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With some help from the player I made it for and the rest of my table, I think this is in a good enough shape to share. The Persona. A Playbook no one asked (someone..did but ya know) but I made anyway.

It's certainly a mechanical monstrosity but I feel it's fairly...balanced.
The Persona
The Persona

End of session move: Grow closer to the team.
"Explain who made you feel welcome; give Influence to that character..."
"If you have Influence over a teammate and you would gain Influence over them again, immediately shift one of their Labels up and one of their Labels down, your choice."
Shifting Labels:
"If you ever need to shift a Label above +3 or below -2 mark a condition instead, GM’s choice."

When its time for teammates to shift labels, do you let your players share OOC where their labels are currently, so their teammates don't accidentally shift them past +3 or -2 and inadvertently give their teammate a condition for what should have been a moment of growing closer?

My players hate this consequence. It sours the celebratory feeling of the end of session move for this chain of events to trigger. How do you guys handle this?

How do you share the action between players?

One issue that I have had in Masks is with players (ok, and GMs) who have come out of D&D, Champions or other turn based combat system RPGs. PbtA is a free flowing narrative combat system with rolling for major actions (moves) - and the GM is meant to flip back and forth between players when it is right for the narrative not because of an initiative chart.

However, this freedom means that it can feel very lopsided to players more used to a strict order of combat, especially as the NPCs get a move after every move a PC makes; sometimes players feel that their character are not getting enough screen time; and then "hey, when is my character going to get a go" becomes a common complaint (even if the player only just a minute ago made a spectacular move and other character are having the spotlight on them now).

My group of 6 - 8 players brain-stormed this idea after one game where I, as GM, felt that the spotlight was shining fairly evenly on the characters, but some of the players felt that in the combats their characters were not getting enough attention.

Our solution? Poker chips and an icecream bucket. Every player gets a poker chip at the start of the session and then, once we get into a combat type situation, when a player "makes a move" they throw their chip in the bucket. Once everyone has thrown their chips in the bucket, or the combat ends, we hand the chips back out to everyone and start again. We still get the narrative style free flowing combat feel of the game, but now when a player asks "Hey, when is my character going to get a go?" everyone looks at them and someone will respond "Where is your chip?"; if it is in their hand then the answer is can be "Now" or "soon", if it is in the bucket is is after the other characters have had some spotlight.

And what do we mean by "makes a move"? Well, it has to be something the player does - so "take a powerful blow" doesn't count but "directly engage a threat" would; however reacting to something, or defending/assisting another PC's move... well, that we leave up the GM and players to decide. Our rule of thumb is that it has to be something big to use up your chip - and what is big? Well, that is normally up to the GM to determine, and I normally go by if you have to role the dice then it is probably something big.

It is not a perfect solution by a long shot, and I hope that after a while of playing we get more into the habit of sharing the spotlight but for now, it has removed the complaint of players feeling they didn't get enough action in a game session and everyone feels like they accumplished something in the game.

What are some ideas other gaming groups have used to ensure that the spotlight is shared for players and GMs new PbtA type games?

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Influence Pedalling Playbook Addition

In the first few games of Masks it was really hard for the players to give, take, lose or use Influence over other characters because they had written down on their playbooks whether they had influence over character, or if they had given influence to a character. And because it was written on the sheet, and no one wanted to erase these notes, it got to the stage where players were collecting influence, but not using it (or losing it) because of a lack of an eraser.

I'm not sure if you've had this issue, but as the GM it was annoying.

I know we could use the Influence Cards but... yours truly does tend to forget to bring them to the game, they do tend to get lost on the table, and how do you keep a record between games of who has what influence?

So, what I came up with is an Influence Pedalling addition to the playbooks where we use Post-It notes (which I call Influence Tags) to keep track of whom a character has influence over, a section to keep a supply of Post-It notes of your characters Influence Tags that have not yet been handed to anyone in the game (every character should have 1 tag for every PC in the game) and a section to note down which adults no longer have influence over the character.

(See the attached photos in comment section)

After setting this addition to the playbooks up the players actually started trading influence, and using them against other characters because it was so easy to hand the influence tags between the players with no additional writing needed. It was easy and the players liked it.

Anyway, your mileage may vary, but if you want to try this out for yourselves here is the Influence Pedalling sheet I made.

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Masks - GM Playbook (aka - GM Screens, aka - GM Cheat Sheets)

During as a GM of Masks games I've come across the issue of trying to keep everything I need at hand, when it was spread across 3 or 4 reference sheets and rules books. I did investigate making a GM Screen, but I've never been much good with those as the table we use is perpetually crowded (and/or small). So, instead of a GM Screen I investigated a handheld Playbook format of the important things I needed to remember as GM.

This then lead to some work cutting and pasting of the "GM Reference Sheet" and the "Basic Moves" sheet to create an 8 page GM Playbook that includes a list of all the items that I could possibly want (and a paragraph liberally borrowed from the Podcast: "Nerds on a Roll" - you should listen to it, it's great - that I read at the start of each session to remind the players what style of game we are playing as we only get one game in every couple of months). Now I just have these 2 Letter size pages, folded in half, with me all the time and I can reference just about anything I need without having to hide behind a screen. I think this works better than a screen because the whole idea of Masks (and PbtA in general) is creative storytelling, and not an adversarial GM vs Players system... and I can still use this even lounging on the couch with the players in other comfy chairs. Hopefully it is helpful to other GMs.

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A joy ride has become a car chase that has turned into a shoot out. Now our heroes just have to take down some bank robbers how hard could that be?

Question about one of the Doomed's Doomsigns:

Portal: Mark your doom track to appear in a scene with anyone you want.

A player of mine, playing the Doomed, is thinking of taking this sign and asked me if it worked like: "I wanna crash another PC's scene that's going on right now" OR "Like the portals abilities, but driven by who rather than where."

Anyone who has played a Doomed, GM'd a game with a Doomed, or played in a game with a Doomed, how did you interpret this doomsign, and how did it work out?

How frequently at your table do players trigger moves and roll dice?

Listening to my players objections to the too-fast pacing, I went through the last session letting them do most of the leading without new things being thrown in. (Feedback to that was positive) There was some great role play and some of the outstanding threads got wrapped up. In an 8 hour session, moves were triggered where dice were rolled only about 5 or 6 times.

How do your experiences compare?

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An alien invasion that’s taken all the adult superheroes out of the picture, leaving the new generation to fend for themselves. A re-written world where heroes are only now beginning to discover their powers, where crime rules the streets with an iron fist. An academy of learning, where prospective heroes learn history, math, and how to punch a supervillain across the gym while trying to navigate a high school social life. A cosmic roadtrip that takes the heroes across worlds, time, and dimensions in pursuit of the notes of a universe-ending song. A warning from the future, a cosmic wanderer, and a child of evil. Such are the new worlds and new heroes to be found in Unbound!
Masks: Unbound Review
Masks: Unbound Review

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"It's . . . Showtime!" The stories behind Masks: High Impact Heroics keep coming, this time from Aki Thomas​. The child of a super villain can get into all sorts of trouble, whether they really want to or not. Suspicious Shipments Are Spotted! Tarot Cards Are Read! A Beacon Is Lied To! And (Surprisingly Enough) Responsibility Is Taken! All of this in the latest installment of Table Fiction!
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