New #Stonetop  playbook: The Marshal. Feedback welcome & appreciated.

New #Stonetop  playbook: The Marshal. Feedback welcome & appreciated.

New #Stonetop  playbook: The Marshal. Feedback welcome & appreciated.

This is my take on a warlord-style class, one that leans pretty heavily on the Follower rules as well as the Steading Moves. You’ve got a lot of power in your crew, but the crew is part of Stonetop’s community and (hopefully) not just something you sacrifice willy-nilly.

10 thoughts on “New #Stonetop  playbook: The Marshal. Feedback welcome & appreciated.”

  1. First time I’ve had a proper look at what you’re doing with Stonetop – looks great.


    The comments below are based picking up the Marshal playbook with attached Follower and Steading moves, and working from that (like a new player).

    I really like the Marshal.  The comments below are only where I have a suggestion for possible alternative wording (e.g. more active language, a personal preference, etc.) or there is something that tripped me up when I read it. Please use what’s helpful and ignore the rest.

    Here’s my notes on Background, Gear and class Moves.  Will cover Drive, Bonds, War Stories, Your Crew, Follower Moves and Steading Moves separately.  Hope this is helpful.


    Scion: “You can always ask any question from Take the Measure … or… Read the Land”

    Confused about how this works with the two moves.  Do you mean?

    – You know something about each resident of Stonetop.  At any time you may ask the GM one question from the Take the Measure move about a resident you have not previously asked about.  

    – You know something about each resident of Stonetop.  At any time you may ask the GM one question from the Read the Land move about an area you have not previously asked about. 

    Starting Gear

    Choose 1 of the following fine armaments is great atmosphere, however the split between the two lists of options seemed illogical, especially as only one of the first three options is actually an ‘armament’.    Maybe put the armor in one list and the arms in another?


    There are a lot of moves to look at when first picking up the class, and this is compounded by the inclusion of level 6+ moves in the standard list.  This is how I’ve been doing it in Steampunk World, but have had feedback the it’s much easier for starter players when the more advanced (level 6+) moves are separated out into their own section (like in the DW playbooks).  I’m adopting this for Steampunk World, you might want to consider this for Stonetop as well.

    Battlefield Grace

    Alt: ignore the damage and take a disability instead


    The move specifies you start with a group but doesn’t say how many. 

    Alt: You’ve got a crew of 4 stalwarts [whom] you can call up when the need arrives.

    Heroes to a One

    Alt: They are immune to fear and horror.  [therefore don’t need the comment about Command Followers?] 

    Front Line Leader

    Does the +1d4 damage depend on their Aid roll?  Or do you get it automatically?

    Noble Men

    Does this apply to your Crew? If so, what effect does it have (as they are already Crew who have pledged their aid and support)?

    Also, unclear what the difference is between a follower who is part of your Crew and one that isn’t.


    When I looked at the Steading Moves my first thought was “As written, the person in charge has no effect on how well the Steading performs these moves, even in examples like ‘the person in charge rolls +Popualtion’ What’s the advantage, then, of being the steading Marshall?”  The Logistics move resolves that, but only if you take it.  Maybe make this a standard Marshall move, rather than an optional one?

    Also, wonder if there is a more dynamic title than Logistics, e.g. ‘Get Organized’

    Alt: take +1 to your roll.

    Read the Land

    “What’s the best way (choose 1) in/out /through/past?”  In many situations the ‘through’ option makes ‘in’ and ‘out’ redundant.  The following may be slightly better: “What’s the best way (choose 1) in/out/through or past?”

    The ‘best way’ question is effectively two (or more) separate questions.  If you take plenty of time can you ask the other ‘best way’ question(s) instead?

    Alt: What here can I use  to my advantage

    Prepare the Ground

    Recommend thoroughly playtesting this as someone with time to prepare and INT +3 could end up with a lot of successful tricks in a battle.

