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Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Things we are learning as we play
advice
Just finished a demo for some very new to RPGs players. Here are some thoughts on stuff that I did not anticipate. Feel free to add your own as they happen.
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Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
First observation, if a party is wary of combat, there are a lot of advantages that end things in a hurry. Staredown, well timed Pressure at the end of a round, disarming smile, and we not so different all got used in a 3 hour session to diffuse every fight. As the game is skewed to let the heroes triumph and they are spending hero points for most of these, it's only fair to let them work. But with that in mind, you can no longer plan for combats to always happen and fill play time. (So plan for alternate resolutions, people). Second item... It is totally fair to force a player to blindly opt to use a raise for an opportunity with no description. In my case, the player had been acting as a scout for ambushes during a dramatic sequence. Not wanting to tip my hand until I knew if he was going to spend the raise, I just told him he had an opportunity to take or ignore. He took it and the party was able to turn the tables. Had he refused, the NPCs could have made their ambush and the players would have been fairly surprised. ( Obviously, telling them the opportunity was to detect an ambush would have been tip off enough and ruined the scene). Point 3: I need to find a default when a fight breaks out and a player is unsure if they are going to fight or stay neutral. The player was obviously wanting to stall and see how things played out but the system demands a decision before anybody acts. I'm tossing around a rough idea about being able to wait on declaring and rolling but all actions cost the improvise penalty.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I'm tossing around a rough idea about being able to wait on declaring and rolling but all actions cost the improvise penalty.

If you are just looking to not spend a raise this phase, that's one thing.  But if you are dragging your feet on declaring and rolling to start?  Yeah, instant –2 die penalty seems reasonable.

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

About your point 3... If a player is not fighting but waiting to see how things go... when he decides to enter, check who has the most raises then your player could either:

  • The max number of dice he could throw then is the one with most raises x2 (If the fastest character in a fight is someone with 5 raises left, your player can throw up to 10 dice, no more, even if he has more) which makes a penalty of 2 dice per raise if total raises are less than his dice pool x2.
  • You could deduct 1 raise from his pool of raises after he has thrown for every raise the fastest or slowest has used.
     
Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Salamanca

   You could have them make a Notice + Wits roll and just 'hold their Raises' until they are ready to go.

John

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
1- not everybody has notice. 2- he was really in a debate over fighting, leaving everybody behind, and just watching his allies fight a monster without helping. While out of character here, the player is coming from an "everyman for himself" history of games. (The big issue, however, is yet another player afraid of committing to a course of action and being forced to follow that or spend extra raises to cross it).
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

In that case, I think his approach is observing, as Harliquinn said.  And if he's still undecided come his first action have him declare an opportunity: an exit to allow safely leaving the area.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Sounds good. On to the new campaign. 4 players and judging the backgrounds, it looks like I will need to run a much more supernatural ly influenced game than I planned on. (I have a Hexen AND a Sanderis among the group).
Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

If you come up with anything good, let me know. My game is more supernaturally as well since we have 2 monster hunters, a Knight of Avalon, a Matushka Touched Ussuran, and a Occult Knowledge Boucher Swordsman.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

emailed you a copy of the very rough draft I was working from.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
I am opening with a treasure hunt through a swamp that ends with a deivas pinned to a tree. After that, it will depend on who the Eisen is a spy for. Maybe Agents of Hainzl, or Posen and Prejudice and Zombies, or Heilgrund's relic hunters.
Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Interestingly, one of the comments I got from a friend was that this edition seemed to be trying much more to be historical, without as much of the weird supernatural stuff.  It appears that there is enough of it around to attract the attention of many players.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
When you add two new sorceries and fill a nation with ALL the horror tropes, you are not "more historic". What they dialed back was sentient races and "alien" type beings. Personally, I would have been fine with zero sorcery and monsters.
Andrés Stein
Andrés Stein's picture

Gonna GM my first adventure on Sunday. Already have all characters sent to me, and that was huge.

Having finished writing the One-Shot that kickstarts things I decided to open the Heroes sheets and see how many ways they can wreck my plans, but at the same time it feels fantastic, knowing I -can- combine both things. Because that'd make the heroes feel useful and interesting without it feeling like I laid things for them to fill in with their superpowers.

The three most important things I've learned.

  • Know the Heroes. Open their sheets often and read them.
  • Prepare the session with the mind of a world that's not tailored for the heroes, it should feel organic.
  • Build your Villain's (Villains') Story. No one likes a plain Villain.
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Good tips there.
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