Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Lover

Lovers are up next, and we're talking about them back to back with the Leaders because they're related - both groups are about interacting with other people and making the world change through them. Lovers are all about making connections, changing perceptions, and whirlpooling events in their direction by being so darn amazing. (And of course, obligatory reminder: no one is only a Lover, and not all Lovers have the exact same Talents!)

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Lover?

Being Noticed: Lovers are noticeable - whether they're dazzlingly beautiful, incredibly charismatic, unbelievably interesting, or just very, very loud. When they want to make a splash or get involved in something, that's a considerable asset, and people are likely to listen to what they have to say and pay attention to what they want (that doesn't always mean they oblige, but at least they're listening!). Lovers can grab attention for distractions or make sure the right people pay attention to their cause, getting their group past doors that otherwise would remain closed to them. Some of their Blessings make them so noticeable that the world warps around them, bringing people into their orbit of their own free will or setting events in motion from the sheer wow factor of the Hero just being near other people.

Manipulating Emotions: Getting noticed is great and being liked is even better - and everybody likes the Lover, at least if the Lover wants them to. Lovers can mess with the emotional landscape of those they interact with, and their range is extensive - they can make enemies too sad to function or too angry to think clearly, friends feel excitement and inspiration that allows them to continue on even when they should despair, or engender feelings of affection and even love to convince other people to help and support them. Their Blessings cover a lot of different emotions, and even without using them they're still experts in recognizing how someone feels and pushing them a little this way or that, which makes them ideal puppetmasters (benevolent or otherwise) who can twist situations in their favor even when they're in a lot of trouble.

Changing Minds: There's no better liar than a Lover - they have the power of persuasion, which means that whether they're trying to convince someone to do something, attempting to change someone's mind on a subject that they feel passionately about, or outright fibbing about something but really need someone to swallow the lie, they can get people on board with them. Social situations where everyone is not being strictly truthful - which is a lot of them when you're, say, sneaking into places you're not supposed to be or bold-facedly talking to an enemy who doesn't recognize you - go sideways very quickly without a Lover there to smooth the path with a few well-placed alterations to truthfulness.

Collecting Allies: As is probably pretty easy to guess for a Hero who is good at being noticed and good at manipulating emotions, Lovers are also really, really, really good at making friends. They're removing thorns from paws, knowing just the right thing to say to comfort someone in a crisis, kicking ass at social maneuvering, and breaking up fights to make peace - and all of that adds up to collecting a lot of people who just plain like or at least respect them, even if it's just because their personalities clicked. Heroes with Lover tend to build up stables of NPCs who are positively inclined toward them, which is a considerable boon when their missions need help from outside, and if they have the Lover Endowment of a Faithful Ally, they have such steadfastly devoted companions that they literally always have extra help and resources when they need it, no matter how scary the situation gets.

What is the Lover Effortless At? Lovers are just awesome to be around, no matter what they're doing or why; other people literally can't help but be glad they're there, even if they're being a pain in the ass in some way. The Lover gets to literally inspire other people to try harder and do better just to impress them; they give out the ability to reroll bad rolls to their allies, who either can't abide the thought of disappointing them or are trying really hard to impress them with their success. Just like the Leader, the Lover just believes that their friends are the best friends, and that everything goes great all the time no matter what they might otherwise think; that's just the way it is in the extra-charmed universe they live in.

What are the Drawbacks of the Lover? Lovers polarize events in their direction, which always makes good stories and exciting events, but isn't always positive - sometimes, the events they put in motion get out of control, and then everyone's yelling and people have called up reserves and suddenly the Trojan War is in full swing. Lovers get noticed, often whether they want to or not, so while this makes for lots of friends and positive benefits, it inevitably also attracts bad elements once in a while. Lovers also, just like Leaders, really need other people to be most effective, so when they are isolated or unable to call for backup, they find a lot of their skills aren't as useful when they have to try to operate in a vacuum.

In recent playtest groups, Lovers have kicked ass for their teams by making friends with NPCs so that they can later call them in as shock troops; charming government officials into letting them sneak into restricted areas and steal important information from them; give them multiple chances to right wrongs after upsetting dangerous enemies, even though they should really have been harshly punished or even killed the first couple of times; and so upset their enemies that many of them withdrew without even carrying on the fight, preferring to go recuperate elsewhere while the Heroes went about their business.

