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About Swiglitz

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  • Birthday 10/16/1974

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  • Location
    Manchester, UK
  • Interests
    I'm a freelance writer with work published By Fantasy Flight Games in the Black Crusade and Rogue Trader product lines, including; The Tome of Blood, the Tome of Excess, the Tome of Decay, Twilight Crusade, and the Tau Character Guide. I've also had 3 short stories published in the Wyrd Chronicles.
  1. Flips and you (or not you, depending)

    I'm not talking about mechanics. Or statistics or removing/adding any elements to the game. I've tried pretty hard to deliberately not bring maths and such into my posts as I think laying bare the bones takes away some of the magic of playing pretend. I like the TN system as it stands because it feels right for the setting. Fates sets you up (TN) you try to beat fate (your skills and flips). Things like percentages and other forms of maths sorcery don't come into it. The game feels less random, it feels more like the players are in control and that they're doing all the work, it feels like they're special. Adding a random element to the TN feels like Fate doesn't really know it's doing. Whether any of this holds up to scientific inquiry is irrelevant, to me at least. I'm not trying to say the the Through the Breach system is best out there, I play (and love) plenty of other systems with a more traditional approach, but for the setting and the stories I want to tell I think it's fine the way it is.
  2. Flips and you (or not you, depending)

    For me it's always been about the fluff. The Fated have been chosen by Fate, they have been given a destiny. By one reason or another they are aware of this phenomenon and choose to either embrace it or deny it. Fate sets them up to play their part in it's grand scheme and they make their decisions. Fate is the fixed TN and the fate deck. Simply put, Fate says 'these things are going to happen' and the fated respond. All the actions are theirs to make. I don't need random flips as the fate master, I simply do. This action is difficult, it's important to Fate's plan, therefore you get a high TN to make go against it. This action is less important, you get a lower TN to go against it. It was similar in the Gumshoe system. The GM made no dice rolls in that either, you gave the players all the relevant information and they made their way through the story. It works really well as it empowers the player, placing all the actions and decisions entirely in their hands, no 'lucky' dice rolls meaning you miss a vital clue or get battered senseless by a Giant Rat. Fluff and story are the most important things to me, and I do a lot of mechanics handwaving or tinkering to get things to fit how I want a game to feel, as opposed to how it plays.
  3. Giant Robot Fists, for Non-Robots

    I've changed my mind, you can't do it
  4. Flips and you (or not you, depending)

    Theorizing this out doesn't appear to getting anywhere. I would suggest you play a couple of one-shots with fixed TN's, then play a couple more with opposed flips and see which version you prefer. As we all know, it's our game and we're free to play it however we see it. Table-top experience will always trump theory and only good can come from it.
  5. Flips and you (or not you, depending)

    Something to keep in mind for this discussion is that most fight oriented NPC's are quite singular in their skill sets and have quite high acting values, Defence 5-6 seems to be the average with most attack actions coming in at between 4 and 6. This is off set somewhat by the fixed card flip governed by their rank. If you start integrating a random flip for NPC actions you're going to make some encounters far more deadly than they have cause to be. This will have the knock on effect of blurring the lines between what makes a character like a Gupp different from a Spawn Mother. This is workable by going in and altering the core stats of most NPC's in the game to keep a balance between relative power levels, but the granulation of AV's is actually quite small. If you look at the tabletop there's plenty of minions with AV's of 5 or 6, a level similar to most enforcers, henchmen, and some masters, that's fine for a game where both players should be on a equal footing but is that what an TTB, or any RPG for that matter, is? Have you played the game with static TN's yet? Like every other GM in the known world I tinker with rules-sets and hardly ever play a game 'out of the box' and I had my doubts about the system until I played it. It actually works very, very well and ended up being one of the things that makes TTb stand out. Also, don't most games have fixed TN's for player actions anyway? Outsisde of dodge actions and the like when you're rolling to hit someone, they don't roll against you. TTB is a player facing game in both fluff and mechanics and think the two gel very well in the fixed TN system. I'm not sure about your line about being able to take 10 outside of Dramatic time. I don't have my books with me but I don't remember reading that anywhere. I was under the impression that if an action would be rote for a fated you don't flip, you just assume success unless failing would have consequences in which case you flip as normal. I might be wrong on this though. It's been a while since I needed to read the rules section of the Almanac.
  6. TTB FAQ (Old Thread)

