Monday, September 25, 2017

Demon Week, Day 1 Notes


*If you missed it, here I am being interviewed about a new unannounced project for LotFP as well as Demon City.

If you go "What's the new LotFP thing?" and you didn't watch it I'll just shake my head like mmmm

*Do you not have Vornheim yet? Really? It got reviewed again--this time by someone who went out and made their own city book right after.

*There's a kick-ass Lamentations Bundle and it goes to support the civil liberties organization that protected Steve Jackson Games from illegal search and seizure.

*D&DWPS rogue Satine Phoenix is playing D&D with D&D head honcho Mike Mearls for a kids' charity.

*Red & Pleasant Land is still up for game of the month

*Green Ronin still sucks and only pays lip service to LGBT rights.

Anyway, it's Demon Week
Doing open playtests for Demon City.

1. Real worldy Demon City names ("Alex Walsh") are harder to remember than D&D names. When playing with scads of new wonderful generous playtest volunteers all in one week, maybe ask if you can just use their actual names as their character names to keep it simple...

2. The official rule for Demon City action is "Everybody rolls, highest roller gets to do what they want then Any Action Not Interrupted By The Winning Actions And Which Doesn't Involve Anyone Else In A Clash Happens".

Q: Does running away from somebody "Involve someone else"?

3. How long does contact take to get back to you? This is pure luck but formalize it. 

4. Character gen needs a chart, there's jusssst enough information that people can get confused about the math

5. Waiting for someone to come through the door counts as a round of aiming (extra die next round)

6. The best way to roll bad guy stuff is to roll the bad guy's dice then say "Anybody beat a...." 7, 8 whatever

7. There needs to be a mook rule, rolling 2-3 dice for 4-5 bad guys is dumb. Mooks always roll twice their skill, etc.

8. If you have 2 skills that could apply to a situation that should count for an extra die maybe? Need examples.

9. Rewrite character classes so that all of them have something that matters in character gen or in downtime, maybe? People are so panicked they forget to use class skills, and they tend to be the least important thing about a PC in play

10. What happens to Local Knowledge if you are in a multi-city campaign? Find a way this isn't a stupid choice.


Karim Dhambri said...

Thanks Zak for the game. There was a lot of action, chases, tension escalation, a secret society, monsters...

Thinking back about the game, I noticed something interesting. After a few clash rounds, you learn if you are better, equal or worse than your opponent, reminding me of the Amber RPG. Then, to tip the odds in your favor, you need to think outside the box and use the environment to gain an edge. So players constantly ask the Host questions about the environment, which in turn helps define the world in every one's mind. I think this produces a very OSR mode of play. It wasn't obvious to me that it would produce that kind of experience by reading the rules, which I thought were a bit simplistic at first. But it does when you play the game.

In D&D, if a player tries something not covered by the rules, the DM needs to house rule, which is totally fine. But in Demon City, it seems to me that the Host does not even need to house rule most of the time because the rules as written gracefully handle outside-the-box actions. I think it would make a great introduction to OSR play for younger gamers.

I am considering doing an interlude in my home Delta Green game with a new team of agents using the Demon City system, and see out it goes. Maybe we don't need all of the fine-grained skill stats to have a great modern-day action/horror game after all.

Kindling said...

How well or not - given the implied hyper-urban setting - would you see the Demon City rules set working for more rural or "small town" horror scenarios?

Zak Sabbath said...

I've had Evan Elkins of In Places Deep (see blogroll) write up a special section on small town adventures.(including a d100 table)

Most of the rules and monsters should work fine, I just felt like thinking inside the mental conceptual envelope of "Demon City" helps focus my writing a little more.

Adamantyr said...

Regarding Vornheim and Red & Pleasant Land, if you don't have either and are near Portland OR, I saw 3 copies of the first and 1 of the latter at Powell's Books when I was there for Rose City Comic Con.

Spazalicious Chaos said...

On your last question: most people that have local knowledge are the kinds of people that will look for familiar functions of their community in foreign lands, like figuring out they are being directed to the local tourist trap and might be being guided away from a place where they are not wanted. Honestly, I would just have a character roll at a penalty until they have been in a local for a month, at which point they can roll once at their normal skill level. If they pass, their local knowledge applies to the new area as well, fail means they are still at a penalty for another month.

DazzleEngine said...

Idea for Local Knowledge: tie it to a profession/trade industry. E.g. law enforcement, underworld, docks, finance, manufacturing, hospitality, entertainment etc. This gives you an "in" wherever you go.