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TOPIC: Some PC’s for a Playtest

Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3583

  • Allan
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Hello,
I have finally gone out and looked into some local gamers that meet on a Fri­day night.
I ten­ta­tively enquired to the idea of me run­ning a game. Yes seemed to be the answer.
So I have been work­ing on a Blade playtest for them.
It is an old story, I tried to start back in the day with my son, with the play­ers ship­wrecked on a island. Evil is a foot with Ser­pent Folk etc. Not sure how far I will get. I have to work out the PA’s with them, as I have set some up with PA’s, but they will be mostly irrel­e­vant.
Any sug­ges­tions taken.
Still work­ing on the other’s back­grounds, but this is what I have so far.

Allan
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3585

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Just fin­ished the back­grounds so far.
Any other sug­ges­tion?

Allan
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Free­dom choked in dread we live
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3587

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Louchet:
Her Attribute spread makes poor use of the avail­able points. I see tha the con­cept doesn’t call for very high Attrib­utes, but I’d coun­sel drop­ping one or even two 4s to 3s and boost­ing one 5 to 6 (not a 4 to 5). BN might eas­ily go down, and depend­ing on your vision of the char­ac­ter also TY or even DG; not sure, though. For a one-​off marooned on an island I’d also drop Danc­ing com­pletely and spread the points around, to give the player a more effec­tive char­ac­ter.

Bay­mas:
Sim­i­lar. Knock at least on Attribute of 4 down to 3 (pos­si­bly SY for a sailor) and boost one 5 to 6. And depend­ing on what you are plan­ning for the one-​off I’d also coun­sel doing away with one Skill that’s not going to be use­ful and spread­ing the points around.

Hord:
I don’t quite get his con­cept, but it is once again the same advice: Down with one or two Attrib­utes and up with another, and doing away with some Skill(s) in favour of oth­ers.

Dar­ius:
Attrib­utes are fine (-ish), with Skills I’d drop Nego­ti­a­tion (unless you expect it to become impor­tant) and bump up oth­ers.

The, of course, review­ing them all I have got­ten the impres­sion that each of them might still have a few Attribute points to spread around, in which case the above doesn’t apply in fully. But in that case guide them a bit; guide them away from stat­ting out Attribute all­rounders and steer them towards one or two really good Attributes.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3588

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Thanks Michael.
I have only met these peo­ple for an hour or so, while they were actively play­ing, so I had no real chance to quiz them.
I was going to slightly less than full start­ing char­ac­ters, so I was ignor­ing the bump tal­ent of Assets and choos­ing those that worked with the back­grounds. Sim­i­larly I had not spent all the actual points on Attrib­utes.

I will move some of the points around. Louchet was giv­ing me a prob­lem. When I went to the meet­ing, there was a female ref, not sure who will be there this week, but I wanted some­thing for her, in case.

I will have another look.

Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3589

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Tweaking
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
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Free­dom choked in dread we live
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3590

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Bet­ter, stat-​wise, imo. But I’ve only now looked at the PAs, and I’d like to com­ment on the poor ones — and my over­all com­ment is that, for a one-​off, PAs have to apply to the sit­u­a­tion at hand, or at least two for every PC have to. I don’t know your adven­ture, but I think you have to work hard to get the PAs to align with it. Those that do noth­ing for me (and prob­a­bly and quite lit­er­ally will also do noth­ing for the play­ers) are:

Find employ­ment in the New Land — the “New Land” won’t be in the game, so at least drop the sec­ond half, and keep the first only if there is an oppor­tu­nity for actual employ­ment on the island

Learn new fight­ing tech­niques — a bit lame, unless there is going to be on the iosland that will engage this

Work with first mate Alton Dev­ers to keep the ship work­ing well and safe — drop at least the sec­ond half, as we are already after ship­wreck, and maybe also the first, unless you are plan­ning for inter­st­ing events involv­ing Alton Dev­ers on the island

Always stay fun and happy, cup half full — sorry, but this may be one of the lamest PAs I ever saw