    You could take them as Manifested Powers, although you might want to beef them up a bit if you did that.
  7. December 14th - Large Arachnids

    Eurgh! But that's Eurgh! in a good way.
  8. TtB GM help!!

    All of the advice above is awesome so I'm not going to repeat what these guys have already said, but ... In terms of writing your own adventures/scenarios/stories, I could write reams and reams about this but I'll try to boil it down to a couple of, what I think, are key points. 1. TtB is a very player facing game, by that I mean the Fatemaster doesn't engage in any mechanics behind the scenes. You don't make any card flips or engage in any game mechanics beyond setting Target Numbers and interpreting results. As a result of that it can be difficult, at first, to get a feel for what makes a challenging encounter, be it social, combat or whatever. My advice when starting out is to err on the side of caution and set the TN's on the lower end of the scale. An average TN should be somewhere in the 9-11 region, but that doesn't mean your Fated will be able to hit that number with any regularity in all situations. For your first few encounters I'd be looking at lower TN's maybe something like 7-9. If you find the Fated are breezing past these challenges you can start to ramp up the difficulty until you're happy with level of success/failure. This is quite an organic process so don't think you have to have it all figured out before the game begins. Besides, giving players a high success rate early on lets them feel quite empowered and capable of taking on whatever challenges you throw at them later. 2. Plot and pacing trump mechanics. Never let the game rules get in the way of a good scene or story. Feel free to bend or ignore the rules occasionally if it leads to a more fun experience. Most players won't call you on this if they have a good time or get to do something cool in game. 3. Players will surprise you, fact. They'll think of things to do that you never considered. They'll ignore your carefully scripted clues and run off pursuing their own red herrings. This is going to happen. There's no way around it. To get the most of this, be prepared to think on your feet a little. The good news is, you are omniscient, you know what every other character in the scenario is thinking and doing when your players start blazing their own trail. It's up to you to steer the Fated back towards the plot by using whatever tools you have available. NPC's might take different actions due to the Fated's interference or lack thereof, so be prepared to fudge it a little. Or you could fully embrace the Fated's whims and decide their ideas are better and more interesting than the story you have written. This requires a lot of by-the-seat-your-pants, sandbox style playing but can lead to some really memorable stories, particularly as the players get to think they're really smart for figuring it all out. 4. Destiny steps are a tough call in my opinion. There's a lot of really great advice on these forums about interpreting and writing for Destinies. I'm currently trying a different tack. My scenario's are written ahead of time with a view to tying all together to form a larger campaign, very much like a TV series. Rather than trying to cram in 15-20 destiny steps into this already complex arrangement we resolve Destiny Steps during the Epilogue of each Story. I'm firmly in the camp of involving the players in every aspect of the game, so when we complete a scenario we talk about the skill progression as a group, rather than me dictating what skills they can choose from. Once this is done we talk about if anyone feels like a scene or event in the scenario resolved a destiny step. I've found it helps draw the players into their character's and destinies as they feel like they're having an input in the future of their character. It often ends up much like someone reading their horoscope after the fact with players finding reasons to attach significance to otherwise mundane events. This may not work for everybody as it requires a pretty open dialogue between all the players and the Fatemaster, but if you're struggling to find ways to fit things in it's worth a shot. I should probably mention that sometimes no one feels like they resolved a destiny and that's fine, not everything in life is a portentous symbol of your fate. Also, if more than one player feels they've touched upon their destiny that's also fine. 5. Finally if this is your first time GMing I'd suggest reading as many of the pre-written Penny Dreadfuls and One-shots as you can. Even if you don't use them they'll help give you an idea about structure and pacing, and you can always steal any particularly cool scenes or characters for your own scenarios. Have fun, and please pop back on and let us know how you got on.
  9. Steam Harness qeustions.

