Howdy all!

Howdy all!

Howdy all!

This channel has been rather quiet lately, so let me start off with some information regarding v0.3. I’d have updated you folks sooner since the project’s largely my responsibility, but I’ve had other obligations that required my attention and I wanted some proper news to show you folks.

So, here’s some of the stuff that’s currently implemented:

– We’re modifying Drives to have a Key-style “when you act in contrast to one of your drives, mark XP and replace it with another” counter-function. This provides incentive for players to let their characters grow out of old habits or change their ways.

– We’re merging Strength and Constitution. While Con certainly had its uses, it was mostly a passive stat that wasn’t very interesting or deep on its own. This should fix that.

– We’re looking into replacing Bonds with more traditional PbtA-style Introductions – questions between the players (and GM) to determine relationships and world details. We’ll be adding some extra meat to the Make Camp and/or End of Session moves to promote growth in a similar (but hopefully more organic) way as Bonds did.

– We’ve brought over the Thangs system from Spirit of ’77 as a way to organise and provide access to non-playbook-specific moves, of a sort. Stuff like Followers, or a tweaked version of the Reputation move.

And here’s some of the stuff that we’re looking into, but haven’t figured out quite how to implement in their entirety.

– Less extraneous bookkeeping. For one, either removing Rations and Ammo or unifying them under a “Supplies” mechanic alongside Adventuring Gear. For another, replacing Coin with Wealth, which will work similarly to Barter from Apocalypse World and co.

– How to handle Dex-based melee combat moving forward. While the Precise tag is nice, it’s a little fiddly to apply to each weapon individually, with a fair few corner-cases cropping up; perhaps the ability should just be a playbook move instead?

– We might rename or shuffle about the other stats – the mental stats in particular – but we haven’t found a grouping that really plays all that nicely with the current class lineup.

– Descriptive damage as a replacement for rolled damage dice. While rolling damage does make combat unpredictable, I find that it really messes with the flow of combat in games, even with the smaller (but more reliable) damage dice of Worlds of Adventure. I think a mechanic similar to the Descriptive Damage Hack for Dungeon World ( could be a meaningful and functional replacement for rolling damage dice; after all, the combat move involved already determines its effectiveness.

Your input on any of these points is, as always, welcome and appreciated.

18 thoughts on “Howdy all!”

  1. I’ve only recently started paying attention to this group so forgive me if this has been brought up before, but have you considered a stat system like Warrior, Rogue, and Mage?

    It boils down the standard stat array to 3 basic attributes. Sounds a bit like what you are trying to accomplish.

  2. William Merriott While we could go with those three, I don’t find them terribly appealing myself. I think they’re too broad.

    Five stats – maybe even four – seems like it could provide the necessary depth and identity.

  3. I may be the only one, but I would sooo like combat ability to be a separate stat alongslide str, dex etc. I always found that tying combat to any ability (particularly dex) makes it overpowered, especially in combat-heavy play or if you have a party made of rogues and warriors

  4. Daniel Kušan While I disagree with the notion of making a stat that handles combat and nothing else – that’s an identity as narrow and niche as Constitution’s – I think you could achieve similar by allowing for the use of multiple stats in combat. Not necessarily in a Precise tag way, either. Maybe in an AW-style “you might have a bad combat stat, but you can maneuver people into your mercy through Acting Under Fire/Defying Danger” way.

    But I don’t see an issue with classes like the Fighter (and to a lesser extent, the Thief) being good at combat, either, so maybe I’m missing something.

  5. Would the keys also give xp for acting in line with your drive or just contrasting it?

    For supplies, you might consider the lovely usage die from the Black Hack. It’s deliciously elegant.

    If you go with narrative damage, I’m curious how armor would change. Narrative damage seems a powerful way to affect tone, since in the linked examples it makes most individual blows significantly impactful and dire. That’s pretty scary when the default/good Hack and Slash result is “trade damage.” DW/pbta violence moves usually abstract larger scale tussling more than than blow-for-blow, but I can see how narrative combat could more cinematically jump to the most significant outcome of an abstracted tussling. Would non-PCs damage be narrative as well or a modified system?

  6. Adam Minnie Simple. Make a move to roll when you receive a wound. something like

    When you receive an injury, roll+armor.

    Good results would lower the severity of the wound.

  7. Adam Minnie You’ll get XP for acting in accordance with your Drive as well as for acting against it, so players will be rewarded for both. As for the Usage Die, I’m not really a fan – it replaces the bookkeeping rather than removing it, and the random aspect of it has never made much sense to me.

    On combat: Ideally, both PCs and NPCs will use the same mechanic for harm and damage. Not necessarily tit-for-tat, but some equivalence would be good. Chances are v0.3 is going to stick with rolled damage until we figure out something viable and interesting (if ever), though.

    Asher Silberman That’s an interesting idea – they do say that PC-NPC-PC relationship triangles are prime narrative material! But I’m not sure how you’d mechanise something like that in the form of Bonds. I’ll give it some thought.

  8. For Hearts of Wulin and Changeling the Lost PbtA, I’ve built all the relationships as triangles (entanglements). For example, “I disguised myself to get close to X, but their lover Y suspects me.” In both I have romantic and normal entanglements. Players can have NPCs and PCs in those.

    I’ve done some heavy revision on these since I posted them originally, but here’s some examples: – Hearts of Wulin: Entanglements

    At the start of session players highlight an entanglement, marking it as one they want to see. Its 8 XP for an advance. If they interact with their highlighted entanglement, they get 3XP. If they interact with the others, they get 1 XP (cumulative). Entanglements can and should change through play.

    It’s primarily focused for social situations and melodrama, at least in this context. I hope that’s a useful example of one approach.

  9. Oo, super neat! I worked Entanglements (funny we came up with the same word) into my Dungeon World modern hack. But they’re really just explicitly NPC-facing bonds. I love the idea of triangles!

  10. I have been following this community for some time, and I really love what you are doing!

    I think that using descriptive damage would be really cool, maybe you could create a list fo conditions that are marked when someone is injuried? (Something like Bleeding, Limb Injuried etc…)

    Around the internet there are already some damage hacks you could use for inspiration, maybe you already know them but I’ll link the anyway –

    Also, i you have never read City of Judas, I suggest you to give it a look: it could give you inspiration for both harm mechanics and for the supplies mechanic

    Sorry for the horrible english

  11. Yeah my group has been playing v0.2 for about 12 sessions and we just came to the conclusion that Bonds aren’t working for us. We’re switching to Flags, but I’m curious how you guys move forward.

Comments are closed.