4ENCLAVE

A new home for the 4th Edition of the Worlds Oldest Roleplaying Game
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)

Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
AuthorMessage
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:13 pm

Yeah, I'm still kicking around the options for the best one. Three (swarm) and Four (stacking) are dead in the water. The biggest problem I'm having with option five is how to "stack" the Edge... or rather the fact that the normal ones are 'drop on first hit' instead of Edge.

'Drop in two hits' is problematic because literally nothing else in the game works that way and it leads to incongruous results like a Level 16 monster critting one for 60 damage and it doesn't drop because its only the first hit. Related to that is that they could take an AoE attack that would normally drop two normal ones because they were standing next to each other, but now remain standing because "only the first hit." Likewise, if they aren't dropped by a hit, can they be healed and how much healing does it take to give them back a hit?

On the flip side, if I give them Edge the totals would be so relatively small that they'd probably still drop in one hit... basically wiping out the equivalent of two or more of them with one hit when it should have been just one.

The cleanest option has been Option 2 (fixed number that grow in power), but as you say... its not the same having three guys at your back (four with a bodyguard/enforcer/medic) as is it to have five of them by level 4, eight of them by level 10 and ten of them at level 14.

One interesting playtest result in this regard is that one group started hiring mercenaries at level 3 even though they already had 16 warriors because the Mercs don't take their minor actions to make them fight; they just count against their XP rewards.

If its Option 2, the likely number will be three warriors. It makes the math super easy to balance with the rest of the Background Companions and with standard grunts and, from a historical/fluff point of view, I already mentioned the unit of organization called the Lance which were the forces one knight was expected to bring along to a battle.

But if I could make the optional stacking work, that would still be the ideal.

* * * * *

You guess correctly that the "Orc" problem is indeed one of setting lore and that you can't play Orcs as PCs like you could in 4E and that the Half-Shades just didn't FEEL like half-orcs either.

With one of the stated goals starting out being the ability to create as many possible Race/Class combos as possible from 4E, not being able to play something as relatively bog standard as an orc or half-orc (even if you can play a full-on dragon or giant) is something of a fail in my mind. I was hoping the Half-Shade would be close enough, but apparently not for the Orc fans who were hoping for something a bit more Warcraft-like.

In lieu of an answer to the Man-at-Arms issue, I've been pondering a solution to the Orc problem.

If I'm including them as a thing separate from the Shadowborn concept (which I am KEEPING dang it) I think the best slot for them, since Half-Orcs also need to be a thing to satisfy the requirements, would be a type of mutant. All sorts of nasty mutating magical energy poured out over the world during the Cataclysm; it literally smooshed a lion, ram and serpent together into a true-breeding Chimera.

So the first Orcs would have been a band of survivors caught on the surface instead of down in one of the Holds (or some other shelter shielded enough to resist the wave of magic fire) who turned to barbaric raiding in the aftermath as others started to come out of their shelters.

I'd probably give the example Orc the Bizarre Eyes (feral red eyes w. nightvision), Massive Arms, Mishappen Nose (the pig snout w. scent) and Powerful Legs. This would use up both their starting utilities so their background would initially only provide them with skill proficiencies... they do things by brute force not tricks or non-combat specializations. They can see in the dark, track by scent and are generally stronger and faster then men. They're basically super predators conditioned by two centuries of marauding to treat any other group as a target for their predation; survival of the fittest is their creed.

Then throw in the oddity that, unlike most mutants, they don't quite breed true with humans and the result is a Half-Orc who only takes two of those four mutations and gets both their normal utilities.

Heck, you could even use the new Ongoing Mutations option to say that some particular powerful Orcs continue to mutate; growing in size via the Oversized mutation to become much more traditional Ogres who lead the Orc Warbands in their raids.

One interesting story element that has me not just saying "stick to your guns on soulless Orcs" is that, if they could ever get organized and grow their numbers, the Orcs being physically superior to humans in virtually every way makes them a legit contender for "Man's replacement"... i.e. that primal fear of something better then men coming along and taking our place the same way we out-competed the Neanderthals and other homids. Is Man's ingenuity and adaptability enough to allow them to compete against these powerful mutant humans?

