It’s time for an additional story of grand, epic journey from the Angryverse.
If I’m going to maintain sharing these Indignant Desk Tales, there’s one thing we’ve acquired to iron out. Particularly in case you’re certainly one of my gamers. Present or former.
Factor is, I reuse lots of s$&%.
I imply, clearly, I reuse the entire Angryverse setting. That’s the world during which all — or most — of my fantasy journey campaigns happen. Whatever the system. Which implies I reuse lots of world lore particulars. However I additionally reuse s$&% like names and areas and characters. Principally with out even noticing. As a result of I don’t do it on objective. There’s simply sure names and characters and concepts and issues I actually like. So, they hold creeping into my video games.
It’s necessary to get that out at present as a result of this story’s not from my D&D 3.5 AOWG. It’s from one other marketing campaign. A Savage Worlds marketing campaign. Which is mainly only a D&D AOWG marketing campaign with the Savage Worlds guidelines changing the D&D guidelines. I s$&% you not.
Anyway, within the journey I’m about to explain, there’s this cook dinner named Slab. And I do know my D&D 3.5 AOWG gamers are gonna acknowledge that title. As a result of, of their sport, there’s a cook dinner named Slab. In the meantime, a number of gamers from a earlier sport are going to acknowledge the Winter’s Edge setting. Which has gone by way of a number of completely different iterations over time. And there’s two dozen people who find themselves going to recollect the League of the Blue Cloak from different video games.
Give I run every little thing I run in several variations of the identical universe, this’ll lead a bunch of you to marvel if that is all a part of some grand metaplot. Is this League of the Blue Cloak the identical because the League of the Blue Cloak from Santiem? Or no matter.
And the reply is, “shut up; I similar to the title.” This ain’t some Marvel multiverse bulls$&%. I ain’t making an attempt to power individuals to shell out for my crappy streaming service by making all my crappy reveals required viewing to grasp my crappy films.
Each marketing campaign’s its personal, distinctive, remoted factor. Completely different takes on the identical template.
Anyway, on with the story…
Time for an additional Indignant Desk Story. That’s the place I recap certainly one of my latest sport classes or adventures after which clarify how and why I ran it the way in which I did.
Whereas this story takes place in the identical universe — sorta; see the Lengthy, Rambling Introduction™ — because the final Desk Story, it comes from a special marketing campaign. Identical fundamental setting, however completely different ruleset. This story’s from my Savage Worlds marketing campaign.
If you happen to don’t know something about Savage Worlds, don’t fear. The mechanics don’t matter even a tiny little bit. However then, they by no means do. As a result of operating sport’s acquired nothing to do with the foundations. And the extra you obsess over the foundations, the farther you get from sport. Which this story will assist illustrate. I hope.
If you happen to do know one thing about Savage Worlds, you then’re in all probability unhappy to listen to the mechanics have gotten nothing to do with the story. Particularly as a result of the Savage Worlds followers amongst my readership — all three of them — hold asking me about my mechanics. Particularly about how I deal with f$&%ing Bennies. As a result of, to them, Bennies are crucial factor in Savage Worlds ever. They ain’t. Overlook the f$&%ing Bennies. They’re barely a step above Dungeons & Dragons 5E’s inspiration mechanics when it comes to helpful significance.
However sufficient setup. On with the story…
By which a trio of guild adventurers has to query some lumberjacks a few buried treasure. And the lumberjacks hate them.
- Heward, a rugged hunter and survivalist
- Graywind, a wolf and Heward’s solely pal
- Iella, an elementalist from a secretive and paranoid magical order
- Rona, a mercenary, a gambler, and a drunkard
- Eirik, the chief of the foresters’ camp
- Petra, Eirik’s daughter and camp foreman
- Dagmer, the camp’s provide grasp
- Slab, the one-legged camp cook dinner
- Birch, the aged shaman and camp hanger-on
- Einar, a camp guard
- Beoric, a camp guard
- Olev, a forester
- Kastar, a forester
- Sluggard, a forester
- Bendrik, a forester
- Theor, a forester
- Sandar, a forester
- Oswig, a forester
Sirs not showing on this movie…
- Tolven Stonehand, the founding father of the Frostwind chapter of the League of the Blue Cloak
- Rodalf, a runaway forester
Heward, Iella, and Rona are members of the Frostwind chapter of the League of Blue Cloak.
