Acquaintence's sessions.

Discussion in 'Myth Maker Discussion' started by Acquaintance, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Historically, one of the benefits of wielding a longer reach weapon has been the ability for more of a team to be attacking at once. Some military formations even depended on having a second and/or third line of attackers striking from behind a wall of defenders. It seems to me these tactics should work fine in smaller skirmishes as well.

    A katana can only reach across one ally, which I can visualise. It would have to be used more in a thrusting technique, rather than slashing. But katana, like all weapons of war, were used however the situation needed. Katana users were also trained in a variety of techniques.

    Shooting "through" an ally is probably not much harder than attacking over one. Part of the reason we allow all members of a team to intermix their movements and actions during their turn is to foster a strong sense of teamwork. It seems to me then, that allies probably work together so as to not shoot each other or be overly in the way. ( Maybe shouting something like "Duck!")

    Edit: quack quack
     
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  2. Session #8

    Participants:
    Me, Bobby, other friend and my smaller brother.

    Finally got around to try out the ogre battle! We drew a copy of the map and made ourselves some characters. The other friend here has extensive experience of Pathfinder and picked up on the rules fairly quickly. He had no problems when we started playing (aside from fighting with two shields).

    We interpreted the "big creatures take 1d6 less damage from the attacks of small creatures" to mean that we'd roll a d6 and subtract that from the result. Looking back, this made our damage output much higher than what it would have been. I'll test the "roll no d6 for damage" in the future.

    ——----------------------------------------------------------
    We all took plenty of time preparing. We knew the fighting would be hard. I was a great swordsman, adept at parrying. Other friend was a tank through and through. He wielded two shields and specialized in blocking and disarming. Bobby picked up the warbow, along with a shortsword, two daggers and a shield. She got as many offensive skills as possible. Brother took one hammer.

    We decided quickly that sneaking would not work. None of us was any proficient at stepping lightly. The ogre heard our footsteps almost immediatly and soon came running out into the water frm its lair. I and friend took position between the wall on the south and ledge on the north to oppose it. Bobby climbed onto a ledge farther back where she had a good view while brother trailed behind by the rocks.

    It began by all of us attacking the ogre. It easily parried friend's shieldbash while letting through my sword and Bobby's arrow. This proved foolish as we both struck true and inflicted tiring blows. But in response it also grabbed friend. Being able to parry many attacks without wasting the reaction turned out to be valuable. When it's turn came around friend controlled the ogre and decided it would throw his own character at mine. His character failed to oppose the throw, but mine managed to avoid most of the harm by dodging the missile. Bobby kept responding to all the ogre's actions by peppering it full of arrows. Soon the ogre was at low stamina, although it had suffered no body damage. The champion's new turn began by me and friend and Bobby inflicting only minor damage due to the ogre exerting it's last ability to parry. Brother enclosed but was grabbed and in one masterful movement tossed across the cavern to strike Bobby. On the ogre's next turn it was all but bested by a disarm from friend and a crippling counterattack from me. Bobby struck the killing blow, putting an arrow stright into the brute's heart.

    In the end we feel we got off lucky. No one was seriously injured and the beast was slain. Though it felt like hours, we conclueded afterwards that the battle could not have taken more than a minute.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Lessons: Fighting the ogre was fun, but actually easier than I had expected. We scored a lucky hit in the beginning taking away a large portion of its stamina. Without that I feel some of us would have been in worse condition. A GM controlled ogre would probably be more dangerous. This one didn't use its size advantage as much as it could.

    Having two players who both have access to free actions fight each other makes it easy to be confused about whose turn it is. We solved it by throwing a glove at the current turn wielder.

    Questions:
    * Is it possible to disarm a shield? (Without literally "de-arming" the wielder)

    * Since movement can occur at any time during the player's turn, can one move so as to be in range to use the guard action?

    * Is there a test required for the recover action? If so, does it use spirit?

    * Can the draw action be used to retrieve and make ready a weapon dropped on the ground all at once?

    * Does guard only mediate defensive actions or can one counterattack as part of the guard?
     
    #22 Acquaintance, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  3. This was the intent.
     
  4. Yes. Many shields do not need to be strapped to the wielder's arm, and these are what we've modeled with the current "Shield" equipment entry. Shields that strap on would probably need some different mechanics.
    This is a bit of a gray area, but I'd probably argue it's not possible. "Guard" just allows a character to do a defensive reaction on his turn. Moving as part of a reaction isn't really possible without talents from the Dodge, Interpose, or Rush proficiencies.
    Recover doesn't require a check.
    Short answer: probably. If the item is readily accessible, one could assume that you simply grab it by the handle, haft, etc.
    Guard only explicitly allows "defensive" reactions to be used on your turn. If you want to attack on your turn, you "attack". Of course, if you have Counterattacking 1, you may be able to counterattack a creature on your turn after guarding against its attack.

