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Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Mors Rattus posted:

I’m just hoping the Werewolf is less disappointing, because the 1e Werewolf’s Actual werewolf form was basically an afterthought that had no real discussion or weight beyond ‘it changes your fictional position8ng I guess but we won’t discuss how or what it lets you do’

I think at some level the idea is that anything that there isn't a rule for pretty much does whatever is narratively convenient or dramatically appropriate. But I can understand that not 'working' for some people.

And yeah The Queen is pretty cool, it's one of the more flexibly supernatural Skins. There's one of the Second Skins that's also very flexible like that since you range from 'just a huge possessive rear end in a top hat' to 'literally a dragon'.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



The thing is there's not even guidance. Like, the ghost's ability to move through walls and fly by taking a move? That gives at least some guidance of what 'being an immaterial ghost' is good for, and what the ghost without it can't do. There's absolutely no guidance on what 'a giant wolf' or whatever can and can't do in the fiction.

e: and like, this is pretty important when 'being a werewolf' is the core fictional identity of the skin!

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

I still don't get what made putting "sex moves" in any game, ever, seem like a good idea.

...making a game in which who is having sex with who is important and relevant to the game? Like Monster Hearts for example?

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Mors Rattus posted:

The thing is there's not even guidance. Like, the ghost's ability to move through walls and fly by taking a move? That gives at least some guidance of what 'being an immaterial ghost' is good for, and what the ghost without it can't do. There's absolutely no guidance on what 'a giant wolf' or whatever can and can't do in the fiction.

e: and like, this is pretty important when 'being a werewolf' is the core fictional identity of the skin!

It does at least answer the main question in the Skin sheet, that you have the same stats and Moves. And like you'd definitely inflict more Harm when Lashing Out, because as that Move is laid out it does matter that for example you're a terrifying wolf and not just doing a punch.

Going to be honest the game kind of demurrs on how much you even want to actually have the Werewolf's actions while transformed on-screen. I have to wonder if they were getting feedback about people using it to be creepy edgelords.

I will say things like this are exactly the sort of thing to create custom Moves over (and there's actually a pretty fair amount in the game on doing exactly that). At some level I think they wanted to keep the monster 'lore' more open-ended, which does mean things like not really laying out Vampire weaknesses for example.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 15:45 on Oct 30, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Feinne posted:

It does at least answer the main question in the Skin sheet, that you have the same stats and Moves. And like you'd definitely inflict more Harm when Lashing Out, because as that Move is laid out it does matter that for example you're a terrifying wolf and not just doing a punch.

Going to be honest the game kind of demurrs on how much you even want to actually have the Werewolf's actions while transformed on-screen. I have to wonder if they were getting feedback about people using it to be creepy edgelords.

That at least is a change from 1e, where the sum total difference in lashing out as a wolf and as a human was

e: that said, that's basically, like...what's the point of being a werewolf if being a werewolf isn't central to it? If I play a werewolf it's because I want to be able to be a giant furry monster on camera.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Mors Rattus posted:

That at least is a change from 1e, where the sum total difference in lashing out as a wolf and as a human was

e: that said, that's basically, like...what's the point of being a werewolf if being a werewolf isn't central to it? If I play a werewolf it's because I want to be able to be a giant furry monster on camera.

Like being a werewolf is definitely central, I think they're just really sensitive to people taking the Werewolf just so they can describe a bunch of horrible murder porn stuff while in their Darkest Self.

For me a prospective Monsterhearts 3 or addon to 2 or whatever would probably include some optional extra Moves for each Skin that at bare minimum give examples of Moves that would put more defined rules to the monsters for people who kind of need that constraint. They themselves note that constraints are good for creativity, after all. Like again the game extremely encourages you to do exactly that yourself but giving examples would also help a lot of people who won't feel comfortable just straight coming up with the rules.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Dark Heresy 2nd Edition Unpublished Beta

Post 2: Characters and Careers

Careers are dead. Careers have been dead basically since Rogue Trader. Now, this is something I'm not at all unsympathetic to; the WHFRP Career System works great in a grounded game with a firm setting, but it's less of a fit for a game like 40k. 40k has a much less definite setting, since it's relying on you to make up the actual setting of your adventures more; one Feral World might not be anything like the other, and it's hard to make a one-size fits all Soldier career or whatever. The original Dark Heresy Career system was different than the WHFRP one precisely so you'd have more flex room in building your character and so they could get away with having broad categories rather than specific classes like in WHFRP, but that was clearly unsatisfactory to some due to the proliferation of ways around the basic Career system from DH, whether it be alternate advances or the eventual move to 'Aptitudes'.

Now, I don't actually think any of it ended up working out; in my experience both playing and observing the systems, the Aptitudes/Gods systems from Only War and Black Crusade mostly just removed any sort of gating progression while still leaving you with a solved system where the variable cost of advances made most characters rush 'must have' talents and abilities and actually reduced the variety of characters, but that's also just something that happens with purely point-buy systems with a lot of leeway in when and what you buy. Similarly, Rogue Trader basically killed the original Career system idea because Rogue Trader's Careers were massively poorly designed messes; I'm not unsympathetic to this, I tried creating my own Commissar Career back when I was running DH and it was a massive headache to make Careers under the old DH system.

