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A member registered Apr 11, 2019

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That's too bad. I've been trying to get my virtual-only friends to play games like this, but finding a good platform has been a challenge.

Did this game ever get added to It's not on their list, but is it available there?

Thanks! Creating that flowchart really highlighted for me that there's only 1 result that ends in a Success without any additional complications for the PCs - while all of the other 5 possible results are a source of trouble for the PCs.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this feels during play!

Oh no! My session has been delayed due to Chocolate Rabbit droppings! ;)  Turns out that Easter is not a good time to try and get people away from their families for a game. :D

I'm confused by the final die roll in the example of play - no matter how I look at it within the rules, to me it seems to be a Success with a Complication, not without;

SD = 1, Attribute = 4, DD = 5

Since SD equals 1, it's automatically a Success; and then, because SD is less than DD and not equal to DD, we add a Complication.

Is that correct?

(I had to build a flowchart to get this straight in my head - I hope I built it correctly;

On the fourth line, I used SD > DD instead of DD < SD just to make the logic boxes consistent.)


Cool - looking forward to downloading more content! :) 

And sure thing, I'll get you some feedback after my game on Sunday night.

I'm going to be running this for my group next weekend, but I'm still a little confused as to when a "Screw It!" roll would be used - can you provide a few examples where neither "Wits" or "Grit" would be used? Thanks! (Would this be better as a Development Log post?)

In the What are the Dice? section, it says "If the Danger Die roll is equal to or higher than the <span class="fontstyle0" <than="" the="" <="" span="">Success Die </span>roll, the GM chooses a Complication" and then it also says "If you roll a Double, the same result on both dice, your Success or Failure is particularly spectacular."

So, if a player is rolling against an Attribute of 5 and scores a 4 on both dice, is that Spectacular Success with a Complication?

What if it's a score of 5 on both dice? Is that a Spectacular Failure with a Complication?

Am I correct in understanding that the dice mechanic has six types of results?

  • Success
  • Success with Complication
  • Spectacular Success with Complication
  • Failure
  • Failure with Complication
  • Spectacular Failure with Complication

So there is never just a Spectacular Success or Failure? They are always combined with a Complication?

Did you try this with different size dice at any time? I wonder if it would be worthwhile using 8's as a max, or 10's or 12's?

I actually like the idea of there being no during-session healing - it sounds like that would add a certain amount of tension to the game. And for a multi-session game, campaign or otherwise, a downtime-refresh sounds appropriate, too (like a week or two of rest).

Do you have any advice on implementing HP/Wound recovery from playtests of the system? Have you established any best practices?

Can you elaborate on the design decision for assigning 15 points to attributes at character creation? Why not fewer or more points? Would different values be too swingy?

In regards to Wounds reducing a PC's Grit, is that a death spiral? Does the PC use the lowered Grit value when making a Grit roll from that point onward? Or is the player just tracking the wounds, effectively making a PC have 2 times their starting grit in HP?

Cool - that's like borrowing a trope from all those cop shows where their body armor absorbs a first shot, but then they discard it afterwards (mostly because it's dented enough to become a hinderance). One use items and gear - and finding ways to repair those things - sounds like another great way to keep the game interesting.

A "few others" mechanics? Or more Keywords? 

And I wanted to say that I really like the lists of complications that you have included in these modules - those are going to be extremely helpful at the table!

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The new mechanics are cool! It's nice to see some ideas of how the mechanics might be massaged during a session.

Aside; In the Zombie Bites section; "a Complication means that the an uninfected Character" has an extra "the".  And the end of the second paragraph it says "the better the chance they have successfully making more" should be "of successfully making more."

I noticed *Body Armor* in the "Items in the Prison" section - how do you handle PCs with this kind of gear? Do you let this have an effect on the mechanics at all?

I think I'd be happy with narrative character advancement - maybe allowing players to adjust or add to their character description as they <narratively> put in the effort to improve. 

Of course, I'm assuming that Wits and Grit Dice Rolls are for skilled actions that fall under the purview of a character's description, and Screw It Dice Rolls are more for unskilled actions. (Is this correct?)

For example, this character:

"[Trevor] is a [law-abiding] [District Attorney], who used to be a [Boy Scout]. Always ready to [debate the finer points of law], [he] [encourages] the party members [to live up to his high standards]."

