Many new things coming this week, such as a new playbook design, new playbook (the Master Minstrel, a bard rendition), and a brand new website design!
The Minstrel is heavily based on the singing bard trope and my experience for more magical/arcane Bards from MUDs.
Here’s a sneak peek, feedback encouraged!
13 thoughts on “Super excited!”
Thanks to James Etheridge for inspiration on the Signature Instrument.
That layout is boss.
Jeremy Strandberg That means a lot from you Jeremy, thanks.
A couple thoughts on content:
1) Signature Instrument >> the “Cast a Spell” option seems like a trap. The rotes/cantrips just don’t really measure up to the other options (like charm/repel a specific beast, summoning a beast, or controlling tree limbs). Also, referencing a different playbook’s move is pretty dicey on a starting move.
2) Signature Instrument >> “You are renowned in your art” is kinda cool, but the description feels weak compared to the effect (“_always willing to welcome you_”). I think it’d be better if it were purely descriptive (e.g. “You and/or your instrument are legendary, known far and wide, from the lowliest goblin den to the high courts of fae and beyond.”) or if the effect were magical and more absolute (“Your instrument rings with True Beauty; any NPC who hasn’t heard it before will find it hauntingly beautiful and will welcome a performance.”)
Either way, it’s a really interesting option and says a lot about the world. I’d just like to see it polished up a bit.
3) Signature Instrument >> the small, concealed weapon feels out of place and pretty uninteresting compared to the other choices, especially since the minstrel can conjure weapons from sound. I guess it’s useful in a pinch or for a quiet assassination, but I could imagine using Arcane Manifesto with a whispered verse turning into a silent stiletto.
4) The minstrel’s Signature Instrument doesn’t really get referenced by their other moves. Like, Safe and Sound and Arcane Manifesto both your voice or arcane verses. Intentional? If so, will there be any advanced moves that build upon it, requiring you to use it?
Without tying the instrument to some of the moves, a couple of the choices feel a lot less compelling (namely: it can float & play on its own and it returns to your hand when summoned). Like, if I take those two choices, but none of my powers are actually driven from the instrument… eh? What’s the point?
5) Safe and Sound >> the trigger wording feels a little overwrought and I’m not sure what “sing your lexicon of protection” means. A lexicon is, like, a dictionary. Am I, the player, supposed to sing a series of protection-related words?
6) Safe and Sound >> there’s no clause indicating that you spend hold to generate the effects from the bullet list. An experienced DW player will likely assume that, but a newer player won’t.
Related: do I have to keep singing to maintain my hold? I think I should. I’m not really sure how to visualize this otherwise.
7) Safe and Sound >> 3rd bullet is too wordy and (IMO) does too much. You’re pushing them out of range, knocking them down, and granting a damage bonus against them. Yikes! I think that just knocking them back a few paces is plenty effective!
7) Safe and Sound >> 4th bullet feels too specific and also wicked potent. Like, I could shatter the wizard’s staff or the Indestructible Shield of Invicios, but only if someone is holding it? And I can’t shatter a crystal goblet sitting in front of me?
Maybe “Shatter a single mundane item in your presence” would be better?
8) Arcane Manifesto: what’s the point of splitting the two options into Offense & Defense? You’d save yourself some much-needed formatting space without it, and it doesn’t seem to provide much value. In fact, it raises an eyebrow, because how is “Floating Container” an offensive feature?
9) Arcane Manifesto: I’d drop the “on a H&S or DD”. For starters, referencing a specific move by it’s abbreviation is pretty clunky. And why only those moves? Why not Defend? Why not Back Stab (if the Thief multiclasses and takes this)?
I think “lasts until you roll a 6- (on any move)” would get a similar effect.
Jeremy Strandberg You just saved me from a lot of typing. Excellent feedback.
I’m going to revisit some of those options as I think you make a fair argument for some of them. +Jeremy Strandberg
1) What do you mean by a trap? I don’t necessarily think that a wizard or cleric is defined by their rotes/contrips, especially after looking at them. Their are so utility based that I don’t see much toe-stepping there, but I could be wrong.