    Edit:
    Yes, this has come up in internal playtesting as well. I'm making a bi-colored Myth Maker coin to help keep track of which team is currently acting. Passing a glove (or another trinket) is also an excellent idea.
     
    #24 Gebnar, Feb 22, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  5. So I've managed to hold a session after all. Two, even!

    Participants: Me as GM and a group experienced with Pathfinder.

    We played with the 1.4 version and had a blast. The storytelling ruleset sat this one out in the favor of a traditional GM to give the system more of a link to what we're used to and to allow for a maybe more coherent world and plot.

    Character creation was fun. We came up with some backstory for all characters and spent a while brooding over talent choices until we finally set off on our grand adventure. The adventurers are all part of an expedition to the sun funded by an eccentric noble who wants to plant his crest there. They are travelling westwards because the sun should be easier to catch when you see it approaching.

    The first session saw the party fend of attacks by bandits and beasts. Unfortunatly we had to close up before the finale. But we got right into it the next session and the traitor (an NPC) was removed with extreme ruthlessness while the henchmen escaped.

    I would consider the debate between the player playing the optimistic (in the most literal sense) priest and the battle scarred veteran the highpoint of the session. The player played their characters with enjoyable determination and the clash of two beliefs about the world was clear. Unfortunatly I felt the social system didn't allow for a through debate. We rolled once for a logical appeal and that was it. It would be fun if the social module allowed for a more detailed engagement in debate, as the combat module does.

    I suspect we didn't utilize the fleshed-out characters fully; we're still stuck in old habits from more restrictive games. Mostly this was because the group was homoginezed to allow for them travelling together, but I think a problem might be that the mechanics are intimidating. Arguments and attempts to influence the others should constantly be happning in the party, but didn't because taking any action against someone feels like attacking. I can't say what is missing but the social system, while holding much promise, didn't work well during our sessions.

    On the whole though the game was enjoyable. The combat has as much depth as you give it and the basic system of resolving conflict is engaging. Looking forward to see everything that'll be different in the next version.

    Oh! And we found a combo that might be too powerful. All three talents in inspire will allow you to make your whole party constantly boosted in their attacks. This turned out to be really powerful when using swords to fight opponents only protected by their armour. But this I hear won't be a problem in the future.
     
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  6. So, it took me a while to respond because I wanted to get something up first, but now it's done! On the front page, you'll find a new sticky article containing an updated set of Social interaction rules. Hopefully these rules will solve many of your problems. We're still hard at work on much of the other new stuff, but I felt these rules were solid enough to patch the existing alpha. Check them out, and let us know what you think!

    As always, your playtesting and feedback is greatly appreciated! We couldn't do this without you!
     
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  7. We played another session!

    The rules have been up for a while now, and I really liked how the social module looks. Unfortunatly last session didn't lend itself to incorporating the rules. I think it was because the in-character RP carried everything so dmoothly that we didn't much want to go into abstractions. And because the characters still need to be more defined with their current characteristics before we go into expanding and changing them. Next time I will point out that it's everyone's responsibility to look for when beliefs and the like are challenged.

    I also had to improvise a bit of the combat! We used the new core rules, but they didn't include the new rules about damage. So I took what I remembered from convos with Meta and doubled all damage but allowed resistance with both stamina and willpower. Fighting with a grat advantage is much faster and more satisfying this way. The session actually didn't include much combat, so the improvised system didn't get much testing.

    This time we were five people playing, and the whole thing took maybe five hours. I still occupy the place of permanent storyteller. Maybe it's limiting what the system can do. I consider having smaller adventures (such as down-time and backstory) play out as described with switching the story lead and everyone but one playing supporting cast and the antagonist.

    But for now it's more of the standard formula. I made a roadmap of events and in between them there was a lot of improvisation based on the framework of a small village in the midst of a rebellion. I tried to make events that played on the characteristics of the players, but it difficult to actually challenge beliefs throughly. I'll have to make more antagonistic characters that wants to challenge the players, and maybe more npc:s the players want to change.


    In conclusion I think today was the session with the fewest dice rolls in a long time. Almost everything played out smoothly without them. We'll see about the next time which is coming up on sunday. Hope to see more systems to play with!
     
