I’ve spent the last three hours editing it, and “soon” wasn’t soon enough!

I’ve spent the last three hours editing it, and “soon” wasn’t soon enough!

I’ve spent the last three hours editing it, and “soon” wasn’t soon enough! Here’s Puppet Master v.15 (Thanks to Andrea Parducci).

Any suggestions for the class or ideas for Bonds, Upgrades, Names, or whatever else would be appreciated.


27 thoughts on “I’ve spent the last three hours editing it, and “soon” wasn’t soon enough!”

  1. I love the concept because it fits right into the feel of my clockpunk world, and the execution seems neat on paper.

    I will definitely make this available at my table.

  2. Do you roll put your back into it together with other moves or instead of hack&slash? It reads really weird. 

    Flick is weird too. This move triggers EVERY TIME you are in a tight spot, no matter if you have a puppet strung or not. Also it just feels like a defy danger with a more specific condition (well a lot of moves are that but this one is really just Defy). 

    Element of Surprise seems like a 2-5 move.

  3. Tim Franzke 

    Large: I don’t think that’d be a good idea. The idea behind upgrade costs is that how expensive they are represents how much more difficult they make controlling the puppet. I think everything relating to the actual puppet should go on the puppet template.

    Put Your Back Into It: Sorry, that move is poorly stated. It’s meant for attacks.

    Flick: Thank you for pointing this out. I’ll change it.

    Element of Surprise: Agreed. Done and done.

    Sundering Limbs: Whups, haha. Yeah. I thought of adding an extremity limit, but ended up not. Should I just remove it?

  4. Wynand Louw 

    Thank you so much! You have no idea how happy that makes me! I don’t think I’ll charge for it, so you can just download it when it’s finished. Heck, you can just playtest this version if you want to. Please tell me how it goes if anyone in your group decides to play it!

  5. about Sundering Limbs, maybe you could remove the move, and add a similar mechanic to a new “perk” worth 1 or 2 points. Of course, the main use of this perk is the ability to remove a part to guide it in thigh spaces (maybe reconstruct the whole puppet on “the other side”), or make some kind of weird attack (use the detached hand to blind the enemy). Maybe you can’t use the single detached parts altogether, just 1 at time. And maybe with the multitask / crowd move you could move all the parts at once.  

  6. To me it just feels weird that you have to pay extra costs for a large puppet while all the other frames come for free. If it is harder to control only higher level puppeteers cN use them – I don’t see them as extra complex though.

  7. Tim Franzke Okay, here are some changes. Thoughts?

    PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT (Advanced Move)

    When you swing the full force of your body weight into your puppet’s upcoming attack, roll to Hack n’ Slash using your STR instead of your DEX. On a hit, the attack is Forceful, and deals +1 damage. On a 7-9, your puppet is also seriously damaged.

    FLICK (Expert Move)

    When your puppet attacks, you may roll +DEX before you roll to Hack n’ Slash. On a hit, your puppet attacks in the blur of an instant with +2 Piercing. On a 7-9, you or your puppet has also been put in a tight spot.

    Sundering Limbs (Now a Cost 3 Upgrade)

    Five of its extremities can be separated and levitated separately. Each extremity has 1 Break Point and adopts all Recurring Defects chosen.

  8. I don’t feel like the payoff with PYBII is actually worth it. The effect you get is rather small and there are little incentives of having a high STR i fear. 

    Flick seems to involved mechanically to be worth it. Rolling twice for one move seems more punishing and fiddly then fun. 

  9. Tim Franzke

    Having Large as a starting size wouldn’t be too out-of-the-question. We’ll see how it goes.

    So, should PYBII have a more elaborated effect? I feel like having this move up one’s sleeve should be a viable option.

    How about Flick requiring you to roll unmodified for Hack n’ Slash, then?

    Andrea Parducci

    Huh, that’s an interesting way to get around it! Crowd Control might need some re-wording, but I’ll make it work. Thanks!

  10. Neat idea, but it needs a lot of work. Here are a couple problems I see:

    I feel like Recurring Defects should either be wiped, or just be a thing that all your puppets should have, instead of being a way to add points to your puppet (I don’t really like min-maxing, especially in a star-world game, and that’s really all the defect refunds are there for, no?). Especially since it currently lets you take a 4-point upgrade at level one, which leads to things like doing d8 damage or having a level 3 Wizard spell when the actual Wizard in the party won’t get that for another long while.

