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J Stein
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Health policy wonk(ish); med student; RPG + tabletop geek.
Health policy wonk(ish); med student; RPG + tabletop geek.

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Does anyone have a link to the Zombie World game discussed in episode 60?

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"The First Day of Someone Else's Life," by John Schoffstall, in the May/June issue of F&SF (sfsite.com) is solid cyberpunk. Highly recommend it!



Question re. outcomes of a 1-3 roll and resisting:

The 1-3 roll lists several possible outcomes: severe harm, unintended consequences, etc. and instructs GMs to use some or all of these, as appropriate to the fiction.

If a GM goes with "all", does a single resistance roll apply to each of these outcomes, or does one resist cover the lot? The latter seems like it has the potential to be fictionally incoherent, while the former seems mechanically... rough. You can end up burning a lot of stress on one bad roll.

I've never MC'd Blades in the Dark. Maybe I suck!

If you're a committed scientist and want to empirically determine if that's the case, I'm going to kick off a BitD PbP via Google (mostly via live- and shared-editing of Google Docs.)

Pace is meant to be moderate, with every player contributing twice a week or so (the start will probably be faster, due to hashing out a crew and all).

Capping the group at 6 worthy gentleperson scientists.

I've never MC'd Blades in the Dark. Maybe I suck!

If you're a committed scientist and want to empirically determine if that's the case, I'm going to kick off a BitD PbP via Google (mostly via live- and shared-editing of Google Docs.)

I'll be learning the system alongside you, so... please don't join in if you're terrified of suck. Pace is meant to be moderate, with every player contributing twice a week or so (the start will probably be faster, due to hashing out a crew and all).

Capping the group at 6 worthy gentleperson scientists.

(Announcing here because I legitimately think the Gauntlet community has the best bunch of storygamers on the net.)

Edit: I clearly overdid it with the humility - no takers!

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Straight-up old-school Orientalism. I kinda thought that was a thing we'd moved past. Heck, on the DTRPG comments thread, there's even someone gently nudging "Maybe Heroes of Japan...?"

"No, there's other asian stuff mixed up in there." (paraphrasing)

ffs. 
I decided to return to the Dungeon Masters Guild to wrap up 5e Week here on SPOD, and I Picked one of the most popular titles on that site – Heroes of the Orient: Player’s and DM’s Companion. D&D fans have long enjoyed importing mythic, fantastic, and…

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Just read the Carcosa setting description / dungeon starter from The Gauntlet's "Codex Yellow."

Wowowow. I love it. It's extremely atmospheric, and manages to convey an incredible sense of place (and displacement and instability and alienation) in an incredibly brief span of words.

And the very next piece in the Codex has the "Planeshift die", which I looked at and went, "Oh. That needs to be modified just slightly and transplanted right into Carcosa, yes it does."

Fantastic. I was pretty hesitant to sign up for a recurring fee (I dislike Patreon in this way; personal preference is to buy good products, not subsidize the process) in becoming a Gauntlet Patron (the way to get access to Codex), and this alone is more than the price of entry. Just fantastic.

Just read the Carcosa setting description / dungeon starter from The Gauntlet's "Codex Yellow."

Wowowow. I love it. It's extremely atmospheric, and manages to convey an incredible sense of place (and displacement and instability and alienation) in an incredibly brief span of words.

And the very next piece in the Codex has the "Planeshift die", which I looked at and went, "Oh. That needs to be modified just slightly and transplanted right into Carcosa, yes it does."

Fantastic. I was pretty hesitant to sign up for a recurring fee (I dislike Patreon in this way; personal preference is to buy good products, not subsidize the process) in becoming a Gauntlet Patron (the way to get access to Codex), and this alone is more than the price of entry. Just fantastic.

Just picked up Awaken on DTRPG and I'm pretty disappointed. What billed itself as "Slavic-inspired story-oriented gaming" turned out to be ...

(a) The protagonists are just Exalted. There's a Light God and a Dark God, and the intermediaries between the Light God and the people have divine gifts. They died out long ago, and now suddenly people are being awakened as these intermediaries-come-again.

(b) It reads as typical fantasy. There's a Good God and a Bad God and one wanted to lift people up and the other wanted nameless slaves and then there was a war and the Bad God got chained in the earth and the Good God eventually got sad and stopped talking to folk. There are some Slavic names attached to stuff, but it all feels like a re-trod of stuff that's already been visited and re-visited. Maybe I just missed something? I admit, once I read the intro mythology and looked over the mechanics I pretty much checked out.

(b)(2) I didn't get a good sense of place/flavor from it. It reads to me like fairly typical fantasy fare: there are cities without the technological/economic justification for cities, wine and taverns, etc. The "Gift" (the miraculous powers of the protagonists) were likewise pretty standard fare: for instance, the Body Gifts are superior constitution (straight up con buff, basically), regeneration (heal self once/hr); bone spike (wolverine claws); superior senses (really vague benefits of "clearly sensing details up to 100 ft away"); and body knowledge (a mish-mash of stuff, from rank 1's "stabilize the dying" to rank 3's "put them to sleep").

(c) The System section is 95% Storyteller and 5% PbtA. You roll attribute+skill with d6s, and count up your successes. If you fail because the GM upped the difficulty to require more successes, you get your task resolution but "not the way you wanted." There's nothing in here about snowballing, soft vs. hard moves, or any other PbtA stuff, so it's just a hunch that that's the inspiration behind "succeeded but not how you wanted."

Unlike PbtA, it goes back to the storyteller sim roots, hard: there's a bunch of different combinations of attribute+skill, or something close to it,to make sure there's always some skill check you can be forced to do, and difficulty of rolls is about simulationism, not fictional consequences (there's a Lifting roll, for pete's sake, for anything >half your weight that needs to be lifted quickly). And "Dramatic Failures" make a come-back, something I've never missed since, in combination with "skill check everything," they have a special ability to allow rolls to stop a story in its tracks.

(d) It's pretty. I like the art.

(e) It reads poorly. Some of it reads like translation artifacts, but other bits just read like bad editing. Or, good editing on top of a base of bad writing? I mean, check out page 10, in the intro. In the span of three short paragraphs it jumps from third person sweeping historical view, to a first-person "I appear to be in some particular location witnessing some historical event", back to third-person but this time on a personal scale, witnessing the here-to-fore un-introduced "Yessen murmuring to himself." Two paragraphs later we jumped back to sweeping, historical scale. I haven't seen anything bad enough to prevent comprehension, but it happens just often enough to knock me off stride.

The issue here is that if the system is Storyteller, the protagonists are Exalted, the setting is typical euro-ish fantasy, and the magic system is - if I had to summarize it - "simplified Exalted 1e", uh... what's the selling point here? I would've enjoyed it on a really strong Slavic setting alone, and ripped the rest of the stuff out for DW or Godbound if need be, but it's not even useful as inspiration for a setting.

And it sells for $20, which IMO, is on the high end for a KS-subsidized PDF.*

Anyone doing PbP? 
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