Hot answers tagged

35

From Sean K Reynolds (After Emailing Him) Absolutely none. At the time the Pathfinder Alpha was being written, I wasn’t an employee at Paizo. I’m not even listed in the credits. The Beta went to print about a month before I started working at Paizo. I’m not listed in the credits for that book, either. When they were working on the final, ...


28

Betrayal is achieved through imperfect information, possibly conflicting goals, and the ability for orders to be miscommunicated. (Caution, game theory ahead) Literature Review I'm going to assume that you're familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma, the iterated prisoner's dilemma, the stag hunt, (Kuhn 2009) and the problems with resource availability on ...


28

Dungeon World is an odd beast. If looked at through the lens of existing D&D experience, it doesn't look like anything different, and lots of its differences seem stupid. To really appreciate what it does differently you have to spend some time immersing your brain in it. I'm a veteran, but I still keep learning new things about the game—it's like ...


25

Mike Mearls stated on Twitter: for sorcerer, we avoid more complex spells. Sorcerer magic is simpler, more direct See: http://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/08/22/sorcerer-vs-wizard-spell-list/ The spells you mentioned are more "utility" spells - they have an effect that is not immediate or that can be used in ways that might not seem apparent. Sorcerers ...


24

Dungeon World is a narrative game, at it's core, that distinguishes itself from D&D in the way it tells stories. The innovations are in the core philosophies and mechanics. Let me address each of your points in turn: Moves as Powers Moves are NOT just powers. Many are closer to D&D's feats. Others have no mechanical effect at all. Some simply tell ...


22

This appears to be a result of the races they selected and largely coincidental, not because of an intentional design choice that having a race with a +2 wis mod would be game breaking. The two bits of evidence I'd point to is that though wisdom spell casting is special (in that Wis casters, namely Cleric and Druid, generally don't have spell books and have ...


21

The player problem that rules changes seem to handle really well is boredom. If combat drags on and on, or if you have two players who are really interested in setting up elaborate tactics on the battemap and one who just wants to roll the dice and move on, then changing the rules to better suit the group as a whole can help. Another thing rules can have a ...


19

DFRPG has more mechanics, which each individually accomplish less. DFRPG is a lot crunchier. Although it maintains the "players can make up their own setting and features" ethos that is the hallmark of Fate, it has a LOT of subsystems in which to do this. For example, it provides a solid and complicated magic subsystem. You're free to make up your own ...


17

Adam, I designed three new 4E clases for Goodman's Forgotten Heroes and helped develop and playtest nine of my co-authors'. Here's what worked for us: Decide what the key appeal of the class will be. How will playing this class be different from other classes with the same role? (It helps to answer this for all the existing classes within that role: how ...


16

I think your instincts are good on this one -- using the name "gypsy," while evocative, harkens to stereotypes about real-world groups that it's not helpful to promote. If you want to promote the idea of wandering performers with magical skill and some combat ability, you could go with "vagabond" or "mountebank" or something even more sinister like "...


15

Apocalypse Engine is all about fictional positioning There are many ways that the players, the game mechanics, and the shared fiction of play interact with each other. Different systems and different groups emphasize some over others. Apocalypse World is built to emphasize "fictional positioning," which is when already-established elements of the shared ...


15

Fate is all about creating interesting stories. Progressive stress box values are designed to do exactly that. The rules say that to absorb Stress, you have to mark off a box that has equal or bigger value than the number of shifts received. If you can't, you have to take a Consequence to reduce those shifts to a more manageable number. This implies a ...


11

No. You should be playing these games with your friends or at the very least friendly strangers (at a con) or people who you'd want to share a beverage with. Mechanics cannot solve assholery. Mechanics can make assholery worse or easier. A game with piss-poor mechanics can turn an otherwise friendly table into a lame place to be.


10

Things I look for as a player: Common slang used in the world that is not common to the players. Common social etiquette that is not common to the players. Common race, culture, and place stereotypes. What the dice mechanic is. How you gain and spend experience. How a typical combat phase works. The first three allow for quick immersion in the game ...


9

You can also encourage everyone at the table to follow guidelines established by improv practitioners; these become less "rules of the game" and more "rules of play" (i.e. they don't really answer "what can I do next" as much as they address "whatever I'm going to do next, how do I do it?"): Accept every offer. During the course of play, other players will ...


