Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Bloomed Earth Changes to Cypher - Part 2


By Christopher Robin Negelein

Here we roll into the rest of the changes I've made to Cypher for a gritter take.

Splitting XP and Grit

Splitting XP. When trying to tighten the scope of Bloomed Earth, I noticed XP costs established the worth of several things across the board. Change on cost on one reward and the incentives for the other choices changed. While I wanted to increase the cost of Advancements to give GMs the option of longer campaign, I preferred the enticement of other benefits to stay the same (for now.)
Part of this from is my own GMing style where I give away XP – I mean Grit a lot in play to encourage the behaviors I’d like to see at the table. We are also going back to the expectations that names give us. Despite requesting players to spread their XP around, they see the label of “Experience” and they only wanted to spend XP on advancements and advancements only. Combine that with urge to give XP out freely and split XP has been a long standing house rule. Simply adding a new name will hopefully cement a player’s mindset.

One Type Down and Powers as Flavor

I’ve already discussed the power of renaming and reskinning with a theme in mind but sometimes you have to take a step further.
Bloomed Earth (and the upcoming MFPNP: RPG) are worlds where individuals with super science and superpowers are rare or low-key. And while creating a watered down Adept is a valid choice, using the Flavor and the corruption mechanics lends to players making some hard choices of how much they want to dip into having strange powers and how far the are willing to go to pay for it.

Corruption (Spore) and Spiral Mode

This was the biggest challenge. Many systems give you a rising corruption score and away to check against that score. Few of them give additional ways to impact that score other than meeting more corrupting stuff.
I renamed horror mode as spiral mode to reflect that it covered things that could set off a Spore check. Since spending Grit can’t avoid a Spiral check, GMs can now make a player’s spore score go from background danger to an immediate threat until the scene has passed. I look forward to hearing the stories of close players came to losing their PCs on this one.

Vehicle rules

These were tricky because I wanted something just a bit meatier to appease my anticipated audience for the game, but wanted to avoid a rabbit hole of a whole sub game. The vehicles also have interplay with the Tier 3 cap of the game by letting PC enjoy additional Armor and damage without the GM needing Level 10 or Level 12 creatures. Protip: if you want to take on a Maak, get a weaponized sedan.
Community building rules
This was easy. Arcus Masmeyer/Qedhup’s rules looked great and I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel.
That wraps up the changes ... that I can remember. You can check out the playtest version of Bloomed Earth here.
Go, Ganza, go!

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