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  • giorgis 3:55 pm on November 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    d144 Idiom Portent Generator 

    Inspired by my latest actual play, went ahead and created a d144 Idiom Portent Generator. I’ve used many portents in the past, but the use of idioms was the most inspiring to me.

    EDIT: updated to v1.2 for improved formatting

     
    • Todd Zircher 7:06 pm on November 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Pretty cool, always like to see more love for the d12. My only gripe is the spacing on the contents of the table. It just strikes me as odd. Not sure if there is a better way. Maybe landscape to give you more room? Something to play with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 7:08 pm on November 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! Yes, I wasn’t too happy with the formatting either. My first efforts in LaTex. I’ll play around with it some more!

        Like

    • Carl White 5:18 pm on December 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Very handy, thanks for sharing this! Always nice to have a new randomiser,. I can see this working nicely.

      Liked by 1 person

  • giorgis 10:52 pm on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    The Social Conflict Exchange 

    Most roleplaying games do not have in-depth mechanics for social interactions. In some, thought has been placed, and there are a few skills covering several types of interactions and even progress rolls, while in others it could be left out to a single personality attribute.
    This isn’t so much a problem in social tabletop RPGs where, there is a conversation between two different persons. One, the Game Master, emulating the NPC, and the other, the Player, emulating their PC.
    In solo roleplaying this missing link, is even more pronounced, since the GM and Player, both come down to the same person.
    While playing some crunchier combat systems I noticed, that sometimes, the increased effort to run them, payed off, as there was ample narrative feedback.
    So this is an attempt, to create a social interactions mechanics framework, to drive the conversation, and maybe return interesting results in the process, while reducing mental effort and player bias.
    I was very much inspired by several topics discussed in Solo RPGs: Let’s Talk About Dialogues YouTube video by RPG Tips.

    Conflict, in the scope of this framework includes major social interactions, not petty squabbles or small talk. It’s what makes or break you. Consider the equivalent of combat, but with no swords drawn.
    You try to convince someone, questioning their beliefs, lie to them about a fundamental truth or scare one into betraying their own.

    There are three dispositions with two ends of the spectrum each.
    (Defiance/Fear)
    (Hate/Love)
    (Suspicion/Trust)

    The Levels for each disposition go from 1 to 6 for Defiance to Fear, Hate to Love and Suspicion to Trust. You can write them down, but I recommend using three different colored six-side dice to represent each value as it changes through the exchange.
    I’d suggest Black for Fear, Red for Love and White for Trust, but go with whatever dice colors you have.

    Examples:

    • A town guard captain searching for fugitives in the player’s description could have the following dispositions: Trust 1, Love 3, Fear 3.
    • A fellow street urchin who saw their escape could have the following disposition: Trust 5, Love 4, Fear 2.
    • A civilian who doesn’t want to be bothered in case they find trouble, and is scared of meeting outlaws could have the following disposition: Trust 2, Fear 4, Love 3.

    Level 3,4 borders on indifference.
    Level 2,5 has strong feelings.
    Level 1,6 is a major driver. It’s what dictates the NPC’s actions towards the protagonist.

    You can choose the level of each disposition, roll randomly (1d6), or even hide it and reveal it afterwards to decrease metagaming. In that last option, you can also try to ‘read’ the disposition through the use of a skill such as perception (see further below).

    Some game systems have specialized social skills, while others could be so broad as to even have just a generic social attribute. In any case, depending on the success or failure of the attempted skill, and by how much (critical/marginal), the dispositions are modified by one level, as defined in the table below.

    ActionConCharmPersuasionIntimidation
    CS+L+L+T+F
    MS+L,-T+L,-T+T,-L+F,-L
    MF-T-L-T-F
    CF-L,-T-L,-F-T,-F-F,-L

    So a marginally successful charm attempt would both increase the Love disposition but also decrease Trust. Whereas a failed charm attempt would decrease the Love disposition.

    The exchange ends, whenever a disposition reaches (or remains at) level 1 dictating failure or level 6, dictating success. If the result is contradicting, having both 1 and 6 at the same time, then its a draw, and another attempt must be made, until the number of successes doesn’t equal the number of failures.

    Examples:

    • The protagonist tries to Con the town guard captain that they saw the fugitives heading in another direction and fails. This means that Trust remains at 1, and the captain doesn’t fall for their ruse. He draws his sword and sounds the alarm.
    • The protagonist tries to Persuade the street urchin that if they help them escape, they will reward them, and they are successful, raising the Trust to 6. The street urchin decides to risk their skin and take them through the back alleys and lay low in his shack.
    • As they stumble upon the civilian, the protagonist draws his finger across his neck, while making a gesture to stay silent, Intimidating them successfully. Fear increases to 5 while Love decreases to 2. The civilian still considers his options. These guys look scary, but maybe his hatred for outlaws will outweigh his fear and he will sound the alarm.

    The dispositions changes are not necessarily long term.
    If for example the protagonist tried to Intimidate a close friend into abandoning their cause, and this reduced their Love, it could last only for a few days. Feeling hurt, heal over time, just like wounds in battle.
    Likewise, a conned guard who let the protagonist into the compound, won’t still have increased Love disposition once they find out the truth.

    Note:
    While performing the skills, do not forget to add any modifiers, according to the game system.
    A bribery attempt would have a bonus or penalty according to the bribe. A persuasion attempt to a close friend would have a bonus. An intimidation attempt when you are outgunned would have a penalty.

    Reducing metagaming:
    If the player knows beforehand the dispositions of the target NPC, then they can choose which skill to use or avoid the social exchange altogether, thus giving them an unfair advantage.
    To reduce this advantage do the following:

    • Before starting any exchange, do a Perception or relative roll, to see if the protagonist can ‘read’ the target’s intentions. Apply any modifiers.
    • If successful, then either decide the disposition, roll randomly, or ask the Oracle. In any case, you know. Optionally, depending on the level of success, you may know only one or two of the three dispositions.
    • If unsuccessful, or partially successful, then if you decide to go ahead with the social exchange, then, run the first round of the exchange, and roll/ask the Oracle for the dispositions afterwards. This way, there is an extra risk involved. It’s implied that after exchanging a few words, you have understood what their disposition is.

    Now I need to playtest these rules, and post the results. I’m thinking a high diplomacy, low combat one-shot.

     
    • Manfred 10:14 am on October 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hi,
      Interesting approach. Have you playtested it and posted the results somewhere?
      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • giorgis 5:20 pm on October 5, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Hi,
        Unfortunately I haven’t playtested it. It’s something that’s been sitting in the back of my head but never gotten around to doing it. My current MERP sessions are combat-heavy so I don’t know if I’ll be able to squeeze it in.

