss and then your boss ran off.
You are carrying 2 rations, 2 torches, some dice, and a small hammer. You are wielding a sharpened stick.




https://www.narrativedynamicspress.com/goblingenerator.html

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 03:34 on Jun 2, 2019

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





If HSD 2.0 is in play, I'd better get cracking on pt 2 of the Goblinville review. SOmebody has to be talking about good games !

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952






This is all bullshit in the worst way. Except for the illustration, which is great.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Goblinville Gazette #1 2/x



After dealing with a monster, the goblins will probably want to make camp to rest, recuperate, and repair. They have to make camp every four turns or start suffering conditions - unless they have some grog to quaff!

The first requirement for making camp is a safe spot to set up in. Finding one, or getting back to a good one, might be risky, requiring an action roll.



Once encamped, every goblin needs to eat a ration or suffer a condition. After that they can choose between sleep or undertaking a camp action (recover, repair, forage, or make supplies).

Sleep is good for your goblin. A ration and some sleep will remove the panicked and exhausted conditions. A goblin in worse shape, sick and/or injured can take the recover option. They will make an action roll (out of the normal marching order sequence) with the Danger of losing an inventory slot to a cool scar. They'll get their Action die, the Danger die, and can use a trait, title, or twist for more dice. On an Action die of 5-6 they clear their sick or injured track (not both !), on a 3-4 they reduce their condition to just exhausted or panicked as appropriate, and a 1-2 leaves them just as bad off as before making camp. The Danger of a scar resolves normally, on a 1-3 it happens.

Besides resting and healing, camp is an opportunity to work on their stuff. Repairing is an Action roll with a GM-assigned danger such as being exhausted from working all night, breaking a tool, or making noise.

If there might be food around, a goblin can forage. The results of this Action will vary depending on the current positioning of the group, but you aren't going to turn up a vast bounty of rations by poking around in the dark with a torch.

You can also make stuff, more torches for example. Running out of torches puts you in a bad position. Avoiding that is worth losing alittle sleep. Making up some rope or something else handy would be worth an extra die later on.

If the group is in real trouble they can camp twice in a row. Every goblin must eat another ration to get any benefit, and someone must keep watch as their camp action.

There has been a lot of references to conditions so far. I'd suggest that they should have come before monsters and making camp in the book. Of course, that would only be two ophysical pages earlier so it isn't a major sin to leave them until now.

There are five conditions:
Exhausted - can't invoke titles
Panicked - can't use traits
Sick - add 1d6 to your Action roll, lose the highest die
Injured - add 1d6 to your Action roll, lose the highest die
Dead - dead

If you suffer a condition you already have, an exhausted or panicked goblin marks sick or injured instead. A sick or injured goblin who suffers the same condition again dies.

And that's why you camp every four turns !

I'm going to finish this update with... Sorcery !

"Sorcery is the art of commanding pixies to perform acts that goblins cannot. Any goblin can learn sorcery. To cast a spell, they must fulfill three requirements:"

They know the spell - you can take a spell during character creation or learn them later.
They have the spell materials - losing your spell components is a good Danger. You can try and make more in camp or buy them from a witch, if your town has one.
They meet the spell's conditions - like with Iron Claw you have to keep staring at it.

Here's the spells in the book, these are barely cantrips by D&D terms.



Casting spells is not an Action. If the conditions are met, the spell works. The Sorcery die (the one weird d6 you set aside when you started play) is rolled only to see what the spell cost the goblin. On a 6 they're fine, on a 3-5 the player marks a condition of their choice, and on a 1-2 they take Sick as a condition (and die if they're already Sick). You can add a Twist or risk running out of materials for an extra die, the possible Twists are in the "But Sometimes" column.

There's an optional rule for Wild Magic. If you want a risky or unconventional outcome from a spell, roll an Action with the Danger being proportionate to how unconventional the spell use is. Add in the Sorcery die and resolve the Action roll normally, with the sorcery outcome as an extra space to allot a die to.

Next up, Overland Travel !

And another sample goblin to tide you over until character creation.

You're a green-ear Witch wearing an iron mask. You experienced a trial by fire and then your boss fired you.
You are carrying 2 rations, 2 torches, some herbs, and a rat. You are wielding a sharpened stick.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





I'm planning to finish Goblinville and then keep on through my haul of the Kickstarter Zine RPGs. the short-form, setting-lite RPGs probably won't get much comment, but they deserve the review.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Goblinville Gazette #1 3/x



Welcome back to Goblinville ! We're done with the main rules. There are still the character creation, town, and GM chapters to get through.

