Tag: Party of Light

Party of Light: slightly improved character sheet

So after my last Star Wars themed game of Party of Light with 2 nieces and 2 cousins I realized the character sheet has a few problems that consistently come up. First of all though the game session went well. The kids were a bit rowdy and energetic, as is to be expected from kids, but they all had fun. Not sure how well the Star Wars theme came across since they weren’t as familiar with it as I expected (as they had all seen at least the original trilogy). So some of the players might have fit better with the standard medieval fantasy approach.

Anyway here’s the new sheet integrated with the rulebook: Party of Light (v2.1)

And here’s how it looks:(for reference the old one looked like this)

The changes are purely from experience and feedback I saw with the players. First of all everyone got confused that “Speed” was on the same row (and had the same style) as Might/Mind/Magic. They all thought it was an option for their Best/Worst stat. So I instead moved Speed down a row, and put the Damage dice instead (since the kids tend to like to line up the dice on their sheet, and there was no place for the D4). I also expanded the Stamina section since kids write really big, and it’s a hassle for them to erase. I shrunk the Backstory a bit to fit this. Otherwise just minor changes like lining up the background pictures a bit differently.

Another lesson I learned was kids love maps. We had a few scenes without maps during the Star Wars game, and they weren’t nearly as invested, and even asked “do we have anymore maps?” “when is the next map?”. So although it’s much more preparation (I’ve been spoiled by Fickle RPG!) to draw maps, and results in a more linear session, it’s definitely worth it to them.

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Party of Light: Star Wars

I did a fun little re-skin of Party of Light, my light game meant for teaching kids the basics of RPGs. Previously the game was your typical medieval fantasy setting. I made a Star Wars version with the same mechanics, but a more sci-fi looking character sheet. This was because I’m aiming to play the game with my nieces and my cousin’s kids sometime soon, and Star Wars seemed like a pretty universally known setting. Plus it’ll be fun to try something where Magic isn’t a factor, and shooting, outsmarting, and using more mundane approaches to problems will work. Although the Force is in the game, it certainly has more limits and restrictions on what can be done.

Anyway here’s an example of the Star Wars version of the character sheet:

And the actual Party of Light (Star Wars version) rulebook and character sheet download.

This time I might not use so many battle maps, since those are a lot of work to prep and really restrict the path of the story. I had a huge backlog of fantasy style ones from various D&D campaigns, but I have very few for Star Wars, so I’d have to make them all. My previous Star Wars RPG experience was running an Edge of the Empire campaign for ~6 months, and being a player in an Age of Rebellion campaign for less time than that.

Session Ideas

Here’s my notes document for the game I plan to run for the above crowd. Should be a fun time. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that an enemy like a Flame Beetle won’t seem tired and overdone to a bunch of kids who didn’t grow up playing Neverwinter Nights. I can basically re-use all the standard tropes and concepts and they will be new to them.

ORD MANTELL
– Start on Ord Mantell (L-7) in Cargo Port H-3911, which is on a raised platform over a river of silt
— Has regular shuttles to the Jubilee Wheel
– Characters were all trying to board a shuttle for their own reasons
– Suddenly a Chadra-Fan (short bat race) named Pok comes rushing up and begs the characts to help him escape
– Says he has information important to the Rebellion
– As they decide they hear Stormtroopers approaching from further down the platform
– Ideally rush onto a shuttle to the Jubilee Wheel
– Learn more about Pok on the flight, he says he has a data stick containing a new Imperial spaceship design
— Ship design is the “Cairo Class Destroyer”
– He needs to get the information to Kashyyk, home of the Wookies, to a friend Shew’hrruk

JUBILEE WHEEL
– Need to evade capture and get/charter a ship on Jubilee Wheel
– Get a Wayfarer class ship (use old EoTE map)

SPACE CHOICE
– Can choose to fly a shorter route across wild space (generally more dangerous), or along known hyperspace lanes (higher chance of Imperials)
— Wild space: Engine malfunction, have to land on a remote jungle planet Aleen, wander and find a camp of Silas Hadlock, who is dead, and his droid servants have been carrying on trying to survive. A flock of Ravenbeast (violet fur, horned, jump/glide) have been harassing the camp. Droids can fix spaceship if heroes clear Ravenbeast camp
— Hyperspace lanes: Need to refuel on Tanaab (agricultural planet), Imperial entanglements, fight in a cantina while ship is being refueled?
– In either case Pok dies or is gravely injured?

