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A race of sentient buckets, created by a wizard that needed to bail water out of the foundations of his tower.  Not knowing anything about pumps or screws, he enchanted a large numbers of buckets and compelled them to endlessly collect and dump water. To ensure no loss in numbers, he gave them the ability to create new buckets to maintain their number and to repair themselves. These wooden creatures can each contain 1 gallon of water, though their little legs move slowly under the heavy load. They have two legs sticking out beneath bottom and a pair of small arms instead of a handle. No one knows how they sense anything but they seem to. They communicate by banging their hands on their bellies. A party of heroes found still doing bailing the tower’s ruins and brought into town.  They were sold into work for a tidy profit.

A tear stained scarf, belonging to the arch wizard Ririoshi. After his beloved was killed in an accident of his own making, Ririoshi was overcome with grief.  The scarf was a gift from his lover, that he refused to part with.  The tears have magically imbued the scarf so that it gives a large boost to the wearer’s own abilities.  The price is a penalty to feeling any sense of happiness.

  • A demon obsessed with lemons
  • A bag that contains a box filled with minor irritations
  • Tens of thousands of small bitey mice
  • The palm fish tree, that grows upside down into lake
  • A wishing ring that only grants wishes about changing past mistakes

    Image Credit – Deer Isle by Diana Robinson – CC-BY-Nc-ND-2.0


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7 thoughts on “Short Seeds for RPGs – Buckets and Scarfs

  1. I picked up the core rulebook for the Sentinel Comics rpg at a con last week and just finished reading through it. It's a really nice book but I'm struggling to picture how it would actually play.

    The system looks like it would handle superhero punch-ups under time pressure really well but how does it handle anything else?

    I'm imagining the heroes having to lie to their boss about where they disappeared to when they saw that giant robot on the tv or asking if they've heard of particular scientist's work before or searching a villain's destroyed base for clues.

    In other games those would be skill checks but in this its always the overcome action using a power and a quality, which I would imagine means you often roll pretty low for them since a lot of heroes won't have a relevant super power for such a mundane action.

    So for folks who've played or run it? How was the game when you weren't punching bad guys beneath a ticking clock?

  2. Today I read what feels like the 800th “I want a Sci-fi game”-post with zero details that gets recommended Traveler and Stars without Number, and preceded by another “I finally got my group to stop playing D&D, what should we play next?” with barely any context on interests. It's obvious that these posters haven't looked at the wiki recommendations despite the several reminders to do so (literally as I'm writing this post, there's one in the header). I think it's time to draw consequences.

    It's possible to make automod remove posts that do not contain specific keywords. My suggestion is therefore that all the games that currently receive the automod reminder to look at the wiki for recommendations are removed if they don't follow a template provided by the mods. Have automod send the poster a message if their post is deleted that they need to fill the template if they want their post to stay up. The template could be situated in the wiki, on the same page as the recommendations directory. This would not only force people to put in the minimum effort, but if the template is done well, it could also help suggest games that simply fit better to what OP wants

    Quick suggestion for template (automod keywords “Question”, “property”, “veteran”, “PG13” – it really doesn't matter as long as it's words contained in the template that rarely occur in posts together)

    Copy and paste this table (or use it in list form) into your post. If you do not have an answer to a question, write “NA” into the answer field

    Question Answer What genre are you looking for (for example: fantasy; sci-fi; superheroes; mystery; universal) If you're trying to emulate a specific media property, which one is it and what parts about it interest you? (for example: I enjoy the Pirates of the Carribean movies and would be interested in swashbuckling with some magical elements) If you have a theme or storyline in mind, which is it? (for example: I want to play a game where people are stranded on an alien planet) What's your experience level with TTRPGs in general? (for example: I have only ever played one game; GMing veteran) How freeform/narrative or complex/crunchy should the game be? Did you try or consider any specific TTRPGs for the idea you mentioned above? Why did you decide against them? (for example: I considered Call of Cthulhu, but I dislike skill-based systems) Do you have any other preferences we should know about? (for example: It should be PG13; I want a game with lots of modules)

    This considers the possibility that a person may be looking for help trying to pick between systems as well.