That would mostly fit the setting with the main downside being that I REALLY like my shadowborn Goblin/Orc/Ogre setup and, if I go the route above I'd have to change the names around into something probably LESS iconic. I suppose it could be Goblin/Hobgoblin/Bugbear... but that is SUCH an overt D&D-ism that I don't want to go too far in that direction lest I have to put the OGL back in.

I'd debated a while back about possibly swapping out the name Orc for Oni, but they're more typically giants... but if I turn ogres into extra-large orcs, then the most powerful Shadowborn could possibly take the Oni name.

Even before this came up all the Shadowborn started getting more overtly magical abilities starting at level 6... goblins started teleporting instead of shifting, orcs became obscured when they charged, all their attacks started creating shadow effects when they spent focus, etc. Maybe I should just push those effects forward so the goblins are teleporting and whatever I'm going to have to call the old orcs now are fading into shadows as they move right from the start. That might make the Oni name fit better.

So "Goblin/???/Oni" maybe? I've NOT found any good option that fits the mid-sized Shadowborn except for Orc. Hobgoblin feels too D&D-ish. Alternately maybe they're ALL Oni (lesser, normal, greater) or maybe they're just Shades (lesser, normal and greater) as befits their half-human offspring being called "half-shades."

I'm pouring over lists of mythical humanoids hoping something pops at me... but nothing so far.

* * * *

Yeah, Runic was having some identity issues so I merged it back into Arcane (where it had started out originally) and thank you for pointing out the lack of a REF-focused Astra caster.

I've been so utterly used to having Faithful/Militant as the only options for Astral that'd I'd somewhat failed to notice that by merging Rune back into it, Arcane went from INT + WIT/PRE (i.e. on par with Astral's options) to INT + any other score while Primal had always been the wide array because its old classes when they had multiple roles per class had been WIT + INT/PRE for the summoner/shaman and STR/REF + WIT for the shifter.

That's probably something I should fix.

* * * * *

One final bit that's getting added because it came up in an unrelated conversation and makes a sound bit of sense... so I'm adding it.

The conversation was about armor and how, technically, Full Plate was also Half-Plate and Breastplate and Padded Armor... all you had to do was just stop wearing parts of the Full Plate and what was left would be those types of armor. But in D&D you'd have to purchase and carry around all those types of armor if you wanted to wear them in different situations.

So as a new little rule I'm added, because it makes sense, is that any Armor can also be worn as a lesser type if desired by removing parts of the armor.

I don't think there's ANY practical reason why a character would do this given how the rules work, but for the sake of realism and because who knows what might come up in an actual adventure/campaign; I'm putting that rule in.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:40 pm

I like your orcs better than mine - I hadn't considered making them mutants, and your description of them as superpredators and mankind's potential replacement is very evocative. I would definitely include them as an example mutant and definitely throw in a half-orc option in the human subrace list.

The shadowborn, whether you call them goblins, oni, or shades, should definitely use the same name and use the lesser/common/greater naming scheme. I originally thought that goblin would work well, like my old idea of "common goblin, warrior goblin, and goblin king," but upon thinking about it, I think you should go with Shades. You've basically developed a version of the shadar-kai that is actually evocative in description and fitting for the setting. Slapping the word "goblin" on your monsters would probably be a waste. I still say that oni ought to be saved for a Sun Empire expansion.

If you still needed goblins, then you could go the same route as the orc and have them take the bat-like ears and misshapen nose mutations and throw in an optional small size mechanic for the mutant.

Finally, with the Astral casters, I would also suggest a Presence/Wits version of the Faithful caster, creating a set-up where both the faithful and militant astral paths have two different options: Intellect/Wits for the faithful option, and Strength/Reflex for the militant. You already have a Presence/Wits caster in the form of the Cunning Spirit. The old reason for not having it - overlapping attributes to the same defense - isn't a problem anymore, so it could work rather well.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:32 am

Yeah, just calling them Shades is probably the best. I've been semi-thinking Oni mainly because the overall setting is a bit more 'Eastern' that typical and my Elven culture and attire is actually more in line with India/Thailand (I may or may not have shared this previously, but I actually use simplified spellings of Thai for Elven names and words) so their opposite being a bit in that vein fits in my head.

