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David Hayes


David Hayes

Discussion  - 
I posted here about my difficulties with combat in a recent US game I ran. I'm still not entirely sure how to do it and I'm always looking for more examples of play in AW games.

I found this really great write-up from the Dungeon World side of things called "A 16 HP Dragon", very inspirational:
Over on the Dungeon World forums stras gave an example of play that completely describes why I care enough about DW to put all this effort into it:
Adam Goldberg's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photoDavid Hayes's profile photo
I think my years-and-years of D&D and GURPS and White Wolf and what-have-you have ingrained in me this weird sense of fairness... like, if the dice didn't say it then it's just me saying it and that's not fair.

But that's a false choice, anyway, 'cuz as DM in those games I'm the one that creates situations and I can guide them towards deadly ultra-violence where the dice come out or I don't. So, hooray for examining base assumptions I guess.

And thanks for listening. ( =
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
I feel like I'm doing Start of Session moves incorrectly.

We just played session 8 last week. The first few times it was great because it gave us lots of new characters, interesting threads to pull on, and gave everyone some space to inform the other players what interested them about the world and the system.

Later, it got frustrating because everyone felt they had to bring in NEW people and NEW threads. When we agreed that we shouldn't expand, but should try and contract (focus on existing characters and threats) things got a little better -- until we got to weird territory where, in the middle of the arc, it's suddenly, "OH YEAH, that enemy owes me a debt!" It felt like a clumsy kind of retcon.

We're at cross-purposes with the move as we understand it: don't expand, but try not to make unlikely debts in the middle of the game.

Our resolution, until the current set of threats have lightened up a bit, is to not do SoS... but I still want my players to mark Faction for advancement.

Any advice?
Luke JW's profile photoKevin Weiser's profile photochris smith's profile photoJoe Beason's profile photo
I am probably going to kick off with the move in the first session, for a couple reasons. One is that the group is doing a really good job at aiming their Debts at each other, to the point where we don't actually have too many NPCs sketched out yet. Also, we're going to post the AP recordings, so we want to trot out the mechanic early. But after the first time, if people are deep into stuff, we won't use them.
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
Help me Urban Shadows Community, you're my only hope!

Last night was game 4 in my new US adventures. I'm the MC. My players fought a particularly nasty bear-demon-thing left as a trap by a vindictive hunter. All of us are rules-heavy transplants from other systems: D&D3.5, Pathfinder, GURPS.

So... how does combat work? I mean, it kinda worked, but I've got a lot of questions:

* Unleash on a 7-9 makes the player choose "they inflict harm on you" or "you find yourself in a bad spot". Why would the players ever take harm? What would encourage them to do so? Do I just ask them to be reasonable, only so many bad spots you can find yourself in before it catches up to you?
* If the player took "find yourself in bad spot", what could that mean? At one point fighting the bear-demon-thing one of my players took find yourself in bad spot just as he'd done the "take something from them" to take the bear-thing's balance (shot its foot off). They fell down a ladder, lost their footing, got in someone else's way. But they recovered as soon as the bear did, so it didn't really cost them anything... so how could I have adjudicated that better?
* Does that mean I'm not taking my MC move of inflict/trade harm enough? Like I should just fiat "you take 3 harm from its bilious claws"?

I don't need a lot of systems or case-by-cases, more of a narrative guide, maybe? Or example combats from others?

The combat spooked my group enough (two people are in the hospital now) that I don't know that there will be lots of combat going forward but I'd like to be armed with more knowledge than I have now when it comes up.
Jason Tocci's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photoPaul Glenn's profile photoDavid Hayes's profile photo
Page 237 of the rulebook. Very helpful.
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
+Mark Diaz Truman Any plans to do a gaming podcast with you as the MC?
Chirag Asnani's profile photoLon Sarver's profile photoJohn Henry's profile photoDylan Durrant's profile photo
+MadJay Brown If I may make a suggestion for an audience interaction mechanic. For the Session Intro (obv. pre-session) have the MC choose a Faction for the audience and roll for them. Publish the result and use some commenting/liking/upvoting means to find the No.1 "rumour" that people post.

A similar and simpler alternative that you may have already thought of: have the audience vote for the PC's marked factions.
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
I'm looking to play Urban Shadows and it looks like I'll only have two players. That doesn't feel like enough players for me to bring out complications around different Factions or have many interesting PC-to-PC interactions and Debts.

Is this a problem? Besides getting more people (working on it), where else can I pick up the slack? Should I prod them into giving me lots of fiction to swim around in?
Christopher Meid (TaintedDingo)'s profile photoJason Corley's profile photoAndrew Medeiros's profile photoDavid Hayes's profile photo
Two more players onboard! And they're excited! They've only ever really played d20. Super excited.
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Hello community!

