Advice for more narrative game?

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Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
Advice for more narrative game?

(Same post I did from rpg.net)

Soon I'm going to be running EP for players that are either inexperienced when it comes to tabletop RPGs or who have preference for more cinematic, narrative games like Edge of the Empires (but not quite as free form as, say, FATE). Eclipse Phase, to me, seems rather unfriendly to both of those kinds of players, but as I've never actually ran it more than once, I can't verify that.

So what do you guys recommend I do or change about EP? Here's what I plan on doing so far:

-Not make them track regular ammo. Special ammo, rockets, and grenades will be tracked seperately, but regular bullets will not have to be tracked. I do want to make normal ammo a finite resource as well; just as a finite one. Not sure how to do this yet.

-Somehow implement a "range band" for more abstract movement, similar to Edge of the Empire or Numenera.

And that's really it. Any suggestions?

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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Noble Pigeon wrote:So what do

Noble Pigeon wrote:
So what do you guys recommend I do or change about EP?

Well, you can have a look through my house rules for inspiration if you're so inclined.

Quote:
-Not make them track regular ammo. Special ammo, rockets, and grenades will be tracked separately, but regular bullets will not have to be tracked. I do want to make normal ammo a finite resource as well; just as a finite one. Not sure how to do this yet.

I haven't yet run into any good ways to make something "finite, but not tracked." They generally boil down to "You have ammo right up until you roll a critical botch." Then I guarantee you, your player will roll that critical glitch the very first time they attempt to fire their weapon, and it turns out that they forgot to bring ammunition entirely! (Failing to bring bullets to a gunfight is a mistake that people generally only get to make once. Before cortical stacks and backups, it was the last mistake they ever made; after those inventions and one time making that mistake, they tend to have enough ammunition about their person to open an arsenal.)

I would say that you should assume they have sufficient ammunition for one engagement without difficulty. If they barely fired their weapons during that engagement, then don't sweat it; if they hosed an entire city block down with lead, though, then you should just say that everybody has 1d4 magazines about their person remaining. Assume that anyone who was frugal with their ammo during that fight has passed theirs out to those who weren't. And let them spend a point of moxie to make it more, to the tune of, say, an additional 2 magazines per person per point of moxie.

Quote:
-Somehow implement a "range band" for more abstract movement, similar to Edge of the Empire or Numenera.

Just eyeball it, really. If anybody calls you out on your measurements by reminding you of something you said twenty minutes ago that contradicts what you said just now, ask them if they're the group's cartographer, like in the old days of D&D. If they say they are, great! Shamelessly exploit their talent and willingness to do that kind of scut-work to have them draw up the areas and measure everything out. If not, they should probably retract their objection.

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Grabula Grabula's picture
I'm new to the forums but I

I'm new to the forums but I've been playing RPG's for a couple of decades, mostly as a GM. I have a couple of thoughts on this because I tend to run narrative campaigns and don't like to fall back too much on the rules unless necessary or appropriate. In fact, once I understand the basics of a system I rarely address a rulebook since as a GM I can make a decision on something when needed or can roll percentile or some such to determine non critical situations.

For example with ammo, feel free to work off the cuff. Don't require their players to keep track of ammo but mentally keep track of who gears up before a mission and so on. Finally, a botch/critical miss is a good opportunity to introduce a player to the experience of running out of ammo, but isn't required all the time. In fact I might only introduce it to challenge a particular character a little more, or as part of the narrative.."While I've got him cornered and alone in the bathroom I pull my gun and shoot him in the back." dice rolling sounds " shoot, I botched!" "He stops when the gun goes click, turns, smiles evilly at you and pulls out a very long knife..."

The important thing to remember is that your the GM so you obviously have to be impartial and fair, but you can 'cheat' to drive the narrative. Some players don't like the concept and need to fall on the rules for every situation, which is a way to play. I like to keep the story and the action moving and don't like to let rules bog the game down.

doublethink doublethink's picture
Dungeon World has a nice mechanism for ammo

See "Volley" basic move:

http://book.dwgazetteer.com/moves_discussion.html

http://book.dwgazetteer.com/equipment.html

http://book.dwgazetteer.com/ranger.html

Basically, a streamlined implementation of a finite resource. Fails above a certain MOS could use 1 ammo each time, etc.