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  • #16
    Originally posted by PlotVitalNPC View Post

    Out of a freehold, you say?
    Is it bigger than the land the freehold originally consumed?
    I'm vague on how much land the original Freehold consumed because it was called The City of Mirrors and had a space-folding effect going on as the PCs got deeper inside. So it's possible that the contents of the wyld pocket made real are actually bigger than the part of Creation that the Fair Folk originally stole. They had been there since the Balorian Crusade so the idea that a good size chunk of Creation was knotted into a Raksha playhouse is also an explanation I see holding water.

    The game's been running for 10 years if I committed too much to the metaphysics I'd go insane, I just gave the thumbs up to a PC's plan to destroy a Fair Folk city by creating one of their own and they've been riding the consequences of that ever since.




    Assorted homebrew goes here.
    Please help the Ex3 wiki grow. Even if it's just posting existing homebrew there so there's less chance of losing it.

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    • #17
      So many good responses. ❤ I tried to @ everyone but it became an essay - so I'll try to answer broad ideas.


      re: the CRM, Craft Charms, existing rules, etc

      My group is used to small scale - the CRM and Mandate are all too big to be used. I'm talking "a small settlement where you know everyone's name", not "a city-state".

      I'm probably the most craft/support/strategy focused gamer (there's one other who likes to heal - but beyond that, he gets wrecked in strategy). No one else wants to craft a sword when they can steal one. So while I personally like the rules, I know they won't use them.


      re: Other Game Systems

      Darkest Dungeon is dope - but Assassins' Creed 2 (with the villa), Warcraft (with the stronghold) and apparently "Kingdom Death - Monster" (with its settlements) are closer to form. I just discovered Kingdom Death, but apparently they have an "innovation" system. After each hunt/quest, survivors have 1 innovation - which they can spend to develop their communal home with base skills (language, agriculture, cooking); buildings (homes, smithy, tannery, etc) and more abstract features (philosophy, art, religion). I need to look into the rules.

      I know of Dungeon World (and thank you wastevens for pointing me to "steading"). One of our players wants to run an Apocalypse World game - I've looked at the Exalted World fan mod - and there's a Grim World variant (where player-deaths trigger a special move - some of which are long term legacy buffs that could certainly be used for a settlement). I'll need to play the AW game to really grok how the rules work.


      re: Resources, Systems, Ideas
      drakor - Interesting - instead of spending some kind of resource into buildings - you used elementals & animals as settlement resources. But are you the ST or player? Are you custom-crafting the city to "what feels right" - or can players directly decide what elementals and animals to add (influencing without directly ruling)?

      Wise Old Guru - I'm glad the ship/crew idea works - I agree with you on mobility - my idea is a guild-caravan. One week, they're selling wares in Nexus; another week scavenging a ruin; a third week surviving their first Shadowland as they trek to Sijan, etc. "Settlement growth" is as easy as adding wagons & NPCs.

      DrLoveMonkey - Do you have any notes on build time, levels, income, upkeep? Perhaps I should be looking at RTS games for systems?

      One thing I envy about D&D is the simplicity of character levels - because then I could give 1 "settlement point" per level. Instead of outgrowing an area, characters could literally "grow" a settlement as they do, ensuring it remains relevant to them.

      • So say a game has a lvl 18 Warlock - a lvl 12 Fighter (deceased, saving the Warlock) - a lvl 6 Ranger (the Fighter's new character) - and a lvl 1 Paladin (new player)?
      • Then (hypothetically), the village might grow with "18pts" into an occult shop / local cult (that the Warlock led).... "12pts" into the militia that the Fighter once led.... 6pts into the hunting lodge / inn the Ranger now frequents..... and 1pt into the Paladin's temple. The lvl 1 Paladin wouldn't overnight undo the Warlock's work.
        • PLUS there's a sense of legacy built-in. Just as the Fighter died - but his influence is still seen - what if the Warlock died saving the Ranger (seeking to roll a new character)? They'll be remembered too!
          • And maybe they reroll a new Warlock.... who could be a member of their own cult, stepping up to pick up the mantle!
          • Or they roll a new Rogue - but later decide to multi-class into a Warlock - so their previous character's patron (via the cult) is easier to access!
          • Or they want to do something completely different - but they can see their Warlock won't be forgotten.
          • Or they want to antagonize themselves - rolling a Cleric whose goal is to purge the cult!
      This ability to systemize character-influence (without demanding they all play bureaucrats themselves) is what I'm aiming for.


      re: "Telling a Story" vs Emergent Gameplay

      Saipjas - I understand and appreciate your comments (because both sides are worth considering to anyone who hasn't found their personal style yet) - but your stance is the opposite from my experience (which is not to say anyone is "right or wrong" - but we cater to different players).
      The Problem I find with "Telling a Story":

      The problem with telling a story is the advance presumption it's a story everyone wants to participate in. My group has been trying several games in the last few months - and almost every plot-specific questline boils down to "filler lore text" before games devolve to hack-n-slash sessions. How can one presume players will care about a story before you've given them a chance to care about themselves?

