Here’s the Threats chapter for #Stonetop.

Here’s the Threats chapter for #Stonetop.

Here’s the Threats chapter for #Stonetop. I’ve been bugging y’all so much lately with my posts about Fronts, I figure I owe you a peak at what I’ve been working on.

The biggest differences between this and Fronts are:

* There aren’t actually fronts & dangers. I found that structure to just not fit for Stonetop’s heavily-local setup.

* Instead, it’s much more like AW 2e… there are just threats. (Though, unlike AW, not everything is a threat.)

* Any given threat may or may not have an impending doom, grim portents, or stakes.

* The threat types are different from the danger types, though they cover similar ground. Again, lots of AW influence in here.

* There aren’t prescriptive subtypes with proscribed impulses, just lots of examples.

* Also, I scrapped the difference between impulse and instinct… I just couldn’t see enough of a difference to justify the distinction.

As always: feedback and questions are both welcome and greatly appreciated!

21 thoughts on “Here’s the Threats chapter for #Stonetop.”

  1. Thomas Berton maybe? It’s looking more and more like it’ll be stand alone, if for no other reason than I don’t want someone to have to cross-reference or memorize DW’s text in order to play Stonetop.

    Though, I’m also trying to keep the core of the game close enough to DW that it still feels like you’re playing DW, y’know?

  2. This looks great! I loved most of it, but one thing confused me a bit: Why distinguish between organised and un-organised groups? I get that they are both similar and different… Just not sure they are different enough. (Maybe they are, just giving my initial reaction)

    I really like having all the moves spelled out per type. They seemed to make sense and make for easy use during play, on the fly.

    This got me looking into Stonetop in more detail, looks like a lot of fun.

    Is there any place the current stuff is all in one spot? I found a lot of stuff in your seperate posts but I don’t think the ‘this is how you start your first session’ bit in there.

  3. Jeremy Strandberg I meant rabble. But that kinda shows how my mind registered that threat type on the first read. Rabble is a way cooler name though.

    Some questions about the organisation and Rabble types after considering it for a bit:

    – The organisation seems to lack a ‘direct attack’ move, while the rabble has several (surge, overwhelm, pillage). Why? Wouldn’t an organization be able to do all of those as well?

    – How would you use “disperse, scatter or flee” as a GM move? This seems like something that would result on a succesful player action. Unless they were helping the PCs, but that seems like a very specific situation.

    – Some of the rabble examples would be organisations if I had to label them. E.g. the cult and the family. What makes these different in your eyes?

    I guess the rabble reads to me like a group with ‘ mob mentality ‘. The slave rebellion example is a good match for that, but maybe you were going for something else.

    Of course, the usual “if you want it different, do it different” applies here as well so it is probably not a big deal.

  4. Gerke Bouma If you’ve got a group interested in playtesting, and willing to play at least 3 sessions and give feedback, I’ll hook you up with the playtest kit.

    Regarding rabble vs. organization… yeah, I can see where you’re coming from. They spawn from the Ambitious Organization danger type and the Hordes danger type from DW, but one thing I noticed as I changed them was the fact that they had really similar moves with just slightly different phrasing. So I standardized the stuff they had in common but tried to keep the last half-dozen moves distinct for each group.

    I’m thinking that “organization” might be better renamed as “institution,” which I think does a better job aligning it with civilizations and laws and whatnot.

    As for the examples… Heledd’s family is pretty weak (and one that doesn’t come from actual play). It’s meant to imply a big extended family that all looks out for each other, but without a formalized hierarchy. The two cults… those are really different and come from actual play. The Cult of Azm Har is a thing, a big secret society down south that has lot of clout. Whereas the secret cult of the False Idol is a half-dozen rubes in Stonetop who got way in over their head.

    Regarding moves… you’re right, there’s no “direct attack” move from an institution. There probably should be, something like “send minions or thugs to do their dirty work.”

    Example of “disperse, scatter, or flee”: The marshal sends her crew into the Wood to take care of the crinwin nest and burn the little fuckers out, while the PCs track down the hagr and put it down. I have the marshal roll his crew’s Quality to Do Their Thing, and he rolls a miss. When the two groups get back together, Hari, the lieutenant, is like “Sorry, chief, but when we got there… the nest was just empty. No one around. We burned the nest, for sure, but them crinwin are still out there for sure.”

    Thanks for the questions! They’ve given me plenty to think about!

  5. Jeremy Strandberg I have a consistent group that I think will be interested, open to trying new things. We’re currently wrapping up a homebrew DW campaign. Will likely have 2-3 PCs + me as DM, might be a PbP game next time around for scheduling reasons as Dec/Jan are horrible to get ppl together. Does that work for you?

  6. I’m swamped at work for a few days, and I come back and find this 🙂 Yay!

    This is fantastic. I think your process for building threats is much cleaner and clearer than the Fronts rules presented in the DW book. Your threat types are clearly presented as examples, as opposed to the Danger types in Fronts which seem to be more prescriptive (as presented). Just having Threats rather than Fronts with Dangers is easier to get your head around, too.

    Your sample villain “Iwan, schmuck-turned-sorcerer (Instinct: to get what he thinks the world owes him)”… I’m terrified just thinking about him.

    Some really minor nitpicks:

    * Step 4: “Which begs another question: what drove it here?” should be “Which raises another question”… begging the question is something else. I know it’s pedantic, sorry.

    * Step 5: “If left unchecked, Sethra will gain more servants and keep steeling children.” Should be “keep stealing children”.

    * Buckethead, friendly (?) Crinwin: “Later, he lead them to the other cultist-crinwin nest and Mael’s body.” Should be “Later, he led them”.

  7. Gerke Bouma talk to your group and if they confirm, let me know!

    PbP should work fine, though I’d recommend trying to do session 0 face-to-face or via Hangouts. That’s character creation and introductions, and there’s a lot of Q&A and group discussion that happens there.

  8. Robert Rendell Glad you like it, and pedantry appreciated! I’ll add those to my fixit list.

    And Iwan is totally awful. Myplayers (not just the characters, the players) hate him so much.

  9. Jeremy Strandberg Will do!

    Is there a document that describes how you would go about stonetop session 0?

    I also saw some references to the seasons but i’m not entirely sure how that is supposed to work in play. Kind of like chapters?

  10. Gerke Bouma sorry… this fell off my radar!

    You can get a sense of how the first session goes here:

    There’s a chapter-in-progress that goes along with that, including a bunch of questions for the GM to ask during each “round.”

    As for the seasons… Seasons Change is a move that drives a lot of the long-term change in the game. You can get a good sense of how it works here:

    As far as “but when do the seasons actually change?” it’s a GM move, one you usually make between adventures and/or when folks have committed themselves to certain projects that take time.

  11. Jeremy Strandberg No worries, been extremely busy for the past week or so 😀

    Looks great, especially the type of questions that really get the players buying in to the whole ‘we are locals’ thing I hope.

  12. Jeremy Strandberg Stop spying on my house! They just left, like, 15 min ago 0_o

    I had already talked to a few that were looking forward to trying out Stonetop, but someone pitched Monster of the Week a bit too well and people got very excited about that a try. That is a new game for us, so it seems we’ll be giving that a spin for the next few weeks at least (or however long the PbP will take I guess?).

    I shan’t forget about Stonetop though and people seemed interested in that too, so I’ll be back to bother you soon I hope 😀

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