Episode 2 of Fate Points

So, +Jacob Poss and I just finished our 2nd episode of Fate Points. We were lucky enough to have the awesome +Filamena Young on to talk about White Picket Witches and other projects she is working on.

As always, we appreciate people watching this and any comments you have. We want to make this a great thing and am always willing to listen to your feedback.

Don't forget that in two weeks, we will have +Jason Morningstar on to talk about Fight Fire which was on the Fate Cork kickstarter as well.


So, I ran a one-shot of Dungeon World last night

So, I ran a session of Dungeon World last night and it was a mixed bag. 

I am still trying to get into the flow of this game. I enjoy it, but there is an amount of flow that you have to have for it to work. I got there eventually, but with only two players it felt kind of forced at times.

Not to mention, one of the players had really bad connection issues, which ended the game before the climax. Not his fault, mind you. :)

The bard and the ranger were sent by the High Priest of Avacyn (goddess of justice) to find the holy amulet that was stolen. Clues led them to a thieves guild that had a tattoo of a tear drop above their left eye. It was common knowledge that they were bad ass to say the least, and those that messed with them ended up with the fishes.

While in the city of Westin, they managed to piss off two different thieves guilds, fight off some thugs of one guild, and get taken by the city watch. Well, the city watch showed up as there were four dead bodies at their feet. The watch commander Celeste gave them a choice. Repair the damage done to the thieves guild or hang by a rope. She was afraid it could be open warfare if this was not resolved. She sent her second in command Johan to keep an eye on them. 

Information was gathered and it was discovered that thieves hung out at two bars. The Dragon Inn, and the Hog's Head. They brazenly walked into the Hog’s Head (after a joke about Butterbeer) bar with the member of the watch and all hell broke loose. You see, Johann was a bit corrupt and had tormented his share of people in the city. As they walked in, they immediately were surrounded and they had a choice. Save Johann, or escape. They tried to save him, and a fight broke out.

Yet, in the middle of the fight, the ranger had another choice...save his buddy the bard or save Johan. He turned in his back on the watchman and he died as a result. They were able to get out of the bar and go to the temple of Avacyn for sanctuary and a much needed rest.

This is where the game ended as one of the players dropped out due to a bad connection.
Unfortunately, we did not get to the finale as Celeste was going to come to the temple of Avacyn (with a couple of watchmen) after hearing what had happened to Johann. She was going to be enraged at the death of Johann (since he was he lover), cut the priestess down and attempt to murdereize our heroes. :)

Overall, fun. I need to read the book again and just do a better job of running the game, but not bad for my first time. I also think they had fun, which is the most important part. :)

Thoughts on running the game. It is certainly an adjustment to run this kind of game. I play games where there is a bit of narrative, but not many that really depend on it…almost like a mechanic. Two people made it harder for me as I had a hard time coming up with questions at the beginning. It is mostly just me getting used to how it runs/plays, rather than a problem with the game.

I did get into the flow after a bit and the game is a lot of fun. I just think I need to read the book again and be a bit more prepared next time. I did this on a whim last night, but it was fun and that is the point.


Bulldogs! The review

So, Bulldogs! was an odd read.

Not odd, in a bad way, but I have read quite a few Fate books at this point and there are certain parts in each of them that I can pretty much skip. The introduction to fate, this is how fate works parts of the books.

This is not a criticism, but just part of the experience.

For the most part, Bulldogs! does not stray too far from what Fate already does. The biggest difference is in its setting. It is hard to look at this and not compare it to Diaspora, since they are sci-fi games using the Fate system. They do go about their approach very differently though. Diaspora is more of a hard sci-fi game where you get to create the system from scratch. There is a lot to like about that. Bulldogs! already has a setting and allows you to jump into the game a lot quicker.

It also has a very Firefly feel to it, which is what drew me to the game in the first place. I would play either gladly, this one just hits what I want a bit more.

There are a couple of things this game a bit differently than other Fate games.

