Dyvers opinions

I’ve been paid an enormous compliment here http://dyverscampaign.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-great-blog-roll-call-2014.html, with the following generous and kind words

Treehouse: A blog presented by former Games Workshop employee Baz Stevens. You’ll find a lot to like here, not the least of which is Baz’s engaging writing style. I have spent a day going through the archives and just loving this blog. I will not miss an update by this blog. Updates: Five posts a month.

So I guess now I feel a bit ashamed that I haven’t written more recently! Let’s see what I can do about that…

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A mess of D&D

This summer is the big transition with Next just around the corner. I’m glad it’s finally coming, after too long mucking about with playtests and Internet debates about the most minor aspects of all things WotC. Our group retreated from the playtest a little while back and instead we regrouped with some new blood in the form of two new regular players.

I say regular! Of course as grown ups with jobs and families it’s never easy to maintain a weekly campaign. What we did was pick up the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Thats a blog post in itself. For now, now just this: enormous fun, plenty of good times, very accessible.

We also dabbled with Fate and sci fi for a bit. Learned a lot from that experience and if nothing else it worked as a palate cleanser for me the regular GM. I got stuck into my WW2 Fate game as a result, and that’s simmering on a back burner right now as I decide next steps.

But the lure of fantasy has brought me back to the table. I’ve been devouring Torchbearer, the modern take on old school dungeoneering. I’ve been doing a Where I Read over at UK Roleplayers. Will probably compile those posts into a mega review here at some point.

Also been playing old school style over G+ using Adventurer Conqueror King System sporadically. It’s set in Parsantium, a super detailed city setting with loads of shoots and plots to follow. Or not.

And then there’s the new campaign! After some debate we settled on playing the Paizo AP, Curse of the Crimson Throne, but using 13th Age as a system. First sesh this week and we’ve got some brilliant characters who are even now plunging into the city of Korvosa and it’s stories. Got a good feeling about this one. Playing an AP should in theory give me an easier time prepping (kind of, they’re still very dense things to internalise) and the system should let us chew through plot with space for improvisation along the way.

So that’s a quick catch up. It’s all about the d20 don’t you know?

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Another decision decided

I think that I am going to publish War Stories with no art beside the cover. There’s also a very good chance it will be formatted as a traditional book (and ebook naturally)

Much as I love good art in RPGs, it has simply become a habit in publishing rather than a necessity. It’s not exactly useful, and above all things, I want War Stories to be useful. Plus, sorting out decent art is a massive undertaking, and I’d rather get the book out sooner.

Unless I change my mind.

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War v.1

Finished the first pass on War Stories tonight. It’s the rules, sans many of the examples, but otherwise polished up to a level where the game is playable as is. It’s 52 pages, and it’s taken about 30 hours of writing, 300 of thinking.

It’s still recognisably Fate Core, but by the time I’ve added in the fluff and colour, it might be hard to tell.

Very pleased to have gotten to this stage. Next step, firming up some of the squad level rules. Then, round one of playtest.

Speaking of which, let me know if you want in on the playtest. The minimum I ask for is a read through and feedback. Cheers!

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Setting Boundaries

In my ongoing quest to keep my WW2 game Fate based, but still trad as funk, I’m really tightening up the way FP are spent and accumulated. I see so much (justified) confusion and calls for clarity online about Fate stuff that would be so trivially accomplished in many trad games. I’m talking about the classic On Fire aspects, the stealth/perception issue, the group compel etc etc. At its heart Fate really is very simple, but the multiple ways it handles tests and conflicts do sometimes seem to throw a spanner into otherwise straightforward situations.

I believe a lot of this comes from sideways usage of FP. The simple invoke is no problem. The simple compel is ok. It’s when players start either of those on other players, or NPCs, or on the scenario, that things start getting weird. When the GM does any of these things, it’s not a worry. This is because while players have a very finite pool of FP to play with, the GM has an infinite resource. The answer is to keep the boundaries rigid. Players play. GMs GM.

For example, a player wants to compel another player. In true Fate, that player has to pony up a FP of their own. In my game, player suggests compel, FP comes from GMs infinite pool. It’s as if the GM suggested it themselves. Problem solved.

This works in a few other ways, which I’ll spell out in detail in the game. Given the genre I’m working with, infiltration, cover and area attacks are going to be commonplace. I need to make the FP economy work for everyone. Keeping the player/GM mechanical roles separate can only help.

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Kitted Out

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April 3, 2014 · 10:36 am

On the cards

If I can’t get this into my War RPG something has gone very wrong indeed

http://www.bicyclecards.com/products/playing-card/bicycle-escape-deck

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