Now, 2nd edition's playtest document tried to chart a course between these two styles, actively trying to make it possible to play a wider variety of characters without mechanically screwing yourself over. I actually really like their new idea for 'high' stats from homeworlds vs. low stats. Instead of a static bonus to the stat, a character whose background makes them good at a stat rolls 3d10 and takes the best for their stat roll. If you're bad at it, you roll 3d10 and take lowest. Average? Roll 2d10+25. They also moved to a 25 base, for generally higher stats, but that'd been standard for most human characters in most of 40kRP for a long time at that point. Homeworld bonuses were also standardized to '2 good stats, one bad stat', which was also a positive development. I like standardization, okay? It makes it easier to keep things on the same level. A new stat was also added to the game: Influence. The designers wanted the possibility of PCs who had a lot of pull without being wholly reliant on Fellowship, I suppose, since Fellowship was doing a heck of a lot of work. Just ask anyone who played a Slaaneshi Apostate in BC what Fellowship could do for you. Your Fate was also determined by a d5-X, usually minimum 1 or 2, though notably the Noble could have from 0-4 Fate (Man, rolling 0 starting Fate would suck; that being a possibility was a bad idea).

Honestly, I'm not so hot on rolled Fate Points in general, given how important they are to the game. That includes in WHFRP; I think 4e had it right to make them an 'assigned' thing. With the general standardization of Homeworlds, I think variable Fate by Homeworld was something of a relic. It's not like WHFRP 1e or 4e, where an elf has massive stat boosts over other characters to justify why they don't get any luck abilities. If everyone's on an even playing field already, having uneven Fate (and the possibility of rolling 0 on one background) was probably something that should've been stripped out.

What you did before the Inquisiton also became one of the big cores of your character, assigning your starting skills, talents, and equipment as well as giving you a permanent background bonus. Background was a new category; you got a Background like 'I was in the Imperial Guard', but this didn't actually set your character class, so to speak. You could theoretically play a Guard Sage or an Administratum Warrior, for two different paths to being a combat clerk. Your Background affected the skills and talents you started with, but not the costs of skills and future talents; that went to Role, the actual character class. Background bonuses were things like 'Guardsmen can carry extra armor and gear more easily' or 'Ministorum characters get +10 extra when they spend Fate for a bonus on a test' or 'Astra Telepathica characters are Psykers'.

Instead of fiddling with an Aptitude system, you instead got a character class that gave you bonuses to certain actions, but also set your EXP costs to level skills and characteristics. The Skill list was cut down to the bone, and a good thing, too. An over-wide list of Skills has been a problem for Warhams games ever since the shift over to Basic/Advanced Skills in 2e WHFRP, and if you pay attention you can see the Skill List shrinks with every release in 40kRP. This is one place where FFG's designers were spot on. Also, every character now had basic access to every skill, and not at the same exorbitant rates you did in the Aptitude system. The old idea of Elite Advances (advances outside your Career) went on to become 'You've been promoted to Inquisitor, or discovered to be a Psyker' and big stuff like that, which was another positive step. You got stats for 50, 100, or 150xYour Character Stat Bonus (limited by your overall Rank, which went up as you gained and spent EXP, like DH1e) and Skills for 100, 150, or 200x the number of times you'd learned that Skill. Amusingly, they also did what I've been thinking would've been a better move for 'Basic' skills in WHFRP: All characters have every skill at Rank 1. You suffered a -10 to your check if you use a skill that is only Rank 1, but nothing further. Every PC could, under this model, attempt every skill. Skills were also uncoupled from strict adherence to 'this stat is always used for this kind of skill'. If you had a situation where you could potentially use Fellowship for Stealth and your Fellowship was way better, go ahead.

Honestly, the changes to the Skill system are entirely a positive development. Letting your players come up with ways to make their strengths apply, even if they're out of their element? That's how you keep everyone involved and keep more options open for the story. Cutting the list down to 21 skills, mostly skills that players used all the drat time? A good idea. They also removed the Dodge skill; everyone can just do that with Agility base. For the direction of 40kRP, and especially for a remade Dark Heresy, the changes to the skill system look really good.

The actual character creation changes are the sort of thing I'd need to see in action, an awful lot, to be comfortable commenting on firmly. But I also think they get at what I'm trying to show about this document; these changes identified an issue, and then tried to move things in a way that would fix it. Characters are ending up too siloed and hyper-specialized? Try to come up with a new advancement and leveling scheme that will give a little more freedom. I'm not entirely sure it would have worked; the variable costs still make it much more efficient to really specialize in your one thing, but the differences in cost are much less than they were under the Gods/Aptitude systems, which might have mitigated the issue somewhat.