Not too long ago, a forester named Rodalf handed by way of Frostwind. After an unfortunate evening dicing, he was pressured to pawn off an historic bronze-and-crystal medallion. Which ended up in Tolven’s stony hand. He’s satisfied there’s extra treasure the place the medallion got here from. Unable to trace down Rodalf, however figuring out he got here up from Pinedale, Tolven sends Heward, Iella, and Rona to seek out out extra.
In Pinedale, the get together learns Rodalf works at a close-by camp. Thankfully, a service provider’s acquired provides to ship that approach. However he warns the get together that the foresters don’t belief outsiders and the Pinedalers don’t like Frostwinders. To not point out the foresters received’t be completely satisfied in the event that they assume the get together’s there to steal a invaluable treasure out from below them.
Posing as supply people, the get together is to ship the provides to the camp after which cling round for a few days ready for a return cargo of products. Whereas there, they’ve acquired to realize the foresters’ belief to allow them to ask questions on Rodalf and the place he might need gotten the medallion.
Tolven lets the get together know that if the foresters don’t cooperate, the get together can lean on them just a little. Use threats and strongarm techniques. However that’s the final resort. And the get together’s to restrict themselves to bullying. They’re to not truly damage or kill anybody.
You By no means Get a Second Likelihood to Make a First Impression
All that s$&% above? That’s setup. Other than a number of minor encounters within the forest, the sport begins when the get together — posing as supply people — arrives on the camp with the drag-litter of provides. Their aim’s to butter up the foresters. To make some buddies earlier than they begin asking questions on Rodalf and his treasure. If they arrive on too sturdy or counsel they’re there trying to find treasure the foresters might declare for themselves, they’ll get kicked out of camp.
The aim’s been made fully, abundantly, and transparently clear. Make buddies. Then ask questions.
Let me set the scene. It’s nightfall when the get together arrives on the camp after an extended day dragging the provision litter alongside the winding, wooded path. A path winds up a slight embankment to the riverside clearing the place the foresters have constructed their camp. A dozen or so laborers are gathered beneath a big pavilion for supper whereas smoke rises from a close-by cook dinner tent. A half-dozen, giant, spherical, heavy tents encompass the pavilion. And standing within the path, glowering on the approaching get together is a suspicious camp guard named Einar.
All of the get together’s acquired to do is say they’re delivering provides, hand over the service provider’s letter, drag the provides to the provision grasp, after which be a part of the camp. And I wish to say the gamers dealt with it fantastically. However I can’t. As a result of they’re gamers. So, the minute I ended setting issues up and stated, “what do you do,” they determined to strive for a land pace file at failing a marketing campaign.
Rona makes an enormous present of how pissed off she is about dragging the provision litter a lot of the day. Her participant’s actually enjoying up simply how a lot she hated being the get together’s mule. She snaps at Einar after which snaps on the provide grasp, Dagmer, and refuses to pull the provides one other inch.
As you possibly can think about, that went over with the foresters like a fart in an elevator. Heward tried to clean issues over. He hefted a keg from the litter and stated, “let’s not make these people wait any longer for a drink.” Clean and intelligent. It might have labored completely however for the truth that Heward was an delinquent loner with heavy social penalties. And he had a pet wolf.
This primary impression was meant to be a simple win for the get together. I can’t stress that sufficient. The foresters have been going to be completely satisfied to get the provides and greet the get together warmly. However, you already know, gamers. Rona — and her participant — wouldn’t let up. The delinquent loner couldn’t clean issues over. And, in the end, the camp’s foreman, Petra, needed to intercede. She ushered the get together away to the five-person tent she needed to herself.
Iella and Rona have been invited to share her tent. And Heward camped below the celebs close by.
And the journey roared off to a begin.