Shade is definitely cleaner though and fits with my general naming theme of 'call it what it looks like in the common tongue.' The Praetorian language to my mind isn't English, but we're getting the translated version and they name things like normal people do which is why all the human place names on my maps are places like Blackspire, Greenfields, Daysmarch, Ferrycross, Riverrun, Fisherscove, etc. The same for most human/dwarven surnames being either Y (occupation; Steel, Fisher, Baker, Mason) or Y+Z (adjective + object; Blackthorn, Ravenwood, Bluewater... most of which were old place names).

So yeah, I think Shade fits... and Half-Shade makes objective sense. That said, the actual Shadar-Kai types would either be Half-Shades or the upcoming Fetches (who fit the general 4E lore for the Shadar-Kai a bit better by being the servants of the Grey Huntress/Death who got thrown into the Mortal World just like the Elves and, lacking their purpose... have turned to a mixture of hendonism and flare; they wear bright colors, piece and tattoo themselves... and have made a mission of hunting the Undead wherever they rise; as Legions have in the Blood Wastes).

I would still like goblins, but I actually don't think mutants are a good fit since they're all medium to oversized. I'm thinking they'd work as a type of Beastman; perhaps rats (making them natural enemies of the Kobolds who were bred to squeeze through tight spaces and hunt down rats and vermin) or even bats if I wanted to get really wild (most wouldn't have wings, but a few would).

My thinking with that is that is that Half-Goblins aren't really a thing (if not for Half-Orcs I probably would have made Orcs into literal "Porks"... shortened to 'Orks by centuries of linguistic drift) so having them be beastmen and thus their own species (that is quick breeding too, Beastmen reach maturity within two years... goblin hordes would be a thing). If they're associated with the Orcs/Ogres at all, it would likely be as slaves/out of fear... basically the Orcs would use goblins the same way we do dogs.

Yeah... making it INT or WIT and STR or DEX would solve the problem nicely for Astrals without needing new categories. The amusing thing is that with the switch from INT to WIT for the Dodge defense, the overlapping attributes WAS the norm for the Faithful Astral (since INT and PRE both went to Willpower defense). The main trick is going to be typesetting it since I'm trying to avoid having things spread across pages if I can at all help it.

* * * *

So, back to hitting my head against a Man-at-Arms. I'll let you know when I make any progress on that.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:33 am

Bat-like goblins works for me - it fits their features a little better, and the idea of winged goblins is too cool to pass up. The idea of orcs using them like dogs is horrific.

With the Astral thing, I think it works because being faithful and/or militant isn't tied up in specific attributes - it's a physical and mental divide.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:42 am

Yeah, it would be pretty horrific... doubly so to the other Beastmen who’s whole origins are tied up in slavery and a revolution to free themselves. I’m thinking that there needs to the ruins of a whole Pre-Catalysm Goblin city somewhere out in the Duskwoods... something to really punch home the idea that Goblins were once every bit as advanced and civilized as humans until the Cataclysm and nearly a hundred generations of slavery to the Orcs (Beastmen reach adulthood in two years and the way the orcs treat them they might be lucky to live a decade) has literally destroyed their culture.

It also brings home that you don’t have to be a soulless monster to be evil incarnate (that the orcs are actually just human mutants capable of human reason and free will I think might be more horrific than if they were soulless shadows). The orcs are definitely something heroes should feel good about crushing... even if it’s not quite the easy morality of laying down soulless shadows (since this would bring back the baby orcs and what do do about the feral goblins who are fighting to the death to save their slavers).

My favorite ideas in this whole process have been the ones that spawn actual world-building details. This feels like one of those.

