I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stash and Sign Up moves in 2e.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stash and Sign Up moves in 2e.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stash and Sign Up moves in 2e.

Putting away money and valuables for your next character is a fantastic idea; and the character sheets make it really easy to track that stuff.

Seriously, the character sheets in this are like…60% of the reason I want to play it. They looks great, present the info very easily, and get me excited about it.

19 thoughts on “I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stash and Sign Up moves in 2e.”

  1. Jason Lutes WELLLL……since you asked. Be warned, this is just stream of consciousness nonsense; take everything with a grain of silver.

    Where are Flags/Bonds? Have they been replaced with Pass Time?

    I like the new travel mechanics, and the different ways you can undertake a PJ, but I don’t really get the Manage Provisions move. Is it like making NEW rations (from a recently slain beast or something?), or is it more like divvying out existing rations (One for you, one for you, etc).

    If it’s the second, maybe a name like “ChowTime” or something would be more evocative.

    I adore the spellcasting system; my group loves MazeRats for the same reason. I especially appreciate how you can allocate your power to make things more flexible (A weak fireball that hits multiple people or a strong laser beam that hits one person), seriously, that’s awesome, and something I will probably steal forever.

    However, it would be cool if other classes could pick up spells as well; I know a fighter would love to have some kind of weak oil-slick or tripping spell, while the thief could have some invisibility spells or something. Any suggestions on allowing all players to dig into the spellcasting system a bit?

    The treasure table is pretty cumbersome. I get what you’re going for, but I’ll probably just use a list of pre-made items rather than generating treasure; it just seems like overkill. Take that with a grain of salt; I’m not a huge fan of random tables.

    Another excellent addition is how EVERY Class has some kind of additional resource to spend (Mettle, Power, Cunning, etc). I really like how it gives more flexibility and choices to characters; but it does add a lot more complexity to the game. Why didn’t you tie it into a Stat, like Luck (which does a great job toeing the line between STAT and resource)?

    Why is the Defend move gone? Too strong? Prevents combat from being lethal?

    “Add the ‘broken’ tag to a piece of gear”. That tag isn’t defined under the marketplace. I would assume it just means “won’t function until repaired”, or something like that? Maybe just a minor quibble.

  2. Jason Lutes wow. This looks really good. I ran Scenic Dunsmouth and Death Frost Doom with the original Freebooters.

    This makes me very interested in getting a Hexcrawl game going…

  3. David Schirduan, I have never enjoyed flags/bonds in play, so I did away with them. I do like the idea of social connections with mechanical significance; the Keep Company move currently does that job.

    Forage is how you can generate rations in the wild; Manage Provisions handles how efficiently you use what’s in your supply. I will certainly consider other ideas for naming the move.

    Magic in Freebooters is supposed to be rare, dangerous, and difficult to handle, so I think of the Magic-User’s niche as inviolable. People can certainly homebrew alternatives, but I don’t think I’ll be adding options for non-spellcasters to cast spells to the core rules.

    The treasure and creature tables are indeed cumbersome to use in play. I’m exploring alternatives, and may include some “quick-roll” tables if I can work out some that suit my taste.

    Three of the four different “class resources” are in fact tied to stats — the Fighter’s “mettle” is the only one that’s not. And that’s because given its flexibility it didn’t make sense to do so.

    Defend is not in just because I never liked the way it played out in our Dungeon World games.

  4. One thing I am thinking about using if I run this myself is the backstory creation tables from Hill Cantons Compendium. It’s interesting because it generates a bunch of pieces of ideas that happened in the character’s life, but tacks on some minor improvements to specific stat generation depending on the randomly rolled outcomes.

    At the very least I could see it allowing players places to hook their characters together (eg, they both were in prison or the army) in a purely fictional way. It also can give the Judge a bunch of plot hooks and even NPCs to bring in – all from initial random character creation.

  5. This is looking great Jason.

    I have been scribbling my own ways to tweak spellcasting to make it easier to calculate a spell and I think the new chart helps and has some amazing similarities to my own notes. We must have met on the astral plane.

    I like the way magic users can have a chance to make low level spells easier to cast and the new arcane accident table seems really great. The interplay between power and ease of casting is something I have been wrestling with and I think this works really well. I wonder if you want to say they can only increase their chance to cast a spell with extra power points equal to their INT. I am just imagining a high level magic user casting powerful spells with no real chance of accidents. (maybe that’s just how it should be).

