Fraser Simons: I’m running the Veil in a play-by-post setting, and we’re all having a blast!

Fraser Simons: I’m running the Veil in a play-by-post setting, and we’re all having a blast!

Fraser Simons: I’m running the Veil in a play-by-post setting, and we’re all having a blast! I have a predicament, though, and could use your input:

We have an Empath who picked “Sling” as a move, and I’m a little confused by the “Exclude someone from your sling” option. It seems like it’s really only relevant in the 10+ result when you can pick at least one other mechanical effect for the sling (i.e. how do you exclude someone from the mechanical effects of a sling that does nothing mechanical?) This would be a non-issue if the results awarded choose 3 on a 10+, and choose 2 on a 7-9.

Was there a game-balance reason you went with the max of choose 2? Other thoughts?

THE EMPATH – Absorb move

THE EMPATH – Absorb move

THE EMPATH – Absorb move

Hi, I have many doubts regarding this one.

First of all, it is not mentioned explicitly, but I assume The Empath can read the emotional state of anyone around. Since the move says you know beforehand what emotion you want to absorb and how many spikes it has, it makes sense for me you just know their general superficial feelings. Is that so or are you supposed to guess based on what you see them doing?

– ‘Choose and emotion and absorb all their spikes’. Do you get all those spikes yourself in a 1-to-1 basis? So, if I were to absorb 3 spikes in Powerful from a teammate I get 3 spikes in Powerful myself. Am I right?

– Can I do it partially? Maybe absorb 1 o 2 spikes? Do I have to drain an emotion completely and absorb all its spikes?

Doubs regarding the options to choose:

– ‘You get +1 Flow’ You only get 1 Flow no matter how many spikes you absorb, right?

– ‘You don’t spike that emotion yourself’. Does choosing this once protect you from all and any spikes you absorb? You may absorb a looooot of spikes if you choose the last option too.

– ‘You completely clear out or fill up all their emotion spikes’

This is a tricky one. Since the move itself already says ‘choose and emotion and absorb all their spikes’, what do you mean by completely clear out all their emotion spikes? All spikes in all emotions? If that is so, do you get all those spikes for yourself?

‘… or fill up all their emotion spikes’ Do you mean all in every emotion or all spikes in one emotion? If you do not choose not to spike yourself, do you get spiked for spiking someone the same way you do for absorbing their spikes? Is it still 1-to-1? So if I you have 2 spikes in peaceful and I spike you for 3 more to fill all your emotion spikes in peaceful, do I get 3 spikes myself unless I also choose ‘You don’t spike that emotion yourself’?

– Can you still get +1 Flow when you do not absorb anything but fill someone else emotion spikes? Or maybe you have to absorb one emotion, then you can choose to fill all emotion spikes in another?

My head is a complete mess right now, sorry 馃檨

Fraser Simons, heeelp!

What are people’s experiences with spiked emotional states?

What are people’s experiences with spiked emotional states?

What are people’s experiences with spiked emotional states?

At first glance, it seems like the Alleviate move makes it a bit too easy to end the emotion spike. Just roll once at -2 and it’s over. Has anyone tinkered with Alleviate to make it harder to end the spike, or made it more desirable to maintain the spiked state?

Fraser Simons I picked up the final version from DTRPG last night and all the bookmarks were gone!

Fraser Simons I picked up the final version from DTRPG last night and all the bookmarks were gone!

Fraser Simons I picked up the final version from DTRPG last night and all the bookmarks were gone! Any plans to fix that? It makes the book much harder to use. Thanks.

The latest lowres version on DTRPG jumped in file size from 3.6MB to 37MB – I imagine this was the new art added,…

The latest lowres version on DTRPG jumped in file size from 3.6MB to 37MB – I imagine this was the new art added,…

The latest lowres version on DTRPG jumped in file size from 3.6MB to 37MB – I imagine this was the new art added, and it wasn’t compressed or scaled down for the lowres version.

Typo on page 340: “be weary of how much information you’re giving”. Should be “be wary”.

Typo on page 340: “be weary of how much information you’re giving”. Should be “be wary”.

Typo on page 340: “be weary of how much information you’re giving”. Should be “be wary”.

