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Adam Minnie
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Adam Minnie

Rules & Advice  - 

Skirmish Streamlining Question
I'm hopeful that someone can help clear up a longstanding confusion I've had that's made me averse to large skirmishes. 

I've read in many SW books that running big skirmishes is very easy in Savage Worlds: something like "the PCs and 8 allies vs a dozen orcs, a half dozen shamans casting hexes from the rear lines, and two war mammoths with archers on platforms on their backs," or perhaps "the PCs and their crew vs 15 pirates, 3 specialists, and a captain on an flying mount."

When they say this kind of situation is easy and fast in SW, are they assuming use of the mass combat rules? The only examples of mass combat I've been able to find are on a much larger scale than just a dozen or two vs a dozen or two.

If not using mass combat rules, what makes these kinds of skirmishes easy and fast in SW, since it looks to me like they still require individual attack/damage rolls per character even extras, and even if the players are controlling their friendly NPCs. Doesn't that get slow just like in any other rpg?

What is unique about SW in this regard? What am I missing?
Manuel Sambs's profile photoTarquin Carlin's profile photoAdam Minnie's profile photoClint Black's profile photo
I don't know if I'd assign successful rolls to a single target to represent a conscious choice of the attackers. They don't know which of them will hit.

I'd probably assign more of the attacks at such a character but keep the overall success to miss ratio the same. If 6 guys fire, then I might think 4 focus on one target. If I get 3 successful hits, I'd put 2 on the focused target and 1 on one of the other targets.

Usually though, I have a lot of different colored dice, so I typically just choose before I roll how to break them down if that's feasible (and it tends to be). So in the above case, if I only had two blue dice, I might apply the other 4 to the focused target. It's still one roll, but the results are easy to individualize.
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Adam Minnie

Hacks and Add Ons  - 
I'm considering a compendium playbook of sorts, offering all players (at least on my players' cult crew) new special ability options based on cult's selected deity features. Basically this allows PCs to take on formal priestly or divine abilities not available to normal people.

The following are far from refined, but in the theme of others sharing ideas, here are some possible ideas that emerged from considering the Alluring feature. As I said, very much work in progress, but I'm enjoying the direction it's headed. What do you think?

Lusts of the Flesh: Gain special armor against the sensual allures of romance and bodily lusts. When you roll a crit while seducing someone with romance or bodily lust, clear 1 stress.

Otherworldly Allure: Choose a gender. Characters who are attracted to that gender tend to find you irresitably alluring potentially improving your position on Mask rolls involving seduction. You may use your exposed body as a fine item for related effect and resistance rolls.

Spectral Touch: Your allure is no longer skin-deep, but crosses barriers between living and dead, mortal and immortal, or corporeal and ethereal. You are able to interact physically with the forms of willing spirits and supernatural beings as if they had normal, tangible human bodies (without the aid of electroplasm). This ability does not extend to weapons or gear you possess. You may attune to interact with unwilling beings as if they had normal human bodies.

Demands of Love: When you ask one of the following of someone who has fallen in love with you exclusively, your lover will trust you and do his or her best to comply. When there is risk in your requested task, roll Attune, Command, or a Mask action to determine the outcome or danger to your lover.
- Bring you something they possess (like acquiring an asset without using Supply)
- Kill or harm a competitor for your love or affection
- Develop a taste for something unsavory or unnatural
- Pursue an action that kills your lover

Flesh-forger: You may slowly alter your form by spending stress. A minimum of 1 stress alters your existing features to be unrecognizable.
  +1 stress to alter size or body composition (including gender).
  +2 to represent a specific person or intricate features that you have studied.
  +2 to also alter the appearance of your worn clothing and gear (they still function according to their original form).
  +1 stress to achieve any alterations immediately.

