A Sundered World: Episode 103

Cast
  • Agron (level 3 scion psion)
  • Katra "Crazy Gin" (level 2 kobold pirate)
  • Sift (level 2 deva shaman)
  • Sirus "Ironhide" (level 2 tarchon battlemind)
  • Waive (level 2 scion nomad)

Summary
With their initial hire inexplicably vanishing without a trace, the party asked Meg if she knew of any other capable healers looking for work.

As luck would have it she did: a very...tranquil and socially awkward deva shaman named Sift. He spoke slowly and had a penchant for overindulging in what he referred to as "openers", which fortunately didn't interfere with his spirit's potent healing magic.

They met and, after a sluggish and detailed conversation hired him, partially because he seemed competent, partially because they had no other options. Katra was in a celebratory mood, but since legal libations weren't strong enough to tickle her palette, she left with Ironhide and Sift in search of more potent potables.

The bar scene not being their scene, Agron and Waive went to the library in search of information on psionic powers and magical swords. The library was vast, with visitors, furnishings, and golden lanterns floating about between towering bookshelves. Agron could tell that the lanterns were intelligent, but when he tried to read their minds was surprised that they were not only able to repel his mental intrusion, but could force their way into his mind.

Which informed it of his soul-devouring sword and its agenda of devouring souls.

He quickly left the librarye and located an idyllic park so that he could meditate. He wasn't there long when he felt someone tap his shoulder, and when he opened his eyes saw...something looming over him. Near as he could tell it was humanoid enough in appearance, though much of it was concealed under white robes. Even so the head was strange enough in that it featured four faces: one was that of a scion, while the rest were various animals.

And floating just behind it was a golden lantern.

The scion face spoke to him, explaining that he was in possession of a restricted device. It had intended to followup with instructions on where to receive a license, but Agron interrupted it with...not-so-veiled threats. The entity's tone shifted as it told him that he was now under arrest for threatening an officer, and that if he attempted to resist would be obliterated.

At Geist's telepathic urging Agron surrendered. He was taken to the cathedral floating about the city, where he was interred in a spacious, luxurious cell that was, in his words, "befitting his station as a prince". The cell was sealed with a barrier of golden light, leaving him to peruse a stack of heavy tomes in search of a legal loophole.

Sift brought Katra and Ironhide to a literally underground bar. After bribing their way past the bouncer, a rock-like dwarf with mechanical limbs, they ordered a few drinks from a kytheran bartender who personally dispensed the beverages from one of his arms. After Ironhide somehow survived drinking what looked like a pitcher of lava, and besting someone in an arm-wrestling content, a choir of angels announced their arrival by blasting the door off the hinges.

They were led by a seraphim who was apparently familiar with Sift, but during the brawl that ensued he, along with Katra, Ironhide, and the barkeep, were able to escape through a passage behind one of the numerous swill tanks that lined the walls. Sift then lead them to his safehouse, but were quickly located by a cherubim officer. He attempted to arrest them, but after some tedious, circuitous dialogue with Sift conceded their innocence and left in frustration.

They returned to the ship in time to find Waive, who had returned from the library, learned that Agron had been arrested, and was gathering up the necessary funds to bail him out.

They were still on the ship when what looked like a colossal spike of bone—which Ironhide identified as a tarchon carrier—collided with the cathedral. Smaller shards of bone separated from it and rained down upon the city, punching through towers, ships, and people. When they came to a halt they split apart, and small bands of tarchons hauled themselves out of a crimson, gelatinous substance. The tarchons tore off chunks of the spikes, wielding them as weapons as they set upon angel and mortal alike.

The carrier was slowly driving itself through the cathedral, which was starting to dissipate back into astral essence as angelic hordes fought back with sword and light. Hoping that Agron was somehow still alive, they fired up the ship's engines and made a beeline for the cathedral, weaving through the rain of spikes as best they could.

When they arrived they saw Agron fighting a trio of tarchons at the entrance. He was clearly being overwhelmed, just barely keeping them at bay with a barrier of mental force. Unleashing a challenging roar Ironhide leaped into the fray, with Sift slowly floating after him. The tarchons turned just as Ironhide crashed into them, giving Agron the chance to flee back into the cathedral.

As Ironhide fought the other tarchons Sift released his spirit to heal him, while Waive appeared next to Agron. He told him what was going on as a tarchon easily twice as tall as Ironhide smashed through the stained glass ceiling, shaking the ground as he landed. He was followed by a squad of tarchons, and after ordering them to kill Waive and Agron began lumbering towards a golden door.

Waive taunted the giant tarchon and plunged his sword through a twist in space, making a barely perceptible scratch on his hand. This still drew his attention, which would have been bad enough if there weren't also six other tarchons with him. He advanced upon Waive, only stopping when Ironhide came rushing through the door, covered in blood.

The giant tarchon gave Ironhide an incredulous look before referring to him by his true name, Sirus. Though his form was markedly different, his voice was unmistakable: it was Panzer, one of the tarchons that had left him for dead so long ago. Overtaken with rage, Ironhide transformed both of his arms into blades, and told him that this time things would be different.

Panzer sneered in agreement, then with a loud crack his chest split open, revealing an intense fire within. The fire poured forth and enveloped his body. When the flames died down he had again changed: he stood on four taloned legs, his head was set upon a long, sinuous neck, and two broad, ashen wings grew from his back. His body looked to have been hewn from molten stone that cracked and dripped lava as he moved.

He was a dragon.

Behind the Scenes
Quick trip down memory lane: back when I was designing this campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition, of course), I was trying to find a way to fit in all the races: cambions were tieflings, cthon were genasi, dwarves were dwarves, etc.

Dragonborn were also in the mix, though they never made an appearance. I had written them to be born from the blood of Bahamut and Tiamat, who had both simultaneously killed each other during the Dawn War. Born from battle, the metallic and chromatic dragonborn had continued to fight each other in an effort to claim both of the Dragon-God corpses.

Partially since dragonborn is a product identity thing, partially since I've long since been moving away from "D&Disms" (which is why kobolds are spirits and ghouls can change their shape and appearance), I've also changed their name, appearance, history, and abilities.

When the gods and primordials fought they released the World Fish, Bahamut. It managed to take out a few on both sides before finally being slain, and as the blood of Bahamut, god, and primordial combined it gave rise to the tarchons (I forgot who suggested this name over whatever the hell I was originally calling them).

Born from the fury of cosmic-scale conflict and slaughter, they are constantly instilled with bloodlust. Tarchons start with a race move that imposes an ongoing penalty when there is a fight going on that they aren't part of. It lasts until they join the conflict or get away from it. They also gain a one-time damage bonus against whoever damages them.

