Journaling at Stonehenge

A Wish Askew

So, my obsession this week with Dream Askew and some discussions about Valence and GM roles in Jennachat inspired me with a Chuubo’s!Dream Askew hack. The basic concept is that character abilities are simplified into high-valence MP-costing moves, ordinary-valence, and negative-valence MP-generating moves. In addition to playing a character, each player also plays a genre and a region of town, having default control over stuff that happens in that region and characters from that region in addition to events fitting with that genre. (Possibly with some motivation to encourage that genre.)

I sorta want to do the region/genre sheets as folded tent cards so that the other players could see the XP actions and properties, but I don’t know how well that’d work in practice.

I think maybe XP and wounds work like in Chuubo’s? Maybe with XP simplified down into one kind of thing? If so there should be emotion XP somewhere on the character sheets.

I do really like this approach in general. It certainly works a lot better for Chuubo’s than any of my previous attempts.

A Wish Askew
Journaling at Stonehenge

A Ryuutama Playbook

I got Ryuutama for Christmas and it seems really interesting! Much more D&D-y than I'm normally into, but I'm digging the Oregon Trail feel and the whimsy. I haven't gotten to play or anything yet. But in character creation I got frustrated at how non-self-contained things were, so I decided to prototype a PbtA-style-playbook-inspired character sheet. (As is my wont.)

(I feel when people think about Apocalypse World/PbtA they often focus on the dice and moves, but honestly I think the playbook encapsulation and the GM direction are crucial as well.)

Anyways, here's what I came up with. Of course, maybe when I actually play my thoughts will evolve, but I still feel like this works pretty well.
Journaling at Stonehenge

Overthinking Narrativism

So, periodically I have disagreements on the word “narrativist”, so in an effort to overthink games more, I’ve been thinking about how exactly I use it. Well, literally I use it mostly for story-focused tabletop systems and experimental-to-me LARPs.* But when I’ve historically described something as narrativist, I think I’ve been referring to one or more of the following distinct things:

  1. Meaningful Choices
  2. Shared Narrative Control
  3. Explicit Scene Framing/Narrative Structure
  4. Focus on Feel and Themes
  5. Bleed/Steering
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Journaling at Stonehenge

On Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I’d had Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance recommended to me years and years ago, when I really liked Writing Down the Bones. I’m… really not sure at this point why that makes sense. But I'm glad to have read it and have lots of thoughts, some of which I’ll relate here. (Spoilers for a decades-old weird book.)

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Journaling at Stonehenge

On Torment

So, I finished Torment: Tides of Numenera. It was good! It was very Planescape: Torment-y, which is exactly what it said on the tin. In the manner of one who spent the whole game comparing, I have some various and sundry thoughts. These… probably end up sounding overly harsh, but it’s really just that it’s easy to nitpick and overthink stuff like this. I’m going to try to avoid major spoilers, but perhaps talk about some late-game stuff obliquely.
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CHUN

On Secrets

So, there were a couple of things I was thinking about when I braindumped about Truths. One was about the role of player secrets, and more generally player knowledge and “metagaming”. Like with basically everything, how you handle secrets in a game depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and your intention.

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Most people end up believing they never

Librarians Errant: Truths and Motes

So, mucking about with my ideas for Librarians Errant, I've ended up positing a system, working name "Truths", that's heavily influenced by my experience with Chuubo's, WTF, and Dogs in the Vineyard. It's still very much in flux, but here's a basic sketch of part of it… with examples almost completely of no relation to Librarians.

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