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  • Reading over the new Wr20 excerpts

    So I've been reading over the new Wr20 excerpts and thought I'd start a thread to discuss them. Here are my thoughts; feel free to add your own.

    1. Harrowings - The section here seems solid. It clarifies who is in charge of a Harrowing and how they're played out. It makes it clear there are no shortcuts out of Harrowings and that the Shadow isn't in control.

    2. Arcanoi - This section has some good rules for learning Arcanoi, and I'm glad that the character sheet incorporates bisected dots to indicate general and initiate arts. That simplifies things a lot. One thing that did strike me, though, is that if the difficulty for an art is usually equal to the local Shroud rating, what happens when a wraith is in the Tempest or the Labyrinth? Will it be a fixed difficulty? In theory, it might mean that some areas in the Shadowlands make it easier to use Arcanoi than some areas of the Tempest.

    3. Shadowguiding - This section seems a bit skimpy. But, I guess, much of this may be addressed in the Storytelling chapter too? Some optional rules for Shadowguiding might be useful. For instance, giving options to make Shadows more or less prominent: making things more like the P'o in Kindred of the East, or limiting the number of non-verbal interruptions a Shadow makes during gameplay to once per permanent dot of Angst per session; giving alternatives to player-run Shadows (e.g., if the ST were to run them more like NPCs); or, indeed, anything that might make it easier/more accessible for different styles of play. Shadowguiding is a big barrier for many players, because it's either intimidating or off-putting, and, if poorly done, can upset game flow. I'm not suggesting the concept be dumbed down, but I am suggesting providing one or two ideas to help STs tailor a game to their players. Am I alone in this, I wonder?

    Other than that, I guess, there aren't any surprises here, and it all looks pretty good.

  • #2
    I only read the Arcanoi and Harrowing excerpts for now. Good stuff. As a ST now I feel like in Harrowings I can be the narrator, taking the place of the Specter director and its troupe, while suggestions by the Shadowguide.

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    • #3
      Some of the Guild relationships in the Arcanoi section are interesting:

      - The Haunter - Mnemoi relationship may come from the Haunter Guildbook, where the Mnemoi are rumoured to be working with the Order of the Glass Menagerie... but the Mnemoi's actual perspective on the Haunters, from Ends of Empire, isn't nearly so positive. Something's been changed up here.
      - The Masquers are allied with the Usurers and the Sandmen, reflecting both their business-minded and artistic sides.
      - The Pardoners are allied with the Solicitors. That's one I'd like to know more about...
      - The Puppeteers and the Spooks? Hm. According to their Guildbooks, they're the Guilds most interested in protecting things of the Skinlands.
      - It'll be useful getting a handle on the Proctors, 'cause I can sorta see reasons for some connection with the Alchemists, but an alliance? Would have expected Haunter - Alchemist more, given the Haunters' group of experimenters.


      Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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      • #4
        Yeah, it kinda felt like they just wanted an even spread of Guilds, so just matched them up to make them fit. But I'm not convinced by all of the groupings.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
          Yeah, it kinda felt like they just wanted an even spread of Guilds, so just matched them up to make them fit. But I'm not convinced by all of the groupings.
          This. It seemed like balance triads for the sake of balanced triads.

          Also, with the Shroud Rating ALWAYS determining Diff... That seems like a weird and oversimplified way to handle Diff. particularly if both the user and target are in the Shadowlands or deeper. Sure, when you are trying stuff across the Shroud and, yeah, if the Shroud is really thick when trying some Shadowlands stuff, perhaps a slight modifier, but why would Usury be using the Shroud? Or the soulforging side of Inhabit?

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          • #6
            Haven't read the Harrowings section yet but I rather liked the other two. I love the idea of Common and Initiate Arcanoi. One of the things I always struggled with is how the Guilds were suppose to control their respective Arcanoi yet everyone has at least some Arcanoi regardless of affiliation. It never really jelled with me. And part of me wondered why anyone would want Status in a Guild when there seemed to be little gain in it. The addition of the Initiate Arcanoi is something more tangible to grab onto for players on why they should consider joining a Guild.

            The Guild Alliances is an interesting concept, both for ST purposes and a means to learning Initiate Arcanoi outside your affiliations. Though I have to scratch my head at some of the choices and I am curious as to the decisions on why those alliances are the way they are. Take the Mnemoi. Alliance with the Pardoners? Yeah, I can see that. But the Haunters? In Guildbook Mnemoi, they had a low opinion of the Haunters nor does there seem to be much in way of overlap or similarity in their powers or any real common ground for the Guilds other than they are Guilds with bad reputations, one being Criminal, the other Forbidden.