The Talents under the Lover umbrella are Beauty, Empathy, Inspiration, and Persuasion, with Inspiration as the second of the "buff others" stats along with Leader's Purpose. The Lover affects every game differently, depending on what the group's goals are, but they definitely do affect all of them, strongly, with emotional intent!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Leader

On we rumble, into the Aspect of bosses and Serious Business - Leader! Leaders are all about being in charge, which means more than just looking important (although they do definitely do that); it also means being able to wrangle large groups of people, make rules (and make them stick), and inspire people to not only do what they want but really, really try hard at it.

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Leader?

Being the Boss: Leaders are the boss, which is pretty obvious from their name - seriously, thoroughly the boss. They get to make rules, demand things of people, and intimidate dissenters into submission (which, depending on the Hero's personality, could be something they do patiently and comfortably, or something they just brute force without caring much about the feelings of the people involved). Obviously, every Hero can make demands or try to intimidate someone, but the Leader can really make it stick - when they do those things, they change how people behave and what they think, even if they really didn't want to back down to the Hero, which lets them get around a lot of obstacles and head off a lot of potential enemies before they even get started. Being large and in charge is a concrete skillset for the Leader, who has lots of Blessings that leverage it into action. (And, if Leader is one of their main Aspects and they have the Sway Endowment, they can literally just call up underlings to boss around when they need to!)

Managing a Crowd: One-on-one intimidation is one thing, but commanding a group or subduing a mob is also one of the Leader's abilities. They can sway the hearts and minds of huge numbers of people at once with speeches, demonstrations, and other giant social actions (unlike the Lover, who usually only affects a few people at the time more strongly, they get to affect a lot of people but with less intensity). Some Leader Blessings let them not only affect a large group but actually shape them into a living weapon or useful item, although what they can use them for varies depending on their specific stats - to attack people, or set up defenses, or start new trends, whatever they might need.

Resolving Conflicts: It's not all do-what-I-tell-you when you're a Leader; they're also in charge of keeping the peace and making things easier for everyone under their command, including their fellow Heroes. They get to create compromises and enforce fellowship among people - very literally, they have skills to help people stop fighting and start cooperating, helping the whole group do better. These things often provide the people they mediate for with extra powers or resources as a result of working together - it's not just that everyone feels better, they literally are better as a result of the Leader's influence.

Directing a Battlefield: Leaders are also the tacticians; they make combats better for their own side, which includes themself and any other Heroes as well as friendly NPCs. They can read the battlefield and make good plans, of course, which is half the battle right there, but their Blessings let them move people around the battlefield, mess with how effective enemy attacks and friendly defenses can be, give people additional opportunities to help, and so on and so forth. Heroes can always fight without a Leader, but having one makes them so much more effective, especially as a group, that it's always that much more awesome to have one on the team.

What is the Leader Effortless At? Leaders are motivating as all hell. Just being near other people encourages those people to do more than they ever would have thought possible otherwise. Unlike the Creators and Hunters we just looked at, Leaders effortlessly influence everyone besides themselves - they literally give out Labors to other people, illustrating that those people just can't bear to let them down, or are willing to try that much harder to do great things when their Leader is around to see them. To the Leader themself, people are just being effective due to their expert guidance; it seems to them like they just always have the best team. To everyone else, the Leader is a literal Godsend of encouragement.

What are the Leader's Drawbacks? Leaders need other people to be their best, obviously, so they're not as good at solo missions and issues wherein they get separated from their companions, which is how you end up with King Richard the Lionheart sitting in jail for a while while his people try to raise enough money to ransom him back. They also control a lot of situations with social acumen and power - many fights are stopped before they ever begin and obstacles are avoided before they ever become a problem due to the Leader dealing with them in advance - but when an emergency comes up that they didn't previously handle, sometimes they're out of options and have to let the other Aspects take center stage.

In playtest groups, Leaders have been awesome recently by muscling their way into private events by being too important to ignore; redesigning the operating procedure of a crime syndicate by coming up with new rules and strongarming leadership into accepting them; making tactical assessments that allowed them to plan ahead for how to depower their enemies before ever engaging directly with them; and ending combats by intimidating entire groups of enemies into feeling bad for attacking them in the first place.

