Random musing: Is it strange to feel closer to a real person as a result of imaginary things you did together while…
Random musing: Is it strange to feel closer to a real person as a result of imaginary things you did together while playing imaginary characters in an imaginary world you built together? In some ways this feels more honest than the day to day. Is a mask acknowledged more real than my everyday face?
One of my groups just wrapped up a Dungeon World campaign, so we’re planning to play a few one-shots from various…
One of my groups just wrapped up a Dungeon World campaign, so we’re planning to play a few one-shots from various systems while we prep for our next campaign. I’ve taken on running a one-shot in Apocalypse World, which is a game I’ve always wanted to try. Up to now, my only experience has been running Dungeon World; Apocalypse World looks very similar, mechanically, but with less focus on heroics and nods to D&D mechanics and more possibilities for inter-character conflicts, as well as interesting principles like “Respond with fuckery and intermittent rewards.”
For those of you who’ve run both systems, what do you wish you’d known going in the first time you ran Apocalypse World?
So let’s say in your adventures you help save a race of extra-dimensional beings from being annihilated and, in…
So let’s say in your adventures you help save a race of extra-dimensional beings from being annihilated and, in return, they gift you with a strange ring that doesn’t appear to be wholly in this plane. To give some context, their world is one that responds to thought and emotion much more strongly than our own, to the point that it works almost like a shared dream.
Thing is, nobody is sure what this ring actually does, but everybody who’s magically inspected the thing has stated that it’s a ridiculously powerful and dangerous artifact. So much so that it’s attracting the attention of dangerous enemies.
Any ideas what this thing actually does?
Working with the Arcane Duelist?
Working with the Arcane Duelist?
So, I just had an Arcane Duelist join my party and I was a bit surprised by the combat power level. In particular, it appeared that a single + INT roll allowed her to deal massive damage to four separate enemies using the Mirage technique. It was a pretty cool sequence, but it felt a little overpowering.
Reading the playbook again, I’m wondering if I applied it correctly. Here is the Arcane Bladework move:
When you attempt to incorporate magic into a melee attack, roll +int.
✴ On a 10+, deal your damage and apply 1 technique.
✴ On a 7-9, deal your damage and apply 1 technique, and your opponent attacks you.
Does this imply that the Duelist can simply roll INT in place of a normal H&S (as we played it in the last session) or does it mean that the Duelist has to roll H&S first, followed by this move to empower it? The latter feels a little bit more balanced to me (and implies that not every attack will have magical empowerment), but it’s unclear to me whether that’s the intention of the playbook as written. I do get that it’s very combat-centric (with a minimum of utility outside combat), but I want to get a sense for how it’s supposed to work before I just start throwing more dangerous battles at them to compensate.
Suppose a character rolls a 10 on a move and two other characters successfully interfere, dropping it to a 6.
Suppose a character rolls a 10 on a move and two other characters successfully interfere, dropping it to a 6. Do I treat this as a miss and make a (possibly hard) GM move?
More concretely, I have someone trying to start a fight and the others trying to hold him back. A miss could easily escalate the situation into armed conflict, but that’s exactly the outcome they’re trying to prevent by interfering. I still get the sense that something dangerous should happen, but I want to make sure it respects the successful interference. Plus they were partial interfere successes and the instigator has a Barbarian appetites complication due too. I’m glad it happened at end of session so I can try to make sense of this. 🙂
Your party has made its way into a deep, dark dungeon and you’ve discovered that it’s vast indeed, with likely…
Your party has made its way into a deep, dark dungeon and you’ve discovered that it’s vast indeed, with likely hundreds of rooms to find and explore. As a GM, how much prep do you like to do in this situation? Create some possible rooms with preplanned descriptions? Make lists of possible monsters? Decide on possible treasures? Design devious traps? Just wing it all the way?
