Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback


  • Pitcrew

    So maybe it is something in the water, but man, lately all I want to do is run PrPs. I have a ton of random ideas, some of which are just that, nebulous little content nuggets that I haven't fully worked out in my head. I find that I often need a sounding board, someone to talk things through with. I habitually make things way too complicated and generally need someone to smack me with the KISS stick.

    So how about here? Hey, potential PrP runners, have you got something you want to get feedback on? Have tips or tricks for running combat you'd like to share?

    Personally, I have this idea brewing to place a chest someone in public and have a journal inside it that gives clues to the next location and so on, like a crazy weird treasure hunt all over the grid. I have no idea to what end this would be. Like, maybe it leads to a camp of bandits? Maybe it leads to a shardhaven/dungeon?

    But would it even work? Would it be shared, would it be possible to get a group going, or would it fizzle and not go anywhere? How would I even track it?

    What do you guys think?



  • @AeriaNyx said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    I have a ton of random ideas, some of which are just that, nebulous little content nuggets that I haven't fully worked out in my head.

    I still have an entire Evernote folder full of those, from before my time on staff. (Sometimes I mime it for ideas still.) So I feel you on that!

    @AeriaNyx said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    Hey, potential PrP runners, have you got something you want to get feedback on? Have tips or tricks for running combat you'd like to share?

    Find a dice mechanic that works for you, where you can run it easily and fairly quickly, which will get through the combat in a timely manner, but still allow for the PCs to get moments in the spotlight. It may take a while; I think it wasn't until the fifth PRP I ran with it that I had the right numbers so my system balanced out properly.

    For me, what I ended up doing was giving each enemy a 'successes needed' value; each time someone attacked that creature, their successes were subtracted from that. When the value hit 0 or lower, that opponent was downed.

    Then I had three difficulty levels; I think they were 20, 30, and 50, when I settled on my final balance numbers. A normal attack was at 20, and the successes you got were just subtracted from the pool normally; 10 successes, 10 points from the target's successes needed pool. If you wanted to do something a little more difficult/dramatic, that was at 30, but the successes would be multiplied by 1.25. If you wanted to do something downright cinematic—the sort of thing that would be shown in slow-motion during a fight scene in a movie—that was at 50, but if you succeeded, the resulting successes were multiplied by 2.

    Similar rules for damaging the players existed; the monsters had a 'challenge rating', and I would just do the gmcheck dice rolls to represent the monster's attacks in return, and then use harm on the player for the monster's successes multiplied by 1 + (<cr> * 0.1), so a monster with challenge rating zero would have its successes multiplied by 1, CR 1 would be 1.1, CR 10 would by 2.0, etc.

    It was simpler to run than it probably sounds. Still, I meant to make a spreadsheet to automate it, but I had planned to do that after NaNoWriMo back in 2017, and... when I finished NaNo that year, I joined staff and didn't need a PRP spreadsheet any longer.

    @AeriaNyx said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    Personally, I have this idea brewing to place a chest someone in public and have a journal inside it that gives clues to the next location and so on, like a crazy weird treasure hunt all over the grid. I have no idea to what end this would be. Like, maybe it leads to a camp of bandits? Maybe it leads to a shardhaven/dungeon?

    Puzzles can be a lot of fun. One of my absolute favorites of the PRPs I ran took place in a literal ghost town; a town called Frosthaven which was utterly empty, save for skeletons scattered about. But when night came, the players could see the spirits of everyone in the town, standing atop the walls as though keeping guard. (Those sensitive to the dead had heard them before, but at night everyone could see them.)

    In order to figure out what had happened—and therefore, what they had to do to fix it—the players searched for clues. I had three journal objects prepared, each written in a different language by a different individual involved in the events, which I dropped when they searched somewhere that seemed feasible for that journal to be. If they translated all three journals, took the entries, and put them in a single list by date, they could see what had happened, and then figure out where they had to go to make it right.

    For yours? Honestly, I'd think about a theme for the end-point. Is it a demon taunting someone? Is it some prankster laying a path? Is it some helpful individual, bound by Writ against offering direct aid, who's leaving these breadcrumbs in hopes that they'll be able to eventually lead the players to something useful against something in a later PRP?

    Answering that will give you an idea of what tone the puzzles should take. Taunting, helpful but vague, etc. Where they're going to lead might not be terribly important right away, if you lay the clues out in such a way they can only be found during GM'd events; you could pace things and see what players' interpretations are, because sometimes they'll have an even more cool idea than the GM had.

    (RE: something for a later PRP, I had intended to run several PRPs around the individual responsible for the situation at Frosthaven. Over the course of multiple individual PRPs, this character's full past and motivations would have become clear. I think story arcs like that, where people involved with different PRPs can come together and figure out the bigger picture by sharing information? Those can be really fun.)