    I am sort of obsessed with the spellcasting class in general and think about how magic could play out a lot. I LOVE the randomized spell tables from Feebooters but I also wonder about a way for Magic users to be more of a specific type of caster/ magic student. Perhaps having spells that reflect their learning either instead of random spells or maybe with one half the spell randomized…fire’s fury,, fire’s song, fire’s mesmerizing orbs, that sort of thing.

    Along those lines I have been wondering about giving magic users a speciality each time they level up that would give them a +1 power to spell casting in that area – like: fire, wind, plants, mind , demons, destruction etc… they could take similar specialities and be particularly good at certain types of spells , and take bonuses for any that apply to the spell they are casting (taking rocks, the earth, & destruction = +3 power to earthquake spells for instance, but only +1 to make a plant grow).

    The player of the magic user in my group is always wanting to improvise in a general magicky way and it seems too fun to stop her even though she is technically outside of her ability to do so. To that end I was thinking about letting magic users improvise spells within the areas of their specialities. maybe with a -2 power. so it could be INT + Level + speciallities -2 to improvise a spell effect. Very similar to Sorcerer really but within the magical specializing idea I was talking about.

    That player gets overwhelmed with how spells are calculated and I have trouble not wanting to stop the action and have others wait while I look at her sheet and do the math so for now I just make a call based on my impression of what she would be capable of.

    So I have a split between being intrigued by the mechanics of spell casting and realistically, in play, going with a simplification of the rules to keep the game moving.

    I have never loved the idea of all magic users having to carry around a book with them. It always seemed like a funny idea to me. I think they could still forget spells and remember them after a good nights rest or after communing with the magical currents (or whatever magic users do to collect themselves).

    I like the magical vacuity accident a lot and have been thinking about making it so magic users exhaust themselves in other ways in addition to intelligence and forgetting spells, like a randomized (or chosen) burn. Losing Strength would reinforce their physical frailty in a neat storytelling kind of way. Again that is very similar to Thaumaturge. I sometimes think I just need to run a wizard focused game where magic users have all of the advanced moves!

    I would give the Ritualist a good sized power bonus like a plus 3. Since they are casting in a slow controlled setting they couldn’t really use most combat spells.

    I was really intending to give my thoughts on a characteristic driven – non class based way to calculate HP, load, and weapon use but I got on this magical run away donkey instead.

    I hope this is not too much advice (let me know) I only give it because I like what you have been doing so much. Jason Lutes

  6. Jan Burger, never too much advice! I totally understand and have experienced the way spell calculations can slow down play. I encourage people to house-rule as they see fit and share their findings, just as you are doing here.

    As Judge, if I see a magic-user player balk at the spell parameters, I am in the habit of asking them what they want to accomplish, walking them through each column as I work out the calculations for them, and then telling them what they might be capable of given their current power level. But your method of accommodating improvisation sounds like it works and—most importantly—keeps your magic-user player engaged.

    In the final rules there will either be hard modifier cap of +3 or +4 (haven’t decided yet), or possibly a “snake eyes always fail/boxcars always succeed” rule, although the latter is not immediately applicable to something like the Cast a Spell table.

    For an example of excellent “flavoring” of random spells, see Chris Gardiner ‘s tables for his Mistmarch campaign:

    plus.google.com – I’ve been doing some more work on my dark fantasy treatment for Freebooters o…

  7. Thanks Jason I like the idea of crafting a specific school/tradition of magic in a custom random table.

    Okay, so the other stuff I have been doing with my group is making it so certain sub stats are more tied to charicteristics and less to class.

    I like the way you decided anyone could wield any weapon and then i thought but what simple mechanic could help define who can really – successfully – swing a great axe? And why do fighters always have much better HP and load even if they have crummy stats?

    I came up with a what you could call “measure”of a characteristic – (or “tier”, just something to be different from modifier.)

    3-4 = 1

    5-7 = 2

    8-10 = 3

    11-13 = 4

    14-16 = 5

    17-18= 6

    You can use these measures to figure weapon damage and other stats as well.

    load = Strength measure x2

    Starting HP = Constitution measure ( or x2 if you are going easy)

    Hit die = to Constitution measure ( in dice form so 4 would be 1d4. I am comfortable rolling odd dice like a d3 and d2 using a d6 and dividing it but i know it confuses some people.) I would probably give a hit die each level and not every other level since they are a bit low.