Heartstrings: When you make skin contact with someone for long enough, you sense his or her secrets. Reveal one of the following:
 - Their vice of choice
 - one of their most immediate lusts or infatuations
 - one of their lowest moments
 - one of their greatest achievements
 - one of their deepest desires
 - one of their greatest fears
Dylan Green's profile photoAdam Minnie's profile photoAndrew Shields's profile photo
+Adam Minnie To clear stress, and also to pursue the god's whims. I like it. In fact, you could even say that if the character accepts down time projects, then that grants +1 effect level, like spending coin, when the project is done.
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Adam Minnie

Hacks and Add Ons  - 
NPC archetype (and cross-type) generator
While blog-hopping yesterday, I found this great table for making compelling archetypal and unusual NPCs. I find it more nuanced and clever than many random tables, especially with the subtypes and chance for cross-type results.

It's designed for medieval fantasy, but can easily be adapted and useful for Blades games:

It is originally by +Roger Giner-Sorolla. What do you think? I'd love to hear if you use this in play.

EDIT: I put this and some flavor details from Blades into Google Sheets and tinkered around a bit. As a result, here's a semi-automated generator allowing standard, loose, and fully random outputs:
Adam Minnie's profile photoT to the E to the O's profile photoTina Trillitzsch's profile photoTrevis Martin's profile photo
Yeah for sure. I didn't change any of the actual table results, just added on name/look/garb info. Actually, that's a lie, I changed High Elf and Low Elf to High Fae and Low Fae respectively, since I thought that was at least a touch toward broader application beyond medieval fantasy. I also changed the gender probability from the original on a couple of the archetypes to align a bit more with my vision of Duskwall demographics.

On the other hand, I have strongly considered flavoring the demons in my Duskwall as powerful and messy unseelie fae.
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Adam Minnie

Rules & Advice  - 
I feel like I should know this since I've been GMing SW for about a year now, but I've never quite figured it out from the books and with only one wizard, it's only come up every couple sessions. How are multi-target attack/damage rolls supposed to work (like a 3-target bolt)? Does the caster roll separate attacks for each target? Or do they do something like a single roll with 3 skill dice and a single wild die? If the latter, do they then distribute the various results of those once-rolled dice to the targets however desired (with one unused)?

Then do they also roll a separate damage or a single roll that applies vs the toughness of all characters in the blast template? 

Thanks for the help preemptively. :)
Clint Black's profile photoSavage Riggs's profile photoAdam Minnie's profile photoKim Harden's profile photo
+Adam Minnie great question -thanks for asking it!
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Adam Minnie

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Another move: Affirm a Friend
In real life, I'm not sure why, but I have found that it is strangely rare for me and others to authentically affirm what we notice and admire in those we care about. Since I aim to play #Epyllion  with my family, I want the game to encourage practicing this kind of sincere affirmation.

What do you think?

Affirm a Friend
When you set aside time to sincerely affirm something you admire about another dragon in your clutch, roll +Gems. On a hit, your affirmation deepens your bonds and lifts your clutchmate's spirits. Choose one:
—Give the clutchmate you affirmed +1 forward (+1 on one future roll)
—The clutchmate you affirmed may remove 1 mark of Shadow

On 10+ the exchange also lifts your own spirits. Choose one in addition to the choice above:
—Take +1 forward yourself 
—Remove 1 mark of Shadow from yourself

On a miss, your well-intended effort goes awry somehow, perhaps due to interruption, misunderstanding, or perceived insincerity. Choose one
—Take -1 forward (-1 on your next roll)
—Return a Friendship Gem to the clutchmate you tried to affirm
—Mark a Shadow

[I wrote this move assuming the idea of taking bonuses forward, but Epyllion may not have that concept, in which case, this move would need to be modified. I guess it also assumes unmarking Shadow is a thing.]
Marissa Kelly is raising funds for Epyllion, a Dragon Epic RPG on Kickstarter! Play as a clutch of young drakes who must use the power of friendship to protect their homeland from an ever-growing Darkness.
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Adam Minnie

Discussion  - 
I'm curious what you think: How effectively could Epyllion empower a decent Adventure Time hack?
James Etheridge's profile photo
Let's see... what are the mechanically vital parts of Epy, and how well would they translate to AT?

1) Age/growing up. I feel like Adventure Time is actually more about not growing up (see: Jake vs. his kids, Ice King's back story and behavior), so you'd need to change up advancement and the age dependent moves. I could see the former changing to growing in heroism, like when Finn gets a new sword or reads from the Enchiridion. The latter could be more about power than age? Like, you can't really command a princess or a huge monster to do something, but you might impress or amuse them.