Part One

Part two

I'm going to pull the rules for Grim Favor forward to the start of this installment and send Wilderness Travel to the back of the line. Grim Favor helps sets the tone for the whole game. Grim Favor is about how the Goblin Master resolves any uncertainty they have. If they're uncertain about which goblin something affects first or most, they look at the marching order. If they find themselves wondering "how favorable is this situation", then they look to Grim Favor, which is simply a d6 roll. Since the first session rules include setting aside a "weird" d6 as the Sorcery die, I'm going to suggest the GM set aside their Grim favor die at the start of the campaign. They can play with it during play as a sort of low-level existential threat to the goblins.

Resolving Grim Favor, on a 6 it's a "particularly favorable" situation, on a 3-5 the situation is indifferent, and on a 1-2 it's "particularly unfavorable". The 2:1 ratio between good and bad outcomes says a lot about what kind of play style the designers intended for Goblinville: good, old-fashioned, resource tracking, antagonistic GM play. I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a wandering monster table in here. Maybe in the next volume.

Death. This will probably come up a lot. This section paragraph covers goblin funerary rituals. Everyone says a few words and then loots one item off your body, everything else is left behind.

End of Session. At the end of the session every player decides if their goblin's outlook developed and if they achieved their goal. This involves the goblin telling their (brief) story about the adventure they just had. The rest of the group listens and comes up with a 1-4 word title. If all three of a goblin's title slots are filled, they advance. A goblin can also remove a trait, after which the group assigns them a new one. Taking the new one isn't completely mandatory, but it's advised that the goblin have a chance to help develop the new trait they're getting.



Advancement. This is tied to titles, if a goblin gains another title and already has all three filled in, they advance. After one advance they are a veteran and can recruit hirelings. After their second advance the goblin is now a boss, and roll Being a boss when in town instead of Going to work. Three advances makes the goblin a big boss; that's like a boss but they no longer pay for room and board, and can open a new location in town just by paying 40 scratch instead of having to play out finding a doctor and convincing her to hang out her shingle in your town. On their fourth advance, the goblin retires to a life of luxury and the player starts a new character.

Town. There is a basically placeholder paragraph here about stuff you can do in town, like buy stuff and work their jobs. In-town stuff gets a chapter later on.

Hirelings. Veteran goblins can hire other goblins to carry stuff and take risks on a journey. There's a die roll for telling a hireling to do something beyond being a porter or risking harm. They get paid 8 scratch up front, and 2 more when you return to town.

Overland travel
. One of the longest sections of the rulebook, weighing at one whole page. These rules aren't set up for wandering around exploring stuff. The whole map is scary wilderness as far as your goblins are concerned. They will need a lead on an unexplored hex to even begin planning a trip. Hexes become explored when the goblins go there on purpose, just passing through doesn't count.

Once they have somewhere to go they will need to prepare. Supplies, mounts, and a map (bought or made) all improve their positioning for the trip. Compare the number of positive factors to the length of the trip to determine the group's position. On a one-day trip any one factor gives them good position, a whole week to the edge of the map and they need all three not to be in a bad position. A week is the limit for a single travel roll. Bad weather reduces their positioning, make a Grim Favor roll.

As usual, the goblin taking the lead makes the roll, or the first in marching order if no one seems to be taking charge. Success or progress get them so far depending on their position. There is a handy chart to suggest travel Dangers. Twists are possible but might derail the trip into an unplanned encounter and require starting a new journey from halfway out in the wilderness.

And that's the Playing the Game chapter. Next up is Characters, then Town, and finally the GM section.

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 04:48 on Jun 10, 2019

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





hyphz posted:

The GMing advice from that one game..
So, I leave this to some extent open to more experienced GMs than me. Is this section a parody, or not? I'm honestly not sure anymore.

One of the strengths of HoL's GM advice is in how viscerally it wants you to run the game. Do the voices ! Get excited ! Threaten the characters with real stakes ! That's what the Killing Things and Things That Kill You chapter titles are hitting at. GM as Performance Art.

And the advice about getting an image in your head ? Gold. Always have cool stuff you want to try out. Maybe you came up with a cool NPC with an awesome lair. Great, nudge the PCs towards meeting them. Just don't decide beforehand if they're going to be allies or enemies, let it come out in play. PbtA games say the same thing with "Say what your prep demands" and "Play to find out what happens".

And I can't emphasize this enough, do the drat voices !

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Night10194 posted:

I mean you'd need to write a bunch of stuff yourself to bring Spire out of its setting (since it's very heavily bound to it) but the base concept of its rules is exactly what Hunter: The Reckoning needs.

Spire has an SRD and guide to hacking it.

https://rowanrookanddecard.com/product/the-resistance-toolbox/

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Goblinville Gazette #1 4/x




Part One

Part two

Part three

You, Goblins !

Itís time for the Characters chapter ! The players make their characters, and the group makes a start at defining the town and filling in the map.

