I’ve been thinking about what a set of curses, blessings and the like might look like as Compendium Classes.

I’ve been thinking about what a set of curses, blessings and the like might look like as Compendium Classes.

I’ve been thinking about what a set of curses, blessings and the like might look like as Compendium Classes.  The Vampire, the Werewolf, etc.

Essentially free moves to represent the curse itself and modify the character (a “blood” hold for vampires and a feeding move, for example) and then optional per-level moves to explore your new vampiric nature.  Maybe an exit move to shed the curse?

What do you think, O wise and noble Tavernites?

26 thoughts on “I’ve been thinking about what a set of curses, blessings and the like might look like as Compendium Classes.”

  1. Free is good.   Consider also, mandatory.  For example, “When you touch the green jelly, when you next level you must take Slippery Secretion move in addition to your normal move.  Each time you level up, thereafter, you may take additional liquification moves.” I like the idea of a 1/3 page strip that you cut out and tape to your character sheet. 

  2. I think it’d definitely be mandatory.  For the Vampire, you’d likely choose from a list an the GM would also choose.  So like “when you take this compendium class, Roll + CON, on a 10+ choose three, on a 7-9 choose two and the GM chooses one. on a miss, the GM chooses two and you choose one” or something like that.  The list contains a mix of good and bad tags for being a vampire.  Kind of like co-creating the Fighter weapon.

  3. Yeah but tags aren’t necessarily the makeup of a compendium class, right?  They’re mostly moves.  What about treating a curse like an item that you carry and could potentially transfer to someone else.  (It could even have a literal load that you carry)  That way you could use the existing item structures like tags. Do you want the curse to be their identity or only an aspect of the character?

  4. Marshall Miller I think the core of Compendium Classes is state-change.  We’ve mostly just used them as expansions to the existing class-state, but I’d love to see them contain alternate stats, new alignments, etc.

    The function is the same – a thing happens to you and you are different now – but the way we express that has some room to breathe.

  5. I like it!

    I’d be curious what would make someone want to find “exit” for a curse.

    I think there should something mandatory that is in no way good. For a Vampire, it could be the GM picks a curse attribute (light sensitivity, vampiric hunger, hunted by the righteous, etc) and the play picks X number of positive moves (form of bat, form of mist, brief flight, vampiric strength, etc).

    Something similar to the Paladin’s Quest?

    Sure, you can turn into mist, but is that worth draining an innocent every 7 days in order avoid taking a debility?

  6. I kind of like how Vampire: the Masquerade mechanized some of their special moves, and I think that it would actually work better in DW than in their own game.  

    Treat CON as your blood pool, make a move for feeding, a move for resisting the red fear (without jacking agency from the player) and work the Beast into your alignment in some way.  Maybe you have two alignments now, as your vampiric nature asserts itself.

  7. Maybe pairs of moves, one good, one bad, that you take together. 

    Also, what about changing the triggers for compendium classes.  Maybe each move has it’s own trigger for when you can take it.  Like, you can take the first move when you’re bitten.  Maybe you can take the second move after you first feed on a humanoid and the second after you make your first vampire.

  8. Maybe curses have a move that you can take to rid yourself of them.

    When you burn the body of a vampire, roll+vampires slain.  On a 10+, you have slain your progenitor and may erase all your vampire moves.  On a 7-9, you take their spirit into yours and your hunger is increased.  You must be getting close.

  9. Remember that gaining new moves is both descriptive and prescriptive  so you can totally have a compendium class that starts “when you are turned into a vampire, you gain this move” No need to wait until next level!

    It’s fun to see what parts of the stuff we make get taken as givens. Sure, every compendium class we made so far has a trigger and a move you opt in to taking, but why not a compendium class that just triggers?

  10. To what Brandon was saying about powers / drawbacks – Monsterhearts (while aimed in a totally different direction) does some interesting things with the power-at-a-price concept. The Infernal, especially, comes to mind.

    Soul Debt – Name a dark power that you owe a debt to. Choose two Bargains that it has made with you. Pay plot currency to the dark power, do something with its assistance (e.g. empower a move, discover knowledge, wish). 

    In DW, this would be Bonds and/or Hold with the Demonic power added to certain rolls. If you blow a roll too poorly (Roll+Hold misses < 7) the demon comes a'knockin'

    Alignment: Recruiter When you bring others to the dark power, mark XP

    Marshal: Paired moves would work similarly to how vampires progressed in Oblivion, it sounds like? In the first stage, you’re a bit sensitive to light and can now feed. By the last stage, you’re uncannily powerful but easily recognizable since you’ve become a walking corpse.

  11. Building on what Sage LaTorra , I’d like to see the move that represents the curse be something you gain on the spot… that’s the free, mandatory move that probably sucks (no pun intended).  You get to deal with that until level-up, when you can start to take moves from the compendium class.

    Going to a previous comment, I’m not sure what I think about rolling to gain moves… although I suppose that depends on how “bad” the base curse move is for you.  I can see it going from “ok, I’m cursed… how do I deal with this?” to “I rolled a 3 to gain moves… where’s a fresh playbook?”  I do like the uncertainty of it to a degree… I’m just not sure how it would feel as a player.

  12. If we tweak Compendium Classes slightly, we open ourselves up to being able to steal all kinds of awesome stuff from other games.  Exaltation?  It’s a Compendium Class.  Templates and Prestige classes?  Done.  Cybernetics?  Why not?

  13. I’m not sure it’s even “tweaking.” The fact that the trigger gives you an option at next level is just the convention we’ve followed. why not break it?

  14. Another route would be a numbered compendium with a list of curses and moves for cursing, breaking curses, discovering the details of a curse, family curses, cursed places and items, etc. Then you cold use a mix of approaches.

  15. It’s been itching at me for a while now that most existing compendium classes should give their move immediately, not at the next level. You’re granted a holding? You are Landed now, not after you polish off a few more orcs! Returned from the Black Gates? That rotted eye lets you see the last moments of a corpse now, not after you act Chaotic and resolve the mutual bond of trust between you and your fellow adventurer. 

  16. I really like the vampire moves Brian Engard came up with – especially marking XP for the 7-9 situation with Hunger and fear frenzying. The abilities and bonuses granted by the Blood seem pretty balanced out by the banes, so it doesn’t seem too overpowering – considering it is a vampire, after all.

    Brian, I actually took your template tonight and created a werewolf version using Rage instead of Blood. I sent the first draft to Richard Robertson to take a look at it, but if you’d like to take a look too, let me know. It’s complete, but it’s still a work in progress, of course.

Comments are closed.