At the very least, the issues actually being confronted was a good thing. Naturally, the DH 2e Beta 2 document I have (which convinced me not to buy DH 2e) goes back to just using the Aptitude system. We never covered Only War here, so I suppose I should at least discuss Aptitudes, and why they were a bad move. Aptitudes were an attempt to bring in something like the variable EXP cost by God thing from BC, but for a game not about playing Chaos and with more granularity. You had Aptitudes in various stats and sub-categories, and if you matched 2 Aptitudes with what you were trying to buy, you got it cheap. 1, medium. 0, unless you absolutely needed it don't buy it. The issues with them were many, but some of the biggest came from some classes getting more Aptitudes than others, and with some Aptitudes being much more useful than others. Aptitudes had serious balance issues and exacerbated the hyper-specialization problems from Black Crusade. Simply bringing them back wholesale in the second beta document and scrapping the original idea of class-based costs for things was a mistake. Also note the 2nd playtest document walked back on 'every character can try every skill', bringing back Advanced Skills (skill situations where you needed to know the Skill to even try it) and raising the untrained penalty back to -20, which is pretty hefty.

Yes, I have both playtest documents and I'll be comparing them at points. Still, the 1st playtest document really did show that the designers were trying to open things up, let player characters try to find ways to apply their strengths. Again, I didn't see it in wide practice at the time, so I can't speak for exactly how well the fixes would have worked, but the fixes were there. The fixes were consistently there; basically everything you've heard me yell about about 40kRP at least gets addressed in this document, and I appreciate that much.

Next Time: Talent Trees

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Back with my old gaming group, we ran a session of Monsterhearts once. It was a fun change of pace, just playing silly, stupid teenage melodrama to the hilt.

Our session also ended with just about everyone dead in a chain reaction of over the top teenage melodrama backed by sex moves and darkest selves. :v:

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Mind you, there are some rules in DH2e's beta 1 that really don't work, on their face. Some of this stuff is going to be pretty bad. But a huge amount of this book is the system trying to clean off a ton of accumulated cruft and 'tradition' and I'll always be sad it got smacked down for that.

For instance, DH2e's beta just straight said 'here's the modifier to your buy check if you try to buy this item' instead of hiding it behind 'Availability: Very Rare' or whatever. The redo 2nd document brought all that back. Despite the fact that that's all the 'very rare' or whatever means, and the version in beta 1 was just easier to read and remember. Because that's how it had always been.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Night10194 posted:

E: Personally, I think what killed the chances for Good 40kRP was actually Rogue Trader. The first implementation of 'high power' ended up codifying a bunch of stuff that really, really hosed over the game line.
I think that ship sailed the moment they adapted WFRP2e to a setting where plasma guns and giant monsters are par for the course.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Halloween Jack posted:

I think that ship sailed the moment they adapted WFRP2e to a setting where plasma guns and giant monsters are par for the course.

Don't forget they just kinda made the underlying system worse in the process. The suddenly-much-more-restrictive caps on stats, the paucity of starting skills, the way you might have to be Rank 3 to even do proper breaking and entering as the 'thief' class? All of those didn't have anything to do with plasma guns.

Hell, I have plasma guns in the 2e stuff my friend and I run when Old One stuff shows up (very occasionally) and we were able to make it fit in fine. Albeit that isn't a case where 'plasma guns and giant monsters' are par for the course, and they're rare exceptions and moments of crisis, so your point still stands.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Class Ranks were another terrible idea from the get-go.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


One of the things that always baffles me with 40kRP, though, is that I can see where the problems come from. The task involved (especially if you're married to 'basically WHFRP, but 40k', and they were when originally designing it and inertia made sure they were in later games, too) is genuinely hard. The level of power disparity in the setting, and the amount of poo poo you need to be ready to model? Just adding in automatic weapons and stuff is hard enough. Adding in 'space marines' and making them satisfying to the people who want to play fluff marines? Very difficult. And all this stuff doesn't play well with itself, either in the fiction or the mechanics. That's partly why they needed a ton of books just to let you play as various flavors of Imperial, while over in Fantasy there's little issue making a party of a party elf on spring break, a ratcatcher, and a dwarf who dreams of a singing career or whatever.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


jakodee posted:

...making a game in which who is having sex with who is important and relevant to the game? Like Monster Hearts for example?

I'm gonna posit here, that the only way in which sex matters to a story is how it influences relationships, so the actual sex part can be neatly excised and replaced with intimacy.

Second, I'm gonna posit that boiling the relationships in a story down to numbers and stats just cheapens their impact and how they matter to the story, because now they're a mechanic you move around to unlock a result or benefit, rather than something that actually has some heart behind it.

So from where I'm sitting it's a bad idea on any level, especially the one where it increases the possibility that anyone around the table might try to drag us into a sex scene.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Just as having numbers and systems in combat or intrigue are ways to interconnect and bind together combat and intrigue into the mechanical processes of a game, sex and relationship mechanics make it a more central part of the game. It would absolutely require careful, conscientious play, but like... ‘I hop in the back room with a tavern maid and we fade to black’ is a worse way of handling it IMO for actually making it real and matter

It’s not for every table but it’s real weird how that specific mechanical structure is such a sticking point. Like, especially when the ‘sex move’ is so totally distinct from anything like describing sex and is very easy to change or make less definitely sex. The game doesn’t suggest you narrate a sex scene any more than it suggests you get anatomical about the gore involved in combat, as far as I can tell.