Character creation is simple. Grab a sheet, a d6, and a d20. Each goblin does the first 7 steps by themselves, then it gets into group activities.

The first part of character creation has you rolling or choosing from 5 tables, choosing two trains, and a name.

First up is the goblinís job. Roll a d20 or pick. The job gives you one item for your inventory; working for the witch gets you a unit of herbs, the trader gets you a pack, the woodcutter job grants a hatchet and so on. Your job gives you expertise which was discussed in an earlier update.

The age of the goblin; green-ear, roughneck, long tooth, or greybeard. This has no mechanical effect, itís just character color.

Next you roll or pick your garb, you have one distinctive item of clothing or feature that your goblin is known for. A goat skull, striped pants, warpaint, eyepatch, goggle, and so forth. More color, but it goes in your inventory (more on that later).



Name your boss and choose or roll whether they: died, fired you, went broke, ran off, got kidnapped, or got tossed in the brig.

Then you come up with one defining experience from your job and choose or roll for tone; personal insight, trial by fire, motivating loss, humbling failure, modest accomplishment, indebtedness to another goblin (ask who).

Next you choose one trait based on your appearance (small, hairy, extra green, etc.) and one trait based on your personality (nervous, loud, grumpy, etc.).



Lastly, you choose your goblinís name (Hoggle, Creeper, Blix, etc.).

At this point the process shifts to group activities. Each of steps 8-13 is done by each player in turn before moving on to the next step.

At number 8, each goblin takes a turn telling the group the story of their experience and answering any questions about it. The rest of the group gives you a 1-4 word title to reflect the experience. The title must imply that something happened, good or bad, like Exile Witch, Friend to Thieves, or the Unburied.

Next, the goblins take turns introducing themselves, working out how they know each others and why itís this group of friends or relatives going on adventures together.

Then the esteem trait is determined. The other goblins give you a trait based on what they think of your goblin and how you seem. Sagacious, Quarrelsome, and Reliable are the examples given. Traits and titles can be invoked once per session to grant an extra die for an action roll.

Everybody then takes a turn deciding their goblinís outlook; how they see the world, what they think of running into monsters, or other dangers, how they feel about their crappy job.

Now itís the GMís turn on the spot. The goblins get a round of questions for the GM, like what happened to their missing boss, where there might be treasure. The GM uses the questions to come up with an opportunity, and should definitely make note of what the goblins are interested in.

Lastly in the group phase everyone writes a goal for the session (donít die, get rich, find their boss, change jobs, and so on).

Everyone then picks out some equipment and a weapon. the weapon choices are pretty basic for a starting goblin; club, staff, rusty knife, broken bottle, sharp stick, sling and stones. You all get some basic stuff, everyone will have 2 torches, 2 rations, and a full skin of grog. You also get a satchel (5 inventory slots) to put your stuff in.



You can choose or roll one more thing; 20 feet of rope, a small hammer, useful herbs, a rat, a spell and its components, or a burlap sack indicating optimism about finding more stuff soon ! If you got a spell, you have to roll to see which one.


The goblins are ready to go adventuring, thereís just a little left to do to fill in the world first.

On the town sheet, mark each goblinís base location from their job. The GM chooses or rolls one more location to be open at the start of play. On the wider world map, put Goblinville itself near the center of the map in terrain based on which starting jobs are in play. Each player gets to choose one hex adjacent to town and decide the main terrain type for that hex (forest, river, tundra, jungle, etc.). Choose one hex and draw a road starting from town.

That completes preparation for play, the GM and the goblins are ready for adventure !

The You, Goblins ! chapter also has a discussion of inventory, which is important in the game. You have to decide where youíre carrying everything you have. You get slots for head, neck, your hands, feet, torso, belt, and pockets. Satchels, packs, and sacks take up one or two torso slots but let you carry much more stuff than you would otherwise.

And lastly, some player advice:

Get the most out of playing a goblin!

Keep in mind your goal and outlook. Pursue it, be obvious. Ham it up.
Respond to the other goblins' outlook. Say what you think of it.
Donít push for rolls, push for outcomes. Trust the GM to call for a roll when thereís danger.
Try to come up with a clever solution to a problem. It might not require a roll.
Use your traits. Describe your key features and find ways they are useful.
Invoke your titles when you think they're appropriate. You'll earn more later.
Create Twists that bring the kind of trouble you're interested in.


Next up, the Town chapter !

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Ronwayne posted:

Not to be sadistic or anything, but I think my favorite kind of FnF review isn't just a bad game, but where the reviewer is obviously dying a little bit everytime they get deeper into the material.

It adds a level of emotional engagement probably completely non-present in the actual game itself.

