Monday, May 27, 2013

What I use and don't use from the city kit.

We played our 12th session in Vornheim, let check what parts of the city kit I use and I don't use.
  • The cover & back cover tables: I love the idea of having a book fill with tables from one cover to the other. I was looking to use those tables, but I ended up nearly never using them. I simply just use my encounter tables or the regular combat system instead of consulting the covers tables. I should maybe try to run a session only with the cover tables just to see how it go.
  • The inner Vornheim map: I like the map (especially the non color inverted version). I tried to print it on a legal sized paper (8,5x14). But the map still felt too small. At first I thought of using it to record visited locations, but we ended up mapping our own map instead. 
  • Around Vornheim map: this map is great! but confusing! :D I used some of the background for inspiration, but I din't actually use the map. For now my setting around Vornheim is not yet defined, I guess I will start to establish stuff once the group start getting out of Vornheim. That said, I found the comment about city and it neighbors very interesting and I keep it in mind.
  • The Palace Massive & Eminent Cathedral: I have some trails pointing toward those two locations and the players know about them, but they still have to decide to visit them. Both drawing made me want to drawn my own buildings!   
  • In Vornheim: I love this open, take what you want, description of the city. A lot of what is described in those pages gave me ideas to work on. Some of those elements are playing a important part in the campaign. Right now the church of Vorn, the snake readers, the three witches and the three demons are playing a important role. The mage character was even starting to learn spell from the crow headed demon. Strangely the medusa and the wyvern have still to get the attention of the group. 
  • Superstitions: I made a "witness a superstition" table. I use it like a rumor table. Sometime I also use superstition as a inspiration for a scenario or for the content of a location room. My taking is that most of those superstitions come from real magic rituals that have the same effect and that the three witches can teach those rituals. So just placing a frog in a bowl wont protect your life, but doing it with the ritual will do. 
  • House of the Medusa: some trails lead to the house, but the group have still to explore them.
  • Immortal Zoo of Ping Feng: some trails lead to the zoo, but the group have still to explore them.
  • Library of Zorlac: some trails lead to the library, but the group have still to explore them.
  • Player commentaries: it was sweet to read, they certainly had a indirect influence on how I run the campaign. 
  • Typical Tower: I printed the plan and I used the tower as my first adventuring location, it was a haunted tower where cultists of the three witches created shadow ink and printed shadow books that can only be read with dark lamps. The tower plan also inspired me to create my own towers. But I don't stack that much services buildings in my towers. 
  • Neighborhood generation: at first I tried to use those pages in a very procedural way, but I scrapped this and I simply used them to drawn a general map of the city. It very intuitive. The neighborhood wealth level are apparent. I also turned many of the landmarks into adventure locations (but not all of them). 
  • Moving vs Crawling: just moving around felt too vague. Now we crawl all the time! We map everything and it work great. 
  • Floorplan Shortcut: I use them sometime, but I could use them more. Often I just drawn stuff on the fly. 
  • The Law: I love this table! Great comment about how to use the law in a city crawl. But up to date the characters have not been confronted by the law! 
  • Contacts: I turned the contact points into a LotFP d6 skill and it work nice. Making and using contact is a important part of our gameplay. 
  • Rules for chases: I used it once. It was ok. But I forget it all the time and I don't take the time to read it back when a chase suddenly come up. 
  • Item cost shortcut: at first I used it a lot, I liked how I ended up coming with elaborate names for luxury goods. But now I rarely use it and I just check up the price in the book, it kind of quicker. But I often tell myself that I should use the item cost shortcut instead since it more colorful. 
  • Rules for libraries: the group found some books, I mentioned the rules, but the group sold their books instead of using of them. They also still have to visit a library. 
  • Notes on Open-Ended city adventures: the campaign is mainly about exploring adventuring locations set in the city. But the consequences of the characters actions slowly start to have more retroactive impact. Beside this I try to keep in mind the advices from this short section. 
  • Further Reading: sweet but I admit I din't use this section. 
  • God's chess: interesting, but we don't plan to use this section. 
  • Aristocrats table: I generated some interesting aristocrats. It a great table. 
  • Books table: I used it to generate a few books. 
  • City NPCs table: I like it and I use it often. 
  • Shopkeepers table: I used it a few time, but most of the time I just improvise the shopkeepers. 
  • Contact answers table: we use it.
  • Asking directions table: we use it rarely, the group prefer to explore the map or to use their streetwise skill.
  • Connections between NPCs table: at first I handed up each player a table to note their contact on it. I thought it was neat to let them choose were to place their contacts on the table and to roll their relations. But the players rarely ask their contacts about other contacts so we used a new sheet for nearly every new contact and we ended up with a lot of sheets with only one contact noted on them. So we dropped the contact connection sheet and now we just note contacts on a sheet of paper. But I really liked the idea. 
  • Encounters table: I like it! I dissected and assimilated it into my own encounter tables. 
  • Fortunes table: I used it once for a "fortune trap" written on a adventure location's wall. But the fortune was never activated and we kind of forgot about the table.
  • I search the body table: used it once I think. I should use it more. 
  • Legal situation table: Din't use it, but the table is "active". I am waiting for the group to get in trouble  with the law. I really like the idea. 
  • Magic effect table: nice table, I used it a few time. 
  • Tavern & Games table: we regularly use it. But the group rarely play the games. 
  • Late edition conversion table: I don't use it. 
  • Building table page: we use it every session, very useful. I like the colors comments. At first we rolled on the box table, but the dice always ended up in the middle and too rarely on the edge. Now we use the % table to get more variety in the results.

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