Here’s an experiment with Introductions instead of Bonds. (Also, the most current draft of the Seeker playbook.)

Here’s an experiment with Introductions instead of Bonds. (Also, the most current draft of the Seeker playbook.)

Here’s an experiment with Introductions instead of Bonds. (Also, the most current draft of the Seeker playbook.)

I’m hoping that this approach:

1) Gives better guidance on how to introduce each PC, reveal their “backstory” stuff, and generate ties

2) Makes the village -building part of introductions/character creation more communal

3) Makes it harder to create “loner” PCs with no ties to the village

4) Keeps some of the flavor of the relationships that the bonds provided.

Strongly interested in feedback.

10 thoughts on “Here’s an experiment with Introductions instead of Bonds. (Also, the most current draft of the Seeker playbook.)”

  1. I like the increasing detail in turns.

    Looks like they don’t tie into any mechanic (haven’t read other rules in a while), are you not interested in mechanizing relationships?

  2. David Perry short answer: no, I don’t think there’ll be any mechanization of relationships.

    Originally, I’d wanted to encourage making bonds between both NPCs and PCs, and didn’t want the decision to bond with an NPC affect your ability to Aid/Interfere. So I dropped rolling +BOND for that move.

    At first, then, there was a “Kith & Kin” move where you could “mark” a bond in order to get a bonus to a roll that affected that person. But it ended up being really clunky in play. So I dropped it.

    So… then we were just using the “resolve a bond” for XP rule in End of Session, but ran into many of the usual problems of resolving bonds (“resolve” is unclear, if the bond isn’t written right then it’s hard to resolve, etc.).

    That has led to us to change End of Session, so that you get an XP for either resolving a bond or giving an example of it having been demonstrated in play.

    That approach (demo or resolve a bond for XP) has been working okay, but it’s still had it’s hiccups. E.g. the would-be hero has a bond with the blessed: “I’d be lost without Brynmor.” And it gets tagged basically every time, simply because the blessed is the party’s healer. And some bonds are just really hard to either hit or resolve, so they… languish.

    And… bonds with NPCs are still kind of a bad choice, because you’re a lot less likely to hit/resolve a bond with an NPC than you are to hit/resolve a bond with a PC.

    So… end result: I’m not convinced the end-of-session mechanic is worth the space that bonds require on the character sheet.

    Instead, I’m rolling around something in end-of-session like: “Choose another PC and describe how your relationship with or opinion of them has changed. If everyone agrees, mark XP.”

  3. Yeah I dig the way the cascading questions help the GM set up the starting sitch. They are there to give flags for the GM.

    I mean, the PCs are always front and centre (and mechanically bonds will take care of that), but the details of them embroiled in the steading allow the GM to threaten and write impending dooms for various threats that specifically target those NPCs identified.

    I reckon a Steading R-Map proforma might be in order to keep track of all these tangled relationships!

    I love the way the Patriot Seeker could be watching Anook the out of town trader, because they believe she may be part of the cult of Hec’tumel (because the seeker has the Codex) and will have her own grim portent track for me to establish and probably countdown to start in media res as the opening scene!

    Maybe there could be some incentive for the players to re-incorporate named NPCs rather than invent new ones? maybe a +1 forward token? Or a reroll token?

    Thus Annok could also be the closest kin of the Barbarian AND the betrothed of the Cleric. That sort of thing.

  4. I’d like to get in on the Stonetop playtesting, Jeremy Strandberg. I remember reading about a private G+ community and a playtest packet?

  5. I do have a local group. What is the significance of three sessions? I hope it goes more than that, though I have not gotten specific commitments as of yet.

  6. Oh, there’s nothing magical about 3. But it’s definitely a long form game, so I’m asking for folks to commit to more than just a session or two.

    I’ll send you an invite shortly!

  7. Anthony Dunn sorry, this slipped under my radar!

    Are y’all still interested? Willing to commit to at least 3 sessions + feedback? If so, I’ll hook you up with the playtest stuff.

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