  8. Not really. The purpose of the story rules is to enable each player to contribute as much or as little to the story as he or she wants. In some groups, there's may only be one player who's heavily invested in story creation, plot twists, world events, and the like. That's perfectly ok. If another player gets a cool idea though, the rules should encourage that player to share with the group.

    This is definitely important. It's everyone's responsibility to notice when something is said with the intent of changing a character's thoughts or actions. The social interaction rules cover pretty much everything that isn't small talk. Of course, you don't need to roll for everything - you can focus on the stuff you feel is interesting or relevant to the story.
    This can be somewhat difficult, actually. Social interactions are often subtle or buried inside a seemingly innocuous statement. It is important to look past the words that are said, and think about intent. If the intent is to change someone, then it might be time to roll the dice.

    I'm thrilled that you were all able to get into your characters enough for the RP to carry. Our hope was that Myth Maker characters would take on an identity of their own - distinct and separate from the player. We hope the character sheet design invokes continual thought about who the character is and how they might respond to the current situation.
    If you feel like the characters aren't well defined, that's perfectly ok. Personally, I don't like to start an adventure with an overly well-defined character. I'd rather spend a few sessions getting into the story, and getting to know who my character is. In the beginning I make decisions based on what I think would be interesting or fun. But those decisions define my character. Always remember to be conscientious of the decisions your characters make - and write down personality traits as they emerge through play. If you run out of room in the personality block, expand it into a section on the back of the sheet (this has happened to us on occasion...).
     
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  9. We managed another session yesterday!

    Got a few people; me, Bobby, two who've played the seven samurai and three complete beginners. We played characters from know works all transported together into a dark-souls esque purgatory. We used what I remembered about the new combat system to manage the few fights we had, but the social rules really took the foreground.

    The cast consisted of: Alexander Hamilton (the real one), Eowyn of Rohan, Toph Bei Fong (Avatar), Edward Elric (FMA), James Potter, Spark (pokemon GO) and Bug (Alien insect who adores humans and tries to be one of them).

    We took turns describing the scenes, introducing a top-voted complication at the end of each scene. The characters started out not really knowing what to do, but soon goals started to crystalize as everyone realized what they'd been ripped away from when they died. Many had been in the middle of wars, or about to return to friends and family. They met a laughing knight that said they ought to go face some challenges. With nothing else to lose but everything to win they struck out together.

    It was interesting to see that despite the vastly different power levels, everyone had something to add. Not soon after setting out the troupe ran across a lake. Toph earthbended a bridge but made it in the wrong direction. At the middle of the bridge the song of sirens were heard and Hamilton, Elric and Potter immediatly jumped in, bewitched. Toph couldn't swim and Spark saved Hamilton who couldn't swim. It was up to Eowyn to swim after potter and punch the sirens in their throats.

    The rest of the game progressed in a similar manner. The characters did lots of stupid stuff and the general fittness of the party was in a steady decline. Failing a Sfinx's riddle robbed Potter of his magic and being careless made Elric crush the home of a clan of forest gnomes ("rumpnissar" from the Swedish classic Ronia the robber's daughter). Their eldest grandfather was hurt, and Edward had to carry him from then to try to look for aid.

    We ended the session after James had found himself before the gate of Truth and got back new magic in the form of the remenant of the nazgûl's soul stuck to Eowyn. The complication was that he lost his sight, and he still didn't have his wand.


    I'm amazed with the fun we had watching our chosen characters suffer and triumph! We've still got a bit of learning to do regarding utilizing the social system, but ultimatly everyone appeared to be aboard for the concept. We might be even more collaborative with the scenes and complications next time.


    PS: The new release looks good! Unfortunatly I didn't have enough capacity to download it last night, but we'll be sure to use it next time! There looks to be ni problem in converting it.
     
  10. So, this cast of characters (and their players!) sounds like a load of laughs. I wish I'd been there!

    While this has been the case in our internal testing, I'm glad to see that others are experiencing the same. We've put a lot of effort into making sure every player has reason to be invested and interested in the game, regardless of their character's power or involvement.

    Heh. This sounds intense, and like a lot of fun! In our testing, we usually did one complication per session (like... a whole evening). However, the idea of ramping up the tension after every scene would definitely make for a faster game. Maybe we can make the system more scalar, so one-shot events can get lots of complications quickly, while long campaigns ramp up more slowly and don't get out of control.

    This is exactly what we envision for Myth Maker. I can't thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement! I am eagerly looking forward to hearing about your future sessions!
     
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  11. Howdy!

    Sorry for the radio silence, we simply haven't had much of a chance to play. But this saturday we managed another game!

    We had a blast. The space creature bug and Alexander Hamilton unfortunatly didn't join us this time, but in their stead we found Link!

