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Mark Diaz Truman
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Announcements  - 
 
Dark Streets / LE Playbooks Update - Jan 2015

Hey folks!

Since we get so many questions about Dark Streets and the LE Playbooks in this community (the archives aren't really that searchable), he's an official (pinned) update on these projects:

Dark Streets - We're currently working through the City Guides and LE playbooks for the book. We plan on including the cities listed in the Kickstarter and The Vessel, The Revenant, The Scholar, and The Hallowed, along with a few essays about expanding the game in interesting ways. The depth of rules editing here has been substantial (we want to make sure everything really, really works), but we expect to have production news in the next month or so.

Other LE Playbooks - If you're looking for LE playbooks that aren't going to be in Dark Streets (The Dragon, The Immortal, The Angel, etc) stay tuned for more information. We're likely to release those as standalone products when they are finished, sometime after Dark Streets is published.

Thanks!
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James Friery's profile photoMark Diaz Truman's profile photo
71 comments
 
Yup! I think we will have it processed around the end of the month (barring problems with proofing). Please start your campaigns now! Dark Streets can always be integrated later.
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Saffire Rainbo

Discussion  - 
 
Hi, looking for advice and thoughts on how others write/create fiction and a 'dark tone' without exploiting children and Women?
e.g. putting rape into a females backstory to give her more 'depth' or a violent crime against a female or child NPC - to create that darker more evil vibe or to encourage "emotional play" ("kicking the puppy")?

I want to create complex, rich, dark and gritty edges to my city without falling into these 2 particularly problematic 'go-to' traps. Reinforcing the same harmful tropes in pop-culture in my games is not something I am interested in.

Does anyone else here feel the same?


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Michel McArthur's profile photoSaffire Rainbo's profile photo
31 comments
 
+Horst Wurst Not really what I was asking. I <3 Urban Shadows for it's intersectionality and exporlation of all these issues. The defaulting to violence against Women and Children to make the 'BIG BAD' is what am I asking people about how do they avoid. And how do they do 'dark' which is not this 'go-to- how to make a character evil or have a traumatic backstory and vulnerable'.
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Tor Droplets

Discussion  - 
 
How do you handle real life personalities like local celebrities and politicians in your games? Do you avoid them or fill their roles with fictional characters? Do you just introduce them when it comes naturally, but you don't make a big deal out of it? Or do you go out of your way to include caricatures of well known locals and uncover their supernatural ties and dirty secrets?
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Tor Droplets's profile photoSaffire Rainbo's profile photo
8 comments
 
I also think it makes a huge difference if people at the table are politically active outside of gaming and know local politics well enough to satarise it in game. For example, playing with student politicians it may be hard not to have it enter the game as its their external world colliding with Gaming world. (from my own observations- not fact). 
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Aaron Griffin

Discussion  - 
 
Is it sensible to make a custom move using Faction stats to indicate familiarity with a group? We're setting up for a religious thing, where holy folk (Mortality) and Night don't mix. I am considering something like:

When you enter the sanctuary of Rockefeller Chapel, roll with Night.
On a 10+, you are too close to the darkness, and the protective magics cause great discomfort (take -1 ongoing while within the sanctuary, but you may take 1 harm to shake free from the enchantment).
On a 7-9, you are merely disoriented for a few moments (take -1 forward).
On a 6-, the darkness does not hold sway over you; you are unaffected.
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Aaron Griffin's profile photoChristo Meid (TaintedDingo)'s profile photo
7 comments
 
Very nice, adding the organ.
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Tor Droplets

Discussion  - 
 
How can I make corruption meaningful in one shots or short campaigns of Urban Shadows? It feels a bit cheap to mark corruption all the time without any consequences.

Here's one untested method I came up with just now:

At the end of the (final) session, roll 2d6. If the result is higher than the total of corruption marked, your character is unaffected. Otherwise, they fall to darkness. Come up with an epilogue that reflects the result.

What do you think about using a custom move like this?