E: part of this is that I have had way more unpleasant experiences with splatter and gore in tabletop than sex, even in high school where one or two players wanted to roll charisma to seduce every attractive elf. The intense gore that was revealed in there was much worse than the mildly risqué content.

Joe Slowboat fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Oct 30, 2019

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



PurpleXVI posted:

I'm gonna posit here, that the only way in which sex matters to a story is how it influences relationships, so the actual sex part can be neatly excised and replaced with intimacy.

Second, I'm gonna posit that boiling the relationships in a story down to numbers and stats just cheapens their impact and how they matter to the story, because now they're a mechanic you move around to unlock a result or benefit, rather than something that actually has some heart behind it.

So from where I'm sitting it's a bad idea on any level, especially the one where it increases the possibility that anyone around the table might try to drag us into a sex scene.

Well, the thing with Monsterhearts sex moves is that they don't assume sex is the same as emotional intimacy, because them not being the same but mistaken for it is kind of key to the dynamics at play in these stories.
And the other thing is that there are no sex stats. Sex moves are 'when sex happens, this is the result.'

jakodee
Mar 4, 2019


PurpleXVI posted:

I'm gonna posit here, that the only way in which sex matters to a story is how it influences relationships, so the actual sex part can be neatly excised and replaced with intimacy.

Second, I'm gonna posit that boiling the relationships in a story down to numbers and stats just cheapens their impact and how they matter to the story, because now they're a mechanic you move around to unlock a result or benefit, rather than something that actually has some heart behind it.

So from where I'm sitting it's a bad idea on any level, especially the one where it increases the possibility that anyone around the table might try to drag us into a sex scene.

The sex moves ARE about the character’s relationships and emotions. What, do you think the game has you roll for schlong size? And sex and sexuality is very specifically different form other forms of intimacy in both the minds of actual teenagers and the paranormal romance source material.

I don’t think I should have to explain in a thread about rpg reviews why it’s important for an rpg to mechanize it’s core game focus.

The game itself clearly isn’t your problem, especially since it’s very clear about safety and being sure all the players are comfortable with the material. You just don’t want to play the game based on its premise, and that’s totally fine.

Edit: If your GM or players want to show you their magical realm, the problem is that you are playing with assholes you should stop talking to.

jakodee fucked around with this message at 17:58 on Oct 30, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




I keep managing to play AW and MH without experiencing any of the nightmarish scenarios people predict. Not that they don't happen, and resources devoted to consent (Safe Hearts, learning Lines and Veils, etc.) are vital. But if someone in your group wants to violate consent and has the GM's support, well, these stories are far older than PbtA.

tokenbrownguy
Apr 1, 2010



The only thing more certain in SA tradgames than magechat is AW sexchat.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Man, I am remembering now: The damage system is absolutely what killed this version of the system. I am excited to get to it because it is a genuinely impressive case of managing to have the worst of two worlds.

So many good changes from normal Dark Heresy, and they still fell flat on their faces when it came to 'what happens when you get shot'.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Monsterhearts 2: The Queen and The Vampire

I will say this edition of Monsterhearts as much as begs you not to luridly describe sex or violence and to immediately speak up and stop them if someone tries to do that, and if that doesn't work suggests to you that it might be time to get the gently caress out of there because you shouldn't put up with people who won't respect boundaries.

Last time on Monsterhearts, we had two Skins that were pretty similar to their original verisons. Let’s see if that continues.

The Queen:

quote:

You’re one of the special ones. A sovereign beauty. You deserve more than the rest of this wretched world does. You deserve the will and worship of those around you.
And it’s not only because you’re better than them. It’s because you make them better. Stronger, more beautiful, complete. They’d be nothing without you.

The Queen is Cordelia, pretty much. Except maybe the Queen leads a cult, or is literally an alien monster. The Queen gives you the option of being as supernatural or not as you think is appropriate, which is cool. Your stat choices are Hot 2/Cold 1 (desirable and commanding) or Cold 2/ Dark 1 (cutthroat and secretive). The original Queen was Hot/Cold.

The Queen gets the Move The Clique, and one more.

The Clique: You’re the head of the baddest clique around, which counts as a Gang. You get to choose one of the following as their strength:

-They’re armed (with guns and real dangerous stuff)
-They’re connected (with money and designer drugs)
-They’re talented (in a band or sports team)
-They’re cultists (with dark oaths and willingness to die)

They’re a bit better than a normal Gang, because you’re in charge. This is unchanged from the original.

The Shield: When surrounded by your Gang, rolls against you suffer a -1 penalty. There are very few ways to give someone a penalty and that makes this pretty strong all on its own. One thing that’s different is that there is no more Disadvantage mechanic, so this Move has no mechanical effect against NPCs.