      And it's not just a personal critique - it's hardly effective when I have to google the questline to create a "history" for the group and figure out what did we do in the bigger scheme of things and why do we care. Their interest has been expected - and taken for granted - and they know they'll be dragged along regardless.
      • Did anyone notice the people we rescue are a previous set of heroes, now retired? nope
      • Did anyone notice certain antagonists are like corrupt reflections of our own classes? nope
      • Did anyone notice we accidentally did one quest out of order, revealing the main villain too early? nope!
      I lampshade this often - when my combat-focused group's recklessness gets my spellcaster into danger, I (OOC) plead to switch sides since the villain is also a spellcaster, and at least we'd have something in common in temperament and interests.

      Video Game Sandboxes & Emergent Gameplay:
      Radiant-Quests (ala Skyrim) can feel flat and superficial - but character development, goals and stories can arise from sandboxes in a form of emergent gameplay. Sandboxes let rampaging players "find themselves" with filler content until they are ready to visit your pre-planned plotlines (or better yet, they inspire plots all their own).

      My best video game experience has been in ARK - a survival game with no plot, no story.

      The Witch of the Woods & the Barbarian

      I'm very methodical - and usually the crafter - so in 1 week I'll have resources the other 12 won't have in a month. But tired of "babysitting" them, my motivation became to ditch their mismanaged community - live out-of-sight - and have my reputation grow by proxy.

      I picked the most antisocial, bellicose player on their side of the island. He once harassed an entire settlement solo for 5 hours (and they migrated just to avoid him killing them in their sleep). He was living on a beach, naked, hunting dodos with a spear. He was known & prone to assault other players to rob and/or eat them.

      I sailed up and "tamed him" with two gifts - a bed on my rudimentary raft-house - and ammo. As a crafter, I had unlocked various craft-stations first (and how to make a rudimentary gun and bullets) - and I asked nothing from him. Every day he logged on, we rarely spoke - he simply woke up with new clothing, ammo and food - and proceeded to murder everything on whatever new shores I sailed us to.

      The Barbarian discovers Motivation

      And then 3 weeks in, he lamented not being able to hunt the mountain-tops because the cold would kill him.

      And he lamented not being able to properly dive into various dungeons/caves alone.

      And he reminisced on the old tribes who had spurned him. He wanted them to look up to him and for him to look down at them.

      And if we resettled on a mountain peak, he'd have these things. So I worked for a week crafting and we migrated to a cliff-upon-a-cliff-above-a-cliff-on-a-mountain - and the other players could see the silhouette of a growing tower but none could survive the cold long enough to spy or raid upon us (and the fact that we thrived there was a wonder unto itself).

      And the next time he adventured and noticed some giant-dinosaur demolishing his old neighbors - he flew down and killed it, solo - took what resources he wanted, dumped spare gear, and fly back off. And from the trees, he watched as the people who once rejected him now fought over his scraps. He had moved from "player vs sandbox world" into "player with character motivations, a social reputation, goals, etc".

      And then....

      ...we began to recruit. And much like "giving a barbarian a gun", I tried to craft things no one had asked for. Our beastmaster just wanted safety for his pets - I built him breeding pens, incubation rooms, a rudimentary garden to feed them. Another favored the ocean and brought pearls as tribute? I built him a house boat (which coincidentally made it easy to spy on his location).

      The settlement was never a hollow pre-built "scene" for a story I invented in advance.

      The settlement was an ongoing record of who-achieved-what (while simultaneously hinting at what they could do next).

      And tons of adventures and memories arose from this (as conflicting goals and styles clashed; or as rival tribes tried to threaten us) without needing to dictate to anyone "this is what you should care about".


      Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
      It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
      Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
      - Their Eyes Were Watching God

      Comment


      • #18
        Not Exalted, but if you're interested in bases of power, check out the (now finished) Kickstarter for the 5e supplement Strongholds and Followers by Matt Colville. It might inform some ideas about how to do it in Exalted.


        Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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        • #19
          Salagimsim you are right we cater to different players, but let me reframe a different question. What are you doing telling a story that not everyone is onboard with in the first place? I feel your narrative actually illustrates my point, the system you guys choose is actually irrelevant to your game, and is more based on the “crunch” your group likes. This also seems a difference in expectations from the players. For instance when I run my games, I take great care to set my players’ expectations for WHAT type of game they are playing. The reason for me to use the exalted system is because it best reflects the stories I wish to tell.

          All that is not to say emergent storytelling doesn’t emerge, I in fact reject the notion they have to be oppositional. You can have emergent storylines work with a broader narrative, but that broader narrativ hast to be there and not as you say, superficial. As an example: a shard (non-canon) Exalted game I ran had the solars breaching the walls of a fortified Sjian, the Dawn used a combination of charms to shatter the wall, which accidentally killed a large number of civilians, this traumatized the nightcaste (who was compassion based in second ed). This event shaped several features of the ensuing sessions as well as group interpersonal relations. Later (about 1.5 years real time), the group encountered an orphan whose family was killed in the attack seeking to become an abyssal. This caused the Dawn to reflect on his actions and actually go into a despair state, seeking solace in drugs and other escapes until the circle could find him and intervene. All this emergent gameplay came from a choice of the player in the context of the broader narrative.
          Last edited by Saipjas; 04-17-2018, 10:50 AM.

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          • #20
            Weimann - Dude - this shit looks like fire. Thank you for letting me know this exists! It's definitely in the direction I'm looking for.

            Originally posted by Saipjas View Post
            What are you doing telling a story that not everyone is onboard with in the first place? This also seems a difference in expectations from the players. For instance when I run my games, I take great care to set my players’ expectations for WHAT type of game they are playing.
            I wouldn't say any of them are "telling a story that not everyone is onboard with" - the problem isn't the story, the problem is the method of storytelling.



            To their credit, tabletop is a new hobby for most of my group - so they use pre-written modules - and it's fun. It's benign inexperience. They'd be open to more variety and roleplay but don't know how to "go off the rails" (or fit such into the narrative). The only real player decision making is in combat strategy - so that is what ends up being memorable.



            But I think this criticism (of method) is one I'd pin on more experienced storytellers - I've seen many games where everyone is sort of randomly teamed up and we have no idea why. We haven't even shared a beer and yet we're suddenly trustworthy allies. There's no sense of who are characters are, let alone how we relate to each other. And not just that - we're allies with a mutual goal in mind.

            And those storytellers are much more fervently invested in their plot - I remember a few online campaigns where the ST railroaded and reduced players to NPC witnesses to all the "awesome stuff" she planned (so straight-forward combat-oriented players stuck around - but people who liked to explore, spy, lie, sneak, etc) dropped.

            And those massive pre-planned campaigns... can often lack suspense. If I know a campaign is about "a war with the Mask of Winters" - then I can already guess how things will turn out. There's little tension when you know everyone has to agree with you in order to join.



            So the story isn't the issue - it's putting the story above the characters. If you're not catering to your audience, then you lose your audience.

            Originally posted by Saipjas View Post
            I feel your narrative actually illustrates my point, the system you guys choose is actually irrelevant to your game, and is more based on the “crunch” your group likes. The reason for me to use the exalted system is because it best reflects the stories I wish to tell.
            Mechanics/systems belong in the background - and the only thing I want from Exalted is the setting - so yeah, I'll swap mechanics in a heartbeat if it makes it easier to involve players.

            What good is the CRM if I'm the only investing into Bureaucracy and Socialize? What good are the craft-rules if I'm the only one crafting? I have no attachment to mechanics (that I'm cool with) if I know they don't work for other people. The whole purpose behind this thread is to illustrate influence without expecting people to play bureaucrats.


            I'm not sure what you mean about my narrative?

            If you mean that "we can enjoy any system" - sure!

            But the point with mentioning ARK is that there are no ST tools - I could only control my own character - and the "Witch of the Woods" was entirely my idea (and I never asked anyone to roleplay along with me). It's impossible to have an overarching pre-planned plot in ARK. I never told anyone this is what the story will be about - I merely used the settlement to encourage the "happy accidents of their mutual collaboration". And stories evolved from there.


            Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
            It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
            Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
            - Their Eyes Were Watching God

            Comment


            • #21
              Salagimsim Right, and I get that, sorry for the miscommunication and you are absolutely right that the kind of forced “story” is bad design. And taking away player agency is a thing that has to be guarded against. My contention is that central narratives do not detract from player agency, hence my own example of an exalted game I ran. As I admitted from earlier, my experience with KingMaker disengaged player involvement because all the “building” events happened mechanically but without narrative impact/import. Hence why I feel it is more important to craft a narrative that incentivizes players to be invested in the WHY of development first. Then for them to use their imagination to come up with ideas and the it is incumbent upon me the ST to figure out how to make those ideas actionable.

              Edit: if you are looking at a lite system I think 3E gets right I really do encourage the Project system in the core book, it seems also inline with what you may be looking for. If you don’t have access to the 3E core PM me and I can send you the text and page numbers.
              Last edited by Saipjas; 04-17-2018, 05:18 PM.

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              • #22
                Saipjas No worries - we probably agree more than it seems - because I know I misworded my initial post too.

                I never played KingMaker - but as aforementioned, we have different audiences. I wish it were otherwise! But crafting simply isn't gameplay to my group. Video games do the math for you and provide pretty graphics and allow them to combine efforts - and they always choose to either:
                • (a) live nomadically
                • (b) build the most bare bones shelter
                • (c) curry favor to live wherever I'm building
                I still plan to introduce them to Exalted - martial arts, mass combat, demons, ghosts, gods, fair folk - they'll eat that shit up. But it's insanity for me to pretend they'll have the same interest I do (when in a half-dozen other games, they always follow the (a, b, c) pattern I list. The "Strongholds and Followers" sounds very tempting. And "Kingdom Death" does too (no actual crafting themselves - they merely need to be the heroes who protect the settlement and bring them raw resources).


                Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                - Their Eyes Were Watching God

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
                  DrLoveMonkey - Do you have any notes on build time, levels, income, upkeep? Perhaps I should be looking at RTS games for systems?
                  Yep, so it looks like your inspirations are already pretty decent. One place I looked to is actually the fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide, it wasn't perfect but it helped along.

                  Basically it's like this, most of the settlement areas were pretty unique, but had kind of the same basic format, something like this:

                  Silver Mine Level 1
                  Initial cost: 15,000gp
                  Build Time: 1 month
                  Upkeep: 10gp/day
                  Reward: 2d12 x 100gp at the end of each month.

                  Silver Mine Level 2
                  Initial cost: 20,000gp
                  Build Time: 2 months
                  Upkeep: 20gp/day
                  Reward: 5d12 x 100gp at the end of each month. As well as rolling once on the rare gem table

                  Anyway and there's other stuff like adding a trade hub which just takes all the money earned each month and multiplies it by 110%, reducing the cost of future investments, ect.

                  Generally what I want to do is keep some variable for the income, afterall random dice rolls are part of what makes TTRPGs fun! But you want to consolidate that so that you're not rolling like 50 different die rolls every time. So to do that I make the upkeep static but the income variable, and generally speaking keep the variable ones from getting too many different pools that can't be combined. I also have a few slots in some of those places to be filled later by key NPCs if they're found.

                  The key here for income generating stuff is that, of course, the income must exceed the expected and you want it to make its money back in a reasonable time frame. It's really up to you what you want as far as that goes, maybe this campaign lasts decades and having a silver mine make it's cost back by 1-2 years is not unreasonable, or maybe your campaign lasts only 5 years and that'd make it much less attractive.



                  Now to modify that to Ex3, since my system is for DnD. This is going to be a lot more difficult because of the abstract resource system, at least if you want it to be crunchy. On the other hand the project system is great for actually getting these things constructed. I honestly haven't taken much of a look at it but you absolutely need to include bureaucracy as some part of this. It might even be an bureaucrat that the PCs hire, but since it's a stat on the sheet it should probably factor in SOME way. I've got an exam soon but I'll see about coming up with a better Ex3 answer later maybe.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    The Creation-Ruling Mandate rules (and the more elegant organisation-leading system in Masters of Jade) are definitely of more value to people who want organisation and politicking to be a focus of their game.

                    Honestly, the 3e project system (under Leadership in the 3e core) will probably do what you need just fine, and it's built to interface with the Merit system, which avoids the problem of Resources not playing well with set price lists. It's very light on crunch and is mostly geared to generating story-hooks (You want your spy network to uncover the magistrate's plans? You keep getting bad info, some agents might be compromised, you'll need a way to root them out. Or maybe your spies succeed, but the truth is worse than you thought - what now?).