In one of my campaigns, I’ve got a classic magic object that’s somehow connected to a greater power that wants to…
In one of my campaigns, I’ve got a classic magic object that’s somehow connected to a greater power that wants to use it to corrupt/influence one of the characters. At the end of the last session, I offered the Mage a chance to form a bond with the item in exchange for marking XP; he took the bait. 🙂
Going forward, I’d like to up the ante and am considering a custom move. I’m curious to hear what folks think about it.
When you cast a spell and call on [the item] to aid you, you may upgrade from a miss to a 7-9, a 7-9 to a 10+ or a 10+ to a success with no side effects (the Mage class always has side effects when they cast a spell.) When you do this, [the item] gains 1 Hold.
[The item] may spend 1 Hold to interfere with you taking an action or to attempt to manipulate the result of a spell you cast. The nature of this interference or manipulation is up to the GM, but you’ll always have some option to try to resist, though perhaps at some cost.
Having fun discovering new reasons why I like this system so much.
Having fun discovering new reasons why I like this system so much. One of my players, after our kick-off session, came to me and said, “I really hate to ask this, but I have to admit, I wasn’t really enjoying the character I created. Would it be possible for me to create a different character? Hopefully that won’t mess up any of your plans too much?”
I smile and respond “Absolutely, do you have any ideas on how [your current character] might die?” We’re about to jump into a pit with a giant dragon-like creature (well at least the Barbarian did at the end of the session, so maybe the rest will follow… 😀 ), so that’s probably not too hard to arrange. I reassure him that plans are not a problem; I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. “Seriously, it’s okay to talk about these things; we’re playing a game and the system is aware of that. It’s our story and we can choose in what directions we want to push it.” And the best part is, there’s really not much I need to change. Who knows, maybe the consequences of this death (if that’s even what happens) will set the direction for the entire campaign?
One little thing I’m secretly looking forward to, if he dies and succeeds on Last Breath, is to say “Death is willing to give you another chance, but you can choose to die anyway; if you do, why?”
I’m prepping for running for my first campaign over Roll20 and wanted to see if folks had suggestions for how best…
I’m prepping for running for my first campaign over Roll20 and wanted to see if folks had suggestions for how best to run DW over Roll20. Right now I’m thinking we mostly stay on a single main page, where I’ve added some flavor art in the background, as well as an image of the basic moves list and an area in one corner where I can type in the various taking forward modifiers during play. Any other good resources to keep on the main page where we’ll usually be playing?
Only other page I’m thinking I might use is one for a world map view (once we make one.) For ‘local’ maps I’ll probably just free-draw on the main page and maybe drop some tokens occasionally to help keep rough track of combat situations.
On Murder and Regret: Developing Moral Ambiguity
On Murder and Regret: Developing Moral Ambiguity
My characters are beginning to question some of the moral qualities of their decisions. See, it all started when they accidentally offered up a human sacrifice and thereby opened a portal to the demonic plane. They eventually discovered they needed the heart of someone who had committed an act of violence (among other things) in order to close the portal, so they eventually killed a bandit and carved the heart out of his chest (rather messily) and made it into a potion to drink and thereby get attuned to demonic energy in order to close the portal. And of course they killed a bunch of monsters along the way.
So my characters, one of whom is at least nominally Good, aren’t quite sure how to feel about their actions. They very much chose this path (so I’m not too worried about a lack of player agency), but now I sense they’re wanting to find some way to redeem themselves and I’m struggling to find a good way to tell that kind of story. DW draws on the traditional dungeon crawl experience of killing monsters to get their treasure and thereby foil evil plots that abound in the world. And, in the tradition of the genre, this largely gets resolved using violence. At some point, though, it gets hard to reconcile fighting evil with drinking a potion made from a man’s heart, even if he was a ‘bad guy’.
Have you explored this kind of moral ambiguity in your own campaigns? If so, have you had any particularly good moments where you found ways to allow the characters to find a sort of redemption for morally dubious actions? Alternately, have you had particularly good moments of descent into grim acceptance?