One of the new things from A Sundered World is being able to choose between race and class moves as you level up: tarchon race moves let you gain a breath weapon, spend adventuring gear uses to produce weapons, deal more damage when you get hit, gain a constant damage bonus, and even turn into a dragon for a short period of time.

I had decided early on that the tarchons would be a potential front, along with several other possibilities that I don't want to reveal right now (since I might bring them in later). The only mental note I had on this session was that a tarchon army was going to attack the cathedral. I didn't think Chris's character was going to get imprisoned, but I think that just added to the tension as the carrier started boring through the cathedral while his character was still inside.

I've never ran a campaign in which the characters had to do things amid two warring armies. I divided the island into four sections, and had them defy danger to get through each section until they made it to the one that had the cathedral. I was going to have them take a detour, have the collidor suffer a malfunction, or get attacked and/or damaged as part of a soft or hard move, but Melissa kept rolling 10+'s with the ship's evasive maneuvers.

Oh well, at least we got to test out the ship moves a bit. I think they're still working as intended, though I should give her an actual sheet so we can better track weapon ammunition and fuel.

In the first session Shane explained that his character had been mutilated and left for dead by his tarchon squad after ordering a retreat (something tarchons almost never do). I happened to glance down at my notes right before he charged into the cathedral, and decided on the spot that the giant tarchon would be someone from his past. I built Panzer "by the book"; he's pretty badass, so I'm curious who'll win.

Finally, let's talk Kickstarter. I've been doing the writing, layout, and art myself, which means that I don't need to do a Kickstarter in order to pay someone else to tackle, well, any part of the project. Mostly it would allow me to focus more time and energy on it (instead of other stuff that would provide a more immediate payoff).

Over on G+ people have said that they like backing Kickstarters due to the possibility of expanding the scope of the project via stretch goals, which can include porting it to other systems. The downside is that it would probably be me doing the conversions, which means that it's going to take longer to finish it.

Another issue is people getting burned on Kickstarter projects, whether they are incredibly late, don't deliver on their promises, or both (and you know who you are). That is, of course, assuming they ever come out (you also know who you are). So if this is something you'd back lemme know, plus anything you'd like to see for stretch goals. If this isn't something you'd back tell me why, especially if there's something I can do to get you to back it.

GM's Day Sale
DriveThru RPG is running a week-long sale, in which they are marking down hundreds of titles by 30% or more, including our entire product catalog!

Seeing as I forgot about this when I put The Pirate on sale, I set it back to it's original price, and then marked it down 30%, which is 9% more than it was before. When Drivethru's sale ends, I'll put it back and keep the March sale rolling.

I'm not going through the motions of updating the bundles, since right now if you get them individually you'll still save a good deal more than if you got the bundle.

So, here's your chance to snag a bunch of high-quality, high-content classes and magic items at a considerable discount!

GM's Day Sale!

Over on DriveThru RPG they're running a GM's Day Sale, which is actually more of a GM's week sale since it runs for a week. There are a bunch of titles marked down 30%, including our entire catalog.

Seeing as I forgot about this when I put The Pirate on sale, I set it back to it's original price, and then marked it down 30%, which is 9% more than it was before. When Drivethru's sale ends, I'll put it back and keep the March sale rolling.

I'm not going through the motions of updating the bundles, since right now if you get them individually you'll still save a good deal more than if you got the bundle.

So, here's your chance to snag a bunch of high-quality, high-content classes and magic items at a considerable discount!

Fright Night Art & Rules Update

It's been several months since I talked about Fright Night. Ever since Melissa pushed me to start doing art myself for A Sundered World, we've decided against trying to Kickstart it again and just have me draw all of the five-ish pieces we were initially aiming for. Here's the cover for the Creature Factory section:


Since the entire game relies on film terminology, I'm going for a rough, "storyboard" kind of look.

In addition over the past few months we've done more playtest sessions with some other players, and even a few other groups (sometimes with them running the game to see how it worked out). I haven't blogged any play reports because I've been insanely busy with a variety of projects (including, well, Fright Night), but some of the highlights include a prisoner shipment getting picked off by aliens in Australia, a whaling crew fighting off zombies (which culminated in a fight against a zombie whale), and a clan of hillbillies getting pulverized by a particularly violent ghost.

Though only one of the sessions was kind of meh (which, unfortunately, was run by yours truly), we still ended up tweaking the game some more.

The way the game works is that each Character takes turns having a block of playtime focused on their character (a Scene). The Director (ie, the GM) builds Scenes by rolling on a pair of tables and using the results as guidelines: the character might learn, find, lose, or see something, suffer damage (either from the Monster, an Extra, or the environment), or have nothing really happen at all.

It used to be that both tables had six results, which meant that you had an equal chance of anything happening. After one session in which the Director rolled a bunch of Extra Deaths, he proposed a change: have the tables vary as the game progresses. Again, the game already uses a lot of cinema terminology (Director, Movie, Set, Scenes, Extras, Actor, etc), so why not have the game better follow a kind of three-act structure?

So there are now three sets of tables, one for each Act. As you accrue Climax successes the game transitions from Act I to Act II, then from Act II to Act III. Each successive set of tables changes the odds of each result, so you're more likely to get a Nothing, Jump Scare, or Asset in Act I, while in Act III you can expect more Extras to die and Characters to suffer damage.

Something else we clarified was forcing Cool rolls to avoid having the Character do something stupid or disastrous, fighting the Monster at the end (including an option for an Instant-Death ending), and suggestions on handling Character recovery (in case you have a lot of downtime, or your Movie has access to futuristic medicine or magical healing).

It's been about a year since we started doing this, and we're excited that it's almost done (and all "in-house" to boot). The next game we plan on making using this game system (which we're calling Treatment) is probably going to be something superhero oriented.

GM's Day Sale
DriveThru RPG is running a week-long sale, in which they are marking down hundreds of titles by 30% or more, including our entire product catalog!

Seeing as I forgot about this when I put The Pirate on sale, I set it back to it's original price, and then marked it down 30%, which is 9% more than it was before. When Drivethru's sale ends, I'll put it back and keep the March sale rolling.

I'm not going through the motions of updating the bundles, since right now if you get them individually you'll still save a good deal more than if you got the bundle.

So, here's your chance to snag a bunch of high-quality, high-content classes and magic items at a considerable discount!
March 02, 2015
Posted by David Guyll

A SJW (Pathetically) Strikes Back

Waaay back in November I wrote a post about someone asking if he had said something wrong in one of Tim's pity posts.

The short of it is that someone made a joke at Tim's character's expense, so he did what no rational, well-adjusted adult would do: he went on the internet and whined about it, forgetting that if you make a public pos, that not everyone is just going to tell you what you want to hear.

