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Ranges, movement, miniatures, etc.

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40 minutes ago, Quigonjinnandjuice said:

We like to use a white board for the map. Like dgamal said, I just draw the setting and let my players know what the scale of the area is. This keeps from players misinterpreting the scale for each encounter after. No need for a grid in my experience so far, but I can see it working. Just be clear with the group that a square one encounter may be 5 feet, but for another encounter it could be 20 feet..

To avoid a board or minis entirely due to it being a narrative system, just isn't our style. Minis AND great narrative make for flavor in the game that makes players feel more engaged.. At least with my group.

I agree. Maps make it much easier to react appropriately and keep things straight in your head. It is far too easy for 2 players to come up with completely different layouts to the same description and thus react in ways that dont make sense

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2 hours ago, Daeglan said:

I agree. Maps make it much easier to react appropriately and keep things straight in your head. It is far too easy for 2 players to come up with completely different layouts to the same description and thus react in ways that dont make sense

Definitely, that's really the only flaw of an entirely narrative and imagination driven campaign. Everyone perceives things differently.. Having the layout for surroundings and enemy/player locations, grid or not, is going to help any player.

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I just recently used note cards in one of my sessions and it seemed to go over really well.

We were playing through a jungle encounter and came across an encampment. I ripped the note cards into various sizes to give the idea that building A is smaller than building B and spread them out on the table. The players used traditional dice as their minis and placed them around the "map." I would then tell them, this bad guy was about medium range from where they were. If they wanted to move within short, I would point to where I thought that would be.

As the encounter progressed, I let them grab note cards and "edit the map." Especially if they rolled advantage and said, "I want there to be a tree 'here' and it falls over and blocks their retreat." This way we let it be very narrative and they were not limited to what was or was not on the map. It gave the player the freedom to say, "I want to take cover behind a boulder," then we'd rip a small piece of note card and place that boulder on the map. We also established that the minis and note cards were just visual aids and made sure that they narrated their movements and actions as they moved their minis around.

I thought about using pre-printed maps that I have from Saga Edition, but saw on one of the forums that someone else used note cards and decided to give it a try. I felt that this method not only brought over some of the "old" feel of playing through an encounter but also allowed for the freedom of the narrative dice. It helped myself who is relatively new to the system and my players who were struggling buying into this change.

But as has already been mentioned, this is what worked for us and everyone else should feel free to play in a way that works for them.

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39 minutes ago, Archangel3000 said:

I just recently used note cards in one of my sessions and it seemed to go over really well.

We were playing through a jungle encounter and came across an encampment. I ripped the note cards into various sizes to give the idea that building A is smaller than building B and spread them out on the table. The players used traditional dice as their minis and placed them around the "map." I would then tell them, this bad guy was about medium range from where they were. If they wanted to move within short, I would point to where I thought that would be.

As the encounter progressed, I let them grab note cards and "edit the map." Especially if they rolled advantage and said, "I want there to be a tree 'here' and it falls over and blocks their retreat." This way we let it be very narrative and they were not limited to what was or was not on the map. It gave the player the freedom to say, "I want to take cover behind a boulder," then we'd rip a small piece of note card and place that boulder on the map. We also established that the minis and note cards were just visual aids and made sure that they narrated their movements and actions as they moved their minis around.

I thought about using pre-printed maps that I have from Saga Edition, but saw on one of the forums that someone else used note cards and decided to give it a try. I felt that this method not only brought over some of the "old" feel of playing through an encounter but also allowed for the freedom of the narrative dice. It helped myself who is relatively new to the system and my players who were struggling buying into this change.

But as has already been mentioned, this is what worked for us and everyone else should feel free to play in a way that works for them.

 

My FFG GM has a theory he wants to try sometime with this or Genesys, running it without a GM. Based on how the dice work he thinks with some minor modification it could be used as a player only system. 

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10 minutes ago, ASCI Blue said:

 

My FFG GM has a theory he wants to try sometime with this or Genesys, running it without a GM. Based on how the dice work he thinks with some minor modification it could be used as a player only system. 

As GM I only ever roll when there's combat. So really you'd just have to, as a player only game, roll what would be the "Defense"/"Reaction"/"Negative" pool as the "Action"/"Positive" pool - using Yellow/Green/Blue die - and vice versa for the NPC attack.

I mean this changes the dynamics of combat significantly as the "Action" dice have higher rates of success (resulting in less lethal combat), but it seems workable. Especially since combat is pretty lethal already.

Edited by emsquared

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19 hours ago, Archangel3000 said:

We were playing through a jungle encounter and came across an encampment. I ripped the note cards into various sizes to give the idea that building A is smaller than building B and spread them out on the table. The players used traditional dice as their minis and placed them around the "map." I would then tell them, this bad guy was about medium range from where they were. If they wanted to move within short, I would point to where I thought that would be.

Have you played FFG Warhammer? Warhammer had Location Cards which narratively described generic locations (Small Path, Loud Tavern, Deep Jungle, Small Bridge, etc) while suggesting some mechanics for the location (Setback to Perception checks for low light, the Smithy has several makeshift melee weapons, etc). I developed what I called Over-sized Location Cards, which were around note card size. I used a system such as Engaged - mini upon the card, Short - mini on the edge of the card, etc to denote ranges. More cards could be plopped down for new locations while noting the range between them (the Small Bridge is at Medium from the Loud Tavern).  So, we still used minis to help with knowing where everything was at, but it was kept narrative enough that players could expand on the details.

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1 hour ago, Sturn said:

Have you played FFG Warhammer? Warhammer had Location Cards which narratively described generic locations (Small Path, Loud Tavern, Deep Jungle, Small Bridge, etc) while suggesting some mechanics for the location (Setback to Perception checks for low light, the Smithy has several makeshift melee weapons, etc). I developed what I called Over-sized Location Cards, which were around note card size. I used a system such as Engaged - mini upon the card, Short - mini on the edge of the card, etc to denote ranges. More cards could be plopped down for new locations while noting the range between them (the Small Bridge is at Medium from the Loud Tavern).  So, we still used minis to help with knowing where everything was at, but it was kept narrative enough that players could expand on the details.

21 hours ago, ASCI Blue said:

 

My FFG GM has a theory he wants to try sometime with this or Genesys, running it without a GM. Based on how the dice work he thinks with some minor modification it could be used as a player only system. 

I have not played FFG Warhammer. But, it sounds like I did something similar. I had the players explore a crashed ship, and I wrote on note cards the different rooms and hallways and each card had an obstacle or creature with a difficulty rating on the card. I then shuffled the cards and spread them all out face down. Each player would take turns drawing whichever card they wanted and that was the next room or hallway they came across and then had to resolve whatever was on the card (if anything) before being able to press on. I also used a random loot table so if they wanted to search the crew quarters, they would roll their skill check and then based on the result they would roll on the loot table.

It was a very player driven session with me as the GM flipping Destiny points to increase the difficulties or add in new obstacles that were not on the cards. The main thing I contributed was the overall plot idea and then rolled during combat encounters. I'm running another session like this in about a week and if it keeps working out, I may create my own PC and play along with them.

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