RPG Anxiety (and status update)

Sep. 3rd, 2015 06:27 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

We're still trying to do this Fate Core RP, but we're feeling like we're in a little over our head.

Insecure foxraptor is insecure )

tl;dr We're doing our best but we're afraid of messing up, and this is making us avoidant of working on RPG things.

However! We've kept to our schedule so far, and as of right now, we've contacted both [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27 about the last details that need to be clarified on their character sheets. If we can get that sorted out, we are going to write the first public RP post this weekend.

Capsule Contingency site is online

Sep. 2nd, 2015 07:17 pm
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

... sort of.

You can visit [community profile] capsulerp now, and see useful links that we have for players, including our earlier summary of the game's rules (which doubles as an application thread). Right now we're getting back to players about the last few things to finalize on their sheets, and trying to get character sheets and the site itself formatted.

Speaking of which, if anyone knows CSS better than we do maybe you can tell us how to style only the entry text (including list items and headings) to use our preferred sans-serif fonts, while keeping the weird sci-fi font everywhere else. It's atmospheric and all, but it's a little hard on the eyes for reading long blocks of text. >_o

AWW: The KISS of Death

Sep. 2nd, 2015 04:18 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

If there’s any design goal I have a hard time sticking to, it’s the desire to keep things simple. I’m too much in love with intricacy as an ideal, and I have such a good head for complex systems that I have a hard time realizing when I’ve crossed the line from “elegant simplicity” to “Wile E. Coyote style schematics”.

The current core mechanic of AWW in a nutshell is: when you try to do something that requires a roll, you figure out which of your qualities covers it and roll a number of additional dice equal to its level. Simple, right? Higher level equals appreciably higher chance of success without changing the range of target numbers/difficulties you can interact with.

But in the interest of keeping things on an even keel, I’ve been working with the idea that you can only have one quality applied to a problem at a time. If you have similar/overlapping qualities (like the profession/skill set quality Expert Treasure Hunter and the personal attribute quality Dexterity), you pick the one that has the higher level.

My thinking was that this would help encourage players to diversify their abilities more (in the sense of not always looking for the qualities that could cover the same thing) and also keep the failure rate at a level where it still has some significance, by cutting down on mammoth dice pools.

But at the same time I have kept thinking, “But surely you should have some advantage to being a more dexterous-than-usual thief treasure hunter,” and so, accordingly, I have been working out different mechanisms for synergy bonuses and things, all of which have the common feature of changing the core mechanic away from “one fairly simple rule for just about everything with very little to remember”.

So then I started thinking about things from a different angle.

First, I considered what the system I’m designing is supposed to do, vs. what it would reward.

If you can only apply your *best* quality for a certain action, this actually motivates you to *not* diversify your abilities… every time you have a choice between adding another quality or taking a level of an existing one, the mechanically superior choice is to take a level of the existing one.

More, only allowing you to use a single quality the idea that your qualities are not just discrete special abilities but integral components that blend together to create your character. If you have Dexterity, Expert Treasure Hunter, and Perception as your three starting qualities, the “pick your best one” leaves being dexterous and perceptive off to the side of being good at collecting valuable things that don’t belong to you.

Allowing you to combine Perception and ETH when you’re searching for traps or hidden compartments and Dexterity and ETH when you’re trying to disarm said traps or open said compartments allows them to all work together. You’re better at spotting non-treasure-hunting related things than the average person, but noticeably better than that at spotting the stuff you’re trained to spot. This makes your Perception different in focus than someone with, say, Ranger and Perception.

But what about the game balance concern? Doesn’t adding more dice to the pool quickly make failure negligible even at the maximum possible difficulty of 6 (1/6 success rate with 1 die)?

I actually sat down and did the math. If you have a pool of 4 dice (1 by default, plus 1 for each of 3 qualities), you’ll still fail just under 50% of the time at maximum difficulty. Since average difficulty (4) has a 50% failure rate for a character of no particular ability, that works out pretty slick.

You’d have to get a grand total of 17 dice for the failure rate to fall below 5%, which is what “automatic fail on 1” establishes as the lowest possible failure chance in d20-type systems.

And if too-low failure rates were a problem at higher levels, it wouldn’t really matter if players were getting their dice from one outrageously high quality or from multitudes. Any dice cap rule could easily apply regardless of the source.

Plus, no matter how low the failure rate gets, the whole point of the fate system is to add a random element of “wildness” that is not affected by skill or level. The idea of “even if you do everything right, things can still go against you” is present by the fate system, which makes even automatic success not that big a deal.

