I’ve been thinking about introducing reincarnation to the campaigns I run for my 10yo.
I’ve been thinking about introducing reincarnation to the campaigns I run for my 10yo. We’re already following the pattern of the Zelda games where he plays practically the same character, but in different “skins”. Sometimes a thousand years after, sometimes in a completely different universe, and sometimes he’s a direct descendant of the previous hero.
He hasn’t warmed up to the idea of his characters dying yet so this, in addition to a Grim World style death move might be a good way to ease him into it.
Here are some of my initial thoughts:
* A simple procedure or roll says something about how the world has changed based on the state he left it in and how much time has passed.
* Maybe he can choose a power that will be passed on in some way.
* Instead of recalling prophecies and legends, he can commune with his ancestors and gain insight or even access their powers.
* He rolls on a table to get a background and some unique traits for his next character. I’d still give him a lot of freedom, but it’s more fun for me if he mixes things up. Handing the responsibility over to a table might also make it easier for him to buy in to change.
This might not go anywhere, but it’s fun to ponder.
I’ve been playing around with, and developing a magical item that popped up in one of my games with my stepson.
I’ve been playing around with, and developing a magical item that popped up in one of my games with my stepson. It’s a staff that can summon rain and I want to introduce emotional complications as a potential side effect or feature since it kind of fits the theme of rain. I might share the whole thing later, but I thought I’d see what you think about this part of the idea. It might create a few “I don’t know what came over me” moments. (The emotional complications in Headspace by Mark Richardson inspired me.)
When you follow the ritual you get the desired effect, but people around will also become more aware and willing to open up about their negative emotions like grief, jealousy, anger or fear.
If you rush or skip the ritual, the desired effects come quicker, but the negative emotions of people around are exaggerated and bubble up to the surface. Pick one:
» NPCs overreact or act out their negative emotions to your disadvantage.
» Give yourself or another player -1 ongoing until they overreact or act out their emotions to the detriment of themself or an ally, or they get time to rest and process their emotions. You can’t give this to a player a second time before they have removed the -1 ongoing.
I just ran my second one-shot of The Warren, this time for random strangers in my local gaming store where they advertised that they were looking for DMs for weekly D&D games. I brought my sheets and asked if anyone were interested in playing something different. I didn’t know if I would run a game that night, but I was prepared in case I could get two or three people curious.
The friendly clerk introduced me to two gentlemen sorting their Magic cards and one filling in a Pathfinder character sheet. One of them had read Watership Down before and another was of the belief that rabbits are evil, referencing Monty Python and The Holy Grail. I can work with that.
They were sent on a lettuce raid to feed the gluttonous chief rabbit Bruno, inspired by Iotho Bruno from the Discern Realties comic strip AP. Oh, so Shameless. They responded to my description with: “So, like Jabba the Hutt if he was a rabbit?”
A huge black dog found them and after some dramatic chases and distraction tactics that went south, Molly the albino, was first badly injured and then carried off to “certain death” while the rest made it back worse for wear, but with the precious lettuce for Bruno.
With some encouragement from the NPC Thistle who was fed up with these suicide missions, they tried to secretly rally bunnies for a revolt against the chief rabbit and his tyranny. But they were not careful enough and Bruno became suspicious. Hellebore, one of Brunos strongest guards would watch them wherever they went after that. Snowball exercised his -1 shrewd more than handful of times this session and this was one of his less appreciated contributions.
On the next lettuce raid Molly came back from presumed death with an incredible story and the black dog was not far behind. (It’s a character move) They set Hellebore up to be killed by the dog after Dave, the magenta tinted rabbit finally turned the tide with box cars. Then they returned to the warren where they managed to eliminate Bruno with lettuce poisoned by humans and overthrow the remaining structure in the chaos that followed.
