Crumpled up scroll of Restoration

Crumpled up scroll of Restoration

Crumpled up scroll of Restoration

An unwanted scroll, made in haste. This crumpled scroll has been discarded and forgotten. When you read from the scroll and your target can hear you, Pick a desired effect and Roll + INT. The scroll looses its magical power afterward.

> Cure a debility, repair broken bones and regrow lost limbs and organs.

> Restore 2d12+4 health.

> Vanquish a lesser Undead Monster.

10+ Choose 1

7-9 Choose 1 and the GM makes a move.

> The scroll is unfinished and requires that you rest and Make Camp for it to take effect.

> There are obvious mistakes made. Discribe a troublesome quirk that now makes your life difficult.


7 thoughts on “Crumpled up scroll of Restoration”

  1. I don’t really like rolling+INT, and then having the 7-9 results reflect things outside of my control (the scroll being unfinished or containing obvious mistakes).

    I’m also not sure how “the scroll is unfinished” would require that I rest and Make Camp before it takes effect. Maybe I’d need to take some time to study it and “fill in the blanks,” but then I’d need to cast it again, right?

    And “there are obvious mistakes made.” By whom? The scroll’s author, or me the caster? And why am I (the caster) the author of my adversity? That’s generally the GM’s job.

  2. Jeremy Strandberg

    I disagree, I think that where PbtA games differ from others is that the roll isn’t about “How good am I at this thing”, it is instead “Will this thing happen as the PC wants it to”. The results of the move don’t have to point at your own failings.

    If anything, “Be a fan of the characters” means that its better to have external cause for a 7-9/miss. Because you’re The Wizard, the rules of reality are at your beck and call, telling you that you can’t correctly pronounce the magic words isn’t being a fan.

    A miss lets the GM make a move, which are external to you, why should the consequence of a 7-9 be solely dependent on your own ability.

    As for being the author of your own adversity, I think that’s actually really good practice. Players should be able to take the responsibility for bad things which happen to their character, creating their own adversities because it makes your story better.

    The GM/player divide where one wants the PC to succeed and the other fail is a rubbish artefact of RPG history, both should want the PC to have rises and falls, to create the best story. And this move breaks down some of that divide.

    In DW, the GM is never told its their job to author all adversity, it is their job to:

    •Portray a fantastic world

    •Fill the characters’ lives with adventure

    •Play to find out what happens

  3. I like the positive effects very much! If a character loses a limb, this item is a quest in and of itself, which I love. So cool!

    I also agree with Jeremy Strandberg​ in that the options for mitigating the success should be as a direct result of the character’s abilities or lack thereof. Like… “You rush your interpretaion of the spell and decipher it incorrectly” for example.

  4. Jeremy Strandberg​​​

    I had originally thought to use a flat +1 on the roll but decided to include stats, why? just because i guess.

    As for the authoritative decisions made by the player. Well Elliott Ambrosetti​​​ nailed that one on the head. Im actually a big proponent of GMless games breaking that divide as Elliot pointed out is a big step.

    “Unfinished” as a 7-9 result, again i too thought about doing it that way, but i didn’t want to re-roll. So i solved it in the fiction by asuming the magic was weak or slow to take effect. Making Camp is a good indication of time and resting allows for the healing to readily take effect.

    So that was my train of thought. What did you have in mind?

  5. Robert Doe Regarding the “unfinished” part… I see where you’re going with that. If you stick with it, I’d rephrase as something like “It’ll take an hour or so of study to figure out what’s missing, after which you can cast it successfully, no problem.” The way it’s worded now, the implication is that resting and Making Camp somehow allow the spell to take effect with no additional effort or action on the part of the PC.

    Rereading the move, it dawns on me that I initially misread it and it’s not doing what I accused it of (rolling+INT and having the outcomes beyond my control). Like, I initially read it as “on a 10+ cast the spell; on a 7-9, choose 1” (between “it’s unfinished” and “there are mistakes”).

