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Topics - AsenRG

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I'm surprised nobody has posted about it until now:).
It's got 3 more days. And for $20, you can get a whole lot of adventures and supplements, including even the WFRP1e corebook;)!

I recently bought a wargame called Friday Night Fights 2e, because I was in the mood for a boxing game:). And this one has the option to play it solo.

Then, after a match, I noticed that it's got a tactical combat system, which incorporates skill quirks* and personality traits** to make for a better game. It was easy to visualize what's happening.
And Fame is an essential part of it, which reminded me of Flashing Blades.
In fact, the game even recommends being used as a "fistcuffs diversion" during an eventual RPG session.
However, it didn't take me long to realize that I can actually run a modern game with just that, no need for other RPG mechanics!
Yes, they can be nice, but lately, I've been leaning more and more towards mechanics that don't simulate stuff like Intelligence and Charisma (Appearance and Learning are fine). Besides, I can always come up with a throw to resolve non-combat issues.

As I said, I started to think. If you can tell me, just where is the line that separates RPGs from skirmish-level wargames with a group of characters? Many RPGs can totally be used as a boxing simulator, too - in fact, Fight! the Fighting Game RPG begins with this.
We all know RPGs started as wargames. Have they really changed that much as to really be a separate hobby?
Or are we just creating a needless distinction?

I've got no real purpose with this thread, other than to hear what you people think about this;).

*Like, Boxing 3 and Brawler is different from Boxing 3 without Brawler.
**Like Scary, Weak-Willed, Fearless, and the like.

Well, not to me, but to my Exalted GM (who doesn't have an account and doesn't plan to register). I'm the intermediary, here.

So, the GM announced she wants to run an adventure or two where the stuff is pre-written, for a change. Usually, she runs high-improv sandbox games. And yes, I'm playing with someone I taught to run games.
There's no problem with suggesting adventures written for another system. She knows a few systems and can eyeball the opposition's numbers. Obviously, the setting would differ as well, but if it's not too different, that's fine.

What she wants is something with interesting set-up, fun NPCs to interact with (villains are nice), and maybe an interesting event or three. As long as the athmosphere fits Exalted, it would be fine. Lots of "structure" is unnecessary...and given that it's Exalted and I'm playing, railroads would probably fail.

An example of an adventure that "fits" Exalted would be, say, a cyberpunk adventure that has the villains creating a deadly bioweapon plague. A game in the Warhammer universe where you have a vampire committing murders (we don't have that many Investigation charms - though I recently dealt with a similar premise, so don't take that one literally). A Vampire adventure where the Prince has just been killed and created a power vacuum.
Preferably, the above would come with a twist. But basically, if you read an adventure and think "I can run that in Exalted", tell me the name (links would be appreciated, too!)

The problem is, I don't really know many adventures. I usually skip even those in corebooks and setting books that I have purchased.
(But then, I have lots of corebooks and setting books, so if you recommend one of those, I might already have it).
Thus, I decided to turn to the collective minds of forums that I'm a member of.
Give me your recommendations, and tell me why they're good!

After the unfortunate demise of the previous best thread on the forum, it is now time for a new one. Here it is!
Let's make this one even better!

Exactly what the title says. How do you create mighty, sentient magic swords with their own goals, in Mythras?
I want to tie it strongly to the Passions system, too.

Regarding sentience, I've been thinking of having the swords give you a bonus or penalty to some passions (this part was admittedly inspired by Bloodlust). If your actions were keeping them happy, they would give you a roll on the modified passion - with the roll determining how much Magic Points you gain to spend on the swords' powers. (So yes, you could gain a roll mid-battle, with a blood-thirsty sword).

I've also been thinking of giving them powers the wielder can unlock, as long as the sword is happy with him or her. What to base those powers on, however?
I was thinking about an Adept school, with the sword being the adept, but rolling with his controlling Passions instead of skills.


I just bought Chainmail, so it's obvious we can purchase it legally now;).

It seems WotC listened to us, or at least to their accountants. Now, old-school players, tell me how to use the original combat system that doesn't involve the "alternative d20 rules":D!

So, I saw this system's on KS now. And I'm intrigued...if nothing else, they have great art!

But I'm an RPG player, not an art critic! They say it's using something called Singularity System. How is it, I ask;)?
Has anyone played the Singularity System? If yes, how does it compare to Mongoose Traveller and T5 (with me having extremely high opinion of both)? Comparisons to Blue Planet v2 (also highly rated by me)?