Also good summary of the spiritual/physical divide for Astrals. The main thing that needs to be added beyond just the stats are the elements that allow REF to compete with STR in melee... though it occurs to me that the Faithful aspect actually doesn’t need them anymore (the INT to attacks is a holdover from when INT applied to AC/Reflex and enabled an Avenger-type build... REF-based Militants though cover that, leaving Faithful to be the pure spellcasters (and I can replace the ‘use INT for attacks’ with something that improves the spellcasting aspect of the Faithfuls instead).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:06 am

Update: So here are the Beastman and Mutant Example entries for Goblins, Orcs, Ogres and Half-Orcs;

Goblins: The pitiable bat-like goblins are a cautionary tale among Beastmen. Once an advanced society, the Cataclysm shattered their capitol city and the survivors were enslaved by the savage Orcs. A hundred generations of brutal slavery has so stunted them that few are even capable of flight and most are little more than animals serving the whims of their cruel masters. Ability Scores: +1 to REF and WIT; Skills: +2 to Acrobatics and Insight, +4 to Stealth; Beast Traits: Blindsight, Clinging; Small. Special: One in a hundred or so goblins (half of any born free) possess the Flight trait at the cost of one utility.

Orc: Bestial-featured mutants with massively muscled bodies, tusks, olive skin, pig-like noses and feral red eyes. Stronger, faster and with better senses than Men, the first orcs were fearsome predators who preyed on and enslaved any weaker than themselves and later generations have shown little interest in abandoning the practice. Save for those raised among non-orcs, survival of the fittest is their creed and rule by the strong their only law. Mutations: Bizarre Eyes, Massive Arms, Misshapen Nose, Powerful Legs. Special: Requires both utilities at level 1.

Ogre: Orcs of exceptional prowess often undergo a secondary mutation that causes them to continue to grow in size until they tower over their kin. These orcs are commonly called Ogres and are the undisputed leaders of any orc tribe they belong to. Mutation: as an Orc, but select Oversized at level 5 or later.

Half-Orc: Unusually for mutants, Orcs do not ‘breed true’ with humans. The offspring are far more human-like, with less massive bodies, smaller tusks and human noses. They are also much more adaptable than their full orc parent. Mutations: Any two of Bizarre Eyes, Massive Arms, Misshapen Nose or Powerful Legs. A rare few, particularly those born of a half-orc and a human, may possess the Pleasing Form mutation in place of one of these mutations or in addition to those mutations for the cost of a utility.

* * * * *

Just as a side-bar, I sometimes fail to appreciate just how many options are available for PC species in my games, but the fact of the matter is that as things stand right now there are explicit stats for;

-Azari (Dragonborn proxies)
-Brownies
-Dragons
-Dryads (Wilden/Hamadryads)
-Giants (including Treants)
-Sylphs
-Sprites/Pixies
-Undines
-Unicorns
-Werebeasts
-Centaurs
-Crocodin/Lizardmen
-Goblins
-Gnolls
-Kobolds
-Minotaurs
-Ravenkin (in the example adventurers)
-Wolfen
-Dwarves
-Elves (including Eladrin and de facto Halflings)
-Changelings
-Archons (winged celestial types)
-Gnomes
-Golems (Warforged)
-Humans
-Half-Avatars (Genasi and Goliaths)
-Half-Dwarves (Muls)
-Half-Elves
-Half-Shades (Shadar-Kai)
-Malfeans (Tieflings... plus five other elemental varieties)
-Bladelings
-Cyclops
-Orcs
-Ogres
-Half-Orcs
-Troglodytes
-Trolls

... and that's NOT including stuff you could reasonably build just from common sense like a Phoenix (Fire Beast Avatar), Satyr (Feral Humanoid Avatar), Bullywug (Beastman) or Ettin (Mutant with Oversized and Parasitic Twin).

I bolded the ones above that are typical of the core races for most D&D-esque systems (you might get the Ember Malfeans and maybe Golems and Azari in a particularly progressive one) and it really strikes home that my Playable Species list would probably be half to two-thirds of some other systems' Monster Manuals and that is probably a much bigger selling point than I'm giving it credit for.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1006
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Tolkein orcs were perhaps tortuously mutated elves

Grendel is a rather half ogre or half troll but also Grendel is referred to as a sceadugenga – shadow walker, night goer – given that the monster was repeatedly described to be in the shroud of darkness.