Have you seen other corruption hacks or ways to give corruption more short term significance?
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Andrew Medeiros's profile photoTommy Rayburn's profile photo
11 comments
 
I always start as if they are existing characters with corruption already.
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Hi, I'm from Brazil. We're almost ready to begin a game set in L.A., buuuuuut we don't know much about the city. I just googled it, but only found tourist guides, with the "beautiful" L.A., not something we need to work properly with the engine and especially US. And we only have de 80's movie flavor...

Help!!! :D
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Brandon Leon-Gambetta's profile photoGuilherme Eisenlohr's profile photo
7 comments
 
Guys, loved the ideas. I'm from Rio de Janeiro, a very good setting for US, indeed.
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Toby Sennett

Discussion  - 
 
Can Urban Shadows do Night Watch (the book series by Sergey Lukyanenko), and how much modification, if any, would be needed?
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Ганс Андроид (Guns-n-Droids)'s profile photo
8 comments
 
You'll also want to introduce hierarchy as a thing, as watches are effectively The Underworld Police 
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Benjamin Cooper

Discussion  - 
 
Building a new storm for my game, wanted some feedback on a custom move I'm using for a particularly nasty group of wizards--
Reactive Shielding: The magi of the circle are warded by magic which gives them armor +2. If an attack (mundane or supernatural) does less than 2 damage after subtracting armor, roll with Spirit. On a 10+, nothing happens. On a 7-9, choose one from below. On a miss, choose three:
*Suffer 2-harm as eldritch energy courses from the wizard’s shield into your body
*Fall to the ground clutching your head in pain, unable to take actions for the remainder of the scene
*Be psychically prevented from using the weapon/skill that attacked the wizard for the remainder of the combat
*Take -1 forward for any actions against any magi of the circle for the rest of the session

Thoughts? Too punitive? Not punitive enough? Not enough options?
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Aaron Griffin's profile photoBenjamin Cooper's profile photo
3 comments
 
+Aaron Griffin I think you've got the better approach on the "harm but not kill." I could give them eldritch armor but "whammy-ing" the players if they come at the king but miss is a better way to represent the concept.

As revised, trigger will be:
If you attack a magus or maga of the Circle and do 2 damage or less (including a miss), then roll with Spirit...
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Antoine Pempie

Discussion  - 
 
Hello +Mark Diaz Truman  and +Andrew Medeiros ,
my group and I encountered a bump in the road last night during our ongoing Urban Shadows campaign.
It is about Cashing in a Debt, and more precisely about what is exactly a moderate favor.

Basically, a PC1 (played by Player 1) was asking another PC2 (played by Player 2) for something really precious to her (a magic artifact she stole with great peril to prevent a disaster). I immediately asked Player 2 : "Do you think this is a moderate favor ?". The player answered : "No, of course it is not". I agreed completely. So, we didn't trigger the move.

During the debriefing, Player 1 maintained that we should have triggered the move, saying it was a moderate favor, for it meant no danger for PC2. As it is said in the rules, he said, the favor should be calculated depending on the capacity of the PC (Asking a violent character to kill a nobody is moderate. Asking a mere mortal to kill a badass werewolf is not). I argued the point that, following only that logic, killing your own parents could be considered a moderate favor (which, to my mind, is of course absolutely absurd).
I argued that he could have tried to trick Player 2's PC by misleading her into thinking this was not so tall a price to pay.

What do you think ? I could really use your insight on this.
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Andrew Medeiros's profile photoKalysto de la vacuité's profile photo
32 comments
 
thanks
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Lisa Padol

Discussion  - 
 
So, what threats, storms, and countdown clocks have you folks used? And how far into the countdown clock did things get before the PCs stopped the clock?
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Lisa Padol's profile photoJochen Steimel's profile photo
3 comments
 
Thank you Jason for your in-depth example of concrete fronts and storms. Very educative!
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Andrea Serafini

Fan Made Content  - 
 
THE UNTAMED.

Urban Shadows is a world of frail alliances, delicate diplomacy and hidden rivalries.

The Untamed doesn't give a shit to all this.
Why tip-toe your life and tremble in fear when you can revel and roar? She came to rend you free - but it will not be easy. Do you see all those obligations and loyalities? They will hurt like hell, when she'll rip them apart.


