[Mountain Witch] Where to buy?

edited September 2008 in Story Games
Hi!

I just entered recently in the world of story-focused games, after reading [i]Houses of the Blooded[/i].

Then I looked up and found this [i]Mountain Witch[/i] which seems to be really cool also. I would like to acquire its printed version, but cant find it anywhere. Can someone help? And if someone have a copy that will not use anymore, please PM me and we negotiate a price for it.

By the way, could you guys recomend me other good story-focused games? I heard marvelous things about this "Polaris", what is it about?

Comments

  • You came to the right place.
    Posted By: vini_lessaBy the way, could you guys recomend me other good story-focused games?
    My top three at the moment are Primetime Adventures, Poison'd, and My Life with Master.

    You should check IPR. In particular, this page.

    You should also know that when people refer to indie games, story games, hippy games, or narrative games, they are all pretty much talking about the same thing. Kind of.
  • I'm not sure that TMW is in print at the moment, which is a tragedy, because it's one of my favorite games, and, in my opinion, an excellent introductory game. I have the PDF, which has served me very well.
  • Here is the link for the pdf of The Mountain Witch.
  • Hi Vinicius!

    Most of these game can be found on Indie Press Revolution, and even The Mountain Witch was sold there. But it sold out, and the author can't be reached for another printing (it's all explained in this thread on IPR's own forum). So at this moment if you want to have an hard-bound copy of the game, you have only two choices:
    1) buy a used copy (if you can find it)
    2) buy the pdf, print it and bound it.

    There are really a ton of story-focused (or indie games, story games, hippy games, or narrativist games) around still available, too many to list even all the best ones, so probably you will be swamped by suggestion in this thread from people who will suggest their favorite ones. Your best bet is to list here exactly what you like about House of the Blooded and what you would search for in our next game, so that these suggestion will be more precise.

    (my own suggestion is "Dogs in the Vineyard", but without knowing what you want, it's the suggestion I make to everybody)
  • Posted By: vini_lessaBy the way, could you guys recomend me other good story-focused games?
    Welcome to Story Games! What do you and your friends like to play now? What sort of things are you excited about? What's your favorite genre?
  • edited September 2008
    Thank you very much for the help, guys. I think Ive never had this really nice reception in a forum before! :)

    Well, returning to the games... I really dont know. My contact with role-playing games was limited mainly to the traditional type (Shadowrun, Gurps, Pendragon, etc.). So I dont really know what to ask for suggestions.

    One think got me excited about these story/indie/hippie/-kind of games was its relative low prep-time. They seem like those boardgames from my childhood - "Clue!" and "Monopoly" were two famous ones here in Brazil - where you just join the group, sit down and play. Focused theme, fast ( and ingenious) rules, group interplay, etc. This is a plus for me, since I dont have spare time left these days ( work, study, family, children, taken all my time).

    Im really excited to know all these games you guys suggested.

    - - -

    On a side note, I bought the Mountain Witch pdf from IPR. I have 2 questions:

    1) the PDF doesnt come with covers (front nor back), has just 9 color illustrations, and the pages seem to have no layout art nowhere (aside some japanese kanji in the center of some pages). Is this right? The original printed version is "crude" like this, or its just the PDF version that is "ripped" for easy of printing? (I dont mean to call it a bad designed book - the contrary, its simple and effective - but Ive heard its art layout was so good... )

    2) reading it, it seems a really cool game that I would like to try really soon, but some rules got me worried: a) the "sucesse margin" seems too arbitrary; b) the Fate system seems too loose. It could doesnt promote the players for building its Fates in game, so some players can simply ignore its Fates, I think. If theres no reward for building up the Fates, what mitigates the players to do so? (maybe if I actually play the game, this may prove a false impression, but I dont know... )

    Thats it. THanks!
  • Posted By: vini_lessa
    2) reading it, it seems a really cool game that I would like to try really soon, but some rules got me worried: a) the "sucesse margin" seems too arbitrary; b) the Fate system seems too loose. It could doesnt promote the players for building its Fates in game, so some players can simply ignore its Fates, I think. If theres no reward for building up the Fates, what mitigates the players to do so? (maybe if I actually play the game, this may prove a false impression, but I dont know... )
    Those are good points. Here's how those issues have worked out in play for me:

    Success Margin: Generally what happens is that, barring a lucky roll, rolling one die against another you're going to get a very low success margin. That means that players have to work very hard to get exactly what they want. This encourages people to spend trust a lot more than they otherwise would. You don't just spend trust to win a difficult fight, but also to make sure you get exactly what you want.

    Fates: Really, these are the whole game, so building up your Dark Fate is its own reward. If you're not interested in doing that, then maybe you're playing the wrong game. That said, there are certain advantages that come to characters who introduce their Dark Fate. Players have much more authority over the content of the story when they're introducing their Fate. That means that players who ignore their Fate will have much less influence over the direction of the game as a whole.

    To some extent, you need all the players to be on board with the idea of Fates before the game starts. You can't play the game exactly how you'd play D&D, and expect a great story to emerge - the players need to do a lot more work than they ordinarily would, deciding how to introduce their Fate, and doing that in a way that's exciting to everyone. If the players aren't excited about doing that, it might not be the best game for that group. There are several tricks mentioned in the book for helping out players who are finding it difficult to reveal their fate. The most famous is known as the "Mountain Witch Trick", and it involves directly asking the players questions that let them reveal things about their Fates. Such as:

    There's a dead body swinging from the branch of this tree. Who is it?