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:35 pm

Chris24601: I think that the list of species you couldn't make with your rules would be the shorter one. I think that a neat little bit of PR would be to post a challenge on your game's website: what races can you make with these rules? Just how much of the D&D Monster Manual can you play as in this game?

Garthanos: That's interesting - I didn't know that about Grendel.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:16 pm

It would totally be a classic D&D-ism to take a singular creature (ex. Medusa, Chimera, Sphinx) and turn it into an entire species of monster... calling the greater Shades "Grendels" would be right in that line. Food for thought anyway.

Also, the new takes on goblins and orcs/ogres went over really well at a playtest tonight.

I also learned just about where the practical XP limit for combats is... The GM running the battle put a five-man level 3 party against EIGHT level 4's and a level 5 (1100 XP when 500 XP would be a normal fight) and they narrowly survived after burning through ALL their focus and about half their total heroic surges (the guardian blew through 7 of their 10 surges).

The only reason they survived was that they took advantage of a choke point to put the guardian in the gap with the enabler buffing their defenses and healing them and realizing they needed to burn heroic surges for extra actions early in the fight (the moment one of the eight identical critters didn't drop like a grunt would have).

If they hadn't done as much extra damage as possible the guardian would have dropped before it was over, having all but run out of Rallies (he got dropped from 50 to 12 Edge one round, healed back to 44 via dedicated healing, then whittled down again to 20, healed back to 45 and ended the fight with just 4 Edge and the only way to get an additional rally would have been to blow TWO surges on it... and that was with their Armor defense buffed to a 21 and half the opponents suffering a -3 tactical penalty to their attacks.

The other thing that saved the party in that scenario was that they had a LOT of AoEs with an Interdictor, a Maledictor and the Abjurer having multi-classed into Interdictor (enlarged Flare is a FANTASTIC attack spell for an Abjurer multi-classed into Interdictor to be able to use).

If not for the chokepoint letting everyone target at least 3 foes with every enlarged attack and the Enabler burning focus to target two of the AoEing PC's to give them +Focus (4) to their next damage roll, the battle would have gone very differently.

* * * *

The monster challenge actually sounds like a fun idea.

I suspect the main ones you couldn't make would be the non-sapient critters, undead and demons. I know a couple of monster types are going to be non-Earthbound Astrals because their concepts are more conceptual than elemental (the Sphinx as an Astral Servitor for the God of Knowledge for example), but if you were just trying to build a Sphinx PC not knowing about my plan to include it as an Astral critter you could probably build something identifiable as a Sphinx as a Earth Beast Avatar (with the Beast form power being flight) with an arcanist background and a utility to give them the divination ritual as an innate ability instead of needing a ritual book.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:56 pm

I'm glad the goblins and orcs/ogres went over well.

That sounds like a serious, nailbiting, edge-of-the-seat fight.

I was glancing over the document again and noticed that the militant astral and potent primal could use Strength for their armor defense and runic arcane couldn't - it's probably an oversight, but I have to ask, in case there's any other reason.

Also, good call on restricting one of the maledictor's minor spells to energy missile - that's the one that anybody with sense will take, so formalizing it and preventing build mistakes like that is a good idea.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:47 pm

The Runic Arcane was an oversight (thank you for catching it). I think it was probably because I had a brain fart and thought INT to Armor would be sufficient, but I forgot about the possible swap of Attack/Focus stat for Shifters/Wardens (and choosing to prioritize STR for a melee type caster).

The Energy Missile change actually fixed TWO things. First was making the highest damage option obligatory as you said, but also because, for some reason I can’t even remember (but surely made sense to me at the time) the Maledictor only got two minor spells (and with reduced range) to the Interdictor’s three. My hunch is that was a holdover from before I added the Improved Enlarge Spell to the Interdictor with their third minor spell and extra range being the the balance for the maledictor getting extra damage along with everything else the Interdictor got at level 1.

But that situation passed quite some time ago and it just never got corrected until a playtest group ended up with both an Interdictor and Maledictor in it and the Maledictor did NOT take energy missile (they wanted to do other cool things)... and they were just so categorically inferior that the player asked to reroll the character as another Interdictor.

