Thursday, February 7, 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

On The Air Solo house rules

When considering using it for solo play, the Intention System seems unnecessarily fiddly with its "how many dice do I roll and what do I keep" ("a trait of 1 means roll 3 dice and keep the 2 highest, a trait of 2 means roll 4 dice and keep the highest 2, etc.").

The "tag a descriptor to bump a die up to a d8" and "tag a flaw to bump a die down to a d4" feels too involved on top of that.

At its core it's just the 2d6 pbta results mechanic, so let's remove the extra steps and ignore the multiple die types/tagging traits. Simplify it to trait value plus 2d6 roll and ignore everything else.

Keep the three kinds of edges, but for "Forte" simply roll with advantage. (Roll 3 dice and keep the 2 highest.)

For spending airwave tokens, remove Power Tagging (d8) and replace it with roll with advantage. For earning airwave tokens, you can invoke a flaw to earn a token but ignore the (d4) change and make it roll with disadvantage instead.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

Naming Characters

[Meta] Picking Names for your Characters

“Aragorn, son of Arathorn” has a certain ring to it. As does “Danaerys Stormborn”, or “Elric of Melnibone”. Not so much, “Bob the Fighter”.

It’s important to pick something that’s not going to completely undermine the seriousness (or playfulness) of the setting, and that’s something you need to discuss with your other players, including the GM, at your ‘session zero’. If it’s a real-world modern game where you have Barbaras and Stephens, a “Cato Sicarius” will be the out-of-place option. Or if you’re playing MLP: Friendship is Magic, “Malus Darkblade” might seem a little out of character.

But as tempting as it may be, don’t just pick a completely dull name if you can’t think of anything, unless your character’s whole schtick is just being an ordinary ‘straight man’ to contrast the weirdness of the setting.

Resources you can use to help you:
• Read. Honestly, read anything you can. Spot names wherever you are and whatever you’re reading (customer names are good if you’re noticing them at work, but don’t breach anyone’s privacy- mix things up). If you can find somewhere that has a bunch of names from a culture different to your own, that’s A-grade stuff, which can give you some really interesting names.
• Get a baby name book in any second-hand shop (and freak out your parents slightly). They’ll often have names with different cultural influences, which can give you some fantastic stuff to work with.
• Failing that, a lot of names from fantasy sources are based on real names, with some letters or sounds changed.
“Aaron” can become “Aeron”, “Arron”, or  “Ayren” just by substituting some different sounds into it.
“Stayvon” from “Stephen”, “Bobara” from “Barbara”... maybe that’s not the best example.

The point being, we have such amazing resources available to us, there’s really no excuse for a name that spoils other players’ immersion.

(Art by Andrey Shishkin, a Russian artist, with some captioning added)