forward your receipt to axv at worldchampgame dot co and I’ll set you up!
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yes it does! unfortunately I have to manually send digital edition keys per purchase, there are instructions in your emailed receipt on how to get access to the digital version after you buy the physical. thanks for asking!
I dig it big time. I was very curious how I could approach non verbal language and decided I was not the one with the knowledge or skills to do so in an appropriate way but I would really love to see some of those considerations implemented into the game!
just fixed it, the playbooks and move lists are setup as "demos" so they can be downloaded freely without access to the rest of the stuff!
that said (since other people may see this in the future) if you buy the book somewhere and they don't have a program to distribute digital files, please email me at axv at worldchampgame.co and I'll give you a download key to access the digital version!
great question! I would say overall spelling does not matter, I definitely don’t want that to be a barrier for players or have people feeling the need to dig through the dictionary before playing. I’m sure I’ve spelled words wrong on accident while playing and just went with it, nothing bad happened and other players probably don’t even notice!
I think an honest attempt at the start of play is valuable though. Like starting with the word Lazerswoardbarrrronesss and using fractures to then those extra letters into Life or otherwise abuse it to come up with weird words later is against spirit of play (clever as it might be to plan ahead like that!)
um, I don't! in phases 2 & 3 I'd say that's too many players for it to work correctly. If you're just doing phase 1, a 10 people could do 2 actions each and have a deck of 20 cards, for 8 people do 3 actions each and you'd yield a 24 card deck. In all versions, each player will have the cards-in-hand at least two times to get a Label and Art on every card.
so basically (number of players) x (number of actions) x 2 = (total cards in deck), and your deck should be in the 20 card range for phases 2 & 3 to be cool!
sure! this game doesn't have any kind of initiative system, its intended as a sort of free for all. as GM, I usually will effectively let all the players act once in whatever order they choose, then have the enemy/s attack, unless its a bigger and badder enemy then I'll attack every 2-3 turns. this usually lets players come up with clever combinations, like someone freezing a combatant and another player attempting to shatter them, and the whole system is intended to really encourage players being super creative and weird and coming up with the wildest uses of their skills that they can, so anything I can do as GM to encourage that is good!
if you wanted to introduce a more rigid initiative to ease players into the more freeform style, I would go in order of LIFE, with most LIFE acting first and descending, then using the unfilled portions of an enemy clock as their initiative (so starting at 8 would likely attack early, but as they're beaten up they would act further down in sequence).
i forgot to include d6 x d6, but there are 20 permutations, 16 of which have unique results!! a result of 12 (6x2 or 4x3) or 6 (6x1 or 2x3) are the only repeats. that means 12 and 6 each have 10% chance of being the product of 2d6, every other result has a 1/20 or 5% chance (a 80% chance of getting a unique product) meaning you could effectively use 2d6 as a d20 roll for a result between 1-36
the only way to order card packs internationally is at worldchamp.io/store.
I think I fixed a setting just now that allows access to the pwyw pdfs for everyone using the button at the top of the page, not the one under “rewards”
I'm not sure I'm following but I'll try to work through it with you!
The PDFs here are pay-what-you-want, but don't come with cards or any character creation info.
There should be a "Buy Now" button at the top of the page where you would get the PDFs. I think if you don't pay for them, they are not linked to your itch account.
International folks can buy cards from worldchamp.io/store. If you purchase anything there, there are instructions in your confirmation to get free download keys from me.
exactly. The balance die is a measure of the collapse of reality, and as the die gets smaller to indicate collapse spending along, the setting should become more turbulent and the keepers and relics more powerful and violent. When the die would change from d4, reality is destroyed
thanks so much! just to clarify further (though hopefully not muddying the waters), you choose one skill from each of your two adjacent realms, so a Bone Manipulator gets the four Bone skills (Fracture, Protect, Fuse, and Forge) each beginning with 1 and then chooses one from the adjacent Meat list (begins at 0) and one from the adjacent Brain list (begins at 0) for a total of 6 Skills, then rolling 6d6 and assigning each respective value to your skills. At the start of play, your realm's inherent skills will be valued 2-7, your adjacent skills will be 1-6. Hope this makes sense and I didn't make it more muddy!
the skills from your realm (there are four of them) start at 1, the skills from adjacent realms (two) start at zero, then you roll 6d6 and assign them to each skill, so when you’re actually in play everything will have at least 1. Basically you get d6+1 in each skill from your home realm and d6+0 for the others!
thanks for these!
1. Memories don't get erased, the long-term intent is that since their inherently easier to use than Words of Power, that players will shift to chasing their memories and through using them, continue adding details to them and gaining life, pushing them towards that 30 Life limit where they no longer are Agents. That mentioned, an unwritten thing I do which definitely should've been addressed is when a character would make a new Memory when there aren't open spaces (same for words of power really), I allow them to remove an old one in favor of the new so it keeps things more interesting narratively. Also, I'm learning a lot abuot how this was designed for the way I play and doesn't accommodate all, for single-session play I'd keep the cap at 4 Memories but for campaign, I'd say there is no ultimate limit but keep it to 4 newly generated Memories per planet.
2. Yes, this one is in the book but its easy to miss, in the Character Sheet explanation of your collection on page 16, you can do this at any time at the cost of 1d6 Life, and that Word of Power begins with a value of 6.
3. Correct! There are a handful of mechanics in the game that are meant to generate Life, it is often a choice but in instances like this it isn't. Life as a meta-resource is easy enough to understand, it measures your character's vitality and place on the spectrum between nothingness and self, but in-fiction, I consider Life like a drug, it is considered contrabrand by Death but it feels good to compile and some characters will shift focus heavily to getting more at any cost. Moments like a four-letter word fracturing and turning into Life are meant to entice the players to make that number keep going up.