The other area where I’ve been having to fight my tendency towards feature creep/system bloat is the definition of the qualities. Again, the idea is that qualities, rather than being special abilities or collections of special abilities, are just a description of the quality’s “scope”, the “this is what this is about, these are the kinds of things it’s good for, you might use it for this”, with actual rules being very thin on the ground.

The problem I run into is I think about “extra stuff” that might be useful to a character with that quality and being tempted to put it in as a special ability. For a while I was trying to put one limited-use special ability on each quality, because some of them seemed to be super crying out for such a thing and so the balanced thing to do would be to give all of them one.

This actually steps on more than one of my design guidelines, though.

First, limited use special abilities should be an optional layer of complexity. No character has them if the player doesn’t want them, and you never have more than you want. Tying every quality to a limited use ability means you have a minimum of three of them at chargen, and they just accumulate from there irrespective of whether you want them.

Second, it means that unless you’ve got a mind for rules, you absolutely need to have more on your character sheet than the name of the Quality. Don’t get me wrong, I expect people to put some shorthand on some of them, particularly if the name is unfamiliar or used in an unfamiliar context, but an actual special ability? With mechanics to remember, even fairly abstract ones? And a limited number of uses to keep track of?

(The actual limited use ability mechanic the game uses is called Gimmicks, and they are equivalent in character resource terms to a character piece that gives a smaller static benefit. If you like resource management and having “big guns” to pull out when the going gets tough, you can use them. But you don’t have to.)

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

(no subject)

Sep. 2nd, 2015 08:31 am
copperbadge: (butler did it)
[personal profile] copperbadge
It's been a very peculiar week so far, especially since it's only Wednesday. I was meant to be in Austin for most of the week, helping Mum recover from knee surgery, but due to various insurance issues that's had to be moved to October. So I've lived the past few days in a sort of surrealist alternate universe where I know I should be somewhere other than where I am, and originally planned accordingly. On the other hand, I now have all week in which to get my work done instead of having to cram it all in on Monday.

Mum's also annoyed that now I won't be visiting for my birthday, because I'll be in Austin two weeks later anyway for the new surgery date, so she's trying to arrange Birthday Things for me in Chicago. Which is nice of her, but I couldn't really care less, like, I have nothing against birthdays but I don't get nearly as stoked about them as she does. I fully expect 36 will be harder than 35 was; god knows 31 was much harder than 30. Having outlived both Jesus and Alexander the Great, I've set my sights on Napoleon, and I've got quite a stretch to go before I hit 51. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

She DID subsidize my yearly birthday trip to the Midnight Circus, a small indy circus in Chicago that does fundraisers for local parks in the summer, so that's nice. I suspect she will also be subsidizing dinner afterward.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep living my Twilight Zone Week and hoping that standing in a liminal space for this long has no lasting supernatural effects...

dw squee!

Sep. 2nd, 2015 11:46 am
such_heights: the twelfth doctor post-regeneration (who: twelve [brand new])
[personal profile] such_heights
The BBC have made an awesome casting announcement for this year's Christmas Special.

spoilers! )
starlady: (bibliophile)
[personal profile] starlady
What I've Read
Ancient, Ancient by Kiini Ibura Salaam (2012) - It's closing in on the end of the Sirens Reading Challenge, and this is one of a few books I've read in the last few weeks that are on that list. This book won the 2012 Tiptree Award, and while I agree with everything the jury said about the book, these stories also, by and large, just weren't my thing. I don't particularly care for myths, and I think the mythic aspect of Salaam's writing is part of why most of the stories in the collection didn't quite click for me.

Flora Segunda by Ysabeau Wilce (2007) - This book, on the other hand, I loved so instantaneously from the first page that I found myself rationing the chapters to prolong the reading experience. Many people have read these books already, but the stories are set in an alternate 19thC version of San Francisco, the Republic of Califa, which is under the suzerainty of the Huitzil Empire after a losing war nearly a generation ago. Flora Fyrdraaca is the youngest daughter of the Republic's leading general, and her mother's stubbornness (matched by her own) gives Flora a lot of problems, particularly since she doesn't want to follow family tradition and enter the Army but rather become a Ranger. The fact that the Corps was disbanded at the end of said war doesn't phase her, which says something about Flora. There are many things to love in this book--gender equality! impressive 19thC worldbuilding (and yes, the 19thC was pretty great in some ways, and Wilce taps into many of them)--but what I really loved, missing my California home as I do at the moment, was how freaking Bay Area it was. The Bay Area drives me up the wall, but I love it at the same time, and Wilce's not!San Francisco is a real pleasure to spend time in for anyone who's ever thought that Emperor Norton was pretty great. At least there are sequels!