        Like

        • Manfred 10:33 pm on October 6, 2020 Permalink

          OK, no worries. Let us know when you get round to it.

          Liked by 1 person

  • giorgis 9:03 pm on February 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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    A dogfighting experiment 

    Star Wars D6 Dogfighting with Hexflowers Take One

    Intro

    Whenever I run solo space combat in theater of the mind or map grid I found myself and the system lacking.
    I could not beat myself doing anything more than rush to enemy while the enemy rushed to me, and perform bootlegger turns when we passed each other…hardly satisfying.
    I need something else, to provide functionality, food for narrative, and a level of realism, and most of all enjoyable.

    Purpose

    The purpose of this experiment is to run dogfights in theater of the mind emulating a 3D environment.

    Scope

    Using the It came from above hex flower engine as a basis upon which to set a dogfighting framework.

    Prerequisites

    I’m using a success count system instead of standard D6 addition of dice vs target number.

    Dice Definitions

    Wild Die

    The Wild Die succeeds on a 3+, explodes on a 6, and generates a mishap on a roll of 1.
    All rolls except defense rolls, have a Wild Die, which replaces a Full Die. It is denoted as W.

    Full Die

    The Full Die is the most common die roll. It succeeds on 3+. It is denoted as F.

    Note: Wild Dice and Full Dice together are denoted as D.

    Half Die

    The Half Die has half the success chance of a Full Die. It succeeds on 5+. It is denoted as +2 or H.

    Quarter Die

    The Quarter Die has a quarter chance of success of a Full Die. It succeeds on 6 only. It is denoted as +1 or Q.

    Example

    A character with 2D+2, rolls one Wild Die, one Full Die and one Half Die

    Procedure

    1. Initialization phase. Roll Initiative. This has importance only in terms of ‘who shoots first’. Determine starting distance based on circumstances. In a standard dogfight where both combatants are aware of the imminent battle, a good starting distance is the lowest sensors Scan distance of the two crafts.
    2. Declaration phase. Declare actions. Multiple actions incur penalties according to game system. Each combatant chooses an opponent. Squadrons can be considered a single unit in terms of maneuver, led by the relative command skill of their commander.
    3. Piloting phase. Roll the piloting skill of each combatant, modified by their spacecraft’s maneuverability. Count each Piloting Success. Depending on the space ‘terrain’ (e.g. asteroids) you may need to assign one or more piloting dice to evading obstacles or risk a collision. The successes that remain can be used for evasion or orientation.
    4. Orientation phase. Roll 2d6 without wild die on the HFGE. If you wish you may spend Piloting Successes from step 2 to modify the orientation by one hex face per success spent.
      Attacking craft roll as Top Down attackers. Fleeing craft roll as Bottom Feeders.
    5. Movement phase. Roll the crafts movement dice (use 1ed or 2ed conversion). Deduct the results from the distance if the combatant has a front orientation, or add it if it has a rear orientation. Reduce the moved distance by a factor of two for each additional axis offset.
    6. Support actions phase. Running jammers, communications, shields, or whatever else.
    7. Gunnery phase. If the combatant has weapons facing in the direction of his orientation, then they can shoot if they declared so in the declaration phase. Shooting happens in the order of the initiative.
      Shooting difficulty is distance OR dodge (remaining piloting successes), whichever is greater.

    Note: For the center hex (#19), the combatant is free to choose front or rear orientation.

    Example #1

    A-Wing vs TIE fighter, clear space, standard dogfight.

    1. Initialization phase.
      Starting distance: 40 space units.
      Initiative.
      A-Wing: 3D: 4
      TIE: 3D: 0

    Turn 1.

    1. Declaration phase.
      A-Wing: -2D (Piloting, Shields, Gunnery).
      TIE: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery).
    2. Piloting phase.
      A-Wing: 7D: 3.
      TIE: 5D+1: 6.
    3. Orientation phase.
      A-Wing: 9: 6 (Front right flank and above). Spend one Piloting Success to move to 4 (Front right flank and level).
      TIE: 7: 2 (Front and above).
    4. Movement phase.
      A-Wing: 6D: 22. One axis offset (right flank).
      TIE: 5D: 10. One axis offset (above).
      Distance: 40-22/2-10/2 = 24.
    5. Support actions phase.
      A-Wing: Shields: 1D+1: 3 successes, they choose Front, Rear and Right shields.
    6. Gunnery phase.
      A-Wing: 5D+2: 3/6: Miss.
      TIE: 5D: 5/4: Hit: Damage: 5D/3D+2: 1/1: Shields blown (-1D).

    The A-Wing and TIE fighter target each other and approach at full speed. Each performs a large turn to try to get the advantage and they let off a burst of laser shots at each other. The TIE pilot manages to evade the A-Wing approaching from below and hits it from the right flank, blasting its shields.

    Turn 2.

    1. Declaration phase.
      A-Wing: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery).
      TIE: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery).
    2. Piloting phase.
      A-Wing: 8D: 6.
      TIE: 5D+1: 4.
    3. Orientation phase.
      A-Wing: 3: 19 (Front).
      TIE: 7: 12 (Rear and below). Spend 2 Piloting Successes to move to 3 (Front and below).
    4. Movement phase.
      A-Wing: 6D: 21. No axis offset.
      TIE: 5D: 22. One axis offset (below).
      Distance: 24-21-22/2 = -14. (14).
    5. Support actions phase.
      N/A.
    6. Gunnery phase.
      A-Wing: 6D+2: 4/4: Hit: Damage:
      5D/2D: 5/1: Destroyed.

    Now the A-Wing pilot no longer is distracted by trying to activate the shields and focuses on the dogfight. He spirals the star fighter and gets on the TIE fighter’s tail, who has to perform a complete loop and rotation to get the A-wing back on his sights. Before he has a chance to open fire, a salvo from the A-Wing obliterates the TIE fighter.


    Summary and Lessons learned:
    The A-Wing with superior pilots and technology won the dogfight, but easily, they could have lost.
    Now I’m not certain about the piloting success economy. I will be watching it closely.
    One thing that needs changing is the shooting arcs. Right now if you have something in Front you can shoot it with Front Weapons even if it’s offset in two axes (e.g Front Right Flank and Below). I intend to change this depending on distance. On long range you can shoot with two axes offset. On medium range you can shoot with one axis offset and on short range you can shoot only on direct (no offset).
    I would love to have narrative distance ranges and not be based on space units. It’s kind of weird how space combat ranges are implemented in RAW. I mean weapon ranges are impacting accuracy directly, as does fire control. Why have two different mechanics for the same thing? I have some thoughts in mind regarding this, regarding keeping only a maximum range per weapon type and have fixed penalties based on distance.
    Another thought that came to mind is when you get a negative distance, which means one opponent passed over the other, maybe there’s a collision chance. Or maybe you could use some piloting successes to reduce the ship speed. Or maybe one could choose any speed rating between 1D and max speed. I’m still thinking about and will playtest some variants.
    Finally I am still missing some narrative. I am thinking of implementing some maneuvers to be bought with piloting successes which will give specific effects.