First, the character creation is not as collaborative. That doesn’t mean you cannot do as a group, but instead of your character being a part of another’s phase, everyone is done separately. You do not get involved with their “adventure type” phase and it gives you ideas on how to come up with your aspects. Things like weaknesses, your homeworld, your profession, or ones specific to the alien race you choose to play. It is unlike anything Fate has done before, but it seems interesting.

Another interesting thing is the game suggests that you let the GM be the captain. That is an interesting idea, but some people may want the Firefly game and can you imagine someone not being Mal?

Then you get to make a ship (or you can choose one already made), and off you go!

Secondly, there are the races I spoke of a moment ago. They are:
Arsubararans-Human like and pretty much everywhere.
Dolome-Huge, blue, tripod-legged. Very loyal, but you probably don’t want to make them angry.
Hacragorkans-green, burly, tattooed, and man do they love fighting. It is what they excel at.
Ken Reeg-Slick, smooth, and also green. They are manipulators of the highest order. Dealing with them is always a risk.
Robots-Where would the galaxy be without them? They come in just about every shape and size you could imagine.
Ryjyllians- Catlike and with retractable claws, they are fierce mercenaries that have a high code of honor.
Saldrallans-Snake-like and cold blooded. They were one side of the thousand years war. Their ruthless pragmatism guides the Empire well.
Templari-Haughty and purple, the Templari rule the Devalkamanchan Republic, guided by their belief that they are genetically superior to all others.
Tetsuashans-They are slug like and unlikely adventurers, but they seem at ease in space. They have an affinity for piloting and ship-building.
Urseminites-They resemble small teddy bears, but don’t let that fool you. They are angry and murderous in temperament. Due to this, they tend to be despised by all.

The best part is that they also give you really good tools on creating your own species. Which is most definitely what I want to do. They give you a lot of examples of abilities to choose from, and it looks like it would be fun to do.

The ship combat is handled a lot like normal combat, but it seems like it would flow well, as each member can do certain things. From piloting, firing cannons, repairing, etc.

Overall, it was a fun read and I really want to play this pretty badly. I have wanted to play something that gets the feeling of Firefly, and I think this could be it. 


Fate Points goes live!

We did our first episode of Fate Points tonight. I think it went pretty well , for it being the first time I have ever done anything like that before.

Our guest was Rob Wieland,whom created Camelot Trigger for the Fate Core kickstarter. He was awesome and I can only hope he is going to be making his Fate Ghostbuster hack. I want that NOW.

In the future we are getting Mark Diaz Truman, whom created the Fate setting called Timeworks. That will happen in March. Next week, we have Filamena Young, whom made White picket witches for the same kickstarter.

This has started out about as well as we could have imagined.

Fate Points starts tonight....

So, another person and I decided to start a bi-weekly hangout via Google Plus. The hangout will devoted to the Fate system and our goal is to discuss ideas/setting/rules about the system in a hopefully interesting way.

Our first episode is tonight at 9 PM (EST=5).

Since Fate Core came out recently, there is still quite a buzz about the system. So, if you are a fan of Fate, you have to be excited about what is going on. Most people are already playing the game. Or hacking the games to their own personal tastes.

Which is great, since that was part of the purpose of Fate Core.

Or you can be running games on the like 15 or so settings that came with the kickstarter reaching its goals. Anything from witches to pulp mysteries. From Athurian robots to being a firefighter. There is enough going on in those settings to really make the Fate fan happy.

Another one of our goals is to hopefully get some of the people in the industry on the show. People that have created fate settings or a game of some kind. We are happy that this week we will be having Rob Wieland on the show.

In case you are not sure whom that is, he crated the Camelot Trigger setting for the Fate Core kickstarter. This took the legend of King Arthur and brought it into a sci-fi setting with giant Robots. The buzz on this particular setting was and has been pretty high.

So, as mention before, or first episode is tonight. We hope there are people willing to listen to us ramble on about the system, and talk to Rob about the setting he crated.

I hope you decide to watch. :)


Gaming yesterday...