See, Tim is one of (unfortunately) many arm chair slacktavists that thinks, among other nonsensical things, every group should have a woman, and if you can't find one that someone should play a female character so that the group can have "a woman's perspective", because apparently straight white men think they know what women want.

But why bring Tim up again? Well, I'd been noticing for the past few days people trickling in from a site called donotlink to my Class Warfare review. I couldn't see where it was originally coming from, but I mentioned it on Twitter (and made sure to blast the review link again), and someone pointed out that it was coming from Tim's latest Dungeon World "guide".

Ooof course.

It's an 8-page wall of text that, in addition to making misleading, objectively false claims that with Class Warfare you can do things that you "couldn't ever do with regular level 1 DW characters" (I guess most GMs only let you use very specific third-party resources? I mean, my first Dungeon World character was a kobold fighter that could hurl fire at 2nd-level), purports to prove a very specific part of my Class Warfare review "wrong".

I'd say it's flattering that he thinks my opinion matters so much that he just has to mention it, but from what I've seen he's both a mediocre designer and sycophantic writer that doesn't even have the guts to accurately portray my stance or even use a proper link, so it's really just sadly humorous. Here's what he says:

"One review has mentioned that no one would ever take specialities like Shopkeeper, Landed Gentry, or Luminary because they are counter to the idea of Dungeon World (going into a dangerous dungeon) but that is wrong."

There's a footnote at the end that refers to page 38 of Dungeon World, which clarifies that any place filled with danger and opportunity could be labeled a dungeon, something Tim apparently thinks is foreign to me. Here's what I actually said in the review:

"There are a number of specialties that I couldn't see anyone using, especially in a typical Dungeon World game, like the fool, pilgrim, luminary, merchant, landed gentry, and shopkeeper.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to roll+WIS to see if you have an item in stock? Fuck going into a dungeon, managing a store is where it's at! Hell, once you hit 6th-level you can even pick a move that lets you check your store for stuff that you shouldn't have.

Not sure why anyone would actually do this, and I have no idea why anyone would even choose this move, as in most cases it just puts you in some sort of nebulous trouble."

I'm sure there are people out there that want to play a shopkeeper (hell, people bitched about 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons not having official rules for weaving baskets and begging on the street), which is why I said that I couldn't see anyone using them "especially in a typical Dungeon World game": in my 20+ years of playing role-playing games I've yet to have a player that wants to play a shopkeeper or a merchant. Never come up.

What I really love is that Tim doesn't even ask one of the fucking obvious questions (besides why the hell Shopkeeper is in the Adventurer category, of course): if I own a shop, but don't take Shopkeeper for the Inventory move, then what? Presumably I don't need a specific move to manage an inventory, so then why would I bother taking the specialty at all? Why not just track my inventory like a normal person? That sounds a lot better than rolling to likely not having something.

I've never even seen published adventures for various dungeon crawler games that assume or recommend a character own a store (or land). Sure, there's been the occasional urban crawl, but even those don't make any mention of players running characters better suited to busting tables. The closest thing that comes to mind are various adventure paths and rules where characters can earn strongholds.

On that note, here's some more nonsense:

"Everyone of these specialties create ties to the world. Your character has their own place. They might be murdering but at least they are not Hobos. The group will have a safe base of operations that also functions as a hub for new adventure.

When starting the first session make sure that your place is well defined. Ask how it looks and what its name is. Ask about the land and the neighbors and what problems you have. These problems can go great into the first adventure thing the group will do. Ask questions like crazy about this place until everyone can picture it in their head since you will be spending a lot of time there.

As a player make sure that the other characters are connected to your place. If everyone would rather be somewhere else then hanging out in your keep or tavern than something isn’t going quite right. Consider giving them jobs/titles at your place to bind them to the place and increase everyone is investment in it."

The funny thing is that owning a store, land, a fortress, or whatever is utterly independent from having a specific specialty (or even a class or compendium class). In A Sundered World one of the starting questions is whether the characters (or even just *gasp* one character) owns a ship: in our current campaign Melissa's kobold pirate is bonded to a ship. There's no Ship Captain class, compendium class, or specialty: anyone can own a ship, whether you're a fighter, a shaman, a nomad, or an oni.

That's the great thing about tabletop role-playing games (even ones which measured acquisition of wealth): if I want the players to run a shop, or another player wants to run a shop, they can just run a fucking shop. There's no need to devote a portion of your class to a starting move that will often result in your store having damaged or missing stock, or an advanced move that will often result in no one being happy with your business.

In closing, again, you're better served putting in the actual work in designing your own classes to do what you want, and playing the game in whatever way works best for your group. Tim's one of the few people I've had the misfortune of talking to that thinks there's a "wrong" way to go about it.

Dungeon World: A Pirate's Life For You!

UPDATE: Due to DriveThru RPG's GM's Day Sale, our entire catalog has been marked down 30% for the next week, including The Pirate. Once their sale ends we'll put The Pirate back to 21% off for the rest of the month (barring any other sales I forgot about). So, hey, you can get it even cheaper right now!

Throughout the month of March, The Pirate is going to be on sale (and our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles have been adjusted accordingly).

Not only that, but in addition to the digest-book containing the class, new equipment, new magic items, and a pair of compendium classes, it's been updated using the new character sheet I designed:

One of the problems I've run into while designing new classes and even just playing the game is a lack of space using the "official" character sheet template.

The space devoted to ability scores, damage, armor, and hit points? It's fucking huge, and there's no reason for it. The bottom half off the heart graphic for Hit Points is way too small. There's also rarely any room on the sheet to add in other moves, whether they're homebrewed, or come from a multiclass move or compendium class. Finally, a good chunk of the gear section is devoted for gear that you don't even have.

This sheet moves the gear to the front and gives you plenty of space to work with. Yeah, you'll have to fill it in your gear by hand, but...oh well? It's not like Dungeons & Dragons, where you have to record a huge list of itemized supplies and tools: you just write in "adventuring gear (5 uses, 1 weight)", and you're done.

The back is fairly similar to the original in that it features all of the advanced moves, but whatever space isn't used up is reserved for notes and other moves:
So, there ya go. If you like this layout, great: it's what I'm going to be using going forward. If you don't, lemme know why not so I can modify it accordingly.

Cthulhu Wars: Playing Great Cthulhu

Cthulhu is not only the most widely known Great Old One in the Lovecraftian mythos, he's also the figurehead of the easiest faction in Cthulhu Wars: you start out relatively safe from two of the Factions, you rake in Spellbooks very quickly (and essentially freely), and once you Awaken Cthulhu he becomes insanely, King-in-Yellow cheap to bring back if he dies.