Get in Trouble by Kelly Link (2014) - I adore Kelly Link's short stories, and the fact that these were all bundled together in a neat package was almost enough to make me ignore the fact that most of them are quite old--the newest story in the collection, the one most obviously drawn from Link's own life experience, is also the only one that's never been published elsewhere. Compared to Pretty Monsters or Magic for Beginners, this collection is more somber and less optimistic, but I loved every word.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985) - I'd never read this book before, it's true; somehow I avoided it on summer reading lists, and for the past few years I've also felt that I didn't need to read the book; I could just read Twitter to find out the latest crap that GOP politicians have said they want to do. Having now read the actual novel, well, it's deservedly a classic, and I appreciated some of the stuff that never makes it into discussions of the book, particularly the skewering of academia at the end, though I also raise my eyebrows at the idea that anyone could take Atwood's claims to not be a feminist seriously. I don't think the book is too propagandistic to be effective, but I do think the background details of "ALL the apocalypses at once" were a bit much. And despite the frequent citations of the book on Twitter in reference to current Republican politicians--which are absolutely germane, to be clear, in a way that's hugely depressing to compare with 30 years ago--I also sort of don't think that this is the failure mode of the United States anymore. The breakup of the United States into little theocracies was an article of faith among science fiction writers in the 1980s (it's in the background of all of Gibson's novels from the period, for example), but I think the situation has changed sufficiently that there's no carbon copy of the Republic of Gilead in our future.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (2013) - This is a very well deserved winner of the World Fantasy Award, in my opinion, though it was also clearly written in a very specific historical moment that even two years later feels very distant. The story concerns one mixed-race Saudi hacker, Alif, and his trials and tribulations trying to stay two steps ahead of the Kingdom's security forces, led by the sinister Hand, and to patch up his romance with an upper-class girl--all of which is made more complicated when jinni get involved. To be honest, I didn't really feel very emotionally involved in Alif's journey to maturity, but I was very interested in his friend and neighbor Dinah, the American convert they meet (whose story seems to be quite similar to Wilson's own background), and the ways in which fantastical elements were densely interwoven with politics, history, programming, and some very pointed comments about the United States' recent exploits in the region. Definitely recommended.

What I'll Read Next
The only thing left on my Sirens list is Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock! After that, I have Court of Fives, The House of Shattered Wings, and The Fifth Season winging their way to my tablet!

-30-

Sep. 2nd, 2015 01:55 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Alternity, the Harry Potter RP that's been running for the last seven years, has ended! I've talked about it before and how much I loved it, and now that the game is over, I can reveal that I have in fact been playing in it for the past three years. :) I played Antonin Dolohov, Severus Snape, and Charlie Weasley, and I loved all three of them to death.

(I did not share the fact that I was playing because if you knew I was playing, it became blatantly obvious who I was playing in, like, three seconds flat; both Tosha and Snape are variations on my quintessential character archetype. At least two of you twigged that I was playing just from me recommending the game and then thinking "You know, that sounds awfully familiar." I have a type.)

Alternity has been an amazing collaborative endeavor, and it's been a hell of a solace for me in the past three years as I've struggled with disability eating all my spoons and with meds-induced writing problems (the style of play, deus gratia, managed to bypass a lot of the worst "WHAT IS WORDS"). Even when I haven't been able to give it anywhere near as much attention as I wanted, it's still been fabulous to have that outlet.

If you're interested in reading, the first six years are all available in PDF form on the game's website, as well as much of year 7. (Massive props to [personal profile] zorkian, who sat down and wrote me a Dreamwidth-to-PDF script when I started whining about there not being a good way for people to read the older bits of the game.) The final round of PDFs will be along in a week or so. You can also read it on Dreamwidth by using the 'recaps' tag on [community profile] alt_fen -- each year's recaps are also tagged with the year.

Mad Max: Fury Road, again and always

Sep. 1st, 2015 10:03 pm
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Comparing Mad Max: Fury Road to Snowpiercer. This post contains small spoilers for both films.

Read more... )

"Dream a Little Bigger, Darling."

Sep. 1st, 2015 06:52 pm
emceeaich: A close-up of a pair of cats-eye glasses (Default)
[personal profile] emceeaich

How To Geek decides to retaliate against ad blocking by displaying the site in Comic Sans.

