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@3Jane: (kinda assuming you were looking for feedback, my sincere apologies if it was just sharing and you weren't looking for any and just ignore this)
The thing I'm struggling with is what exactly makes it Mass Effect in particular. You say it's the world and themes, but I guess I just don't really see them in an obvious way.
A big help to seeing those, at least for me, might be if you actually explicitly establish what the themes are that you'd like to handle. It's quite possible that they're all in there and I'm just dense or something.
I think the other main thing that hits me is that it is very Apocalypse World still, mechanically. Each of the basic moves save 2 (one of which is not written) are just slightly altered ApW moves. I like the alterations (especially the new Read a Sitch questions), but ultimately the game still interacts, mostly, with the same basic action types as Apocalypse World, which feels weird to me. For example, if this is as politicking as it seems to be, I would shy away from using Seize By Force mechanically, or at least relegate it to being a peripheral move. I love the idea of "Doing It The Hard Way," I'm just hesitant about using SBF to do it. I like the addition of Lie Through Your Teeth as a basic move too.I'm pretty sure you're just not done with the triggers for Intimidate and Lie Through Your Teeth rather than intentionally not having any.Basically what you have is totally functional, it just reads a bit generic to me still aside from a couple spots.
A couple words of warning on that playbook list. I like the list, it's varied and all the pieces are individually interesting. However, I feel it may be tough to keep multiple folks in the same general group for more than one scenario. The soldier and explorer especially seem like their concepts would be hard to put in the same places/situations as the others without regularly relying on much more specific archetypes (such as a bodyguard-type Soldier).
(eg Backstory, Hx).
The other warning is just quantity: I know from experience now that 8 playbooks is WAY more work than it looks. Just so you know what it is you're jumping into.
I love the idea of "Doing It The Hard Way," I'm just hesitant about using SBF to do it.
Thank you, I am looking for feedback and it's very valuable for me - I should have said that straight away I'm also thankful for any criticism: I'm not precious about the hack (although I'm also not necessarily going to alter it).
At this point, the hack can be used for any political sci-fi - the Mass Effect bits would be the species, the planets and the tech.
Prices / Needs
No Persuade Move
Principles, Shooty groups
It's just that shooting isn't a goal in itself.
The unwritten move (Network) should work a bit similarly to Agent's Backup. It's meant to be the equivalent of Circles from Burning Wheel: find a person who fits your specified parameters. The descriptions aren't final and I'm not yet settled on them so your feedback is very useful
A Soldier is a guy who's trained in fighting (especially as a part of a team): so a soldier, a mercenary, a SWAT-team member, a biotic, a bodyguard. An Explorer is someone who's centered around travelling to new places and dealing with unexpected situations: so a treasure hunter, a surveyor, a colonist, or a rich hunter. An Explorer could definitely provide a central focus for the player group direction, but not necessarily for one adventure only. A Star, a Politician or a Journalist could work that way too - similar to MotW where a Professional, an Initiate or a Snoop can provide the theme of the group.
I like history in MotW.
I may start with just a couple. I will also definitely be using other hacks for inspiration (ok, steal anything useful that isn't nailed down, if the licence allows).
[Re: Networking] I confess, I'm not familiar with Burning Wheel! So I'm interested to see how it actually works here.
I suddenly think my understanding is jumping at cross-purposes with yours. So your intention now seems to be about a group who is already established as a team a la MotW or DW, rather than the more separate ApW or MH where location is the main thing that lashes the players together? Cuz my mind was totally more on the latter one when I wrote it.
More news with regard to my own hack, I'm approximately 2/3 done righting playbook moves, though no species moves yet.
Networking and Circles
PvP vs Teammates
@Gwathdring: Hey, you've been really helpful about refining the Alien move for my hack. I finally pounded out something new and different for Enact A Crazy Plan. It's a lot simpler, and feels a touch generic to me, but I like it in general and wanted your thoughts on it:Enact a Crazy Plan: When you break all conventions and expectations to do what needs doing, roll + Alien. On a 10+, it gets done, and choose two of the following. On a 7-9, same thing, but only choose 1.* The consequences are not immediate.* Your reputation isn't redefined by this event.* Your teammates are spared the worst of the fallout.On thing about it is that it is very easy to get what you want with it. You can succeed at some ridiculous crap when you ignore the standard, but it always has consequences. You can forestall them, and you can keep your friends out of it, but they're coming. The reputation one seems like the easy one to not pick, but that can put you in some sticky situations too. But again, while there's always a price, all you need is a 7-9 and your big crazy plan succeeds at its main goal.So, does it need to be Alien'd up any more, or does that work pretty good?
Inspiration likes limitations, but things you can't do are like the edges of a blank piece of paper. Your inspiration is better off starting with a drawing of anything on that piece of paper than worrying about its size and dimensions.******************Negative options are constraints that you have to struggle to get away from. They aren't constraints you can riff off of.******************Write moves that produce fiction, or that influence the players to create fiction, or that spur characters into action in the fiction. Stay away from moves that shut down options without also doing one of these things.
The trouble falls primarily on your teammates.
A valued reputation is ruined.
The consequences are immediate.
Have you guys written out your always says and your principles and your MC moves yet?Because the cores of the game are those; not the stats, nor the playbooks nor the basic moves. And when you get to it, I don't recommend just rewording the AW ones.
This means you have some teammates around to begin with when you're enacting a crazy plan. It tells me something about how the game is meant to be played (in teams). However then the move doesn't apply to non-team actions or PvP. I'd suggest rewording this as "...on a person you rely on" or "...on a person you care about" (depending on the impact you want it to have). If the person is an NPC, this is essentially "taking their stuff away".
If Enact a crazy plan is not a peripheral move then there may have to be a lot of these reputations to be ruined.
I'd suggest "the negative consequences are immediate". Otherwise I might be tempted to use this option to ensure the positive consequences happen immediately.
I actually do see the genre in the ApW ones, though more that are just guides to media-like play.
I didn't actually play the Omega AW-setting. I just spec'd it out, because I want to play in it.- Ryan (commenting on S-G for the first time in years)