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Old 08-01-2012, 10:26 PM   #1
Jason
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Default Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

I've had some interest from players lately in trying out In Nomine with the rules from Apocalypse World (or, more specifically, Dungeon World, a D&D-style variant of that system). If you've ever played AW or any of its hacks and you're interested in throwing me some advice on what you think needs to survive the translation, I'd love the feedback. I've got a ton of notes already, but here's a summary of my basic thinking so far:

Keeping interventions: My players and I agree that 111 and 666 interventions absolutely need to make the cut, so I've been working on a way to adapt AW's 2d6 system into a 3d6 system. Mostly, this involves a recalculation of the ranges for a miss (now ≤ 9), a partial hit, (now 10-13), and a hit (now 14+). Stat modifiers will also be slightly larger than in AW (+/- 4 or 5 for humans, compared to +/- 3 in AW, though I figure celestials are superhuman and so may exceed these in time).

Two-part playbooks: Playbooks will be a combo of a single-page coversheet for Choir or Band, plus a longer playbook for Superior. (I figure I may make some playbooks for sorcerers and other types of characters later, but I'm just going to start with a small handful of Choir/Archangel combos to try it out with my players.) In addition to a list of basic moves common to every character, the Choir/Band coversheet will have the obvious starting moves (Resonate, Suffer Dissonance, Perform a Song) and a small list of extra moves you can choose from that would make sense for your Choir/Band. Most moves, however, will be in the Superior playbook, including the attunements, some songs, and a few skill-oriented things for each Superior. The Superior playbooks will also give options for gear, what kind of vessel(s) you start with, and roles.

So, for instance, if you're going to play an Ofanite of Stone, you'll have the option to pick up some Songs of Motion and driving-related moves from your Choir coversheet (because all Ofanim should be able to choose stuff like that), but you'll have access to defensively-oriented fighting moves and the Songs of Might from your Superior playbook. If you want to get one of the Songs of Harmony, you're going to have to check whether any allied Superiors have it in their playbooks. Yeah, it's more restrictive than default In Nomine, but it's much more in keeping with the thematically-directed (and less overwhelming) approach of AW-derived games.

Now, some stuff I'm still trying to work out...

Basic Moves: What should the basic moves be, and what should they be called? I'm interested in how Dungeon World and Monsterhearts redid Apocalypse World's basic moves to be more in keeping with their respective genre expectations, both in terms of choosing evocative names ("Go Aggro" vs. "Hack and Slash" vs. "Lash Out Physically") and in terms of adjusting mechanics. I'm still trying to figure out, however, what the moves should look like for a game with as much thematic range as In Nomine (and whether I can or should try to come up with music- or Bible-themed titles for moves).

Forces & Characteristics: This is the toughest part for me, and the area where I'd most appreciate input. Do I keep all 6 characteristics? Do I have Forces somehow mathematically/mechanically linked to characteristics, or do I pretty much remove them from the mechanics like GURPS In Nomine does?

My working plan has been to offer a fixed stat range to assign to the normal 6 characteristics (+3, +2, +1, +0, +0, -1), and say that your Forces in each realm designate the maximum bonus you can get in that realm's Characteristics. (So if you want to get that +3 to +4, you'd better make sure you have 4 Forces in that realm.) I rather like the mechanical simplicity of fewer stats in AW and Monsterhearts, though, and the GURPS conversion indicates to me that you can preserve the essence of the system even if some stuff gets trimmed out, so I wonder whether an In Nomine hack would benefit from an overhaul in this area.

I've got some other issues I'm working through, but that's the stuff most on my mind right now. Any and all input is very much welcome.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:50 AM   #2
Whitelaughter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

I would keep your basic moves etc, but have anything AW specific linked to Vessels, rather than to the basic rules or PCs: that way both genres can operate side by side, AW providing the Corporeal theme while IN provides the Celestial.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
Jason
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

Just to clarify, you'd recommend having the 5 Apocalypse World stats AND the 6 In Nomine Characteristics AND the 3 In Nomine Forces? I feel like that'd be a hard sell with my players, most of whom already find the In Nomine rules more complex than they need to be (which is why I'm considering converting to a more pared-down system for them). I also have a hard time imagining some of the Apocalypse World stats as vessel-specific, considering the system's implied blending of physical traits and personality traits. "Hard" and "Sharp" aren't just about muscles and eyesight; they're about being a hardass and being a sharp thinker. But please do let me know if I'm misunderstanding you!

