Narrative Control – Episode 5 – Hacking Systems

Narrative Control Episode 5 is up! This week Justin is back and as usual we’re giving our own spin on a much beloved topic. We’re talking with me about hacking systems. Everything from porting games into different settings to combining our favorite mechanics.

Liner Notes

[0:28] Introduction to the show. Hacking systems.
[0:50] The show is a bit long. Let me know if it is too long. Email us:
[1:42] bumper.
[1:58] What we mean by hacking systems.
[2:36] Justin’s current game. A hodgepodge of games:
[2:52] Cadwallon – Setting and Dice pools .
[3:28] Wushu mechanics – Detailed bad ass combats on the fly.
[3:52] Fate – Stunts.
[4:04] Shadows of Yesterday – Experience Keys for experience and character flags.
[5:00] How has this been accepted by the players? Pros and Cons
[6:17] Is this play testing a new game?
[7:08] Sean’s accidental hack of Prime Time Adventures with Exalted.
[7:39] Removing screen presence to allow equal importance for con games
[7:53] Allowing every player narration rights.
[8:30] Changes made specifically for the con environment.
[9:07] Change fan mail to allow the producer to grant fan mail.
[9:40] Other reasons to hack games? Games that don’t have strong social conflict mechanics.
[10:38] Hacking Duel of Wits from Burning Wheel.
[10:55] Why? Players want to do actions in a game that involve a complex and fun mechanic.
[11:38] Brining it together. Molding mechanics to fit in the core game so players aren’t learning completely separate systems.
[12:33] Systems that are very easy to borrow from: Wilderness of Mirrors, Fate.
[15:17] Games with great mechanics and situations screaming to be ported into other settings: Dogs in the Vineyard
[15:34] Using In a Wicked Age by swapping out Oracles.
[17:03] A Battlestar Galactica oracle on
[17:25] Don’t get Sean started on shnotes.
[17:36] My Life with Master has a very thin setting, easy to move. Sean ported it to My Life with Joker.
[18:47] Some games that are tightly coupled with their settings. Value in playing the game as intended?
[19:08] Dozens of setting hacks for Dogs in the Vineyard but the original setting has so much character, don’t discount the value of playing a straight Dogs game.
[22:10] Settings that have benefited from different systems: Exalted using Prime Time Adventures and Wushu/Wuxalted
[23:30] Exalted Unplugged.
[24:12]Shadowrun alternative systems: Prime Time Adventures, Burning Wheel and Don’t Rest Your Head
[29:46] Our parting worlds on hacking systems. Try it!

Shadows of Yesterday
Prime Time Adventures
Burning Wheel
Wilderness of Mirrors
Dogs in the Vineyard
Sinister Game
My Life with Master
Don’t Rest Your Head


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