Bought Loyalty: You can give an NPC a String to tempt them to do your bidding, as though you’d spend a String on them. It works the same way, you’ll be told what they want by the MC. This used to give you a +2 to your roll to Manipulate an NPC, but that Move is gone. You’re the only one who can effectively do that action without a String in play now, making The Queen quite special.

And Your Enemies Closer: Whenever someone betrays you, gain a String on them. Nice and flavorful, this is unchanged. And maybe speaks to some inter-Skin Move synergies you could take as you Advance. If only there was another Skin that had Moves that let you do things with Strings when someone betrays you.

Many Bodies: When you offer one of your Gang members to someone, add 2 to the roll to Turn Someone On. If one of your Gang members has sex with someone, it triggers your Sex Move. This kind of makes membership in your Gang contagious, as we’ll see in the Queen’s Sex Move. +2 is still a huge bonus. This is unchanged from first edition.

Streaming: You have a telepathing connection with your Gang. You can always read their emotions, and you can read their thoughts by Gazing Into the Abyss about it with a +1 to the roll. Super cool and flavorful, and unchanged from the original.

The Queen has all her moves basically intact, and no new ones. Again, they did a pretty good job with this the first time.

The Queen’s Backstory has her naming three side characters who are in her Gang and gaining a String on each. You then have to find someone threatening, and exchange Strings with them. This is similar to the original, but before you would gain two Strings on the threatening person. The Queen’s Advances are mostly normal, but in place of a Gang you get to take The Clique again.

The Queen’s Sex Move gives the Condition “One of Them”, which makes them count as being part of your Gang as long as it lasts. So as noted, with Many Bodies you can end up with a situation where “One of Them” is spreading around like a particularly nasty social disease. Which it might in fact be, depending on how you define The Queen. Her Darkest Self is as follows:

quote:

They’ve failed you. Again. This whole mess is their fault, and why should you have to suffer the consequences of their idiocy? You need to make an example
out of each of them -- a cruel
and unwavering example. You escape your Darkest Self when you relinquish part of your power to someone more deserving, or when you destroy an innocent person in order to prove your might.

This is the same as the original, which worked really well. The Queen’s only real changes were to bring her in line with the current rules.

The Vampire:

quote:

You are beauty eternal. You are the darkness that everyone wants to taste, but no one dares understand. It’s there in your eyes, your carefully chosen words, and your every gesture: you no longer have a soul.
Some vampires revel in that fact, their afterlife a tapestry of hedonism and exsanguination. Others hate the evil in their skin, solemnly vowing to a chaste and lonely existence. Either way, someone suffers. The choice is yours.

Everyone hopefully knows what a Vampire is, and the lovely things they tend to represent. It’s important to define a bit how Vampires work in your setting, for example what’s the deal with your character and the sun? The Vampire’s stat spreads are much less varied than most other Skins, you can choose from Hot 2/Cold 1 (sexy) or Hot 1/Cold 2 (disdainful). Hot/Cold was the original Vampire’s stat spread.

The Vampire chooses two Moves.

Invited: You can’t enter a home without being invited. If you are invited in, you gain a String on the person. Obviously cool and flavorful, and unchanged from the original.

Hypnotic: You can hypnotize people who have no Strings on you. Roll with Hot, on a 10+ they do what you want and have no idea something is wrong. On a 7-9, the hypnosis works but choose one: They realize what you’ve done, they gently caress up what you told them to do, or they become unhinged. This move is unchanged, and super powerful. Make sure you maintain Strings on the Vampire if you want to avoid it.

Cold as Ice: When you Shut Someone Down and roll a 7 or higher, choose an extra option from the list if you want. Really good, since you’ll probably be using that Move a lot (since it’s the only real way to purge Strings so you can use Hypnotic, for example). Unchanged.

The Feeding: You feed on hot blood, direct from the source. If this is the first time you’ve fed on someone, you both mark experience. Then, choose two: You heal 1 Harm, you take 1 Forward, or they definitely won’t die. This has been changed a bit from the previous version, where you had to always take the last option to prevent the person from dying. Now it’s a bit more interesting, because they still MIGHT die if you don’t pick it. After all, the MC has Reactions for situations like these…

Marked for the Hunt: Feeding on someone gives you a bond. From that point forward, if you are Gazing Into the Abyss concerning their whereabouts or well-being you count as Dark 3. Pretty powerful and flavorful, you see Vampires do this sort of thing a lot in your Twilights and True Bloods and what have you. Unchanged.

Inescapable: Spend a String on someone and demand they stay in your presence. If they still leave, you gain two Strings on them. Also unchanged.

The Vampire’s not got any new or removed Moves, the main difference is that The Feeding is potentially going to generate slightly fewer corpses.

The Vampire’s Backstory starts with them gaining a String on everyone because they’re sparkly. Someone saved your unlife, and they gain two Strings on you. That’s the same as the original. Your Advances are normal, and your Gang is a Vampire Coterie.