Subsequent morning begins with Heward returning to camp and seeing Petra outdoors her tent in conspiratorial dialog with Bendrik. A forester. Heward doesn’t interrupt and he can’t fairly overhear the dialog, however he can inform they’re disagreeing about one thing. When Petra goes again into her tent, she begins loudly rooting by way of her possessions and cursing to herself. Which awakens Iella and Rona and attracts their curiosity.
Seems, Petra had been away from camp for a number of days together with her father and he or she’d simply come again. And whereas she was gone, somebody had stolen a locket from her issues. Bendrik stated he’d seen one other forester, Olev, skulking round Petra’s tent after which sneaking away two nights previous. That’s what prompted Petra to go looking her issues. However she doesn’t consider Olev would have robbed her. She insists Olev is just too good and too dumb to be a thief. She doesn’t wish to accuse him with out figuring out extra.
Naturally, Iella and Rona take the bait and provide to research.
Quickly thereafter, Petra’s approached by one other forester claiming somebody’s too sick to rise up. Naturally, Heward — who is aware of a factor or two about treating accidents and sicknesses — takes the bait and provides to examine on the sick man. He diagnoses the person as having a lung an infection — Rattlelung — and discovers he may help deal with the sickness. He simply wants some forageables from the forest.
Effectively, Excuuuse Me Princess
At this level, the camp’s gathering for breakfast. The get together joins them within the mess pavilion. And issues go unhealthy quick. See, the foresters are nonetheless bitter on Rona. They’re calling her princess and sarcastically treating her like royalty. They assume she’s lazy and stuffed with herself, see? That she holds herself as higher than them. Too good for an trustworthy day’s work.
Whereas Rona tries to clean issues over and even query Bendrik a bit in regards to the locket story, it doesn’t go effectively. An argument breaks out. And Rona storms off.
This ain’t going nice.
Iella fares higher. First, she talks to Olev. Casually. Subtly. And discovers he’s actually very form and likewise quite simple. Not comically silly. Simply naïve and oblivious. Not a thief in any respect. However primarily based on a number of clues, Iella begins to place collectively a principle. She surmises Bendrik is interested in Petra however sees Olev as competitors for Petra’s affection. And he or she suspects Bendrik stole the locket and is making an attempt to pin the crime on Olev. In fact, Bendrik doesn’t notice that Olev’s not romantically fascinated with Petra and Petra isn’t romantically fascinated with anybody. The 2 simply get alongside very well.
Spoiler alert: Iella’s principle is one hundred percent appropriate.
Iella then wanders off on her personal to assume issues by way of and meets an aged coot named Birch. Whereas he appears absent-minded and hard-of-hearing, he’s a retired forester and dedicated to the Previous Gods of the Forest. He is aware of he doesn’t have a lot time left and needs he might make one final pilgrimage to a sacred web site within the close by forest earlier than time claims him. Iella takes a liking to him and guarantees to assist him.
Achilles within the Provide Tent
In the meantime, Rona goes off to sulk. Critically. She heads to the provision tent and tries to purchase some mead off Dagmer to drown her woes and in the meantime pisses and moans about how everyone seems to be imply to her and he or she doesn’t prefer it.
Dagmer’s not impressed. He received’t promote her camp provides. However he means that Rona might earn a drink — and earn some respect too — by serving to the foresters work. Perhaps she will’t fell timber, however she might stoop and fetch in addition to anybody. Dagmer’s certain Petra can discover work for her for a day.
And when Rona warms — just a little — to the concept, Dagmer means that if Rona’s going to work with the foresters, she might remind Kastar of a debt he owes Dagmer. Perhaps get him to pay up.
Do You Have a Warrant?
The get together reconvenes because the forestersz head off to their present worksite. They talk about the locket factor. Iella shares her principle and suggests the get together discover a technique to search Bendrik’s possessions. At this level, they know who belongs to which tents. And with the foresters attending to work, the camp’s quiet. There’s few prying eyes. Thus the get together hatches a plan. Rona and Iella will distract the prying eyes with chitchat whereas Heward and Graywind sneak into the tent Bendrik shares to go searching.
