General Table Talk

I almost want to wag my finger at you with a glare and defend myself. But you got me dead to rights. I did write "Play with Power" some twelve years ago. And I almost want to argue that the saga is not as high powered as it may seem. But I did do a full on Dragon Wars story. This is indeed an alternate history. Major magic events have shaken the world.

I do agree that the subsystems in A&A (and C&G) add a bunch of clutter and confusion without much substance. In many ways, I feel that those rules are overpowered.

But on the other hand, if you have fun with those rules, I do want to encourage you to keep having fun. Silveroak and Xavi have a much better understanding of these subsystems that I do. Go with their advice. Silveroak is also the only one (as far as I can remember with clarity) that has used these rules with a player character. I remember one or two characters caught some guff from Fixer. Remembering more, some of those subsystems are kind of broken. They are not very compatible with the time/resource management rules from Covenants.
As long as other players are fine with what you do and it is by the book, I do not mind. In fact, I probably never notice. I have a lot of other spinning plates in this saga.

Back to Xavi :smiley:
In defense of my "Marvel Comics" power level, I do feel that this has been a major contributor to this saga's longevity. It is the second longest PbP on this site. It is technically the oldest, but there was a previous hiatus, and the saga was closed then reopened, so it dropped a spot.

And it originally began as a live ArM4 saga in the 90's. Remember when I was an obnoxious Berklister? You were too as I recall :laughing: The early foundations of the saga drew a lot from what I could dig up on the primitive interwebs of that day.
And old school D&D. The map of the covenant is a blatant rip off of B2 Keep on the Borderlands. Somewhere nearby there is a site called The Caverns of Entropy.
I once tried to slip a wizard named Xagygxrag into something I wrote, but they called me out on it and put a thumb down on it :laughing:

The "Play with Power" concept works. It is easy to run and easy to play. But it is still rich and complex. Beyond being a game of "Spreadsheets & Accounting" :laughing:
It is not a style for everyone. I am fortunate to have gathered the quality players that I have. They are creative and stalwart. They play with power, and understand that with great power comes great responsibility.

I have also had to learn from some serious mistakes. I am sure I have alienated several people. Some more than once. I have placated the wrong people a few times, and it took a while to learn how to weed out abusive players.

There were a few players waaay back in the first few years of this saga, they had some harsh conflicts with the troupe and each other. From those conflicts, I learned essential lessons about running this as a PbP. No Infernal or Divine for Player Characters is so very important, I cannot over stress it.
I also learned that the advanced CharGen rules in the RAW were broken, and my 10xp/season HR broke them further. Players tended to stack up a horde of xp in the first 3/4 of advancement, then do all of the lab stuff at the end. You may notice that the bulk of the words in my HRs are devoted to the Cycles system I invented to solve this problem. I would scale it back a bit if I were to reinvent it, but it seems to work out so far.

I am very interested in discussing revisions with the troupe, if anyone else is.

Persistence is the true key, I see that now having read what I just wrote. A willingness to admit mistakes, know I am going to make more mistakes, and a drive to just keep going and do better. The concept, to "Play with Power", is what fuels this drive.

In Denmark we celebrate Christmas on the 24th, otherwise I should be able to keep up with reading and replying

I celebrate Yule by staying up the entire night of the winter solstice to greet the new sun when it rises. Which will be in roughly 2 1/4 hour from now...

I was not criticizing the play with power approach, just stating that it was the case :slight_smile: As such, labor points did not seem to match with the general saga approach, specially given that Andorra is a very wealthy covenant, so getting apotechary ingredients should be the least of the covenant's problems.

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In Consideration of Confidence and Fortune.

Before the hiatus, we were using special HRs for Confidence and invented HRs for "Fortune. The rule served us well, but it was a bit complex. I am not sure how well we remember this quirk, and to new players it is an unknown quirk.
It evolved from a side table talk thread...
Confidence Fortune HR Propsal
And was adopted and recorded in this thread...
Players and Fortune
I tinkered with a simplified and more efficient idea for this rule, but I need troupe input and discussion...
Proposed Revision

To summarize the concept, characters begin each story with their full Confidence pool (1 + twice their score). Confidence is recovered with rest between stories/chapters. Characters can participate in multiple stories at different times (to a limited extent, the situation comes up in PbP when a story stalls).