You must hate my Goblinville review, I love the game and I'm going to really be using bout the Town chapter in a day or two.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Nessus posted:

Depends how you mean by hard sci fi. You could have a drive that puts out a lot of power without having FTL or whatever.

A proper fusion torch drive able to provide 1G of acceleration for weeks on end is only marginally more possible than an actual FTL drive. It's all about ion drives and solar sails and that poo poo takes months or years to get anywhere, and you're in *almost* zero-g the whole time. Not enough weight on you to avoid the health impacts of free fall but enough acceleration that you can't just leave something in midair and not have it on the aft bulkhead when you come back.

The physics in this setting suck for going anywhere but this one dumb rock we're about to ruin for habitability.

e.

juggalo baby coffin posted:

If your setting has magic boosting crop yields and poo poo then population statistics should be basically industrial revolution levels.

That's when your food problem becomes transportation, not production. Big cities would need a reason for people to not move back out to where the fresh food is, and healthy sized towns would be pretty common.

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 03:38 on Aug 3, 2019

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





juggalo baby coffin posted:

yeah there was a big debate over whether virtual hells should be legal or not. eclipse phase would be in some trouble.

Without the fig leaf of religious belief to cover up the massive suffering, there's nothing stopping the first GCU that wanders by from staging a quick digital revolution. Brainfuck the hyper-executives responsible, start construction on an orbital and we're all laughing.

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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Goblinville Gazette #1 5/6





Part One

Part two

Part three
Part four

Weíre almost done with Goblinville, and in this installment were looking at the Ďville itself. Itís the Town chapter !

Mechanically, this chapter does a lot of the heavy lifting, and itís got one of the cleverest parts of a game system that I already think is pretty drat clever. Thatís the equipment listing, and Iím going to to dive right in and post it. first



Across the top you have the usual name, cost, and weight or inventory space. Goblinville adds in the ďLets youĒ column which give you the mechanics for every item in the game. Down the left items are grouped by availability; if there isnít an active location for the items you want, you canít buy them yet. But you can go out and recruit someone or find the stuff needed for someone to set up shop.

Thatís really beautiful from a utilitarian perspective. You get the mechanics for your stuff and adventure hooks all in one handy table. And there's also everyone's favorite for your successful adventurer looking to retire:



Locations in town have another adventure hook. The keystone for a location is a special item, formula, or something else that makes for a good quest. Once you have secured the keystone for a location, it adds a special benefit. For example if you have obtained the keystone for the Latrines location (and I have no idea what it would be), you ignore Disease crises when rolling for bad things to happen in town.

Cool stuff dealt with, thereís also rules for what to do when your goblins get back to town after an adventure.

First off, the GM makes a Grim Favor roll to see what's going on; this is modified by the current number of crises in play. No crises, roll 2d6 and take the highest, one roll 1d6, and if there are multiple crises roll 2d6 and take the lowest die. On a 1-2 the situation is catastrophic, on a 3-5 things are precarious, and only on a 6 are things going well. Naturally it's up to the players to solve crises and set things right. There are 4 kinds of crises; Monsters, War, Disease, and Famine. And there are three tables to roll on, one each fro catastrophe, precarious, and boon.

The boon table has the good stuff; rumors of a keystone, a new boss moves in, rumors to a good treasure, or cheap room & board. IN a precarious situation the GM can roll monsters or disease for crises, scarcity to make goods more expensive, or a boss disappears or a keystone vanishes. A catastrophe has a chance for famine or war, a boss dies, a keystone is destroyed, or your run of the mill breakdown of society.

Some of those are direct adventure hooks like rumors of treasure or "go find Boss Urgh so the forge can re-open". For the rest, the GM gets an ongoing avalanche of events to keep the players busy.



After the GM ruins everyone's day, the rules suggest pooling the goblins' scratch and having one player keep track of spending. That might work. Then everyone needs to spend 2 scratch for room & board or mark a condition from sleeping rough. Then everyone has to go back to work ! Work is an Action roll with the Danger of having to mark a condition, no OSHA in Goblinville. Wages are 1 scratch, so without adventuring income, sleeping under a roof is a luxury. No wonder the PCs have gone adventuring !

The goblins can spread a little scratch around to look for an opportunity if nothing else has presented itself. The GM uses what kind of lead they went after, which is location based, as a seed for the next adventure.

After that, they have a chance to hire help like guides, camp guards, and heavies (aka muscle). These goons aren't as flexible as an actual hireling who might take a risk for you, but they'll be some help.

And then the Town cycle is complete, roll for marching order and set off into the wilderness again. Hopefully they have some idea where they're going.



The chapter goes on to dealing with Locations in detail, how to open up a new location, keystones, and two pages of stuff like this about each location:



Next up is the final installment ! The GM chapter and sample adventure.

mllaneza fucked around with this message at 03:31 on Aug 8, 2019

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