It’s plan. However the cube aren’t form. Beoric, the camp guard, spots Heward and Graywind. However with some fast considering and fortunate dicing, Heward wins Beoric over. He admits they’re investigating a theft for Petra — which Petra needed saved quiet — and even suggests Beoric come alongside to make sure the get together’s lower than any humorous enterprise.
In Bendrik’s cot, Heward finds Petra’s lacking locket. Huzzah!
Let’s Cut up Up
It’s barely after breakfast and the get together’s already acquired a victory. So now it’s right down to the way to spend the remainder of the day. Heward needs to scrounge within the woods for medicinal herbs. And to forage normally. He needs to donate no matter he can to the camp. Iella needs to escort the outdated man to his sacred spot. Heward sends Graywind together with Iella and Birch. In the meantime, Rona…
Rona simply needs to tag alongside. She doesn’t wish to work. She doesn’t wish to shake individuals down for cash. She doesn’t wish to take care of the foresters. She’s simply performed. However Iella and Heward aren’t having it. They ship her off to work.
And so it goes…
Heward forages. He finds the medicinal herbs he wants. And a few contemporary meat moreover. And he has an encounter with a friendly-ish dryad too.
Iella escorts Birch to a spot known as Bone Hill. And he or she learns about Birch’s backstory and the horrible spirit of the forest often known as the Lord of Bones. After which Birch reveals that he’s not planning to come back again. That he intends to sacrifice himself to the forest spirits. And he does.
Oh, and Iella and Graywind battle off a bear.
In the meantime, Rona…
Rona joins the foresters. She truly buddies up to some of the laborers. She’s invited to strive her hand — her ft anyway — at log rolling. She talks with Olev a bit and confirms what Iella had surmised. It’s all good. And he or she even tries to gather the debt. However Kastar can’t pay Dagmer again till Theor pays him again. Seems, Theor misplaced some cash to Kastar in a cube sport and welshed on the guess. And abruptly Rona stops giving a s$&% about gathering the debt. She simply needs to know the way to get in on the common, pleasant cube video games.
Nonetheless… by night, issues are wanting up.
And Then There’s the Crit
The sick forester’s acquired his medication, there’s some further contemporary meat within the cook dinner tent, and the foresters had an additional again serving to them out. So, everybody’s fairly jovial when the camp gathers for dinner. Aside from Iella. She’s unhappy about Birch’s passing, which to date appears to have gone unnoticed by the remainder of the camp.
Then, out come the cube. And Rona worms her approach into the sport. As a result of she needs to win some cash.
Enjoyable truth, in Savage Worlds, it’s attainable for a participant character to critically fail actually any sort of die roll. And that’s what Rona determined to do. She determined to roll snake eyes on her Playing take a look at.
The sport goes in opposition to her. And since she’s enjoying to win, she begins betting extra aggressively, solely to maintain shedding. She comes out approach behind. However that’s simply what occurs with a traditional failure on a Playing take a look at. You lose.
What in regards to the crit? Effectively, whereas she’s betting aggressively and making an attempt to win, she’s ruining a pleasant sport of cube between buddies. The foresters assume she’s making an attempt to scrub them out. Take all their cash. Thankfully, she sucks at it. However nonetheless, hackles rise, threats are made, a punch is thrown…
Cue the Boss Struggle
…after which a booming voice cuts by way of the chaos and shuts every little thing down. Eirik, the camp’s chief, is again from… wherever he was. And he needs to know what the f$&% is occurring. Who’re the outsiders, why’s there a fistfight in his mess tent, and so forth. He sends everybody to mattress, takes a report from Petra, after which summons the get together for a chat.
Eirik tallies up the get together’s doings. He thanks Heward for treating the sick man and offering further meals. He reveals a letter Birch had left for him and thanks Iella for seeing to his ultimate needs. And he thanks Rona for a tough day’s work. He additionally chastises Rona for antagonizing his males and making an attempt to cheat them out of their hard-earned coin.