2) Virtues/friendship. This would work fine. You don't really see stand out values like you do with, say, My Little Pony, but Finn and Jake do better when they work together and respect each other.

3) Houses/family. These easily become Kingdoms.

4) Moon magic. This is a tricky one. In Epy, magic is widespread and flexible, and having that flexibility narrowed (and growing in power so you don't need to rely on your friends D: ) is a big part of advancement/aging. In Adventure Time, though... well, you don't see many big and flashy mages, the ones you do see are often antagonists, and even their magic is usually tightly themed (Ice King, Flame Princess, Magic Man and his jerk curses). But everyone is a little bit wacky. Very rough idea: you have a 'magic' stat that grows as it does in base Epy, but instead of being tied to the moons it's tied to a single loosely-defined theme, like ice or fire or shapeshifting or science (I include the last for the Bubblegum types, though invention might be more of a playbook feature).

5) The Darkness, and the battling thereof. The Lich is there in the background. Whether you count all monsters and dungeons as being part of the Darkness is another question entirely. I think shadow points can work as is; everyone in AT has their jerk moments.

So, yeah! You'd have a couple of issues to tackle, but most of the skeleton fits very well I think.
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Adam Minnie

Hacks and Add Ons  - 
Here are drafts of a second batch of work-in-progress prestige special ability options for cultist PCs, based on their deity's traits. I posted Alluring ideas earlier. Here are some for Sinister.

I would love any and all feedback, criticism, and ideas! Many of these don't quite do what I want mechanically since I'm partly awaiting revised 'faction game' mechanics.
Trust is for the weak: Gain special armor against betrayal, treachery, mutiny, or resulting demoralization. When you roll a crit while acting in direct betrayal of someone’s trust, clear 1 stress.

Hardened Soul: Gain special armor against fear or harrowing experiences. When you roll a crit while non-violently asserting your dominance over others (such as through intimidation or foretelling horrible future events), clear 1 stress.

Do Not Meddle: You may hold hostile human authority figures at bay with the power of your devotion and a symbol of your deity. This effect costs stress equal to the rank of the authority or or scope of the group (1-6). (only very slightly modified from +Dylan Green's cleric ability)

Grim Portents: You tend to foretell worst possible outcomes as if they are certain. Gain +1d on rolls during flashbacks in which you make a creepy declaration of a future misfortune or destruction that involves your crew. Such flashbacks cost -1 stress to trigger.

Divine Visage: Your appearance permanently manifests blatant signs of your deity. Describe how. Gain +1d to intimidate, sow fear, or interact with supernatural beings, but take -1d to appear trustworthy, inconspicuous, or holy.
More complex but flexible alternative: You may alter your appearance to manifest signs of your deity, though doing so temporarily submits your body to the wild appetites, whims, and aims of your deity. Describe how. Gain +1d on rolls to intimidate, cause terror, or interact with supernatural beings. Take the lasting condition Uncontrolled with 2–6 segments based on the magnitude and duration of the effect.

The Thrill of Terror: Gain +2d on any action roll by taking a 6-segment lasting condition Extreme Phobia toward something common that is featured in the current scene or score.

Friend of Misfortune: Gain +1d and ignore the effect of a lasting condition for one action by revealing how you intended to suffer prior harm, misfortune, or faiure as part of a mysterious, elaborate plan. Aggravate the ignored lasting condition by increasing its clock size by 2 segments. (You may only ignore and aggravate each lasting condition once on a given action, but may stack this ability as many times on a single action as you have separate lasting conditions.)

Transparency: You may attune to reveal an NPC has a mysterious employer or clandestine loyalty. If you succeed, spend stress equal to the tier of the NPC's existing faction affiliation.

Conspiracy Theorist: Your ideas are ridiculous but compelling. Gain +1d when convincing others that a person or faction is mysteriously responsible for seemingly unrelated problems.

Sinister Smile: Increase your effect by 1 when harming friends, lovers, allies, and confidants.