  3. Come here and talk about anything!

    This post will stay stickied for (at least) the week-end. Please enjoy this space where you can talk about anything: your last game, your current project, your patreon, etc. You can even talk about video games, ask for a group, or post a survey or share a new meme you've just found. This is the place for small talk on /r/rpg.

    The off-topic rules may not apply here, but the other rules still do. This is less the Wild West and more the Mild West. Don't be a jerk.

    This submission is generated automatically each Saturday at 00:00 UTC.

  4. I wan't to study Leveless systems in fantasy games(not necessarily fantasy genre it's enough that swords a swinging and spells flying).

    Here I have a list of ttrpgs that I know does not have any levels. Am I missing some very obvious one?

    Runequest (BRP system) Savage Worlds Genesys WFRP Advanced Fighting Fantasy Band of Blades Dungeon World? (Might have levels) Hârnmaster

    Thanks in advance.

    Edit: added some to the list.

  5. If you've played or read through Spire or Heart, I'm curious: What is the minimum age or maturity level for reading these games?

    What I mean is, these games are appropriate for adults, but…

    Are they appropriate for older teenagers (15–17)? Are they appropriate for younger teenagers (12–14)? Are they appropriate for older children (8–11)? No, right? These games are not appropriate for younger children; too complex.

    More important than age is why you think so. What content informs your judgment? If you remember a younger version of yourself, when could you handle reading this game? (Not necessarily running the game; just reading) Are Spire and Heart different enough that you'd give different answers?

    Context: Thinking about a gift for my my sister's spawn. I have not yet read through Spire or Heart so I lack sufficient context to judge for myself or to ask my sister with any reasonable detail. That said, the kid is bright and my sister is very respectful of her kids' autonomy; that's why I'm interested in maturity level and specific content that informs judgments, not just age.

  6. First and foremost, I myself am not sure what this post is for. To spitball a little, I guess. Hopefully, I won’t step on many toes.

    I’ve played and GMed many games, and some PbtAs in the past (Kult, Masks, Monsterhearts). We’ve recently played Broken Worlds and I don’t know, I feel a little sour, I guess.

    As I understand it, Powered by the Apocalypse games are meant to be played by putting fiction first. This does not mean that players won’t often attempt to drive situations in a way that they can solve whatever problem, obstacle or issue with their best stat — I understand that. Similarly, a charismatic but flimsy person will usually attempt to solve problems by talking instead of fist fighting.

    But Broken Worlds felt odd, and it’s a feeling that I guess I have always felt when playing these games, but I really felt it with Broken Worlds. In my mind, the game is ideally played by putting fiction first. “I will leap against the enemy with my sword raised high!” instead of “I will use the Fight move”. It’s just, the games allows so many stackable bonuses that are triggered by certain moves that eugh, I really felt like I was playing DnD or something. “Okay, so my Agility is +2 but my Body is also +2 and because I have a dagger with the finesse trait, I can use both Agility and Body for the Fight move, I will usually roll with a 2d6+4, so I will almost never fail. Before doing anything, I will use the Observe move though, and then if I pass, I will use hold to increase my damage. My knife is also Fine so that’s a +1 to damage, and my poison makes my first attack of the day brutal which ignores armor or something. Oh, and…”

    Let’s not even talk about the Train move. Whenever there was a hint of some free time, everyone would attempt to train, veering for any advantage that they could get. I feel like they are pretty present in these sort of games and in my experience, either players forget about them, or remember them too much. Egh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s me. I’ve been playing much tighter games recently and I’ve grown to really enjoy them. I honestly can’t recall if any of my past PbtA experiences were exactly like that, but I did always feel like I wasn’t playing it as I should. I can’t help but feel like there’s a correlation between optimization and loose rules that are very antagonistic to the fiction first motto, and that will tend players toward caring more about mechanical rules rather than fiction.

    Not that an optimizer can’t roleplay well, mind you. It just seems to hurt a game that cares to push fiction forward, instead having it come to a halt so a player can clarify why they just imploded an old god with their knife in the first attack of combat.

    So, what do you think? Valid thoughts or just sour feelings over a game that I didn’t jive too well?

  7. I saw that you guys enjoyed the first one I posted, so I wanted to see how you would feel if I did this on a weekly basis, or simply me posting the most loved stories.

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