Overall it was a very dramatic and grounded session and we had a lot of fun. They were inspired by the challenge of playing powerless rabbits and excited by the freedom that came from the system. They were keen to play The Warren or other games like it in the future, so I introduced them to one of my friends who runs regular games of Dungeon World when he’s not torturing himself running D&D 4th and 5th edition for ungrateful souls. Hopefully that will kill two birds with one stone.
My plan is to continue to run public Wednesday games with titles from my library that are mostly powered by the apocalypse. This time I got a batch of your everyday game store patrons, but I hope to also attract more mainstream people in the future.
Do you have any descriptive words or terms for the concept of taking narrative control or establishing truths?
Do you have any descriptive words or terms for the concept of taking narrative control or establishing truths? I want to teach my stepson about how different games give participants different levels of control and how there can be rules, mechanics or social contracts restricting or encouraging it.
“Invent”, “take narrative control”, just “take control”, “establish truths”, just “establish”? Is “take narrative control” the most used term?
My soon ten year old player decided to commune with a not previously established goddess for assistance in a bad situation. We spent a bit of time negotiating a bargain and we landed on giving away the light power in his lightmagic sword. With loud protests from the swords talking spirit of course.
After getting back to safety he asked the goddess for what to do to get the power back. I turned the question back to him and he suggested catching bugs.
In my authoritative goddess voice: “You will fly to my temple on… ehm… Temple Island and get rid of the beetles that have defiled it.” His preparation was bringing a bug catching net. So innocent.
It started out with a quick montage of him catching and disposing of hand size beetles around the currently uninhabited island. But then more came from inside the dark temple. He brought a lamp and found a beetle the size of a car. After some overconfidence and a handful of misses, with a broken arm, badly bruised back and some burns, the whole place was on fire and he was flattened by the collapsing roof that sent him unconscious through a wooden floor to some basement.
He did loot (read request) a rain staff though. Too bad he didn’t wake up until the whole place was already in ruins and embers. But the giant beetle died in the chaos and he got the power back since a promise is a promise. But the goddess asked him to leave immediately and didn’t respond to his prayers again.
I rubbed his failure in even more by describing the huge statue of the goddess crumbling and crashing down on the temple as he flew off the island in the rain. He felt awful the whole time, and I loved it with all of my sadistic parent heart.
My latest contribution to the renaissance of play-by-post is starting a game of Urban Shadows with one of my local friends. He has very particular tastes and sensibilities that never worked with the rest of my group, so I’m trying to find another way we can enjoy the hobby together. He confessed that he had initiated choose-your-own-adventures with strangers on Omegle or something similar a long time ago and I saw an opportunity.
I had some issues convincing him to give it a go when the description of vampires and werewolves filled his head with images of True Blood and the Twilight Saga. I managed to explain that the game is first and foremost about a certain kind of story, not about vampires and werewolves, and that we choose together what kind of beings and powers exist and how they work. If he doesn’t choose the Vamp, vampires don’t have to exist and if he does choose it, he decides if they sparkle or burn.
He picked the Hunter and we’re aiming to start the first scene this weekend. I’m looking forward to it, but if it crashes and burns, the union of crazy hippie-gamer-me and my rigid and pedantic friend was never meant to be.
My soon 10yo player keeps introducing legends and prophecies to our simplified PbtA games and I came up with this…
My soon 10yo player keeps introducing legends and prophecies to our simplified PbtA games and I came up with this just now. Do you have any suggestions or know any similar moves from existing games?
When you remember a prophecy, tell it and roll.
On 10+ choose 1, on 7-9 choose 2.
– One of the details is untrue or incomplete.
– The MC can add an extra detail to the prophecy.
– Something is preventing the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Take +1 to all actions that will fulfill the prophecy.
Take -1 to all actions that will disprove the prophecy.
He likes using legends to establish the existence of magical items and a prophecy to say that he was the hero destined to use them or that it was the item destined to solve a problem. It might be better to ignore the prophecies and focus on ways to let him introduce elements to the setting since I think that’s his main motive. I like the concept though and I would like to try it on him anyway.