Instead I fixed the Maledictor and now they use Ice Missile as their Main and Minor actions (since using it as a main action adds your level to the damage... in addition to already adding your level for being a Maledictor. At level 4 they were doing 5+4+4=13 damage with their main action automatically vs. the average 10 damage (1d10+10 x 0.65 hit rate) of a normal attack spell (admittedly this means they aren’t dropping a condition on the target, but it’s automatic damage a bit above the average so pretty much balanced)... then Ice Missile as a minor for another 9.

It even stays slightly ahead of the level 5 die bump when the attack spells jump to 2d10+11 (14 DPR) vs. 15 DPR for the main action Ice Missile.

*****

Also, yes, the fight was quite harrowing (I was actually playing in that one AS the abjurer/tank in the choke point). I’m glad the GM ignored the encounter guidelines (I wouldn’t have gone that far above my recommendations right out of the gate... I’d have slowly ramped it up until I found the break point). It probably saved me at least three combats with another group gauging those limits.

Finally, since I’m still mulling the man-at-arms solution, I turned my attention to some much neglected art; specifically the example setups for the rules section for counting range, size, area effects and movement. Maybe working on something completely different will spark something.

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:27 pm

After some testing the optional stacking solution for Men-at-arms just isn’t going to work. In addition to flat out how to balance the hits between a stacked and unstacked version, the other problem is that the stacking outside of a few levels (variable with how many warriors you decide to actually have) results in having warriors with different stats you’ll have track seperately.

Which basically means if I want to include the Men-at-arms, the Lance version (ie three companions that grow with you) wins by default because its math works. One plus to come from that is with just three of them, I can drop the group attack for three attack rolls (which is about how many you’d make with a well placed AoE attack and doesn’t have a damage roll).

This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that players who are interested in having small armies have been looking at mercs even at early levels even before this change... mainly because mercs aren’t linked to your action economy (they get their own turns, but also require money to maintain and can die before you get your money’s worth since you pay them up front by the week... if they die on day one you’ve still paid their next of kin for the full week).

Just so you know that I looked at every possible alternative, I also considered briefly yet another option where instead of a pre-set type of warriors the utility instead gave you an XP budget of Mercs you don’t have to pay for, kinda like the free goods and services utilities. But I quickly discarded that because the balance for mercs is that they reduce the XP awards of fights they participate in and it essentially penalizes the players who didn’t take the utility by soaking up XP meant for the group (whereas mercs paid in silver were seen more as group assets that everyone chipped in on... even if by the rules they could easily be in a single PC’s employ).

The Lance version isn’t my favorite solution, but at least it’s one that works and I can’t let it distract me too much from all the other stuff that needs to be worked on. That said, if some flash of brilliance inspires me down the line I will happily revisit it.

* * * * *

In more pleasing news, another pretty sizeable loophole (due to poor wording) got caught by testers... this time with the Shifter and Warden and a literal reading of the rules. Each opens with a bit about how they gain proficiency with all natural weapons. Makes sense given their whole shapeshifter shtick right?

The trick though comes from a literal reading of the Form Weapons benefit. It states that you pick a simple or martial weapon (or an exotic weapon if you’re proficient with that).

Did you catch it? I didn’t until it was explained to me. The intention of the wording was to allow Shifters/Wardens to take advantage of the weapon proficiency specialization just like other weapon-using characters could)... But as written you are already proficient with all natural versions of weapons, including exotic weapons already and could, RAW select an exotic weapon instead of just a simple or martial one.

Long story short the bit about proficiency got changed to ‘martial proficiency with all Form Weapons’ (since some simple weapons bump up to martial quality weapons with martial proficiency) and I once again need to thank playtesters for catching it.

* * * * *

And on the lore front, here’s a fun one. I’ve been making notes for the Fetch since, even if its NOT showing up until Blood Wastes, I want the lore to be consistent. They’re going to be the embodied servants of the Grey Huntress... so I’ve been thinking about the nature of this goddess and how she intersects with the the non-Astral faiths. I mean death doesn’t NOT show up because you follow a Primal faith, but by the same token having a representative of a completely different faith turn up at the hour of death doesn’t seem like something the Primal Spirits would be too happy with.