The Talents under the Leader umbrella are Diplomacy, Purpose, Sovereignty, and Tactics, with Purpose being the first of the stats that is used on the rest of the group instead of yourself (although there are powers that use it as fuel, so you do have opportunities to spend it selfishly if you want to!). Next time: Lovers, the other powerhouses of affecting other people!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Storytelling Corner: Detective Mysteries

After we recently talked about the Hunter Aspect and the Heroes with it who are natural detectives with Tracking last Sunday, we got a couple questions from the question box - or really, more like complaints. The common theme was that detective mysteries are really hard to design in roleplaying games, and they were right! Detective mysteries can be a pain in the ass to design in RPGs. Your pain is felt here at HJ headquarters.

Mysteries - really compelling ones that last more than five minutes - are hard in RPGs, no joke. For one thing, you have to come up with a mystery that the players won't figure out OOC before the characters do IC; nothing is going to bore and frustrate them more than knowing the answer but not being allowed to act like they do because they couldn't make a roll. Of course, sometimes it's fun to throw up your hands and say, "My character has lard where their brains should be, sorry, they're going to hilariously Scooby Doo their way through this situation because they don't have any prayer of figuring it out," but that's not fun every time, and it's especially not fun sometimes for players whose characters are designed to be good at a mystery and just failed their roll this time. If the players and their characters both haven't figured out the solution to the mystery yet, they can continue to try to find out together, which can be exhilarating; and if the character finds out first, and Destiny imparts their knowledge to the player, they get the glow of learning the answer because their character is great; but the character roadblocking their own player usually doesn't feel very good.

So the first hurdle, as a GM, is coming up with a mystery that is clever and difficult enough that the players won't figure it out before you're ready for them to - they have to be interested and want to find the answer, but not be able to just find the answer within the first ten minutes of your session.

And speaking of rolls, where do you call for them? There are a lot of ways clues could be gathered that might tell the Heroes something about the answer, and you as the GM have to know which ones they're good at and what clues will add to the big picture without giving the whole mystery away. Maybe there are NPCs who know some things who the Heroes might get information out of with Lover or Leader rolls; maybe there's evidence lying around that a Hero with Hunter might be able to collect, or maybe there's some nonsense a Hero with Sage could perform to pull enough contextual information out of thin air to help them out, and of course they might be the best at putting all the pieces together later. Since HJ has a puzzle subsystem for figuring out obtuse codes and riddles, you could sprinkle some of those around for the Sages as well. But these are the easy parts of designing a mystery, honestly - things that might give clues that lead toward the answer, hopefully not all at once or too easy, and that hopefully give a few different possibilities before the final hour.

So you have a mystery you think is compelling, and you know what rolls your Heroes could make to try to find out about it. But somehow, even though those are theoretically the only things you need, half the mystery attempts in RPGs fall flat anyway. So what's missing?

In a world like HJ, part of the problem is that this is a mythic world full of magic and possibilities that don't normally occur in the real world - and that interferes with one of the basic rules of mysteries. When you're writing a mystery, whether for fiction, film, or an RPG, one of the basic rules is that you have to provide the readers/viewers/players with all the information they could need to solve the mystery on their own; if they figure it out, it should be because it was logical rather than because they were guessing, and if they don't, they should see how it made sense after it's explained to them. But this depends on the players knowing the "rules" of the world - things like, for example in a traditional detective mystery, the fact that touching things with bare fingers leaves fingerprints, or that a camera pointed in a window will record what happened in there, or that firing a gun leaves powder behind. They can use this knowledge about the world to follow to useful clues like "someone must have stolen the tape, who would have done that" or "there's a powder burn on this person's sleeve, which is incriminating". If your mystery did a right turn and said "oh, it was really this other person, and there were no fingerprints because they have a rare genetic disorder where they don't secrete oil and this was never mentioned or hinted at before the end", your readers would be annoyed, because you broke the rule that they should be able to depend on the rules of the world to find the answer - they never really had a chance, so the mystery is unsatisfying and feels like the author springing a "gotcha" that the reader could never have seen coming.

So you can see the problem in a setting like HJ - the players by default don't know the rules of the world. Magic and divine energy and enchantment are running rampant. They can't be sure if the security footage doesn't show anything because there was nothing to show, or because something happened that doesn't show up on camera Because Magic. They can't be sure if the murder was committed by something with hands at all Because Magic, so they can't be sure the lack of fingerprints means anything. Because Magic is messing up that whole relying-on-the-rules-of-the-world basic rule of mysteries.

