Thursday, December 13, 2012

Adventure World: of elves and regents

Okay, I'm just going to put this out there: I don't like elves. The fact that they're wedged into every setting as these mysterious, nearly-immortal beings with access to ancient and otherworldly magics and then a player is allowed to just take one as a character seems dumb. If the elves are awesome then the player's character should be equally awesome, which signifies one of two things:
1) that elf character is not awesome and therefore elves are dumb
2) that player just wants to play an awesome character and wants to fast track it with an elf, which is dumb
I'll eventually sit down and write up an elf playbook for my Adventure World hack, but right now I have no interest in it. It feels like a chore.

Chalk it up to personal experience but I've only seen two players choose an elf in any game I've run before.
One was a player with no imagination, and every character he played was an elven fighter-mage. As a fellow player, it was kind of annoying because he was always just playing the same guy no matter what happened.
The other player used his status as an elf to halt the adventure. I was GMing the classic GDQ1-7 series of modules and when we got to the first drow section he said "Nope, these guys are elves, I'm leaving."
Soured, doubly so.

And as for the Regent? I'm not going to post the stats here, because 95% of the playbook is just taken from the Hardholder playbook. Leadership and Wealth play off of Valor (as opposed to Power), so that starting stats are:

• Valor+2 Power=0 Alert=0 Moxie+1 Magic=0
• Valor+2 Power+1 Alert+1 Moxie-1 Magic=0
• Valor+2 Power+1 Alert-1 Moxie+1 Magic=0
• Valor+2 Power=0 Alert+1 Moxie+1 Magic-1

And the
If another character swears fealty to you, they immediately change their sheet to say Hx+3 with you. At your option, you mark +1Hx with them at the start of every session. If they ever break their fealty, you mark experience and they can never be trusted by you ever again, change their sheet to say Hx-3 with you and it will never change from this point forward.
When another character does what you say and they haven’t sworn fealty to you, you get +1Hx with them.

I thought about giving the Regent playbook a Bloodline from Birthright, but that might dramatically alter the playbook. That's a little too much work for me right now, I want to focus on getting the basics of the game down now and tweak the playbooks as needed.

That's about it.

ADDED: A friend of mine thought that Regent special was too powerful, saying "Why not just order all non-vassals to do what they were going to anyway?"
I think intention is important for this kind of move, plus if the fiction doesn't support it than common sense dictates that that wouldn't work. Right? Here are a few examples:

Klepto (a thief):
I failed to pick Pluto's pocket.
Pluto (a warrior): I punch Klepto in the face
Bitch-trog (a regent): I command Pluto to attack Klepto
MC: Um... Pluto was already going to punch Klepto.
Bitch-trog: Yeah, but now I'll get History.
MC: No you won't! He was going to punch him before you told him to, stop being such a bitch Bitch-trog!
Bitch-trog: Awwww!

I command Pluto to attack Klepto
Pluto: I'm not going to do that!
Klepto: Well, I *did* steal your gold.
Pluto: You what?! I punch Klepto in the face!
Bitch-trog: Yay! I get History!
MC: Um... no you don't. He's punching Klepto because he stole, not because you told him too.
Bitch-trog: Awww!

I command Pluto to attack Klepto
Pluto: Yeah, why not? I stab Klepto in the face with my knife.
Klepto: What?
Bitch-trog: Yay, I get History!
MC: Yes. Yes you do Bitch-trog.


  1. Elves aren't any worse than dwarfs, warriors, or wizards, really. It all depends upon how good the player is. It isn't any harder to play a boring, "mysterious and condescending elven fighter-mage" than it is to play a boring "dwarf warrior who drinks and swears a lot." Or so I think, anyway.

    1. I agree. That's also why I say "chalk it up to personal experience."
      I'll write up an elf eventually. :)


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