Wheels Within Wheels: [Something about intricate plans involving extensive webs of connected factions. Maybe the following?] Gain +1d during flashbacks in which you reveal an additional faction’s interests in an element of the present score. Such flashbacks cost -1 stress to trigger.

Double Double: Gain a tick on playbook advancement when you double cross your employer on a score. [Alternative benefit could be +2 coin or hold or a single-use fine asset of your choice (as if with an acquire asset roll).]

Spider in a Web: When the outcome of a score would negatively effect a faction status, you may attune to instead apply that negative faction status to a different faction.

Profound Company: You may seek and interact with one of the following abstract concepts as if they were humans on your list of friends. Take a lasting effect Addled with segments equal to the magnitude of the knowledge, boon, or manipulation sought (2-6). You may take this ability multiple times to choose additional concepts. 
Which of these lists is best? (I'm leaning toward the first) 
—Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride, Sloth, Wrath
—Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, Delirium/Delight
—Luck, Fear, Hate, Hunger, Pride, Power, Love
—Power, Duty, Glory, Truth, Love, Justice

Other unformed ideas
Master’s Plaything: [something about benefits of a sinister deity being underhanded/mischievous toward the crew]

Hex/Superstition: [Something about manipulating NPCs superstitions/fears or employing hexes/curses]

Misfortune/Disaster: [something about twisting or foretelling disasterous fortunes]
‫רועי פורטל‬‎'s profile photoDylan Green's profile photoAdam Minnie's profile photoAndrew Shields's profile photo
Where it could get REALLY tricky is if you had some special abilities that required going into debt, and others that only work if you've got a balance.
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Adam Minnie

Discussion  - 
What do you think the impact on BitD's gameplay or tone would be if all the actions were replaced instead with Hard, Cool, Hot, Sharp, and Weird? (along with related mechanics like advancement, etc) Those could also serve as effect/resistance ratings and possibly replace crew effects.
Nathan Roberts's profile photoTravis Geery's profile photoStras Acimovic's profile photoDylan Green's profile photo
In stripping out the actions you muddy the waters for defining how you do something. Remember the GM doesn't call for rolls, the player says "I VERB him." The list of actions highlights that the player is choosing an approach in how they do something. "I command him" is different than "I sway him" or "I deceive him." 

I imagine what you would see is players describing their actions and then everyone trying to figure out which box to put it in. Was that hot because its all social and stuff? Was it cool because you acted all smooth when you were charming him? 
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Adam Minnie

Shared publicly  - 
I love this kind of visual compilation.
History of Science Fiction

Classic work on science fiction from a few years back...

Ward Shelley is an artist identified with the Williamsburg scene in Brooklyn, New York. His work includes a series of diagrammatic paintings and graphical chronologies that illustrate the interweaving of historical narratives about art and culture. This map plots the science fiction literary genre from its nascent roots in mythology and fantastic stories to the somewhat calcified post-Star Wars space opera epics of today.

Rather than a narrative emerging out of the data, here the narrative structure precedes and organizes the data: the movement of years is from left to right across the grid that represents time, distorted and reconfigured into the form of a bug-eyed monster whose tentacles are like trace roots to pre-historical sources and whose body is the corpus of sci-fi literature.

Science fiction is seen as the offspring of the collision of the Enlightenment (providing science) and Romanticism, which birthed gothic fiction, source not only of sci-fi, but also of crime novels, horror, westerns, and fantasy (all of which can be seen exiting through wormholes to their own diagrams, elsewhere). Science fiction progressed through a number of distinct periods, which are charted, citing hundreds of the most important works and authors, and which includes film and television as well.


Shelley, Ward. 2011. History of Science Fiction. Courtesy of Ward Shelley Studio. In “7th Iteration (2011): Science Maps as Visual Interfaces to Digital Libraries,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Michael J. Stamper.


#sciencefiction   #literarygenres   #infographic   #mythology   #literature  

Large version (I couldn't get it to load with slow connection)
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Tobias Strauss's profile photo
This is super cool!
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Adam Minnie

Discussion  - 
I am very excited that I get to run Epyllion tomorrow, and I'm confident in my Powered by the Apocalypse GMing skills, but I am still curious about a few game questions not addressed in the kickstarter previews.