Replacing the story award system, Players were granted Fortune points. The Player was the one given the award, not the character. The sg counts as a player, and was given an award by the other players.

Each individual player could use Fortune points to benefit any character they controlled during play. Players (even observing readers) could give their own points to benefit another character. It is a meta-game way to give players control over stories, and to reward players in such a way so they focus on story over their characters.

We had fun with it, maybe played it loose, exploited it a bit. But it was fun. I want to use it again, reward players and close out these intro stories and start with the new stuff in 2020.

So I want to get some discussion. Should we use it? How should we use it? Does it need revision? Formalization? Leave it alone?

I have no problem with leaving it as is.

It seemed to work pretty well the way it was.

I'm good with how it was being done, or how you have proposed- I don't recall the old system well enough to be certain if there was a difference.

I don't mind it. But I seldom remember to use Comfidence, so I'm likely to forget to use Fortune as well...

This. Exactly this. Confidence is one of those things that when it wa used IMS everybody at the table was surprised and knew that the player or GM had reread the core rules in the past week.

It works out differently in PbP. At the table, it is easy to miss when the action is fast paced. In PbP, you have time to consider and think of every point you can add. Also, Confidence can be added after the fact. If it is ever critical, people will remind you.

Previously, other characters built up a vast numbers of unspent Confidence. The Fortune rule puts a cap on Confidence and refreshes it regularly. As a result, Confidence got used more yet only a few times per story.

Fortune is very meta-game. It is about the Players. You may respond to a call for help, player to player. You may wind up using it for a grog you are playing. Or maybe you will just stack points until something big happens. Or not.

Either way, I am presuming you understand the rule and are fine with it.


It gets used more often around here, and in other PbP games I made regular use as a player. But I think that this is a symptom of the media. It isn't worth it for the SG to hide numbers. The posts flow quicker if I set it up as "you need to roll x versus y, then describe your success or failure". I can't afford to be all coy about it like at the table. Thus, the player can see right away if Confidence can make an impact or not. Or I may remind them. Or someone will remind you.

If it may help, Arachne is kind of a recluse and does little to endear herself to people. Actually, she likes frighening them.
So she's her own flaw to covenant loyalty ^^

As far as I can tell, this is the right one. Shadows and light aren't species, and thus aren't Imaginem.

"+ 1 changing image" is wrongly spelled IMO. What you're changing is the intensity of the light.
Because that's the issue. Shadows vary, and the light that's ok one time may be too much, or too little, at some other point.
I'd put it this way:

  • Rename the "changing image" into "variable light", and do some finesse roll (around 9) when you need to adjust it quickly on the spot (say, you enter a darklit room coming from a bright outside, and people may see you)
  • Or add an intellego requisite to adjust automatically given the ambiant light.

IMO, changing a spell's intensity down should be possible, that's what finesse is for. So, If choosing the finesse option, I'd discard that additionnal magnitude, for a final level of 20.
If going the intellego route, it's harder to defend, but it feels reasonable, so I'd say Cr(In)Ig 25.

Another possibility is to make your body transparent to light through MuCo. You wouldn't be invisible without PeIm (It doesn't work that way, as far as I can tell), but that'd solve the shadow problem.

I legit laughed out loud at this.


Merry Christmas, joyeux Noël, Bon Nadal, Feliz Navidad, and felicem natalem Christi, sodales.


Peace on eart and Goodwil to all.

“Glædelig Jul” as we say in Denmark. Here it’s well over, we celebrate on the evening ( CET) of the 24th.
I ate way too much, and the kids got way too many gifts. It actually wasn’t that bad, they behaved ok and got some good stuff.
Today I built a LEGO Architecture model of Empire State Building, 21.5” high. It’s awesome


Bon Nadal!!

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