Don't Rest Your Head? (Pitch and OOC)

edited December 2011 in Out-Of-Game
I'm looking for one or two frequent visitors to Snail's Pace and heavy posters (3 to 5 posts pe day) to play some Don't Rest Your Head. I'm thinking we could do a short game of it and see how it plays on forum. I'm happy to GM this fun little game of madness in the sleepless city of forever night.

Anyone interested?


  • I'm interested, but I've never played before and I don't have the game. I can get it if we have people who want to play.
  • The PDF is $5 on indiepressrevolution, definitely worth checking out.
  • I'm pretty interested.
    3-5 posts a day would be hard for me to do consistently, though.

    I played in one PbP game of DRYH and I thought it worked wonderfully in the PbP format. The GM, if I recall, seemed to have a pre-plot that he wanted to "reveal" to us, though. When he realized the mechanic didn't support his vision the game petered out. Imagine that, a madness dice ruining a GM's plot! :)
  • Max is in. Max, let me know when you want to start talking through the character. Here are the character sheet questions:

    My Name Is . . .
    And I Am . . .
    What’s been keeping you awake?
    What just happened to you?
    What’s on the surface?
    What lies beneath?
    What’s your path?

    Discipline (you'll start with 3)
    Permanent Madness (you'll start with 0)
    Current Exhaustion (we will talk about that, I'm thinking of starting you off with 1)
    Responses: Fight? ooo OR Flight? ooo

    Exhaustion Talent:

    Madness Talent:
  • testing die rolling:

    Discipline: #DiceRoller( 3d6 )
    Exhaustion: #DiceRoller( 3d6 )
    Madness: #DiceRoller( 1d6 )

    Pain: #DiceRoller( 6d6 )
  • In the example roll above, the following things would happen.

    The Player won the contest (player's pools are discipline, exhaustion and madness, player counts up 1s, 2s, and 3s vs. GM's pool of Pain; Player had 5 successes, GM had 1 success).

    Pain dominated the roll (the Pool had two sixes, the highest dice of any of the pools rolled) and will color the outcome. The player would pay a coin into the GM's Despair coffer.

    Alternatively, the GM, if he already had a Coin of Despair, could spend two Coins of Despair to remove his sixes, which would then put Exhaustion into the dominating pool. This would increase the Player's Exhausting pool by one and then the result of the player's effort would be tied from their successful effort.
  • the one page synopsis of the rules:
    Rules Summary
    • Once per roll, you may increase your exhaustion by one.
    • Any time you roll, you may add one to six dice of temporary madness to your roll.
    • To determine the degree of success, count the dice that show 1, 2, or 3.
    • To determine the strength of a pool, find the die of that color showing the highest number.
    • If you meet or beat the GM’s degree, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail.
    • To determine what dominates, pick the pool with the highest strength.
    • If discipline dominates, things stay under control. You have the option to remove a response check-mark or decrease your exhaustion by one.
    • If exhaustion dominates, your resources are taxed. Increase exhaustion by one.
    • If madness dominates, things get more chaotic. Check off a response and behave accordingly.
    • If pain dominates, you pay a greater price. Pay a coin into the GM’s despair coffer.
    • If exhaustion is increased above 6, you crash.
    • If you must check off a response, but can’t, you snap.
    • If you crash, you fall asleep, or face some other serious defeat (like death).
    • If you snap, you go mad for a time, clear out your responses, lose one discipline, and gain one permanent madness.
    • If you lose all discipline, you become a Nightmare. You’re an NPC now.
    • To make minor use of an exhaustion talent, your exhaustion must be at least one. On the affected roll, your minimum number of successes is equal to your current level of exhaustion.
    • To make major use of an exhaustion talent, you must increase your exhaustion by one, and you may add your current level of exhaustion to the roll, as successes.
    • To make use of a madness talent, you must add one to six temporary madness dice to the roll, as determined by the GM for the potency of the effect.
    • The GM may spend one coin of despair to add or remove a 6 from any pool in play; the coin pays into hope. If this causes pain to dominate, no coin is paid into the despair coffer.
    • Any player may spend one coin of hope to remove one exhaustion, or to remove a check mark from fight or flight, or to add a 1 to the protagonist’s discipline pool.
    • Any player may spend five minus discipline in coins of hope to recover one point of discipline and remove one point of permanent madness.
  • by the way, I am happy to run this like a one shot at a con and walk a second player (and/or Max) through the game rules and guide you thourhg chargen.
  • edited December 2011
    I am interested, and I do know the game (and it is pretty good for PbP). I can post a few times a night, but likely only in the evening until at least the end of the year. After that, I would expect more often, and during the day.
  • Sweet! You're in, Michael, glad to have you on board.

