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Changeling Powered by the Apocalypse (Not Werewolves, though...)

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  • Changeling Powered by the Apocalypse (Not Werewolves, though...)

    Sooooo... I'm likely going to commit a heresy here. But the thing is, I love me some Changeling. I have many fond memories of it. But since playing it back in the late 90's, I've played many newer (indie) games that I admire mechanically. One of them being Apocalypse World, and it's many mechanical step-children. Does anyone know if an attempt has been made at applying the Changeling setting to the Powered by the Apocalypse model?

  • #2
    Someone did CtL, but I don't recall CtD being done, no. Best to pick up Simple World and build from there.

    Other than that, both Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts have Fae playbooks, if you want something to work with.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      I haven’t had the chance to actually play a powered by the apocalypse game yet. I love the idea of the system, and Monsterhearts is an incredible read. I do think the original World of Darkness would be perfect for a more narrative style system.

      If you do work on a PbtA version of Dreaming, I’d love to see what you come up with!


      Charlie Cantrell
      Onyx Path Freelancer
      Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes, Book of Freeholds

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      • #4
        I have not, but I would love to see it. I've thought about what it would require, and the biggest issue I see is you would need too many moves to include everything needed in even just a regular Kithain game. Storygames need a tighter focus than what would do Changeling the Dreaming justice.

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        • #5
          As much as I love the WoD setting and have fond memories of playing it in the past, the fact of the matter is that the Storyteller system doesn't accomplish what it's games say they do. Vampire (by way of example) as it interacts with the system is really just a super hero game with a vampiric veneer. Similarly, I feel like the rules of Changeling fall short of actually telling stories about living stories, the creeping touch of banality, and the loss of innocence. You can tell those kinds of stories with Changeling the Dreaming with the rules as written, but the Storyteller system certainly isn't helping you to do it...

          Changeling seems to me like it'd fit the PbtA mold well. Though, as Zenten pointed out, that's a lot of moves. I think it would be necessary to let go of some of the specificity of Changeling as told by the Storyteller system, and just try to convey the spirit of the Kiths in their playbooks.

          I was hoping I could just pick up off someone else's hard work and play off a pre-established hack. But maybe I'll have to look at doing one of my own.

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          • #6
            I think in a perfect world a different system (with many storygame elements and probably a lot of inspiration from PbtA) would be used. Killing off what makes Changeling great seems like a not great approach.

            That said, I don't want to discourage someone who's working on a PbtA Changeling, and I would be willing to help.

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            • #7
              The Storyteller system doesn't do what it says it does: It says it's a narrative system, but it's a simulationist system: It tries to build a world where you can play. And it's a very interesting world, for sure.

              Specificity stems from this, you have a zillon "races". You have a list of special powers that provide a specific mechanic for Changeling magic. You have a world where you could easily play a human if you wanted, or a Dauntain, or even a Chimera. This isn't bad, it's how WoD rolls, but is this what makes Changeling great?,In my personal opinion Changeling it's the game that owe less to it's setting, you don't need to read a billion supplements and understand the Metaplot to feel the spirit of the game

              Apocalipse engine works by culling that world. Much like it did with D&D to create DW (granted Dungeon World it's a bit different, but not by a long shot). Obviously DW isn't even the poor's man version of D&D, it's a different game - and for any D&D fan it's a travesty that takes everything that makes D&D great - this it's true, I think (There's so much you can't do in DW), but Dungeon World does that for a reason, it's focused to tell a certain type of history, I can respect a system that does what it says it does, and does it well.

              I think this approach may work with Changeling. Not saying that it would be easy to do. Arts and Realms aren't that important because the narrative can take care of that, you don't need a move for each (you can inspire in Masks where you have things like "sorcery" as a power, and that's it, no mechanics no nothing->go for it, describe whatever bullshit magic you imagine your PC does and the ST has the final word). On the other hand, you absolutely need glamour/banality mechanics and fae/real world/dreaming interaction.

              I think that the key it's to work from the core, and add specificity latter up to the point it's reasonable to do so.
              Last edited by Aleph; 11-14-2017, 10:26 PM.

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              • #8
                I'm not saying you need to port over the magic system. And yeah, splats are handled well by playbooks. But handling Banality, Bedlam, Epiphany, Oaths, Nightmare, the Dreaming? That's getting to be a lot of Basic/MC Moves that all Changelings have, considering all the regular people type Basic/MC Moves that also would show up in a Changeling game too.

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                • #9
                  I tried to give Orpheus the Powered by Apocalypse treatment once and rapidly realized it was stripping out too much of what made Orpheus what it was. Powered by Apocalypse works much better if you can pick a very specific element and center the system around that and not worry too much about the rest. That's what most of the famous ones do, Monsterhearts is build around Dark Teen Drama but is terrible at combat while Monster of the Week is built around researching and fighting your quarry but isn't so great on pushing players to manipulate each other.

                  Basically, if there's a specific element of Changeling you want to focus on, you could have a lot of luck with Powered by Apocalypse, but if you want the whole thing you are better off with something else.


                  Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, that's the deal. We would have to compress a lot of stuff.

                    Some ideas:

                    With Glamour I suggest only one Move for ALL types of glamour gathering from inspiration to rhapsody. You just choose the outcome. It's heavy handed, but that's how I've seen this system rolls.

                    Banality could be a bar that increases on certain stimuly and decreases with other, rarer, stimuly, including a way to use it within a defense Move. Bedlam could be handled similarly. I think that the balance between Fantasy and Real World it's an important theme Rather than making a different move for each, these should permeate moves in general.

                    Oaths may deserve a Move to remark their importance.

                    Nightmares could be the reverse coin of using a "Unleash the Dreaming" sort of move (what you risk).

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I don't think I would be interested in a game using those sorts of rules. It would be more vaguely inspired by Changeling than Changeling.

                      And no, I'm not saying I like the current system. Diepools with difficulty numbers, the whole skill+attribute system, the insistence on 5 of everything, experience points, those bits (among many others) I'm not a fan of, and I don't think are integral to Changeling.

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                      • #12
                        I understand that, but I think it could be helpful to know what aspects of Changeling mechanics you think are sacred, core to the feeling of the game, to start building from there.

                        Those bits that you don't like are the core of the ST system of every game. They ARE the ST system (add that to any concept, add a few powers, and you have pretty much a new WoD game), and then you have Changeling mechanics-> these are the ones that need to be ported, the others are, of course, thrown off the window. Since things have to change it would be interesting to know which are more important than others from the poin of view of a Changeling fan.

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                        • #13
                          I think there could be a much better system for Changeling than there currently is without throwing out anything that makes Changeling great (especially if you're not caring about mechanical interaction with the rest of the WoD). Making Changeling into a storygame seems unnecessary.

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                          • #14
                            I'm also assuming a long form game, unlike the shortform most storygames are designed for.

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                            • #15
                              FATE or even FATE Accelerated might work well for you, though like Powered by Apocalypse it can be hard to adjust to its approach. I was able to do a treatment for Orpheus in FATE, though my players opted for the Final Fantasy game instead (and that's not starting until the current long form Dungeon World game ends, which is going to be a while).


                              Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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