Basic mechanics questions
 1. Does rolling a miss grant XP, or only end of session questions?
 2. Do friendship gems carry over between sessions or reset? I would guess the former, but I'm not sure.
 3. Does the first box of the XP track (the one that says "XP:") also count as one to tick off? (meaning Raw Scaled Drakes need 6 xp to fill their track, not just 5)
 4. When Flying through the Valley of Death, rolling +Gems probably refers to gems you have total, since there's no other person whose gems would count, and the move is more about the moons' overall stance toward you, right?
 5. Is there anything official or public yet about how to run the collaborative map-filling activity at the start of a campaign that is shown in the YouTube Exhibition game? Does the GM just ask each player to tell about a bit of Dragonia history that their dragon was involved in and have them add a related location to the map?
 6. Just to clarify, the default assumption is that dragons are the only sentient beings in Dragonia? The social moves all refer to dragons, and therefore don't technically seem extensible to something like intelligent nature faeries or spirits.
 — I'd love to hear any ideas or examples of how others have conveyed Darkness other than tangible predatory beasts or moral corruption among dragons.
Jonathan Perrine's profile photoMarissa Kelly (MK)'s profile photoTobias Strauss's profile photo
In my experience running Epyllion with my family, even if you have non-dragon sapient creatures, no one will care (my 8 yo daughter wanted humans for eating, lol). None of the moves really work for them, and you're DRAGONS. Who cares about elves and humans and such? :)
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Adam Minnie

Fan-Made Content  - 
Another move: Affirm a Friend
In real life, I'm not sure why, but I have found that it is strangely rare for me and others to authentically affirm what we notice and admire in those we care about. Since I aim to play Epyllion with my family, I want the game to encourage and reward practicing this kind of sincere affirmation.

[I wrote this move assuming the idea of taking bonuses forward, but Epyllion may not have that concept, in which case, this move would need to be modified.]

What do you think?

Affirm a Friend
When you set aside time to sincerely affirm something you admire about another dragon in your clutch, roll +Gems (max +3). On a hit, your affirmation deepens your bonds and lifts your clutchmate's spirits. Choose one:
—Give the clutchmate you affirmed +1 forward (+1 on one future roll)
—The clutchmate you affirmed may erase a Shadow if you return a gem

On 10+ the exchange also lifts your own spirits. In addition to the choice above, either take the other choice above or choose one of the following:
—Take +1 forward yourself 
—Erase a  Shadow if you return a gem

On a miss, your well-intended effort goes awry somehow, perhaps due to interruption, misunderstanding, or perceived insincerity. Choose one
—Take -1 forward (-1 on your next roll)
—Return a gem to the clutchmate you tried to affirm
—Mark a Shadow
Robert Slaughter's profile photoAdam Minnie's profile photoGarret Narjes's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photo
No problem.  I had simultaneously come up with a similar move yesterday, but I like yours better.  A little more variety and better written.
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Adam Minnie

Shared publicly  - 
So you say you need more dragons in your life? Maybe a good RPG where you get to play a dragon? Or it is just me?

So when I saw a post about Epyllion earlier this week, I got super excited! You mean I can play a dragon? Heck yeah, I'm sooooo in!

#womeningaming   #RPG  
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Your task: To find this princess and rescue the dragon she's holding hostage.
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Data, idea, & collaboration wrangler; freelance writer, editor, game designer
Imaginator, explorer, and synergizer in God's spoken world
Put me in circles about: Digital art, tabletop gaming, game design, rpg hacking/re-skinning, GMing, digital tools for tabletop rpgs, expanding imagination/creativity, blogging, writing/editing, exploring (travel, learning, experimenting), appreciating beauty (food, drink, nature, bizarre critters), higher education, interdisciplinary collaboration, MLIS/Information Science, human development, humanities (literature, history, philosophy), theology, dance, marriage, parenting, Jonathan Edwards, dubstep, acoustic music, quantum physics, How Things Work, languages/linguistics, metaphor.

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