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Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime

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Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture
Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime

The Beagle has a new product out tonight -

Day in the Life: Gaming the Downtime!

What happens when your characters want to Carouse the night away or Court a local? Interrogate a recently captured prisoner or Investigate that ancient mystery? Research a new spell application or just Rest for a bit? 

All of that and more is now fully gamable with tangible results and neat rewards! This Savage Worlds Rules Hack empowers the players to make the most of their skills and creativity, while enabling the GM to leverage Hindrances and invoke Plot Hooks. 

Designed originally for Shaintar, Day in the Life will enhance any Savage Worlds game. Heck, with just a tiny bit of tweaking, it will bring the fun of "downtime game play" to any campaign at all!

Check out Sean Patrick Fannon's latest rules hack for SW for only $5!

Lessoc

Ok you evil genius. Take my money!

johnmkimmins

So do these need advancements?

Al Bear - RF
Al Bear - RF's picture

johnmkimmins wrote:

So do these need advancements?

No advancements required, John. Though a character can earn a few bonuses (like a new language, defining interest, or even have a minor skill increase). I'll be discussing the system in more depth on monday.

johnmkimmins

Awesome stuff. It definitely would be worth it for me... it might be also an optional bonus for players who post journals or some other extra reward

Zadmar
Zadmar's picture

I tested out the beta version last session. One of my players has Great Luck and Danger Sense, so she can discard up to three cards and pretty much cherry-pick the bonuses - she managed to rack up 13 successes!

One idea I've considered for my own games is to make the language learning more granular (see here). It does add more tracking, but it's the sort of thing I'd enjoy factoring into my adventures - if you've ever seen "Inglourious Basterds", it has some excellent examples of the impact of different degrees of language proficiency, such as the bar scene, the opera scene, the interrogation scene, etc.  I could easily envision comparable scenes in Shaintar if the characters were infiltrating enemy territory.

johnmkimmins

For languages I toyed with an idea of using (in shaintar) it would take two advancements... the first means you speak the language badly and read lettered, the second advancement would confer fluency :-)

Al Bear - RF
Al Bear - RF's picture
Zadmar and John wrote:
 
More granular language learning.
 
 
An interesting idea, particularly if varying levels of language ability are likely to come up during gameplay. Although I was quite the simulationist gamer way back when, these days my rules additions need to pass the "to what affect does this make gameplay more fun" test before they need to pass the "does this model the setting better" test.
 
For those interested in more granular language learning along the lines of Zadmar's or John's suggestion, how do you envisage this affecting scenes in your games? Any examples to sell me on? :)
Zadmar
Zadmar's picture

Click the Inglourious Basterds links from my previous post - I'm sure you can imagine Shaintar equivalents, but here are some examples:

Bar scene: The PCs are in Camon, and the one with the best social skills is an Eldakar sorcerer with the Disguise spell and the Connections Edge. He arranges to meet his contact in a tavern, but is his grasp of Camonere good enough to fool the ears of the locals, or does a hint of his Fae accent slip through? And is that a Paladin of Archanon sat in the corner?

Opera scene: The PCs infiltrate an event in enemy territory, but have practically no grasp of the local language, so they pretend to be from an allied country instead. They don't speak the language of the allied country, but hopefully nobody else will either!

Interrogation scene: The PCs are escaped slaves, on the run from the Kal-a-Nar Empire. They hide under the floorboards of a house while an agent of the empire questions the owner. But when the agent switches from Kalinesh to Galean, can the PCs follow what is being said?

In my current Savage Worlds game I treat language as a Knowledge, so it does make an impact even then. Last session the players relied on Knowledge (Goblinoid language) to translate the writing carved on statues and archways in the ruin of an ancient goblinoid city (it was actually ancient goblinoid so they had a penalty, but they managed to understand enough to locate the building they were looking for).

Language proficiency has also played an important role several times while spying, eavesdropping, or stealing documents (all but one of the PCs have the Thief Edge). One of the PCs is also a shapeshifter, so he needs to be good at different languages in order to maintain his disguise - and his goblinoid is good enough that at one point he was able to pinpoint which region a goblin came from based on his accent, giving him a social advantage.

Obviously this is a personal preference thing, but as everyone in my group speaks at least two languages fluently it's something we can relate to in the game.

The Dread Polack
The Dread Polack's picture

I don't know how granular it needs to be, but I often roleplay the sorts of interactions where a character's fluency in a language is talked about.

For instance, our campaign is in Olara, and the PCs are from Galea and Dregordia. While both are quite obviously foreign by appearance, even if they weren't, the NPCs might remark at their accented Olaran. The Dregordian's backstory is that he was a Kalanish slave gladitor since his youth, so his Dregordian is also accented, so other Dregordians will usually pick up on that.