Keep mov­ing, hates to be stopped too long in one spot — lit­tle bet­ter than the above, espe­cially while marooned on an island

Find lost love who has sailed away to the New land and keep him/​her for self — good, but only if there is a chance for this to be engaged dur­ing the sce­nario

In gen­eral terms I also think you have a prob­lem with Louchet, because I can imag­ine that the female you have intended her for may not be very keen on play­ing a lovestruck girly on the trail of her lover. I think you might try to make Louchet “cooler” by giv­ing her a stronger back­ground, one that might appeal more to a woman. Make Louchet be actively after some­thing cool and inter­est­ing, not after the guy who got away; or if she’s after Mr Right make Mr Right’s fate more inter­est­ing, like him being abducted by slavers and her being out to free him — any­thing that might be intrigu­ing for a female player who will prob­a­bly also want to play a strong female character…
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
The admin­is­tra­tor has dis­abled pub­lic write access.
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3591

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LOL
Thanks for the help.
Yea, I was just muck­ing around with the PA’s. I was aim­ing for start­ing just before the ship wreck. Play­ers inter­act (see how they game), then move to the open­ing scene.
They wake up drugged and the ship has run aground. What hap­pened and what is going on etc.
I will see if I can take my rough notes and put them online.
Then I want to get them to trade in the old PA’s for new and show them that part of the sys­tem.
I was con­tem­plat­ing mak­ing a list of pos­si­ble PA’s to help out, if they were stuck. Like; find way of island, sur­vive etc, mostly repeated for each char­ac­ter.

The adven­ture runs roughly like this;
PC on ship, sail­ing to the New Land. So Xoth, and off map to the South East. Ship — The Sil­ver Eel.
The vil­lian is a mag­i­cally trans­formed Ser­pent woman — Ianna the scribe. She has learned about a lost colony/​temple of Ser­pent folk on this island.
The ship is trav­el­ling with another for sup­port, but a steer­age prob­lem hits the Eel and they are left behind. The other ship is going to sail slower (might drop this bit all together, just me being to anal about the details)
After it is gone the Cap­tain turns course and heads for the island. He is being con­trolled by the Ser­pent Witch.
Crew are ner­vous and mutiny looms. Cap­tain makes claims like the repairs need more tim­ber or secret orders…
Eel reaches the island at dusk, sets anchor to wait the night.
The Witch drugs the food, kills the cook who is sus­pi­cious and then with the Cap­tains help, locks up the crew and pas­sen­gers. The first mate shrugs of the poi­son and con­fronts the Cap­tain and is killed for his efforts by the Witch. At this point the Eel drags her anchor. There is no crew to fix the prob­lem, so the Witch and Capt put out the long­boat and make for land. The Eel gains speed and is dri­ven onto roocks on a head­land.
PC’s wake up next morn­ing, some still behind locked doors (maybe), some free, throw in some NPC’s, get­ting gear, sup­plies, weapons as the ship is bro­ken up on the rocks. Maybe a croc­o­dile is drawn to the blood of killed or wounded crew.
PC’s make there escape to dry land over slip­pery rocks and up a cliff.
I don’t know all the details, even is ships have locks on lots of doors, but some thing like this.

Once on off the head­land and onto a beach, they are con­fronted by some sailors who want there sup­plies, and to make them work for them.
Note sure about other NPC’s listed on char­ac­ter sheets, I can use them where ever.

That is the basic jist. If they want more, then what is the Witch up too. Fight some crea­tures and can­ni­bals etc.

And thanks

And thanks again for your very blunt obser­va­tions… lamest PA you ever saw… still makes me laugh.
Keep em com­ing. No I really mean it, maybe it will make you laugh too.

Allan
Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3592

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Is there a Luck Asset?

If not could there be?

Allan
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Free­dom choked in dread we live
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Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Allan.
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Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3594

  • Michael
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Allan wrote:
And thanks again for your very blunt obser­va­tions… lamest PA you ever saw… still makes me laugh.

