Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Taking the Narrative By the Tail: GM Intrusions and Special Effects

Product– Taking the Narrative By the Tail: GM Intrusions and Special Effects

System-Numenera

Price– $0.99

TL; DR-Length hurts this short book 83%

 

Basics-This small, six-page guide give ideas and suggestions for how to better implement GM intrusions and new ways critical successes and failures can impact your game.

 

Crunch or Mechanics AND Fluff or Story-GM intrusions are a mixed bag.  As the guide and main book point out, the GM doesn’t roll dice.  Therefore, this is HOW the GM rolls dice.  Want a character to trip and make a scene?  Offer an intrusion.  Want an item to start beeping strangely?  Offer an intrusion.  This book honestly offers NO new mechanics, but it really explains mechanics that are already part of the system.  And it explains the hardest to grasp of the Numenera core rules.  For that, I really liked it.  There is no story whatsoever, but this is all about how to tell the story.  You’re adding to the story through these intrusions since its part experience offer and story alteration.  It’s the same story as mechanics. Here is HOW to write a Numenera story, and, HOW to mess with the players/story on the fly.  For that goal, it’s done really well and taught me how to better execute that part of the rules and story.  I would have liked more discussions on how often to do intrusions.  I’ve never been in a game of Numenera, so I don’t know how often other GMs add intrusion.  Are they a major way to add experience points to a game?  This guide should have addressed that.  Special effects kind of get half a page.  For an idea that gets top billing in the title, it really needed more! 8.5/10

 

Execution– This is an extremely short book, but it’s also less than a buck.  The product does have some new art, which is nice for such a short book.  It reads quick and well, but there isn’t a lot there to make it long.  Its well done, but I would have liked a bit more.  I’d suggest a few more suggestions for both the intrusions and especially the special effects.  Also, if you publish a six page minibook, the seventh page should not be a giant advertisement!  I’ve bought all those books, but for a dollar, I don’t like 1/7th of my book to be an add or half a page is old art from the bestiary! 4/5

 

Summary– This is a short book that any Numenera GM should really read.  There is nothing for players in this book.  I can say from experience that the hardest part of GMing Numenera is intrusions.  When/how should I do it is a major problem when I run my games.  I do feel better equipped to add better thought out intrusions into my game more often.  However, I do have some remaining problems.  The addition of special effects was kind of a joke.  It’s got equal billing, but less than one half a pages.  That should have been its own six page guide.  All said, this is a decent guide to GM intrusions, but not much in the way of special effects and its extreme short length hurts the guide. 83%

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Daily Punch 5-14-14 Rapid Recovery Feat for DnD Next

Something my character really want to have for those times when you don’t have a healer!

 

 

Rapid Recovery

You can spring back from the grave with an almost eager zeal!

Benefit:When you stabilize after being knocked unconscious or naturally regain 1 hit point via normal healing including rolling a natural 20 on a stabilization check, you may spend a number of hit dice equal to your constitution modifier as normal.  This requires no action and occurs immediately when you you regain consciousness.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 5-13-14 Druid Class for BareBones Fantasy

With Wild Shape, we can have a druid!

 

 

Druid

This skill represents experince with the forces and order of Nature

  • Dual Natured– For each level in this class gain +5 in scout and cleric.
  • Natures Blessing-each druid level gain one of the following spells- wild shape, control weather, dispel, divination, entangle, heal, summon, transform.  Use the cleric skill to determine all effects for these spells.
  • Master of self and animals-Increase the number of times you can use Wild Shape and Summon to twice druid level for each.

Level     Name

1           Initiate

2          Druid of Earth/Wind/Fire/Water

3          Master of the Elements

4          Druid of Summer/Winter/Fall/Spring

5          Master of Seasons

6          Supreme Circle Leader

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 5-12-14 Wild Shape Spell for BareBones Fantasy

I bought the BareBones Fantasy RPG at AnCon.  I’m liking what I’m seeing, but I know my wife would love to play a druid.  How about we start working on that….

 

Wild Shape

Range: Self Only

Usage: 1/day

Duration: Varies

Resistance: None

 

Effect:  This spell allows the caster to alter his/her shape into that of a living, natural creature.  The time and creature rank are similar to the Summon Spell, but with the deration multiplied by three.  The caster uses all the attributes of the creature summoned, but BP are not altered.  Any wounds done to the caster remain after the caster has reverted.  The caster may still cast spells while in the wild shape.  This may not be made permanent.  Any effects like permanent loss of ability points remain after the spells end.

Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Loonacy

Game-Loonacy

Price-$15

Producer-Looney Labs

Players-Two to Five

Set-Up/Play/Clean-Up- Five minutes (YEP!  FIVE MINUTES)

TL;DR-SLAM DOWN CARD FUN! 93%

 

Basics-I usually do long, drawn out, complicated games, but here goes a quickie.  Loonacy is a quick shape matching game.  Each card has two shapes dividing the card in two.  If you play Fluxx, you will recognize all the shapes are former card art from all the different Fluxx games.  There will be between four and one piles of cards.  Players rapidly SLAM cards onto piles where at least one shape matches.  There are NO turns, and no quarter given!  Can’t play a card?  Then you point to the draw deck, and when all players are pointing, you draw, and start again.  No turns, not long thought process, just slamming cards down as quick as possible.  AMAZING!  First one out of cards wins!

 

Theme-There is no theme here, but then again, there should never be theme in this kind game. 0/0

 

Mechanics-The game is quick and simple.  It’s not bad, but for my crowd, some of the hard-core Eurogamers got in fights over how to draw cards.  REALLY GUYS!?  It’s fun, but a bit simple. 4.5/5

 

Instructions-The instructions cover one side of a page.  That’s it.  But, you don’t need any more instructions than that! 5/5

 

Execution-Cards are nice, and the art is good.  BUT, I really hate recicled art.  This product is ONLY recycled art as it’s all the art from every fluxx game out there.  It’s not bad art, but it’s recycled.  If you can get past that, it’s a great product. 4.5/5

 

Summary-Want a card slapping game you and your friend can play at Burger King at 4AM after a marathon DnD game?  Here you go!  Want a game you will spend weeks organizing at making sure all the players can make it?  This is not it!  This is a fun, simple game designed to get players having fun quick.  Honestly this is Uno if all the players just played at the same time and all the offensive cards were removed.  If you like the Fluxx team, buy this.  If you want a quick family game, buy this.  It’s ~15 bucks.  For a simple, quick game, that’s a good value. 93%

Daily Punch 5-9-14 Web Guru Positive Quality for Shadowrun 5e

My local technomancers have been having some problems.  How about some positive qualities.

 

Web Guru

Cost: 15 Karma

You are awesome and you know it!  The net is your biz and you’re its wiz.  When you use a complex form, increase the results of the complex form by 1.5.  As an example, if you use resonance spike and have 4 net hits, you cause 6 boxes of damage.

 

 

Thoughts?