    Okay guys, let's talk characters.
  • edited December 2011
    The PDF is $5 on indiepressrevolution, definitely worth checking out.
    Oh, but if you're going to buy, don't buy there. Buy from Evil Hat, here. More money goes to the creator. And it's cheaper, maybe?

    - edit -

    Yes, it's cheaper. So it's a win-win!
  • edited December 2011
  • ^ That's my guy.

    How much do you have, like, the premise and stuff, Max?
  • edited December 2011
    "I am a bluesman
    and if you've read the album cover by now you know that
    my name is, what my name is."

    3 Discipline
    0 Madness
    0 Exhaustion

    [ ] Fight
    [ ] Fight
    [ ] Flight

    Clarity (exhaustion): Sometimes, gripped by his music, he's stayed awake for days on end, writing and playing almost the whole damn time. That was his best work, truth be told, since only in the most complete exhaustion does he slip off his mundane concerns and achieve that holy, unshakable focus, a state of utter clarity. But those were his good times ... now he's wound up in the endless search, and it is rare that music falls from that obsessive concentration, though it deepens with each sleepless night.

    The Piper's Instrument (madness): All the same, music's a thing he was born knowing, like every song he wrote was just remembering something he forgot, and it bubbles up at even the strangest times. But now, sometimes, it just spills out into the world, needing no voice or instrument ... and when it does, everybody and everything dance's to its tune.

    A musician, a blues player, his harp and guitar close at hand. A blues man, a black man, a broke man, scrawny and white-eyed, down-on-his-luck, probably on drugs. By turns smooth and acerbic, meditative and edgy, easy and nasty. [What's on the surface?]

    He's been better, playing at clubs instead of street corners, and he'd still be there if it weren't for what he's done. That thing didn't touch his career directly, but it tore him up inside until he crawled into the bottle for just a little peace. He's a hard man to get close to, now, but he's still a good man, where it counts, even if he don't know it himself. [What lies beneath?]

    He's been looking for the woman he betrayed, needing to make amends, or at to least see some closure, to put an end to wondering. And nightmares made of guilt and grief've tortured him until he just stopped sleeping altogether. It's a waste of time anyway: surely he must be close to finding her? [What's been keeping you awake?]

    And just now, in a bar so far buried into the labyrinth of back alleys that there been some that never made it back out, there's a woman without a voice, playing the piano. She could be his woman's sister, so alike they are (though his woman sang with the voice of an angel). When she saw him, she fled, and he's followed her into the nighttime maze. [What just happened to you?]

    And soon he'll see that he's been looking in all the wrong places, and - in the city that knows no dreaming - he will find the woman he searches for, and he will know if he can be forgiven. [What's your path?]
  • Yah, you save 50 cents at Evil Hat's store, true.

    I like the pic, Michael.
  • I know the basic premise, and I'm reading over stuff. I'll try to get a character up tomorrow.
  • edited December 2011
    Before we get further, I'd like to try out the Same Page Tool (found here) for this mini-series and as a way to get to know your play styles a bit more.