BOUNTY HUNTERS (can be dropped for time)
– On the next leg to Kashyyk bounty hunters on a Harpoon class ship overtake the Wayfarer and board. Right as they are recalculating a jump to Hyperspace.
– Fight on the Wayfarer

KASHYYK
– Reach Kashyyk next, Shew’hrruk is hunting in the Shadowlands
— If pressed for time just find Shew’hrruk right away
– Descend to try to find him, end up fighting a giant Flame Beetle with Shew’hrruk, then give him information

Update to Party of Light damage system

Remember when I talked about changing the Party of Light damage system to use D4s? Well, I did that.

Grab the latest rules: Party of Light Rules v2 (PDF)

But I wanted to keep the original “flat 1 Stamina” approach too, so I basically made a “Basic v1” and “Advanced v2” of the rules. I could even see a v3, v4, etc. as I add more complexity, statistics, classes, and so on as my nieces grow up and want to play a more involved game.

So anyway the change is Success is now 5+ and the difficulty dice have changed to Hard = D6, Normal = D8, Easy = D12. This changes the odds a bit, in a beneficial way to be honest, and also frees up the D4 to become a Damage Dice.

Also for now the rules don’t specify anything about Critical Hits, but I do want to consider adding something like that eventually. I’m gonna play the game tonight and see how it works and how Crits would fit in well. Originally I considered just having max to-hit roll = crit, but that makes Easy much less likely to Crit than Hard. Hard would actually be a 50% to Crit if you hit, since you’re only hitting on a 5 or 6 on a D6 anyway. So maybe I need a different approach. I like the idea of having the D4s potentially explode, but that could be really swingy and time consuming, so maybe just 4 on the Damage Dice gives +1 damage or something.

Party of Light damage changes

After a few sessions of Party of Light with my nieces (who the game was originally designed for), I’m considering adding a tiny bit more complexity.

The reason stems of all attacks currently do 1 Stamina of damage. This results in fairly predictable fights, where enemies die at an expected, steady rate.

I’d like to change that. What I would do is first of all change the underlying core dice resolution. I’d change Success to 5+, then switch the difficulty tiers to:

Hard = D6, Normal = D8, Easy = D12, Heroic still D20

This results in odds of 33% Hard, 50% Normal, 66% Easy, and 80% Heroic.
Currently the approach is 4+ Success on D4, D6, D12, so 25%, 50%, 75%, and 85%. So with this change Hard becomes more likely, and Easy is a tiny bit less likely (not extremely happy about that, but the odds are still pretty good).

The second step would be adding a “Damage Dice” of D4 (now that it’s not associated with a difficulty). The Damage Dice in theory should be rolled at the same time, but realistically I imagine it’ll be a second step like how most D&D players do it. The result is the Stamina damage, instead of a set amount of 1. Of course all related Stamina values would be updated (such as total hero Stamina, item effects, etc.)

This also allows for Critical Hits to be a new mechanic. If you roll the max on your to-hit dice, you maybe automatically do the max 4 damage, or roll a bonus D4, or something.

I’d also likely codify and do a minor tweak to the “Powerful Attack” idea, which currently means a person making their check +1 difficulty to do double damage. Now it would be D4+2 damage instead. Or maybe just roll 2D4. I’d have to see what feels better, but I think the former because I don’t think my nieces have 2D4 each.

So yeah, should add a bit of variety to pacing, and make the system closer to a traditional RPG to help transition the kids as they get older. I imagine I’ll playtest this idea next time I run the game for them, and if it seems good I’ll write up the changes and release an updated rule PDF.

Preparation notes for Party of Light

My light RPG Party of Light has been played a bunch with my family, who I designed the game for more or less. I thought today I’d share some of my session prep notes. Mainly because they look awfully similar to the detail, story, and complexity I could achieve when I was running D&D campaigns.

For a bit of background this is midway through the campaign with my nieces. The sessions before had them tracking down a purple goo that spread and poisoned the land. In the end the goo was set loose on the world by a King who was mad with grief at the loss of his Queen. Was a fun time trying to investigate and test the properties of the goo, track down it’s source and origin, and find a way to stop it.

PLOT
– Receive a message via messenger from the King’s brother, a ruler to the north
– He wishes to hear the tale of the “Mad King”, offers to transport party
– Have an NPC captain who is likeable and a bit of a guide. Uses Mind to charm
– Travelling by boat up north
– Crash along the way in a wintery, forsaken land
– Various attacks and battles
– Captain thinks aggressive ice creatures are being driven by something
– Eventually revealed a frosty white dragon is to blame
– Find a lot of frozen people and settlements
– Escape eventually by finding a warm grove with flying unicorns
– Druid who owns grove tells of white dragon
– Can choose to go north to King’s brother or stay to fight white dragon
Continue reading “Preparation notes for Party of Light”