Thank you again for the nice welcome. As I posted in the What Are You Working On Right Now, I’m working on a game called Let’s Go To Magic School.
Having completed my first long running campaign, I want to revise a basic move.
When you address a problem with magic you have not mastered, make the necessary preparations and roll +Learning. On a hit, you can do it. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1.
- You don’t have to break any rules.
- There are no side-effects.
- Gain Training with this spell.
Special: If you have Training with this trick, take +1. If you do break rules, remember to raise your Scrutiny.
As you can imagine in a game about apprentices this move runs hot, so it has to be as good as possible. We already added the concept of Training during playtest. Originally you had just the option to master a spell you do with the move, but while that was alright for oneshots, it broke down in campaign play.
There are still some issues:
- The clause about making the necessary preparations in the trigger is often ignored. Magic should be more than just waving your hand and players should stop and think about that.
- Breaking the rules and accruing Scrutiny makes sense while the play is on the school grounds. Scrutiny marks you as being naughty in the eyes of the teachers / authorities. It breaks down as a consequence, if you are all alone.
- When characters do this, their friends are often there too and jump to help. That makes sense in the narrative of course, but it triggers the help move, which tends to clot down the play, if it happens frequently.
This is the help move:
When you encourage, help or show kindness, roll +Heart. On a hit, choose 1.
- They take +1 on their roll.
- You ease their suffering.
- You guide them through a spell you have mastered. They can use it right now.
On a 7-9, also choose one of these.
- It costs you something.
- You expose yourself to a problem or danger.
- You reveal something you wish you hadn’t.
Now, to address problems 1 - 3, I tried changing the magic move:
- Preparation can be part of the choices in the effect body. This should have the players think about it. Adjust the number of choices accordingly.
- Breaking the rules in stories about magic is not always about punishment. Often there are simply bad things happening to you. So instead of Scrutiny, players may choose to mark a condition.
- Having an assistant could be an alternative to extra preparations. This should not trigger the help move, although even more partners might.
For my current revision incorparting these solutions, I have negated everything for better readability:
When you address a problem with magic you have not mastered, roll +Learning. On a hit, you might do it and gain Training. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 3.
- You need extra preparation or assistance.
- You have to break the rules. Raise Scrutiny or mark a Condition.
- There are side-effects.
- You just got lucky. Do not gain Training with this spell.
Special: If you have Training with this trick, take +1.
This basically does.
Question 1: Is this clear enough? Can the text be better?
Question 2: I’d like to make it clear that assistance for magic one has not mastered does not trigger the help move. I’m not quite sure how to do that. Change the text on the help trigger maybe?