Realizing the sport’s up, the get together comes clear. They clarify why they’re there. And there’s a die roll.
After the die roll, Eirik explains that Rodalf abandoned the camp. However he agrees to ask round and see if anybody is aware of the place Rodalf got here by his treasure. Eirik guarantees to share no matter he learns with the get together. The get together’s simply acquired to present him a number of days.
After which there’s a die roll.
After which I inform Iella’s participant that Eirik’s being too accommodating for her tastes. And I counsel he might need an ulterior motive.
Iella shortly guesses that Eirik does certainly intend to interrogate his males. To seek out out the place Rodalf discovered his treasure. And he in all probability actually does imply to inform the get together what he learns. After he sends a few of his personal males to test it out. And to say something they’ll.
Spoiler alert: Iella’s supposition is 100% appropriate.
Then, Iella places collectively a number of issues she acquired from Petra and Birch about Eirik’s relationship with the outdated man. That Birch used to personal the camp. That he virtually raised Eirik. And that Birch was involved Eirik had misplaced his connection to the spirits and was too targeted on chasing coin. And Iella pulls out all of the stops. She makes use of that to name Eirik’s bluff and attraction to his higher nature.
It’s all very well performed.
After which there’s a die roll. A re-roll, actually. And Eirik agrees to query his males and inform the get together without delay the place the treasure got here from. And the get together provides a share of what they discover for the great of the camp.
Recaps like this illustrate an necessary level. One GMs actually battle to recollect. It’s that adventures at all times look rather a lot completely different from the within.
Living proof: in case you’d checked out my prep notes for this journey — this half-an-adventure, actually — in case you’d checked out my notes, you’d have assumed it will have crammed half a session of actually boring-a$& play. As a result of my notes consisted of straightforward duties and cube assessments. S$&% like diagnose sickness and forage for medication and gather a debt.
Hell, I didn’t even spell out the mechanics. As a result of none of these duties took greater than a die roll. So, all I did was spell out the barebones info. S$&% like this:
Kastar owes Dagmer $50 for mead and meals. However he can’t pay till Theor makes good on a playing debt for $60. Theor has the cash however sneers at any try to gather the debt.
That’s it. I didn’t design any stealth encounters or interplay talent challenges. I simply wrote down the issue after which left it as much as the PCs to suggest an answer. Which I adjudicated.
Mechanics don’t f$&%ing matter. GMs get too damned targeted on how this scene or that encounter works mechanically. They overlook their job is to explain conditions as they’re after which react to the gamers’ crafty plans and loopy capers. Solely not often do you have to ever should work past the sport’s core mechanics.
That stated, there’s clearly an additional mechanic underlying all this s$&%. There’s a Status Problem right here, proper? Which is one thing numerous individuals have requested me about. And f$&% me, however they’re going to be disillusioned with how easy this s$&% truly is.
So, let me clarify how I truly constructed this journey…
Introducing: Savage Worlds
First, let me blow your f$&%ing thoughts. This journey? It was a tutorial journey. I used to be introducing new gamers to the Savage Worlds ruleset upfront of beginning a brand new marketing campaign. And that’s my commonplace working SOP for introducing new techniques. Run a tutorial one-shot journey — two or three classes lengthy — with pre-generated characters so my gamers can take the system for a take a look at drive. If it goes effectively, the journey turns into a form of prequel to the marketing campaign.
My tutorial adventures virtually at all times have two elements. First, there’s a bunch of straightforward duties and challenges that exhibit the varied sport mechanics and get gamers used to enjoying by the foundations. Second, there’s a semi-freeform dungeon crawl or exploration-based problem. One thing like that.
Does that s$&% sound acquainted? If you happen to performed my introductory module Fall of Silverpine Watch, it ought to. That was a Commonplace Indignant Tutorial Journey.
The Anatomy of an Journey
All that crap I recapped above? That was half the journey. The tutorial half. Technically, it was a 3rd. However don’t fear about that. Simply know the journey includes two acts. Act I and Act II.