    I would probably give the fighter a + 2 to load and starting HP and maybe a +1 to hit die to simulate the rough and tumble world of being a fighter and their training.

    for weapon attack damage I put the characters strength measure together with a weapon measure:

    0 – hand to hand ( minus 2 damage)

    0- improvised weapons like chairs etc-

    1- knife, dagger

    2 – shortsword, hatchet, club

    3 – spear, axe, mace, hammer

    4- sword, 2h spear

    5- 2h sword, great axe, halberd

    6- oversized heavy specialty weapon, a big rock

    you combine the two and round down …

    4 strength measure + 3 spear = 1d6

    6 strength measure + 2 shortsword = 1d8

    4 strength measure + 0 chair =1d4

    if you wield a weapon larger than your measure then you can take a minus 1 to damage and to hit for each point lacking.

    I like this system for finding personality in peoples stats and making them feel more relevant. the big downside is that it is another thing that needs to get explained in a game that is trying to be streamlined an accesable to non gamers. there is something great about having everything the players need in front of them.

    a much simpler version for players to understand of what i just laid out would be a chart for each of the stats (HP, load, Hit die and damage). You could check the book for your numbers and be done and not introduce a new idea like “measure” …

    the load chart, for instance, would say ..

    Strength / load

    3-4 = 2

    5-7 = 4

    8-10 = 6

    11- 13 = 8

    14-16 = 10

    17- 18 = 12

    I like that it gives value to all the 0 modifier stats. It would be GREAT then to have an 11 Strength or Constitution, rather than it not have much of a direct effect on the game.

    for damage everyone could get an “attack die” or a “weapon wielding die” that basically states what damage level weapon you can wield. Again if you try to wield a weapon that is too big for you you just take a penalty.

    So you look at the chart and see

    “oh my damage die is a d8 because I am strength 12. I can wield a sword or anything d8 or smaller.”

    You could shift the chart a bit if you don’t want characters doing d12s or you could say you can only reach d12 if you wield the giants hammer which is 8 load and awkward. ( a bit counter intuitive for players though …., ” but it says d12″… so maybe just shifting it. to be 1d4 – 1d10)

    alternately it could be based on weapon weight since you have nicely balanced that in the marketplace. “oh I am strength (something low) I can wield a short sword or any other weight 1 weapons.”

    the confusion i have had with my group and these different rules is that I have to keep saying “use most of your character sheets but don’t use that part or that part.”

    I need to make some custom sheets!

    I was wondering if it would be possible to have all the playbooks inside the freebooters book? I use them as reference so much since they contain much of the game in them and the table top gets filled with my papers . I would love just grabbing freebooters when i have a question like how to craft a spell.

    thanks for all your work, I hope it is going well.

    Jason Lutes

  8. Another less complicated method is to give classes a damage dice the same as DW but also give weapons a damage dice ala dnd and the damage you inflict is the lesser of the two. So if your damage dice is a d4 you can still wield a broadsword but the most you’ll inflict with it is d4. The damage dice could also be replaced with a values if you didn’t want to roll at all.

  9. Jan Burger I love your idea of “measure”—especially the part where it gives a particular set of ability scores more personality than the standard modifiers—and it’s worth thinking about for sure. A big goal has been to keep nearly everything clear and right there on the character sheet, as you note, so I would need to take that into consideration. It also raises the specter of to what degree I want to stay wed to classic D&D, which was the original motivation for writing the game and I think an important part of its appeal to folks who play it.

    At a certain point in rules evolution the mechanical trappings of D&D might as well be left behind, and I’m not sure I want to go there. Before I dig back into 2nd edition, I need to make a clear list of my design goals and use them to make sure I stay on track.

  10. the fact that D&D evolved out of a wargame is probably both a strength and a weakness. Some rules were screwy or arbitrary but It was fast to start, and It left a lot of open room for improvisation.

    part of what you are doing is creating a more playable version of that while trying to hold on to the strengths.

    the “world” of D&D also asks to be looked at. I often ask myself in the middle of a game, “Wait, what is going on? Are we playing a bunch of genocidal grave robbers?” The concept of a dungeon is enticing yet strange. Why would anyone go into one, let alone live in one. Also who’s mythology are we entering into? I appreciate all the little ways you try to open the doors and deepen the stories.

    if Gandalf and Conan had a child and it was D&D and that child inspired us to loot Moria partly because the reward system was based on pillaging a static enemy then I wonder what stories could another game system with different rewards inspire us to do?

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