So one of the first things you have to do is give the characters (and through them their players) those basic rules, and then stick to them. If the culprits are vampires and can't be seen in mirrors, and this is relevant because a witness who was looking into a mirror thinks they were alone, make sure they know that rule - Sages are great conduits for this sort of thing, because you can call for Knowledge rolls and hand off details when the subject comes up, illustrating them remembering or having previously researched something that might help shed some light on the situation. If the mystery revolves around a magical door they can't figure out how to open, and some of the rules include that certain people were required to do a ritual, let the Hunter find clues about how many people have been there or what they were like, or let your more socially-oriented Heroes ask around and get a picture of who was in the area so they learn these things. And above all, don't change your mind mid-stream - if suddenly one vampire shows up who does have a reflection for , the players will rightfully be mad at you for changing the rules on them and making it impossible for them to figure this out.

The exception to this rule is if the players are beating you at your own Destiny game (which doesn't happen often, but it's awesome when it does, so be excited about it!). Sometimes a character comes up with a theory that is wrong, but both plausible and amazing - maybe they completely missed a clue about the actual culprit, a local dwarf who stole something from the museum for their own forging purposes, but they instead put together a bunch of clues, some of which were just incidental information, to come up with a brilliant theory about how this particular artifact, which was from a now-lost site in the Fertile Crescent, was used as a focus for a summoning ritual for the ancient demon Pazuzu and my gods, team, there's no time to lose! As a GM, it's not just okay but actually important sometimes to recognize when the players are writing a better story than the one you had planned, and decide to go with it. If you find yourself thinking, "Wow, I wish that were true, that's way more interesting/epic/complex than what I planned out," the great news is that you don't have to wish it; you're the metaplot boss, so you can just declare that true and weave it into the larger story of the Saga however you like. Now that dwarf stole the relic for the cult, who paid him to do so, and if you don't find them in time to stop them, there are going to be so many more hurricane problems in the area than anyone planned for.

So there's your setup for an RPG mystery: 1) Write the mystery, 2) Figure out how the players can solve it, 3) Make sure you give them the "rules" of how things work so they can participate, 4) Be ready to hand out clues as rolls dictate, and 5) Be flexible if the story takes off without you.

By the way, all this design stuff is really talking about the "whodunnit" style of mystery, where X thing happened and everyone has to find out who did it and/or why, usually while the perpetrator is trying to stop them or at the very least avoid notice. But the whodunnit's related cousin, the howcatchem, is the style of mystery where the Heroes know who did it, but have to instead figure out how to find or trap them, or even know right where they are but need proof or information about how they did what they did before they can bring them to whatever form of justice is appropriate. If the whodunnit is being difficult, due to relying so much on clues and information and figuring out a secret at a possibly inopportune moment, howcatchems can be a useful alternative that sometimes works better in an RPG setting, since it gives the players very clear action-oriented goals but still allows them to do investigative detective work to achieve them. (And if the whodunnit collapses early because someone figured something out at the wrong time or the clues didn't line up, you can always segue right into a howcatchem instead to keep that mystery feel rolling!)

A lot of the crafting rules of RPG stories closely mirror those of writing a story for page or screen; after all, those stories are familiar to your players, too, and HJ is a game where they are literally envisioning themselves as part of stories like that. Often, if you're just feeling your way through, asking, "Would this work in a book/TV show?" can get you pointed in the right direction.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Hunter

Time to talk about the next group of badasses - the Hunters! Hunters are all about chasing, finding, and going, which might involve chasing down other people, might involve running away from other people, might involve just going places with great determination. Let's check out a day in their lives! (As always, remember: a Hero with the Hunter Aspect doesn't necessarily have all of its Talents, just access to them depending on how they want to stat themselves, and of course all Heroes have multiple Aspects, so no Hero is only a Hunter.)

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Hunter?

Animal Handling: Hunters are the Heroes who are most comfortable in nature, and nature's active representatives, animals, are easier for them to interact with as a result. They're able to act as animal handlers and whisperers, calming upset creatures, communicating with potentially dangerous beasts, and convincing them to do things that might help the Hero and their team out (for example, acting as mounts or guards). Just being a Hunter makes it less likely that animals will take a dislike to a Hero, so even if they aren't actively interacting with the local fauna, they're less likely to upset a territorial bison bull just by traveling through its domain.

