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Subject: After skimming through the rules...WFRP 3rd? rss

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Hector Flores
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I skimmed through the rules and I couldn't help thinking this felt like a more structured version of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition.

Common features:

Dice pools (with dice that are good/bad/talent parallels of the WFRPG dice)
Cards (talents, skills, items, etc.)
3-act story structure
Time/Event trackers

This isn't a bad thing - and I'm not suggesting plagarism, only that there seemed to me to be some common features.

Anyone else think so?
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Steve \/\/
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I know where you live, and I've seen where you sleep. I swear to everything holy that your mothers will CRY when they see what I've done to you.
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To be quite honest, this is the direction that I'd really like more tabletop RPGs to take: compact, easy to explain and get started, short session/adventure time requirements, less focus on violent mayhem than solving problems.

While I don't know if I'll back it, I'm very likely sold once it is available in distribution.
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Mike Peterson
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As a playtest GM with a few sessions under my belt (but admittedly, no WFRP experience) I'll offer a few observations that I would suspect differentiate it greatly from WFRPG but are definitely different than most any other RPG I've ever played.

- This is not the combat you're used to: Combat MAY involve a Threat tracker (to show how dangerous things are for the players) and MIGHT also involve either Progress or Disaster trackers, too. (They show you how close you are to achieving your goal and how close the baddies are to achieving theirs, respectively.) It might include all three and could hypothetically involve none, but almost certainly includes at least one. Why? To put it simply: if you're in combat the point isn't the combat. Unless you've got an unusual (read: probably an artifact) weapon you don't have it recorded or written anywhere. You can cast any spell you want (within a few loose guidelines in the rules) and there's a fair-to-better chance that you'll use skills that you never would have expected to roll in combat (like Explore or Think). There might be a big baddie and there might be a mob of weaklings that are for all intents and purposes just one other "character." Combat in this game looks nothing like anything else I've seen.

- It's pen-and-paper without the pen: They've tried very hard to make sure that you never have to write anything or mark anything with a pen, ever. The way things are put together this feels natural and you don't feel like you're missing anything. There's one possible exception to this that I haven't ever seen them talk about but it happens between adventures, so it's not even during the session. Personally, I hope that we can use dry erase on the map in the end, but even that isn't a big deal. This game is light on details and high on flexibility. There's simply no need to track minutia.

- Success isn't guaranteed, but you'll assume it is: The way the dice work you'll make almost every roll you try. The focus isn't on using the dice to slow you down. Instead, when the dice roll up empty for you (which will happen FAR more often than you believe is mathematically probable) it's a surprise. Failures at my table have always gotten a good reaction from players. Heroes have a right to expect things to go their way, so when someone comes up empty at a minimum it's a great chance to tease and laugh. Dice failures don't mean the same as in other games. Instead of getting stabbed or poisoned you most just end up looking stupid for a turn. Remember: it's not like you won't be back to your heroic self again next turn... unless your dice hate you. Turns are quick, too. I've had players fail at something 3 or 4 turns in a row but because things move forward so fast it's no big deal; they just try again. It's not like you're going to wait another 30 minutes for your turn to roll an attack and the combat itself wasn't the point in the first place, remember?

- Micromanagement is gone: At first, you might care that your inventory is six items and two pockets and nothing else. In an hour you won't ever care again. Picking less-than useful artifacts and extra powers isn't a big deal, either. You'll probably spend the most time using nothing that isn't on your character sheet in the first place and even if you do, well then...

- You'll only ever agonize over fun character choices: Didn't like the Talent you got or the artifacts you chose? You're only playing with them for an hour or so. Next time snag a different one. It's a cinch to mix and match to find what really works for you TODAY. You're in a different mood for play tomorrow? No problem. The toughest thing you'll have to decide is whether to take your expanding house that floats, your crystal shard that shoots lightning, or Alice's "Drink Me" bottle. (Personally, I'd go with the bottle.)

- Everything is FAST: A whole turn around the table will only take you a few (~2?) minutes. Adventures are short, which makes every decision seem like it was more important and every twist a little more vivid. (I've got some dreams for long sessions with multiple adventures played, but I'd want to space them out at least a half hour between them for just this reason.) It's important to note here that it's not like the game moves at Mach 5, just that nothing takes much time to do and it's generally an easy task to do whatever you'd like. This gives you a lot more time to focus on the story.