@howtogeek: If you visit http://howtogeek.com with Adblock enabled now, it will switch the font to Comic Sans (desktop only) http://t.co/9316Ag6Y0s

Oh really? Let’s launch FontBook and disable Comic Sans.

Screenshot of MacOS Font Book app showing dialog before disabling Comic Sans.

Then restart Safari, leaving AdBlock installed.

Screenshot of HowToGeek website after disabling ComicSans, and keeping AdBlock on.

#winning

But maybe it’s time you reconsidered your business model instead of being rude to people who value their privacy and security.

@KuraFire: @emceeaich You out-How to Geek'ed How To Geek. I think you deserve the Inception award.

AWW: Second Nature

Sep. 1st, 2015 01:33 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

So, previous Largely Finished But Unworkable Iteration of A Wilder World represented the concept usually referred to as race in fantasy RPGs by the use of Folk Qualities, which were the same as any other character-defining Character Quality (the basic building block of character concept in AWW) in complexity and impact, just with some special rules regarding things like prerequisites. The basic rule was that you had to take one Folk Quality, but you could take more than one.

There were a few problems with this.

First, there was the exceptions. Some Character Qualities weren’t quite folk types, but could take the place of one: Automaton, Undead, etc. You could have those alongside a Folk Quality to be something a zombie elf or a steam-driven dwarf, but you could also *just* be an Automaton or an Undead. The reason they weren’t just Folk Qualities was one part that they didn’t have all the same external pieces to hook into, and one part that there’s a connotation to “Folk Quality” that doesn’t apply if you don’t have a folk.

Second, making folk type occupy the same level of character resource as any other quality and making every character have one means either you reduce the amount of component pieces you have to build your character or you increase the power and complexity of all characters at chargen by the magnitude of one major piece.

Third, this system forced all the myriad different types of people/beings you could play as to be defined at not just the same power level but the same approximate complexity and level. Do you know how hard it is to describe humans and halflings in terms of special abilities that look like a parity choice alongside semi-humanoid snakes and arachnids? It means making the simplest (from a human’s point of view) character types more complicated than they need to be, and trying to make the more complicated (ditto) ones simpler.

The current AWW build has you picking three qualities at level one, with a bit more of a structured approach. The recommendation is you pick one outstanding personal attribute (from a long list… we’re not talking STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA but more like Charm, Honor, Fury, Strength, Tranquility, Valor, Perception, Intuition, Valor, Cowardice, Dexterity, Empathy, Presence, Willpower, Ingenuity, Knowledge, and many more) to represent your character’s heroic potential, one character type/skillset quality (with things like Alchemist, Fool, and Scholar alongside the more traditional choices like Bard, Druid, Expert Treasure Hunter, and Warrior) to represent your heroic archetype, and one from any category including those ones, signature gear, magical ability, etc. to represent your heroic edge.

As previously described, those qualities are all less a collection of concrete special abilities and more a descriptive rundown of “So here’s what this makes you good at.”/”Here’s what this lets you do.”

The “Folk Quality” concept does not exist. Instead, separately from your three foundational heroic qualities, you pick one Nature. This includes the standard fantasy folk types and the unique ones created for the A Wilder World setting (including the aforementioned reptilian and arachnid folks), but also the fundamentally different natures, like the undead and mechanical ones.

The only really mechanical list is a list of things that every Nature shares is a list of areas they have advantage and disadvantage in, here meaning a simple +1 or -1 bonus to result checks. Like a Quality’s scope, they may be defined rather loosely.

For instance, Humans have a -1 on perception-and-intuition related tasks compared to others, but a +1 when it comes to adapting to or withstanding environments and enduring pain or physical deprivation. That’s Humanity: a bit dull of senses compared to most beings with similar sensory organs, but can overcome anything and thrive anywhere.

And that’s really all the game needs to say about Humans, because since it’s being written for a presumed audience of human beings, there’s no need to modify your assumptions. With Dwarves, Gnomes, and Pixies, though, there has to be some discussion about stature. For characters of a non-biological and/or non-living nature, the lack of a metabolism and what it means for things like fatigue, hunger, and natural healing must be addressed.

And so on.

We could represent these things in mechanical terms, with statistics and rules that govern the statistics and then special abilities that modify them, but A Wilder World is at its core a storytelling game, even while it eschews a lot of typical narrativist components. Changing your character’s Nature doesn’t change the rules of the game, but the rules of the story.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

Learning to Nurture My Alien Baby

Sep. 1st, 2015 11:45 am
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Alien spore entered my body when I was young. In my teens, it blossomed, crawled out and sunk its pincers into my shoulders. I've been carrying it ever since. This "alien baby"[1] may be easier to recognize as my atypical bodymind, where the goulash of pain and limitation resides.alien psych insights )
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian

I know I said I was winding up my Publishing Journey posts for now, but I had another thought: about love and resource, and the debts we owe. It’s quite a big thought, so bear with me.