We finally managed to do a Hangout game last week, and Shane easily beat everyone despite not having played before, playing via Hangout (so he didn't always have a good view of the entire board), having blurry images for a Faction sheet and Spellbooks, and forgetting to use Cthulhu's Devour ability throughout the entire game.

Anyway, not that you're really going to need them, here are some tips to playing the Great Cthulhu Faction.

Minions, Monsters, & Masters
Where other Factions have 0 Combat Monsters that can gain special abilities (Black Goat's Ghoul and Crawling Chaos's Nightgaunts), or Monsters with variable Combat (everything from King in Yellow), your Monsters are pretty straightforward:

Cultist
Like most factions these can't fight. Aside from giving you Power, building Gates, and soaking up hits in a Battle, they're also useful for feeding to your Shoggoths with the Absorb Spellbook, or getting some extra Deep Ones in a pinch with the Devolve Spellbook.

Deep One (4)
A basic 1 Combat monster. Unlike other 1 Power Monsters they lack Spellbook-bestowed special abilities, but at least they're always good offensively in a Battle.

Like Cultists they're also useful for soaking up hits when you Battle (or sacrificing to Nightgaunts and Flying Polyps), or feeding to Shoggoths if you have the Absorb Spellbook.

If you have the Devolve Spellbook, try to keep one or two in your Pool so you can swap them out with your Cultists as needed.

Shoggoth (2)
The perfect middle-ground, these guys have 2 Combat (putting them on par with the 3 Power Monsters from other Factions), but can be really souped up with the Absorb Spellbook to the tune of +3 Combat (just for one Battle, obviously).

Starspawn (2)
At 3 Combat (the highest Combat of any individual Monster) these not only pack a huge punch, but if you have the Regenerate Spellbook they can soak two Kills before dying (or one Pain and one Kill to just run away).

Cthulhu
Unlike the rest of the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu has a static 6 Combat. This isn't too bad early on, but in mid- to late-game he'll most certainly lag behind the rest (especially fucking Nyarlathotep). The upside is that every time you Awaken him you get an Elder Sign Token, he gets to automatically Devour a monster for free before Combat dice are rolled, and he only costs 4 Power to re-Awaken.

Spellbooks
Given that you get a Spellbook during the first Doom Phase, for controlling three Gates in ocean zones (which you can do in the first game round), Awakening Cthulhu, fighting, and having five Spellbooks, you're probably going to finish your collection first. Crawling Chaos can get some pretty quickly, but you have to use up your Action and spend Power: Cthulhu just gets them by virtue of doing shit you were gonna do anyway.

Absorb (Pre-Battle)
For each Cultist or Monster you feed to your Shoggoth, it gains +3 Combat for that Battle. You should get this pretty early on.

Devolve (Ongoing)
At the end of any player's Action you can transform a Cultist into a Deep One.

This can be used if a Monster or Great Old One tries to mosey on in and Devour one of your Cultists: as soon as it moves, just turn it into a Deep One. Yeah, it'll probably die anyway, but at least the opposing Faction won't get a small Power bump later. Unless the other Factions are giving you a lot of grief, I'd hold up on this.

Dreams (Action: Cost 3)
You pick an area with an enemy Cultist and replace it with one from your Pool. The opposing player gets to choose which Cultist gets replaced.

I've rarely seen this used, as it costs 3 Power and you're likely to end up spending more Power to keep your Cultist safe. It's best against a faction that is starved or out of Power, so you can also benefit from the controlled Gate on the following round. Unless there are lots of isolated Cultists scattered about, you can probably wait until your forth or later Spellbook for this one.

Regenerate (Post-Battle)
Your Starspawn can now soak up two hits per Battle. This means they can take two Kill results before dying, but if you apply a Kill and Pain result then it's still only Pained. Definitely get this sooner than later.

Submerge (Action: Cost 1)
Cthulhu and any Cultists and Monsters you want are removed from the map, and on your following turn you can spend 1 Power to drop them anywhere on the map. This should be one of your earliest Spellbooks.

You can use this to move a huge mob of Units about quickly and cheaply. Just removing your units can put pressure on the other Factions, but if you have all six Spellbooks you can drop in and Battle immediately (since Battle becomes Unlimited with all six Spellbooks).

Yha Nihlei (Ongoing)
As long as Cthulhu is Awakened you gain +1 Power for each enemy-controlled gate that is in an Ocean zone. Unless the other Factions are building in Ocean Zones (which they shouldn't be), you can probably wait on this.

Strategies
Obviously how well this game plan works depends on what the other Factions do and how they react to you, but here's a solid opening strategy:

You need 10 Power to Awaken Cthulhu (which you want to do as quickly as possible), so start out by moving two Cultists (ideally into ocean zones) and building a few Gates. This will not only give you a serious Power boost on the next round, but if you manage to get both of your new Gates in the ocean you'll also get a Spellbook (control three Gates in ocean zones).

If you think other factions might gun for your Cultists, go with Devolve so you can turn them into Deep Ones and at least deny them a bit of Power by Sacrificing your Cultists. Otherwise get Absorb.

You want Absorb, because on the second round—assuming you have three Gates and enemies aren't trundling towards you—you'll have just enough Power to Awaken Cthulhu and Summon a Shoggoth. With the Shoggoth and Absorb, you can gobble up a Cultist for some extra Combat dice in case another Faction tries to attack you.

Now if you couldn't get a third Gate then hold off on Awakening Cthulhu for now, otherwise you might find yourself powerless, literally, to stop other Factions from moving in and/or eating your Cultists: Crawling Chaos can cover distance quickly (remember that even 0 Combat Monsters can Devour Cultists), and Black Goat can use Shub-Niggurath to swap places with lone Cultists using Avatar.

Instead Summon a couple Shoggoths and/or Deep Ones, and really try to get your third Gate (and even a fourth if you can swing it: Australia is a good spot). If you get the third Gate up on this round, take the Devolve Spellbook so you can pop out some Deep Ones if you have to, or Regenerate if you think you'll be safe.

Once you get Cthulhu up that's when you take the Submerge Spellbook. This will allow you to cover great distances quickly and drop him in on crowded areas. Yellow Sign is probably an easy target, since they need to run The King in Yellow around the board to desecrate specific zones. Don't be afraid to heedlessly throw Cthulhu into Battle as often as possible, because:

  • He gets to auto-Devour a Monster or Cultist, which means you'll always get a Spellbook right away unless you're fighting a Great Old One one-on-one.
  • If you land in an area and Battle multiple enemies, you might get lucky and Kill two more, which will net you your fifth Spellbook.
  • Cthulhu costs a paltry 4 Power to re-Awaken.
  • You get an Elder Sign Token each time you Awaken him, and Doom Points are really the name of the game.

