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James Knevitt
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James Knevitt

News From the Near Now  - 
 
2016.
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James Knevitt's profile photoJason McDonald's profile photoDean Gilbert's profile photoCameron Lyle's profile photo
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I for one can't wait. Big thanks to everyone involved for endeavoring to resurrect a classic that was ahead of its time.
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James Knevitt

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You should probably use tsu.co. Only you can decide why.
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James Knevitt

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Fun fact: my company makes the magic robot that Elon Muskrat is using.
 
This pretty much made my day. 
An ongoing project attempting to explain our highly intangible, deeply disruptive, data-driven, venture-backed, gluten-free economic meritocracy to the uninitiated. With apologies to Richard Scarry.
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James Knevitt

Discussion  - 
 
I'm planning a DELTA GREEN one-shot online game (via Google Hangouts).

I'm looking specifically for players that have government agency, military, or law enforcement experience, but all are welcome. No experience with Call of Cthulhu or DELTA GREEN is required, and I'd actually prefer players who have not played either. (Again, this is not a deal-breaker if you have, which is highly likely.)

I will have five slots available. Once I have enough interest, we will collectively work out a day/time.

If things go well, I'm looking to spin it out into a full campaign played online.

Any takers?
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James Knevitt

General Discussion  - 
 
I'm looking into a Golarion-based 13th Age game and since Golarion deliberately does not have powerful NPCs for its own sake, organizations fill that role. This puts me in a bind when working out replacement Icons.

Has anyone had experience running organizations instead of individuals as Icons? (While one could say that the default Icons represent a figure AND their support organizations, I'm talking about the organization itself filling the role of an Icon.)*



* For example, instead of the Prince of Shadows, a character might have a positive relationship with the Blackblade Syndicate.
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In my world there is, oh yes. That will be a ~really~ fun plotline when it finally comes out.
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James Knevitt

Homebrew Rules  - 
 
Here's something I'm playing with. I think I may have cribbed the idea from somewhere, but can't recall where.

PASSIONS
Each character has three Passions: Ambition, Allegiance, and Desire. Each Passion represents a driving force behind the character's motivations. While Icon Relationships represent ties to powerful figures ("who they know") and Backgrounds represent a character's personal history and knowledge ("where they come from"), Passions represent a character's drives and motivations at the most fundamental level ("where they are going").

Rather than spending 8 points on Backgrounds, players may spend 15 points between Passions and Backgrounds, to a maximum of +5 in a Background and +3 in a Passion. (This represents a character placing more emphasis alternately on their past or their future)

When a character is in a situation where a Passion is relevant or useful, a player may add the Passion to the die roll (in the same way Backgrounds work). In the circumstance where a Passion and a Background may be used together, they stack. This encourages players to a) proactively pursue their character's Passions, and b) develop Backgrounds and Passions together as part of their character's overall story. 

Unlike Backgrounds, Passions may be used in combat. People fight harder when driven towards a goal. GMs need to be careful about players trying to apply their Passions in combat in an overly broad manner, though. Passion bonuses should apply in combat only when the Passion is applied in a very focused way.

If a Passion is somehow fulfilled (the character meets their Ambition, etc) then the player may, with the GM's permission, decide on a new Passion to replace it. The player can also re-allocate their Passion points when a new Passion is decided. This represents a character reassessing their motivations at a major turning point in their life.

The Passions are:

Ambition: “What do you seek?” Ambition is a major accomplishment your character has set for themselves. This isn’t a small goal, but rather a passionate focus that your character will do almost anything to achieve.

Allegiance: “Who do you serve?” Allegiance is who (or what) you swear allegiance to -- who (or what) you are willing to fight and die for. This doesn’t need to be a person or organization; it can be a place, a thing, or an idea. This may be an Icon or something else entirely.

Desire: “What do you want?”  Desire is your character’s burning drive to have something they don’t already have. Often, this is a person or thing. This isn’t simply a want; this is a want. A craving, a hungering for a person or thing your character does not (or cannot) have.
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Bri Anderson's profile photoTim Baker's profile photoJames Knevitt's profile photoMichael B.'s profile photo
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Sorry...late to this party, but a few thoughts:

LOVE This idea as a way to expand Backgrounds. 

1) Passions should be a value (e.g., 2) rather than +2. The could potentially subtract from a Background check if the character is doing something that takes them further from their goal. 

2) Consider adding one more passion:

Obligation: Something your character may or may not want or desire, but is obligated to pursue. Examples: A curse, drug addiction, debt, oath, etc. May work for or against the player. 