Sprinting Like a Champion: Hunters are fast, all by themselves - no one runs as fast as a Hunter or is better at hauling themself at high speeds wherever they need to go, whether it's in short sprint bursts or long-distance marathon racing. Heroes with Hunter can outdistance even vehicles and mounts on foot if they're good enough - yes, they absolutely can sometimes run faster than a less skilled enemy in a Jeep can chase them - and have access to Blessings that can help their friends do the same, let them chase down specific targets that are trying to escape them, or drop obstacles in the way to slow everyone else down. Other heroic Aspects allow Heroes to move fast in their own ways - Warriors can be fast in combat, Tricksters can be fast when they use vehicles and technology, and so on - but for sheer self-motivated speed, no one beats the Hunter.

Naturecraft: Hunters are also the best at dealing with nature - they're good at sustaining themselves on roots and berries, reading the signs in crushed leaves and dropped branches, finding water in the desert or animal tracks in the forest, or navigating treacherous terrain. Surviving in the wilderness is one of their major skills, and when the Heroes' adventures take them out of civilization, the Hunter becomes the MVP really quickly.

Traveling: Whenever there's a long journey to be gone on, the Hunter is the one who's best at it; just like they're good at quickly traveling short distances, they're good at planning, executing, and succeeding at long-range travel and extended trips. Hunters get access to Blessings that let them shorten Travel Episodes or else mess with their contents, potentially avoiding dangers and obstacles or planning routes that take the Heroes through peaceful or even helpful areas. Travel is one of the most dangerous things for Heroes, who are embarking on long exposed trips where enemies and misfortune can strike at any moment; the Hunter helps make those things easier and faster, taking considerable pressure off the whole group.

Looking for Clues: If there are clues hiding in the vicinity, a Hunter is the Hero you want to look for them. While other kinds of Heroes (Sages, most notably) are good at noticing and interpreting things, too, Hunters are the ones who excel at finding traces of past events or physical clues in their environment, and who are able to use them to reconstruct what happened there and what to do next. They're so good at this that some of their Blessings actually involve getting useful information about what's going on in the Saga at large directly from Destiny, as a result of putting together so many things with their Sherlockian eye for detail.

What is the Hunter Effortless At? Hunters, as a group, don't really get tired. Fatigue is something that happens to other people, probably people who don't need to go places and find out what's happening there. They have to eat, drink, and sleep far less often than the average Hero, letting them go on long haul journeys and through long periods of concentration and focus without worrying about little nuisances like "physical maintenance", and they also don't have to worry about getting exhausted as quickly when they're doing taxing physical activities, nor do they feel as much pain as the average person when they get hurt. This even applies to death - when a Hunter gets Mortally Wounded, they even manage to cling tenaciously to life for longer than most other Heroes could before they kick the bucket. Hunters are just tough, no matter what a beating they put themselves through during the chase or how much they don't stop to take care of themselves.

What are the Hunter's Drawbacks? A lot of the Hunter's skills are really badass, but don't always let them help their companions out very much; they're very self-sufficient, which is great when they end up separated from the group or navigating the wilderness alone, but can be frustrating when they're trying to chase down an escaping suspect and their friends are all stumbling along like a huffing and puffing chess club behind them. Also, because so many of a Hunter's skills deal with nature, they can occasionally find themselves at a disadvantage if they're confined only to very civilized spaces; if there are no plants or animals around and nowhere to travel between, they have fewer (although still not none) of their most impressive skills available to them.

In playtest groups, Hunters have recently been incredible successes by finding a safe(ish) path for their group through a huge and hostile swamp; convincing animals at the local zoo to help them find a missing friend; cutting down on a long and dangerous car trip by rerouting the team so that a limited number of bad things could happen along the way; and searching for clues around every area the Heroes visited so effectively that they discovered the identity and location of the secret mastermind behind the plot well before they otherwise could have.

The Talents under the Hunter umbrella are Mettle, Naturalism, Pursuit, and Tracking; their names are pretty self-explanatory, so you can probably figure out which ones handle which things above if you take a quick look at them!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mechanics Talk: Explain to Me How to Creator

While we polish up the last of the mechanics and the playtesters cry about switching gears, we've had some questions about what a day in the life of various kinds of Heroes in HJ might entail. So I'm going to do a quick (ha ha, "quick") series of posts about what you do with each Aspect and its Talents, and how a Hero that has them might contribute to their group and be an awesome embodiment of them during their adventures. It's sort of like an advance breakdown of the explanations of what Aspects and Talents do in the book - so here we go!