9

Ultimately, the word gypsy has a pretty cloudy history. For a long time, it was very much meant to be derogatory and pejorative, and used primarily by people who were racist. More than a few groups have embraced it, but plenty have not and still take offense to it. It seems to me that most fantasy settings that want to evoke the traits associated with the ...


9

Hit points are more than just a nod to old-school D&D, but yes, that heritage is the only reason they're in the game. The Harm Clock would have worked equally well from a mechanical point of view. It just wouldn't have had the right "feel". For darker fantasy the Harm Clock would be very well-suited. Dungeon World was made to play D&D-style ...


9

Honestly, I think it is mostly just an unfortunate oversight resulting from the races they selected to highlight in the main book. If you played Pathfinder, none of the Core races received an explicit bonus to Strength. Humans, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs all get to pick one +2, but it wasn't until later books that races came out with an explicit bonus to ...


8

Hit Points, in general Hit point systems abstract survivability, not damage. Though most pure HP systems call reducing HP "damage," they take the analogy no further: there's no pain, no bloody wounds, no foul effects. Let's face it, most real fights aren't about inflicting numerous wounds on your opponent until they bleed out. Most real fights are about one ...


8

My answer would be to not use "Gypsy" for your game. Roma are fighting for basic human rights all over the world. Why do anything to negate our struggles to rise above stereotypes? If someone says that the use of that word is offensive, I think we should listen. It hurts me as a politically active Romani.


8

I feel like many true things have already been covered in the other answers, but I still feel there's something missing on the points you used as examples. I'm gonna focus on those, while upvoting the other good answers. Moves, unified power mechanics There is a unified mechanic for 'doing stuff' called 'moves'. Reading the moves, this sounds like 4e ...


7

It prevents metagaming. Barring magical means, there is no way to have perfect knowledge of a situation such that its difficulty can be abstracted into a number in the context of reality; those abstractions are merely a system that we (the players) use to decide what happens in the game. Some groups choose to keep DCs hidden in order to force the players to ...


7

The designers put their reasoning right in the DM Guide. Experience Points are now optional to help make the game work with more styles of play. [Doing] away with experience points entirely...can be particularly helpful if your campaign doesn't include much combat, or includes so much combat the tracking XP becomes tiresome. (DM Guide, page 261) ...


6

To get what is useful on a cheat-sheet for a specific game is going to revolve around playtesting. You've said in the comments that you have a 50/50 split between veterans and new players, which is actually pretty good. Your veterans will remember all of the basic rules, and the new players will have insights into the toughest things to remember as new ...


6

My personal favorites are: Rolling for determination of outcome choice defining truths spending fate or experience to define some setting truth Using skill rolls to define setting truths cooperative setting building. To detail these better.... Rolling for Determination of Outcome Choice You don't roll for success nor failure; you roll to take control ...


6

I don't think you can do this without some legwork on your part. All life-path systems I've experienced so far (Fading Suns, Blue Planet) broke the mechanical choices down into background requirements rather than just providing a justification why a character has ability X/Y/Z. Basically, live-path systems as I know and understand them work best with point-...


5

The only way to playtest it is not only threw play, (not to say that you shouldn't use play, but no need to reinvent the horse everytime you want to take a buggy ride) one can use all that playtesting already done by looking at the powers that are already out there mechanically and extrapolating from that. Its not perfect but it goes a long way to ensuring ...


5

In some rare cases, rules tweaks can bring borderline cases back to participation. For example, streamlining combat or task systems can take a game that has an issue and make it more playable. But in general, problems with individuals tend to be deeper than rules; setting is often far more important to individual players than the rules. Going through your ...


5

You need a setting with characters that have plausible motivations and reasons to act the way they do. Make sure that the goals of these characters conflict. Set up several, probably around a dozen. You can start off with just a paragraph or two for each. Then, you sit down with your players and work with them one-on-one, asking them what they want their ...


5

First, I would ask you this: When you created that campaign, how did you know it was something your players wanted to play? Without their buy-in, any campaign can fall flat. And you created a very narrow sort of game. A lot of groups might balk at milder constraints, let alone, "You all play sociopaths! Isn't that fun?" If you didn't get a lot of enthusiasm ...



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