Well, four PCs at once is quite a bit to com­ment on, so maybe I might have con­densed my words a bit more than I usu­ally do… :P

Allan wrote:
Is there a Luck Asset?

If not could there be?

No, and nei­ther should there be, we think. We briefly con­sid­ered it, as so many other sys­tems have some­thing of the kind, but quickly decided that it would go against the grain of Blade, where any addi­tional numer­i­cal boost is taken care of by PAs, and lucky coin­ci­dences by Drama. No need to mud­dle these waters, in our opin­ion.

Allan wrote:
Then I want to get them to trade in the old PA’s for new and show them that part of the system.

Ah, I see. Great plan, by the way!

Four items of advice about it:

1) Have at least two PAs for every PC that won’t be applic­a­ble to the sce­nario at hand, to have some­thing you can sug­gest to change, but at the same time have these PAs be proper PAs, PAs geared towards doing some­thing, not like the prover­bial lamest ever. That way you avoid giv­ing your play­ers wrong ideas what PAs are sup­posed to be.

2) Pre­pare not so much a list of PAs to offer to all of your play­ers alike once the sce­nario is under­way (though you can also do that), but first and fore­most pre­pare a (secret) list of PAs geared to spe­cific sit­u­a­tions that you plan to spring on them early in the sce­nario. For exam­ple, early on, when mutiny looms, pre­pare a brief antag­o­nis­tic encounter between the likely ring­leader of the muti­neers (whom you make into an inter­est­ing, colour­ful NPC, some­body able to engage a player’s inter­est) and one PC, and imme­di­ately after the encounter ask the player whether he wants to see more of this NPC’s machi­na­tions, telling that if he wants to, he might take a PA geared toward oppos­ing or thwart­ing or bring­ing low or get­ting back at this NPC. In one word, demon­strate to your play­ers how PAs are meant to engage with plot ele­ments you intro­duce and also tell you which of these plot ele­ments they would like to see more of and which they aren’t keen on while mak­ing sure that the PCs wil really shine deal­ing with these sit­u­a­tions. Have a string of such mini-​situations ready to spring on your play­ers, always ask­ing them whether they would like to see this seed bloom and to take a cor­re­spond­ing PA if they do.

3) I sug­gest you give each PC three ini­tial PAs, leav­ing one at score 1 unde­fined. Have them define this early dur­ing the sce­nario, like I out­lined above. That way they will not have to com­pletely turn around the focus of their PCs ime­di­ately and will also not real­ize imme­di­ately in what direc­tion the adven­ture is going to go. Have them change the oth­ers later on dur­ing the sce­nario – like I said above I think that chang­ing two of the three ini­tial PAs over the course of the sce­nario is just right. And of course dis­count the usual mechan­ics for chang­ing PAs, explain­ing what they are and that you ignore them because they did not really get to choose their own PAs. My sug­ges­tion is that, apart from the unde­fined PA at score 1, when chang­ing a PA they have to spread all these PA’s points out among the other PAs and start the new one at score 0.

4) Be very lib­eral with award­ing PA points for achieve­ments, giv­ing them one when­ever they merely fol­low a PA at all, no mat­ter whether suc­cess­fully or at a cost to them­selves. One PA point per player per hour of play should be the absolute min­i­mum and twice as much is absolutely okay. At the same time start sug­gest­ing spend­ing PAs early on. That way you will demon­strate to them how PAs, if played right, can fuel, empower and boost their char­ac­ters in an end­less feed­back loop.
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-​colored sun
Of secret worlds incred­i­ble, and take
Their trail­ing skies for vest­ment when I soar.

Clark Ash­ton Smith, The Hashish Eater or The Apoc­a­lypse of Evil
The admin­is­tra­tor has dis­abled pub­lic write access.
The fol­low­ing user(s) said Thank You: Allan

Some PC’s for a Playtest 4 years 8 months ago #3595

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This is what I have now.
Please be gen­tle… :give-up

Allan
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Mourn for us oppressed in fear
Chained and shack­led we are bound
Free­dom choked in dread we live
Since Tyrant was enthroned
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