The journey itself has a fairly easy setup. There’s an journey web site to discover. However it’s hidden. It’s acquired to be discovered. Act I is “discover out the place the journey web site is” and Act II is “plunder the f$&% out of it.” And Act I, on this case, is the tutorial half. A bunch of minor challenges that exhibit the fundamental mechanics.
Now, I didn’t wish to do a Tutorial Gauntlet as I did in FoSW. And I needed to incorporate a bit extra interplay. As a result of I used to be additionally making an attempt to determine a setting and arrange a marketing campaign. And my gamers weren’t rank RPG newbies. Because of this I went with Do a Bunch of Favors for the Townies.
An Act You Can Win
I’ve pissed and moaned rather a lot that D&D lacks the instruments needed to construct what I name Macro-Challenges. Hell, there aren’t many RPGs — present or outdated — which have them. What are Macro-Challenges? Effectively, this journey’s instance. And it additionally demonstrates simply how easy the required instruments truly are.
The thought’s easy. A part of the journey — say, an Act — has a aim. One thing the gamers can accomplish or f$&% up. And all the person encounter bits in some way add as much as the gamers succeeding on the large aim. Or failing at it.
Take FosW. In Half C of that journey, the heroes should get a gate open. However there’s an indignant — and highly effective — ghost operating across the titular fortress. If the heroes assault it outright, they’ll in all probability lose. Perhaps they’ll get fortunate, however in all probability they’ll get lifeless. In the event that they discover the fortress completely, although, they discover a bunch of magic gadgets they’ll use to battle the ghost. And so they discover a bunch of knowledge they’ll use to speak the ghost out of existence.
That’s a Macro-Problem. See?
That’s truly a very easy sort of Macro-Problem to arrange. It’s mainly a Boss Struggle Macro-Problem. There’s a aim. There’s a serious battle in the way in which. The key battle’s impossibly laborious to resolve outright. However, by doing different s$&%, the gamers empower themselves to beat the key battle.
See how this s$&% comes collectively?
The foresters have data. That’s the aim. The foresters don’t wish to share the knowledge; they wish to use it to counterpoint themselves. That’s the key battle. At first, the foresters don’t just like the PCs. Interacting with them is impossibly tough. But when the PCs get the foresters to love them, the foresters can be extra open to giving up the knowledge.
Modeling this s$&% mechanically is definitely tremendous simple. It’s barely an inconvenience. Which is exactly what you need as a GM. One thing simple to adjudicate and one thing that performs good with the core guidelines. Actually, there’s two methods to deal with this s$&% mechanically in each D&D and SW. I used the second approach.
Principally, the heroes begin with an enormous penalty on social interactions with the foresters. So if they begin digging for data — any data — they’re prone to fail. And as soon as they begin digging for data and everybody is aware of what they’re as much as, they’ve acquired to succeed or get out as a result of they received’t be welcome anymore. In different phrases, it’s a social boss battle.
So, the get together began with a blanket -4 penalty on social interactions with the foresters. Which, in Savage Worlds is a fairly hefty penalty. Each good deed they did — each motion they took to enhance their fame — earned them a +2. Each crappy factor they did — each motion that damage their fame — earned them a -2.
Merely failing an assigned process, by the way in which, didn’t damage their fame. A minimum of not normally.
Clearly, I had a preplanned checklist of little duties and jobs the PCs might do to have an effect on their Status. Every success gained them a +2. However the simplicity of all of it meant I might adjudicate anything the PCs did. For instance, when Rona determined to behave like a lazy, stuck-up a$&, that was price a -2 Status. And when Heward determined to scrounge up further forage whereas trying to find medication and donate it to the cook dinner, that further little bit of forage added +2 Status on high of the +2 Status for treating the sick dude. And when Rona bombed her playing roll with a vital failure — and pissed everybody off — that was a -4 Status. As a result of vital failure.
Easy as that…
In Protection of the Bottleneck
Earlier than I clarify the remainder of this s$&%, I wish to deal with the concept of bottlenecking.