So, the Untamed is a really loud, primal Archetype based on all the "Mother of Monsters" and "Wild Man" archetypes of mythology .

The Untamed gives power to others if they are brave enough to be free and monstrous. But it's not all talk and motherly (or fatherly) attitudes - she can also break hell in civilized society!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qu2HZ8iFP0yxwBnqXmNf3u0Gdm7_h8HkRS7Mxxsib2s/edit

As usual comments are more than welcome (especially about my horrible grammar), and if you've some idea of characters that may fit the archetype, please, post it as a comment!

Drive
The UntamedNOTES _ OTHER MOVES________________________ HOLD/GEAR___________________________ _ THE UNTAMED _ Up there, behind the glass and the steel, there are only puppets...
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Piteas De Adunte's profile photo
 
I really think this could be better integrated on the wild faction. Thwe night is described like a faction of ever-being human creatures that fall in disgrace. But the untammed seems more like a strange divinity of extrange ages
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About this community

Urban Shadows is an urban fantasy tabletop roleplaying game in which mortals and monsters vie for control of a modern-day city, a political battleground layered just under the reality we think we know. Vampires, faeries, hunters, and wizards fight to carve out a piece of the streets and skyscrapers, ready to make deals with all those who have something to offer. The city is waiting for you. What will you make of its secrets and sins?

Aaron Griffin

Discussion  - 
 
I'm looking for advice on bringing the game to some logical conclusion. With the Beginning of Session move, players can author their own kickers each session, which is super cool. The problem is that they don't always tie together cleanly.

We're getting to the end of some of the corruption tracks, and I think the stories for each character are coming to an end. So I'd like to try to bring things in more tightly, but don't want to remove the Beginning of Session move for the players.

Anything special you guys do to start pointing towards that 3-4 episode season finale arc?


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Aaron Griffin's profile photoChirag Asnani's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Aaron Griffin Makes sense-they and Demons abide by the same archaic rules, albeit on different sides. I think the Angel beta playbook is Wild too.
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Tim Schaufert

Discussion  - 
 
Hey, I have a question about the Wizards magic. On the Sanctum Sanctorum move it says:

"When you go to your Sanctum for a spell ingredient, relic, or tome, roll with Spirit..."

In the spells specified in the top left corner of the playbook though the only spells that require an ingredient need a sample from the targeted person. I guess you'll hardly find that in you Sanctum. Does that mean the Wizard can cast spells that are not in that list? I find no clues in the rulebook on how a Wizard would use other forms of magic, or even tome and relic reliant magic.
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William Nichols's profile photoTim Schaufert's profile photo
4 comments
 
Ok I think i got it now, thanks for the helpful answers. Looking forward to MCing my first session soon.
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Ian Fletcher

Discussion  - 
 
Just picked up a physical copy at the game store yesterday, so happy to get my hands on an actual book. Can't wait to run and play this.

Question concerning debts between player characters. One of the characters my friend and I like to reprise are sisters, separated in early youth and reunited in the plot.

My concern is that they should not really be collecting debts against each other, at least not in the style that Debts appear to be represented in the US system (not because family doesn't collect debts, but because their relationship has always been "best of friends").

What would be a good way to have best friends who will collaborate easily and forgive debts in US without discarding the Debt system? Curious if others have run into this before and already written about it.
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Charlie Collins's profile photoIan Fletcher's profile photo
6 comments
 
Having read more of the Debts system, I've seen they don't have to be as antagonistic as I first worried. Thanks for the replies though, peeps, it's been way more helpful than you realize. 
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Did the Hit the Streets move only triggers when the PC get out into the city with NPCs?


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Jason Tocci's profile photoGuilherme Eisenlohr's profile photo
4 comments
 
That's why I asked, Jason. We don't have this in the book. 
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Mischa Krilov

Looking For Game  - 
 
Hello world! I am looking to try out Urban Shadows. I can do PbP or Hangouts and would prefer not to run a game I don't know anything about. Most evenings after 8pm Central (except Tuesdays) I'm good.
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David Rothfeder's profile photoMischa Krilov's profile photo
24 comments
 
MOAR GAMING
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James Friery

Archetypes  - 
 
Is there an archetype, I would assume for faction: power, for shaolin (bulletproof monk)?
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Aaron Griffin's profile photoJames Etheridge's profile photo
3 comments
 
Well, what would you want such a character's motives and role in the faction politics to be?