    1. Do you play to win?

    a) Yes, you totally play to win! The win conditions are…
    b) Good play isn’t a win/lose kind of thing

    2. Player characters are:

    a) expected to work together; conflicts between them are mostly for show
    b) expected to work together; but major conflicts might erupt but you’ll patch them up given some time
    c) expected to work together; major conflicts might erupt and never see reconciliation
    d) pursuing their own agendas – they might work together, they might work against each other
    e) expected to work against each other, alliances are temporary at best

    3. The GM’s role is:

    a) The GM preps a set of events – linear or branching; players run their characters through these events. The GM gives hints to provide direction.
    b) The GM preps a map with NPCs and/or monsters. The players have their characters travel anywhere they can reach on the map, according to their own goals.
    c) The GM has no plan – the GM simply plays the NPCs and has them act or react based on their motivations
    d) There’s no GM. Everyone works together to make the story through freeform.
    e) There’s no GM. The rules and the system coordinate it all.

    4. The players’ roles are…

    a) …to follow the GM’s lead to fit the story
    b) …to set goals for their characters, and pursue them proactively
    c) …to fling their characters into tough situations and make hard, sometimes, unwise choices

    5. Doing the smartest thing for your character’s survival…

    a) …is what a good player does.
    b) …sometimes isn’t as important as other choices
    c) …isn’t even a concern or focus for this game.

    6. The GM’s role to the rules is…

    a) …follow them, come what may. (including following house rules)
    b) …ignore them when they conflict with what would be good for the story
    c) …ignore them when they conflict with what “should” happen, based either on realism, the setting, or the genre

    7. After many sessions of play, during one session, a player decides to have her character side with an enemy. This is…

    a) …something that shouldn’t even happen. This is someone being a jerk.
    b) …where the character becomes an NPC, right away or fairly soon.
    c) …something the player and the GM should have set up ahead of time.
    d) …only going to last until the other player characters find out and do something about it.
    e) …a meaningful moment, powerful and an example of excellent play.
  • For the purposes of playing DRYH, in a one-shot sort of context: 1(b), 2(d), 3(c), 4(b or c), 5(c), 6(a), 7(e).

    I'm not sure that 3(c) is totally accurate, since I think the GM's role is also to put the screws on the PCs and keep them under pressure, as well as to characterize the city. But playing NPCs is part of that.

    5(c) might be 5(b), except that I don't really consider survival a priority in a short game.

    I'm not sure you can have anything but 6(a) in a DRYH game. The whole game is basically just a set of nested dice mechanics ... you'd have to be literally pointing at dice and declaring that they rolled something other than what they read.

    7(e) seems redundant in a game of 2(d), and I think in that context it'd be less of a special event than 7(e) really implies.
  • I really appreciate your answers. I realize our one shot isn't the best fit for the tool on a couple notes, but this gives me a good insight.
  • Michael, if you want to start talking about you guitarist in this thread, that's cool with me.
  • how are things coming along, Max?
  • edited December 2011
    Let's see:

    "I am a weatherman, which really just makes me a focused statistician. My name is Malcolm."

    3 Discipline
    0 Madness
    0 Exhaustion

    [ ] Flight
    [ ] Flight
    [ ] Flight

    Analysis (exhaustion): Malcolm has a head for figures. He can verify or debunk a whole blackboard's worth of work at a quick glance, and tell you about trends in spreadsheets after flipping through them. He refuses to believe in non-determinism, and feels anything that seems random simply lack sufficient analysis. The time it takes to perform sufficient analysis ate into his work and family life before consuming them, and then moved onto his sleep.

    Weather control (madness): Malcolm would call you crazy if you said he could control the weather, but if he says it's going to snow in July, or that there's going to be a lightning bolt indoors, he's done his homework, and he's got the numbers to back it up.