Also, just because I mentioned BP2: Here's a KS from the creator of BP.
While I have about zero interest in card-based systems, I want to tip everyone who has never played Blue Planet: Bythe text, it seems you can back for $1 and add the 10 Blue Planet books published by Biohazard for $20 more:D!
I've got everything published for Blue Planet already, so it's not of much help to me. But someone might be interested.

Yes, this might surprise people that know me...:D

However, this is because I'm planning to play a modern (set between 1974 and 1989) game about people that play an old-school game. And yes, that means I'd have to switch between their adventure, and the regular game. I'm only going to improvise one of these:).
OTOH, their achievements on the adventure are going to matter in the modern/horror part of the game;).

What I need is an old-school (D&D, T&T, Traveller, Runequest, GURPS, Four Colours, Sengoku, Dragon Warriors, Flashing Blades - any system that has a free clone or quickstart is acceptable) or OSR/Compatible with an older system adventure module (RQ6/Legend/Mythras modules are an acceptable substitute for Runequest, for example - but for all I care, it might be Pocket Universe or Fudge).

Available in PDF
Not using Hero system or Bushido - I think they fit time-wise, but don't want to learn a new system for that part of the game
Starting level for the system.
Possibility for it to grow into an epic scope.
Preferably humanoid opposition, not assuming demi-humans as PCs (unlike, say, some T&T single adventures, which assumed a lizardman PC).
Not railroading you into resolving encounters by fighting, but expecting to use the reaction table or similar mechanic (or outright stating the encountered humanoids are willing to negotiate). Other than that, it's fine if it's a dungeon, as long as the neighbouring town is well-described.
As much description of the places and people they encounter as possible. I mean stuff you can just read to the players.

Not necessary, but a bonus:
Being published before the end of the 80ies (but as stated before, I'd use even adventures for LotfP or Mythras, if you can explain why they fit my criteria).
Fast-paced, meaning a lot can happen in a single session.
Free/PWYW*/me already having it from a Bundle of Holding (though the price actually doesn't matter, it'd be nice;)). OK, you don't know which Bundles of Holding I've got, but if it was part of one of these, it's a bonus:).
On the sandboxing side.
Involves some kind of romantic (sub)plot and/or intrigue is assumed.

If anyone recommends Griffin Mountains: please explain the differences with the latest RQ6 adventures which were also sandboxes.

Also, assume that I know nothing about the adventure you're talking about: you'd probably be right, even if I own it already. Did I mention that I stopped reading adventures a long time ago;)?

Please, do tell me why it is better than all the other adventures out there!

*Yes, that means I'd probably pay for it, once we use it. As I said, being free is less important;).

This is a thread I'm going to post on a couple forums today. Because I kinda need help.

I'm going to be running a game for two new players today, in circa 9 hours (both female, not that it matters).
Thing is...I don't know either of them. I know both via my sister (who will play as well): one of them is my sister's roommate. The other one is the girlfriend of my sister's friend (he claims to know me personally, but I can't link the name to a, whatever, it's my sister's recommendation that matters - well, that, and the fact that I've never refused to introduce anyone new to RPGs:)).
So, like anyone who can't meet the new players, I acted reasonably: I asked what genre of fantasy would appeal to the new players.

You can see the answer of the first, as transmitted by my sister, in the title of this thread...;)

My problem? I think I can kinda imagine what that genre would entail...but only kinda. So, help me TRS: tell me what are the central tenets of the "Dragons and Love Stories" fantasy genre:D? Like, if it was S&S, I'd know I need a decadent empire (or five), wild locales, pirates, mysterious sorcerers, self-centered protagonists with a peculiar code of ethics, and a potential for both personal advancement and for sticking to their code.

Yes, I only need help with understanding the genre. What kind of PCs would be appropriate? What problems people in said genre commonly need help with? What motivates typical NPCs? What's the typical locale?
Stuff like that would be helpful.
(And no, can't ask my sister, she's on work until late tonight and wouldn't wake up until shortly before the session. Clarifications are out. If you don't know what the genre means, you're like me, and you can take a guess;)).

I can choose a system at a glance when I know that: maybe I'll pick the new Mythras Imperative, take the Fantasy Age out for a walk, or maybe adapt The Rocket Age or Talislanta, whatever. I can construct the outline of a setting in under an hour. An outline is all I need to run a session;).

