Hi, everybody! I’ve been throwing myself into the rules and the forums here. I’ve also been following people’s actual play via the Walking Eye podcasts and APs here on the site.
I haven’t played myself except for a bit of tinkering and I’m definitely more used to the old-school D&D type of roleplaying, but I’m trying to get my head in the right place for this system.
I have a few questions for one and all about how everyone has been thinking about some game management and philosophy, and how that fits with the overall game design:
1) The structure of the GM turn is fairly well-defined: send obstacles at the players, spin them into twists if things go awry, and so on. I love this for keeping the action moving, keeping players from saying, “we’re going to camp out until we’re all healed up, build a ballista, then assault the castle,” and so on. But there are references to players using, say, Weather Watching, during the mission.
Would this be: a) something that would have to be built in as an obstacle when designing the mission, or would it b) be something that happens in the course of planning a medium-to-large operation–like driving a turtle from a town?
An operation like the turtle misson could easily involve elaborate plans on the part of the players–“we gather grass to build a fire, boil some tree sap, and get some townspeople to carry barrels down to the bay…” At a time like this, it might not always be useful or practical to do it as a player turn (what if they’ve earned no checks?), but obstacles and tests are coming up that are a little player-turn-ish.
Likewise, the rules refer to players arguing with one another during the course of the game–is this something that I should allow to occur during the GM turn, or something that they should only be able to set up during the player turn?
2) Another example: A mission is introduced; the guardmice are looking for a band of gypsy mice. After the mission begins, the players learn that their quarry is hidden in a swamp just beyond Grasslake. While in Grasslake, one of the players says, “Hey, I wanna buy/make some mosquito repellent…” What’s my line as a GM?
a) say, "Sure. Resources Ob 4." (Failure results in ?) b) say, "Okay, let's do a quick player turn. Spend a check." c) say, "Nope, you're pressing on towards your destination..." d) Keep them from stopping in Grasslake in the first place--they should have been taken from the previous obstacle to this one e) Why the %&^$@ are you worrying about this? Play the game and have fun!
3) Checks and the player turn: what does a check equal? Should it always be one test = one check?
If a player (who has earned two checks) says, “on my Player turn, I want to go to Lockhaven and confront my enemy,” it seems reasonable that that’s two checks–one to travel, one to find the enemy. But if travel goes badly, (say a failed pathfinder test) what happens? As a GM, do I mercifully impose a condition on the failed test and allow the confrontation? If I impose a twist, would rolls to overcome that obstacle suck up the player’s second check? Is it just the player’s problem to use their checks as they go along? In a case like this, how do you all handle keeping it from becoming another GM turn?
If a player says, “I want to cook a nice meal for my patrol,” would it require two checks, for, say, foraging and cooking? Or is it okay to treat the “cook a nice meal” action as one check with two tests?
I know this is a lot of stuff; I appreciate your taking the time to read it and I look forward to any thoughts you can share!