Aug 272014
Rag-NERD-rok Podcast Tree

The brave band of Nettlers set off on their quest to save their dying hometown! First, they decide to journey north toward the mouth of the Chillfinger River, in hopes of restoring its flow and returning the town’s water supply. They learn that a tribe of ogres has dammed the river somewhere upstream, possibly at the behest of an outside force. Before they set off, however, they’ll have to deal with a traitor at the bandit camp whose loyalty still lies with the corrupt nobleman who runs the town. What perils will they face in the north? What magic sustains the plants and animals of the forest while leaving the citizens of Nettle to die of thirst? What’s going on between Gilda the Griffin and Taeros the shapeshifting Elf? And, seriously, what’s with Avon’s voice? Listen in to this week’s Dungeon World adventure to find out!Campaign Navigator: Dungeon World – “The Nettle Crusades”

<– Previous Episode: “Meet The Griffins”
–> Next Episode: “It’s All Ogre Now”

  • crawlkill

    I have indeed turned into an alcoholic since discovering this podcast. I’m not sure there’s a direct correlation, but I’m not ruling it out, either.

  • Kevin

    *James looks at me*
    *I look at the circular burns up my arm*
    *slowly pull up sleeve*

    I was told you never have to regret the things you did drunk the night before if you don’t stop drinking. No hangover, no problems.

  • Drooloverme

    Hahaha, I have myself a drink or two while listening 🙂 maybe you right.
    One of the guys had that sultry deep voice reminded me of commercials or something, the yawning had me laughing, and the infamous burps are back, after popular demand 😛 though I probably got the burps confused with that deep voice haha.
    Shape-shifting elves are the shit by the way and Dr. Pepper.

  • Omega

    So going back to actually listen to the Nettle Chronicles, I think I’ve begun to pin down what elements I think are the most un-*W like, and thus which bother me the most. It’s when Ryan calls for rolls from multiple people at once, which is not modeled for in the Apocalypse Engine real well. The GM and players are supposed to kind of parse it out and go around to everyone in turn. This is for, I think, a couple of reasons, which are exemplified in the case of this happening that kind of got me thinking about it. First, it impacts fiction first. The example of this is Barnabas and Avon with the griffins. Barnabas does something (fiction first), which Ryan calls for him to roll Parley. He also tells Avon to do it, despite the fact that James says he wasn’t really trying anything (and James should have just not rolled). The other is consequences of failure. DW is one of those games where you’re not supposed to roll the dice if failure doesn’t mean anything. So, when you fail, the GM is supposed to be making hard moves of his choosing. This is why I say Ryan is going easy on you, when you all roll Discern Realities because you think that sounds good, and 3/4 of you fail, each failure SHOULD be a bad thing happening or some narrative consequence. The story should move forward, not stop because you failed. So when you all fail at once like that, something like a Tarrasque bursts from the ground and says “Come at me bro” should probably be happening. And if 3/4 of you succeed, you end up with redundant rolling, which also doesn’t advance the narrative any. Basically, you should not be rolling basic moves for funsies, but only when it actually matters, and you do something related to that. (Multiple people may wish they decide to Discern Realities / Read a Sitch on the same scene, but they generally do that on their own, and their questions are not always related to the same thing).

    Another thing is, Ryan has an NPC roll a basic move, which is (unless Dungeon World has gotten very different since I last checked) never supposed to happen. NPCs do not use moves the same way a player does, and the GM shouldn’t be rolling dice (except maybe damage dice, if you feel like it. I know some DW GMs who make players roll damage on themselves, because they take damage due to a player facing choice). If an NPC makes a move, they should either just do it “When threatened, Barrow runs screaming into the distance”, or it’s a player facing choice “When Barrow defies danger, roll STR/CON/DEX/INT/WIS/CHA to oppose the tactic he takes”. This also works because the GM can’t offer a hard bargain or tough choice to himself.

    Listening to Nettle so far has been a unique experience for me. I like the stories and the character interaction, but as opposed to every other Apocalypse Engine game I’ve listened to, where I’m like “Yeah, use your moves”, I actually feel better when you guys aren’t rolling the dice.