                    It doesn't assume the players leading the projects are bureaucrats, it just assumes that they have an organisation at their disposal that can get stuff done for them. That usually means that they have someone to do the book-keeping for them, even in a non-bureaucratic organisation like an army or a cult (who do you think keeps this unholy shrine stocked with black candles? The crazy prophet?). A charismatic visionary or conquering warlord can make use of the system just fine. A king doesn't need a degree in economics to raise taxes (but if he doesn't listen to his advisors or only has incompetent ones then things are gonna get ugly), he just needs to have an idea and bring together the resources to get it done.

                    If your players don't like engaging with non-fighty mechanics and you prefer emergent gameplay I'm not sure why you're looking for a system for this at all though. Why not just let things happen or not as a result of player actions and plot events? The project system basically just codifies that a bit.

                    If you want to offer them a mechanical incentive to get involved in long-term goals and get invested in the setting without loading them down with fiddly mechanics that are outside their wheelhouses, guide them through character creation and let them come up with their own incentives.

                    They'll already be considering their character's goals and the places and people that matter to them when coming up with their character's Intimacies. The expanded Intimacy system in 3e gives you room for Intimacies to your favourite teahouse, food, poet, sport etc, and by getting players to come up with these things and tell you about them you can flesh out the setting according to what interests them (eg "I have a Minor Tie towards the Paper Swan Teahouse. It's run by Slim Lydia, whose son I grew up with, back before the war. I have my weekly card game there, and one time some gang from the neighbourhood over rolled up on the place and tried to shake Lydia down so we all kicked the tar out of them and got free drinks").

                    Point them at the Merits that will let them start out as the local baron/cult leader/guild factor/tribal warlord etc. If they think that's cool enough to invest Merit dots, you know you have buy-in and can start introducing story elements and systems that interact with those Merits.


                    "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

                    Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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                    • #25
                      CRM, from Masters of Jade, is should handle this just fine. It's resolution gets quite small allowing for play at almost any level. It's been a long time since I've looked at it, but I know for a fact that it handles things on the scale of a neighborhood, and I'm pretty sure it goes smaller.

                      Mandate of Heaven is what came before and was pretty much useless.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        re: Projects
                        I'll keep it in mind (going to 3E is a legit possibility). It's definitely something to "build up to" when they begin showing signs of thinking in that scope.


                        re: CRM
                        I appreciate the suggestion - and I did look at the CRM - and I know my previous response might have been lost among the others - but the CRM is too abstract and "high end" for anything I could imagine them wanting to touch upon.

                        Example:

                        "Attack Asset" would never be resolved via:
                        (Charisma/Manipulation/Intelligence + Bureaucracy/Socialize/War) difficulty (Competence) with cumulative difficulty (Size+Reach+rating of targeted asset-Competence).

                        "Attack Asset" would (most typically) be resolved by them via:
                        "alright guys, sounds like we're going to murder the fuck out of everyone in this building"

                        And this isn't a criticism because it's typically some stunt-fodder filled feat of combat genius they'll perform.
                        The only person who might like the CRM is myself - and I'm not pretending they share my tastes.

                        Originally posted by Measure of Hope View Post
                        If your players don't like engaging with non-fighty mechanics and you prefer emergent gameplay I'm not sure why you're looking for a system for this at all though. Why not just let things happen or not as a result of player actions and plot events? The project system basically just codifies that a bit.
                        The mechanics are not for them - the mechanics are for me.

                        A system gives me a concrete way to give each a voice without "hand-waveium" or looking biased. I want the most antisocial barbarian (who likely puts his life into the most danger) to be as important as the most socially scheming conman (who likely participates from safety). A settlement that turns into one person's "pet project" doesn't need tweaked rules.

                        Some like DrLoveMonkey's "pay gold cost" > "get gold later" has a direct player-to-NPC relationship. They don't need a special storyline to make revenue; it's not a one-shot bonus I gave out after a session; it's a "tangible" transaction where they can see "if I do A, then B follows" and thus "the more I do A, the more I get B".

                        Example:

                        The hypothetical barbarian clears out a ruin along the route.