After you get your fifth Spellbook, on the following round you'll get your sixth. Once you have all six Spellbooks everything changes, because now you can use Submerge, and on the following turn appear and Battle right away. You can combine this with Devolve to put a Cultist back in your Pool, appear on top of a gate, slaughter everyone, then Recruit a Cultist to claim the Gate.

The only Faction I'd be wary of is Crawling Chaos: in any Battle in which Nyarlathotop participates in, if your Great Old One is Pained or Killed, they can snag 2 Elder Sign Tokens. Technically they can opt to gain Power equal to half the cost of your Great Old One, but since they'll only get 2 off of Cthulhu they're likely to just snag the two tokens.

I'd recommend leaving your Monsters at home guarding Gates, because other Factions might try attacking once you send Cthulhu out. Again, Cthulhu is cheap and helps you rack up Doom Points.

If Great Cthulhu has a weakness, it's that the only way you can get Elder Sign Tokens aside participating in the Ritual of Annihilation is to Awaken Cthulhu. Other Factions have a fairly reliable way of doing it one or more times each round: Black Goat can sacrifice a Cultist, Yellow Sign can get them via Desecration once Hastur has been Awakened, and Crawling Chaos can get two if they Kill or even merely Pain a Great Old One.

So, be aggressive with Cthulhu, build and control as many Gates as you can, and once you've got a bunch definitely do the Ritual of Annihilation if you have the Power to spare. Use Dreams to snatch an isolated Gate whenever the opportunity presents itself.

February Announcements
First things first, The Cultist went on sale (on Friday the 13th, no less). Though it's been very well received, there's been a...whisper of "criticism" about it.

Second, throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $22 nets you eleven twelve—now that The Cultist is out—classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.
February 26, 2015
Posted by David Guyll

Dungeon World: Shapeshifter Shift

Like most of the Dungeon World classes, I don't like the druid.

Part of my problem is By Nature Sustained: I think it's kind of strange that all druids no longer need to eat or drink, period (just like I think it's strange that all cleric's have Turn Undead).

It would be one thing if it was an advanced move, or a druid of the forest didn't need to eat so long as she was exposed to sunlight, but just a blanket exemption from eating and drinking? Come on: even animals have to eat and drink.

Really though the big thing is that I just don't like Shapeshifter. If you don't have the book on hand and/or are too lazy to check it out, here's the move in its entirety:

When you call upon the spirits to change your shape, roll+WIS. ✴On a 10+ hold 3. ✴On a 7–9 hold 2. ✴On a miss hold 1 in addition to whatever the GM says. 

You may take on the physical form of any species whose essence you have studied or who lives in your land: you and your possessions meld into a perfect copy of the species’ form. You have any innate abilities and weaknesses of the form: claws, wings, gills, breathing water instead of air. You still use your normal stats but some moves may be harder to trigger—a housecat will find it hard to do battle with an ogre. The GM will also tell you one or more moves associated with your new form. Spend 1 hold to make that move. Once you’re out of hold, you return to your natural form. At any time, you may spend all your hold and revert to your natural form.

I've heard some people complain that it's confusing and vague, others about its overall utility and combat power. While it is confusing and vague (especially for new Dungeon World players), that's not really why I don't like it.

I don't even much care about the utility: that's Dungeons & Dragons-grade bullshit, where people whine about how easy access to flying is "broken" because you can just fly over pits and such. Oh no, the druid can turn into a bird and, I dunno, carry a rope up a cliff face (because cliffs are a huge deal), or even have everyone hop into a bag of holding and just cart that about.

If you think that that's bad for...some reason, consider this: at 1st-level a Dungeon World druid can feasibly transform into a roc and carry the whole party about, as-is. In our Expedition to Ravenloft With Dungeon World campaign, the wizard polymorphed the thief into a roc and just flew them over to Castle Ravenloft.

Pits and cliffs have frankly never been particularly meaningful obstacles in the 20 or so years I've been playing and running games so, again, don't give a shit. It's using the move in combat where it starts to overlap with why I don't like it.

See, when you change into an animal the GM tells you one or more moves that the animal form can make, and you spend 1 hold to automatically make one of them. For example, if your bear form (the bear seems to crop up a lot in druid discussions) has been given the move "maul the hell out of someone", then you can just do that over and over until you run out of hold. You revert back to human form, but can just change back and keep going.

That bit at the end there is my problem.

No, not the move "abuse", but the fact that you stay in animal form until you do some very specific things or just opt to change back. From a purely mechanical perspective I get it: if you just let a player make a "no roll" move that allows them to automatically maul people with impunity, that's going to be a problem, so you put a kind of cap on it.

But what's the fictional explanation, here? The druid turns into a bear, and if she mauls people 1-3 times she automatically reverts back. Okay, why? She can hack and slash as often as she wants (albeit likely poorly, which I'll touch on in a bit), but if she hurts enemies in a very specific way then it...runs out? That doesn't make any sense to me, and it's also more than a bit silly to envision a druid turning into a bear, mauling one or two enemies, reverting to human form, then changing right back into a bear to keep on fighting. Rinse and repeat.

Another problem is that your stats don't change at all. If you're a bear and you try to Hack and Slash, you still use your normal, non-bear Strength, whether it's +3 or -1. I get that if you're a hummingbird that you can't exactly Hack and Slash things, but against all reason whether you're an elf or bear you have the exact same odds of success and inflict the exact same amount of damage.

Having played a witch throughout an entire campaign, Melissa can confidently say that she mostly likes the Skinchanger move: instead of going with a roll-and-hold move (for all the reasons above), you can freely change (no roll) into an animal and gain all of its abilities and limitations until you change again. While it was useful, her main gripe was that if she turned into a bear (which she actually tried doing), that she is just as effective in melee combat as she was before, which is to say not at all.

We think that shapechanging moves shouldn't have such a...strange duration, and rely less on the GM pulling random moves out of their ass. Right now I'm thinking something like this:

When you spend a few moments changing into an animal that is human-sized or larger, you gain any features and limitations of the form and roll+WIS. ✴On a 10+, choose 3. ✴On a 7-9, choose 2. ✴On a miss, choose 1 in addition to whatever else the GM says.
  • You don't take -1 ongoing to INT, WIS, or CHA until you revert to human form (GM's choice)
  • You take +1 ongoing to STR, DEX, or CON until you revert to human form.
  • Gain +1 armor.
  • You gain one of the following tags: forceful, messy, 1 piercing.

With this you can change into a bear, choose +1 ongoing to STR and the forceful tag, and be able to better swat enemies about without having to change back and forth.