IMG_0670A few years ago I got a daruma and was told how you draw in one eye when there’s something you want, and you draw in the other eye when you have got it. I drew in one eye and then I waited. The thing I wanted was the same wish I always made, when visiting temples and blowing out birthday candles.

Like many writers, I have wanted to be a published novelist since I was very small. Of course when you are small you don’t really know what that means. You don’t think about the New York Big Five or global distribution or advances or royalties or awards or reviews. What you want is very simple: to be on the shelf next to the books you love. It’s to be as important, as interesting, as true, as a story.

Publication does not give you that. But it comes to stand for that. I grew up devouring Penguin books and now I am a Penguin author. It might not last, but it happened. Imagine that.

Even though publication is no longer what it was — even though I know that’s not what it means — it still feels enormously satisfying. It still feels like a gift I have given six-year-old me.

But that’s not true, is it? It’s been a very busy, though happy, few months for me, and I have been thinking about resource. What an enormous amount of love and time and resource has been poured into me.

Though I do work hard, I’m always conscious at the back of my mind of how little I have to do with anything I achieve. A while ago I realised with embarrassment that I did not mention in my post about revisions how much work my agent Caitlin Blasdell and editor Diana Gill did on the book. Hannah Bowman, who is not even my agent, read the manuscript twice before it went on submission. The post makes it sound like I was the only one working, but of course that is not true. And we have not even got to the people who typeset the book, who proofread it (and had to put up with my nerdy responses: “I think you’ll find the OED says that word has been in use since the 16th century … “), who have been sorting out publicity and marketing and sending advance copies all over the place, etc. etc. etc.

But much as I appreciate all that work, these are, after all, people for whom it is their job. They hope to see some concrete benefit from their work — and I certainly hope they do. Who I really think about when I think about love and resource is my maternal grandmother, my Ah Ma, who passed away earlier this year.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

(no subject)

Sep. 1st, 2015 02:39 am
ccommack: (Default)
[personal profile] ccommack
A certain group of residents of Marin County, California, has achieved the remarkable property that they are likely to be first up against the wall when the Revolution comes, for every conceivable version of the Revolution, and regardless of the Revolution's success or failure. Truly, this is the pinnacle of human accomplishment.

People who watch the linked video are welcome to keep a running total of the logical fallacies and outright falsehoods presented therein. Drinking games based on same are strongly counterindicated.

getting out of the house a bit!

Aug. 31st, 2015 04:37 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
very exciting. I had that poetry reading, then went out again yesterday afternoon to a thing happening in the street (well, in a "parklet") with people alternately ranting, event announcing, and poeting. by the time we were there and I got up to read, I was very tired. Saturday evening I went with the kids to a jazz age murder mystery game. Everyone's outfits were amazing!

I went out to lunch today by myself. Ramen place, looked unpromising from the outside but then it was extremely good.

It is good to be out of the house reliably!

Work OK. I feel more mentally "on" than in the past few weeks. My vision still gets bad by the end of the day. I get disheartened with exhaustion too, but mornings are good again.

Cat still slowly dying of kidney failure and not eating. we are hydrating her twice a day now. I am glad to cuddle her a bit more but it is stressful to deal with her peeing everywhere. Though, I can also do the laundry now more or less.

That's new and I dont' want to mess it up! It's been months since I have dared waste my ankles and knees on laundry doing!

Sink still leaking so I have a choice of doing the dishes with the leak or leaving the sink full of smelly dishes for another day. I think it will be towels and bowls under the sink and more laundry. Plumber may or may not come at 8am tomorrow. They are a bit unreliable. (both ones that I called.)

I am going to Paris in early November for work. Looking at maps, feeling excited. It will be an adventure in inaccessibility. But at least, only 5 co-workers, small team meeting, I hope low key. The office is in the 9th arrondissement on a broad street with curb cut sidewalks. Kind of between the opera houses and a lot of fancy department stores. It is very close to a covered passageway or two, sort of an early mall (Jouffrey and Panorama).

Paris is laid out in a clockwise spiral from the center with numbered districts and I read that they are often written in roman numbers on signs. IXeme! As I study the maps I am zooming in to see street level views. I have found some sort of feministy queer space with a zine library.

