Let's keep this one rolling. Whenever you write a line you're particularly happy with, post it here to celebrate!
NanoWrimers, let's keep this full this month!
The new campaign I'm running has a bunch of small tinkers with rules. One I'm doing is adding a Luck Roll from time to time. It works like this:
Any time a player wants to do something that's not scripted in the adventure...for example, talking to a guard or looking for help in a tavern, the player rolls our Luck Die. It's a d6. On a 3 or 4, there's no substantive result. On a 2, it's a mildly unlucky result. A 5 is mildly lucky, while a 1 and 6 are seriously unlucky and lucky results.
For example, one PC is trying to bluff his way into a gated city and failing to get the job done. Another PC is already inside and can see the situation, but has no official standing. She looks around in the crowd for somebody with official standing she can try to convince to help.
On a roll of 3 or 4 she wouldn't find anybody worth talking with. I might go with a 3 meaning nobody, and a 4 meaning an official is present, but is busily on his way someplace.
On a roll of 5, she'd find a minor official or buddy of a gate guard who might be willing to intercede with an appropriate explanation.
On a roll of 2, she would find an official who has reason to not only deny help, but to take an active interest in why she's looking for this kind of help.
On a roll of 6, she'd find a corrupt official who is perfectly happy to get the other PC in...in exchange for some favor.
On a roll of 1, the only person she finds is a cop looking either for her specifically or on his way to ream out the gate guards for an earlier laxness in security.
So far, this has worked really well on three levels. First, it takes the pressure off me as a GM both in terms of deciding what happens all the time, and in terms of who gets the "blame" if something goes hilariously wrong. Second, the rolling die gives me a few seconds to come up with possible results. Third, it gives an illusion of player agency because it's the players rolling the luck die.
Has anybody else used this kind of mechanic in a game? How has it gone? What were some things that went poorly and how did you fix them?
How are we doing? Do folks feel like they're on track?
A writer friend of mine (who's a little shy) needs two or three beta readers for her novella of sex, drugs and mermaids. It's funny as hell...anybody interested?
I have a thought and two questions for the council today. The thought is a different kind of encounter, one where the PCs are pointed at a task that isn't the actual victory condition of the encounter. Illusion magic is one common example, as would be holograms or similar altered realities.
A couple others that I've used or had used on me:
*A telekinetic or animation-specialist mage who animates suits of armor from a hidden position. The PCs engage with the animated objects, but might never discover the real foe in the room.
*A hydra hiding beneath a surface with holes in it. The heads pop up through the holes, and the PCs think they're being attacked by snakes. They lop off the heads...hilarity ensues.
*A shadowrun adventure where the decker finds himself navigating a security system built on the structure of fighting intruders (that he probably perceives as black ice). What he's actually doing is instructing the secure facility in the best way to defeat his allies, who are at that moment breaking in...
You get the idea. Here are my questions:
1) What are some awesome examples from your games and what made them work?
2) How do we best navigate the fact that some players view this as cheating, as the GM lying to them directly?
A wide, flat valley in the badlands is the site of a collection of urns. The urns themselves are sealed at the top with wax, approximately spherical, and exactly six feet in diameter. They are spaced 15 feet apart, on center.
They are in a perfect grid, 1,000 urns on a side for a total of one million urns. Nobody knows where they came from, or to what language the writing on the sides belongs.
Breaking an urn with magic is extremely difficult -- they seem to ground magical energies out, absorbing them (maybe to feed whatever spell protects them from magic). Breaking them is relatively easy, and can be done by accident.
Each urn contains a monster -- ghouls might be appropriate for one campaign, demons for another, some kind of abbrerration for a third. If you break an urn, thus releasing the creature, it spends at least half of its actions breaking nearby urns.
The urns also contain treasure, tempting grave robbers to plunder them. The threat of an urn creature setting off a chain reaction that frees an army of a million rampaging beasts has drawn guardians to the plain: an order of paladins, or monks, or sages who try to keep the incompetent away.
What would you do with such a location? What kinds of adventures would you include it in? How would you work to prevent a systematic elimination of the whole filed, one carefully-surrounded urn at a time?
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