Monday, July 9, 2012

Story Realms Preview: Adventure Kits Part 2

More fun with Adventuring Kits!  Last Friday, we kicked off a week long preview of Story Realms Adventuring Kits.  These cards are the Story Realms solution for making adventuring gear fun and easy.  We started by revealing the Wanderer Kit and the Wizard Kit.  This fine morning we are continuing our preview by showing off the Healer Kit!

The Healer Kit

As you can see, healing in Story Realms is a little more herbalism and little less trauma surgery.  Magical healing is also possible, but even then, a properly mixed poultice might aid the effort.  We’ve tried to keep the items in the kits a mix of straightforward and surprising.  A cooking pot is fairly self-instructional, but that jar of goo might be anything!  Adventuring Kits are meant to be used creatively and spark imaginative solutions to the challenges of the story.  Of course, with an Adventuring Kit like the Healer Kit, you might feel a bit specialized.  Sure, you’re totally prepared to gather strange plants, mix odd herbs, and cook up something crazy, but what if you need something a bit more practical?  Well thankfully, you probably remembered to pack it in your pocket.

The Power of Pockets

In Story Realms, we want players to have fun with their adventuring gear without ever having to pour over lengthy equipment lists to make sure they packed the right thing.  To this end, we try to build the challenges of every adventure in such a way that there are multiple avenues of success.  You’re never stuck just because you forgot to bring along some rope.  However, with only six items to an Adventuring Kit, there is the strong possibility that a player may want to pull something out of their pack that simply isn’t there.  That’s why every Adventuring Kit has two pockets.

These pockets are full of possibility!

Twice during an adventure, a player may attempt to pull absolutely anything that could reasonably fit into a backpack out of these pockets.  In playtests, we have seen players try for handy things like rope ladders, pretty things like gemstones, and crazy, madcap things like wrist-mounted, automatic chicken launchers.  All valid ways to go on an adventure.  If you can think it up, you can probably find it in your pack.  Getting what you want is not a guarantee, however.  You have to roll for it.

Grab Rolls

Whenever you search your pack for something, you have to make a Grab Roll to see if you dig out the right item.  To do this, you simply roll two dice.  A single hit on one of the dice means you pull your heart’s desire right out the pocket.  The odds are strongly in your favor to succeed (75% for the math-minded), but once in a while you will go searching for a trusty knife and come up with something else entirely.  If the roll doesn’t succeed, you still put a marker on the pocket to show that it has been “used up” for the adventure.  However, you don’t come away empty handed.  Instead, the Storyteller gets to decide what you’ve found in your pack.  This gives the Storyteller an opportunity to present the player with something else useful to the situation, an odd item to use creatively, or simply add a little humor.  The Storyteller can decide on anything, but the game provides a list of twenty suggestions that includes a silver hammer, a mysterious mask, and a fluffy pillow.

How Do the Rules Handle Players Who Can Pull Anything?

People experienced with storytelling adventure games might be a bit daunted by the idea of players with the freedom to pull out any item.  I mean, how does a Storyteller stat out an automatic chicken launcher on the fly?  Couldn’t a particularly creative player completely overpower the adventure or worse, bring it grinding to a halt?  In Story Realms, our goal is make sure the focus stays on the fun.  We want the story to keep moving forward, and we don’t want players to have to look up a bunch of odd equipment rules.  That’s why we printed all the rules you need to know about how equipment works right on the Adventuring Kit!  Take a close look.  Do you see them?  Try squinting.  I find that when I cross my eyes, spin around 5 times fast, and then look, “something” definitely shows up.  Still can’t see it?  Well then you should check back later this week for part 3 of our preview.  You’ll learn all the rules you need to know about how adventuring gear works and what it means to have the right tool for the job.


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