Hello everyone.

Hello everyone.

Hello everyone.

Well we finally managed to get to it. Several months later than intended my group and I managed to start our campaign of the Watch.

Our first session was a Defend the Fort Ironbriar. It flowed as designed with players still a little unsure about everything. Roles were made and narration happened. Everyone seemed to get into their characters well (rarely a challenge for my group thankfully). One character had Mila, an NPC get captured as a consequence.

Corporal Maegara the Raven decided that they would immediately move into a rescue mission for Mila. Lyeda the Fox performed a ritual, and her spirit guide showed her where Mila had been taken in the aftermath and confusion to the battle.

This ended up being a small “mini-mission” and ran smoothly. They were able to rescue Mila before the sorceress was able to perform some dark ritual that will corrupt the surrounding lands and Mila seems to have suffered no lasting effects.

They went back to fort Ironbriar and had their downtime.

The squad is now followed by large black birds, about the size of American Ravens but with serrated beaks and barbed talons. The squad does not seem to really care though. Ravens are a common site after a battle and they are near the front where all manner of creatures are warped. (Thank you Bryanna for the Raven inspiration from your own game at BigBadCon)

Downtime went well. There were some touching moments and some moments of strain as nightmares plagued Kylara the Wolf’s sleep. The NPC Deshi checked in on her and though Kylara felt more weary than before her sleep, she seemed to appreciate Deshi’s concern.

This ended our game on Friday the 6th.

The second session started with the mission to Guard a Supply Caravan. The town of Tickle Creek (thank my player Mike for that name lol) is suffering a debilitating illness. The squad is sent with medical supplies and a mandate to conscript any likely candidates for the Watch.

It’s a three day ride to Tickle Creek and on the second day the squad sees smoke to one side, at least a few hours out. The smoke is strangely colored and the squad faces a choice. They end up splitting the squad. Two of the most competent NPCs Tyla and Mousic continue with the Thason caravan. The remainder of the squad go to investigate the smoke.

Lyeda the Fox is scouting ahead with their NPC scouting partner Dalu. They report a caravan has evidently been taken and the wagons are what is causing the smoke. 6 Hollowed warriors are in the area and the squad quickly handled the situation. During the battle Lyeda realizes that her scouting had failed partially and there were several sentries joining the battle from their flank. Lyeda and Dalu rush to cover the flank and in the ensuing fight, Dalu is wounded.

Lyeda feels ashamed and guilty for the failing and the shadow takes hold of them. In the aftermath of the short skirmish Lyeda rounds on Dalu and dresses her down for Lyeda’s own failure. Dalu is hurt and the rest of the squad is shocked. Then it’s discovered that another half dozen Hollowed left this location and moved towards the town.

Their own caravan is now in danger.

We had gone really long on the initial part of the mission. So the next portion was really brief and the other force was taken care of and they were able to rejoin their caravan.

At this point a couple of our players were getting very tired so we decided to do Downtime at the beginning of the next session.

So one thing that has come up is that I have 5 players, so two people are always on “Watch their Backs”. Because some of my players tend towards “optimal” performance, it’s unlikely that they will change up the mission roles going forward until there are some compelling reasons. Add to this that the characters filling the other three roles have actually been rolling superbly, the two players on WTB have felt a little removed. They’ve only really been able to make a difference on one occasion.

I am thinking that one thing I can do is that after the main roles have all narrated the battle and the scene is set, I can let the WTB players have a few moments to narrate their own characters roles in the fight.

Are there any other things you can recommend to help those players feel more engaged throughout the mission?

Overall the game is going well. I have abandoned much of my prep work on the shadow and I am just letting what the players seem to find uncomfortable guide me in what to showcase.

One thing that seems to be a challenge is that the players really want to nail down a specific attack strategy and specific actions during a mission like you would in a more traditional RPG. We had a conversation at the end of the last game and I think they are starting to understand we need to let go of these assumptions and just let the narration stand without trying to nail down all the details before they narrate their scenes.

Do you see that a lot?

Hope you are all well.

An interesting observation.

An interesting observation.

An interesting observation.

I am finding it actually uncomfortable to apply the stereotypes to the Shadow. Nothing really over the top, but specifically my players have chosen for one of the Shadow;’s servants to be “Women corrupted into idols and objects of veneration”.

I have thought of a couple ways to represent that in the game . . . just every time I sit down to flesh it out just a little . . . I feel, icky.

Does anyone else experience this? lol

Also, would anyone mind giving me some feedback once I settle on something. I really want these elements of my game to make an impression

Today I have been considering the Shadow in my Campaign.

Today I have been considering the Shadow in my Campaign.

Today I have been considering the Shadow in my Campaign.

The Enemy is Darkly Sorcerous, and Reality Warping.

The Enemy Amplifies the voices of the Shadow Held, Crushes Autonomy, and Grinds down the willful.

For Darkly Sourcerous I figured I will use that as the basis for it’s powers. Ancient rituals, blood magic, etc. No fireballs or lightning. The powers on display I want to be subtle and that flows straight into Reality Warping.