    Star Wars D6 Dogfighting with Hexflowers Take Two

    Updated Rules:
    1. Shooting arc is limited to axis offset. Long range can be offset by two additional axes, medium can be offset by one axis, and close is direct shots only. Turrets are an exception. They can shoot direct on all their relative axes. Common sense applies.
    2. Distances are now
    Close (1-7)
    Short (8-15)
    Medium (16-30)
    Long (31-45)
    Far (46-60)
    Distant (61-75)
    Extreme (76-100)
    A weapon emplacement can shoot at the maximum distance range it has, but all suffer the same distance penalties. So, a Laser Cannon (max range 25, Medium) that shoots a target at Short range has the same chance to hit as a Missile (max range 15, Short).
    3. Speed is rolled as successes counts. Every additional axis offset reduces the maximum dice by one step (Full to Half to Quarter). Piloting Succeses can be assigned to increase the dice rolled for speed. Approaching combatants reduce the distance by the number of successes, otherwise the distance is increased or decreased according to the differences.
    Distance can’t be less than Close. If distance is greater than Extreme, then combat is over.
    3. Initiative needs to be rerolled every Turn. Mainly for fun factor, and because dogfighting is more abstract than grid combat. You have advantage one turn, you lose it the next.

    Additional Rules:

    1. Squadrons are lead by a squad leader. The leader uses the Command skill. Multiple action penalties apply normally. The Command difficulty is as per the skill. Any successfully commanded squaddies benefit from the combined action bonus dice to their piloting skills.
      The command test is rolled at the start of the piloting phase.
    2. Passive (Non-dogfighting) targets must roll 2d6 so that their targeter can identify their approach (for shield coverage, speed and distance, etc). The targeter can opt to spend their own piloting successes to change their target’s orientation (they pilot their craft in a way to get a specific approach).
      An example would be a squadron of TIE Bombers heading for a Corellian Corvette that are intercepted by A-Wings. If the TIE Bombers opt to continue towards the corvette, then they are considered passive targets for the A-Wings in terms of orientation. Their speed and dodge values on their dogfighting against the corvette is used against the A-Wings normally.
    3. Formations. Squadrons can fly in formations deducting 1D from Piloting and Speed, and rolling as one the speed and orientation.

    Example #2

    I’ll implement all the rules here, it’s going to be a complicated fight.

    2 Y-Wings are heading after a Lambda-class shuttle carrying a Rebel traitor. The shuttle runs on skeleton crew. 2 TIE Fighters are escorting the shuttle. Each squadron has a leader with a command of 4D.

    1. Initialization phase.
      Starting distance: Long.

    Turn 1.
    Rebels: Initiative: 0
    Imperials: Initiative: 0
    Concurrent events.

    1. Declaration phase.
      Y-Wing Leader: -2D (Command, Shields, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      Y-Wing Wingman -1D (Shields, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery)
      TIE Leader: -2D (Command, Piloting, Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Wingman: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery)
      Lambda Shuttle: -2D (Skeleton, Piloting), Bottom Feeder
    2. Piloting phase.
      Y-Wing Command: 1/2: Failure.
      TIE Command: 1/2: Failure.
      Y-Wing L: 3D+2: 3.
      Y-Wing W: 4D+2: 4.
      TIE L: 4D: 3.
      TIE W: 4D+1: 3.
      Lambda: 3D: 3.
    3. Orientation phase.
      Y-Wings: 11: 4 (Front right flank and level).
      TIEs: 6: 2 (Front & Above).
      Lambda: 10: 13 (Back left flank and level).
      Y-Wing Passive vs TIE: 8: 4 (Front right flank and level).
    4. Movement phase.
      Y-Wings will add 2 to speed.
      Y-Wings: 4D+2: Halved: 1.
      TIEs: 4D: Halved: 2.
      Lambda: 2D+2: Halved: 2.
      Distances of Y-Wings to TIEs: Close.
      Distances of Y-Wings to Lambda: Far.
    5. Support phase.
      Y-Wing L: Shields: 1D: 1: Front shields.
      Y-Wing W: Shields: 2D: 1: Front shields.
    6. Gunnery Phase.
      TIEs are too close to get a clear shot.
      Y-Wing L Turret shoots at TIE: 7D+1: 3/5: Miss.
      Y-Wing W Turret shoots at TIE: 7D+1: 3/5: Miss.

    Turn 2.
    Rebels: Initiative: 3
    Imperials: Initiative: 1

    1. Declaration phase.
      Y-Wing Leader: -1D (Command, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      Y-Wing Wingman -1D (Gunnery, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery)
      TIE Leader: -2D (Command, Piloting, Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Wingman: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery)
      Lambda Shuttle: -3D (Skeleton, Shields, Piloting), Bottom Feeder
    2. Piloting phase.
      Y-Wing Command: 2/2: Success.
      TIE Command: 1/2: Failure.
      Y-Wing L: 5D+2: 4.
      Y-Wing W: 5D+2: 4.
      TIE L: 4D: 2.
      TIE W: 4D+1: 7.
      Lambda: 3D: 3.
    3. Orientation phase.
      Y-Wings: 11: 9 (Back right flank and below). They spend 3 to move to 1 (Front and level).
      TIEs: 5: 6 (Front right flank and below). They spend 2 to move to 1 (Front and level).
      Lambda: 9: 14 (Back left flank and above).
      Y-Wing Passive vs TIE: 10: 9 (Back right flank and below).
    4. Movement phase.
      Y-Wings spend 1 to increase speed.
      Y-Wings: 4D+2: 4: vs TIE Quartered: 1.
      TIEs: 5D: 3.
      Lambda: 2D+2: Quartered: 0.
      Distances of Y-Wings to TIEs: Close.
      Distances of Y-Wings to Lambda: Close.
    5. Support phase.
      Lambda: Shields: 1D: 1: Rear Shields.
    6. Gunnery Phase.
      Y-Wing L Turret shoots at Lambda: 7D+1: 6/3: Hit: 4D/4D: 3/2: 2 Controls Ionized.
      Y-Wing W Turret shoots at Lambda: 7D+1: 4/3: Hit: 4D/4D: 3/1: 3 Controls Ionized. Ship Disabled.
      Y-Wing W Lasers shoot at Lambda: 5D+1: 2/3: Miss.
      TIE L shoots at Y-Wing L: 4D: 2/1: Hit: 5D/4D: 4/3: Lightly Damaged: Ship Loses 1D speed.
      TIE W shoots at Y-Wing W: 5D: 3/1: Hit: 5D/4D: 4/0: Destroyed