  • Pitcrew

    I was inspired by this trailer from E3 2019. The game is called 12 Minutes and is a thriller about a time loop.

    I wanna do a time loop prp. Small scale. One or two people max. It has to have a personal touch to the character or else you don't get the punch of the first loop. Now, I've run only a handful of things so I have no idea how to make this happen, if it can happen.

    My setting in mind is CoD or nWoD because it's the only places I play where it can fly. Open to suggestions here.


  • Pitcrew

    @Goldfish said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    I was inspired by this trailer from E3 2019. The game is called 12 Minutes and is a thriller about a time loop.

    I wanna do a time loop prp. Small scale. One or two people max. It has to have a personal touch to the character or else you don't get the punch of the first loop. Now, I've run only a handful of things so I have no idea how to make this happen, if it can happen.

    My setting in mind is CoD or nWoD because it's the only places I play where it can fly. Open to suggestions here.

    Find people who are cool with fast-forwarding through things. Time Loop stories are fun but not if you literally have to play every single one out; even having the same conversation again as they test variations can be trying.

    Also, stick with the typical Groundhog Day loop (a really good, shorter-than-a-movie example is the episode of Stargate: SG-1). Make sure whatever is causing the time loop isn't obvious or they're going to figure it out too soon.



  • @Coin - I would add, definitely be prepared to let them get away with doing goofy things on throwaway loops. Like in the Stargate episode, where they took one loop off just to chill, or when they were hitting golf balls through the Stargate (and remarking that the distance on the shit, being measured in light years, had to be a world record).


  • Pitcrew

    @Sparks Oh, HELL yeah.

    That's like 70% of the reason for any time loop plot of the Groundhog Day variety, isn't it? The other 20% being whiplash trauma and the other 10% learning important things that you otherwise wouldn't because you spend two thousand years in the same day poking at things.


  • Pitcrew

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! And reminders.

    I haven't seen Groundhog's Day since I was a kid. Never seen Stargate. I want to see Happy Death Day and its sequel. I hear the sequel explains its universe or something. I spoiled it for myself and forgot.

    I am totally stuck on the solution to the time loop. It's the kind of thing I would hope would be dependant on the character and would come to me then.


  • Pitcrew

    My method for handling combat is very similar to @Sparks. I also tend to use it for big skill tests that require a lot of people helping out.

    I am more of an overland journey/dungeon-crawl runner, because that's what I run at my table. I can also manage a site-based mystery decently, since I like running CoC. I don't do so well at running social stuff and city based things. Playing monsters and Mother Nature isn't that hard. Playing people, that's hard.


  • Pitcrew

    @Goldfish said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    Thanks so much for the suggestions! And reminders.

    I haven't seen Groundhog's Day since I was a kid. Never seen Stargate. I want to see Happy Death Day and its sequel. I hear the sequel explains its universe or something. I spoiled it for myself and forgot.

    I am totally stuck on the solution to the time loop. It's the kind of thing I would hope would be dependant on the character and would come to me then.

    I mean if you're okay with winging it, go for it. I would maybe consider three or four different ways to end the time loop and see which way the PCs lean during the plot and focus on that one.



  • @Coin - based on all past experience with my tabletop group, if I were to think of four possible ways to end a time loop in something I was GM'ing, they would choose the sixth of those four.


  • Pitcrew

    @Sparks said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Coin - based on all past experience with my tabletop group, if I were to think of four possible ways to end a time loop in something I was GM'ing, they would choose the sixth of those four.

    That's why you number them non-sequentially.



  • @Coin said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Sparks said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Coin - based on all past experience with my tabletop group, if I were to think of four possible ways to end a time loop in something I was GM'ing, they would choose the sixth of those four.

    That's why you number them non-sequentially.

    Then their choice would be option i. Wherein 'i' here is the mathematical symbol representing the square root of -1.

    If you do not believe me, you underestimate my players' capacity to throw a wrench in my carefully-laid plans. (I have a lovely little document detailing the campaign's current state I can show you later which might make it clear why I believe this...)


  • Pitcrew

    @Sparks said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Coin said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Sparks said in Will it PrP? A place to propose PrP ideas and get feedback:

    @Coin - based on all past experience with my tabletop group, if I were to think of four possible ways to end a time loop in something I was GM'ing, they would choose the sixth of those four.

    That's why you number them non-sequentially.

    Then their choice would be option i. Wherein 'i' here is the mathematical symbol representing the square root of -1.

    If you do not believe me, you underestimate my players' capacity to throw a wrench in my carefully-laid plans. (I have a lovely little document detailing the campaign's current state I can show you later which might make it clear why I believe this...)

    No, no, I believe it.


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