I'm putting the finishing touches on a JS game named Blaster. Play it here:

I'm also writing up an extensive tutorial as a series of posts explaining what I did and why I did it on my site here:

I'm looking for any feedback anyone has about the game and the writeup! The game doesn't have enough levels yet; I wanted to gauge the difficulty and provide the right ratio of "hard" vs. "fun".
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David Hayes

Settings, Worlds, Rules  - 
When do you get the fate point for a compel? When do you get the fate point for someone invoking an aspect against you?

For example, if the GM compels a PC and the PC accepts, can the PC then immediately spend that fate point to do something? If the PC compels an NPC, then that goes into a pool only for use by that NPC, right? Same rule, can spend immediately?

On page 81 of Fate Core, it says, "If someone pays a fate point to invoke an aspect attached to your character, you gain the fate point at the end of the scene. This includes advantages created on your character, as well as consequences."

What about situational aspects invoked as a -2 to someone's roll? That's not a compel, right?

Maybe I don't know the difference between a compel and invoking an aspect against someone? "Because the warehouse is On Fire, it makes sense that the ruffian would get away." That's a compel. "Because the warehouse is On Fire, it makes sense that you'd have a -2 to that Notice roll." What's that latter one?
dan foley's profile photoRobert Hanz's profile photoDonato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi's profile photo
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
Hello awesome community! I'm back with another US question that I'd love to explore.

The scene: a fae Lovecraftian morality play is coming to an end. The major players in the web of intrigue we've built over the last eight games are all here, and the PCs have prepped for it the past couple of days: securing alliances, doing research, scraping together some weapons... they're ready.

During the Big Fight, the Wizard seals the deal with an unseelie fae (+1 corruption for deal with a dark power) to achieve the dread "Upon A Pale Horse" corruption move. The Veteran spends a hold to have "just what you need" and whips out the true name of the vamp that she and her assistants have been researching for days to find.

Wizard + true name + Upon A Pale Horse + 2 corruption = 6 AP harm to the big bad. Night night!

My players knew that a lot of narrative threads were getting tied up in this fight. They also knew that we would be taking a Urban Shadows break to play around in Fate-land (Dresden? Secrets of Cats? We'll see!), so this was Season Finale time.

The way we would continue this, narratively, is that the Wizard is persona non grata for just outright blowing someone he doesn't like away. No one will see him face-to-face anymore. That's some super dark stuff that's gonna pull that Wizard down down down in the coming months.

I'd love to hear from other people about how they handle this particular corruption move in their groups, what kind of narrative pressure/consequences comes to bear on their Wizards, if/when/how the MC uses that move against the players to turn it back on them..? Any and all. This particular move seems like a Very Big Hammer to swing around and I'd love to get some perspective on its use.
David Hayes's profile photoJames Etheridge's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photo
+James Etheridge - Totally up to the MC and the level of danger. Never something I would advocate for all the time, but it's a tool for the toolbox. (And notice in my example that it's a PC choice. I like the idea that the Hunter isn't great at avoiding the consequences of their hunting... like Daredevil or Batman, there's a lot of broken bones...)

And yes! I don't think a true name is easy to come by nor is the incantation particularly quick...
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David Hayes

Fan Made Content  - 
How open are y'all to people re-laying out the archetypes, basic moves, and MC sheet and re-publishing them as PDFs for free?
Nigel Clarke's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photoazlath's profile photoDavid Hayes's profile photo
Holy crap! Not to necro an old post or anything, but I just saw the updated MC sheet and it's perfect! Same with Threats/Storms!
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
What's a thing you wished you'd done more of in your first sessions?

For context: I've got a first-ever session for everyone involved coming up. I'd like it to turn into a longer-term game. Two of my players are my 20-year regulars who've played lots of D&D, White Wolf, GURPS... the other two are relatively newer to RP and have only played d20.

I'm one of those "he's always the DM" people with lots of experience in lots of systems, but PbtA is a very exciting twist on making a good story and I'm stoked! I don't know if any of the previous storyteller-ish systems I've run have ever focused so tightly on crafting a story experience.
Andrew Medeiros's profile photoDavid Hayes's profile photoRob Brennan's profile photoJason Tocci's profile photo
Oh, also, don't be afraid to make some NPCs total asses. We got through 2 sessions before I realized the threats were so shadowy and political that the PCS didn't feel threatened by anybody at all! So I threw an angry troll at them before we wrapped up for the evening. 
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David Hayes

Discussion  - 
In the example for "hit the streets", Veronica rolls a 9 and "can't get help on a Faction roll".

I couldn't find confirmation elsewhere about that in the rules. All Faction moves, or just hit the streets? Anytime the players roll faction?
David Hayes's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photoJoe Beason's profile photoJason Corley's profile photo
Thanks for this question (and answer, Joe!), I read but didn't comprehend. :)
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David Hayes

Shared publicly  - 
+Sean McCullough got name-checked in this nifty article about PRNGs and the relatively poor state of V8's algo:
By Betable CTO, Mike Malone
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