The more I think about it, the more I'm considering just taking the 5 Apocalypse World attributes and renaming them to work better with In Nomine. They already sound like terms you'd hear at a rock concert: Hard, Sharp, Cool, Hot …*though I kind of like "Smooth" better so it's not vessel-dependent, and I wonder whether "Weird" should get replaced with something else to cover resonances and songs, or whether that should just be offloaded onto other stats. It might be worth it to only use Forces to determine how much harm you can take in each category and have it be otherwise disconnected from attributes for the sake of approachability…
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
Whitelaughter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

[grins] No! Simple is good!
Fault is at my end for not specifying that my knowledge of AW is meager - no, what I meant was anything that a player specifically wants (from any system/genre) can be safely added to the Vessel without influencing IN greatly.

IN has a 'hole': Vessels are intended to be modifiable (frex adding Power and Protection), but no rules exist for this, so modifying a Vessel using the rules of another system allows you to blend the systems easily. However doing this should be from the quirk/feat/(dis)advantage/other tweaks to the 2nd system, not from the core rules.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
Jason
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

Ahh, thanks for clarifying. The tricky thing here is that Apocalypse World doesn't really have traits, skills, advantages, and whatnot, so it's not a matter of figuring out how to add stuff from that system, but how much of In Nomine gets left on the cutting room floor before it stops looking like In Nomine.

The one thing I do actually need to make up (or carefully select from elsewhere) is what the "basic moves" are. That's better understood less as skills/powers, and more as what kinds of actions you want to encourage all PCs to be doing. In Apocalypse World, for instance, the "Hard" stat gets added to your roll when you want to "Go Aggro" (threaten with violence) or "Seize by Force" (just what it sounds like). Those are things everybody is expected to try to do sooner or later in a scarcity-based, post-apocalyptic setting. On the other hand, in Monsterhearts (an AW-derived game designed to let you tell Buffy/Twilight style supernatural teen dramas), the "Hard" stat is called "Volatile," going aggro is replaced by "Lash Out Physically" (less about threatening, more about unpredictable anger), and "Seize by Force" is gone entirely, making way for "Run Away" (during which you may cry and cause a scene). Similar approaches, but tweaked to invoke their respective genres.

So, aside from the obvious supernatural stuff (rolling resonance, detecting disturbance, etc.), what kinds of things do you think are likely to come up in just about every In Nomine game, sooner or later? It's a tough question, seeing as how In Nomine covers a really broad range of themes and styles by design. An angels-as-superheroes campaign probably just needs a straight-up swords-and-punches moves for fight scenes, while a dark, low-contrast game focused on drama might benefit from something more like the tension-and-intimidation-focused "Go Aggro." But what else do we do? Search for clues? Try to trick police into letting us into crime scenes? Creepily spy on people in crowds? I could use some suggestions for stuff like this to abstract into broader moves for all characters...
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
Whitelaughter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

Well, have you asked your players what they want to come up regularly?

Possibly this says more about my players or GMing style than anything, but I've found that Angelic groups end up as a game of James Bond and Demonic groups end up creating little empires. I think it is the system: angels are theoretically information gatherers thanks to their resonances, but in practice bruisers due to their high stats, so make excellent 007s; while Demons can acquire control of mortals with ease and (unlike angels) find uses for them.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
Jason
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitelaughter View Post
Well, have you asked your players what they want to come up regularly?
Yeah, I am doing that, but it's kind of like doing user research for a software design project: What the user thinks she wants is often not the same thing as what she actually wants, or will actually enjoy. I figured throwing the question out to people so involved with In Nomine that they actually visit a forum for it might give me different results. ;)
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
ochre24
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

The 2d6 to 3d6 conversion is easy. Use the 2d6 rules and roll a different colored d6 for the third. 10+, 7-9, miss... plus check for intervention.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
Archangel Beth
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Conversion to Apocalypse World rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
Yeah, I am doing that, but it's kind of like doing user research for a software design project: What the user thinks she wants is often not the same thing as what she actually wants, or will actually enjoy. I figured throwing the question out to people so involved with In Nomine that they actually visit a forum for it might give me different results. ;)
Well, you'll get suggestions for what each individual would be interested in... O;>

How about running a trial-game and seeing what comes up? Explain you're going to see what sort of stuff comes up, so expect lots of pauses while you write down the basic moves that people are winding up wanting to do, and run with it?
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