I've been thinking of either making them "Dragon Riders", possibly on the quest to retrieve the kidnapped princess (who is actually running...) or of making them the scions of a baron whose grand-grand-grandfather/mother struck a deal with the local Big Dragon to protect their lands when the empire was in the process of dissolving. Only problem is, the deal was 143 years ago. It was good for 143 years, and now might need renegotiating.

Edit1: And no, it's not urban fantasy, or I'd just run Fireborn with all the FAQ, and be done with it.
My sister has specified "castles" and "Middle Ages fantasy" in a related conversation, when she confirmed that yes, the other player is also interested in the same sub-genre. Sorry I omitted that at first!

So, I'm running a game at a local mini-con this month. That is for all I know the only RPG con in Bulgaria, but then it runs each (2d2-1) months.
So I kinda get to run lots of games on it.

The question is, what should I run? I decided to ask the forum, because...well, you're not my last and only hope, but you might even have ideas I've missed;)!

I've got more games than I can have options in the poll, so let's narrow the choice down:).

I'm kinda in the mood for horror, so most options are exactly that.

ORC-C system, In Dark Alleys setting. There's a horror one-shot (Little Boy Lost), normal power characters (students doing babysitting) looking for a boy who went in the TV and disappeared.
ORC-C system, the Fates Worse Than Death setting. Shut-ins, elderly people and WoW addicts need to go out into 2080 New York to find food and medicine. Accidentally, they need to evade or survive the plague, the gangs, the stray dogs, the illegal pimps, the pusher gangs, the animalistic Mauler addict zombies, the Hunters - and God, Tangra and Trimurti have mercy on them if they ever cross a Colin, the almost-immortal World's Greatest Serial Killer!
Faserip with low-level Supers needing to bring down a more high-powered villain.
Unknown Armies 3, using the playtest draft and with pre-gen characters, but the players get to read the first page of the player book in order to know what kind of characters they should be playing.
Unknown Armies 3, using the playtest draft but the players get to create them according to the procedure in Book 2, under my supervision.
Exalted 3 with heroic mortals. Yes, that's easy to do.
Tekumel survival horror where a team of low-status mercenaries get to guard a high-status foreigner travelling through Tsolyanu. But someone wants to kidnap him or her!

Or maybe you'd have another idea? Speak up, but vote for one of those I mentioned:D!

Also, should I make it a "women players only" game? I can work with the con organizer to announce it as such. Nothing fishy, I promise! My wife is likely to join my table, just in case you have any doubts:p!

I'll put that as a multiple options poll, but please, abstain from voting for more than 3 options (and preferably, one of them should be one of the last two;)).

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / UA3 Kickstater
« on: April 01, 2016, 08:40:02 PM »
For those who had missed it: the Unknown Armies 3 KS is now live, and closing on $140 as I'm posting this. There are, like in Godbound, beta versions of the three books - even if you only join for $1, of course:)!

And now I'm off to read the backer materials;)!

Intro: Recently, I'd noticed that this forum has a great concentration of people who react to narrative mechanics with "that disrupts my immersion":). If you care about the discussion, feel free: it's in the spoiler tag.
Thing is, I've always felt that narrative games can be used for fully immersive games (also, I've almost always been of the opinion that they probably should be used in this way). In fact, we stumbled on a way to do that when trying out Spirit of the Century, a Fate game...despite people at the time raging against the [strike]machine[/strike] FATE system for being counter-immersive.
I've been mostly silent on the issue until lately, because I assumed that most people don't want a solution like that.
That is, I assumed that until recently, when I stumbled upon a few posts that show me that other people might want to achieve the same effect. After all, there are new games that are coming out, and some of them look interesting. I know it's nasty to not be able to play those because you hate the system;).
(There are other systems that managed to be counter-immersive for me, so yes, I know the feeling. Those systems are few and far between, luckily, but they include a D&D edition - so they are cutting me off from lots of potential games;)).
I'll quote just the last post that inspired me to post this thread.
Quote from: Madprofessor;880214
Thank you, Jason, for your response and honesty.  To respond in kind, I am trying really hard to set aside my biases about narrative and meta-game mechanics (which I admit I have) in order to figure out how to make this game work for me and my players.  I am a huge REH fan who has been running Hyborian Age adventures (off and on) for decades. Some people can just say "nah, not for me" and that's fine, but I am not really willing to give up on it that easily.  Obviously, many people enjoy these types of mechanics.  I don't begrudge anybody their fun - I am trying to join in!