    Alt: When you order your allies to … hold 1 SURPRISE if you’re rushed or 3 SURPRISE if you’ve got time to spare

    Alt: Once battle is joined, you may at any time spend…

    Alt; On a 10+ it works and

    Shake it Off

    Alt: When you order an ally to tough it out

    Shield Wall

    Alt: When you and your crew form a shield wall in combat 

    Focus Fire

    Can you use Volley to pick a target?

    What happens if you change targets? Do your crew follow you?

    Alt: against your designated target

    Peace Through Strength

    Like the move, however the effect is vague.

    Alt: When you and your allies stand ready to fight: intelligent foes will parley before attacking; unintelligent ones will approach slowly and warily.

    Take the Measure

    Alt: you may ask a second question and get honest answers to both

    Like an Open Book

    Alt: you can ask them one question

    We Happy Few

    Once battle is joined, your allies can spend 1 INSPIRATION at any time to

  2. Drive


    Alt: Accept to keep your word or do the right thing


    Alt: Give an order or enact a plan expecting it will harm an ally or follower


    Alt: Deny mercy to an enemy, or sacrifice an ally or follower.

    War Stories

    Alt: Routing out [some] bandits…

    Alt: Fending off [some] Hillfolk pursuing a feud

    Alt: Who from Stonetop was maimed? What is their injury?

    Alt: What’s got you even more worried now?

  3. Bonds

    As laid out, this was confusing. Suggest changing the order to: 

    1. Create your Background bond(s)

    2. Create at least two other bonds from the following…

    3. As you play you may replace bonds and add further bonds (space below).  Max 6 bonds.  (Min # of bonds?)

    My orders costtheir kin. I avoid them when I can.

    Alt: I keep my distance from them

    [This may provide a similar effect but not so restrictive on character interaction]

    You can count onto question my orders. But I always put them in their place.

    Uncomfortable about this one as both parts of it are proscribing behavior of the other character.  I wonder if the following might be better:

    _ undermines my authority.  I must find a way to counter their influence.

  4. Crew

    The Crew section made sense on its own, but go confusing when a) trying to figure out how it evolved and operated in practice, and b) adding other non-Crew followers to the mix.

    – Is the Crew a sort of super follower with powers other followers don’t have?

    – Is it purely a set of followers that can be managed as a group (e.g. apply moves or advantages to multiple followers at once)?

    – Is it just a convenient way to start the Marshall with a group of similar followers?

    – Or is it something else?

    What about actions? For example:

    – Does it fight as a group?

    – If so, what are the group’s attributes, how much damage does it do, etc.?

    – Or do the Crew members fight as individuals?

    And, what’s different between a follower that’s part of the Crew and one that isn’t?

    I suspect you have most of this worked out, it’s just not clear when working straight from the document.

    And a minor point:

    Advantage Fighting: Increase damage die to d8

    potentially conflicts with:

    Heroes to a One: Their damage die increases one step

  5. Jeremy Strandberg Were the comments about Drive, Bonds and/or Crew helpful?

    Also, I hope you’re taking the Alt suggestions as merely alternative ideas prompted by what you’ve written. My guess is most of them are throwaways, but if there is something in there that’s useful, directly or indirectly, then very happy to have been of some help.

  6. Oh, yeah… it’s all helpful.  I just haven’t had a chance to process it all.  

    Even when you don’t agree with feedback or suggestions, it’s always useful.

  7. Just got a chance to go through all this.  Incorporated quite a bit, especially the wording suggestions.  

    I’m thinking (hoping?) a lot of your questions about followers would be answered by the tag dictionary; I add that instead of the steading moves (which was an incomplete list, anyhow). The intent is that they are a group of individuals that you handle as a single follower (with the same Quality, Tags, Loyalty, etc.). 

    I imagine it’ll be a lot like chopper’s gang in Apocalypse World, where you start with this largely undefined mass of hardasses and the individuals evolve over time and through play. If individuals die, they die. If the crew grows organically, it grows.

    But honestly, I’ve no idea how well this will actually work in play.  But I’ve only got 1 more playbook and a little bit of tweaking to do before I start recruiting playtesters…

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