- Good luck, munchkins: There isn't any min/maxing to be done. Powers and artifacts are pretty darned balanced. A near fairy-tale-like flexibility of items makes almost anything as useful as any other given a little brain power. And the most powerful and (usually) useful skills? They're powered by your Boosts and you start every scene with one, regardless of however many you had at the end of the last scene. To get more you've got to do things that are relevant to the character you decided to play and then get lucky. It's not that you can't do it (in fact, you'll have fun doing it as much as possible) but that in order to do it you're going to have to do some fun roleplaying anyhow.

Sorry for the length of the post. I just thought I'd throw this out there, though.
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Robert Grainger
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Great summary... thanks.
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Escapade Crew
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As one of the designers I can definitely say there was a lot of consideration and a little direct inspiration from WFRP! We actually mentioned that in a recent interview. We were already well into in the process of designing and developing Story Realms when I first heard about WFRP, and it seemed like it had a ton in common with what were were trying to do, so I went and picked it up. That system and components were so fascinating to me, I immediately went out and bought every expansion for it I could find! Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to play it yet Many of the similarities were things we had decided on and implemented into the game before encountering WFRP; the dice pool mechanic, cards for powers/artifacts etc, the three-scene structure, and even the concept of trackers had been part of our game for quite some time. What WFRP did was show a way to use a simple tracker for a lot of different things, and explore all types of patterns and set-up using the modular pieces.

I loved that idea and immediately suggested using modular trackers for Story Realms too, I liked the flexibility they give you to set up a bunch of different dynamic challenges using the core pieces. We played around with the idea for a while, but we couldn't get it just the way we wanted it, so we ended up using a slightly modular system of trackers, with each tracker appearing on a 3X5 card that could be displayed when need but otherwise was just kept off to the side. The "modular" part in story realms is which tracker are in use at any given time. At first I thought it would be really cool to come up with a whole bunch of different type of trackers to use. What we ended up figuring out is that 4 was the right number of basic trackers for our game for now/ I still loved the different uses WFRP had for trackers, and their idea of templating how to use them, so we tried to incorporated that into Story Realms too. The more we played with the tracker and the scene structure, the more obvious it because that certain tracker would most often be used in certain scene, like a progress tracker would always be use in the story challenge (the 2nd scene) of every adventure and that the Threat, Disaster, and Progress tracker would be used together for almost every action challenge (scene 3).

With our trackers I've developed several different templates that we use to build and action challenge based on challenge level, starting threat, high and low variance, the race dynamic, etc.. what I mean by this is that in Story Realms, action challenge, like combat, are scripted around the Threat Tracker. How the Threat Tracer moves determines a lot about the flow of the scene, including which actions they will take, so adjusting those numbers based on our action templates create different types of encounter. In simple terms what this means is that even though our trackers are very well-equipped for an adventure like Den of Darkness, our free print and play adventure, there's also other ways they can be used. In Den, the threat starts high with lots of monsters and their giant boss guy. All the actions the players take directly against the giant lowers the threat, and if the players get it down to the yellow action, he leaves (he's a bit of a coward. from there the players can make the most efficient progress by closing dark door. They can also fight the hobs, which will keep lowering threat.If the heroes lower the threat and get it into the blue zone, the scene key tell the Storyteller to have the hobs head over and try to reopen the sealed doors and call for help. Throughout the encounter the threat waivers back and forth, kind of like a tug-a-war. This is just one of the ways scripting and the trackers work to ensure that although the system is very simple there is a lot of different ways to you structure scenes so the mechanics support the type story you want to tell. I think WFRP has a lot of great ideas in there, and absolutely tested a couple ideas in Story Realms to see how they fit with what we were trying to do. In the end I think all you will see that's the same between the two games is some core concepts and focus on story! I like the ideas in WFRP, but we didnt really end up using many in Story Realms past the inspiration point and the general idea behind it. I think it helped me to realize we were on the right direction and reinforce our decisions, and also gave me some different ways to think about the trackers and having multiple different uses for each.

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Hector Flores
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Thanks for this response designers - part of my attraction to this game were some of the similar mechanics found in WFRP - and I'm happily a backer. I'm looking forward to playing this!
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Jeffrey Bourbeau
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Steve Dubya wrote:
To be quite honest, this is the direction that I'd really like more tabletop RPGs to take: compact, easy to explain and get started, short session/adventure time requirements, less focus on violent mayhem than solving problems.


I agree.
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