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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Zero Tendency

Crunchy but a nice fit with certain types of fiction, where zeroing in and other forms of the language of precision are common.

The basics are that you take 2d6, nominate one as positive and the other negative, roll them and subtract the result on the negative die from the result on the positive die.

You are aiming for precision, zero deviation, the bullseye.

If you need to find two dimensional precision then roll an additional d6 and for positive results count clockwise from 12 o'clock to 6 o'clock, for negative results counterclockwise. This gives direction to the 2d6 magnitude roll.

The language of positive results:
Too much
Off To the right

The language of negative results:
Too little
Not enough

The language of zero:
Zeroed in
On the money
Just right

This can be modified in a lot of ways supporting the basic fiction. Competence or external influence can add more or less dice, change the type of die rolled, change the range of success, add or subtract fixed values as modifiers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Myth Campaign Diary - Who's the Boss

“Back to the pit foul wyrm! Lest I lay about me with the cold iron head of my mighty weapon! No beast so foul shall be suffered to live while I stand firm!”, roared the Acolyte.

“Stop grandstanding and get out of the way, you’re spoiling my shot.”, snapped the Archer

Ignoring the petty squabbling of the fleshlings, the Spriggan thickened it’s bark and braced for the chitinous fiend making its inevitable attack.

Silently, but for the faint crack of rapidly forming ice, a bone numbing chill spread over the floor of the cavern from a silver ribbon extending from the fingers of the Apprentice where they brushed the dark loam. The masterwork complete he drew back to his librams, considering whether to further aid the band of ragamuffins he had become entwined with.

Hissing and clacking, the great worm moved slowly, but inexorably forward even as it was chilled to the marrow by the Apprentice’s great spell. Its urgency to devour ultimately its undoing.

The answer the question is pretty categorically, not the Boss. The first barrage from the heroes wiped out stage one of the Terror without even triggering the Darkness Cycle.

The ongoing -2 to TN chill effect generated by the Apprentice is great on big base models and considering how well geared we are pretty much guaranteed hits for every attack.

Stage 2 was a bit more challenging, but it never felt like we were in any real danger. A smaller or less well equipped group would probably have a tougher time of it as the Terror’s trample ability prevents adjacent heroes from acting effectively.

The group was helped out by their big serendipity bank, summoning Bobby twice to soak up hits from the Terror’s multi-hit attacks.

Ultimately, though, stage two was dispatched inside another two cycles.
Three of the heroes took the Life Bringer title and the Spriggan loaded upgraded armour into her deck.

Next episode is a custom setup non-story adventure with some extra goodies, and possibly some photo’s. We’ll also be using the Orcneas deck for more of a challenge so I’ll need to get painting.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Myth Campaign Diary: The House Rules Edition

No Flavour text this update but we've just cleared everything except the Terror in act 3 so plenty of that to come in the next update "The Song of the Spider"

The Monty Haul Problem
Thus begins the final push towards the end of story two act three. And I’m beginning to feel that there might be a treasure problem. I fact I’m having  a bit of an existential Myth crisis about a few things.

Number One – the Loot
I’m a tabletop GM by nature and one of the maxim’s I’ve learned to live by is “Keep ‘em poor and hungry for more”. The acquisition of material stuff is a primary driver for adventuring. A paucity of said stuff also means that the players and their characters are challenged more strongly by circumstances and are therefore forced to become more inventive in their problem solving. This always leads to a good story.
We’re into our 6th act in total and most of us are carrying one or two pieces of blue gear and the rest is green.
Being an experienced bunch we are also very good at maximising our opportunities for gaining loot. This has resulted in us being both very well equipped and fantastically rich.
The upshot is that the current batch of antagonists is proving less challenging that I though they would.

Number Two - Faffing About (or the loss of urgency)
Mechanically if the perceived danger is low then there is no incentive to gain threat. Realistically this means that the only threat thresholds that we meet on the darkness deck are the occasional 8, and that’s only the case when we’ve needed to do a high threat action for a specific quest gain, such as in the epic mega kill episode last post.
It also means that once the lairs are done we can faff about for ages using movement cards to meet the “must act” anti loitering criteria while picking up all the treasure tokens.

Number Three – Bum Scratching
This has happened to both the trickster, where I think this is a larger defect, and most recently to the spriggan. You draw a hand and there’s no useful contribution you can make, repeat until at the end of your deck. By this point everyone else has been sticking the boot in and you’ve sat about scratching your bum for an hour or more. This is about the least fun you can have playing Myth.
The problem for the Spriggan is that she is very fragile until geared up which does apply some urgency pressure, but in a larger group context just leaves her hanging about at the back doing nothing and feeling like a third wheel.

Number Four – Follow the Leader
Minion clumping is a thing. Especially with the instinct enemies they all rush the heroes and effectively block the captains from doing anything apart from wandering up and down the back row like a heavily armoured football coach. Not so much of a problem at setup but after a few spawns makes the tile a turgid swamp of slowly shuffling minions. Captains are also slow to emerge in the Terror deck which means that there are usually a lot of crawlers on the tile before they put in an appearance.

House Rules
We’ve had a bunch of great Myth sessions but we’ve put in a whole heap of hours and that’s drawing out some underlying issues, non of which can’t be overcome with a house rule or two. And it’s also possible that the chaps at Myth HQ will have already thought of these for Journeyman.

Changes to enemy movement
We’ve already been playing these house rules as they are mainly clarifications to the existing movement rules.

Proximity attackers will do their best to move next to the closest target. If they are obviously blocked then then will move towards the next nearest, based on their priority and so on.

When calculating which target to attack based on threat subtract the distance the enemy unit would have to travel from the calculation. This reduces clustering as it means that enemies will close with heroes as targets of opportunity first unless given a compelling threat and gives a reason for the soldier to keep his threat high to draw fire from other heroes.

Changes to card draw
Before anyone plays a card in the hero cycle you may discard a card, search your deck for a replacement card and place it in your hand. To do this you must pay the AP cost of the card plus one as the Darkness becomes aware of your manipulation of the fates. The may spend 1 serendipity to reduce the AP cost by one. You may not spend more than one serendipity.

New Mechanics for the Acolyte
You may play a card face down to heal a hero by one point of vitality. The range of this ability is equal to your Faith. This operates in a similar way to the Soldier’s rage mechanic

Changes to lair spawn
If there are eight or more minions on the tile then the lair will automatically spawn a Captain during the Darkness cycle in addition to the spawn on the Darkness card.

Changes to treasure
Intelligent creatures moving over a treasure token will expend a point of movement to pick it up, returning it to the treasure pool for the tile.

All of these will be reviewed once we introduce new darkness decks as some of these issues may be caused by just playing the stories for the Terror.