So, yesterday I went to the game day in Pittsburgh.

It is a monthly event that you pay five bucks and can play 3 games over 12 hours. Considering I don’t really have a gaming group now, this is a must for me to get to each month.

As usual, it was a lot of fun.

Game one. The Quiet Year. It is hard to explain this game. You play a community instead of a character. You draw a map and throughout the game, you are adding details to it, making the world up as you go. May be more of a card game than rpg, but it has elements of both. Either way, it was a blast to play.

There are four seasons (starting with spring), and each of them have 13 cards. Each turn, you draw a card and do what it says. It can tell you to create a project (or destroy one), or make a new location. There was a bit of variety in what you could do when drawing the car. Then on the same turn you can also do an action. Which was start a discussion in the community about something, start a project, or create something new in the world.

By the time you are done, you have this complexly filled out map and have resolved quite a bit. The interesting thing is when you get to winter, there is a card called the Frost Shepherds. Once that card is drawn, the game is over. So, you have a 1 and 13 chance of that happening when you start winter.

The cool idea was that we can play a session of this game next month, and use it is a basis to play an Apocalypse World game. I thought the idea brilliant.

Game two. Dungeon World.  I have been excited about this one for a while. I got the book this week, which was perfect timing for the game this weekend. I like how it starts with the GM asking questions to everyone, therefore creating the world a bit. You background, what is the name of that forest, why do you have bonds with other character. Things like that. It is a lot of fun to start playing.

I am still struggling with one aspect of the game.

There are not turns, so if you are someone that doesn’t step up to do things, you can feel left out.  I normally do not play fighters, so I was a little apprehensive about how to play it. That is my own issue and not the games fault.

It was one of the oddest sessions I have played in a long time. There was: butterflies, shapeshifting, unicorns, a living dungeon, a barbarian that thinks HE is civilized one, a panther named kitty that did more damage to the ranger than anything else did, and lot of blood and puss that anyone every wanted to have anything to do with. Very odd, but still a lot of fun.

Game three. Ghost Lines.

Ghost Lines is created by John Harper. It is hack of Apocalypse World by Vincent Baker. Harper made another game I very much want to play called Lady Blackbird.

Anyways, so the game is that you are A Bull. Someone who travels the train lines fighting ghosts. It is the only way for people to travel, and someone has to do it right?
The idea is very cool and the game was fun. The only problem I had was I was getting tired by this time and don’t think I played as well as I could have. Not to mention, my dice hated me. J

Since there were only two of us playing, it was very fast. But the problem was that my character was more of observer, and other character was someone that actually trapped the ghost. By the time we got to the end, it was obvious we were in trouble because neither one of us really were fighters.

So the train was out of control as ghosts had taken over the train. We got into the last fight and tried to keep the train from crashing. We did ok at first as my character was wiping out the minions and the other character was taking care of the bad ass ghost.

Then things started going wrong, also known as rolling poorly.

We ended up failing our last six rolls, taking damage and eventually the train crashed into the imperial city and we died.

It was a lot of fun to play. I think you need four people to play it right, as the roles of the game would work better then. But overall, it was a good hack of AW.


Dungeon World the review

So, I finally got my copy of Dungeon World yesterday and here is my review of the book.

Part 1 The Game itself
It has been a long damn time since I have wanted to dungeon crawl. I just don’t play those kinds of games anymore and there are a lot of people out there that do. So, bully for them. But my point is that after I burned out on Dungeons and Dragons, this kind of game never even reached my radar. I was more into the story telling games like Fate.

Then I played the game once about 7 months ago and the narrative control amazed me, and the fact that it was so close setting wise to how D&D was, became irrelevant. The fact that it is such a rules light game also appeals to me since this is why I don’t want to play games like Burning Wheel due to how crunchy those games are.

Part 2 Playing the game
2D6. is what your roll to accomplish things in the game. Yes, you may have to roll a different die for damage, but the basic component is that you roll 2D6.