I specify human-sized or larger so that you can't turn into, say, a cat and get +1 armor or 1 piercing. Though, I suppose you could add in the stealthy tag to the list, so that way a cat could choose to gain +1 ongoing to DEX and stealthy.

This could be changed so that you can only transform into animals that are your size or smaller, with advanced moves that let you turn into animals with the Large and Huge tags (gaining the Reach tag, as well as Forceful and even a damage bonus).

Other advanced moves could modify what these do, or even open up new options: take +1 ongoing to a second stat, choose a second tag, choose an additional option (even on a miss), +1 damage in animal form, with the option to bump up damage to d8, and so on.

February Announcements
First things first, The Cultist went on sale (on Friday the 13th, no less). Though it's been very well received, there's been a...whisper of "criticism" about it.

Second, throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $22 nets you eleven twelve—now that The Cultist is out—classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.
February 21, 2015
Posted by David Guyll

A Sundered World: Locations, Locations, Locations

Taking a break from the race art, here are some of the location pieces I've whipped up for A Sundered World:


The skeletal remains of Bahamut are inhabited by clans of violent tarchons, great serpents, elephant-like creatures that bleed rubies, and more. This one is nearly done, I just need to add some tarchons to make it clear what the scale is.


Zaradica, a city built within the head of a dead god. It is controlled by angels, who live in seven towers suspended above the city (representing the seven virtues). Obviously this is still a work in progress: gotta finish making the towers look different, add in the rest of the buildings (and their details), and the angel gate.


Barely started on Hammerhold, dwarf capital of the Bhalen'lad Cluster. It's going to be five mountain kingdoms chained to the hammer of the dwarf god.

February Announcements
First things first, The Cultist went on sale (on Friday the 13th, no less). Though it's been very well received, there's been a...whisper of criticism about it.

Second, throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $22 nets you eleven twelve—now that The Cultist is out—classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.

A Sundered World: Episode 102

Cast
  • Agron (level 2 scion psion)
  • Katra "Crazy Gin" (level 2 kobold pirate)
  • Sirus "Ironhide" (level 2 tarchon battlemind)
  • Waive (level 2 scion nomad)

Summary
One mostly intact cambion vessel, a handful of fearful, unresponsive slaves, and about ten rations worth of "questionable meat" later, the characters realized that even if they didn't have other mouths to feed, they still wouldn't have enough food to make it to Waive's home island of Spiral Harbor.

Waive directed them to a relatively nearby island that he had been to before. It had an irregular, pillar-like shape. The wider end was capped with a lush forest, and the rest was riddled with tunnels that were inhabited by dark elves: all they had to do was evade dark elf patrols and webbing snares, fight off giant bees, and they'd be able to stock up on honey.

Easy, right?

They anchored near the forest and drifted to the island. Waive checked the nearby spatial ripples, which indicated that a trio of dark elves mounted on giant spiders had passed through recently. They probably wouldn't return again anytime soon, but Katra spotted several web lines in the forest, so they decided to just drift over it and land when they spotted a hive.

Unfortunately the dark elves had anticipated this: tendrils of webbing reached well beyond the canopy. languidly swaying in the astral winds. There was enough space that, so long as they moved slowly, there were no sudden, strong gusts of wind, and no dark elves ambushed them from below, they should be fine.

Again, easy.

Luckily none of that happened, and they eventually came across a clearing with a lone, black tree. Attached near the base of its trunk was a pale, house-sized hive. It was much larger than Waive had expected. Aside from the whole honey bit, he wasn't particularly knowledgeable about them, but figured that the bigger the hive the more honey it hopefully contained.

When they drifted past the treeline, four dog-sized bees exited the hive and loudly buzzed towards them. Ironhide floated in front of everyone else, bellowing a loud battle cry as he went. This attracted the attention of all four, but they were far more maneuverable than he was: they scattered, zipped around and behind him, latched onto his back, and began stinging him.

Agron tried picking them off with precise lances of telekinetic force, but before he could muster enough psychic energy another group emerged from the hive. They flew towards Agron and Waive, and though both were more adept at flying than Ironhide, Waive only managed to cut a few down before the other two grasped onto both of his arms and stung him as well.

Katra again went to Ironhide's aid. She sliced a few of the bees apart, and with less enemies to worry about Ironhide was able to crush the other two. Meanwhile, Agron picked the other two off of Waive. With no more bees left, Waive drove his blade through space and carved a deep gash along the hive, and Agron followed by mentally gripping both sides and tearing it even wider.

It screeched.

They stood there as the "hive" wrenched itself free of the tree and began lumbering towards them, revealing itself to be in fact also a bee. Agron and Waive struck again, and were relieved that it was enough to slay the hulking beeast. Unfortunately their relief was short-lived as not only did another pair of bees emerge, they were much larger and featured many more sharp bits than the others.

One of them slammed into Waive. It pinned him to the ground and began frenziedly slashing at him. Ironhide charged, and before he collided with it Waive slipped away through space. While Ironhide fought the other one went after Katra, who was able to easily evade it whilst scampering about the corpse of the queen.

She got some distance and then whirled about to blast the soldier bee with her conducting rod. The shot punched a hole clean through it, but it was somehow still able to stand. It came at her in a staggered rush, and when it leaped at her she slid underneath it, slicing through its chest with her sword and killing it.

They loaded up all the honey, larva, and loot they could gather (there had apparently been several "unsuccessful attempts" at harvesting their honey), which given their current state would fortunately be more than sufficient for the rest of the trip. They returned to the ship and disembarked.

When they were about halfway to their destination—as determined by Waive's precise knowledge of distance—Katra spotted another vessel in the distance. As it approached she could hear the wail of its anima reactor, which meant that it was almost certainly a cambion vessel.

The ship veered towards them, and drifted to a halt before them as the anima reactor fell mercifully silent. A cambion, or possibly a full-on devil stepped forth and floated towards them. It was dressed in fine silks, which contrasted with its monstrous scaly flesh, curled horns, and many pairs of eyes. It stopped alongside Katra's ship, and there was a flash of blinding fire. When Katra's vision recovered she saw a massive, many-armed insect-like fiend looming above the first.

Katra could hear it speak, though its mouth didn't move. He asked who among them was the captain, and when she tentatively raised her hand it genially asked her how she had "acquired" the cambion vessel they were towing. Katra explained that a group of cambions attacked them soon after they had departed from Metacarpolis. The devil stated that it believed her, and offered to purchased it for a generous sum.

Against all reason she tried haggling, and to both her surprise and relief it agreed, paying her with a stack of platinum plates before vanishing in a flash of black fire. The insect-like fiend flew past them, detached the crippled vessel, and hauled it away as the other ship departed.

