Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Social interaction Combat

Social interaction "Combat"

Laying in bed. Back all fucked. Thinking about ways to reinforce RP the way that combat encounters are reinforced. Don't get me wrong violence in RPGs is fun but the way it's done is not fun. Maybe a better blog post about this after I think it some more. There are lots of improv games; I mean LOTS. I don't do improv. So I may get off base here. I tried LARPIng once at Camp Nerdly and it literally blew my mind about how different RPGs could be if we had the will to mix it up a bit. I use DCC as a basic thought framework, here, and it makes an assumption that you also add in reaction rolls a la Moldvay and morale rolls in combat (interestingly, I think that morale rolls can be transitioned into the system I am about to propose but hang on cause I need some Tylenol)

Say we wanted to promote Role-play the way that the ritualized combat roll-play gets highlighted in our games.  DCC is great in that it awards 1-4 XP based on encounter risks/costs more than monster power or gold accumulation. A dragon and a major demon and an angry god all gonna award 4. Easy peasey. That's if you kill it; sneak away; trick it; ally with it. Whatever - modified subjectively by the DM.  A friendly God of Partying will not award as much as an Angry God of Partying on account of less risk to the PCs

If we want to promote/reinforce role play, then players, rather than just DM ought to be role playing and expanding and advancing the story at these interactive times. So we need to reward those actions. In a non-combat encounter, a player needs to know motives to do the acting. PCs come with built-in motives. NPCs offer an opportunity for a group to expand the narrative and so if a group wants to Role play/improv and encounter actors and directors are nominated. You get points for rounds where you move the narrative toward your motivation as an PC/NPC but if aren't "acting" then you also get points for expanding on the action for people to use in the role playing. Personally I would give points or bonuses for "selling it" by using dumb voices and body language but that's me

You go a couple of rounds with no cap on length until the group or (optionally) the DM figure its enough. I think an hour of roleplaying/acting in turn in a circle would be as enjoyable (possibly more so) than dicing hits/misses. You can squeeze in mechanics as appropriate (bluff/intimidate) and this offers the opportunity to burn Luck on dicing

More later, maybe. The key is that no one's setting there picking their nose, either you're improving by acting/drama-ing/role-playing, or you are adding to the narrative by introducing/expanding the current action. ("The kobold is thinking that the thigh meet in the elf looks especially luscious" or "little does the party know that a gang of Meazels is around the bend with garrotes if this thing goes south")

Popcorn initiative. Passing is not punished it's just not reinforced with IP (improv points) that round. The IP points are divided up equally so if you pass, the group gets less IP which are converted to LUCK/HP/XP (choose one) at the end of the encounter. Sorry about the Blithering Idiocy, I'm still in bed and in a gray haze of lower back pain

More later. I encourage feedback and thoughts

Edit: makes the assumption that HP are not an indicator of physical condition but of ability to avoid killing blows  a PC with low HP is maybe unscathed but in existential peril, or maybe (according to the player) wounded pretty badly

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Mathom-Making of Calabraxis

Daniel Bishop of the Raven Crowking's Nest, has a great tradition, based on Tolkien's Hobbit practice of Mathom-ing.  A mathom is a gift that the owner doesn't use to the full extent, and is given freely on the owner's Birthday. I forget when Daniel's birthday is, but to get his Mathom this year (as in dusty years gone by) one need only review a DCC thing and link to Daniel's OP


Hearken, Wayward Traveller!  Have you a need for weird interludes, full of novel critters and strange situations?  Do your adventurers tire of kobolds, dragons, and Standard Template Spells? Well, look no farther - Claytonian's Wizardarium of Calabraxis seems to me to meet your requirements, Mendicant!

It is spilling over from one plane of reality into the next with interesting to fight/roleplay monsters and alien entities, offers strange toys to play with and experiment upon captives with, deadly traps to kill the unwary, and of course an evil and twisted Wizard that is long dead but still haunts the locale...

I admire Claytonian's work, in that the WoC is a thing he made all on his own, including the art.  In addition to writing and layout, he also has contributed artwork to other DCC authors' productions and is a talented visual artist in his own right. In the span of maybe 18 (6x9?) pages, he gives both a bare-framework and rich opportunity of Roleplay and Combat and Explorative play, with a healthy dose of hooks to bring the PCs in.  In addition, it seems to me that no PC that enters will leave the Wizardarium unchanged, and the multiverse itself may open up before them - weird time-travel possibilities and even transmogrification ought to be expected (and to my mind encouraged)

Disclosure: with Claytonian's permission, I incorporated his suggested Psionic power rules into my own solo gamebook as a way to strengthen the network of bonds between DCC authors' individual work, the way that HPL and Smith and Howard did so long ago. Claytonian is an advocate of this position and practice, I think, as all we DIY hobby-publishers ought to be.


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