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Old 10-02-2022, 02:58 PM   #21
Astromancer
 
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I had my Players in a place where there was logically a lot of treasure to be found. I tried to keep the haul within reason.

Please tell me if this list is too much.

A bejeweled brooch that makes everything the person who wears it seem magical to Detect Magic. Thus hiding the real magic items in the noise.

A black silk mantle (Medieval cloak) that provides environmental comfort. Anyone wearing the cloak is protected from all environmental stress. Spells like Fireball and Come of Cold work normally, but the person wearing the mantle could walk across a glacier without being the least bit chilly, or travel through a tropical swamp without the least discomfort from heat or humidity. The mantle is also self cleaning and self repairing.

A silver ring with a green crystal. If someone wears this ring while playing cards with others, the ring wearer will always know what cards the other players have. Including any extra cards they mean to cheat with. (This was automatically labeled the Ring of Cheaters by the players).

Three silver rings with red crystals. If someone wears any of these rings while someone is wearing the aforementioned ring with the green crystal, the person wearing the ring with the green crystal can see and hear everything in the ten foot radius around the wearer of the ring with the red crystal. As long as they are within a thousand miles of the ring with the green crystal and on the same plane of existence.

A magical whistling top. While the top is spinning it plays one of five tunes. The tune can be changed by the person who last spun the top calling out the name of the flower associated with that tune. ( The flowers are a rose, a lilly, a daisy, a violet, and a daffodil). The top remains spinning for a very long time and is very easy to start spinning.

Bedclothes all magically charmed to stay clean, fresh, sweet smelling, and in good repair. The coverlet keeps the sleeper at a comfortable temperature at all times. The pillows, bolster, and "mattress" (really more of a feather bed) keeps the sleeper comfortable at all times and eliminates pressure points.

These items work separately.

A silver ring with a blue crystal. It stores one use of a cantrip. Thus letting a PC with cantrips give another character one use of the cantrip.

A necklace of brown beads that always smells of myrrh.

A chamber pot that is always self cleaning and deodorizing.

A scroll of three cantrips.

Move Earth, a version of the Druidic cantrip Bonfire, that is a Wizard cantrip, and an illusion cantrip that is limited to smells. But can create strong smells.

Was this to little or way to much?
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Last edited by Astromancer; 10-02-2022 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:59 PM   #22
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

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Was this to little or way to much?
Well, let's add them up.

Only the cantrip storing ring can add directly to offense or defense if it is storing the right cantrip. Maybe the scroll too but scrolls are limited use and the ring only stores a cantrip that someone has to put in it. Fairly hard to abuse either.

The green crystal ring (augmented by the red crystal rings) can be used to make money, engage in espionage (maybe) or for general shenanigans. not hugely powerful though I would try and get some mileage out of it myself.

The rest make the user more comfortable or provide trivial amusement.

I wouldn't call it too much unless they divert the PCs into trying to find uses for them instead of addressing the adventure at hand.

Is it not enough? When I was playing in the longest 5e game (Official Wizards Ravenloft) i've been in I think I may have had a +1 Ring of Protection by 5th level. I didn't get a +1 weapon until 8th level or something like that.

In the Spelljammer game I've only run for one session so far I gave the players what I thought was a reasonable sum (500 GP) for starting at 5th level. Most of them turned that money into a common magic item (things like Cloaks +1) though one bought a blackpowder pistol for 250 gp.

3.5 had hard and fast rules for this sort of thing but 5e hasn't and appears to discourage powerful magic items most of the time.
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Old 10-12-2022, 02:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

What do you guys think of The Complete Arcanum? I'm told it has useful variant rules for Arcane spell casters in DnD. I know it's 3.5, but I've heard most rules function perfectly well in 5e.
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Old 10-13-2022, 10:55 AM   #24
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Anyone have advice in introducing players mostly familiar with GURPS and DnD to more narrative Powered by the Apocalypse games?
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Old 10-13-2022, 01:55 PM   #25
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Anyone have advice in introducing players mostly familiar with GURPS and DnD to more narrative Powered by the Apocalypse games?
My personal advice is: don't.

