One of the few things that I liked in Kult Divnity Lost was the rules about Disadvantages, and this has made me think about how to use disadvantages in the games that I run. One of the things that I have difficulty with is making a character’s disadvantages mean something in a game. I tend to forget about them while game is in play, and I have a hard time remembering to reward playing them up with bennys. I wrote up a benny rule that I tend to use in regular groups in a previous post, that I need to revise and clarify. Here though I want to suggest this as an option for making disadvantages mean something if you like I have issues making them mean something other than as part of character creation.
This is a newly updated version of the rule I use for bennies. I am bad about giving them out for role-play, I tend to be too focused on other the rest of the game to remember them. This is a slight tweak from the original rule that I came up with and a clean up of some of the text of the original rule. The change is that instead of no bennies, the GM will now start with half the normal amount just to give them a little bit of protection against bad luck at the start of a game.
This was inspired by a post on Facebook here about removing the Persuasion skill and just using the Spirit attribute. While personally I would not do this, I also don’t see anything in particular wrong with it, but it does have greater implications than it might seem on the surface. Continue reading “Bring Back the Guts Skill”
The following are a some rules inspired by Blades in the Dark1. These rules would be useful in any game that has the players performing lots of heist, though it could be adapted to any situation where the players are likely to get stuck in planning paralysis. As always, before making use of these rules make sure that the group wants to jump-start the planned event and avoid the pre-planning before making use of them.
Pre Job Rule
To begin with instead of having the players make plans and gather equipment that they may or may not need, start by having each of the players making either a notice or investigate roll. Each player then gets one special benny plus one per success or raise they get on the roll. These bennys are used to purchase flash backs during the heist.
Start of Job Rule
Have the players tell you how they are going to start the job. For example are they going to sneak in a window, pretend to be delivery agent, etc. Based on this decision determine the opening skill roll to set the scene. If they succeed they are in a strong position to start the job. If they fail they are facing some sort of opposition.
An example of this would be sneaking into a window to gain access to the house you are going to rob. On a success, you have climbed in the window and are ready to start moving to the score you wanted. On a failure, you have tripped an alarm and any guards in the house are on alert and looking for intruders.
When ever the players get into some sort of trouble, they can spend one of their flashback bennies to set a flashback scene. This scene doesn’t change anything that has already been declared can’t be changed by the flashback, but it can be re-framed.
An example of this would be due to a series of bad stealth rolls, the crew is discovered by the guards. One of the players could play one of the flashback bennies setting a scene where the crew was negotiating with these guards bribing them to look the other way during the score. As long as the interaction is successful during the flashback, then that re-frames the current scene from a combat to something where the guards just tell them to be quiet and continue on with their patrol.
There are some things that I am not sure about with these rules. I always want the group to have at least a few flashback opportunities, and that was why I set the number to 1 plus the number of successes and raises. The problem might be that this generates too many, so this might need to be tweaked to reduce the number given based on how it plays and even how pulpy you want the jobs to be.
Anyway, I hope these rules provides some value to others and as I make more use of them, I will post updates or extra commentary on them.
Since I finished reading the Fate Adversary Toolkit, I have been thinking about how to apply some of the concepts to Savage Worlds and in particular to the Deadlands Noir game I am running. There are a couple of parts to making use of this book in Savage Worlds.
The easiest import isn’t really an import, but just a different way of describing Locations (Zones), Dramatic Tasks and Chases. Continue reading “Some Fate Adversary Toolkit Concepts in Savage Worlds”
So today, I just finished reading my preview copy of Cthulhu Dark. I will probably wait to write a review of it after I have read the released version sometime around the end of the year, but I did want to talk about the concept of Creeping Horror that it has and some thoughts on how I am thinking of using them in my Deadlands Noir game. Continue reading “Creeping Horror in Savage Worlds”
One of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how to do investigation heavy games better. This is coming up because I am currently running a Deadlands Noir game, and one of the most frequent and wide-spread issues is pacing and keeping the players from flailing around without knowing where to go next. Continue reading “Ideas for Clues in an Investigation Heavy Savage Worlds Game”
Cthulhu Dark is a new Lovecraftian horror game raising funding on kickstarter now. From the information that I have seen, it looks very interesting, and is inspiring for horror games in Savage Worlds. You can find the kickstarter Continue reading “Cthulhu Dark ideas for Savage Worlds Horror”
For my next session of the Deadlands Noir game that I am running, I am planning to use a variation on the Narrative rules from Weird Wars I. I have written about these rules before here, and you can find the rules in a preview here. Continue reading “Narrative Missions For Deadlands Noir”
Today I just finished reading Dark Streets for Urban Shadows. This is a setting book and a collection of extra playbooks and essays for the Urban Shadows (an Apocalypse World game). It is not something that I intend to write a review for unless I go back and re-read the Urban Shadows core book and review it first, Continue reading “Urban Shadows City Threats for Deadlands Noir”