Ran my first session of The Veil last night over Roll20.

Ran my first session of The Veil last night over Roll20.

Ran my first session of The Veil last night over Roll20. Three PCs, one of them quite familiar with PbtA, and two new to the engine.

The session generally went well. The Playbooks give enough flavor to develop a character, with plenty of open space to really discover who they are. The player characters were fun, interesting, and were each supported by the rules in engaging the scenario in interesting ways as their players saw fit.

The core game has a lot of promise, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

In our one-shot scenario, we had The Apparatus (Jam – pleasurebot), The Architect (Jam – corporate security), and The Honorbound (Jam – PI / information courier / Giri enforcer). We only played through a single scene, which started with violence, followed a rather amusing use of moves, and ended with the heroes subduing their attackers and poised to chase down whoever sent the crew after them.

The Apparatus – the restriction of The Apparatus to a single emotional state was fantastic. The player was able to springboard some really creative play off of that playbook element, and this led to some fun times.

In our one shot we didn’t get too much time to explore the Apparatus’ humanity. I think that aspect has a lot of promise to it; however, i also felt under-prepared by the beta document to delve too much into humanity. It hasn’t “clicked” for me yet.

The Architect – I found some difficulty implementing the subconscious aspects of The Architect, who rolled poorly often (which makes for interesting play!). Next time i run The Veil with an Architect in play, i’m going to include specific questions about the subconscious elements to help me develop at least a motivation and two or three moves for each element. That way, when they occur in game i have some framework to implement them consistently on-the-fly.

The presence of The Architect establishes a minimum baseline for how important The Veil and the digiscape are to these characters, and i found that useful. However, i also found myself at a loss for how to portray The Veil for the other characters; i think some experience in the system, getting my feet wet in The Veil, will help me there.

We also noticed that The Architect can use an Improvement to add a subconscious element – as i understand it, these elements largely manifest to undermine The Architect. is this correct? I definitely like the idea of players working to add colorful complications to their lives, but it seems like an expensive thing to add as an advancement, when instead it can come from the special move, or an MC move (presumably that’s within the MC’s authority when given the golden opportunity….).

The Honorbound – This playbook was a lot of fun, and its session-starting move provided a solid springboard for the first session. The playbook content helped really set the stage for the One Shot, and there was plenty of unexplored content that could be drawn on for further sessions.

I do find the playbook moves rather sparse for actions to distinguish the character, though. One of the default moves, Honor, comes into play only when you are reluctant to do your own duty. While this is a fun element to challenge the Honorbound on, if it happens routinely then that playbook is more about someone on the cusp of abandoning its honor code, than someone strictly enforcing it.

I tend to think The Art of the Pursuit would be a better default move, if it was rewritten to apply not just while actively on the hunt, but also when directly engaging them (i think this could be great to build up those encounters).

States vs. Stats – i think this mechanic is quite innovative, and was looking forward to see it in play. i did worry that it would be hard to explain, particularly to the players with no PbtA experience, but they took to it really, really well. The weakest link was my MCing around this – while i asked them about their emotions, i should have spent a little more time exploring the States when they made moves. There is clearly some fertile ground to explore the characters through this system.

We also didn’t get to any spikes in the game; even with The Apparatus. We spent a little longer than anticipated on character creation, and only played through a single scene. I’m interested to see how spikes play out, and think my players last night would have really made that a lot of fun as they spiked and had to choose how to alleviate it.

Final Thoughts – it’s a fun game, and i look forward to more experiences in The Veil. The book needs some editing, and i think the art assets could be immensely valuable in helping with inspiration (the pinterest gallery linked in Google+ was great for that, by the way!).

I also think i’ll create a list of “motivations” for NPCs, along with appropriate quirks and traits. in Dungeon World, the knacks and instincts charts have been invaluable to me, along with the Funnel World Physical and Personality traits. Similar tables to quickly give NPCs a little more life would be very handy.

That said, i think the implementation of Beliefs, and the discussions of Fictional Flags and Playbook Focus are fantastic tools to help the MC tailor responses and challenges for the players at the table.

Will definitely play again, and perhaps with this same cast of characters!