I got a nice extra bonus at work. I like this place. Bonus!!!!

monday just keeps rolling around

Aug. 31st, 2015 06:36 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

AWW: The Hand of Fate

Aug. 31st, 2015 03:29 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

Having played around with a bunch of different chart concepts for cross-referencing the player’s result dice vs. the Storyweaver’s fate dice to find out what happens with your attempt, I’ve decided to go with a slightly simpler concept and one that produces a bit more even results.

The fate dice are a 3d6 roll that exists more or less irrespectively of the result dice for the check. They’re cross-referenced to a table that has two parts, Wild Fates and Normal Fates

Wild Fates happen when the fate roll comes up triples. Each possible wild result has only a ~0.46% chance of happening, so collectively they occur ~2.76% of the time. Triple 1 and Triple 2 are extremely negative, similar to a critical failure. Triple 3 and Triple 4 are neutral/mixed. Triple 5 and Triple 6 are positive, similar to a critical success.

Wild Fates supersede normal ones, which means the odds of most given normal fate are slightly lower than normal probability analysis would otherwise indicate.

The specifics of the Wild Fates are still something I’m pondering, but I believe the Normal Fate portion of the table will look something like this:

5 or less: Injury! Succeed or faile, you hurt yourself or the person you were trying to help doing it. You gain a Wound or Injury or lose an asset, as the Storyweaver deems appropriate for the situation.

6: Embarrassment! Oops! Through sheer random chance or a moment’s inattention, you managed to make a complete fool of yourself. If you succeeded, your success stands… unless your goal was to impress someone or avoid attention. But still, you’ve hurt your pride. If you failed, you likely landed flat on your face, literally or metaphorically.

7-8: Complication! Oops, there’s a hitch. If you succeeded, then your success has an unexpected downside. If you failed, then something went wrong beyond just failing.

9-12: Situation Normal. You succeed or you don’t.

13-15: Cool! If you succeeded, this means you looked cool doing it, making it look effortless. If you failed, this means you kept your cool doing it, possibly making it seem intentional. A cool result can mitigate some of the results of failure beyond simply not succeeding; trap doesn’t go off, you don’t fall, the target you missed from hiding is still unaware you’re there, et cetera. A cool result on a success is roughly the positive version of an embarrassment: interesting flourish, might help you impress people.

16 or more: Bonus! There’s an unexpected upside, a silver lining to your failure or an unintended but positive outcome to your success. This is effectively a complication in your favor.

A few notes:

  • Situation Normal will occur a bit less than half of the time. When it doesn’t, the results are split evenly between positive and negative. On the whole positive outcomes are likely to hold an edge in frequency because of player abilities that focus on improving fate rolls.
  • While “Embarrassment” is mechanically weaker a result than “Complication” in most situations, it is ranked as being far less likely because occasional pratfalls are interesting, but frequent ones are annoying. The game is heavily geared towards larger-than-life heroes doing legendary things, so making embarrassment a more frequent outcome of trying to do things is probably not a good design decision.
  • Because I love Fool archetypes, you can make a character who is more prone to embarrassments and less prone to injuries and complications as a special ability. As long as you stay away from anything that requires subtlety and don’t care about looking cool, this is an advantage.
  • The Wound/Injury distinction: an injury puts one of your character-defining qualities into an impaired state, while a wound puts you one step closer to being out of commission. Which is worse depends on your character’s status. If you’re healthy and completely unharmed, a couple of wounds do nothing. If you’re badly wounded already, having a quality injured lowers your effectiveness but lets you keep going.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

let's plant a tree

Aug. 31st, 2015 01:42 pm
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
My breathing was crappy yesterday due to wildfire smoke coming in from the West. The sky was gray and hazy at 5 pm and the sun was orange. Today seems a bit better.

The internet still randomly cuts out on me, but the good news is the upstairs neighbor wants to share so at least it isn't costing us as much.

Trees are being cut down in our neighborhood; I think they are Ash trees, at risk from Emerald Ash borer.

Have a Teen Wolf Rec!

Electricity in the Contact by ladyblahblah

Derek/Stiles, Pretend Relationship, 27K.

One thing I loved about this story is that in their pretend relationship-- which is for the benefit of making Derek appear less vulnerable at a werewolf event-- Derek and Stile have safe words which they use to express their discomfort with something in front of others who are not in the loop. Then they go away in private and discuss the thing. It's a very healthy approach to a pretend relationship! Heh. I loved this story.

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