I’ll also say I do kinda like losing words twice, since the second only occurs in campaign play (since you wouldn’t do upkeep if you weren’t going to play again) BUT I’ve heard from a few play groups that they’re depleting words faster than the dice statistics were meant to, whether through bad luck or trying to power game (sort of against the spirit of play on page 15 but I get it), so some bandaids are needed to make sure players have enough words to choose from at all times. I’m considering making some patch notes this year for bugs like these!
oh interesting catch on that erasure! It should happen when you experience the rush, not when you return to the ship, that was meant as more of a reminder to upkeep but instead comes off like you mention, a double penalty, and that’s my mistake!
As for #2, yes that’s a major function of play! Using words that have different meanings is very good especially in other languages, that was a deliberate intent of the design, letting players decide what a word means in the moment they need it.
I love how slick and clean it is while also being incredibly flavor rich and immersive. Even without a bunch of random tables or illustrations its effectively evocative and I can picture the dark dwellings of the Tomb City. Would love to see this expand with adventures or something in the future, shit maybe I'll make one myself...
if you're reading this, do not fear, DON THE DEATH MASK. you won't regret it.
I love this book and can't wait to see it come to life. I'm not a big Fantasy head but this (mostly implied) setting has a lot of fun flavor tweaks that make me feel like I simultaneously know everything I need to know to explore this world and yet would be pleasantly surprised by everything new my character comes across. Character building has tons of novel aspects, combining some of my favorite elements from modern fringe fantasy games into something new and neat. the core mechanic system is clean and simple. Nothing but praise for this project, excited to see what comes next for Blackbirds.
haha no worries, you are running it as written but I think I have a few broad notes. aside, Creatures attack whomever, since gamemaster doesn't roll dice it is up to the players to react instead, so a player protecting everyone or each person rolling to avoid would both be acceptable.
This isn't explicit in the book but I would make sure players are starting with at least 3 Words in their collection when they land on the planet, not counting words that are used for any planet generation on your way to start the mission. Those generators at start of play I usually consider words (lowercase w) instead of Words (the game currency).
From your examples, it sounds like they're succeeding a lot more often than I expected, so they're having tons of memories early on! Since a Memory's starting value is higher than a Word of Power, that's meant to entice players more to use those so they don't just use Words, especially with successful Memory rolls granting you more Life. Of course, thats a choice, and it makes sense for a player to be more interested in their Words especially early in play.
For a band-aid answer, I'd just start them off with more than 3 at the beginning of play. The other potential fix that's not in the book but is how I've come to like when running the game now is instead of making them spend a Word from their Collection to inspire Memory, instead make their Memory derivative of the action they just took. Like when you fire a laser cannon and hit your target, it prompts the memory of firing artillery in the Thorned Wars or something.
You could combine this with GM giving immediate-use words on successful rolls, so in that example, I as GM would give the player the word Artillery and they could choose to immediately use that for their Memory or stash it and use something else from their Collection, which feels like a nice average of how the book works and how to patch it!
maybe! players burning through words is not something I encountered at all during testing so thats a surprising issue to come up, but yeah it'll just take a bandaid of your own making to solve which might either be starting with more words before the scenario or finding excuses to give them words during exploration/between challenges?
I’ll wing some answers!
1. Correct, you can have words of power equal to spaces in the sheet.
2. words have a minimum of 4 letters at any point.
3. It is 1d6, it’s meant as a last ditch effort sort of, you’re risking the last use of a module so the odds are more in your favor than normal
4. You’re right, there’s some dissonance between conduction as a positive connotation and damage as negative since were using a clock here. It is meant to start at 8 and deplete.
5. There shouldn’t ever be a point where a player doesn’t have any words in their collection, the gm should be passing out new words to players as or more often than they’re being used for any overcoming of obstacles or victories in battle, managing that is just sort of a new thing to be aware of during play for a gamemaster
I have leftover posters that are going with the books until they’re gone! Stellar Remnants zines and a few sizes of shirt leftover will go up at worldchamp.IO/store at the end of the month
I just had the thought that I’d love to play a game between islands! Depending on their size there could still be driving with aquatic scenes between. Doesn’t have to be tropical, a series of islands in the Great Lakes or off the Alaskan coast would be uniquely fun. Anyone have a recommendation for such places?
I really dig this game. It highlights the joyful aspect of wrestling from my childhood before you knew it might not be real, the idea that the vampire in the ring will really suck your blood unless they get pinned for three seconds. While this could easily just be a combat game of in-ring action, the procedures listed for setting up a gig, exploring the circumstances of the area and your opponent, and t hen diving into battle is a really nice structure for a more involved and satisfying story for all players. I think this would work really well too as an ongoing campaign with rotating players, having the core agency function as a mission hub and whatever brawlers are available to do missions, allowing for campaign-like progress without much commitment or buy-in.
Having modular rules for different tasks, whether it be the above-mentioned investigation leading to a fight, the way fights are paced and controlled mechanically, or variants like using a wrestler's entrance music to affect the story are all really fun inspired takes on the genre.
Def will be rallying to get this played (was going to say "to the table" but yknow, 2020). Excited to see what showboats and swamp things my friends come up with and how they settle things in the squared circle.
really great stuff. loved how its organized and how friendly the writing is, information is super accessible, story flow is all really well designed. even the examples of play are well written, conversational & welcoming but informative and targeted towards a specific experience. innovation in the fall of magic-inspired sector that I've been seeking in a tight concise package. really ticks all my boxes, 5-star game.