Apr 152015
Rag-NERD-rok Podcast Tree

The Nettlers (and Taeros) find confrontation beneath the Knifecrag Mountains when they run into Lord Edwardson and his escorts, who have braved the perilous Throat-Cutters’ Caverns in order to purchase a slave army for the royalist cause. After thoroughly (and messily) dispatching the former Lord Mayor of Nettle, they find a map to the secret underground palace of the deep elf slaver Slime, who Pendrel has sworn to dispatch. The group also encounters a wandering thief, a human who calls himself Humble even though he clearly isn’t, and they recruit him to their cause with promises of treasure in the lair of the dracolich. With a new party member along for the adventure, the Nettlers (and Taeros) decide to infiltrate the slaver’s palace by having Pendrel and Barnabas pose as Lord Edwardson’s paige and his bodyguard, while the rest sneak in and free the captives. However, their task might not be as easy as they imagine, for Slime and his gang of deep elves have developed a method of brainwashing that creates suicidally loyal troops. In addition, it just so happens that Pendrel’s former master, the despicable ogre Graytusk, has stopped in to purchase a new love slave. The Nettlers (and Taeros) soon discover that revenge is a dish best served cold, perhaps on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato and a little mayonnaise. Can they defeat Slime and Graytusk, free the captives, and continue on with their quest? Listen to find out!

Campaign Navigator: Dungeon World – “The Nettle Crusades”

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  • Omega

    While I appreciate admitting you weren’t playing RAW, I think Ryan’s still a little too aggressive with the “action economy” to quite be playing RAI.

    There’s no strict turn order or initiative system for *World games. Either a player fucks up a roll and presents an opportunity for a hard move, or when everybody has done stuff and the action needs to move forward, MC can make a hard move. GM’s moves are there to move the game forward and keep things interesting, which does not always mean “ha-ha, you get stabbed, deal with it band nerd”. Nothing actually prevents someone else from saying, “I’m gonna defend Pendrel” or pendrel from saying “I get the fuck out”.

    In fact, the optimal method would be to phrase it like “pendrel, your shit is gonna get stabbed, what do you do?” to keep it player facing. Then he could defy danger, hack and slash or even be defended by someone else. The key is that it’s a completely player-facing choice based on what they narrate to do, rather than be tightly limited to what the MC thinks should happen. For other Apocalypse Engine games where Harm is static, this is what the game means by “as established”.

    I actually had something like this come up in my Monsterhearts campaign last week. One character taunted an NPC (who was described as mad and slightly buzzed) and I said “Okay, she’s gonna take a swing at you, what do you do?” He elected to fight back, so it was Lash Out Physically, which can inflict harm back on a partial hit. But he rolled 10+, so he just did a linebacker charge and shoved the NPC in the pool (where she took one harm, but because she’s secretly a dvergr she can take a couple hits and keep going).

    More thoughts as I get deeper into the episode, but I’m already loving Chris’ character and his relationship with Pendrel, esq, Elf at Law.

    • chris

      Hopefully pendrel and humble will have a long friendship involving theft and dishonest lawyering. Like Mike ehrmantraut and Saul Goodman. That ended well, right?

  • Whyco

    Great job all around, guy. The characters are really coming along, I like the flash-back mechanic to reveal prior events; in the games that I’ve been playing we can get bogged down in trivial events so having a cinematic structure really helps the story feel dynamic. Ryan, can you make any recommendations for impromptu RPing activities to get players into a creative mood?

    The characters are all great, I enjoy where you’re taking them and the story.
    Chris, it’s great to hear you back as a regular.

    • chris

      Thank you sir, Its great to be back.

    • Hey, sorry it took me so long to reply to your question, Whyco. There was a death in my family last week, and everything besides grieving for my aunt and attending services fell by the wayside for a while.

      I think any activity where you ask for the players’ input and actually use the material they give you will naturally inspire them to be more creative. They want to be entertained, after all, so when you turn the mic over to them in a meaningful way, they’ll do their best to say something interesting. You can do this on an individual basis or bring the whole group into it, just be careful not to put anyone on the spot unless they’re comfortable with it. Ask questions and start discussions. Give the players a say in what’s going on and what it means.

      It helps if you give them some guidelines or a jumping-off point, or at the very least a few options. When I started thinking about the second season fronts for The Nettle Crusades, I wanted to show the players that their actions had consequences in the setting, beyond what they intended. I knew that the revolution they started in Nettle had spiraled out of their control and spread throughout the land, but I left the exact nature of how and why up to them. I prepared a few lists of what I thought were interesting options (see here, page 3), and before we started recording Session 8, I passed out copies and I let them decide as a group what their rebellion had become. I gave them a framework and they filled in all the specifics.

      But really, the best advice I have is to ask questions and then make the answers relevant. Get comfortable with improvising. Let the players frame scenes. Give them a reason to invest in the story—because it’s partly theirs.

      • Alex

        And always give them enough rope to hang themselves with.

        • Unit Omega

          I know this is effectively a two-month late jump into this conversation, but I saw this reply going back through the archives in prep for possibly playing some DW.

          I’m pretty sure Alex just hit the *W nail on the head.

  • Nextlevel2

    Ryan is definitely attacking them accents lately like a G!!… Ok back to listening, just thought I’d say this…

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