    Travelling through purgatory, we'd found our way into the great castle. Toph sent the gatekeeper through the floor when it asked for a life in toll for passing. Deeper inside was some cells with hollows. And a bag filled with Link. Not being able to speak, he still followed the party. It's dangerous to go alone, he knew. They reached the old great hall, filled with facehugger-like creatures. One jumped on Spark and got propmptly fried by his pokémon. The facehuggers retreated with their fallen comrade to their lair and their enraged mother Spatula appeared to scold Spark. We didn't need to make any check to decide that he should be deeply ashaned for killing her children. She sent them off to the Oracle to get rid of them.

    The Oracle gave a few cryptic answers and two straight ones; James Potter could find hist staff in the great armoury and Link could find Na'vi off in the mountains far away.

    The armoury we found was guarded by a sentient door. Link attacked the door, because it had a crystal that looked like a rupee. He got promptly zapped by the door's magic. We'd encountered the crystals before, and they'd always been hostile, so at this point an argument about rasism and stereoptypes broke out. It started with Edward trying to get the door to believe that what we did was perfectly logical based on our previous experience. The "stereotyping is good"-side eventually lost to a masterful argument from Spark. Everyone present got the belief that it's OK to stereotype temporarily attached. The door still didn't see why it should let anyone in. Instead, James managed to convince it that he was trustworthy and wouldn't do anything but play about with the wand inside.
    Going into the armoury, James had to promise to not touch anything but his magic wand. He found the wand, and a time machine. He went back in time one hour and snuck out at the same time he went in. Though he didn't take anything, so the exercise was quite pointless. We all decided that time travel is really really difficult to do well in RPGs.

    After that, we ended the session setting out for the mountains.


    All in all, the system works quite well. We still haven't fully gotten used to using the social mechanics, but are increasingly starting to remind each other that arguments can be resolved by checks. The debate about stereotypes was great fun, although James Potter's player got salty when he had to accept something that went against his other beliefs, motives and tastes. The way I interpret things is that this is as intended. Internal strife about conflicting beliefs can be as important as external. The player decided to not keep the belief at the end of the scene though.

    We actually didn't have any combat this session. What looked like it'd be an engagement with the facehuggers turned into a very short and onesided encounter when Spatula drove off the group using shame. From what I could tell, no one felt a fight was needed.

    So having mentioned what went well, let me add something I'd like to improve upon. Currently a very small part of the character sheet is dedicated to motives, beliefs and tastes. Maybe this is intentional to encourage only writing down important aspects of the character, but I feel there ought to be accomodation for a way to more easily overlook the internal life of a character. Maybe just a hint that it's a good idea to write down temporary stuff on a post-it or to make a great paper where it's easier to see what parts are in conflict.

    That's all. Hope to see morefrom you soon :)
     
  12. You're not the first person to comment about the lack of personality space. Thus far we've been trying to keep the back of the sheet open for whatever players feel they need extra room. However, we may need to consider changing that.

    As always, thanks for the input and the fantastic stories!
     
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  13. Did a mini-test of the new combat rules. Unfortunatly we added some talents of our own that affected the balance so it might bot be very representative.

    I and Bobby each took the role of Sir Breadcrumb, the obnoxiously white knight, and Von Blood, the vampire. The knight had body 9, the vampire 8. Both were skilled in fencing and combat, but not in matters of persuasion. Sir Breadcrumb wanted to vanquish the darkness and Von Blood wanted to act like how he thought a proper vampire should act.

    The battle began by sir Breadcrumb storming into the main hall, finding Von Blood playing his organ at the far end. He challenged him to change his vampiric ways, but was unsusscesful in the attempt to persuade. Von Blood turned into a bat and flew onto the palistrade. Sir Breadcrumb unscrewed the pommel of his ssword to throw at the vampire, but misssed. The vampire turned back into his humanoid form and jumped over the knight, only to in a dramatic fashion draw his rapier and face his assailant. The knight struck first, easily being repelled by the vampire's parry. Von blood struck back and sir Breadcrumb tried to raise his shield, but alas the rapier found its way between the plates in his neck and struck his throat. A critical hit with the stabbing attack. We had also ruled that because of Von Blood's unnatural strength all his attacks did 1 more damage. This brought sir Breadcrumb down to 5 body. From there on sir Breadcrumb fought with all his migt, but failed to land any blow on the vampire. His heavy armour protected his stamina, but he couldn't get a clean hit. He tried to slash the unarmoured vampire, but was foiled by parry after parry. After a few rounds the vampire crit again and left Sir Breadcrumb with 1 body left on the verge of death. With his final strenth he tried to open his bottle of holy water, but couldn't manage the task (now made impossible by his lack of formal education in how to open flasks). The vampire finished him with a bite to the neck, but failed his roll in vampiric table manners (he didn't have much experience) and so got blood all over his apparell.

    It was fun to play! Not rolling for damage made the combat fly by. I don't think it took more then 15 minutes to run the whole encounter, internal dialogue included. Stabbing attacks showed their power once again. Sir breadcrumb barely got any use out of his heavy armour. The vampire wore no protection, but managed to survive thanks to that initial lucky hit. We'll need to try these kinds of assymetrical combats more to know what to say about them. We also went with weapons of identical reach because the new rules didn't cover the term.

    After having killed the knight we noticed that we still had some time, so we ran an encounter between two adventurers and six goblins. The adventurers were rather unskilled, each having only had on-the-job practice with their swords. The goblins had not practice whatsoever though, and wore only clubs. We gave them no armour and 8 in all stats while the adventurers got 9 in body.

    The fight began by the goblins seing two strangers charging in through the door while they were eating lunch. They ran together to face the opposition, although half the group tried to flank to the sides. We used the old rules for perception and found that the goblins were uniformly terrible (bad rolls) at being sneaky. The main formation of goblins bashed at the adventurers, quickly depleting their resources. The adventurers parried and struck, and although they did manage to harm their attackers in the front they were exhausted by the time the flankers arrived. I had to make light attacks with my adventurer just to have resources left to run. Entierly exhausted (0 ability and stamina) I managed the check to clamber back upon the horse just outside the gate. The goblins followed and failed to land blows on Bobby's adventurer as she climbed on the back and we both rode away.

    The conclusion is that strength in numbers matter a lot in Myth Maker. The goblins were pretty much as weaknas can be, but by simply being able to take damage they could continue to attack. The adventurers were more skilled and better equipped bu grew tired before they could down anyone. Had they planned the encounter beforehand they might have won. Sneak attacks, distressing the goblins and fighting them at a choke point would have made it possible to turn the tide. We didn't try to use the recover mechanic, although it might well have made things different. Bashing attacks also seem to be a lot less effective then stabbing attacks; had the goblins had spears one of them would have landed a crit and that'd be the end of that adventurer.
     
  14. Myth Maker is about being a part of grand adventures as they unfold - not so much about balance. In a semi-recent playtest of my own, the villain used orders to do his dirty work. When the heroes finally got through his minions, he was a total pushover - begging for his life and whimpering like a whipped dog...
    TLDR Adding talents to your game is totally fine.
    It's possible they are too strong. If that's the case, a fix might be to reduce the base damage of stabbing attacks by 1.
    However, stabbing attacks are very reliant on skill or luck. Getting an early stabbing crit in 1v1 combat practically guarantees victory.
    Bashing attacks are supposed to reliably wear down armoured opponents. Seems like they worked pretty well to me :)
    In all seriousness though. Bashing attacks are pretty rudimentary. We tried to make all the attack types situationally desirable, but that doesn't mean they are necessarily "equal" in effectiveness.
    Yeah, this is by design. Using any advantages you have is really important when outnumbered.
    This is because Myth Maker combat is trying to model real life. Characters should fear getting into combat because it poses real danger. Finding alternative solutions is almost always more attractive. When an adventure does devolve into combat, characters will want to plan for and use any advantages they can.
    A combat scene itself will usually be the climax of a story arc since the outcome is difficult or impossible to predict, and characters may not survive.
     
  15. Ahoy again!

    We did play a short session friday night, but I'm afraid it won't be the most representative one. We were all somewhat exhausted after a long week and didn't have enough time. But we did have fun :)

    We skimmed through the rules but mostly followed the character creation screen. It was suggested that we based our characters on stereotypes, and we alotted each other one of 12 archetypes (Caregiver, visionary, intellectual, advocate etc...). We then decided that the game should take place in an American high-school and that we should be students.

    At the end of the creation we had: One wannabe detective (me), one jock (Bobby), one artist type and one kindhearted naive each with a couple of strengths and activities that defined them.

    We started out by saying we were all in second year, and had been forced together during english class to reinterprete and recreate one of Shakespeare's works. The group choose Hamlet. To my detective the most significant part of the scene was when the jock had to write the group's name on the board and had to call across the classroom to ask. Dave was an introvert and suffered quite some stress answering, hoarsly and having to say it multiple times.