3) Suggestion: don't mix points among Background and Passions. 8 pts for Backgrounds, 8 points for Passions (max of 3). 
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James Knevitt

Other Settings  - 
 
Has anyone with knowledge of both made any effort to convert the Pathfinder setting of Golarion to 13th Age? Specifically, I'm looking for things like Icons. There's some interesting comparisons I've found online, but nothing that covers a 1:1 conversion for all 13 Icons. For example:

* King Surtova (replacing the Emperor) 
* Whispering Tyrant (replacing the Lich King) 
* Matro Livondar (Ruler of Daggermark in the River Kingdoms, replacing the Prince of Shadows) 
* High-Priestess of Abadar in Brevoy (replacing the Priestess) 
*Swordlords of Restov (replacing no one but representing a strong faction/figure in Kingmaker) 
*High-Priest of Erastil (replacing the Arch-Druid) 
*The Eldest (replacing the Elf Queen) 

Any help with the others?
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James Knevitt's profile photoPorter Williams's profile photo
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Yeah, I'm inclined to agree.
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James Knevitt

News From the Near Now  - 
 
#TheStormHasAName...

More to come Tue July 21st.
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Most d20s seem to be balanced, tho I doubt that it makes any difference to the rolls.
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James Knevitt

News From the Near Now  - 
 
A storm is coming...again...
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Nice find, thanks +Michael Stanberry-Beall .   I remember last year that RPGNOW said that there would be new content in 2015/2016, and I was wondering if there was any more news since then.  Can't wait!
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If you've got a game you think is a failure, ask yourself why.
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James Knevitt

Homebrew Rules  - 
 
I am certain I've asked about this before, but has anyone played with armor as a damage soak instead of adding to AC? The bonus to AC would instead soak that many points of damage from every attack. It would mean characters can take more hits, but it would also mean they are hit more often. Magical armor would be focused on damage absorption rather than making a character more nimble.

Thoughts?
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That's not a bad idea, really, you'd still take more damage overall, but it wouldn't be as bad. 
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James Knevitt

Other Settings  - 
 
This is the short writeup I'm usng as a primer for my Golarion-based 13th Age Hangouts game, The Seven Dragon Candle Adventuring Society. I cribbed the first three or so paragraphs with minor changes, so it's not an entirely original idea.

--

Heroes are rare, and famous: their deeds resound through every nation, kingdom and town, inspiring countless teenagers to train themselves up and become adventurers. Adventurers unfortunately, are as common as mud; in fact there are far more adventurers, than places that need them. Even assuming that an adventuring band can get together, find a place to practice, get the time away from their real jobs to practice and weather the various personality conflicts that arise, most simply lack the talent to get anywhere.

The vast majority of adventuring bands disband after a few sessions of flailing around chasing dire gophers from a farmer's yard, even if they can get such a basic job, since the competition is fierce. More talented adventuring bands get to guard caravans, act as security for warehouses, or if they're particularly attractive, protect the parties of wealthy nobles. And even there, the agents the adventuring bands use to find work will rarely be able to wrangle enough payment for the party members to quit their regular jobs as field hands, alchemists assistants, or innkeeper's daughters. Many agents also prefer to build up their own adventuring bands; slick looking, perfectly accoutered parties that look good at a festival even if their tactics and abilities are uninspired.

Only a tiny proportion of adventuring bands become even a little famous, and only a few every generation hit the heights of herodom. You're one of those plucky adventuring bands, sneaking away in the afternoon for combat practice, scraping together silver to buy an old sword. You may not know how hard the competition is, or you may not care, because you've got the tales of the great heroes ringing in your ears, the drive to succeed... maybe.

The Seven Dragon Candle Adventuring Society is really just a group of people in a little village in Varisia who like to think of themselves as adventurers. Children from the village look up to members of the group. They play at being adventurers in the shadows of farmhouses and inns, even though the only adventurers they know personally are members of the Society. Some join when they are old enough, deciding that playing at being an adventurer isn't as fun as actually being one. As members get older and more experienced, they leave the village and the Society and move on to bigger and better things. Some return and inspire with stories of their exploits. Some have darker stories, tales that scare some away from idea of the adventuring life. But those that stick with the group? The bonds they form with each other are inseparable, and their own little adventures wonderful and amazing in their own way. However, while they may stay with the Seven Dragon Candle Adventuring Society for years, many feel the call of something greater, and eventually they soon find themselves on the dirt road out of town, looking for adventure and excitement... 
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Super writeup. The picture is gorgeous.
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Writer, editor, game designer. World's worst Buddhist. Future deadbeat dad.
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