They arrived at Spiral Harbor without further incident. Countless pale spires of varied heights stretched from the rib bone of a dead god. A great cathedral was suspended "above" the wider end, partially shrouded by a golden cloud of mist. The rest of the city was in a constant state of motion as ships of numerous shapes and sizes arrived and departed, and angels, people, and smaller personal vessels flitted about between the buildings and walkways.

They docked the ship and made their way to the Sky Captain's Watch, a tavern that Waive had regularly frequented what he assumed was long ago. There they met Meg, a long since retired adventurer who had inspired Waive to risk his own life exploring the world. After explaining to her what happened, Waive told her that they were looking for a medic and work. Meg told him that she would put the word out, and to check in later.

Before he left she warned him that things were different now that angels had arrived and established their cathedral. She told him to be very careful what he says and does, and not to even attempt lying to them. Agron slipped into her mind and saw that she was terrified of them, but couldn't determine exactly why.

Behind the Scenes
I've been keeping a map of the islands they've visited. It's kind of convenient that Dungeon World measures distances in rations, as there aren't days or even consistent units of time in A Sundered World. Here's what they've discovered so far:


Though spiders are still a part of their culture, dark elves are pretty different from Dungeons & Dragons dark elves.

The typical drow warrior or hunter looks like any other elf, but as they prove themselves are "rewarded" by the Weaver with various mutations: extra arms, extra eyes, chitin-like growths on their flesh, venomous fangs, and so on (there's gonna be a whole compendium class). Being transformed into a drider is seen as a blessing, and dark elf matrons are heavily mutated, huge-sized driders.

Another way they differ is that they aren't all senselessly evil (or chaotic despite having lots of laws and societal structure). Some of them are xenophobic, while others are willing to interact and trade with outsiders. It just varies from hive to hive.

Adam pitched a possible way to somewhat track time (since again there's almost never any kind of regular, reliable environmental factor to go with): cycles. Basically it's the amount of time a mortal creature can reasonably be expected to remain awake before having to sleep (or maybe its the amount of time a creature needs to sleep?). Anywho, while certainly not exact it's something.

In my first A Sundered World campaign, I made a mental note of several possible directions it could go depending on the actions of the players. I've done a similar thing in this campaign, and they're very close to effectively "triggering" one of the fronts (though they might trigger two). All I'm going to say is that it's not going to be Antikythera's Legion.

I remember back when we were writing The Pirate, some people were opposed to the Pillage & Plunder move. It lets you increase a random treasure result by 1 (and if you find coins you get +1d8), but Melissa is glad we kept it since in actual play it's already paid off quite a bit to the tune of hundreds, maybe thousands of coins.

I mentioned last time that Chris wanted to make some additional moves for The Psion, and here's what he cooked up:

Mind Trickery
When you use your mental powers to baffle, misdirect, manipulate, implant false memories or emotions on another's mind, roll +INT. *On a 10+, the effect will last until proven false or the situation changes, and choose 2. *On a 7-9, the effect will last only for a few moments, and choose 1:

  • It does not take long to take effect.
  • You do not take -1 ongoing while maintaining this effect.
  • It is not immediately obvious that the target has been manipulated.

Mind Trick Mastery
Requires: Mind Trickery
When you use mind trickery, on a 12+ the effect will last forever and you choose all three. *On a 7+, choose an additional option.

I Can Read You Like a Book
When you search a person's memories for what they know about a subject, you can use spout lore as if you are them.

We're thinking of making mind trickery a starting move, and when you make a psion you'd choose two from it, telekinesis, and telepathy. In this case, the talent background would let you start with all three instead of slippery mind.

February Announcements
First things first, The Cultist went on sale (on Friday the 13th, no less). Though it's been very well received, there's been a...whisper of criticism about it.

Second, throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $20 nets you eleven twelve—now that The Cultist is out—classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.
February 16, 2015
Posted by David Guyll

Dungeon World: New Character Sheet Layout

I like that classes in Dungeon World tend to fit on a single page (not so much that they are expected or "supposed" to). This makes it easy to just grab a sheet, check some boxes, fill in a bond or two, and get the dice rolling. I do however have several problems with the standard layout:

  • The ability scores section. So, so much wasted space.
  • The heart graphic by Hit Points. Why is the maximum section so goddamn tiny?
  • There isn't any space for other moves, like variant race moves, multiclass moves, compendium classes, etc.
  • Not a lot of space for other bits of gear.

I'd been meaning to create a new character sheet for A Sundered World, since in addition to numerous compendium classes you get to choose from any race and can opt to choose more race moves instead of class moves.

The Cultist forced my hand, as the moves and cult section were just too damned much to cram on the standard sheet. Melissa wanted to try it out, so I whipped up a pirate version for our weekly A Sundered World campain:


What do you think? Good, bad. Would you want to see something like this for our other classes?

Dungeon World: What's In a Name

UPDATED (2/21/2015): Using this post to keep track of all the whiny bullshit that gets sent my way, so at least I can have a record in one convenient post.

Back in July of last year, Melissa and I published The Witch (which hit Best Silver Seller last month, and is on sale throughout this month!).

Like The Pirate that came a month before it, Melissa put a lot of time and effort into researching witches. She initially wrote something like 30 moves, which we had to pare down before we did an open call for feedback and criticism (some of which made it in the Director's Cut of the digest-pdf that comes with it).

Anywho, in the same day the product was posted we received this little, uh, "gem":


That comment contains a link to Jacob Randolph's witch playbook. If you don't know who that is, he's the one responsible for the very late, very anemic, and very derivative Inverse World.

The next day someone else piped in that since our product had 21 more pages than his, it was probably a safe bet that they were different. And they are: ours not only more closely represents I guess what you'd call an "actual" witch, it includes a character sheet with custom graphics, additional moves that we couldn't fit on the character sheet, new gear, a bunch of new magic items, and an expanded explanation of some of the moves.

In other words, par for the course for almost all of our playbooks. As one reviewer put it:

"I just bought 6 Dungeon World-related class books from 6 different publishers. It seems the trend is to throw together a 3 page class playbook with little thought put into it and to charge me $1 per page. The only purchase of the 6 that has not been a disappointment was The Witch by Awful Good Games. Do not fret, the poor reviews for the other 5 products are coming, but I wanted to praise this product first."

Fast-foward to January of this year. We've just published another magic item volume and class, and Melissa and I decide to shake things up and have people vote on which class we should tackle next. I forget what the exact list was, but it included a cultist because I'm a huge fan of Lovecraftian horror. We let it run for a few days, and in the end the cultist won just ahead of all things the oni. Three weeks later, our completed cultist is now up on Drivethrurpg...