My demo game the other night using the quickstart was a kind of a humorous fiasco.  I tried to keep an open mind and run it by the book.  It ended up as a Conan parody.  We had fun in a Monty Python board game kind of way - but it was silly and there was no immersion.  I don't blame the system for that! I am sure it was my fault for not grocking or completely buying into it. It wasn't black or white whether we liked the game.  The main conclusion was that it was hard to take seriously.

In any case, to be perfectly frank, it feels as if Modiphius is simply shutting the door on traditionalist GMs and groups who want to enjoy their game by throwing up their hands and saying "well, you're not gonna like it. Play something else," as if I am inflexible or incapable of learning something new.  I dunno, maybe that's just my frustration talking.  I seem to recall that you come from a more traditional RPG background.  Obviously, this narrative system is working for you.  I'm not sure why I can't do the same.

So, the task we're looking to achieve, is simple: we want to be using games that involve out-of-character elements as consisting of in-character elements. Furthermore, we want to be using them with rules that are as close to the RAW as possible, because too much houseruling creates the possibility for unintended effects. (Obviously, we wouldn't be using them with rules-as-intended if the intention was to use for some rules elements to be interpreted as out-of-character elements. Well, my feeling is that some narrative rules are probably deliberately set up in a way that allows a "double reading" - but it doesn't actually matter).

So, what do I recommend: Changing how you approach the rules.
IMO, the problems with metagame elements are usually solved if you keep several things in mind.

First (and at least for your first game), adopt the mindset of a character that's really competent. [SPOILER]That would solve lots of issues in two ways:
A) If you get to choose something you're not used to might well be due to skill. You think a swordsman isn't choosing where to hit you? (Actually, he might be, or he might not be. There are different approaches to using a sword. A boxer that executes a one-two probably doesn't expect to hit you in the calf).
Now, that comes with a caveat: if the rules allow you to pick something that you really can't explain happening – pick something that you can explain. Yes, even if the other option seems better tactically.

B) Since stories are usually written about competent people...if you play a really competent character, a lot of mechanics (might) actually start making sense.

Second: never assume that what you describe is all that happened. It's the opening action only, but your enemy is probably just as competent as you are...or why are you rolling dice at all?
The dice describe whether your whole action is successful.
Imagine a D&D character, or a Pendragon character, doesn't matter in this case (actually, that's probably one of the few cases where it doesn't matter). The player says “I hit him with my axe”. What the dice say is whether the enemy is hurt, though...not whether he was hit by the axe or not, not even how many hits were dealt.
If the enemy is hurt but remains standing, what might happen is that you struck him with an axe, but he dodged and you only managed to slap his helmet on the reverse movement, and that with the flat. Now, he might have been dazed, but the hit itself pushed him back, so you didn't get a second hit in before he could recover...
Or maybe you just hit him in the helm, and he only managed to roll with the blow to a degree, because your character was that fast (or that sneaky). The helm is ringing, but his head only suffered minor sharp trauma.[/SPOILER]

Third: If you have a spend-able resource that adds skill bonuses or allows you to ignore wounds, or the like, assume it is something like Willpower, aggression, ruthlessness, dogged determination, and stamina (not necessarily all of them, not necessarily all at once). Then: only use it in a way that corresponds to that.
Remember, “I'm allowed to do that” doesn't mean “I have to do that”.

[SPOILER]Does it matter whether your Savage Worlds bennies are meta-points or not? Does it matter that some setting rules allow you to introduce facts about the setting when you spend them?
They allow your character to shrug off a hit without being dazed, or to make sure a serious hit doesn't put you in immediate danger of dying. And sometimes, they're not enough. I'd say that stamina and willpower cover that.
Does it matter what else Fate points allow you? They allow you to get a bonus on the skills, in areas that you should be good at. And that might not be enough...because sometimes your rugged good looks are enough to convince someone to trust you, and sometimes, they're not.
Fourth: If a game has a pools that allows you to do specific things when you spend points (and/or you can't do it until you have earned the points to spend): that's the Advantage pool.
[SPOILER]For example, Exalted 3 has Initiative, which allows you to deal heavy wounds to an enemy, and the latest Conan game has Momentum.
Both are, however, the same thing: a measure of the advantage you have achieved in a fight (or in the case of the Conan game, any other dynamic contest, like a chase, or possibly a debate). They allow you to deal really bad hits – because if you start with trying to deal the really bad hits first, you're only going to open your own defence.
Remember what we said above? Your opponent is, at least roughly, on par with your own ability.
The funniest part: I've seen the same mechanic in two different homebrews. Both were made by people who didn't care one bit about narrativism, but cared a lot about a good combat system, and felt it's not trealistic for the PCs to just start dealing their best blows:D.[/SPOILER]

