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Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:09 am
by The Angry Monk
I recently played my first PbtA game and thought the ideas of the bonds was really interesting. Has anyone else used this mechanic during character creation in their BFRPG?

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:54 am
by Solomoriah
You might explain "bonds" (and PbtA for that matter) for those of us who live in BFRPG-land and pretty much never leave...

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:19 am
by The Angry Monk
Oops, sorry. I always think that I'm the last one to know about these things.

PbtA stands for Powered by the Apocalypse and it is a rules engine that is more story-based in play. I have only played one game (Ruma) once, but it was how PbtA creates characters that I thought was pretty slick. Each player is given a character class, and the player then chooses the character's abilities from a small list of options. One section of the character sheet is a thing called "bonds." I think in other PbtA games this is called History (or Hx?). Here are the instructions from the character I played:
Bonds
Everyone introduces their characters. Take your turn. List the other character’s names. Go around
again for Bonds. On your turn, ask at least 1:
● Which of you joined the cohort [party] at the same time as me? For that character, write Bond +2
● Which of you do I look up to as an example of Ruman ideals? For that character, write Bond +3
● Which of you do I not trust to have my back? For that character, write Bond -2
For everyone else, write Bond +1. You see everyone as an ally until they prove otherwise.
On the others’ turns, answer their questions as you like.
So before the players play, their characters have made connections to one another. These bonds can aid or hinder the other characters during play. Let's say a character with whom I have a bond is fighting a monster. I could aid that character because we joined the party at the same time or I could hinder that character because I don't trust them.

I thought this idea would be cool in BFRPG for one-shots or the very first game for a party because it would create instant connections and add some mechanical pluses or minuses to the role-playing. The fantasy PbtA version is Dungeon World. I will have to see how they handle bonds.

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:41 pm
by Dimirag
I personally don't like to force those bonds, I let my players to form the bond they choose with the character they choose. It will make that some pc's have a common background while others will create it over the course of the game.

If I would use bonds, I would "open" them, so players can in a way, create npc's, familiars, friends, enemies, and the like.

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:16 am
by Solomoriah
I don't like it. In the Old School, we never restrict a player's ability to play his or her character, except by in-game means (i.e. charm spells, etc.).

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:09 am
by Metroknight
In any long term games I run, I usually request (not require it) each player pick one of the other PCs and note how their character knows them and why they would trust them with their life in the session 0 which covers group expectations and group rules along with character generation. I found that doing this tends to help group stability and promote overall positive dynamics between the characters and between the players.

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:15 pm
by ThorinSchmidt
Having a little experience with how PbtA works, I have to say you either need to go "whole hog" with it or not at all. the bonds thing is nice and works well in PbtA, but only because the central mechanic is based on character interaction. Trying to mix elements of the two, in my opinion is like trying to put diesel fuel in a gas engine. Diesel fuel is great, when used in engines designed for it. And Bonds are great, when used in PbtA. in BF, though, it would be a game-breaker, I think.

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:30 pm
by The Angry Monk
I'm picking up what you folks are putting down. Thanks for the input.

Re: Creating PbtA Bonds for BFRPG

Posted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:57 am
by Metroknight
Just remember that what everyone says is just their opinions also. If you truly want bonds and such in your game, give it a try as it is your game.