    Also, and this admittedly is much more a pet peeve than a genuine design flaw: I’m not generally fond of what I’d call fake damage dice. The top of the sheet says that you’re doing d4, but really you’re pretty much always going to be attacking with a puppet, which will probably have a dice size of d6 or d8. Low base damage as a balance factor (insofar as that idea actually applies) only really works if you actually have low base damage.

    That said, I don’t think you really need to have your base damage that low. As-is, the class doesn’t really do much. The puppetmaster doesn’t really have anything move-wise aside from controlling the puppets, and said puppets are narratively and mechanically weaker than a normal PC for the most part (aside from the whole “major damage is only a single break point” thing, but that’s… kind of a weird can of worms on its own).

    I also think that the limited-use spare parts mechanic is a bad idea; every other playbook’s main schtick (and hit points) get to refresh pretty much no matter where you are, at least when you make camp. I mean sure, the wizard can lose their spellbook or the fighter can lose their weapon, but that’s the kind of thing that happens as a result of a hard-move or general narrative imperative; by making Spare Parts a limited-use piece of equipment, you’re ensuring that the class will lose its basic functionality after a pretty short stretch.

  11. I feel the d4 base class damage is right. Even the wizard has d4, but usually make more damage, ’cause he almost always use his magic. The same here, the puppetter is “forced” to use his puppets if he want to do some serious damages.

    About the spare parts, I think they should be a narrative thing too, not a limited-use equip. Maybe you could add a Quality Spare Parts Pouch (or a Magic one), that remove slow tag, and let the Puppetter to fast repair something, so he can choose to waste some money on it and do on-the-fly repairs sometime.

  12. Andrea Parducci Well, the thing about the Wizard is that their spell list also gives them a lot of things to do besides damage, and they get to choose among that list of options. The puppet master kinda doesn’t right now; the puppets are basically below-average melee fighters that don’t really have any interesting tricks of their own besides relying on DEX for every roll.

    If the upgrade system gave them similar narrative flexibility to the Wizard, the low damage die might make a little more sense, but since combat seems to be mostly what the the puppets are going to be doing, it just seems kinda like a 3.5 feat tax situation. You’re forced to take certain options (which, when they’re that compulsory, they aren’t really options) to make the class do what it’s supposed to do at a basic level, when other playbooks start off able to do that and pick up other neat tricks as they go along.

    Seriously, I feel like you’re being way too cautious with what your moves do–which, don’t get me wrong, is respectable considering some of the narratively overwhelming homebrews I’ve seen. But try going a little crazy with what the class can do; you might come up with some neat ideas that way. People will tell you if you’ve gone too far.

  13. I understand your point. Maybe Stewart should come with new cool moves, and some little power up. However, I think that the puppeteer can be useful in a lot of ways: send the Puppet in dangerous places, in the mouth of a trap, using them like lures, resolving social issues if they look like specific people or monsters. Also, they are quite disposable, so the puppeteer can defend himself using them like shield. I see them more useful than a Ranger companion or a wizard summoned monster. Not just a sort of warrior weapon.

  14. James Etheridge 

    Wipe Recurring Defects: Good point.

    Fake Damage Dice: I’d be happy with d6 damage. Should puppets just get bigger bonuses to damage?

    Narrative Spare Parts: Good point. Should structural damage be wholly narrative, if Break Points are weird? It was in the older versions, but I ended up feeling that it should be quantified in some way.

    Upgrade System: I’ve thought of scrapping it and trying something new because of the confusion it presented to a guy who play-tested it a while back.

    Instead, how about something along the lines of the Mage’s Foci? in that there are a handful of puppet “builds” you can choose from. Then, you choose a size from below that build, which tells you your puppet’s starting Break Points, weight, tags, and extra damage. Next, you can pick an upgrade that develops an aspect of the build’s focus.

    Farther down on the page can be a few upgrades that can be applied, given the time and supplies. In exchange for this change to a more limited Upgrade style, I’ll brainstorm about how I can buff up the player’s moves.

    Sorry if that’s a bit much to read now, but I think it would be very simple to follow in character creation. It’d also make level-to-level management a lot easier, especially if you were to carry a lot of puppets at once.

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