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OOC [Freebooters on the Frontier] The Gate

Atlictoatl

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  • FYI, I've decided to develop Bonds as a result of play during this first significant adventure.
Also, I've been thinking about the perishability of characters, and how as a group we value investing the PCs with characterization. I like the grittiness of oldschool play, where everyone knows that combat is deadly and does everything they can to avoid it, cheat at it, and minimize the possibility of casualties. I'm assuming you like that as well, but I haven't formally asked. Do you?

That said, I do value characterization and I like it when players get invested in their characters. That's important to me.

So I've been thinking about perishability. I had a short discussion with Jason Lutes (the author of Freebooters) on G+. This is what he had to say on the topic:

[...] the basic mechanics are much more forgiving than true old-school D&D, both in the probability curve and the degree to which the Judge's calls can shape potential outcomes. If you communicate risk clearly and your players are made keenly aware of their mortality, they will hopefully put a lot of thought into safety and survival. But also remind them that they can Burn Luck on any die roll!

Just before this comment, I had stated that one thing I've been considering is using a mechanic from The Nightmares Underneath, another game that mixes OSR with PbtA, wherein damage taken after HP are gone goes directly to Constitution damage. So, characters can stay up and fighting past their HP loss, but it starts taking hefty tolls, potentially leading to permanent damage, and it takes longer to heal. Lutes thought that idea would work fine, without any real disadvantages, and then made the comment above.

So I'd like to open things up to discussion with you. Do you enjoy the oldschool need for, essentially, cheating at combat (by ensuring you're never in a fair fight) because it's just too dangerous to do otherwise? Would you prefer to stick with the system as written and trust to Lutes' perspective and comment, or adopt the Nightmares Underneath mechanic and have some buffer, with consequences?
 

Atlictoatl

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My apologies. I'm probably not going to be able to update until Saturday, due to some sudden stuff coming up IRL.
 

Atlictoatl

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Also, I've been thinking about the perishability of characters
I realize I hadn't looked at the Bite the Dust move. Another option could be that I tweak that Move to make it more palatable for the type of play we want to be doing.

So, please do let me know your thoughts about character mortality vs oldschool tension for the possibility of death.
 

Atlictoatl

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I changed the name of the Mayor in IC Post #3. To make things easier on myself, I initially decided to keep the names of the characters to their originals. But I ultimately decided I'd prefer the color of the Austro-Hungarian nomenclature.

In some places, like with Petra Inksblood, I'm keeping the connotation of the last name in English, but you can imagine that being a proper Hungarian name that conveys that meaning.
 

MrPrim

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So, please do let me know your thoughts about character mortality vs oldschool tension for the possibility of death.
I don't really have a preference and am willing to go with the flow.

Honestly, in my experience, I've seen almost zero player deaths in any PbP I've ever played. It just... doesn't usually come up. Things either peter out well before, or deaths are extensively choreographed or edited around. "How do you feel about character death" feels almost like "How would will you spend the first million of your lottery winnings" in terms of how far removed I feel from it.

I will say, the "Stargate" sales pitch kind of relies on a core group of people going on adventures and experiencing interesting/strange things. Sending groups into hostile worlds and then having most of them die and be replaced doesn't give you the same experiential continuity.
 

Atlictoatl

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Thanks, MrPrim. Any other thoughts on the matter, Artaud or Lysus?

~*~

I checked-in with Jason Lutes on G+ (I mourn the impeding loss of such easy communication) about the discrepancy on rations between the Starting Gear and the equipment list. Those starting gear rations should be weight 1, and the equipment list entry should be 4sp, 1 wt, 7 uses (1 week's worth).

Artaud, I put the starting leather armour and one resupply of musket ammo on the communal mule, in order to fit the other gear into Lukacs' carry capacity.
 

Atlictoatl

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This place is rich with the spirits of those passed. Please either Make a Saving Throw against Wisdom or cast a spell (if you know one that applies) to cancel their focus on you and return your sight to normal. If you succeed, you can choose between being plagued with the anxious tag whenever you think of using your second sight, or their interest having no real effect on you. If you fail, you can choose between having the fearful tag or the anxious tag whenever you think of using your second sight.
This is a little clunky, primarily because I don't know Zsofika or you well enough yet. :)

light effect: no condition on save/spell success, anxious on failure
heavier effect: anxious condition on save/spell success, fearful on failure

I initially was going to go with the light effect results, but I realize it's possible that you might narratively be interested in Zsofika being anxious regardless of her success. In which case, it might be appropriate to impose the heavier effect. But she also might be intrigued by the spirits of the dead paying attention to her more than concerned by it, or she may be relatively fearless in the face of them, thus requiring something much more threatening to actually impose heavier effect.

So I'm looking to you to help define how disturbed she will be if she fails her saving throw and the effect lingers of having dead spirits taking an active interest in her.

Is that fair?
 
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Artaud le momo

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I'm okay with either option (indestructible or dying quick and fast), as both can be good, story-wise, especially with OSR type hex crawls.

Mr Prim, you said in the recruitment thread that Zsofika and Lukacs were partners - business, romantic, or both? I'm happy with any of those options.

Have power back. Hurray!
 

MrPrim

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I was thinking business but what if it is romantic? I've never done a setup like that. If you're cool with that, let's be a witch-finding couple!
 
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