Gamemastering Forged Facets 1 – General Prep

TL;DR – This is a first of three posts describing how to prepare and gamemaster Forged Facets. Forged Facets is designed to be run in two different ways; either by collaboratively playing-to-find-out or by generating an event set to explore. Regardless of what model you choose, or if you create your own, you need to start somewhere. The general prep allows you to create player agency by integrating their thinking process and ideas into the world. This way the players will more easily feel invested in the game. The difference between the two ways lies in how you populate the fiction; in the play-to-find-out approach, you rely on a clean collaborative narration to build plot and through that discover the ongoing narrative around it, while in the event set you have predefined a set of event guidelines to use for a basis for the evolving story. Whereas both systems rely […]

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Facets in Forged Facets

TL;DR – In Forged Facets facets replace much of the numerics found in other games. This is deliberate as the design goals have been to reduce the gap between the fiction created between the Gamemaster and players around the table, and the resolution mechanics. Human Interaction I’ve always been fascinated by human interaction, what creates motivation in people to interact, and what facilitates interaction. When I started out with roleplaying games in 1984, I was nine years old, had no game preferences at all besides Monopoly and Yatzy. I was blown away by the dices we rolled in the Swedish BRP clones we got in our hands, and couldn’t almost understand how cool it was to have a friend ‘s older brother guide us through mazes and labyrinths guarded by monsters. With time, we explored other games and started to shape opinions on what was good and what wasn’t. And […]

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Levers in Forged Facets

TL;DR – Forged Facets use levers to model character motivations and key elements in the story. Levers are pushed and pulled during play and can be seen as descriptive statements, formatted as powerful cues for roleplaying and character motivation. They are also designed to create player agency and ties into the experience system. ¬† Lack of Focus Have you ever played a game where characters run around trying to find a common thread to cling onto? Or a game where the players struggle with creating engaging motivations that matter over time? Or have you gamemastered a group with a very unevenly spread narration experience – or knowledge? If so, you know how much time and energy you could spend to align and get everyone going in the same direction. In Forged Facets, this natural, but quite tedious lack of focus, is addressed by introducing levers. A lever is a descriptive […]

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Forged Iron

I almost always start to work on my projects from a conceptual level. I try to find a thread that binds some ideas together or an over-arching theme that can be explored over time. Answer the big questions, flesh out the loose ends. Wrap it all up to a coherent entity, sort of. Like a bit of internalized world-building, done for myself before I start. I want it to have its own life, so it could stand on its legs, without it piggybacking on something else. The hard part is to separate it from existing games and inspirational sources, without losing any necessary heritage, and still give it a distinct feel and its own identity. Semantics matter. In this case, Iron Facets was named after quite some consideration. But obviously, it is impossible to count everything in existence into that process. Both Iron and Facets were words representing something important […]

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System Comparisons

As the Facets Engine is currently under development and implemented in its first version in Iron Facets, I thought it might be in place to make some comparisons to give a better heritage overview of the system, and what you could expect from it. First of all, in its implementation in Iron Facets, it is designed to put the focus on the narrative rather than numbers, provide a collaborative framework and toolset for fantasy adventures. The design goals have been to create a small and fast-played, adaptable system, with descriptive faceted abilities instead of values and scores, and to cut away as much mechanical clutter as possible on the player side, all while staying within the framework games Powered by the Apocalypse have established. It is based on Alfacet System, my old lovechild I designed and played years ago, long before I discovered story games, using dice pools and trait […]

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Let’s talk about #workflow

Before I start, here’s a little bit about my background. When I started with my game design ventures when I was 19 or 20, I wrote pages and pages top down without no real plan och goal. I had at that time been a creative person for my whole life, was deemed an artistic child kid at a young age and was put into art schools. But I had never had any appreciation shown for my writing skills at that time, and I had never found any joy in writing either. In the times before desktop PC’s and digital publishing tools with only a Xerox available through a friends dad, we did early prototyping, layout, and design without knowing it. A calligraphy set spurred out creativity, so we practiced old style hand lettering. We did headings we cut out and glued on top of hand-drawn decorated character sheets to Rolemaster […]

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