            The Shadowguiding section was short and it wasn't anything new but it was three pages of solid advice. If there's anyone starting up a Wraith game, they should pass out copies of it everyone at the table.


            Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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            • #7
              To be honest, it makes sense for the groupings to be more uneven and unbalanced. The three Minor Guilds probably wouldn't have the same connections as the Artificers, Usurers and Pardoners, which can all operate with some degree of legitimacy in the open.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                To be honest, it makes sense for the groupings to be more uneven and unbalanced. The three Minor Guilds probably wouldn't have the same connections as the Artificers, Usurers and Pardoners, which can all operate with some degree of legitimacy in the open.
                Quite. Wraith is game about the setting as much as the rules (and the two are inextricably linked all over the place). Having tidy little sets of three is a mechanical decision, but it seems to undermine the relationships described in the setting and the relationships that would even make sense.

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                • #9
                  I would love to play wraith but I'm not sure I could convince my troupe to play with shadow guiding as it is. I would probably play the parts of the shadows. Would that be a bad thing ?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Slimjimjohnson View Post
                    I would love to play wraith but I'm not sure I could convince my troupe to play with shadow guiding as it is. I would probably play the parts of the shadows. Would that be a bad thing ?
                    Nothing wrong with that.
                    When I'm introducing new players to WtO, I use the simplified P'o rules from KotE to help them create their Shadows. Then I don't touch them again. Let the players get used to the group dynamic, the mechanics, and the storyworld. If they dig those, introduce Shadowguiding later
                    Or not.
                    If you, as a ST, don't like Shadows and Shadowguiding, don't use them. You might hear chatter like "Oh that's what adds depth to Wraith" or "You're missing out on a great roleplaying opportunity," etc, ad nauseum. Whatever. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. Have fun. Drink some Mountain Dew. Stay away from the Forges.


                    This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                    (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                    ").

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                    • #11
                      There's pretty much real only two alternatives to players having the dual-role of wraith and shadow, cut it out as Nazfool suggested or you yourself running them.

                      The only other alternative is to try Orpheus first to see how they feel about it. Being WtO's spiritual successor it does contain many of the same or similar themes and ideas. Further while the players do have the choice between living Projectors and Wraiths, the Wraiths don't have Shadows. Or rather their Shadows have split off from them and become a separate entity.

                      Of course if you do play WtO with Shadows, whether player-controlled or ST-controlled, I highly recommend getting and reading the Shadow's Player Guide* as it contains vital material on Shadowguiding. And if your players are Shadowguiding, give it to them to read. But don't worry. Neither you nor your players will need to read the entire book. Chapters One and Two, and maybe the last chapter will be enough. Chapter One deals with how best to Shadowguide and general insight into Shadows while Chapter Two is deals more with the mechanical aspect of Shadowguiding. The last chapter is a collection of essays from Dansky and other WtO writers on the Shadow and Shadowguiding. It isn't necessary for it but it can help. Chapter Three deals with the other Dark Kingdoms, Chapter Four is the Shadow's relationship with Spectres and Shadowguiding for the Risen and Chapter Six covers the Eidolon, the third and seldom talked of part of the wraith. So they're not as important. Well maybe the section on Shadows and Spectres in Chapter Four.

                      *In fact I hold this book as the second WtO book people should read after reading one of the Core Books.
                      Last edited by AkatsukiLeader13; 05-10-2016, 08:17 PM.


                      Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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                      • #12
                        For the record, I love Shadowguiding. It's an awesome part of the game, but if it turns people off from playing, chuck those rules out the window. Once you get your group hooked and they decide they'd like to do more with that "other little character sheet" I second AL13's recommendation about the Shadow Player's Guide.


                        This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                        (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                        ").

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                        • #13
                          Another update, another excerpt. Also the image of Rich Thomas bashing the Dansky's skull with a copy of WtO 2E. So that's how he became the Deadguy.

                          Anyway it's nothing really special, just a page and a bit on the Ferrymen.


                          Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
                            Another update, another excerpt. Also the image of Rich Thomas bashing the Dansky's skull with a copy of WtO 2E. So that's how he became the Deadguy.

                            Anyway it's nothing really special, just a page and a bit on the Ferrymen.
                            Yeah, it was a bit meh, I thought. Now rules for playing a Ferryman? That'd be so cool!

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                            • #15
                              A bit interesting in the dangling "setting" threads (bc as as been ABSOLUTELY ESTABLISHED by OP fiat and definition creation, setting material created to set later metaplot is NOT metaplot), bur, overall, pretty "meh" and
                              really really short.

                              I definitely got a look from my husband when I was describing what I was reading, how much I had spent on the Kickstarter, how much I paid in, how long ago that was and how much I've gotten in return (14 bits?). I don't think there are going to be anymore OP Kickstarter investments in my future.

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