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January 28 2014

11:00

Episode 22: Infra Arcana

JohnHFebruary 10, 2012 at 1:50 AMOn higher insanity making it easier to cast spells: That makes some sense, but a game utilizing this would have a dire drawback for that playstyle if it was a really Lovecraftian game -- completely maxing out insanity ends the game.In the Call of Cthulhu RPG, as a character loses SAN it becomes gradually less playable. And something not discussed in the podcast concerning that game: it contains a skill called Cthulhu Mythos, rated from 0 to 100 like other skills in that game. This particular skill measures one's knowledge of the true, infinitely maddening reality that lies beneath the one that we see with our eyes. In that game, your SAN has a hard cap of 99 minus the character's Cthulhu Mythos score.Having the Cthulhu Mythos skill can mean deducing which monster is causing the trouble in a scenario, what spells could appease or dissuade it, or what weaknesses it might have. But because of the SAN cap rule, which is absolutely inviolate, having a high score makes a character very difficult to keep under control in tension-filled situations. Especially when a character hits 50 in Cthulhu Mythos skill -- from then on, the character will fail more sanity rolls than he passes, and the player can expect loss to be particularly heavy. In pencil-and-paper play, assuming he survives to this point, this is a good time to retire the character.ReplyDelete http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2012/02/episode-22-infra-arcana.html

January 07 2014

01:27

The Walking Eye Monster Hearts Revew 1 Hour

Justin Says: December 10th, 2012 at 3:44 pm Fun review, folks! I’m glad you enjoyed Monsterhearts. I’ve played a few sessions with my group, and I hope to play a few more sometime soon. I’m really interested in the difficulties you’ve had with color first play. In retrospect, I can see those struggles in all the AW games you’ve recorded. My group had some similar problems when we started playing AW games, and I have a few suggestions for how to approach this kind of play. 1) Clarify, clarify, clarify! – Whenever there’s misunderstanding or ambiguity about what a character is doing, take a second to clarify what’s going on. These games don’t work unless we have a solid understanding of what’s actually happening in the fiction. We don’t have to pause constantly, but if there’s some kind of significant action someone doesn’t understand, it’s probably worthwhile to clarify. 2) Play for action, not for effect – These games tend to get really strange if you narrate with the intent of invoking a move. Don’t think about how to Lash out Physically, think about whether your character is going to punch that douchebag. In my experience, if you think about the moves first, then the action tends to stagnate, and narration becomes an obligatory chore rather than the meat of play. These games need you to be interested in what your character is doing right now, not in the particular mechanical effect you’ll produce. 3) Don’t plan the narrative – Characters can plan all they want, but players should probably avoid it. First, if you’re following the rules and using the moves, any plans you make will quickly crumble. It’s kind of a waste of time in that respect. Second, if you actually try to enact the plan, these games will lock down and stagnate. These games completely rely on having a play space that is only constrained by what’s been established in the fiction. If there’s some kind of external sense about how the game’s “supposed to go,” then everyone’s going to have to fight the rules to make it go that way. In my group’s play, those situations have always been the least interesting and least engaging. 4) Talk about the moves – Before game. During game. Whenever. All the time. I mean this regarding moves in general and specific moves. Everyone has to have a fairly close understanding about how moves work and under what circumstances each particular move triggers. This smooths our interactions with the moves, and helps us have more consistent expectations for overall play. It can definitely be jarring to be surprised by the presence of absence of a move. For what it’s worth, I think you folks did great, and it was really fun to listen to. http://www.thewalkingeye.com/?p=1980
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