Creators are about, well, being creative - not just making new things, but improvising on the fly and finding ways to apply energy to maintain things and people. Remember, not every person with the Creator Aspect has many or even any dots in all the attached Talents, but they're the ones who have access to these kinds of skills and abilities!

What do you do on your adventures and for your group when you have Creator?

Making Stuff: Creators are the ones who can create new things, which could be anything from a pedestrian building of a table to a widely-sung piece of sculpture that starts a new art movement. They're also the mechanics, tinkers, and fixers of the world - when your weapon gets broken, or you need more ammunition made, or you ram your car into a tree one too many times in pursuit of your mortal enemies, the Creators are the ones who can fix everything up and let you keep on rolling. Obviously, they can do these things for themselves, but they can also do them for the rest of the team, meaning that having someone with the Creator Aspect is a huge benefit to everyone. When you're a Creator, if you don't have what you need, maybe you can just make it, and if your gear breaks down, well, you can just bolt it back together and keep moving.

Providing Medical Care: Creators are also good at the maintenance of living things; they can't necessary make them (well, not as Mortals, anyway, except for the old-fashioned procreative way), but they can help keep them in good working order. They're the ones who can provide first aid if someone is injured or life-saving feats if someone is Mortally Wounded, and they're also the ones who have access to the most Blessings that magically heal wounds. Again, they can use these skills to help themselves out, but they can also use them to comfort and heal others, so a group with a Creator is a group who loves that Creator for all the incredible help they can provide. If a Hero has enough Creator that it's one of their main Aspects, they also have access to the Empowerment Endowment, which lets them create rest periods for everyone to recuperate and regnerate.

Performing Art: Creators are the creatives, so they're also the people who are creating in real-time - singers, dancers, actors, stand-up comedians, improvisational performance artists of every kind. They can come up with new things on the fly, not to mention creating songs and choreography people will remember for the ages if they're skilled enough. Now, how much people like the Creator themself performing depends on what other Aspects they have - Lover for attractiveness or Warrior for physical power and skill often come into play - but without the Creator themself, nobody's going got come up with any performance of rememberable value.

Inventing Things: Just like they're creative enough to invent new works of art and improvise a five-hour song cycle on the spot, Creators are also creative enough to invent entirely new ideas and things - they're the Einsteins and Imhoteps, the coming up with brilliant new logic leaps and inventing brand new technologies. These things take a while in many cases, of course, but if someone came up with something new and brilliant, that Hero had the Creator Aspect - it's the home of new, innovative, and incredible.

What is the Creator Effortless At? Creators have a leg up when it comes to surviving anything that would try to break down their bodies or energies - after all, they're wellsprings of raw energy and hard work, and they can dump that into their own maintenance as well as into helping others or making external things. Creators are better at resisting poisons, diseases, radiation, environmental pressures, and other outside forces that might try to sicken or weaken them, as well as being better at resisting magical powers that do similar things. Everyone can get extras to help them with this kind of resistance depending on how the progress around the webs, but the Creator is better at it naturally.

What are the Creator's Drawbacks? Creators, of course, love to try new things and innovate - and sometimes that causes problems, even when it's also brilliant. Creators are the ones who are likely to accidentally try something before it's quite out of the half-baked stage, which means some of their Blessings can make items volatile (essentially, prone to explosion or weird side effects) as a result of skipping their testing phases. The Creator Aspect is also very much about the now; they can handle problems when they arise, repair injury that has already happened or address existing damage or challenges, but they aren't as good at planning ahead for the future as some of the other Aspects.

In playtest groups, Creators have recently excelled in their adventures by building a raft to help travel through a treacherous swamp; single-handedly inventing a new kind of fashion and using it to impress local people into granting them safe passage; rigging up a fuel alternative to make a car go much faster than it should have been allowed to by pouring magic-tainted juice in with the gasoline (spoiler alert: it got very unstable, but they went very fast); and improvising such sick burns in an impromptu rap battle that they actually shamed an enemy into going home instead of remaining to have their feelings hurt further.

The Talents under the Creator umbrella are of course Art, Energy, Vision, and Willpower; we've been discussing altering the names on these in an eleventh-hour change recently, mostly because we've gotten some feedback that while "Art" is using a traditional meaning of the word to describe skill in making something, it's caused some confusion about the fact that it doesn't apply to some of the fine arts, which are more commonly referred to as "art". So if you've got an opinion, throw it at us in the comments!

Edit: Pulled the trigger too soon! Now updated with images!