    I see know that it’s not doing that at all! The player’s INT and their roll don’t really have any impact on whether it’s incomplete or contains mistakes. On a hit, the player is choosing 1 of those regardless of whether it’s 7-9 or 10+, and on a miss, the whole thing is probably going south regardless of what the player chooses.

    But, I still dislike the structure of the move! For three reasons.

    Reason 1: The Flow of Fiction is Jarring

    As the move is written, we don’t learn whether the scroll is incomplete or riddled with errors until I read it aloud (and presumably choose a target, since any number of nearby people could hear me).

    That means the fictional flow is either:

    a) find scroll >> study scroll enough to know what it does >> have cause to use scroll >> read scroll outloud (picking target) >> pick effect >> discover spell is incomplete >> wait until I’ve got a couple hours to study it >> spell goes into effect


    b) find scroll >> study scroll enough to know what it does >> have cause to use scroll >> read scroll outloud (picking target) >> pick effect >> discover spell has errors >> spell goes off with troublesome quirk.

    But… if I had studied the scroll enough to know what it does, would I have at least some idea that it was either incomplete or error prone. Even if the character doesn’t know that until the scroll is read aloud, the player does (assuming they have the text of the move). And asking them to wait to declare in the fiction that it’s either incomplete or erroneous is just… weird. Jarring.

    Suggestion: Instead of making the choice at time of triggering, make it clear upfront (tell them the requirements and consequences). Also, don’t bother with the distinction of “incomplete” vs. “contains obvious errors.” Just say that it’s sloppy and possibly incomplete, and you’ll either need to:

    * Study it for few hours, figuring out what’s missing or wrong, and then intone the words slowly and carefully.


    * Cast it quickly, resulting in some troublesome quirk or side effect. Ask the GM to describe it. (or just “Describe it” if you really prefer the player to own this.)

    Reason 2: Explicitly Stating “*The GM Makes a Move*”

    On a 7-9, saying that the spell works and “the GM Makes a Move” is weaksauce. It doesn’t tell us anything about the nature of the move that the GM should make, and it doesn’t add anything to the fiction.

    _Suggestion: make the 7-9 result have something more specific, like Cast a Spell’s “You draw unwanted attention or put yourself in a spot; the GM will tell you how.” Or a choice between that and something like “You’re drained, mark a debility of your choice.”

    Reason 3: Crossing the Line

    The original phrasing, in which the player decides whether the scroll is incomplete or has errors, is asking the player to decide something about the fictional world that is outside their character’s experience or actions or history. It’s the equivalent of saying “You open the box, and find… something! What is it?”

    Likewise, asking the player to “describe the troublesome quirk that now makes life difficult…” is asking the player to describe something that’s out of their character’s purview and to author their own adversity.

    Both of these involve crossing the Line:

    Elliott Ambrosetti, you say that the “authoring adversity” isn’t part of the GM’s agenda, but I’d counter that it is part of How to GM:

    1) Describe the situation

    2) Follow the rules (which includes your GM principles)

    3) Make moves (most of which are variants of “author adversity”)

    And in the principles, while we find “Ask questions and use the answers,” we also find “Address the characters, not the players.” If you’re asking the players to make up details that are beyond their character’s frame of reference, you’re violating that principle.

    Will crossing the line break the game? Not really, no. But it does blur the line between the GM’s rolls and responsibilities and the player’s rolls and responsibilities, and it is ignoring one of the GM’s principles. Aesthetically, I dislike it. And I’ve seen plenty of players get turned off by that sort of thing. – The Mighty Atom

  6. Brilliant stuff Jeremy. I’ll modify my work using some of your advice.

    Holding true to my belief however, that “Crossing the Line” isn’t that bad. And AW/DW has already blurred that line heavily in comparison to older TableTop RPGs. I rather prefer this type of play. Each and every person at the table is an author. The GM is simply the person each player looks to to break confrontation and maintain flow. Like you said, aesthetics.

Comments are closed.