    The arrow has a message wrapped around its shaft. What does it say?

    and so on.

    Hope that's helpful!
  • Posted By: vini_lessa1) the PDF doesnt come with covers (front nor back), has just 9 color illustrations, and the pages seem to have no layout art nowhere (aside some japanese kanji in the center of some pages). Is this right? The original printed version is "crude" like this, or its just the PDF version that is "ripped" for easy of printing? (I dont mean to call it a bad designed book - the contrary, its simple and effective - but Ive heard its art layout was so good... )
    Yes, that's the layout of the printed book (excluding, of course, the missing cover). The kanji characters, I believe, always face new chapter headings. It has a modern aesthetic, with the blocks of sidebar text cutting slightly into the main body paragraphs, that I've always found interesting. That, plus the fact that the art was actually printed in color, is probably enough to get some artistic accolades in the indie rpg circles.
  • Ok, thanks.

    [quote]There are several tricks mentioned in the book for helping out players who are finding it difficult to reveal their fate. The most famous is known as the "Mountain Witch Trick", and it involves directly asking the players questions that let them reveal things about their Fates. Such as:

    There's a dead body swinging from the branch of this tree. Who is it?

    The arrow has a message wrapped around its shaft. What does it say?

    and so on.[/quote]

    Thanks for the tip.

    So say, if a player introduces "a monk by the road" related to its fate, for example. What happens if another player in the same scene wants to interact with the monk ? Who speaks and acts for the monk, the GM or the fate-player?

    And say, if another player wants to actually kill the monk (for whatever reason he finds suit) who fight for the monk?
  • edited September 2008
    Posted By: vini_lessaBy the way, could you guys recomend me other good story-focused games? I heard marvelous things about this "Polaris", what is it about?
    Heya Vinicius, for my take you can't go wrong with any of these:
  • Posted By: vini_lessa
    So say, if a player introduces "a monk by the road" related to its fate, for example. What happens if another player in the same scene wants to interact with the monk ? Who speaks and acts for the monk, the GM or the fate-player?

    And say, if another player wants to actually kill the monk (for whatever reason he finds suit) who fight for the monk?
    Use your discretion? It really depends on why the player introduced the monk to begin with. The key thing to remember is that players have complete content authority, so long as it's related to their Dark Fate. So the player can introduce the Monk, so long as it's related to their Dark Fate. So probably the Monk shows up to relay some information, or maybe just their existance is a clue to the character's Fate. The player says what the Monk knows, if it's relevant to their Fate. If another player wants to interact with the Monk, again, it depends on if it's relevant to their Fate. If they decide that the Monk also knows something about their Fate, then they have authority over narrating that. The GM is responsible for all content not related to Dark Fates. That means that if another player wants to kill the Monk, the GM rolls dice for the Monk.
  • From your first post, I knew you were from Brazil too. I am with you and one of mygreatest disappointments in exploring Story-Games is not finding a printed copy of TMW.

    The game I have played the most is PrimeTime Adventures. I think it is a great "transition" game is you already play traditional RPGs. There are other games that I think bring clean, unique designs if not just cool aspects.

    Dogs in the Vineyard - conflict escalation
    In a Wicked Age - oracles
    Best Friends - no random factor guiding the conflict resolution
    Universalis - GM-less (ful) play
    Polaris - key phrases based conflict
    Spirit of the Century
  • Thanks again for the help.

    Ronaldo, its nice to know there are fellow brazilians that like this game. Byt the way, where do you live? Im from Rio de Janeiro.

    I saw in internet there was some content in the (now extinct) original mountain witch site. Things like rules clarifications, examples, tips, etc. Does someone know where can I find these materials ?
  • No problem! I hope it was helpful.
  • Incidentally, the spiritual descendant of The Mountain Witch is Cold City by Contested Ground Studios. It adds quite a bit of texture in the rules for its particular setting (Cold War monster hunting in the catacombs of Berlin) and it plays at a similar intensity.

    What kind of story do you like? What genre? What kind of relationships between characters? Do you like a particular sociopolitical perspective? Do you like to figure out if you can end the story in the best interests of the characters, or do you like to see the story evolve irrespective of their interests?

  • I bought PDF of TMW a while ago with the intention of buy a hardcopy eventually. Since its no longer sold in harcopy, I went ahead and used the PDF to print a paperback book from Lulu for my own personal use. I think it ran ~$7.50 plus shipping. Not the most affordable method, but I got it yesterday and it looks great.
  • Its good to know you manage to print it through Lulu. I had thought about it, but wasnt sure it could be done.

    Let us know the condition of your copy after you read it.

    - - -

    Cold City ? Humm im gona have a look at it...
  • Hey Vini,
    I live in the US now but I am originally from Salvador. We played quite a bit of PTA when I visited last year.
    It would be nice to see Story Games played in Brazil. I noticed that they had some Dogs last year in the Convention in SP.
    One of the aspects that I enjoy the most about them is the short preparation time and the remarkable decrease in the GM's power. It has significantly increased my enjoyment in playing RPGs
  • I got my private printing of TMW from Lulu about a week ago and it turned out great. The binding is good and print clean. The only downside is that to make it affordable, I had it printed it in B&W with a color cover, so I lost the color of the inside pictures. I definitely am glad I made the investment. I also printed off a copy of My Life With Master and a small pamphlet of John Wick's Wilderness of Mirrors. I suspect I'll be working my way through some of my favorite indie rpg pdfs over the coming months.
  • Lars, that's really cool. Too bad about the pics, though. Don did some really beautiful illos.

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