    There's nothing stopping Fatemasters tinkering with the rules for Destiny steps, it's our game after all, but I'd be loathe to give a player a piece of equipment for resolving a Destiny step. It seems a little below par compared to getting an increase in an Aspect or a manifested power. Now if you give the player the ability to build them as a manifested power, thus creating their own one and potentially others, that's a different story
  10. Steam Harness qeustions.

    I agree with Happy-Yeti. If you know one or more of your players wants one, I'd find a story reason to introduce one, perhaps in an abandoned workshop deep in the Quarantine Zone, or the lair of some macabre Arcanist/Resser like Professor Von Schtook. Given that the harness is one of a handful of mystery items like Relic Hammers and such, I'd say the players can't 'just make one'. Given time to study a working example I imagine a player of sufficient skill could replicate one but that's outside the scope of the crafting system as it stands. Of course that means you're free to impose any costs you wish, ideally something more than just a scrip value.
  11. How does the Dreamer lose?

    To echo Kadeton's comments, how are your summons able to hold their own against your opponents fresh models? If you're summoning 2-3 models at a time you must be burning through cards at quite a rate, or just getting very, very lucky. When your summons come in on one wound and slow how do you keep them alive? I'd love to see some of your opponents lists, with big hitters like Lilith and Mei Feng facing off against you, and (arguably) a more powerful summoner too I know I'd struggle to counter everything an opponent can throw against me, and score the strat, and my schemes. Are your opponents targeting the weaker models (daydreams, alps, fresh summons etc) with their blast attacks? If you're summoning them in close to the Dreamer to get his healing it shouldn't be too difficult to clip Dreamer with a blast marker, if you're summoning them far away, they're not getting the benefit of his healing aura and and should fall over pretty quick. The twins notwithstanding the Dreamer suffers from an over abundance of damaged models after summoning. There's tons of healing available but if your doing that, it's activation's used up and used on scoring and bunching up models. Perhaps take up a couple of offers of a vassal game from some of the folks here and see what folks do to counter you?
  12. The off-topic closed?

    I never used the off-topic thread, but it's obvious that a great many people did and sorely miss its presence. It also seems as though the idea of 'random chat' thread is not one that Wyrd really wants to get behind. I won't theorize about why that might be as I actually have no idea. That being said I don't think that the idea of chatting with your friends on this forum has to go either. It might seem a little clunky but perhaps having multiple threads open regarding the various topics that were discussed might work in its stead. Even if they're quite broad in scope. A music discussion thread, a favourite film thread, a Taylor Swift obsession thread or what-have-you. Although it would lack some of the organic nature of the Off-Topic and it's ability to merge from one thing to another at least we'll all still be able to talk rubbish at each other about whatever it is that's on our minds. As I said before I never used the Off-topic so don't really know how viable a solution this is, I just think that looking for solutions rather than asking after reasons is a happier place to be. Cheers,
  13. What's the wording on her Welcome to Malifaux ability? I know she gets a free charge against a model summoned in, providing it's in range and LOS but does it follow any other rules for charges? If you summon something into base contact with her, or within it's own engagement range can she still charge it? I have a regular opponent who uses Taelor quite frequently but up until now I've always summoned out or range or beyond LOS.
  14. Morning chaps, Now that GenCon is behind us and normal service has resumed, I was wondering if there's a street date for Into the Steam and/or Northern Aggression yet? I would love to have ordered them from GenCon but the sudden spike in International shipping for adding a moderately heavy book turned me off to the idea. I've had a word with my local bricks and mortar store but they've, so far, come up empty. Cheers,
  15. Most in-theme masters?

    You're quite right I did. I don't have models for them yet so I have yet to field any. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.