As with the previous version, your Sex Move actually revolves around sexual denial. When you deny someone sexually, you gain a String on them. But if you have sex with someone, you lose all your Strings on them. As for their Darkest Self:

quote:

Everyone is your pawn, your plaything. You hurt them and make them vulnerable, for sport -- like a cat does with a mouse. Maybe you’ll even drain them dry, though you’ll certainly take your time first. You escape your Darkest Self when you’re put in your rightful place, by someone more powerful than you.

This version is a bit different, the original implied you’d definitely kill people if you got the chance whereas this is much more ‘I might kill people if I decide it’d be fun, who cares if I do’. I like it, the original Vampire was maybe a bit too kill-y for the source material.

Two more Core Skins to come, the Werewolf and the Witch.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 14:14 on Oct 31, 2019

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



Mr. Maltose posted:

There is absolutely no maybe in you being the immature one here, friendo.

You're not incorrect.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Halloween Jack posted:

I keep managing to play AW and MH without experiencing any of the nightmarish scenarios people predict. Not that they don't happen, and resources devoted to consent (Safe Hearts, learning Lines and Veils, etc.) are vital. But if someone in your group wants to violate consent and has the GM's support, well, these stories are far older than PbtA.
It's absolutely possible, indeed probable assuming a group with even elementary dipshit-filters involved. This is a sticker shock problem. The thing is that it's not a rare sticker shock problem. Since the rule set is otherwise very strong it is a rather major flaw.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


I think having some real definition about character goals might help a lot. People are going to get competitive either way, but just adding that slight bit of gamifying by actually having a goal written down by session or season or what have you that is what your character currently considered 'winning' also makes it a lot less personal.

Like it doesn't fix 'let me invite you to my Magical World' creeps but the only thing that fixes them is not playing with them at all.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Okay, I really like the Queen.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

The queen and witch are very good but I haven’t heard of anyone actually playing one.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



...wait, wasn't there a monster-hunter class, the Chosen? Or am I misremembering things based on Monster of the Week.

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




Hostile V posted:

...wait, wasn't there a monster-hunter class, the Chosen? Or am I misremembering things based on Monster of the Week.

Feinne said Chosen was bopped off the core set and into supplementals.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Omnicrom posted:

Feinne said Chosen was bopped off the core set and into supplementals.

It's this, The Chosen isn't in the main set of Skins anymore because it changes the game too much when they're present. It's actually probably a great Skin to include if you've got a group that wants something a bit less adversarial than MH usually plans to be, because there's much more assumption that your party is default united when The Chosen is present.

I think one major step forward for a theoretical Monsterhearts 3 is to re-term the Sex Moves Special Moves and decouple more of them from actual sex. Some of the Skins the flavor super works but for some of them I suspect you could hit the flavor harder with a different trigger.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 00:59 on Oct 31, 2019

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Ahh, dope. Honestly a smart move.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

The chosen is great but it pushes against the social drama since it gives a bigger enemy than each other. That might be something you want but it cuts back on the uniqueness of the game.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Wrestlepig posted:

The chosen is great but it pushes against the social drama since it gives a bigger enemy than each other. That might be something you want but it cuts back on the uniqueness of the game.

Eh, I'd say it doesn't so much cut back on the uniqueness of the game as give the game a default plot. Monsterhearts is a game that knows what it's about but doesn't suggest a plot beyond player drama. The Chosen comes with a plot to slot that player drama into.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Monsterhearts 2: The Werewolf and The Witch

We return to Monsterhearts with the last two Core Skins.

The Werewolf:

quote:

Everyone around you seems so willing to play the roles they are handed, to quietly colour within the lines. They’ve been tamed, domesticated. You’re of a different stock: you’ve broken down the fence built to contain you. You’ve howled at the moon, and heard it howl back.
Now, the transformation is complete. This is what you were always meant to be. Wild. Unwavering. Alive.

You know what a werewolf is. They represent all things wild, primal, and uncontrolled. You may or may not be able to be a wolf outside of your Darkest Self, but your Moves are unchanged regardless. Your stat options reflect this, you can be Hot 2/Volatile 1 (heart-breaker with a mean streak) or Volatile 2/Hot 1 (unpredictable loose cannon who’s dangerous to get close to). The original Werewolf was Hot/Volatile.

Choose two Moves from the list below.

Primal Dominance: When you harm someone, gain a String on them. The Werewolf is a character that uses violence to get their way. This is actually now kind of their specific thing, because Lash Out Violently no longer generates a String on the target on a 10+. So while this is unchanged, it actually does matter much more.

Scent of Blood: Add one to rolls against those who’ve already been harmed this scene. This is of course any roll, not just violence, and you don’t need to have done it. This is unchanged from the original.

Howl at the Moon: When bathed in moonlight, you have Dark 3. This used to be a +2, which in practice meant you’d go from -1 to +1. So this is a massive buff, really. It gives you some interesting options beyond just making you great at Gazing Into the Abyss, because it makes moves from other Skins that roll Dark super powerful while in moonlight.

Spirit Armor: While bathed in moonlight, reduce all Harm you take by 1 and add 2 to rolls to Keep Your Cool. This affects a different Move now, but is in practice unchanged. It obviously synergizes well with Howl at the Moon to make you really powerful under the moon.