You have the basic attributes like D&D. Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma, Wisdom, and Intelligence. Depending on what your score is, you can get a bonus to your roll.

When you are trying to do something you roll the 2d6, and one of the following happen:
On a 10+ You accomplish your task with little trouble
On a 7-9 You accomplish your task but with complications or trouble
On a 6 or lower you fail and the Gm tells you what happens and then mark XP

There are basic moves like hack and slash (roll+STR bonus), Volley (roll +Dex bonus, Spout Lore (Roll +INT bonus, Discern realities (Roll + Wis bonus) Defend a character (Roll + Con bonus), or Parley with an npc (Roll + Cha bonus).

The other thing that you do is defy danger. When your character acts despite an imminent threat, you say how you deal with it and roll.  For example, to dodge, you would use Dex. To hold on the edge of a cliff could be +Con. And so on.

Oh, and did I mention that the GM never rolls a dice. Not once. Craziness!

Part 3 Character types
This is nothing new to you. The classes are Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, and Wizard.

I don’t need to say what these are, but each has its own starting moves, such as picking locks, spellcasting, shapeshifting, a signature weapons, and hunt and tracking to name a few.  You also can get racial benefits since you can play human, elf, dwarf, or halfing.

You also have bonds with the other players in the game that can be resolved and get xp, but more than that it is a way to get you connected with the rest of the party. I like this quite a bit.

Part 4 The Gm
The Gm has moves as well. They could be as simple as enemies, or a trap. But when the player does not make the roll, the Gm can cause some problems for the player. They could separate the players or even make them lose resources…or my favorite reveal an unwelcome truth.

This is just a small sampling of what they can do, but their job is to keep the story going. When the players decided to do something, they make a roll. Depending on the roll, the GM then looks at their lists of moves and chooses something like mentioned above.

After the first session, the GM then starts creating something called Fronts. Simply it is secret knowledge of dangers and threats for the players.  Things that the player care about and get used against them.  Fronts allow the GM to organize GM’s thoughts their thoughts to create the opposition.

There is good advice here is to how to get this started. By the time you are done you would be able to have Fronts created along with threats, places, people, etc. It was cool to read.

Part 6 The World/Monsters
The first part of this was creating steadings, towns, ect. It is very simple and I love how easy DW makes it to create the world you are playing in. You take a map and start with a few locations and off you go creating the world.

The steading creation gives you a lot of options on how to go about it.

Then there are the monsters that are stated out. Enough for you to definitely get going in the game.

Part 7 Advanced delving
One of the best things about this game is how hackable it is. People take the basic game play and then just go nuts with it. This chapter gives advice on how to create moves, classes, races, etc.

There is some great advice here and I am personally looking forward to doing that at some point.

The overview
Overall, this book is awesome. It is damn hard to make a game where I actually want to dungeon crawl again, and the rules are easy enough for new players to jump in and get going. Sometimes you just need to make things easier to really gain complexity. That is how this game feels. It is so damn simple to see, but there is so much you can do.

It takes everything I used to love about D&D, but only better. I heard someone say the other day that this is the D&D they want to play. 

I agree.

Game on!


Dungeon World!

So, I have been going crazy lately with seeing all of the people on Google + getting their copies of the game. This is a game I am very excited about and the fact that something could even make me want to play a dungeon-crawl game is something that still surprises me every time I think about it.

Here is said book that was delivered today.

I played it once about 7 months ago or so at a gaming day in Pittsburgh. The funny thing is that I was wandering around looking for something to play and someone asked me if I wanted to play this.

I did not.

One listen told me it was too much like Dungeons and Dragons, which I had no interest in playing. It is possible I still have issues with D&D that I have not quite completely dealt with.

So, after getting talked into it, we took off and played the game.

I played a cleric. This is significant because I had not played any type of magic user in about 20 years. All stemming from an awful experience the very first time I played the game. So, I was a cleric of Thor and the narrative gameplay just blew me away.

Now, I finally got the book and am excited to play it again and then I want to run it as well.

It is good to be excited.