Control: This is Docking Control, please identify.
[Co-Pilot writes the call sign on a chalk board and show it to the pilot]
Pilot: Docking Control, this is the Stardancer requesting permission to dock.
Control: Uh, please say again?
[Co-Pilot hastily scribbles onto a chalk board]
Pilot: Correction Docking Control, this is the Artemis requesting permission to dock. Uh, it’s my first week piloting, still getting out of old habits…
Hmm, I just noticed that of all the ship the Cerberus is the Voltron choice. Why? The Personal Vehicles unique upgrade. Have someone stay behind to control it (Coran, maybe the Engineer?) while the rest of the crew (the Paladins) fly out and act as the fighters defending the ship (the Castle of Lions).
Not a serious suggestion but it is funny trying to think of how to recreate certain things with the mechanics presented in the game.
I’m still navigating my way through the crew/ship creation stuff and trying to see how it all comes together during the first session. It’s… not spelled out as clearly as I might like . There’s a bit of terminology that similar enough but clearly meant to be Different Things (Qualities/Upgrades/Special Abilities) that I’m left fairly certain I’ll screw something up in there. We shall see.
: And don’t get me started on Veteran Advances, mentioned on page 57 and explained… no where I’ve been able to find. #wth
It might be because my familiarity with Blades, but most of the stuff seems relatively straight forward. Usually the only thing i can think of that trips people up is Tier because its effects aren’t immediately obvious.
It’s usually when the GM starts saying stuff like “well the opponent is Tier 2 and therefore is decked out in Tier 2 armor and your gang is Tier 0, but you have Quality weapons so they count as Tier 1, so you’re going to have Limited Effect,” when people tend to start getting it. Or get further lost.
That’s the biggest problem I’ve had with the actual plays I’ve been watching. The GM keeps trying to focus on the fiction, and keeps kind of hiding all of the math as much as possible, which means figuring out how the hell it all goes together is… Obscured.
I figured in context it was something like that, but hadn’t realized it wasn’t spelled out anyplace.
Yeah, there are aspects that seemed, as I was reading through, to be, “Uh-huh, yeah, makes sense, all right, got that, yeah it figures, of course, yeah, uh-huh, gotta add that, of course, that follows … yeah, I’m going to be assuming that Doyce will have it all straight because there are a lot more factors than I can juggle in my head.”
I mean, it all makes sense. There’s just a lot of it making sense. It’s crunchy in an abstracted but good way. I can’t point to anything that seems unnecessary, and my assumption is that, yes, it will either start to all click together like an orrery when we get started, or I’ll just follow the fiction and roll the number of dice I’m told and hope I’m not doing something stupid.
Well as I might have mentioned last week, my Sunday night group is now playing Blades in the Dark and I’m GMing. This afternoon (in about 2 and a half hours) we went through crew and character generation and then did a score.
The first thing I did was call for a roll and not play attention to level of effect and didn’t have solid consequences in mind. This led to a lot of “uhm…” when the player rolled a 3 on three dice until I said “yeah, I screwed that up, I’ll try to keep that in mind next time.” And honestly as soon as I started to, things just started flowing better.
Things I Realized In Hindsight:
“This is a Risky roll with Limited effect” is the most common thing I said. And it really started making people think “hmm, what I can I do to better leverage things in my favor to get Standard effect or Great effect.”
It’s not always obvious when a Score is over, so it’s a good idea to have something obvious as the goal setup. Steal this thing - Obvious. Break up this union meeting - Not so obvious, especially when they chose a Deception plan.
We didn’t use Flashbacks, so I can’t really comment on those.
The Training crew upgrades are amazingly good. All of my players used at least one downtime action for Training and got to mark 2 XP for it (and the quick vintage scenes of them training were really cool and we got to see some early personality come out in the characters).
This is going to sound really crazy, but Downtime is my favorite part of the game, more so than the Scores. The Scores are cool, but Downtime really shines if people are willing to put some personality into their scenes. Also, bragging about how awesome you are in a tavern full of cops is not a great idea but that’s what happens sometimes when you Overindulge on your Vice roll.
Always keep the first two challenges in mind when rolling for Engagement as they may just blow through the first one entirely.
Money flows quick. My crew earned two Coin on their score and had both of them spent before the end of Downtime. Explaining how people used that Coin on Downtime actions was half the fun.
In hunting down the answer, I am given to understand this particular rule was something that evolved during beta testing, was discussed several times in the G+ community, and is just a bit of tribal knowledge/pbta-assumption, supported by one line on the play sheet.
At least scum and villainy actually has that line in the book; blades in the dark doesn’t even have that - there’s a whole section on special abilities that you can pick up out on page 275 or something, with no actual explanation of how the hell you get them… unless you look at the play books (and pay special attention to the fact it says “take advances from other sources”, not just “other playbooks.” (Which aren’t in the rule book anywhere.)
If I can call out a single repetitive sin pbta and by inheritance forged in the dark games have, it’s that all the rules for basic play aren’t in a single text.
It’s been like that since the beta documents Vincent first released for Apocalypse World - it’s one of the reasons I didn’t like the game initially, cuz I needed nine different… excuse me eleven different documents to read the damn game. From an archival/preservation/historical pov, it makes my skin crawl.