...along with another, less passive-aggressive comment from good ol' Jake:

At least this time I think it took him longer to make a comment.
I'm really not sure what his problem is. Well, except that he probably doesn't like my vocal dissatisfaction in regards to Inverse World (and I'm far from the only one). 

Does he think that if you push out a product first, that no one else is permitted to produce something with the same name and/or concept (even if the final product, as in the case of the witch, differs substantially)? Not that the cultist or witch are exactly rare archetypes, but his cultist came out just over two years ago (before we even started publishing game content), so it's not like we're just watching what he's doing and following suit.



The funny thing is that Melissa actually checked out his cultist preview, and his claim that our dark ritual moves are "90% identical" is more than 90% inaccurate.

Here's his move:

When you draw on a place of power to create a magical effect, tell the GM what you’re trying to achieve. Ritual effects are always possible, but the GM will give you one to four of the following conditions:

  • It can only be performed at a certain time on a certain date
  • It will require extensive setup
  • It will require a blood sacrifice from someone
  • The ritual will forward a Dark Portent
  • The ritual's methods are twisted and cruel
  • The best you can do is a twisted version, unreliable and strange
  • Something will use the ritual as a gateway

And here's ours: 

When you flip through your spellbook for a magical effect or how to craft a magical item, tell the GM what you want to do or create, and the GM will tell you:

  • What you will need.
  • How long it will take.
  • How long the spell or effects of the magic item will last.
  • Any restrictions or limitations (specific time or place, must be used or activated in a specific way, etc).
  • Any side effects (it will attract the attention of something, it will cause a plague or some calamity).

His is basically a reskin of the wizard's ritual move with some extra conditions, while our is lifted almost whole cloth from our witch class, I just added in the possible side effect and changed the Director's Cut explanation to better fit with the Lovecraftian theme.

Just for fun, here are some other differences:

  • No custom sheet.
  • d4 for damage.
  • 4 + Constitution HP.
  • The alignments are the same, but the way you fulfill them differs.
  • All of the starting moves are different, except for dark ritual, and that's really only in name.
  • We use backgrounds instead of race.
  • Our cults have stats and problems (functioning more like the hardholder from Apocalypse World), and moves for expanding your cult and defending it from outsiders.

Since the preview doesn't include advanced moves I have no idea how those differ, though I assume it's about as much, if not more.

Overall it seems that—again, like The Witch—our cultist has a different focus (and better art and meatier content). His is more about having lots of followers running around with you, while ours lets you, for starters, complete tasks for your cult in exchange for XP, perform rituals, and summon eldritch horrors. It doesn't have anything to do with hirelings unless you take the Priest and High Priest advanced moves.

I'm honestly surprised that he hasn't tried accusing us of copying Inverse World (not that it includes anything noteworthy or different from other hollow world settings) with A Sundered World (despite it being something I conceived damn near four years ago).

Update: Aaand someone pointed this out:


Hoooly shit. I'd again point out that we held a vote on this, the timeframe of two years, that a cultist isn't an uncommon archetype, that our cultist is way different in content quality and quantity, and my Lovecraft love, but you just can't reason with this degree of paranoia and pretension. 

Another Update: And it just keeps on going.

Frankly you shouldn't feel flattered, because neither you nor anything you have done influenced our cultist in any way. Again, we held a vote on G+ (over several posts) and everyone but me (and Melissa) decided on it. Get over yourself. I'm going to be very charitable and state that I'm not trying to "out do" you, and I'm certainly not going to bother copying you.

Yet Another Update (2/16/2015) 
Of course Jake's buddy Paul "Ettin" buys into his narrative. Not because any of it's actually true, but because those SJWs gotta stick together in their little hugboxes.


I love how he says that I stalk him and copy his work, especially since Jake is the one that opens with the whiny comments and can't actually point out anything that I've "copied" from him. I'll point out again that Melissa was the one who wrote The Witch, and everyone else voted on The Cultist.

See, if I really wanted to copy Jake's work I'd just half ass some moves, scribble up a shitty cover, and roll it out the door at an inflated cost. Sorry, but not really: I can't help it that I like to produce quality things.


Your review was blatantly dishonest so, yeah, it's an example of journalistic corruption, cronyism, nepotism, or whatever you want to call it. I know you SJWs can't stand to hear negative criticism (or even disagreement), but the alternative is to be honest and at least somewhat objective, and either of those are apparently anathema to your ilk.

02/21/2015 Update:

Of course he's just referring to The Cultist. I'd ask him which page out of the 30-something pages differ from Jake's version, but that'd ruin his narrative that someone is "stealing his friend's totally original ideas" (like, you know, a hollow world with a sun in the center).

What Paul really means to say is that he's pissed that his buddy is pissed because someone is more creative and more talented than he is, and like honesty, integrity, and criticism those are things that SJWs can't stand.

I'm starting to see a pattern here: when you want to be called a game designer because it sounds cool but lack the necessary qualities, you just go full-SJW and blame your shortcomings on everyone else!

February Sale
Throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $20 nets you eleven new classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.

Dungeon World: The Cultist

The Cultist is now up on Drivethrurpg!

Given all the other Lovecraftian content I've created over the years, I'm honestly surprised it took us this long to make a cultist class. You start out being able to requisition resources from your cult, summon monsters, perform dark rituals, and knowing things that people just shouldn't know.

As you level up you get to choose how you grow: do you become more influential in your cult; do your monsters become bigger and better; do rituals become easier to pull off; do you delve ever deeper into secrets best left forgotten?

In addition to a revamped character sheet layout (I had to in order to fit everything on the sheet), there's also a digest-sized pdf that includes:

  • The cultist (obviously), along with 20 advanced moves.
  • Some new bits of gear, including magic scrolls that anyone can use, and an ancient tome that lets you uncover forgotten or unknowable secrets at the cost of your sanity.
  • Two magic items: the flute of the outer servitor and silver key.
  • The child of the goat compendium class.
  • Four Lovecraftian monsters: the dark young, flying polyp, hound of Tindalos, and thulhid.
  • A deeper look at your cult, cultist moves, and items.
EDIT: Our All of the Playbooks bundle has been updated with The Cultist, so you can nab it, along with every other class we've done, at a considerable discount.

Previews
If you don't like/want the background (say, for printing at home), we've included a second print book file without it.



February Announcements

Apparently someone thinks that making your own very distinct version of a common archetype, and using the same naming scheme that everyone else does qualifies as copying their work.

Anywho, throughout the entire month of February we're putting both The Witch and The Bard on sale.

We've also modified their prices in our Awfully Big Playbook and All of the Playbooks bundles, making them just that much more tantalizing than they already are: $20 nets you eleven new classes, which come with design notes and clarifications, custom character sheets, additional moves, magic items, and even compendium classes.

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