. . . should probably know nothing about how to pick a lock, and if he were in a desperate situation that required him to get through a locked door, "pick the lock" is probably not something that the GM should allow the player to roll for - even using Luck via his Screw It attribute would be strange. ("Break the lock" would be more in-narrative, though.)

Then, if [Trevor] survives, the player might narrate how [Trevor] starts taking some locksmithing courses at night school, adding that information to the character description. (Of course, in-game time will need to pass.)

There's no download button for Zombie Raid at the moment.

Do you see this as a game that can support campaign play, or is it just for one-shots? 

I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this system. Any chance that we'll get to see, or listen to, some actual plays?

Any word on the next two adventure modules you mentioned in your update?

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re: 6d6 maximum

Thanks for that breakdown - that's quite enlightening. Your point on "dice hunting" also makes me think "Conditions-as-Aspects" is probably not a great idea as it could easily result in players always rolling the maximum number of dice.


re: Successes/Conditions

This is why I ask dumb questions! :) Another re-read has me thinking Successes can be;

1) Numerical, in that you are counting the total number of successes to overcome the difficulty value of an obstacle (Magnitude of a Climactic Scene, Special Traits),

2) A Condition, as Trauma PCs can inflict on NPCs, or

3) Narrative, as a description of PCs overcoming an obstacle or avoiding "interesting failure."

And Failure can result in;

1) Failure Narrative, as a description of a PC failing to overcome an obstacle in an interesting way, or

2) Success Narrative + a Cost Narrative, as a description of PC's overcoming an obstacle or avoiding "interesting failure" but also including a description of an additional cost the PC had to pay to accomplish that success, or

3) Success Narrative + a Condition, as a description of PC's overcoming an obstacle or avoiding "interesting failure" but also taking a Trauma while doing so.

Am I understanding this correctly now?

Yeah, as much as I'm mostly into GM-less storygames these days, whenever I find an interesting GM-led game, I tend towards wanting some crunch in the advancement system. <shrug> Just the way my brain is wired, I guess. </shrug>

Oh, yes, this modification would definitely be for a more adventuring heroes style of game, or anything where players want their characters ability to withstand damage to increase as the campaign continues.

Otherwise, RAW, YZN looks great for gritty, "your PC could die at any moment" style games.

re: Trauma Rolls

Here's a variant I might play with;

All characters have a Resilience Modifier (RM) which can have a minimum value of -7 and no maximum value. Characters start with an RM of 0.

When a character takes a Trauma Condition, roll 1d6+RM. Use the rules on page 8 under Conditions as usual to determine the result.

Each Advancement Roll (see my previous posts) may result in a +1 RM, increasing a character's resilience to Trauma.

Characters may take Conditions that reduce their RM (to a minimum of -7).

re: Advancement

I'll have to playtest this, but I'm considering replacing "After significant story milestones, you may gain additional Traits" with the following;

1) After each session with significant narrative advancement, the GM may award each participating PC with +1 XP. (A character can never have more than 6 XP.)

2) Players may use their character's XP to gain additional Traits when their characters have spent in-game time studying, practicing, or otherwise pursuing an advancement or change in their abilities.

To gain an additional Trait, the player rolls 1d6 (no modifiers). If the result is less than the character's current XP value, the character gain's the Trait. Whether or not this XP roll is successful, the character then resets their XP to 0.

I have other ideas for spending XP, but I'll cover those in other posts. :)

One of the more common character actions in any RPG is the "aid another" action (and it's corollary action, "hinder another"); how would you handle this when a roll is called for?

I see two approaches in the rules;

1) Declare that the primary character gains advantage.

2) Allow the primary character to gain a d6 if the helping character has an appropriate Concept, Trait, or Gear.

I would be hesitant to allow each player to roll their own dice pool for the action - that just seems like the "We'll try it again, and again, and again..." problem, which takes the bite out of "only roll when failure would be interesting."

(Heh, I've probably answered my own question...)

re: Conditions

It took me a couple of re-reads, but there are two types of Conditions, correct? Trauma, which are Conditions inflicted on characters, and Environmental (for lack of a better word right now), which are Conditions inflicted on the world around the characters (which could include Gear, societal perspectives, weather, geography, opposition bonuses in the form of Special Traits, etc.).