    We then proceeded to spend about one hour of real time discussing how we would recreate the play with only four people. This was all very fun to do, but we eventually realized that it'd actually take many real life hours to prepare the play, so eventually we started rolling for the progress. This was however a realization too slow in the making and we didn't have the energy to continue playing after finishing the play. On the way my character learned to act just a little bit and found out that it was quite fun. The others learned that the school had a basement and everyone got to know each other.

    We probably didn't use the rolls as much as we could have, instead pretty much being ourselves when designing the play. It was fun and really immersive but didn't lend itself much to gameplay. We also eventually realized that we were playing out how our own highschool had worked, rather than having a fantasy American one. There failed to be much drama at all!

    Because of there not being any real combat nor any real opposition we didn't have to use our resources much. The stress system did come into play a lot for me though. I found that having a drawback as strong as being introverted at school produced a lot of stress, and with my character not having "being left alone" as one of his tastes I had to look to other aspects of his personality in order to recover it. (He luckily also loved Volleyball). I suspect that "stress" will work well to simulate fear and unease as well.

    We all concluded that the setting wasn't the most exciting one to play in, but we'd had fun and the time that wasn't swallowed up by the pretend Hamlet project was spent letting the characters get to know each other. If we continue the game we can expect so see them actually do more stuff.

    So in conclusion: Not a very in-depth exploration of the system. Mostly because we got distracted. Will see how it fares in a more fantastic setting some time in the future!

    And then we have the nitpicking in order of appearance (courtesy of Bobby):
    Fatigue (page 3, under "dice" heading, "unpaid costs" subheading): First mentioned here, on page 3, but not explained until page 5, which causes some confusion. Perhaps refer to the explanation on page 5 so that people will know that it does exist and where to find it?
    "Crit" (page 3, under "dice" heading, "result" subheading): In the "20 or higher" category, you add the parenthesis "(a 'crit')". This, I believe, is something that has hung on from earlier version of the rule system, as you wish to explain the jargon, but as you never again use the term in the document, it is just experienced as odd and out of place since it is very informal compared to the rest of the text.
    Stress (page 5, under "stress" heading): Here you explain what stress is, without actually saying "this is stress". So you give an explanation without saying what the explanation is for. If the heading wasn't there, it would be impossible to understand what the stress mechanic is. Sure, they would have the mechanic, but not a name for it, which would make it hard to refer to that mechanic later on. With the heading, it is understandable, once one reads through it a couple of times and draws conclusions from it, but it disturbs the reading experience and makes the text harder than necessary to understand. I'm afraid that I'm not making much sense, but it is hard to explain. A heading should summarize and give one an idea about what the text below is about. To have something for a heading that does not appear in the text is confusing. It's a fairly simple fix, though: instead of writing "When a character tries to do something that contradicts his personality, roll Spirit," one can write "Stress can develop when a character tries to do something that contradics his personality. When this happens, roll Spirit." (Can you notice that she's becoming a teacher? //Magnus) (Sorry, I can't help it! :( And they're going to publish this as an official document, so I think it's important that everything is done properly. //Bobby)
    "Longer-reach styles" (page 6, under "weapons" heading, "reach" subheading): "For longer-reach styles" seems informal and clumsy in comparison to the surrounding text. I suggest substituting it for "For long and extended melee styles" to have it blend in better :)
     
  16. Great suggestions here! I've got lots more from others, so I'm looking at at least another full week if work to revise it again.

    As far as the difficulty you had getting and staying focused, did you come up with a "Problem" to drive the story forward? You didn't mention it in your post. The narrative tension created by having an important issue hanging over your heads can help a group to stay focused. If you return to this story, I suggest injecting problems and complications until everyone is on the edge of their seats.

    The setting your group came up with was an awesome idea. I'm curious where it'll go if you continue.

    Thanks again for being an awesome fan and for playtesting the game!
     
  17. Gebnar already responded, so I'll add some whimsy:

    This is where you went Swedish. For the true American experience, just have the group collectively try to summarize Hamlet. For better results, reduce the required reading level of the material. For hyper realism, have only one player actually capable of doing that with everyone else sitting around gossiping.

    In all seriousness, though, problems and complications can work in one of two ways, which we didn't explore explicitly in the rules but I think should emerge naturally with play:
    1) You come up with a problem that isn't nearly dramatic enough, so further complications rise the tension. The initial problem could be what start's the "hero's journey" so to speak. For example, in Star Wars, Luke having to repair a secondhand droid leads him on an adventure to find its master, which then gets him caught up in a rebellion, which leads him to become one of the last Jedi, confront his father, and so on.
    2) The central problem is so massive that it can't be handled directly - you need to chip away at it by by resolving complications that arise from it. A good example of this might be a traditional roleplaying game like Final Fantasy or The Witcher. In this form you have a far off problem to resolve, but most of the gameplay consists of something like side quests that tie in to that central drama in some way leading to the final confrontation with that central drama. In The Witcher 3, many of the complications are getting the help you need to take on the main antagonist.

