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In The Beginning Was The d20. Daniel is a long-time computing geek who spends his days spreading this good word. Interests include painting, medieval swordsmanship, and every conceivable form of game design.


Mar
9
comment What happens to rez points when you merge (alpha) forks?
+1 for good grief, how did I not ask this already? An interesting and important mechanical question.
Mar
6
comment In the Dresden Files RPG, does an Evocation shield have a reactive utility to it?
Welcome to the site, Elly. +1 as I agree with you. The question isn't "is there any place in the books where Harry shields against a surprise attack". You can still win initiative when surprised. The question is "does Harry ever fail to shield because he's surprised", and the answer is yes, that happens a lot. What's more, when he's going to suddenly shield against melee charge, he's always depicted as shaking out his shield bracelet, holding his arm out and getting his will ready - in game terms, readying the block.
Feb
28
comment What's a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy?
This is a brilliant question; I'm looking forward to the answers. (Ever noticed that adventurers that own entire kingdoms still eat standard packed trail rations?)
Feb
22
comment What is a good mechanic for a test of will power?
@DerekTomes: What you say is completely true, but there's a difference between favouring skill and favouring natural ability. LARP fighting favours those who train, but anyone can practice and get better, and you stand a small chance even against a stronger opponent. Beware of contests which don't have that much variation, because then in a match between the same two players the same one will always win - which is probably not the game design you wanted.
Feb
22
comment How do I help my players get past an obstacle I didn't intend?
@leokhorn is completely right. Make sure there's some other limit on the power of the well, and let the players know it! Once they realise they can get one NPC to wish, they'll realise they can get one hundred NPCs to wish...
Feb
19
comment What is a good mechanic for a test of will power?
@DerekTomes: ...as an asthmatic who prefers to play wizards, I don't. A physical contest system needs to take into account that some people are inherently unable to compete on even terms. (Tests requiring colour-recognition have the same problem - a small percentage of your players just can't do it.) Of course, if you have a small group it may be that it's not a problem for any of your players. In which case go right ahead.
Feb
6
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Wow. A beautiful answer, neatly encapsulating what's different about Dungeon World. (Notice that my entire answer fits inside case 2, with room to spare!) +1 for you.
Feb
5
comment Should I read the Dresden Files fiction before I get the RPG?
A perfect summary; +1. If you only care about the Fate rules, then DF YS is the best book to read until FATE core comes out. If you care about running games in Dresden's world, the books are not completely necessary - but they'll be a huge help.
Feb
4
comment How does a skill modify another skill?
DFRPG still uses restrict and complement, but they're relegated to a sidebar of useful terms - it's on YS p214.
Feb
3
comment What is an example of a “Pure” Simulationist system?
An excellent analysis of why there are so few simulationist games. +1.
Feb
2
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Good point @SevenSidedDie; it's implicit but not explicit in my answer. You want to edit that in, or shall I?
Feb
2
comment GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?
Hmmm... That's an excellent alternative approach to the same basic situation. "Make them show you" is exactly what I was trying to get at. +1.
Jan
29
comment How to build a Secret Base without killing the builders
Regardless of the physical headquarters, this is an important approach. +1 for defence in depth.
Jan
26
comment Dresden RPG - How easy is it to avoid First Law violations?
@psr: The penalty for breaking the First Law is: there's a +1 bonus to all skill rolls that would break it in the future. (This is a stunt, so you're forced to pay its 1 refresh cost.) It's brilliant. A temptation to do it again in future that tempts the player, not just the character, while giving you less fate to avoid compels and tricky situations.
Jan
25
comment How do you make the PC scream: “I wish we had a mage!”?
I agree with @TimothyAWiseman, except for one key point: do not drop an NPC comment even vaguely similar to "oh yeah, you needed a mage". If you've set up the mage-would-really-help challenge right, they'll spot the obvious value without prompting. If you haven't, the argument won't be convincing just because you had an NPC say it. Definitely a case of show, don't tell. Still, good answer. +1.
Jan
25
comment Dresden RPG - How easy is it to avoid First Law violations?
Ooh, good question. (Side note: the rules penalty for violating the First Law is one of the cleverest bits of game design I've seen in a long time.)
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
Oooh, good idea. I'll try this out next time I run Dresden.
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
@SevenSidedDie: It's possible you read in the 90 seconds between when I posted and when I realised I'd missed that out and edited it in. I'm guessing that you read just fine, and also quickly. ;)
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
@BESW: I have some reassuring words on that subject, but we should take this to chat, because it's no longer a direct answer to the question.
Jan
20
comment How can I keep track of Aspects and Powers?
Understood, @SevenSidedDie, but I'm standing by the answer as is. My experience of running Dresden is that it's just not that difficult to remember most Aspects during play, since most are created and then tagged immediately. A couple of index cards is quite sufficient to track the long-term ones. NPC aspects should already be in your adventure notes; created ones are usually short-term, so I just put out a card with the ones they've found by Assessment.