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Shawn Carpenter

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Shawn Carpenter last won the day on May 31

Shawn Carpenter had the most liked content!

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About Shawn Carpenter

  • Rank
    Game Designer Bum and General Layabout
  • Birthday 07/08/1962

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  • Website URL
    www.ambushalleygames.net

Profile Information

  • Location
    Enid, Oklahoma

Converted

  • RPG Biography
    I've been RPGing since 1976 and I've played just about everything released between then and the late 80s. In 2007, I branched out and wrote a set of miniature wargaming rules, Ambush Alley. I'm now one of the Directors of Ambush Alley Games, a company that has produced three Origins Award nominated products.
  • Current games
    RQG, Heavily modified Heroquest Glorantha, 5e D&D
  • Location
    Enid, OK, USA
  • Blurb
    Damn the rules! Full speed-ahead!

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  1. Nobody else has character art to share? Anybody want to commission some?
  2. Here's what her back tattoo would look like (although on a significantly more feminine back).
  3. No worries. I wrote my response in a rush, so I probably wasn't as clear as I could have been! In a simple contest of any kind, the prize states the overall outcome of the scene, which is narrated based on how well or poorly the contest went for the PC. In an extended contest, there should be a prize for each exchange. AP bids should reflect the nature of the prize. The more ambitious the prize, the more it exposes the PC to harm. Since each player's turn order is firmly established, there's no problem with narrating the result of each of their contests in the exchange as they happen. This has the effect of allowing players to build on the tactics of the previous player(s). When the opposition (or the PCs) reach zero APs, it will be due to aggregate outcomes of each exchange. Remember, the goal of an extended contest is to allow the PCs to use (and establish competence with) a wider array of abilities by freely using different tactics for each exchange. This is as close as HQ/QW gets to traditional RPGs' process based combat. Now, let me share how I handle "big scenes" in my home game, combat or non-combat. I establish how much of a pain I want the opponent to be and whether I want the PCs to win regardless of contest results (I don't share either of these things with the players). I let the players know this is going to be a multi-contest scene so they can set their prizes accordingly. I've established with them that I'll signal them when victory or defeat seems eminent so they can state "finishing move" or "run away! run away!" prizes. I run two or more group simple contests, each of which builds on the outcome of the last. This allows for the tide of fortune to run in and out and makes the scene more exciting. The more difficult the opposition, the more contests I run, but I usually run 3 to 5, max. If I feel like the outcome of a contest merits it, I'll give the PCs a bonus or penalty for the next contest, ranging from -9 to +9 in increments of 3. I may also simply narrate the outcome of the next contest with the outcome of the last contest in mind, though. When the scene hits a tipping point where I believe victory or defeat has arrived, I tell the players that the next contest is the climactic conclusion contest and brace myself for the suitably dramatic final prize they dream up. Granted, that's seat of the pants GMing, but my players like it. It also means they only have to remember one mechanism: the Group Simple Contest.
  4. Wow! Thanks! It takes some adjustment as both a player and a GM. One thing that I did to ease myself and my players into it was using group simple contests for most combats. That seems counter-intuitive, but bear with me. After running several combats, I got players used to giving me more descriptive descriptions of what they were attempting and the specific prize they were after. They also started setting each other up for success, i.e., player A's prize would give player B an advantage. Then I'd narrate the outcome and let the players interrupt if they wanted to say what they thought "really happened." If what they said worked for me and the other players seemed okay with it, I'd weave it into the narration of the outcome. Once I had them used to that approach, I introduced them to extended contests. These are a little trickier. You (and your players) have to think on your feet. I think of each exchange as a typical RPG "combat turn." I describe the situation and everyone reveals their bids. I ask the players what prize they're shooting for and how they intend to achieve it. If their description doesn't line up with their bid, we fix that. Those prizes are how you get to the statuses you're looking for (me, too). Prizes like, "I use a spell to slow him," are perfectly legit. Narrate the outcome based on how many points the player bid and how well they succeeded. Then you can either use "benefits and consequences of victory or failure" to reflect how much the slow spell is impacting the bad guy, or just use your GM's discretion (that's what I do - I hate tables). The prize stated in an extended combat shouldn't normally be "I push him over the cliff." They should be stepping stones that build up to shoving him over the cliff when the contest is won. Hopefully the above makes sense and helps. My main advice is make the game your own. Run it the way that works best for you and your players. You paid for it, do what you want with it! BTW, you can find the QuestWorlds SRD free online. It has includes the current version of Extended Contests (with bidding) and Consequences/Benefits. Thanks again for your kind words about Valley of Plenty!
  5. What do you think is lacking in QW for combat oriented games or scenes? That isn't an ambush question or anything. I'm really interested to hear what you think about QW and combat heavy scenes.
  6. Godspeed, Mr. Holloway. Your illustrations fueled the inspiration of a whole generation of escapist kids. You'll be missed.
  7. My Anmangarn are a small, semi-nomadic hunter gatherer clan. They maintain the village of Blackspear to provide a safe haven for children and elders who are unable to withstand the rigors of living in the wilds. The clan is responsible for maintaining the safety of the Black Spear, which they do through a special warrior society called the Black Spear Guard. Only Anmangarn or those adopted into the clan as Anmangarn can join the BSG, and they still must survive the society's rigorous initiation tests.
  8. That's how I treat them in my home campaign.
  9. You know me, always twisting canon into something I like better.
  10. Thanks, again! That was our intent. Our main goal was to hook people on the Jaldonkiller Saga, but we also tried to make the presentation of the book a template that could be easily adjusted to some other clan. We've actually thought about doing something similar for the Anmangarn clan at some point.
  11. Thanks! Glad you like it! I thought you might enjoy Frog and Mudpuppy.
  12. One of the childhood scenarios in Valley of Plenty deals with some children inadvertently entangling themselves in a rivalry between two spirits. I can't say more than that without giving anything away. On the topic in general, it's easy to focus on the big spirits, the wyters, spirit of a known landmark, tribal hero spirits, etc., and forget about the smaller spirits that must inundate Glorantha. Being smaller, they have a lesser impact on the world and so the stakes of interacting with them are lower. That's a good thing. Spirit encounters shouldn't always be about saving a clan or village or ensuring the survival of the whole tribe. Smaller stakes make for a more personal story. Spirit encounters don't have to be threatening. A spirit might actually need the PCs help with some problem that they can't handle because they're incorporeal. Maybe they're locked to an object that needs to be relocated or repaired. Or maybe they want to deliver an adulthood gift to a person who played with or near them as a child. Helping them out may or may not result in a reward, but it's always nice to have a spirit friend! I probably run spirits entirely wrong, as I tend to think of them as somewhat fey entities. I have a lot of fun playing the smaller spirits, whom I tend to give squeaky little voices and portray as somewhat childlike and impulsive. The more powerful the spirit, the more impressive and self-interested their portrayal. This is probably incorrect, but it works for me and my group, so it might work for you, too.
  13. That sounds like it would have been a blast to play - a great series of adventures that also helped deepen the PC's ties to the setting and each other. That's GM gold.
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