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John Thibodeau
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Bread Baker to the Stars...of Salem, Ma.
Bread Baker to the Stars...of Salem, Ma.

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Using Christopher's comments in "Rule Zero", about a session run without mechanics, as a springboard:

What do you, The Community, consider to be the smallest unit of play time that you could abstain from mechanics while still "playing a game"? For instance, it is implied in the show that you are not playing a game if you don't engage the mechanics for a session. Would you draw the line at a mechanic-less encounter? Or in PbtA games, how many exchanges of conversation before a move is made are too many?

This is adjacent to Christopher's statement, slightly puckish, and more rhetorical than practical, of course. But I find it hard to separate mechanic-aided play from mechanic-less play using something as elastic as table time. The character interactions made during a diceless DnD session wouldn't be possible without the rolls made in a previous session, and the diceless session is almost certainly setting up for rolls in the future, and would be relatively pointless otherwise. Assuming the session involved any character growth, I can say confidently that it was not a pointless session, and therefore depends on and effects both previous and future play.

In short, considering that our hobby today was born from the emergent properties of the moments between rolls in wargames, I think the hard and fast ruling that you need to be engaging mechanics at any ordained degree of constancy to be playing a game might be unhelpful.

Of course this is not directly what Chris said, but I felt it interesting to game attempt to game his statement out in smaller and larger examples, if you will.

Love the show, and thanks for taking the time to do it.




Any scoundrels North of Boston, Ma? I'm looking to run BitD at the local game cafe, and I'm looking for players. 

Just did a 1on1, both our first session, with a Whisperer of Tempests and his Cult:

In order to steal an ancient tome of spells valuable to his god, he broke into a Weeping Sisters Temple in Six Towers under cover of an arcane fog; used memorized maps of the temple he had earlier secured from his friends among the Circle of Flame; drugged an old librarian with a sleeping poison; and after escaping too slowly and being corralled towards the priests by local tramps seeking eel stew, he called down a distracting bolt of lightning which destroyed the church and injured dozens. Exit, stage right.

He didn't get much coin, but he got the book.

Hot as heartsblood, he got interrogated by the Bluecoats, who beat the hell out of him but ultimately didn't secure a confession. Battered and drained from earlier blood sacrifice, he tried to recover his harms. Unfortunately, the local Witch hates his guts because he just stole the same book she wanted for herself. He then tried to indulge his weird vices, but the light apocalyptic ravings he picked up for recreational reading didn't do much to help. He's hurt, stressed, still broke, and it turns out the best pages of the book were carefully removed. He is already scheming his recovery, and ascendance.

For my first session, I found the system lightweight and robust. I think I got most of the rules down on the first run, and I'm aware of the spots I flubbed. More players would be really fun, but the system was more than strong enough to allow the lone PC to believably address all of my obstacles in meaningful ways. The Score-Downtime-Freeplay framework kept everything running smoothly with an organic-feeling urge forward. The provided material gave me more imagination fuel than this PbtA veteran usually brings to the table, and it really made the game sing.

Bonus Points: My skeptical PC became an evangelist and a buyer, and mentioned running a game(!) for his roommate.

11/10, willing and looking forward to running it on the fly again. Bravo to Mr. Harper and all involved!

Anyone around Salem, MA want to play some Torchbearer? I want to GM a handful of sessions at least, and I would like to have around 4-5 players. I've only run 4 unrelated sessions of TB so far, but my regular game is BWG so I'm fairly familiar with the family.

Anyone interested?

How does the community reconcile a Pathfinder "Long Journey" test into the resource economy? IE, a long journey blazing a new trail doesn't require any expenditure of resources beyond the single round that the test requires, as far as I can determine from the book.

I can't quite wrap my mind around it, other than to build a pre-dungeon dungeon of wilderness obstacle rooms that stretches from haunted ruins to town gate, or just handwave that the PCs are without need of food or rest for what the skill suggests should be a long journey.The single Pathfinder roll feels inadequate, and a travel conflict feels like a bandaid in a system so finely wrought.

My frustration is that it almost feels like there is an empty space where you can socket in some day-to-day travel rules. Is there another way that I am missing? How do you guys deal with it?

Is the GM screen no longer available? If it is, does anyone have a link?

Hey fellow 'bearers! I trying to find out if helpers gain tests for advancement, but I'm not finding an explicit mention. I know helpers share in all rewards/punishments, so I table-ruled that they do. Is this just my BW background intruding? Am I too nice? Thanks in advance!

I made up a group of mutated Kobolds that dwell too close to an Artifact of Chaos. Feel free to Critique, Declaim, or Applaud.

Mutated Kobolds
• Horde, Small, Organized, Stealthy, Terrifying
HP 3 AC 0
• Tooth and Nail (d6+2)
○ Hand, Close, Messy
• Description - Kobolds changed by Chaos! They are unclothed, with translucent skin, needle-like teeth and nails, and a gangly walk. They burst like uncooked sausage when killed. 
• Instinct: To ruin and consume
○ Bite Something Off
○ Hide in the Shadows
○ Surround and Overwhelm
○ Traumatize the Unwary

Can anyone recommend some good, creepy dungeon-delving music? I have epic stuff out the wazoo, but I'd like something claustrophobic and foreboding. Thanks in advance! 
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