    Turn 3.
    Rebels: Initiative: 1
    Imperials: Initiative: 2

    1. Declaration phase.
      Y-Wing Leader: -1D (Gunnery, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Leader: -2D (Command, Piloting, Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Wingman: -1D (Piloting, Gunnery)
    2. Piloting phase.
      TIE Command: 2/2: Success.
      Y-Wing L: 5D+2: 4.
      TIE L: 5D: 2.
      TIE W: 5D+1: 2.
    3. Orientation phase.
      Y-Wing L: 8: 5 (Front right flank and above). They spend 2 to move to 19 (Front and level).
      TIEs: 7: 2 (Front and above).
    4. Movement phase.
      Y-Wing L: 2D+2: 0.
      TIEs: 4D: 3.
      Distances of Y-Wings to TIEs: Close.
    5. Support phase.
      N/A.
    6. Gunnery Phase.
      TIEs are too close and offset and can’t shoot.
      Y-Wing L Turret shoots at TIE L: 7D+1: 4/2: Hit: 4D/2D: 3/2: 2 Controls Ionized.
      Y-Wing L Lasers shoot at TIE W: 5D+1: 3/1: Hit: 5D/2D: 4/1: Severely Damaged: Structural Damage, will disintegrate in 1D rounds.

    Turn 4.
    Rebels: Initiative: 3
    Imperials: Initiative: 3

    1. Declaration phase.
      Y-Wing Leader: -1D (Gunnery, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Leader: Controls Ionized for 4 rounds.
    2. Piloting phase.
      Y-Wing L: 5D+2: 4.
    3. Orientation phase.
      Y-Wing L: 12: 10 (Rear and level). They spend 3 to move to 1 (Front and level).
      TIEs: 8: 18 (Front left flank and below).
    4. Movement phase.
      Y-Wing L: 2D+2: 1.
      TIE: 4D: 2.
      Distances of Y-Wings to TIEs: Close.
    5. Support phase.
      N/A.
    6. Gunnery Phase.
      Y-Wing L Turret shoots at TIE L: 7D+1: 6/1: Hit: 4D/2D: 1/0: 2 Controls Ionized.
      Y-Wing L Lasers shoot at TIE L: 5D+1: 5/1: Hit: 5D/2D: 3/1: Heavily Damaged: -2D Moves.

    Turn 5.
    Rebels: Initiative: 3
    Imperials: Initiative: 2

    1. Declaration phase.
      Y-Wing Leader: -1D (Gunnery, Piloting), Co-Pilot: – (Gunnery), Top Down Attacker
      TIE Leader: Controls Ionized for 7 rounds.
    2. Piloting phase.
      Y-Wing L: 5D+2: 6.
    3. Orientation phase.
      Y-Wing L: 6: 3 (Front and above). They spend 3 to move to 1 (Front and level).
      TIEs: 9: 3 (Front and below).
    4. Movement phase.
      Y-Wing L: 2D+2: 0.
      TIE: 5D: 3.
      Distances of Y-Wings to TIEs: Close.
    5. Support phase.
      N/A.
    6. Gunnery Phase.
      Y-Wing L Turret shoots at TIE L: 7D+1: 7/1: Hit: 4D/2D: 2/0: 3 Controls Ionized: ship is disabled.
      Y-Wing L Lasers shoot at TIE L: 5D+1: 5/1: Hit: 5D/2D: 1/2: No damage

    Summary and Lessons learned: Initially I thought I overdid it. Too complicated. But then it struck me. I run a combat with 5 spacecrafts in 3 groups!
    I mean this would have taken me ages to work out otherwise.
    Okay at certain points it felt too wargamey, and maybe I need to take a look at 1ed starship combat rules. Maybe there’s something that would speed things up.
    Overall I’m quite content with the results for now, and will keep that in mind for my next Star Wars D6 game.

     
  • giorgis 9:32 pm on January 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Clocks,   

    Unbeohrt’s Story – A simple experiment with secret clocks 

    Introduction

    In this session I will run a simple Sword & Sorcery adventure to test an example of the Secret Clocks that I posted about last time.
    This is as much as an example as an experiment. Nothing will be modified. This means that if the protagonist dies before having a chance to trigger the clock, then that’s it.
    Setting: pulp low fantasy sword and sorcery.
    Game system: Savage Worlds Deluxe Explorer’s Edition
    Oracle: Recluse
    Tools: Game Master’s Apprentice basic deck
    Clock: Independent Secret Clock

    Prologue

    “The tracks lead inside”. Hulfa lifts his head off the ground like a hound stalking its prey.
    “Let’s go then!” Unbeohrt unseathes his two swords and steps inside the dimly lit ruins.
    Hulfa stands motionless.
    “Chief Tane didn’t pay me to accompany you Unbeohrt. Only to track the kidnappers.” He replies.
    “Begone then you filthy curr! I’ll deal with them alone.” Unbeohrt doesn’t stay to see Hulfa leave. Time is of the essence. The Kazami, the tribe of the filthy short apemen who have pestered his people for generations, raided his village and kidnapped chieftain Tane’s daughter, Atrin. Symas, the seer has advised the chieftain that they are to sacrifice her to Mannazuu, their cthonic deity.
    Unbeohrt’s drew the shorter stick, and now here he was, stepping upon the cold, ancient stones that comprise the ruins of the temple to Mannazuu.

    Protagonist

    NameUnbeohrt
    ArchetypeFighter, Fencer
    RaceHuman
    HindrancesHeroic, Loyal, Outsider
    EdgesFlorentine, Two Fisted, Ambidextrous
    Weapons2 x short sword
    ArmorLeather armor

    Dungeon

    I will be using the Dragon Quest board to run this dungeon romp.
    The adventure will begin in the central south main room.
    Upon entry of each new room, I will be rolling 1dn to get the number of exits. Where n is the number of possible exits based on the map board, including the entrance of the room.
    In addition on each new room I will draw a GMA card and pick whatever of the senses feedback makes more sense.
    If any of the GMA cards includes both a 👑 and a 🎯 symbol, it’s going to be the final room, and the sacrifice clock will be revealed. Atrin, the Apeman shaman and the Apeman chieftain will be in the room.
    The last possible room will include them if they haven’t triggered until then.
    Each room except the final will have 1d6-1d6 number of apemen.
    Note: For the first two rooms I had rolled 1d3+1, but then I quickly realized that I need to have a chance for no encounters, and I came up with this new rule.