    Malcolm knows the weather, like anything else, is a system, and all systems can be mathematically modeled. The fact that the other cretins in the field can't come up with advanced enough models doesn't dissuade him; most of them aren't as smart as he, and the few that are don't apply themselves; they're too concerned with worldly pursuits. [What's been keeping you awake?]

    Malcolm just got back from family court. His ex-wife, Linda, was granted full custody of their daughter, Cirrus. The last person in the world Malcolm cared about more than high pressure systems and stationary fronts won't be coming to visit any more. Malcolm returns home, and looks around. He decides there's no point in cleaning up the takeout containers and beer bottles now.[What just happened?]

    Malcolm used to be a professor at the local community college. He left when his colleagues refused to recognize his brilliance. For a while he worked as a TV weatherman to pay the bills, but he was replaced by someone...bustier. When he wouldn't deign to look for another job, his wife left. Cirrus used to spend every other week with him, but it was all he could do to feed her, and keeping his place clean wasn't even on the table. [What's on the surface?]

    In spite of all this, he's right. He can tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or in two years. He's refining his model all the time, and soon he should be able to predict even farther. It's been five years since he had the wrong weather in his hometown, and three since he was off by more than a day on any major global weather event. But when you call up the county telling them there will be a horrible blizzard 409 days from now, they just laugh at you. No one watches him on a long enough timeline to see that he's righter than anyone has ever been before. [What lies beneath?]

    Malcolm's figured it out, though. He's talking to almanac publishers and offering his data for free if they'll just put his name on it. And he's started a blog (he's a little late to the whole internet party.) He's going to get evidence out there that he's right. Then he'll get the accolades he deserves. [What's your path?]

    I haven't done this before, so let me know if that's the sort of thing we're looking for.
  • This is a good start. Can you add in a bit on the What Just Happened, make it more immediate? You're basically building or framing the introduction scene for your PC here.
  • Something more like this:

    Malcolm just got back from family court. His ex-wife, Linda, was granted full custody of their daughter, Cirrus. The last person in the world Malcolm cared about more than high pressure systems and stationary fronts won't be coming to visit any more. Malcolm returns home, and looks around. He decides there's no point in cleaning up the takeout containers and beer bottles now.[What just happened?]

  • That's much better!
  • Max and Michael, I'd like it if there was at least a tenuous link of some kind between your two characters, from same city, work at same building, went to college together, something like that.
  • I don't think I can keep up on this one. Count me out.
  • Dang, it would have been awesome to play with you here, too, but I understand Rustin. Better to know your posting limits. We still have Lady B!
  • Yeah, I just signed on to do some F2F gaming. Gotta pace myself.
  • edited December 2011
    Max and Michael, I'd like it if there was at least a tenuous link of some kind between your two characters, from same city, work at same building, went to college together, something like that.
    Yeah, so I have no idea. One's a closeted ex-professor presumably-WASP weatherman with a passion for statistics, and the other's a broken-down black bluesman who's seen better days.

    I suppose the bluesman might have been to college. Or, he's been fairly popular and well-off in the past, so he might've been on the same news show as the weatherman at some point, for an interview. Or the weatherman might just own an album. Or the bluesman might just recognize the weatherman from his spate on TV. (Or both of those last two, since they're both one-way.)

    Obviously, they've both wronged women.

    Does the weatherman just drink alone, or does he go to a bar? Either way, they might both be alcoholics.

    They're both organ donors? I mean, this is DRYH ... if you're looking for something to use as a hook on both characters, rather than that they actually know one another, it could be really esoteric. After all, there are nightmares that prey on everything. I kind of like that. In that vein, perhaps:

    • They've both wronged women.
    • They're both alcoholics.
    • They've both had 15 minutes of fame, but are now largely forgotten.
    • Neither of them ever had childhood chicken pox.
    • Both of them were residing in the hotel at 15th and Platt on the ides of March, seven years past.
    • They both were born in the exact moment of Jim Morrison's death.
    • They both have cancer, and neither of them know it yet.
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