If you're actually referencing the movie Bulletproof Monk, I think a Tainted could do the job pretty well. An outsider in service to a higher being which compels them to certain actions (the scrolls, in this case), with superhuman fighting ability. Refluff The Devil Inside as taking up a fighting stance and it works like a charm.

Ancient, untouchable bearer of forbidden wisdom, manipulating others into enlightenment without their knowledge? Try Immortal.

And so on.
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Aaron Griffin

Discussion  - 
 
Refusing a Debt question. I had the following scenario happen:

Vamp goes to meet Libby, apologizes for treating her poorly, and asks here to accompany him on a thing (get rid of some ghosts, collect the ectoplasm they leave behind as they exit our plane for oblivion), so he could make use of her budding necromancy skills. She says sure, but I've done so much for you in the past, so I'm gonna take 80% of what we get (she's calling in a debt here). In inform the Vamp that what remains will probably not be as much as he needs, so he goes to refuse the debt and succeeds on a 10+.

Here's where the problem comes in. He presses the matter. Nothing in the situation changed, but he keeps asking. The player is expecting to try to persuade her with promises and sweet talk.

But this confuses me. He knows what it will take (the debt) but doesn't want to give up 80%. He thinks he could talk her down to an equal share, but it doesn't feel right to me on the rules side because the debt was already part of this.

We ended up rolling to persuade and he botched it, so it ended poorly anyway. But what would you have done?
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Andrea Serafini's profile photoJohn Alexander's profile photo
7 comments
 
I'm right there with +Andrea Serafini. After refusing a debt, I'd definitely want some sweet talk AND another debt.
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Using Flynn's conspiracies in Urban Shadows is promising...


The "#spiritcooking" rumor soon morphed into the "#pizzagate" conspiracy theory involving Comet Ping Pong, which alleges that virtually the entire D.C. establishment — including the Clintons, Obama, law enforcement and the media — is involved with or covering up a satanic plot to traffic in, sexually abuse and murder children. The debunked allegations have led to death threats and harassment against the restaurant and others associated with Comet, including owners of neighboring businesses and indie musicians who play concerts in the pizzeria’s back room.
 
#Flynn under fire for #fake #news - +POLITICOhttp://nzzl.us/NEzy9fx via @nuzzel
A shooting at a D.C. pizza restaurant is stoking criticism of the conspiracy theories being spread by Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser.
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Aaron Griffin

Discussion  - 
 
So there's this building, witch coven holed up inside, doing witch-y ritual things. The Spectre's Link is in there - his living daughter, who is trying to learn necromancy because she may have seen her dead father once in a fever dream and wants to contact him.

The Fae rolls up, with his Dish Best Served Now, seeking vengance for one of his redcap followers, Tom, who's brother, Dom, says he saw fall in a witch's hex trap so they could drain his blood.

Fae Lets It Out, calling to the spirits and elementals of the earth trapped in the stones of the building, urging them to be free! The building rumbles and creaks and begins to come down.

Now the Link is in danger, but the Spectre is there - he was just outside keeping an eye on his daughter. He moves in, to get her out. But now the coven is pissed, their eyes on the Fae, blocking the Spectre from moving in. And it's his turn. He Lets It Out, summoning all the sadness and despair he felt at the moment of his death, all the pain and the regret, and pushing it into the room. And he rolls a 13 and decides to pay the corruption to make this permanent.

[We basically paused here on a cliffhanger for the night]

So this mega-depression emission, I need to figure out a move for this, I think. A passive "you can make people really sad" isn't going to cut it. Any good ideas? I'm feeling an "unintended victims" consequence in there...
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Lisa Padol's profile photoAaron Griffin's profile photo
8 comments
 
+Lisa Padol it's the Spectre's move, and an Advanced Let It Out makes the change permanent as per the rules.
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