    Opposition

    Standard apemen will have the goblin stats.
    The apemen guards of the last room will have the orc stats.
    The apeman chieftain will have the orc chieftain stats without the armor.
    The apeman shaman will have orc stats and d8 in miracles and Stun and Entangle.

    Sacrifice Clock

    The sacrifice clock will be an Independent Secret Clock.
    Each turn I will draw face down a poker card from a blue deck (since Savage Worlds uses standard poker decks for initiative, I will use a separate red deck). Three consecutive clubs ♣️ will mean that the sacrifice clock has triggered and Atrin has been killed. Revelation of the clock will be performed when Unbeohrt enters the room were Atrin is being held.

    entrance

    Turn 1

    Exits: 2
    Apemen: 4
    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: Unbeohrt (U): Q♥️, Apemen (A): 6♦
    U: attacks A1: 5/5: Hit: 8/4: Dead
    U: attacks A2: 21/5: Hit+: 7/4: Shaken
    A2: Spirit: 1/4: Fail, Shaken
    A3: attacks U: 2/8: Miss
    A4: attacks U: 3/8: Miss

    Turn 2

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: 10♥, A: 2♥
    U: attacks A3: 8/5: Hit: 9/4: Dead
    U: attacks A4: 7/5: Hit: 7/4: Shaken
    A2: Spirit: 7/4: Success, will act on next round
    A3: Spirit: 1/4: Fail, Shaken

    Turn 3

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: 7♦, A: K♦
    A2: attacks U: 5/8: Miss
    A3: Spirit: 4/4: Success, will act on next round
    U: attacks A2: 9/5: Hit+: 11/4: Dead
    U: attacks A3: 12/6: Hit+: 6/4: Shaken

    Turn 4

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: Joker, A: 8♦, Deck reshuffled.
    U: attacks A3: 13/6: Hit+: 10/4: Dead

    The dimly torch lit entrance is damp, but the air isn’t stale. There has been movement. A few steps forward, and Unbeohrt comes face to face with four short apemen, who curse something in their language and lash at him with spiked clubs and makeshift spears. They block his way to both doors that lead deeper into the temple.
    With a natural flow of movement, he guts one of them open, while hacking at the second. His dance-like posture evades their raw attacks, and one by one, the rest of the apemen fall under his twin blades.

    Turn 5

    Unbeohrt enters the left side room.
    Exits: 4
    Apemen: 4
    GMA Card: clock not revealed.
    Sensory Snippet: A scream
    Unbeohrt: Notice: 5/4: Success. I roll randomly. The scream sounded from behind him. He must have gone the wrong way.
    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️Joker, A: 8♦, Deck reshuffled.
    U: attacks A1: 5/5: Hit: 7/4: Shaken
    U: attacks A2: 10/5: Hit+: 20/4: Dead
    A3: attacks U: 5/8: Miss
    A4: attacks U: 1/8: Miss
    Note: Totally forgot to roll for recovering from shaken for A1 in this turn.

    Turn 6

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️4♣, A: 8♥
    A1: Spirit: 3/4: Fail, Shaken
    A3: attacks U: 2/8: Miss
    A4: attacks U: 2/8: Miss
    U: attacks A1: 4/5: Miss
    U: attacks A3: 5/5: Hit: 5/4: Shaken

    Turn 7

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️5♥, A: 3♣
    U: attacks A1: 16/5: Hit+: 15/4: Dead
    U: attacks A4: 13/5: Hit+: 12/4: Dead
    A1: Spirit: 2/4: Fail, Shaken

    Turn 8

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️Joker, A: K♥, Deck reshuffled.
    U: attacks A1: 5/5: Hit: 10/4: Dead

    western room

    Having opened the path, Unbeohrt enters the door to his left. He has barely managed to open it, and gaze upon four more apemen groveling, when a loud female scream is heard behind him. ‘It must be Atrin!’ he thinks. He’s about to turn back, but he isn’t the only one who heard the scream. The four apemens’ attention has turned to him. They present their weapons and charge at him.
    He makes short work of them, without getting even a single scratch in the process. Both his short swords are now covered in blood, and he wipes it off in the fur of one of the dead apemen, as he rushes back to find the origin of the scream.

    Turn 9

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Unbeohrt returns and enters the right side room which is a passageway.
    Exits: 2
    Apemen: 0
    GMA Card: clock not revealed.
    Sensory Snippet: Tread on something gummy

    Turn 10

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Unbeohrt enters the only other room.
    Exits: 3
    Apemen: 3
    GMA Card: clock not revealed.
    Sensory Snippet: The air is hazy
    Note: a bit confused with my ntoes here, as the combat begins in the next turn. Maybe Unbeohrt was out of moves.

    Turn 11

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️Q♣, A: 4♦
    U: attacks A1: 10/5: Hit+: 10/4: Dead
    U: attacks A2: 4/5: Miss
    A2: attacks U: 7/8: Miss
    A3: attacks U: 1/8: Miss

    Turn 12

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Initiative: U: ️J♥, A: 8♠
    U: attacks A2: Snake Eyes: Benny: 8/5: Hit: 8/4: Dead
    U: attacks A3: 14/5: Hit+: 15/4: Dead

    Following the general direction of the scream, Unbeohrt enters a narrow passageway. He steps upon a weird gooish substance and continues to the only door on the side. As he enters, he comes across three surprised apemen. They begin muttering something, but Unbeohrt doesn’t waste time in conversation. He slits the throat of one, while his friends charge. He ducks down their swings and with a quick strike, extending both his arms, he stabs them both, spilling their blood to the ground.
    Quickly he continues down the ruined temple.

    Turn 13

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Unbeohrt enters the room continuing east.
    Exits: 2
    Apemen: 0
    GMA Card: clock not revealed.
    Sensory Snippet: Soggy crumbling ground
    The ground isn’t safe. If Unbeohrt isn’t careful we may fall down in a pit. I’ll see first if he notices it.
    Notice: 5/4: Success. He notices it so he doesn’t fall in.
    Q: Can he reach the other side to the door without falling?
    A: Yes, and it’s quite safe, there is no danger (no need to roll).
    Unbeohrt reaches the other side.

    Turn 14

    sacrifice clock card drawn face down.
    Unbeohrt enters the southeastern corner room.
    GMA Card: ♕, ☉. The sacrificial clock is triggered!.

    revealed cards

    She’s alive!

    Apemen: 1d6+1 = 4. 2 apemen guards, the apemen chief and the apemen shaman.