    It could be that we need to expand this section of the book or refer to it throughout the text in small ways to keep players thinking about it. As you probably noticed, without a strong enough problem, the roleplay can deviate and get caught up in details that aren't important to the story (like the actual classroom assignment) or into world building that doesn't end up being relevant to the central drama (because its unclearly defined).

    Nonetheless, it's nice to hear that despite the lack of drama in your test you had a good time. Ultimately, that's the most important thing, especially if the group is feeling drained from the week and just wants to sit around the table and banter or do something in the background of an otherwise social event. Sometimes I worry that Myth Maker is going to be so demanding that it can't take a backseat to a social gathering, so it's refreshing to hear that maybe that's what it was doing for you.
     
  18. Had another session!

    Got together two friends who've played a fair bit of RPGs before.

    We did our best to follow the rules as written, only deviating on one point that I'll get to.

    First we came up with a setting. I noted that combat might look different in this system and that we didn't need a scenario that would include it. After some speculation we concluded that obviously the only answer was Terry Pratchett's Discworld. We wanted to play in Ankh Morpork.

    We then made characters. I didn't know who I wanted so I randomized the core attributes. Got 7 mind and 7 body and 8 spirit. Eventually "Two knuckles" Perry came to life as a somewhat diminuitive but ambitious tavern owner raised by the gangs of the city. His main drive was to see his tavern succeed. The others were Beautiful Flower the troll botanist and Igorina the local "medical practicioner" renting the top room of the tavern (which for obscure reasons counted as a separate building).

    With this setup we quickly came to the conclusion that the problem would have to do with building rights and licences. Thus the villain of the story was no other than the two meters tall and almost as broad Inspector. The tale began when the group taking their evening tea across the street at Mrs Eddings Tea-shop spotted him stalking down the street.

    From there on many things happened at once. The inspector spotted the group and came right up to them, demanding licences from Mrs Eddings while breaking one of her cups. She stared him down (with a good spirit check) and sent him out the door. He started going after Beautiful Flower who'd locked their door behind them. Perry hired the cheapest assasin he could find, who also happened to be the least demanded assassin in the city (and thus the most available, to the point that he appeared from beneath the table). The assassin quickly failed to kill the inspector by tossing a powder keg at him that bounced back and blew him up while taking most of the tavern facade with it. Perry took 1 damage from shrapnel and a burst eardrum.

    The inspector handed out his eviction notices (his department believed strongly in a 0-strike policy and in bullying the house owners) and left for the night. Igorina tended Perry's wounds and started to plan. Over breakfast next moring (or alcohol in the case of Perry and Beautiful Flower) they made up their plan. Igorina failed to convince them that eviction was illegal and that they could fight through the landlord, instead Beautiful flower and Perry together convinced her that they had to pick up arms to defend themselves. Thus the three got the idea to fight the man or die trying. (And then we ended the session).

    We had a lot of fun. No GM was needed. We all went into the game with the intention of having fun and forcing our characters through drama and it worked.

    What was somewhat confusing was the social encounters at the beginning. With so much happening and us not knowing our characters we probably didn't play them very well. But we quickly learned. Now we have a fair amount of strong characters as well as the connections that we came up with during character creation from which to draw future inspiration.

    The most enjoyable part of the session was probably when we sat down for breakfast to discuss our plan. We each knew the problem and had our characters come up with different solutions. Perry wanted to fight, Flower didn't really understand what was happening (a troll is stupedified in warm weather) and Igorina was reasonable (she was also the smartest character). The debate would statistically have gone in favor of Igorina, but she was foiled by some obtuseness (lucky rolls) on the part of her peers. Mainly she failed to convince Flower since Flower was suspicious of any words with more letters than he had fingers. Perry got him on his side with some simple arguments. Together they then convinced Igorina.

    It was here that we noticed that the social rules seemed to be missing a part we'd previously used. There is no mention among the social rules of any "inherent resistance" to being convinced. There was also some awkwardness when we found that we had to make separate rolls to convince each other since both the other characters were often on different parts of the agreeableness scale to different concepts. Changing the difficulty of the defender's test (if there's even supposed to be one) seems like it would be a natural addition. We also forgot to use the Influence rules. I think it would have been proper for Perry to have gotten depressed by recieving the eviction notice, but since he only discovered it when he awoke the next day we didn't think to make the roll. I hope the environmental rules can cover events like this.