Fifth: if some mechanic for using the above allows you to ask the GM for points, or requires you to give meta-points to the GM, talk with the GM that he does the same instead of you.
[SPOILER]As far as you're concerned, your character just went with the scheme a beautiful girl proposed, because he's a Sucker For A Pretty Face/Lecherous/whatever they call it in the system. The GM can give you a Fate point or equivalent for making his life harder. But the point is, just take what the GM is giving you, and don't think about the “why”, at least until after the session.
If you need more dice to succeed at a roll, and you know you can take more by exerting yourself...take them and roll. The GM can just adjust the value of his Doom Pool.
[/SPOILER]Yes – this requires the GM to cooperate. But then, cooperating with the GM really should go both ways;). And yes, these are the hardest kind of mechanics you might want to deal with.

Sixth: Some mechanics require you to pick a consequence for yourself, even on success. [SPOILER]That also goes with the “competent PC, competent opposition”. Sometimes, you just see several options how things might go wrong. And you realise that while your opponent is ready to do any of them, you can only stop some of them.
So what do you do? Well, you pick what you're ready to lose, of course!
Now, there are some games that you can only play with a (hopefully healthy) dose of metagaming and thinking outside the character (for me, these were Torchbearer and D&D4e). But for a great many indie games, you can find a workaround!

Of course, I also realize my workarounds might not work for you. But I'd say they're at least worth considering and trying. I mean, what do you lose?
So, if you have an example of a rule that's causing you a headache, and wonder what I'd do to play while conserving an in-character approach, feel free to offer it for discussion in the thread! I'll try to answer.

Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / New Conan game on KS
« on: February 17, 2016, 07:59:35 PM »

It's got over 30 days, and already has almost 300% its target.
I backed it, too, and will find a way to use it as a non-story-game;).

In the Godbound thread, this came up. So I decided to make it a thread and a poll.

Quote from: SineNomine;877277
I don't think the system, per se, is necessarily the most robust. I think the genre is intrinsically a robust one. When you're playing a classic 1st level dirt farmer, a high degree of competence just doesn't fit that style of game. If that dirt farmer uses some combination of abilities and game mechanics to start regularly offing a half-dozen thugs without taking a scratch, the group is going to get irritated, because that's not the experience they signed on for. Even at higher levels, there's a lot of implicit concern that the PCs not be able to do certain things trivially. This dates back to the very beginnings of the game, with the "angry peasant mob" rules in the LBBs.

My reply to this.
Interesting. I've never, ever bothered with guaranteeing that people can't do something.

I mean, to me it's a problem-solving exercise, much like life. You have these abilities, both covered and not covered by the system. You have goals. You have current situation, including rules from the rulebook and the setting book.
How do you use what you have to get as close as possible to what you want?
In my book, a former dirt farmer that learned to use a sword proficiently and has killed people, is a veteran. OD&D seems to agree with me.
A veteran slaying dirt farmers happens all the time. I mean, look at medieval armies against most peasant uprisings. Look at what bandits, former soldiers, did in history, and still do to people in the Third World - both in countries with lots of firearms, and countries without those.
Actually, screw that. I know civilians who have bested multiple opponents. That's not part of the "narrative" for games like Call of Chthulhu...but it very well might happen.

Yeah, right, PCs are different. Even Unknown Armies would tell you this - normal people scatter when someone shoots at them, or even pulls a knife. PCs, as a general rule, have enough hardened Violence notches to decide whether to leg it, or to try and kill you before you can use that weapon.

And, you know, this approach has never failed me when Refereeing. Do you feel you need to constrain the PCs?

And if yes, why?

Sine Nomine's comment was, I want to emphasize that, just the thing that prompted me to think about that particulat matter. It's my question, and I'm asking about your personal opinion and Refereeing habits.
I'm not in discussion with Kevin Crawford on that point,
especially since I kinda agree -  many GMs seem to be doing that. I'm not even saying it's a bad thing to do, even if I'm not doing it.
Of course, I wouldn't be asking the forum to mediate in this discussion even if there was one. But I just want to repeat that there isn't a discussion. I asked about Godbound, Mr. Crawford replied, and I even liked his answer - in a "I know what you mean (but it sounds weird to me)" way.
The only reason I've quoted it is because it did prompt me to think about that. And I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

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