    As he walks through the rubble, he notices that the supports are barely standing. Unbeohrt walks to the side of the wall where the bricks are still connected to the foundation and reaches the entrance to the other side.
    As he walks past the arched entrance, he hears a grunted chanting in an unknown language. Upon an altar is Atrin. She’s still alive! Unbeohrt breathes out a sigh of relief. But the sickled blade in the hand of the robed apeman alerts him of the imminent danger. Three apemen are holding her down. These are big ones, unlike the short variety he met before. And the one in the middle is even bigger, resembling a gorilla.
    Unbeohrt grits his teeth. That’s his moment. He swore a vow to chief Tane. Atrin needs his help.
    His blade flashing he jumps in the room. “Eat my steel you primitives!” He shouts to attract their attention and charges.

    Initiative: U: Q♥, A: 2♦, Shaman (S): Q♦, Chieftain (C): 9♣, Atrin (At): A♥
    Atrin is still under the strong hold of the apemen.
    U: attacks A1: 10/5: Hit+: 18/4: Dead
    U: attacks A2: 10/5: Hit+: 12/4: Dead
    S: casts Stun to U: 10/4: Success+. U: Vigor-2: 1: Failure: Shaken.
    C: attacks U: 10/8: Hit: 11/6: Wounded. Benny: U: Vigor: 5/4: Not Wounded.

    Turn 15

    Initiative: U: 8♦,S: A♠, C: 2♠, At: 6♦
    S: casts Entangle to U: 9 vs 7: Success
    U: Spirit: 25/4: Success+: Not shaken, can act!
    U: attacks C: 9/8: Hit: 8/8: Shaken
    U: attacks C: 7/8: Miss
    Q: Does Atrin attempt to fight?
    A: False Presupposition. She runs away, out of the door.
    C: Spirit: 8/4: Success+: Not shaken, can act!
    C: attacks U: 6/8: Miss

    Turn 16

    Initiative: U: 10♥,S: 3♥, C: K♣
    C: attacks U: 10/8: Hit: 12/6: Wounded. Benny: U: Vigor: 3/4: Failure, Wounded
    U: Agility: 5/4: Breaks free of Entangle
    U: attacks C: 8/8: Hit: 11/8: Shaken
    U: attacks C: 8/8: Hit: 12/8: Wounded
    S: attacks U: 2/8: Miss

    Turn 17

    Initiative: U: 2♥,S: 4♣, C: 10♠
    C: Spirit: 9/4: Success+: Not shaken, can act!
    C: attacks U: 10/8: Hit: 22/6: Dead

    Resolution

    With a quick feint and slash, Unbeohrt cuts off the heads of the two apemen guards who turned to face him.
    The apeman shaman mutters something in their unknown language, and Unbeohrt suddenly feels a wave of despair filling every fiber of his being. He cannot bring himself to fight back as the gorilla-man brings down a huge two handed battle axe on him, and he barely manages to dodge it in time.
    Atrin finds the opportunity in the fight and runs off from the way Unbeohrt came. Neither of the two apemen goes after her as they are preoccupied with the warrior in front of them.
    With another spell, dark tentacles sprout from between the gaps in the stone floor, distracting Unbeohrt. They grab his arms, his legs, hindering his movements. He manages to break off the first spell and attack the gorilla man, slashing at him, as he momentarily stops his attack. But he’s too strong to be stopped that easily, he brings down his axe once more wounding Unbeohrt. The warrior gathers his strength and with agility he evades the tentacles, slashing off a couple of them. He pays back the gorilla-man with a wound of his own, spilling the blood of his leg.
    The huge apeman growls and with a quick strike, he aims right for Unbeohrt’s torso. The warrior puts both his swords in front of him in a futile attempt to block the strike, but its too strong. The swords are broken in half and the heavy axe blade splits open Unbeohrt’s chest, his leather armor doing nothing to save him.

    As he spits blood in his final breath, he can but hope that Atrin reached Hulfa in the outside, and she escaped, so that his death was not all in vain.

    Summary

    Savage Worlds was an excellent choice for running a one-shot example. I really liked it. Fast, furious, fun indeed! The Wild Card status of Unbeohrt gave him the upper hand, and since it’s the first time I used the Fighter, Fencer archetype, I must say I was pleasently surprised as the two-non-penalty attacks were an excellent boost for the solo game action economy. The dice didn’t favor him in the end against the gorilla chieftain (who was unbalanced against him), and he ended up dying. Maybe if he hadn’t spent that one Benny to kill the apeman in the room before, he would still be alive. Nevertheless he managed to save Atrin (most probably) and took down 13 apemen before he died!

    Clock

    Now on to the Secret Clock. I must say I really enjoyed it. Even though at first I was like, okay there’s nothing going on, when I started gathering the cards, when the time for revelation came, I was so excited! And the fact that if I had chosen a different suit (spades for example) the clock would be triggered, is an excellent example of how close I came to find the ritual concluded. I am looking forward to trying the rest of the examples I have in mind.

     
  • giorgis 11:19 pm on January 22, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Secret Clocks in Solo Play 

    Introduction

    The dragon has swooped down in the village and the elders offered him a maiden as tribute. A young barbarian slayer has come to the rescue, delving into the dungeon to save the fair lady.
    Dark cultists have gathered in the ancient cavern. The stars are right and the ritual has begun to summon the thing that should not be into the mortal world. Two detectives and a medium have deciphered the ancient texts and are rushing to stop them.
    The bank robbery went awry and it has turned into a hostage situation. The police have surrounded the bank but have no eyes inside. The breach from the special forces is about to begin.
    The chaos space troopers have broken into the nuclear fission reactor of the metropolis and are setting it up to meltdown while at the same time they prepare the scientists for ritualistic sacrifice to their deities. Orbital drop from imperial space troopers is imminent.

    All the above are perfectly valid adventure themes in a tabletop RPG.

    What will the protagonists encounter once they reach the final scene?
    Will the barbarian have slaughtered scores of enemies to find the dragon’s belly full or will he find a maiden ready to fall in his arms?
    Will the detective reach the grand chamber to encounter an ancient horror ending all life on earth, or will they find the cultists still chanting?
    Will the special forces breach the bank to find the treasury wide open, hostages dead or will they find the robbers still considering their options, surprised from the assault?
    Will the imperial space troopers save the scientists and lose everything in a huge meltdown or will they save the city, but find them mutilated? Will they split their forces and risk it all?

    All these questions are solved either arbitrarily, by the GM, or in solo RPGs by asking the Oracle, or through another tool, which is the Clocks.

    A clock can be fixed, e.g. 10 in-game minutes, perchance, e.g. roll 19+ on 1d20, variable, e.g. roll 20+ on 1d20+number of turns, and/or modifiable based on certain events.

