I've been quietly working on a hack for what feels like forever so I think it's finally time to show some work here. The basic premise is that your and your crew are supernatural (or sometimes not) creatures trying to make your way in the Prohibition Era US. I'm working on how I want to handle crews next and what they'd be capable of doing. So yeah! Here's my extremely alpha WiP.
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- Nice. It's a great direction to take the time period.Jun 16, 2016
- This is really cool. I'm doing something tangentially similar (supernatural creatures, but wildly different setting), so it's fun to read someone else's take on it. I really like how you've split playbook out of origin, so I can make a seductive zombie if I want. How do the origins work though, do you also get abilities from them? Is it a package your get all at once, or can you also level up your origin? Or is it just something fictional, where you get to decide what being a vampire means to you?
So far I've just skimmed, but I'll do a close reading later if you'd like more specific feedback.Jun 16, 2016
- I did a close reading of the Siren playbook and came up with this feedback. It may seem overly critical, but I really do think you have the start of a really cool hack. If you're interested in feedback on the rest of your playbooks, ask and you shall receive. Wall of text incoming.
Has Their Thorns - If I wear this outfit and fill it with four 1 load items, and then also carry two 1 load items in hand (for a total of 6 load), is my load Heavy or Normal? The wording of the ability makes this unclear. Either the ability is +1 load when wearing this outfit, or Light load now equals 4 (my guess is it’s the latter). Also I wouldn’t mention 0 load items, they are by their very nature concealable without special pockets. If I filled my outfit with three load 1 items and one load 0 item, this ability does nothing.
Sweetest Taboo - really like this ability, encourages role play for mechanical benefit.
Quiet Storm - Cool in theory, but I’m not sure how it’s different from what anyone else could do. Any player should be able to attack someone's reputation and cause complications, so this needs to be differentiated somehow, probably with mechanical ease. Is there an action roll required? Do they get bonuses to the roll? Which action does it use? Are there clocks (if so, how is this different from what anyone else could do with an LTP)?
I, My Dear, Am a Professional - You always know when someone is lying, cool, like it. Turning it to an advantage sounds like something anyone could do if they knew someone was lying in the right situation, so how is the siren even better at it (+1d, +1 effect, +1 position, something more exotic)?
Honeyed Words - This ability amounts to +1D in exchange for a complication, which sounds like a devil’s bargain (that could be offered to anyone in the same situation) and not an ability. That is unless that first sentence is also a power and not just prose, but it’s not clear to me which it is. Does the character know exactly what people want to hear? As in, will the GM tell the siren this? Either way, I’d drop the second sentence and just make sentence one more explicitly an ability. Also probably change the name to something like “Unnatural Intuition” (you’re much better at naming things than I am).
Susurrus - Is the expectation that the GM can flat out lie? Hopefully the GM is a fan of the player and will use that option sparingly, if at all. In D&D divination spells always work correctly the first time they’re used in a day, but if you keep using them they have a chance of being false. If the point of the whispers being unreliable is so that players don’t overuse the ability, I would consider saying that repeated uses in a day become increasingly unreliable so they at least know it will work the first time. Or you could just make the ability cost stress and have it always work. I’d probably go with stress personally.
‘Round My Finger - Is a relationship clock a new mechanic you’ve created that will be explained later, or is it just a regular clock? Otherwise this is pretty cool.
Don’t Bother None - Consider replacing the word ‘this’ with ‘these’ or better yet think of another noun that encompasses both.
In general I really wish there was an ability that had something to do with sex. Of course not every siren has to use sex as a weapon, but some probably do.Jun 16, 2016
- Origins and Backgrounds are how you get dots at character creation then they tend to be fictional after that. You do decide what being a shifter/vampire/zombi/ex-hunter means to you and what it has meant in the framework of your game and playbook. A former hunter Siren might know all the technically right buttons to push for a group, a demon might be able to skim surface thoughts. I'll get to that second comment when I'm not in my phone.Jun 16, 2016
- So far so good, but various supes have powers that don't necessarily fit well into the action and ability framework. For instance could I "well I'm a zombie, so that 4th level harm of shot through the heart is more like a level 1 harm for me." Or "I'm a shifter who can turn into insects, so I can climb over that wall and through that cracked window without rolling"Jun 16, 2016
- The idea with Has Their Thorns is that the outfit gives you perfect concealment of items. I also changed it to having no load. Getting patted down won't reveal the little knife, derringer, and the documents you've stolen. Sure, you can carry other items in hand but they're more obvious. I'm going to explain how load works in this soon.
For Quiet Storm and the Siren in general, you aren't built around direct fighting. In MMO terms, you're a bit like a debuff bot and weaken people's and gang's positions so that others can take them out. That's where you're most effective. You can fight but you don't really want to.
The advantage of Professional is always knowing when someone's lying or obscuring the truth. No rolls needed to suss things out, you just have a gut feeling that's never failed you. I've tried to clarify that a bit more.
Honeyed Words is meant for the Siren that's a little less far-sighted and wants results now rather than later. Is it basically a built-in devil's bargain? Sort of. But it's not always a complication for you. Promise a mob boss you'll give them everything they could ever dream of and dangle it eternally with occasional rewards and you've got them potentially at your whim for a long time.
For Susurrus, no. The idea is not that the GM flat-out lies. The NPCs will lie. To an NPC, they're likely the PC in their minds and that's how I tend to play the powerful/meaningful ones. Spirits aren't going to be any different. If your crew has pissed off a bunch of spirits lately, they're going to fight you back. They might tell you the person you thought was on your side is planning a coup. If they don't have a problem with or even like you, they might tell you the same thing. It's up to the player, through the context of what's happened in the fiction, to decide what to do with the information given.
Relationship Clocks exist purely because of 'Round My Finger. The idea is that you can trade-off the relationships that matter to a character to change the mind and actions of a NPC later. Great for the group, awful for the individual.
So, sex as a mechnic is something I want to avoid entirely. Is it an option? Totally, but I never want to make it the only option for anyone. Every single ability has the possibility to involve sex in this playbook. Making a move that centers entirely around sex bothers me a lot and it's something I straight up will never do.
I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to handle supes and dupes mechanically in the game yet. There's a section for it and I have ideas floating around but I don't want to make something that shoehorns you into something. I may go a bit of a Monsterhearts route and have each with a distinct advantage and disadvantage that's fairly fiction-based.Jun 16, 2016
- Quiet Storm - You've told me what they do, but not how they do it. A Brute could tell the GM he'd like to attack an NPCs reputation, and the GM would tell the Brute to make an LTP clock he could work on during downtime. How is the Siren different? Also if you mean harm as in the game term, NPCs don't really take harm. Unless of course this is to be used for PvP. But even then I don't know what to roll (if I have to roll?).
Honeyed Words - That still sounds like something any PC should be capable of.
Susurrus - I didn't realize the spirits here were specific NPCs, I assumed this was just code for tapping into the general psychic mantle of the world. If these spirits are actual NPCs with desires and beliefs, what prevents other PCs from speaking to them and hearing what they have to say?Jun 16, 2016
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