Act I had two outcomes, proper? Both the gamers came upon the place the dungeon was and acquired to discover it or they didn’t they usually didn’t. So the journey’s continuation and supreme success got here down to at least one, single problem. That’s, when the gamers determined they have been able to pump the foresters for data, they’d have one shot earlier than the camp turned in opposition to them. In the event that they failed, they’d fail the journey.
And I’m completely cool with that. Effectively, principally cool with that. There’s nothing inherently flawed with that. Technically, each journey’s success hinges on a single encounter or die roll sooner or later. It’s all about the place you draw the strains. I imply, the PCs can die in any battle. Which implies the whole marketing campaign is at all times hinging on the subsequent encounter.
Look, if the get together had stormed into the camp and Rona had made her little scene after which the gamers ignored the warnings and recommendation and began pumping individuals for information, they’d have failed. And that may have been solely their very own silly faults. Success would have hinged on a single die roll, however that die roll was the end result of the participant’s selections. They determined to financial institution their success on a coin toss.
Likewise, in the event that they’d been well mannered from the get-go and did completely every little thing they might to make buddies, even when they failed a number of duties, they’d have had so many modifiers that success would have been virtually a certain factor. They’d nonetheless have succeeded. And that may have been their fault too.
Most gamers find yourself someplace between these extremes. And success and failure hinge on a mixture of the luck of the cube and the gamers’ plans and selections.
That stated… I didn’t need to design an journey whereby the gamers might miss half the content material except they actually, actually f$&%ed up. Not on this explicit case. However as a part of an ongoing marketing campaign the place the gamers must dwell with the f$&% up? I completely would.
An Act You Can Lose
A Macro-Problem isn’t simply one thing the gamers can win. It’s additionally one thing they’ll lose. And also you’ve acquired to design shedding into it. Because it stood, my Macro-Problem had two outcomes. Both the get together will get to discover the dungeon or they don’t. And in the event that they don’t, the journey’s over. They lose.
I needed extra outcomes although. It’s good design. So, I added a Partial Success end result and a Restoration end result. However then, I modified my thoughts. So, in the end, I ended up with a Greatest Success, a Success, a Restoration, and a Failure.
What’s that s$%& imply?
First, let’s speak Partial Success. What would that appear like? Effectively, possibly, the PCs would get the foresters to show over the knowledge, however there’d be some sort of delay. And the foresters would use that delay to research the positioning themselves. Plunder it. Perhaps there’d be a race to the positioning. Or there’d be a confrontation on the web site. Or there’d be a bunch of lifeless foresters on the web site. As a result of it’s a stupid-dangerous dungeon and actually, it’s no place for non-adventurers.
Now, let’s speak Restoration. A Restoration’s an opportunity to show a Full Failure into some sort of Lesser Failure. Or Marginal Success. And that’s the choice Tolven gave the get together at the beginning of the journey. If the PCs couldn’t get the foresters to share the main points, Tolven gave the PCs permission to lean on the foresters. So long as they didn’t damage or kill anybody. Principally, intimidate the foresters. So, if the heroes did not get data the great approach, they could possibly be dicks. They’d get the knowledge, however they’d damage the League’s fame and make some enemies. Perhaps the foresters would comply with them to the positioning for revenge.
And in the event that they failed at being dicks, the foresters would kick their a$&es out. By power, if needed.
Now, let’s speak in regards to the Default Consequence. The Default Consequence’s the one you count on. The one which occurs if the PCs deal with s$&% proper. You in all probability assume the result the place the PCs get the data with no problems or delay needs to be the Default Consequence, proper? You and each different candy-a$&, pussy GM. However not Indignant. Indignant likes to make the gamers work for the Greatest Ending.
Finally, Act I had 4 outcomes.
- (Greatest Success) The get together learns the place the dungeon is and might go discover it with out additional hassle.