    In all cases it suffers from a serious metagaming issue. The moment the clock is triggered, the player knows it and has no motivation to keep going on.
    That isn’t a problem when the clock is fixed in-story as well, e.g. the space pirates will ‘space’ one prisoner every 5 minutes unless they are given the set amount of ransom. The player knows and the character knows.
    What about cases such as the examples above? Let’s say the barbarian is in the second dungeon room and the event is triggered. He won’t get his reward if the maiden is killed. Why go on? revenge only. Suddenly an interesting story has become a chore.
    That’s the issue to tackle here, with the use of Secret Clocks.

    Purpose

    Provide a solo gaming mechanic to maintain tension and the unknown factor in major story events where the time is against the protagonist.

    Scope

    Variable, perchance and modifiable clocks.
    Fixed clocks are out of scope.

    Procedure

    Expand upon the premise set by the Background Surprise Events Oracle by using a tangible, physical token as provided by a deck of cards.

    Base trigger

    Once the clock starts ticking, draw a card (default: face down), per each time unit. For a dungeon a good time unit would be a turn. Assign up to four clocks, on each of the suits. If three consecutive cards of the same suit are drawn (e.g. three spades), the clock is triggered.
    If you only have one clock, the base chance can be increased, by deciding on ANY suits (e.g. three spades OR three clubs OR three hearts or three diamonds), ANY suits of a specific color (e.g. three spades OR three clubs), or ANY color (e.g. three clubs OR spades).

    Independent Secret Clocks

    An Independent Secret Clock is one that:

    • Isn’t impacted by other clocks
    • Doesn’t impact other clocks
    • Isn’t impacted by player actions
    • Doesn’t get revealed on its own

    A good example of an Independent Secret Clock would be the dragon that has taken the maiden. No other clock impacts the dragon’s decision to eat the maiden. Also if the maiden is eaten it won’t impact any other clock rather than the story. The dragon is mighty, even if he learns of the barbarian’s assault that won’t cause an urge to be done with the maiden, so it isn’t impacted by the player’s actions. Finally, even if the dragon eats the maiden, the player won’t know it until the very moment that they enter the room.
    The Independent Secret Clock is drawn face down and uses the default base trigger. The revelation of the clock is performed upon entering the respective scene. By keeping the cards in order, you can also understand how much time has elapsed since the clock was triggered, if this is relevant to the story.

    Dependent Secret Clocks

    A Dependent Clock is one that:

    • Is impacted by other clocks
    • OR impacts other clocks
    • Isn’t impacted by player actions
    • Doesn’t get revealed on its own

    A good example of a Dependent Secret Clock would be if we changed the dragon in the maiden example with an evil sorcerer who will use the maiden for a dark ritual that will give him immense power. Here we have two clocks. One clock for the life of the maiden, and one clock for the conclusion of the ritual. The clocks are dependent, the ritual can’t be performed if the maiden isn’t sacrificed. So the ritual clock is impacted by the sacrifice clock. The clocks aren’t impacted by the player actions. The sorcerer must take his time to perform the ritual as described or they risk failure. Also the player won’t know of the success of the ritual AND/OR the performance of the sacrificial killing unless they enter the main temple chamber.
    The two Dependent Secret Clocks are drawn face down and use the default base trigger. The revelation of the clocks is performed upon entering the respective scene. By keeping the cards in order, you can also understand how much time has elapsed since each of the clocks were triggered, if this is relevant to the story. It is recommended to use ANY suits of a specific color for both the two clocks, but the impacting clock will trigger first always. So for example if three spades OR three clubs are drawn, the maiden is sacrificed, and then if the other suit of the same color is drawn, the ritual has been performed.

    Impacted Secret Clocks

    An Impacted Secret Clock is one that:

    • Isn’t impacted by other clocks
    • Doesn’t impact other clocks
    • Is impacted by player actions
    • Doesn’t get revealed on its own

    A good example of an Impacted Secret Clock would be if we changed the dragon and sorcerer in the above story with an orc boss waiting for a ransom in exchange for the maiden. If the orc boss becomes aware of the protagonist trying to thwart their plans, then they may kill the maiden, since she no longer provides leverage. The clock is independent by other clocks and doesn’t impact any other clocks. And also, the player won’t be aware of the event unless they finally confront the orc boss.
    The Impacted Secret Clock is drawn face down and uses the default base trigger. The revelation of the clock is performed upon entering the respective scene. By keeping the cards in order, you can also understand how much time has elapsed since the clock was triggered, if this is relevant to the story. If at any point there is a chance for the player’s actions and presence to become aware (e.g. a stealth roll is failed and the orc guards run off to an unknown direction), then from that point on increase the speed of the clock, by drawing twice as many cards per time unit.

    Known Trigger Clocks

    A Known Trigger Clock is one that:

    • May or may not be impacted by other clocks
    • May or may not impact other clocks
    • May or may not be impacted by player actions
    • Is revealed on its own

    A good example of a Known Trigger Clock would be if the dark ritual by the evil sorcerer example above, would instead summon a dark entity from the skies, that will engulf the entire region. When this event is triggered, the player and the protagonist becomes aware, no matter their location.
    The Known Trigger Clock is drawn face up and uses the default base trigger. But! the trigger isn’t preset. So when drawing the cards face up, once three cards of ANY suit come up consecutively, ask the Oracle a Yes/No Question: Is this the suit of the clock?
    The likelihood of the question for the first suit is Unlikely. If No, this suit is disregarded from questions from the Oracle for this particular clock in the future.
    The likelihood of the question for the second suit that triggers is unmodified. If No, this suit is disregarded from questions from the Oracle for this particular clock in the future.
    The likelihood of the question for the third suit that triggers is Likely. If No, this suit is disregarded from questions from the Oracle for this particular clock in the future.
    The likelihood of the fourth suit that triggers (if all suits trigger) is 100%. No question is asked to the Oracle.
    A Known Trigger Clock can be Dependent or Independent. If it impacts another clock, then, the impacted clock can be secret until revealed. If it is impacted by another clock, then consider the other clock as a Known Trigger Clock as well, using the rules for Dependent clocks for trigger chance.
    A Known Trigger Clock can also be Impacted by player actions, doubling the draw speed as per the relevant rules.
    The Known Trigger Clock is like Schroediger’s Cat. It is hidden and revealed at the same time. You see the drawings, but you can’t be certain until it triggers.
    A Known Trigger Clock could use a dice mechanic if that was desired, but in order to keep the harmonization with the other clocks, and to combine different clock properties together, the deck of cards was chosen as an option.