So I felt like I could apply this in a lot of reality warping ways.

– Powerful enemies can bend time and space in limited ways

– Powerful enemies are able to manipulate light and wind and other elements in limited ways

I imagine this being showcased in battle scenes and gives me ways to carve out little moments in the combat where time slows, or seems to jump around. Disorienting shifts in the environment, similar to when Frodo wears the One Ring. Everything goes all inverted and warped.

Also, lands coming under sway of the Shadow will start to warp and twist.

– Sounds and colors become distorted and warped.

– Physical objects feel off. Soft things feel prickly electric, solid things slip from the fingers, your eyes cannot seem to focus on other things.

Trying to work these themes into what the shadow does.

Amplify the voices of the shadow held. I thought this made a good battle showpiece as well. Women set up as beautiful weapons their voices like that of the Siren and Banshee.

Then back in the clan lands, perhaps particularly weak people are starting to talk peace. Sought out by Agents of the Shadow, they begin to speak out and people are starting to listen!

Crushing autonomy, I am thinking that some of the voices of the Shadow Held also subvert the cause of the Unification. In the Fundamentalists/Traditionalst They insist that the clans MUST return to the old ways. That the clans are losing because they disbanded and are not fighting the ways that the gods intended. Radicals under the shadow will propose increasingly severe changes that take choices away from people. Like each craft must wear assigned colors. No symbols of the old clans are allowed anywhere and all punishable by increasingly draconian punishments.

Grinds down the willful. I think I am just going to represent this as the result of each of the things above always happening in the background. No sooner does the Watch Commander deal with the Molthas representative who is angy at a slight from the Richti rep, but now the Fundamentalists are demonstrating in a nearby village and it sounds like revolt may be in the works. Just a complete and constant slew of small petty problems that must be addressed immediately that keep interrupting the business of getting the war dealt with.

Wow that was a mouthful . . . what do you think? Any ideas you might get rid of or throw in there? Comments would be appreciated.

Working on my relationship map for my game that starts in 4 weeks.

Working on my relationship map for my game that starts in 4 weeks.

Working on my relationship map for my game that starts in 4 weeks. Coming along nicely. I think I like the graphical tool the best. I had to do a screengrab as the export to image is currently not working.

I want to do some relationship mapping for my game coming up.

I want to do some relationship mapping for my game coming up.

I want to do some relationship mapping for my game coming up.

Does anyone have recommendations for software that will make it relatively easy? I was considering a OneNote canvas or maybe MindMap software.

So I have about a month left for prep.

So I have about a month left for prep.

So I have about a month left for prep. I’m starting it by repeatedly reading the MC section of the book. I decided to work on the principle “ASk questions that generate new ideas and build upon them”.

I emailed each of my characters one, simple question (different for each character).

So far I am loving the responses.

Well we did it.

Well we did it.

Well we did it. Wednesday we sat down for four hours and created characters and put together the skeleton for the world.

Now I have about 8 weeks to dress that Skeleton in some meat and put some clothes on it. Here’s the PowerPoint I put together and projected onto my friends television as we worked through everything. Everyone seemed to like it as they had a reference going through everything. Here’s a link to the PDF with notes on what happened.

(I exported it to PDF since that’s viewable by most anyone, but I will happily share the PPT if anyone wants a copy).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/js3sxfqg6hd752h/The%20Watch%20First%20Session%20-%20NOTES.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/js3sxfqg6hd752h/The%20Watch%20First%20Session%20-%20NOTES.pdf?dl=0

We do our first session of the Watch tonight to formalize our characters and the world

We do our first session of the Watch tonight to formalize our characters and the world

We do our first session of the Watch tonight to formalize our characters and the world

. . . I AM SO EXCITED!

Still working on various game aides but I am getting to the point where I’m eager to hold my first session and…

Still working on various game aides but I am getting to the point where I’m eager to hold my first session and…

Still working on various game aides but I am getting to the point where I’m eager to hold my first session and define things like the Shadow and start prepping my world.

Is there any ETA for non-backer release?

I would like to give you my money. 馃榾

So I started working on this when I could not sleep at 3 AM.

So I started working on this when I could not sleep at 3 AM.

So I started working on this when I could not sleep at 3 AM. Here is a mockup showing how I am going to decorate the card faces and then a mock-up of what the Wolf cards would look like (that’s the playbook I have from Bryanna’s game).

Yes the art is grabbed off the internet and them amateurishly altered by me. I’m not happy with the Lioness, but that’s because it’s a tiger picture (I could not find a lioness in the art format I am looking for). I think the or Owl and Eagle could be a little more distinctive, and so later I will look for other art.

Because my game will be Asian Wuxia themed, I used images from Japanese or Chinese Ink or woodblock art as the basis for the imagery.

I am unsure what will go on the card backs. Hopefully something cool. 馃檪

I’ll print them on my B&W laser printer using card stock, then trim and laminate them in 3mil or 5mil.

Let me know what you think.