Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's a Patron Generation

Back when I wrote for Angels, Daemons and Beings Between, a book chock full of patrons for DCC, I started out by analyzing the extant patrons in the core book and the few fan made ones that existed. I did this by stacking all the like results and pulling out some common data for each: Power, Type, Duration, and any "specials" which were results or extra effects that didn't fit. This, surprisingly, produced a bit of a pattern, at least to my eyes.

Taking that data, I built a rosetta stone to randomly generate Invoke Patron results for a given patron. I used it a little bit and didn't necessarily like the results, but the data pattern was still really useful in thinking about how to build something as complex as a patron. It might actually be useful for building spells, as well (I haven't thought about this), but +David Baity asked about spells, and I thought of this tool.

Anyway, I pitched it up on Google Drive for anyone that wants to see some of the behind the scenes madness that I started out with to come up with 20 or so patrons, and still use to some degree, today. What I found: Making Patrons interesting, unique and, more importantly, playable, was not easy. But, ended up being fun.

My suggestion: Don't make a patron outside the context of your campaign. Think about how that supernatural being, competing with various other supernatural beings in the world for servants, fits in that world -- and how does it compare to others. They should not all be at the same "power level." And they should NOT follow a pattern. So, forget I said that.

Patron Worksheet -- Enjoy!


Unknown said...

Would you mind throwing up an example of how you use it? I'm having a hard time figuring how it works mechanically (as in how I would go about using it).

MadMoses said...

Yeah, this looks great, but a quick how-to would be nice!

Unknown said...

Yes some explanation, even a few bullet points, would be great

Paul Wolfe said...

Hey - sorry I did see your comments I'll post an explanation tomorrow when I'm back at a proper keyboard.

Paul Wolfe said...

Alright, so if you consider that this is half-baked, perhaps you'll forgive me for some of the loose ends.

At it's core, this was supposed to provide Judges with a guide for making patrons that were different from each other in reach and influence.

Consider Tab 1: So, an obscure or petty patron would have only a couple of invoke patron results, wouldn't have patron spells or know any other spells, have 1 or 2 "spheres" which is really just a guide for their nature and the origin of their power. Kind of like a god, but not necessarily that inherent or far reaching. Think of the Japanese concept of spirits inhabiting all the things.

more in next comment...

Paul Wolfe said...

Tab 2: This is where it gets more half baked (less baked?). The spheres are really just a mental guide for the Judge. Something to get the juices flowing. Something that the patron is intimately related to, probably informs its Invoke Patron and spells results, and possibly gives it some aspects of its form.

Tab 3 is an attempt to bring all this together. The table headings are the "Roll Level" of Invoke Patron. If you look at the IP results, you have 12-13, 14-17, etc. Each of these is a "roll level." The numbers in the column are rolled. So, for instance, Roll Level 1, you roll a 1d6 and figure out what broad class of power the first Invoke Patron result produces.

More in next comment.

Paul Wolfe said...

I'm just going to make this a blog post... too much commenting... :)