Thanks - And Questions about Seasons

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Thanks - And Questions about Seasons

Postby Mordaith » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:44 am

First - thank you for answering my questions so promptly. It help shed a great deal of light on some things.
One thing has left me scratching my heads about seasons. The entire seasons concept. How do you manage it all. I mean, is there a map? Do we track NPC movements and goals and what nots? Is everything kept abstract? How do you determine things like "who's land are you going to conquest over?" do you just pick some poor fool at random - or do you target a specific npc/pc?

Mostly looking for advice on keeping track of everything. It seems so overwhelming. Can it all be easily done on the tracking paper?

Thanks very much for your assistance. The Seasons chapter starts on page 231.
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Re: Thanks - And Questions about Seasons

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:06 am

Ah yes, the Seasons system...
In my very humble and personal opinion, it is a delightful mini-game within the game of Houses of the Blooded, as well as a horrific complication to storytelling, depending on how you feel about it and what you do with it.
As soon as you start getting bogged down by it, for instance, when you start managing 2 or more provinces per player, the Narrator may feel that they need to tinker with the system to simplify it, etc, etc. At least I know I did, as a Narrator and as the player of a land-hungry ambitious character.

In any case, yes, it can be as complex as written in the book, with ins and outs and complicated minor additions to things you can do, benefits, exceptions. In that sense, it is very ven.
Like I said, if you're into that, then use it to its full potential!
Conquering new lands can be as simple as making up an NPC for the sole purpose of cannibalizing his cool Castle with a Garden, an Opera House and other Holdings. Or it can be plot-driven and you and the Narrator can take the Season Actions system around for a spin just to make things interesting.

Personally, I have been looking for ways to simplify things, so keeping things loose helps tremendously with telling a good story. For instance, if one of my player's character is hosting an althua and I kind of want there to be a hunt, or an Opera or whatever, and her character does not have such holdings, I would offer a style and ask "Isn't it true that your Castle also has an Opera House?" and go from there.

Another thing is that not all players feel the same way about the system, so one player may find it boring or cumbersome, in which case allowing the land to maintain itself (abstracting the system like this: spent resources is assumed to equal trouble resolved) is a good solution. It all depends on how you feel about it, and of course, discuss things with your group ahead of time to make sure the player who spent many resources and season actions doesn't feel bitter about that other player's zero maintenance province suddenly getting a free Opera House in their castle.

So to recap, if you and your group like maps and want land conflict and potentially fighting over the same resources, draw up a finite archipelago with lands explored and unexplored and have fun with the Season Actions system.

If on the contrary, you want to play it by the book without being limited in scope, thus exploring and invading made up Provinces on the go, do so.

And finally, if you don't think it adds enough to your story without a lot of work, consider other ways to make your player characters' lands improve over time and forget about Season Actions altogether. To achieve the latter, I would suggest running everything as Risks. Taking over a Province? Roll a Prowess Risk. Add an Opera House in your Castle? Roll a Beauty Risk... etc.

Let us know what you end up doing!
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: Thanks - And Questions about Seasons

Postby Mordaith » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks!

It got me thinking. The biggest problem I was having was not knowing if it was defined in the book - and if I was just not getting it. Knowing that the system is open for tinkering is fantastic. I will likely make a map - flesh out some NPC's and politics and what not, plus lots of unclaimed unexplored land on the borders - you know to take advantage of the Wilderness book.

I've got lots of time on my hands, lots of grid paper and a lot of time before my current Burning wheel game draws to a close.

Very excited to give Houses of the Blooded a try. Going to be running a season action lite demo soon for my core group of players to see who will bite and who will not.
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Re: Thanks - And Questions about Seasons

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:20 am

Mordaith wrote:Knowing that the system is open for tinkering is fantastic.


Any game you purchase and run for your home group is definitely worth tinkering with... Every group is different, and the role of Narrator/Game Master has always been to entertain to the best of my ability rather than follow strict rules.

Don't like it? Wanna improve on it? Change it and share with us how and what and why in this forum: viewforum.php?f=4
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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