    Most of the events during the game came naturally from the drama. The assasin rolled and failed his throw of the powder keg and then failed his roll to dodge it afterwards, instead ending up beneath. We all knew the setting well enough to be able to intuit how the surrounding people would react (by minding their own business). The city watch eventually appeared and promptly decided that this case was someone else's juridistiction (this served as background, not impacting the story).

    I look forward to continuing to play with this. Perry has a lot to do to help save his tavern and even gain it some notoriety. Beautiful Flower has his project of breeding the perfect plant and Igorina wants to help the neighbourhood succeed. They need to defeat the Inspector, but after that the battle is not ended. They either need to change or they must change the city if they are to achieve their goals.
     
  19. Interesting notes about the social rules. What you're describing sound like major oversights in the current presentation, which I'll get on right away. The rules as you seem to remember them are more correct.
     
  20. Got another game off, this time just a tiny one with Bobby.

    What spurred the test was partly a conversation with Meta in regards to an four-act-structure to give the game a sense of direction.

    So we decided to roll upp a couple of new characters and take them for a roll.

    The protagonists turned out to be the friends Jessan and Haldir. One an accountant with dreams of sailing the seas and the other an urchin from the northen lands turned entrepeneur turned dockhand. The central peoblem was that Haldir's brother Haldur was missing, and the only clue was a mysterious ship that only just left port. The setting was the primordial port-city, named "Hamnstadt", located on a Germanesque coastline.

    We played five scenes and got through the story in about an hour. By the second half we knew a bit about what was going on and everything flowed smoothly, but at the beginning the game was really slow; we spent a lot of time thinking between actions as we decided on how the world worked and what reactions the world would provide.

    The first scene took place in Jessan's office, where Haldir barged in and said that he couldn't find his brother. They argued about what might have happened and Jessan won a roll to convince Haldir that it at least couldn't be their mutual adversary Felvar (the smuggler). Haldir wanted to set off after the ship at once, but they only had access to a rowboat and didn't even know Haldur was on the ship or where it was heading. They decided to try to sneak into the harbourmaster's office to look at the ledgers and see whose ship it was and where it was heading.

    The next scene was at the harbourmaster's office; the same night. Wearing masks won in a game with Felvar they approached the window. Seeing that the lights were out and no one on the street Haldir managed to break open the window without too much noise. They made it inside.
    (Here we saw that both characters had made one action each, so we introduced a complication).
    Among the ledgers we found something unexpected. A man in dark clothes was going through them, seemingly erasing content. He was surprised to see us and tried to get past us out only to be knocked to the floor by Haldir (who rolled a 20 on his reaction). We unmasked the rogue and found it to be one of Jessan's gaming buddies. We convinced him to tells us what he had erased (the destination of the mysterious ship) and then helped him run off as the newly awoken harbour master came down the stairs.
    (The second complication as we had noted that Jessan had convinced the rogue and Haldir had decked him).

    The next scene was a matter of making progress after the ship. Our protagonists helped Gustaf to heal a splinted foot he got fleeing from the harbourmaster and then toom hire with one of the wyrm-hunting ships heading out towards the northen city of Norrfjord where the mysterious ship was heading, and also the birth city of Haldir and Haldur. The going was tough and we both made one difficult roll each to see how we handled the ardous journey. Jessan excelled, learning a bit of navigation. Haldir was worse off, rolling badly and, we decided, getting bitten by a sea-wyrm.

    The last scene was the last weeks of the journey towards Norrfjord. Haldir was deathly ill, but managed to succeed in a body check and so we decided he made it alive to port with only 2 body-damage in tow. Jessan tried many things to convince the sailors to take them to land sooner, but failed and so had to watch his friend suffer the toxins. But in the end they saw their prize: The mysterious ship was still in port as they sailed in with the first snowfall.


    In the end the story turned put really enjoyable and even somewhat coherent. We didn't find Haldur, but another session and we just might have. The four-act-structure worked well to limit the scope of the story and make sure every scene led to something, although it bears to see more testing.

    There was maybe an opportunity for combat with the sea wyrms in the last act, but I think we didn't track the actions taken properly so it dissapeared in the face of Haldir being bitten (due to a bad roll). Otherwise most of the challenges were social in nature, or dependent on character skill. The dice worked smoothly when we used them, although we realise there was little reason to track resource expenditure. There was never a scene where we did enough non-trivial actions to come even close to running dry.

    Overall a pretty fun but most of all short and well-rounded half-adventure.
     

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