Friday, 11 September 2020

GRAVEROBBERS Bare Bones Edition - update 0.3

 New version of the Bare Bones just went live! Download for free here.

Patch notes:

Setting + semantic changes

Have changed the intro and various game terms to reflect the new implied setting, the urban gothic fantasy city of Lanton. Prep and Job phases are now Day and Night phases (this was actually what they were called in the first ever version of the game, I just remembered), other shifts in terms and tone. Changed use of die face Unicode for better readability. The Judge is now called the Dealer to fit the casino theme. This should be the final time any of these terms and bits of flavour are changed or updated.

Crime changes

The Grifter is now the Mountebank. No more die roll for items, now gets set vials of potentially useful substances. Other small changes to starting items in some Crimes.

New Rule: the Raise

One additional line under Night Phase means that players can now “raise” a fellow player’s roll with some risk/reward cooperative stuff. Not too dramatic but should bet everyone focused in more on the rolls.

This is probably the last “big” change to the Bare Bones until it goes to layout/art - which will be whenever I can afford it. So... we’ll see. Support your local graverobber by redownloading the Bare Bones and tipping a buck or two!

Happy gaming x


Picador said...

Hi DG! First time reader - just picked up v0.3 and it's very cool. I love what you're doing with the number 13 and the Third Eye motif.

A couple of questions:

1. I see that the Grifter is now the Mountebank -- perhaps the Grifter's "unassuming" outfit should be something flashier now?

2. I don't understand this sentence: "Players may also “lay low” by drawing a card to restore a character’s lost Luck." How does this work? What does drawing the card do? Under what conditions is Luck restored? Does this mean that the character draws a card (bringing them closer to 13 and therefore to losing Luck), does NOT get to do "something meaningful in preparation for a job", but gains a point of Luck? If so: isn't it a bit odd that you risk losing a point of Luck if you decide to restore a point of Luck?

3. Speaking of doing "something meaningful in preparation for a job": this is all handled in-fiction, or is there a mechanical effect? Since all rolls have the same chance of success, I assume this preparation simply affects fictional positioning during the Night Phase?

4. And speaking of rolls and chance of success: if the average Odds value is 3 or 4, isn't the chance of success pretty low (40-50%)? Is the bar for "something meaningful that could get them hurt or caught" supposed to be quite high?

I think I get the gameplay cycle here: on average you can get away with drawing 2-3 cards during the day phase without losing Luck, which means 2-3 prep actions or restoring 2-3 points of Luck. At night, assuming you start the night with 3 Luck, you can get away with about 6 risky actions (as a "level 1" PC) before your Luck runs out altogether. The more you press your luck at night, the more you have to lay low during the day and forego preparation (which could mean more risky rolls the following night). Is that about the size of it?

D. G. Chapman said...

Hey, thanks so much for your comment!

1. I am definitely considering this. I'm very attached to Unassuming as a gameable adjective, but it could become something more suitable. One of the other Crimes might take on Unassuming instead.

2. You have it right, to "lay low" the player draws but the character does nothing. In fiction the character is literally laying low, hiding out, biding time etc. This still risks breaking 13 because they could be discovered while simply going about their business, especially if they have drawn attention previously (mechanised through the Eye). The House is always closing in. These details will be clearer in the final version - I had to make concessions for space.

3. Yep, this is all about fictional positioning. Buying supplies would necessitate a draw, for instance, or waiting outside a building all day to make note of when the guard changes. Again the full text will have examples and guidelines to hopefully make things clearer!

4. That's exactly right, and the difficulty level is intentional. Players should feel encouraged to think outside the box and avoid rolling at all where possible - rolls are last resorts, more like saving throws in other systems than ability checks.

Hope this clears things up! Thanks again and I hope you have fun with the system :)

mylescorcoran said...

Your link to gumroad is broken in the post. should link instead to

D. G. Chapman said...

Well that’s odd! I think maybe the new blogger doesn’t like shortened links. Should be fixed now, thanks!