Having to, or being able to blend in with a local populace can be tactically helpful or even just interesting for roleplaying. Also, there are the situations from Inglorious Bastards (and other movies), as mentioned above. If you're playing an espionage campaign, it can be very important. In those cases, a die roll might also make a lot of sense, although I hate the idea of rolling dice every time a character communicates.

Zadmar
Zadmar's picture

The Dread Polack wrote:

Having to, or being able to blend in with a local populace can be tactically helpful or even just interesting for roleplaying. Also, there are the situations from Inglorious Bastards (and other movies), as mentioned above. If you're playing an espionage campaign, it can be very important. In those cases, a die roll might also make a lot of sense, although I hate the idea of rolling dice every time a character communicates.

Well sure, but "Normal use of a skill—guiding a boat in and out of a dock, repairing an engine with plenty of time and the proper tools, or riding a horse across a prairie—shouldn’t require a skill roll." (SWD page 23)

My granular approach doesn't even treat it as a skill, so there would be no separate roll at all.

The Dread Polack
The Dread Polack's picture

Yeah, that's how I see it, though I didn't explain it well. I think having rating a language skill as a works fine if the GM generally eyeballs the die type and only calls for a roll when it matters.

Alternately, your system covers it just fine, just in a little more detail than I feel is necessary :)

Al Bear - RF
Al Bear - RF's picture

Really appreciate the comments, Dread and Zadmar. I feel like I have a better appreciation of the use of languages at the table, and it's definitely something I plan to bring out more in my games. Cheers, guys.

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

The Print Version of the Support Cards is available, now!

Check the front page!

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Saiderin the Raven
Saiderin the Raven's picture

Another post that kind of makes me wish we had "Like" buttons; I love the way you play with language in our games, Betty!

"There is no heroism without sacrifice. For this, I am terribly sorry."

Daniel Lawson

I'll be putting Day in the Life to test with my Teirmann Vale game tomorrow. It'll be a pretty big change up for my hack/slash mentality players, but I think it'll finally get them to think about their characters stories.

cbooth
cbooth's picture

Bit of Thread Necromancy here, so forgive the stench of Darkness.  ;)

I'd like to hear how well Day in the Life has worked out for you (player and/or GM).  How have you handled extended periods of time when it was run (a week?  a month?).  Have you incorporated mutliple activities during extended periods, and if so, how well did it run?  

Capnsmitty19
Capnsmitty19's picture

I have not used the new version, except in a roll20 game, but I think it works very well for what it is intended for.  It has lead to some fun moments, and even added a couple new plots from card draws.  Just make sure you have a good understanding about the spirit of the rules, and be flexible when the player wants to do something that might not fit well into one of the actual tasks.  It really allows you to do alot of interactive roleplaying with things that might usually only get a hand wave in real play (ie merchant interactions, etc)

 

 

cbooth
cbooth's picture

I've run a couple of sessions using the rules, and they've turned out pretty well; I developed a storyline based on one player's draw alone!  I guess the issue I have is when players want to do a lot over a longer period of time.  I like to advance the timeline a bit, so I'll have a period of a few weeks of downtime for the characters.  It makes sense that they want to accomplish a few things during that time; after all, you're not going to sit on your butt the entire time, but you're not going to fill up every day with something either.  In the rules, it states that a player can either do two activities in a day, or "make a day of it" and focus on one activity.  So how do you handle when it's a longer period of downtime, and there are several activities that a player wants to accomplish?  What if the player wants to "make a week of it" and focuses on one activity?  Should they be able to do that for each activity if they have a few in mind?

Matrix4b

The Day in the Life is meant to be an Abstract timeframe of a day.  I usually make the "Day" a weeks time.  An alternative to this is to have the "Off Camera" time be decided by the Crossbows, Crafting, and Kazot! rules with the Work Time Units or WTUs.  I have a system that I am working on that uses the Kazot rules and the Day in the Life concepts to incorporate crafting and maintaining contacts and the like but it needs tweaking and is nor appoved yet for the Justice & Life campaign.  I am calling is "Off Camera" time resolution. I hope to have it be approval for it.  In any case, the amount of time availible is generally up to the GM.

saskdm
saskdm's picture

Day in the Life question.

Tried it yesterday and I like the concept but need some help understanding rules.

Had a Dregordian character involed in Carousing (Good Times). Looking at the Draw Chart, he would have (Hindrances below):

  • +2 for Carousing
  • +2 for Clueless
  • +1 for Greedy (minor)
  • +2 for Outsider

This is a total of 8 cards.  Do I do this each round?

Tony (saskdm)
Famous Last Word "What is a pantheon and why is it mad at me?"