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I'm A Monster: Monstrous Conditions

I've been digging further into my old copy of the Nightlife RPG, and I've been thinking about how I would implement Nightlife's Humanity system in Fate.

In Nightlife, your character has a Humanity rating, which ranges from 0 to 100. It goes down when you perform violent or monstrous acts, and it goes up when you perform altruistic acts or try to retain your connection to the mundane human world. A low Humanity makes you more feral and irrational, and can alter your appearance and the effects of your powers.


A straight stress track would be the obvious way to move this to Fate. You could give PCs a ten-box track, and either mark or erase boxes depending on their actions. You could tie the amplitude of some stunts to the state of the PC's stress track, and you could invoke or compel it as an aspect at the extreme levels.

A more interesting solution might be to give PCs a special set of conditions to represent their declining Humanity. Like these:
Nervous (-1)Gloomy (-1)Sh…
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I'm A Monster: Vulnerability Aspects

Hey, who else has a copy of Nightlife?

This is a little urban fantasy "you are the monster" RPG published by Stellar Games in 1990. It preceded Vampire: The Masquerade by a year, and whereas Vampire seemed focused on gothic angst, Nightlife has more of a hard-rocking punk vibe. I couldn't recommend Nightlife today--the writing is dodgy in spots, the cover is pandering to a straight male audience, and the Inuit monster type would require careful handling to keep it from becoming culturally toxic. But in honor of the season, I thought I'd try lifting a few of the urban horror elements out of Nightlife and converting them for use in a Fate campaign.

Nightlife presents a short catalog of monster types players can choose for their characters. All of these monsters share a framework of mechanisms for how they obtain their necessary life sustenance, how they convert humans into their own kind, and how they react to supernatural hazards.

In Fate, I'd write a rule that sa…

Test the Universe

In about a month, I'll be at Metatopia testing Save the Universe, my "create your own space opera" RPG. I've played exactly one session of this game so far, but it was a promising first session, and I'm sure I'll get more feedback at Metatopia.
Save the Universe was going to be a typical moves-and-playbooks Powered by the Apocalypse game, but it's drifted a bit. I think the foundation is still solid, but it's unclear to me how it will hang together over an extended campaign. Finding people to participate in a one-shot is easy; pulling together a group of strangers for a regular multi-session game is going to be harder. That's a challenge I'll take on after November.

I have no clear idea when this will be ready for publication, though I'd like to have it done sometime next year. It's just a simple little game, and even in its final form it might not be more than 15K words. I'll post more updates as I make progress.

So the Story Goes

Save the world through storytelling!

Generations ago, civil war shattered your homeland. Spears, fire, and blood destroyed any memories of prosperity and enlightenment. Although the land has healed, its people still struggle to understand themselves and the world they’ve inherited. As traveling storytellers, you and your companions walk the old roads, trying to recover the lost wisdom of your ancestors and reunite your society with your stories and songs.

So the Story Goes, a new world of adventure for Fate Core, is available now!

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/221389/So-the-Story-Goes-o-A-World-of-Adventure-for-Fate-Core


Hard Crime & Sweet Whispers

Since all the cool kids are hacking John Harper's Lasers & Feelings, here's my completely un-playtested attempt:
Download the PDF

The Big Questions

My various projects have advanced to a point where I'm struggling with some difficult questions:

When running an RPG, how can you ensure everyone gets some spotlight time?

As a GM, I tend to lean back and let the players drive. This works fine for most things, but tends to give more assertive players more time in the spotlight. Players who are less talkative might find themselves just along for the ride.

I feel that it's my responsibility to do better, and to provide everyone with the opportunity for action. To make it easier for myself, I'm thinking of preparing myself some notes where I map out every PC's niche. For instance, I might write this down for one of my 7th Sea PCs:

Sigmund: duelists, Sarmatia, monster hunting, wilderness

Then, during the game, I should see if anyone hasn't any spotlight time recently, then check my niche list and see if there's a related meaningful activity I can provide. For Sigmund, I might add in some wilderness tracking or survi…

Many Plates, Much Spinning

I feel like I'm not accomplishing much these days, but when I write it all down, it looks like the problem might be that I'm trying to accomplish too much. Let's see:

City of Crystal: I'm over halfway through the second draft. It looks like the book is going to be bigger than Stone of Names by a couple of thousand words, which is good, since it implies that I'm figuring out how to write novel-length novels. There will certainly be a third draft, and I'm no longer confident that I'll be absolutely done by the end of the year, but I'll be close.

Galaxy Knights: I have a fully playable document ready for this, which is great, except that I've set it aside temporarily for...

Fate Playtesting: I'm involved in a playtest for some cool new Fate stuff, and I want to give it my full attention so that it's a good test. That means I'm focused on reading and understanding the new rules and preparing an adventure that's going to give the rules a so…