- (Default Success) The get together learns the place the dungeon is, however the foresters ship some scouts forward of the get together to beat them to the treasure
- (Recovered Success) The foresters refuse to cooperate and the get together bullies the knowledge from them
- (Failure) The foresters refuse to assist and kick the PCs out of their camp perpetually
How’d I decide the precise end result? Mechanically? Effectively, I don’t wish to inform you. As a result of SW has a mechanic that D&D doesn’t. And I used it. And you then’ll all piss and moan about how D&D doesn’t allow you to do cool s$&%. Besides I completely might have performed it in D&D too.
Right here’s the deal. I didn’t want any particular mechanics for the Restoration. That’s simply the get together coping with a failure by taking a special motion. Which I then simply adjudicate. However the distinction between success and further success? Effectively, in Savage Worlds, you’ve acquired a levels of success mechanic. And in D&D, you’ve acquired DCs. If the get together succeeds in opposition to a DC 10, they get the Default Success. In the event that they succeed with a 15 or higher, they get the Greatest Success.
Odds and Ends
Now that you know the way the trick was performed, return and reread the recap. Do you see the Background Sim chugging away? I’ll guess you do. However the gamers didn’t. As a result of I didn’t allow them to. I didn’t inform them how I used to be monitoring issues. I didn’t have them accrue Affect Tokens or some bulls$&% like that. Which, significantly, is one thing Savage Worlds recommends for advanced social interactions. F$&% that sizzling rubbish. It’s just a little too in love with its f$&%ing playing cards and tokens.
All I did was current the conditions as they have been — utilizing the Status modifier to information the NPCs’ behaviors towards the PCs — and resolved the actions as they got here.
However let me finish with three minor factors.
Level one: I had an issue participant. Rona’s participant was so wrapped up in portraying her grasping, drunken mercenary a$&gap that she was actually f$&%ing up the journey. Not purposely. However it was occurring. See, Rona’s participant remains to be new to this RPG s$&%. And he or she’s nonetheless discovering the steadiness between roleplaying and profitable the sport. So I used to be affected person. I let her — and her fellow gamers — see how her actions have been f$&%ing issues up. And I allow them to react accordingly. And so they adjusted. In the event that they hadn’t, Rona’s participant and I’d have had just a little sidebar dialog to clear s$&% up.
Level two: I did construct a timer into the journey. Primarily to make life simple for the gamers. They knew from early on they’d two days on the forester’s camp. That’s how lengthy it will take Dagmer to pack up the goods-in-trade for the return journey. Thus, the get together didn’t should rush into the interrogation section. They might spend two days making buddies and influencing others. After which drop the charade and begin pumping the knowledge effectively simply earlier than they stated their goodbyes.
Really, I secretly had one other timer going. As a result of I needed to make s$&% very easy. That’s why Eirik, the camp chief, returned on the finish of dinner the evening earlier than the get together left. He was at all times going to come back again. He was at all times going to take a seat down, grade the get together, and instigate the social boss battle.
Level three: the gamers did blindside me a number of occasions and make me tweak the Background Sim. And the largest blindside got here on the very finish. Eirik had graded them, the PCs had made their case, I’d rolled the suitable examine, and the gamers acquired the Default Success. So Eirik agreed to query his males about Rodalf’s treasure and move alongside what he realized. However, secretly, he supposed to ship some males alongside to take a look at the knowledge earlier than he shared it with the PCs.
However I do s$&% by the foundations. Eirik was bluffing. Bluffs contain opposed die rolls. And I flubbed the bluff. So Iella knew one thing was up. Therefore my passing her the data I did. However as a substitute of simply strolling away and telling her allies, “Eirik’s as much as one thing; we have to watch our backs and be prepared for a trick,” she discovered the entire f$&%ing plot. After which, she used all of the crap she’d realized about his and Birch’s backstory — principally s$%& I pulled out of my a$& to make the NPCs attention-grabbing and dynamic and human — to attraction her case.
So, I rerolled the preliminary success examine with a modifier. And that pushed the get together into the Greatest Success.
And that’s not one thing I ever might have deliberate. And undoubtedly not one thing I might have pulled off if I’d weighed down my sport with hefty guidelines and techniques as a substitute of simply giving myself some light-weight adjudication instruments and operating the sport because it got here.
Do you hear what I’m saying?