    Decks, Clocks, Locations

    It’s recommended to use one deck of cards per location for secret clocks, and a separate deck of cards for known clocks.

    Options

    These may be rules, but most of all they are guidelines. Random events could be inserted by using Jokers, special details could be chosen by the type of cards in the trigger sequence.

     
  • giorgis 12:33 am on November 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    To the battlements! 

    Inspired by Goblin’s Henchman Hex Flower Game Engines, I’ve decided to design one of my own, to run a siege. I will run it as a framework alongside my next solo adventure, where the defender is the lord of a keep, about to be overwhelmed by the enemy, and each turn, they will have to face off the odds one way or another. So, this means I have not playtested it yet, and there’s a chance there’s going to be a version 2. if this one isn’t to my liking.

    To the battlements!

    To the battlements!

     

     
  • giorgis 1:43 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Background Surprise Events Oracle 

    This ruleset and it’s playtesting will be my contribution to Solo Gaming Appreciation Month. During the playtest I may need to modify the ruleset, and it’s going to be finalized after the playtest adventure is complete.

    So this idea has been bothering me a while now. How to deal with events running in the background that your character wouldn’t know?

    In social TTRPGs the GM rolls some things behind his screen and you as a player have no idea what is going on.

    Then suddenly, in the next town you are arrested by the militia. The burgomeister was running the fence of the weapons shipment you intercepted in the name of the king and he was notified by a survivor.
    Or your thief barely escaped from the castle with a hefty jewel. He rides off, and a while later he finds out the constable’s men are after him.

    How can we emulate this, by keeping the element of surprise? I know the Oracles have chaos factors and interventions which you can use to add such events, but it feels too random, disconcerted, and on the whim of the solo player to use. I want something separate, running on the side.
    First of all dice as a check are out of the question. If you roll dice, then you know the result, which ruins any surprise and the sense of worry. This leaves me with cards as a randomizer. I will be using a deck of poker cards with jokers.

    So here goes:

    Choose one time unit for card drawing and one for resolution. I find a general rule for Day-Week is quite good, but you may want something more tense.

    Each day, draw a card, face down, and put it aside. Do this for the entire week. The order matters so don’t mix the cards, but put them one on top of the other.
    At the end of the week, reveal the drawn cards. If you get 3 or more cards of the same suit in a row, then there is an event. If you get 3 or more cards of the same suit, spread between other suits, then you get a rumor on an event, and if this happens again in one of the next two weeks, then an event is generated. If two different suits both happen, then the suit that wins is the one with more cards. If it’s a tie, then it’s the one with the highest total. Jokers can be applied to suits of the same color. Order still applies.

    For type of event see the following table.

    |Suits|Event|
    |—|—|
    |Hearts|Relationship, Family|
    |Diamonds|Debt, Weregild|
    |Clubs|Wanted, Hunted|
    |Spades|Wound, Disease|

    So for example:
    If you get an event in Diamonds, then maybe someone the party killed had a wife and kids. He is tracked down and asked to pay a Weregild to the victims family. This can go back to something that happened several adventures ago.
    If you get an event in Clubs, then maybe a wanted poster is raised on the characters because of the fight they had in the inn.
    If you get an event in Hearts, then maybe a friend has come to ask a favor owed.
    If you get an event in Spades, then maybe that rat bite you had when clearing the basement from the giant critters was diseased, or an old wound from the past has reopened.

    In any case when the event is revealed, it’s always connected to something that had happened in the past. If the adventure is still new and there are no past events, try to connect it to the character’s background.

    The event should always give a chance for the player to avoid it or come on top of the situation.
    If for example the character is hunted down in the city and he’s not actively laying low, roll a search/tracking/whatever skill for the hunters against a fixed difficulty. If he’s actively laying low, then the roll is opposed vs the character’s sneak/hide/stealth roll. If he’s found, then check for ambush and run the encounter, if not, then he’s made aware of his hunters presence. For example the homeless kid could run to him in the inn, and tell him that some nefarious looking figures are asking about him.

    Now, if an event has triggered in the week, really early, the event will have a bonus when rolling on avoidance. For example if the hunters were on the character’s trail since Monday, and now it’s Sunday, then they had ample time to find him and ambush him maybe.

    What I like about this mechanic is that it gives the player a warning at certain times, and also the results are hidden until revealed. For example if you had a ‘rumor’ on spades, and you felt that old wound bothering you when straining, maybe you start to take things slow to avoid reopening it. So you spend the next two weeks avoiding close combat and not responding to the insults of the thugs in the tavern, just to make sure that you will have an opposed healing roll if required. Then the two weeks pass and spades events didn’t trigger, and you took all those precautions for nothing.
    Or you had a ‘rumor’ trigger in clubs and you overheard the merchant about how a caravan was attacked and they are looking to find who did it. You know your character was involved, so he lays low, and when the event triggers next week in clubs, you have the bonus opposed roll for laying low.
    In addition it’s a way to connect game character creation disadvantages such as Hindrances, Banes or whatever else they are called.

    So, considering the cards instead of dice again, I realize it’s all about the feel. This could be done with a nice table and probabilities on a d100 die.
    But having the cards face down, makes one wonder about what’s going on each day that they don’t know about.

    Also maybe there could other side rules. If the player has a sixth sense, an active web of spies, insight skill, or is clairvoyant, maybe they could reveal a card in the middle of the week, based on a successful roll, and prepare accordingly.

    If for any reason, the character is otherwise occupied (in a dungeon, in hyperspace) then keep drawing cards face down, but reveal them only when he is back.

    Optional rules:
    If there are more than 3 cards of the same suit, then increase the intensity of the event.

     
  • giorgis 5:28 pm on August 8, 2019 Permalink
    Tags:   

    Putting a Face to the Name 

    When I was first introduced to the world of roleplaying games, it was through Dragon Quest by TSR.

    I would spend a lot of time just looking at the gorgeous artwork of the books.

    The red dragon pictured inside, was so vivid that I can still recall it, and it’s how I imagine red dragons up to this day.

    I find that visualization is an important aspect in roleplaying, and anything that helps in visualization, is a great aide to the game in general.

    Alas, my drawing skills are nowhere close to good (maybe someday I will practice them along with other things I would like to learn to do better but never had the time). So I have to resort to software tools to help me- and here are the tools I stumbled upon to create faces for the protagonists of my Star Wars D6 sandbox solo play.

    First I used the face generator in http://thispersondoesnotexist.com until I found a result I liked (lots of rerolls, mind you).

    Then I used a sketch filter (my personal choice- Heisenberg from Prism app) to give a cartoonish look.

    So here is Roy

    ..and here is Luca

     
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