                        "Great job clearing that ruin" (here's your xp)
                        • This is a tangible reward comparable to the player's experience in other games.
                        "Now the caravan can pass by safely."
                        • I don't expect the player to give a shit about the caravan, TBH - but reasoning might reinforce why the random antagonist was worth clearing. And it sets up....
                        "Incidentally, as you all slept, the workers scavenged the ruin and acquired some resources. Pottery and tools to sell; mushrooms; some scrap metals and clothing."
                        • This is something lots of other games overlook - and reinforces that "dungeons" aren't self-contained scenarios. Whatever he destroys, saves, etc will affect the safety and productivity of the workers.
                        "So here's your cut (resources)"
                        (a) "do you want the (metal) for yourself?" > "what would I do with it?" > "want to learn to craft your own swords?"
                        (b) "want the workers to sell it?" > "what would I get for it?" > "you could get (X) jade scrip!"
                        (c) "want to let one of them have it?" > "why would I do that?" > "after (X) resources, we can add a weapons merchant who can sell you more options - and you can keep upgrading it with X, Y, Z bonuses per tier"
                        I don't want a settlement or caravan to grow on its' own, naturally, via plot and circumstance - I intend to hand out
                        (some representation of growing the settlement)
                        along
                        (xp - the representation of growing the character)
                        so with each thing they do, there can be no doubt that they shape the environment as tangibly as they decide how to shape themselves.

                        I don't want a pre-planned plot or to have NPCs nudge them toward an objective ("save us Obi-Wan!") - I want them to decide "hey - what if we claimed one of these ruins for ourselves instead of just robbing it?" or "hey - we're good at fighting zombies - what could we get for killing a Deathlord? can we do that?" - and then they will seek out what they want to do to shape their story.

                        Originally posted by Measure of Hope View Post
                        If you want to offer them a mechanical incentive to get involved in long-term goals and get invested in the setting without loading them down with fiddly mechanics that are outside their wheelhouses, guide them through character creation and let them come up with their own incentives.
                        Crafting, projects, planning, admin, farming, plumbing, smelting, cooking is fun for me - but isn't gameplay to them. Even social combat, intimacies, virtues, backgrounds, influence would be entirely new. One of them ran a D&D game a few months ago - and one of the most enthusiastic players wrote "Orc Fighter" for his Backstory. (and yes, I tried to help with character creation)

                        But that doesn't mean he was uninterested - he just needed to get in-character first. He had never played an RPG. He only really began to "know" his character after sheets were submitted - gameplay began - and he started interacting with others.

                        Examples:

                        We meet at a tavern? He drinks to the point of being called a drunkard. And realizing his Orc was the only character drinking to unconsciousness, the player ended up mulling it for a week.

                        Next session, he asked to add a "note" to his inventory (DM agreed) - the revelation being that (if and when he died), the other party members would find it. The Orc had a son - and was drinking himself blind in despair of knowing he couldn't see him.
                        • He had not thought of this until being called a drunkard.
                          .
                        • He modified his Orcs' behavior to - in Exalted terms - Intimacy: Children (protectiveness). If children were in danger or hostages or harmed, he'd be furious and unbending.
                          .
                        • Why can't he see his kin? Plot hook! He had never written a backstory before but figured out how to add a possible hook to explore in the future. He left it open.
                        And "why did we stick together"? No idea.
                        • But he realized he shared personality & combat styles with the Warlock - so maybe we've worked together before? And this didn't contradict anything that had happened before, so they ran with it. It had even been suggested (during character creation) that characters "previously know each other" - but it wasn't until gameplay that he figured out who it made sense with.​
                          • And then he noticed the Warlock was a burn victim (completely, utterly disfigured - wore a mask) - so the Warlock never mocked the Orc's looks or manners. And the Warlock took multiple languages and was a scribe. "Maybe he could write a note to my son?" And that became a thing with the two characters being close if grim friends.
                        The player RPing the Orc Fighter in D&D - was the same one I call the "antisocial barbarian" in ARK (who in my other post, took 3 weeks of action to merely acquire a Motivation). And by extension, with most of them - it takes them a few experiences to really figure out what character they're playing.



                        There are RPGs with 6 total stats - Exalted has 40+ and then formulas. I just need to get them running and walking before they read 80+ page lore chapters or 200+ page charm segments. Because:

                        (Charisma/Manipulation/Intelligence + Bureaucracy/Socialize/War) difficulty (Competence) with cumulative difficulty (Size+Reach+rating of targeted asset-Competence).

                        is only going to scare people before they start. And it's grossly unnecessary.


                        Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                        It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                        Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                        - Their Eyes Were Watching God

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          P.S. And obviously, thank you all for the recommendations posted. Some were great ideas to look into - and some were useful anecdotes to get my thinking going. I appreciate all the feedback. xo


                          Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                          It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                          Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                          - Their Eyes Were Watching God

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