    (Also, while I don’t know if that’s what you mean by straight-edge, or whatever, I don’t drink. I prefer stimulants to depressants. And by stimulants, I mean caffeine)

    • Omega

      So reading all that, I feel like I’m being a little hard on Ryan. He does a good job, and he follows most of the principles pretty well (the one in contention here is “Begin and end with the fiction”), and for what I assume is kind of a first major outing for Dungeon World in a vacuum, get’s pretty close, and operates inside the intention a decent chunk of the time. I admit I had a couple years of listening to APs of multiple *W games to build up to me actually having an opportunity to run Apocalypse World for the first time.

      The players are not entirely without fault here. And I don’t know how much of this is just habit or not having really dived into the system, but there’s some stuff. They often ask Ryan “can I do X”, when they should just state what they are doing and they can declare for a move or have Ryan relate a move (If all else fails, read the first sentence of the move in question aloud, only state you’re doing it, like “I stand in defense of Gilda”), though I get that part of this is being newer to the game and not knowing all the ins and outs yet.

      The other thing I’ve noticed (though this is more particular in Ep 3, which I’m on right now, I’m just keeping all my commentary in one place) is that they metagame a lot, which really doesn’t work with the above principle of “Begin and end with the fiction”. ex, Taeros says he wants to spout lore about Ogre’s eating habits (okay, technically, he asks Ryan, but in general, that’s probably appropriate for a Spout Lore with qualifiers like that.). The action he’s taking is he’s in a bush, looking at Ogres, and he wants to know what they like to eat. Asking God is like asking yourself, narratively. Alex doesn’t do so hot, and before it’s resolved, Meyer jumps in and says “hey, I know about ogres, I’ll spout lore about that too”. Except, Pendril has no reason to do so narratively. He an Taeros are both sitting in a bramble bush, and since Taeros basically asked himself, Pendril has no knowledge in the fiction that this is Taeros line of questioning. If he just wants to spout lore about Ogres, that’s okay, maybe he gets something. Ryan resolves Taeros’ failure with one of his own moves (I presume “Give an opportunity that fits a class’ abilities”, since that’s what it sounded like, but it doesn’t matter since you’re not supposed to announce your move as GM) and gives Taeros some unrelated information which in no way answers his original question. If Taeros then says aloud “Damn, I can’t think of what ogres like to eat, do you know what they like to eat?”, Pendril has a point in the narrative to jump in and spout lore by going “I dunno, what do I know about ogrish cuisine?”.

    • I made a hash out of the Dungeon World rules because I was rather irked by the completely player-facing mechanics at first, and I tried to make them something they aren’t. It took me a long time to really get behind the way GMing Apocalypse Engine games is supposed to work, and while I was figuring it out I did something different that never quite worked.

      As I believe I said in the comments on the first session, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We played all seven games of The Nettle Crusades in a very short time period and finished the big raid in Session 7 all the way back in July or August. I think the whole first part of the campaign might have been resolved before we even posted the first session. After I actually ran the game and reread the rules, I realized that my attempts to give the GM mechanics rather than the much more potent moves within the fiction were doing the campaign a huge disservice.

      We recently started the second part of the campaign, and I think you’ll find I hew much closer to DW’s intended GMing style than I did in these older sessions.

      • Omega

        Yeah, I figured you did them pretty quickly, which after the first session was originally why I didn’t continue listening. But I do enjoy the actual story of the Nettle games, and as I kind of sort out my thoughts about it, I’m getting more used to the kind of, I dunno, “asynchronous” play where one minute, you guys are doing it just like intended, then the other where it turns into a clustercluck. I’m going to keep listening to catch up, but probably wont continue my ongoing series of critical analysis micro-essays unless you guys goof up in some new and spectacular way.

        Really, because I’m concerned for Apocalypse World, and it would be a shame if D. Vincent Baker ate your hearts to gain your power or whatever happens to gaming groups who shame AW’s mechanics.

        • Omega

          (Note, by all accounts, D. Vincent Baker is probably an okay guy, who writes many excellent games, like Dogs in the Vineyard, Poison’d and In A Wicked Age, which you should all check out. But Apocalypse World is written in a certain tone, and some of that tone is that if you don’t do it right, Apocalypse World may stab you. Apocalypse World will not buy you a puppy. Except maybe to strangle it in front of you, and laugh at your despair, because that’s pretty Apocalyptic, dog.)

%d bloggers like this: