Requesting Playbook and Ability homebrewing advice

An eager newbie, here. (Again)

  1. I read some comments on fan-made playbooks often feeling redundant, and that has me thinking about how I’m going to work on my own stuff. Since veteran abilities have no hard limit by default (just page space on the official sheets), would it make more sense to have a list of “orphan” abilities as character options if I feel I can’t justify a full playbook around a concept?

  2. Any pitfalls I should know about when designing an ability? I do have the weird Hello, World Multiplier idea I posted earlier, but I’ve been trying to keep my other ideas more restrained, generally applying the mechanics in an existing ability to a different situation.

  3. Is there anything “small” that frequently leads to an overpowered ability?

  4. Anyone with experience with the Artist/Coiner playbook by Renaud van Strydonck? I’m working on my own setting-specific version.

3 Likes

Hey there!

I think orphan special abilities definitely work, and I use them situationally in my own full game. You might want to group them thematically or by purpose, just to give people some guidance in which ones to take.

I think my answer to 2&3 is the same. Giving +Dice or +Effect/Position outside very narrow circumstances is often overpowered, leading to either very large dice pools (rare consequences = boring play) or very high Effect (ending most situations instantly and/or with controlled Position.)
The easiest solution to that I’ve found is to usually give a free Push or Potency instead, since those don’t stack as explosively. Though free Pushes can themselves make for powerful combos with abilities that say “when you push.”

Have not heard of those playbooks. You might have more luck checking on the official Discord hacking channel as well. discord.com/invite/r9wDkZy

2 Likes

Thanks for the advice, Antifinity. I appreciate the invite, though it was invalid by the time I clicked, unfortunately, so you might need to send me a fresh one.

Yeah, I had a feeling bonus dice were something to be cautious with, given the circumstances listed. Speaking of consequences, I probably need to think about resistance roll bonuses and proper circumstances for them to apply.