My experience with PbtA games is: they're interesting if you want to play the characters they have already made for you, and you want to play the story they wrote for you. But, if you want to do anything else, the game fights you, tooth-and-nail, every step of the way.

We tried Masks for about an hour, and didn't make it through character generation because none of the character classes fit with over half the party and none of the players were interested in the mandatory baggage they were saddled with.

Might look into Fate or Fudge.
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Old 10-13-2022, 02:20 PM   #26
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Anyone have advice in introducing players mostly familiar with GURPS and DnD to more narrative Powered by the Apocalypse games?
I haven't tried any of them, but I've read the one about teenage superheroes. My feeling is that Mark and his companions in gaming got hung up because they were expecting a roleplaying game, and PbtA is simply not a roleplaying game as we here know them. I suppose it might be capable of being fun if you came to it with no expectations, just as playing Sparkle Kitty can be fun (I don't say this sarcastically; C and I have played several rounds of that with friends and quite liked it). But you need to view it as sui generis.

And specifically, PbtA does not give you freedom to say that your character does X, and leave it to the GM to decide what happens, as has been the case in RPGs since the days of Arneson. Rather, you choose one of a list of fewer than a dozen options, and say that your character does that. That's not what I call "narrative powered"; picking items from a menu isn't what I call "narrative."

There seems to be a growing tendency for people to talk about "narrative" games when they mean games where the rules directly specify that you must narrate X, or Y, or Z, rather than specifying how you create a character and letter you make up something to narrate about your creation. It's more a gamist approach to narrative than a narrativist approach.
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Old 10-13-2022, 02:24 PM   #27
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I haven't tried any of them, but I've read the one about teenage superheroes. My feeling is that Mark and his companions in gaming got hung up because they were expecting a roleplaying game, and PbtA is simply not a roleplaying game as we here know them.
Yes. This is exactly it.

Again, Mr. Stoddard, you can articulate what is in my mind better than I can.
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Old 10-14-2022, 05:28 AM   #28
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

Interesting. I've mostly been listening to actual play podcasts for various PbtA games -- it seems like the player says "I want to do X", the GM says, that sounds closes to move "Y", player rolls, and GM and player figure out what the result means.

I have heard there are issues with the playbooks in some games, folks rave about others. So I'm thinking of doing a one-shot of Apocalypse Keys.
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Old 10-14-2022, 09:23 AM   #29
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

I haven't been a fan of PbtA for reasons similar to those Bill articulates - but I recently listened to the Esoteric Order of Gamers' playthrough of Monsterhearts and for me that made rather more sense of it, and of "narrativist" games in general.

In my standard mode of RPGs, each player gets into the mindset of their character. Here's a challenge - how am I going to resolve it? When I run or play GURPS I rarely see players rolling for their disadvantages, unless they want a hint from the dice ("would I be Lecherous here?"), because they've already internalised them.

In PbtA if you try to play that way you'll be constantly kicked out of it. This game is not about thinking like the character it's about being the writer on the team who has primary responsibility for that character. You're not trying to get them to their goals, the way they would be themselves; you're trying to get them into situations that will let them show off their distinctive traits (both good and bad), and to make sure the overall story is an interesting one.

So I think it is worth laying that out for the players up front and making sure they're up for it. And then pick the right game, because as Mark suggests each game is basically more like a short campaign in scope, not a full-on play-anything-in-that-world RPG.
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Old 10-14-2022, 09:44 AM   #30
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Default Re: Tell us how your Campaigns are going, also get and give advice

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I haven't been a fan of PbtA for reasons similar to those Bill articulates - but I recently listened to the Esoteric Order of Gamers' playthrough of Monsterhearts and for me that made rather more sense of it, and of "narrativist" games in general.
I've been following Twelve-Sided Stories (which does short 10 episode campaigns, some in PbtA games), the Unexplored Places (currently doing Masks), and Black Armada (ran a few sessions of Apocalypse Keys). I like the idea of centering the character's personalities and relationships, which can get glossed over in more traditional RPGs. Yes, good roleplayers are good roleplayers regardless of the system, but mechanical support for good roleplaying seems worth a try.
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