Heightened Senses: When you rely on your animal instincts in a charged situation, roll Dark (so another synergy with Howl). On a 10+, ask three of the following questions then take one Forward: What’s my best escape route or way in? Which enemy is the most vulnerable to me? What’s their secret weakness? What poses the biggest threat to me? Who’s in control here? On a 7-9, you get to ask one question and take one Forward. This is mostly the same as the original, though you didn’t used to get to take Forward on a 7-9.

Unstable: When you enter your Darkest Self, mark experience. Simple and to the point, the Werewolf is incentivized to wolf out and do bad poo poo.

The Werewolf has lost some Moves since first edition. The first let you essentially roll Volatile to break out of confinement, the second was a Stat Swap that let you roll Volatile instead of Cold in your Darkest Self. Stat Swaps are almost all gone and Uncontainable might not have really needed a system beyond the normal Run Away Move.

The werewolf gives everyone a String, because they’re unsubtle. You are basically stalking someone, and gain two Strings on them. You’ve got normal Advances, and your Gang is a Wolf Pack.

You get a cool Sex Move, until one of you has sex with someone else you share a special bond with the person you slept with and add 1 to all rolls to defend them. But you know immediately if it’s broken, so drama. It’s the same as it was. As for their Darkest Self:

quote:

You transform into a terrifying wolf-creature. You crave power and dominance, and those are earned through bloodshed. If anyone attempts to stand in your way, they must be brought down and made to bleed. You escape your Darkest Self when you wound someone you really care about or the sun rises, whichever happens first.

It’s unchanged, they hit it pretty well the first time.

The Witch:

quote:

In every lock of hair, every furtive glance, every secret note that transfers hands during history class – there is an invitation. An invitation to be hosed with. Not that witchcraft is about loving with others, exactly, but it’s hard not to notice how utterly malleable the world is, once you know a thing or two about magic.
Of course, a good witch like you knows restraint. A good witch turns a blind eye to all those invitations, and doesn’t think about how sweet vengeance and con- trol might be. A good witch is above that sort of thing. At least, most of the time.

Our final Core Skin. You’re, well, what it says on the tin. You’re a Witch, who does magic stuff. It’s generally pretty unpleasant, and not always the most subtle either. Your stat options are Cold 2/ Dark 1 (calculating and venomous) or Dark 2/ Hot 1 (seductive and spooky). The original was Cold/Dark. I especially like this new option, because we see a lot of pop culture witches that much more follow that archetype.

You start with the Moves Sympathetic Tokens and Hex-Casting. You need an Advance to pick up another Skin Move, which is new. You used to get a Move pick as well.

Sympathetic Tokens: You gain power from items of personal significance taken from other people. They count as Strings (and so are obviously lost if that String is spent). Obviously cool and flavorful, and unchanged from the original.

Hex-Casting: You know two of the Hexes (which I’ll cover after the Moves). To cast them you either need to expend a Sympathetic Token during a secret ritual, or meet the target’s gaze and chant in tongues (which is Unsubtle). Then you roll Dark. On a 10+ the Hex works and is something you can easily reverse if you choose. On a 7-9, it works but choose one: take one Harm, the Hex has weird side-effects, or you trigger your Darkest Self. This move is also the same as the original.

Transgressive Magic: If something about your ritual transgresses your community’s moral or sexual standards, add one to your Hex-Casting roll. Be gay, do (magic) crimes. It’s pretty flavorful, and unchanged.

Sanctuary: You have a secret place for your witchcraft, and you add one to all your rolls while there. This has been buffed, it used to just add one to Hex-Casting. Now, you’re just better at ANYTHING while there. So be gay, do magic crimes, then invite someone over and be better at Turning Them On because of your sexy magic lair.

The Witch used to have another Move, which let you add to your rolls to Hold Steady (now Keep Your Cool) or Run Away if you had Sympathetic Tokens on the person in question. I suspect they wanted you to feel more free to be quick and loose with the use of Sympathetic Tokens both as Strings and for Hexes.

Speaking of Hexes:

Wither: Something goes horribly wrong with the target’s body. Maybe all their hair falls out, maybe they start losing teeth, maybe their skin gets horrible. But it’s definitely awful. There is no Harm defined, but this would certainly be an opportunity for the Inflict Harm Reaction. This returns unchanged.

Binding: The target cannot physically harm others, full stop. Straight out of The Craft, and unchanged.

Ring of Lies: The target will suffer ill effects when they attempt to lie. This ranges from loud ringing noises to disorienting pain to actual Harm, depending on how big the lie is. Very powerful and unchanged.

Watching: You fall into a deep sleep and see the world through the target’s eyes. You can also feel their impressions and reactions to what they’re seeing. Another flavorful one, and unchanged.

Illusions: Pick one: snakes and bugs, demonic visages, false prophecies, non-existent subtext. The hexed person sees that thing everywhere. This is unchanged and the last one still owns.

The Witch remains very powerful, especially since the Dark/Hot version can get a lot of Strings between Turning People On and swiping their poo poo.