And, just because a character fails a roll doesn't mean that the character takes a Trauma Condition; depending on the narrative, an Environmental Condition could result instead.

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Great! :)

First question; do you have a specific reason for the 6d6 limit on the dice pool?

I'm thinking that each extra success (or group of successes, depending on the narrative circumstances) earned would allow the player to declare a Condition on something in the game - like Aspects from Fate - so allowing the players to build bigger dice pools would result in players being able to contribute more. (I'm extrapolating from page 5 where it simply says, "Multiple successful dice means you succeed with style.")

Or, should the players only get to declare a single Condition, no matter how many extra success they roll? Still, though, more successes could equate to a bigger Condition, right?

edit: The more I think about this, I think the single, bigger Condition is the way to go - particularly when taking into account Failure on a roll. Failure results only when there are no successes on a roll, and the Stakes are set before the roll, so the magnitude of the Failure and it's resulting Conditions are already set.

Still, why the 6d6 limit? :)

Can I ask design questions here?

Awesome. That helps a lot. 

YZN looks awesome! But I'm a little bit confused about the use of the terms Conditions, Consequences, Stakes and Complications;

Under "Success" on page 5, the last sentence says, "This might mean taking Conditions" - which are defined on page 8 as "physical or mental trauma".

Under "Climactic Scenes" on page 9, step 1 instructs the GM to "explain what is at stake if you fail" (which are defined under "Stakes" on page 11 as "Conditions"), while step 5.b. uses the word "Complications" several times - should those be "Conditions" instead?

(Ditto for the example on page 10, which seems to call the physical and mental traumas "Complications", not "Conditions"?)

(Should "The Stakes" on page 11 say "Conditions and/or Complications"?)

Under "Complications" on page 12, paragraph two says, "it could be gaining a Consequence or Flaw," - should that say "Condition or Flaw" instead? Or should it be "Complication or Flaw"?

As I said, I find this all a bit confusing.

So many teasers! "last major update for a while", "campaign index", "other work"!!  :)

Thank you for the map.

And fwiw, my group reskinned the game for a high fantasy one-shot last night; it worked just fine as we played a group of adventurers who answered the call of a wanted poster. The only large change was that "Hacker" became "Arcanist".

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It's been a while since that the final version now?

I'm planning to facilitate a few sessions of SBB at a local online convention this coming weekend and I'd like to provide the correct info to players. :)

Oh, and would it be possible to get an image file of the solar system map?

Just wondering if you are still planning to put up a replay document? Or is the actual play video taking its place?

In this week's game, my group chose to avoid mid-solo rolls by asking the LEAD to include a cost whenever they were overcoming an obstacle. We didn't put a lot of nuance into it and just left it up to the LEAD to decide how severe the cost was. It worked really well and kept the game flowing nicely.

Going forward though, I'm thinking about having the LEAD consider whether they were using their EDGE or a TRAIT at the time to give a better indication of how severe the cost should be.

Still having a blast! :)

Nice. I wasn't able to listen to it all in one sitting though, so I'll have to go back and dedicate a couple of quiet hours to it. :)

One thing that jumped out at me was the mention of taking a BOTCH on a roll to earn a Flash Point. This has been in the rules for a while now, but I couldn't help wondering about that rule. I know it can be cool to fail sometimes, but is this something that works in a game where you're very likely only going to get to roll twice?

What about Leverage-style Flashbacks where we learn that the characters had prepared something ahead of time to deal with the current problem or obstacle? (Something like "Oh yeah, I did some research yesterday and set up a fake account that I can use to get past this checkpoint. Let me tell you about it..")

Can you offer some advice re: Flashbacks? There's not much to go on in the rules. Do players tend to narrate just one per session (assuming a session = a one-shot)?

When you say "illuminate a character's past" does that include mundane topics like "That time I went grocery shopping and they didn't have the melon I was looking for"? (Hey, we're learning that character likes a specific kind of melon!) Or are Flashbacks supposed to be relevant to the character's Trouble or the current Bounty?

What about trying to come up with new Flashbacks for the same character over a long-term campaign? That could be a lot of "past" and "motivation" to wring out of one character.

So far, my group hasn't been interacting with the Flashback mechanic, and I think that's because it doesn't seem to have a direct impact on the narrative surrounding a session's current Bounty, where all the action is.