3) Totally overlooked that point. Warrants a modification.
4) Oh yes, definitely addressed in advanced moves as the Signature elements provide quite a bit of power within themselves without the need for a direct move to use.
5) Yea, a lexicon is a database of words, so it’s just your vocabulary. Intentionally written with this tone as I thought it was pretty clear on what it meant. Perhaps not as clear as I thought.
6) It can be described any way the player wants of course, but in my mind I visualize a swirling of arcane energy around the party and the area itself.
7) You know, there was a point earlier when I was constructing the move but you’re right as it stands now.
8) The purpose was to not have them arbitrarily falter on a DR or Spout Lore or something that didn’t seem to make sense. I wanted to tie it in to combat.
You gave me a bit to think about so thanks!
1) By a trap, I mean “sounds cool but is actually kinda lame in play.” Being able to Cast a Spell with a single rote or cantrip is quite limited compared to the other options on the list. But a newer player won’t necessarily know that, and they’ll have to look up both the rote & cantrips, and pick one, and they’ll need to look up the Cast a Spell move… not what you want when someone is just making a character. (I’m not worried about niche-stomping the wizard/cleric.)
Sounds like you’ve got advanced moves that build on this. I’d recommend just making one of those a multiclass move, where they get Cast a Spell and Spellbook and Prepare Spells, except that they’re spellbook is the instrument itself and they must play the instrument to cast the spell.
Jeremy Strandberg As I’m thinking through some ideas, maybe you can help me with this thought:
2) Signature Instrument >> “You are renowned in your art” is kinda cool, but the description feels weak compared to the effect (“_always willing to welcome you_”).
– It seems as though having an “in” with any NPC seems pretty powerful to me. You can basically get face to face with anyone you want (that you haven’t met). Does that still seem weak?
I think it’d be better if it were purely descriptive (e.g. “You and/or your instrument are legendary, known far and wide, from the lowliest goblin den to the high courts of fae and beyond.”)
– Then what does it do in this situation? It seems too vague and therefore unable to really attribute any mechanics to it.
or if the effect were magical and more absolute (“Your instrument rings with True Beauty; any NPC who hasn’t heard it before will find it hauntingly beautiful and will welcome a performance.”)
– Is this different than the original option aside from flavor?
+Damian Jankowski I definitely think having an “in” with any NPC is pretty cool and, like I said before, it says some interesting things about the world and the minstrel’s place within it.
My issue with the move as written is that saying “You are renowned in your art” implies that, yeah, you’re well known, but it doesn’t imply that everyone knows who you are and respects & appreciates your work. Yet the effect of “NPCs that you have not met are always willing to welcome you for a performance” implies a kind of super-heroic celebrity. The description & effect just don’t line up.
>> I think it’d be better if were purely
>> descriptive (e.g. You … are known
>> far and wide…”)
> Then what does it do in this situation?
>It seems too vague and therefore unable
>to really attribute any mechanics to it.
You don’t need to attribute any mechanics to it. What’s it do? It establishes as a fictional fact that you are famous. People know your name, and know that you’re a renowned musician. The minstrel can use that for leverage (“I’d love to play a song for you all, but, Splurg, it’ll be so much better if I can accompany it with my lute. If you’d just untie my hands…” or “Surely, Count Pimperdink, whoever stood up to this Mad Mage will be remembered in song and legend. Why I myself would feel compelled to sing their praises far and wide, maybe even compose a tune in their honor….”)
In a fiction-first game like DW, establishing a broad-sweeping fact like that is mechanics.
>> or if the effect were magical and
> Is this different than the original
> option aside from flavor?
Well, the flavor is very different. The original effect requires some sort of recognition (“You’d deny entrance to Montressor of Calis? Well, your loss…”) whereas this approach would be more about plucking at your loot strings and people just wanting to hear more.
Again, flavor is mechanics in a fiction-first game.
Well, the flavor is very different.
Ah! I see what you mean. I didn’t read it like that originally. I do like that.
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