Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Crowsmantle (and Eagle Cloaks, Owl Capes, and Beyond)

I'm running behind this week: trying to finish a public beta document for Action Cards and revising the rules (again) for Rights of Succession. Side note: Scrivener's great for organizing parts of your document, but there's nothing like learning a program while trying to actually accomplish something. So I thought I'd put up a link to another game I put together which we've been playing for a few weeks now, Crowsmantle

Crowsmantle PDF

The pitch line is: In their youth, they journeyed to a land of wonder. There they became heroes and saved lands from a great evil. Then they grew up. Now as adults, they’re called back to fight peril to a realm transformed. We seen that in a couple of other games recently: When the Dark is Gone by Becky Annison and Nest by David Goodwin. Reading the pitch line for Nest inspired pulling together Crowsmantle from an older campaign concept. I've avoided reading that Fate World of Adventure for the moment; I'm looking forward to going through it when I'm finished with the campaign. Back in February I posted some sample characters I put together for this setting. 

The rules document is rough, intended to creakily support us for a ten session campaign. I made a bad font choice and so it isn't c&p-able. I need to go back and do that, but it will require more than a little tweaking because I'm using Scribus. The mechanics come from PbtA by way of my Pug'buttah concept. It's useful to see those in play to assess them. The game's more like World of Dungeons for how stripped down it is. The rules fit with the way I run and when I look back I see mechanics I put in that I haven't actually used at the table. I don't know if adding them would make the play better or if they just ought to be cut. Mark Diaz Truman's essay from last week has me looking more closely at what I want from them. 

Bottom line: these rules function. Players could make up characters & had space to create a vision; we can easily resolve actions, and elements help reinforce character identities (primarily through keys). That's the minimum I want. I have other things I'd like it to do; if you're going to have rules they ought to make the game more fun. But I'll need to reflect on that after the campaigns finished. We have a tight limit for our sessions two hours, bi-weekly (with at least fifteen minutes eaten by tech difficulties and getting settled). Our plan is ten episodes and I hope we can manage a full arc in that space. Anyway, feel free to check it out.