Your Backstory gives you two Sympathetic Tokens, you decide whose they are and what they are. One of the others caught you rummaging, though, and gets a String on you. This is the same as before. Your Advancements are kind of special. You trade out one of your potential new Witch Moves for one that lets you take all the rest of the Hexes, and get a special Advance to create your own new Hex (which doesn’t replace any of the normal Advancement options). Your Gang is a Coven.

Your Sex Move hasn’t changed, when you have sex with someone you get to take a Sympathetic Token. They’re aware of it and fine with it. As for your Darkest Self:

quote:

The time for subtlety and patience is over. You’re too powerful to put up with their garbage any longer. You hex anyone who slights you. All of your hexes have unexpected side effects, and are more effective than you are comfortable with. To escape your Darkest Self, you must offer peace to the one you have hurt the most.

Unchanged, because they got it perfect the first time. Don’t gently caress with the Witch.

Next time, we have the two extra Skins: The Chosen and The Serpentine.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 14:14 on Oct 31, 2019

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Feinne posted:

As we enter the climax of the season of the witch, it’s time to get spooky. And by that I mean, let’s look at the second edition of everyone’s favorite game of teenage monster angst, Monsterhearts! I’m going to emphasize mostly the changes between first and second edition (though I’ve also got a whole bunch of spicy new Skins that weren’t in the original review to discuss both in first and second edition versions), though I will still give enough overview that this stands alone.

Chapter One: How The Game Works

This post layout is a super great example of making things very annoying for me in my job as archivist. Please consult the examples in the first post in this thread, and do a better job. Thank you.

Night10194 posted:

Dark Heresy Second Edition: Unpublished Beta

I'm a little confused here. When you say "unpublished beta", is this a freely downloadable "hey check out the early stages of this game's development" PDF, or some leaked content, or what? The answer will help determine if it gets archived or not.

inklesspen fucked around with this message at 05:03 on Oct 31, 2019

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


It's a playtest document from an old open playtest. I wrote Fantasy Flight and asked if it was okay to write about in public, they said "We don't care, not our license anymore", so I wanted to cover it as a bit of history. It's no longer freely available and was a buy-in public beta in 2013. I know it's a little unusual, but it and the second draft document from the same playtest are very interesting in the way they show an attempt to revise the system that was then immediately walked back for a path of least resistance copy-paste book, which is what actually came to print. It isn't leaked so much as I bought into the playtest back when it was going on and still have the documents from it. The actual final product has been out for like 5 years, and was the last major book FFG published for the WH40kRP line.

E: If this is too much of a grey area, though, I'll stop and take a look at something else.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 11:00 on Oct 31, 2019

Cthulhu Dreams
Dec 11, 2010

If I pretend to be Cthulhu no one will know I'm a baseball robot.


Night10194 posted:

It's a playtest document from an old open playtest. I wrote Fantasy Flight and asked if it was okay to write about in public, they said "We don't care, not our license anymore", so I wanted to cover it as a bit of history. It's no longer freely available and was a buy-in public beta in 2013. I know it's a little unusual, but it and the second draft document from the same playtest are very interesting in the way they show an attempt to revise the system that was then immediately walked back for a path of least resistance copy-paste book, which is what actually came to print. It isn't leaked so much as I bought into the playtest back when it was going on and still have the documents from it. The actual final product has been out for like 5 years, and was the last major book FFG published for the WH40kRP line.

E: If this is too much of a grey area, though, I'll stop and take a look at something else.

Given you have permission from the publisher, it seems legit content and it's interesting for the reasons you say.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Night10194 posted:

It's a playtest document from an old open playtest. I wrote Fantasy Flight and asked if it was okay to write about in public, they said "We don't care, not our license anymore", so I wanted to cover it as a bit of history. It's no longer freely available and was a buy-in public beta in 2013. I know it's a little unusual, but it and the second draft document from the same playtest are very interesting in the way they show an attempt to revise the system that was then immediately walked back for a path of least resistance copy-paste book, which is what actually came to print. It isn't leaked so much as I bought into the playtest back when it was going on and still have the documents from it. The actual final product has been out for like 5 years, and was the last major book FFG published for the WH40kRP line.

E: If this is too much of a grey area, though, I'll stop and take a look at something else.

Please continue regardless of whether or not inklesspen chooses to archive it!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I also understand if it's better to be on the safe side and not archive it, but yes, I'll continue doing it here either way, I think.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


inklesspen posted:

This post layout is a super great example of making things very annoying for me in my job as archivist. Please consult the examples in the first post in this thread, and do a better job. Thank you.


Sorry, I've put a title at the top of each post.

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inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Night10194 posted:

It's a playtest document from an old open playtest. I wrote Fantasy Flight and asked if it was okay to write about in public, they said "We don't care, not our license anymore", so I wanted to cover it as a bit of history.

Ok, sounds good. The "Unpublished Beta" was just a worrying bit of wording.

Feinne posted:

Sorry, I've put a title at the top of each post.

Thank you!

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