Then there’s the fact that the flip side of the Grey Huntress in the Imperial Pantheon is the Blight Queen, said to be the ‘Mother’ of the Undead... and there’s all sorts of lore saying Necromancy was the creation of the Demon Emperor.

Rather than resolve this discrepancy one way or the other though, my thinking is to instead throw some fuel on the fire. Instead there are teachings among the Old Faith, considered heretical by the Imperial Faith (and probably the other Astral-based ones too) that the Grey Huntress isn’t an Astral god at all (indeed, her ‘home’ isn’t in the Astral Realms, but in the Shadow World in an ever roaming hunting camp that hunts the undead); she’s actually one of the great Primal Spirits embodying the natural cycle of life and death (and that the Blight Queen is the Demon Emperor’s first apprentice in the arts of Necromancy).

Other heretical tales proclaim that, like Prometheus, the Grey Huntress may have been a Primal Spirit once (just as Prometheus was a Titan), but unlike her kin who didn’t take sides in the Beastman uprising, the Grey Huntress sided with the Astral gods in support of the Beastmen and so was made one of their number.

The Fetches don’t know (they didn’t come into being until after the Huntress had made the Shadow World her home) and the Grey Huntress isn’t talking (‘Silent as the Huntress’ is a saying in the world akin to ‘quiet as the grave’ for it is said that the Huntress never speaks... those in her presence simply know her intent).

If true, it would put the Huntress in line with the Catholic notion of the Angel of Death... who comes in the hour of death to offer a last chance at repentance  so as to thwart the will of the Devil. Or, in T&T terms... convincing bitter souls to not choose undeath in the Shadow World over returning to the Source.

And if true... and given the general pattern of twelves in this cosmos... who or what is the actual twelth Astral god and why are they completely unknown to mortals?

Then again it could all just be propaganda spun by the Old Faith to keep people from abandoning it for the proper worship of Astral powers... at least, so say the High Priests of the various Astral faiths.

A part of me IS wondering though, if the Fetch keeps coming together this easily could it make its way back into the Player’s Guide after all? It would be nice if there was one representative of a Shadow origin species in the core books as the Shadar-Kai/Shade/Vryloka are pretty much the only 4E races NOT easily replicated by the core species (half-shades are close, but not quite the same thing given the whole rapey context to their ancestry without the prospect of also including Half-Fetches in their number).

Holding off on something because it’s not actually designed yet is one thing (ex. the mass combat rules or the aura-based classes and sanctions that need a complete rework), but I’m not big on keeping something out of the core books that’s already designed just to use as a selling point for later books.

I think T&T would earn a lot more brand loyalty if the setting books were just that... settings; with locations, adventure hooks and regional mosters and new player options added only if they’re something rather unique to the region.

By that standard though I should probably put the long designed rules for the shadow/Necromancy and demonic spellcasting paths into the GM’s Guide in the optional rules section even if I really think they shouldn’t be in the hands of heroes/PCs at all. The Demonic path is pretty boring, basically an inverted Primal path... and probably needs a serious reworking anyway since it was designed back when demons had easier paths into the Mortal World than the setting currently allows... but the shadow path is very flavorful with unique mechanics even if it’s basically invoking power created by the Demon Emperor (though it can be argued it’s not really his power anymore due the whole eternal inprisonment thing... its just something laying around waiting to be used).

I kinda don’t even want to be responsible for giving players the tools to be something eternally damned... I still remember when a friend of mine in middle school had their mother try to burn all his D&D stuff because she thought it demonic (and would have if she hadn’t taken her son to our priest first and gave the books to him saying ‘this is my son’s devil worship kit’ expecting the priest to set her son right... instead he gave the books back to my friend and explained to his mom that it’s a game about fighting monsters).

I don’t want to be responsible for a scenario like that playing out anywhere. Keeping the PC options strictly to the good/neutral end of the spectrum (it’s not like you need special rules to play an evil wizard or use an Astral power’s boons for wicked ends or be an utterly tyrannical warlord) feels like the responsible course to me.

Maybe if I reworked the Shadow path a bit so it’s not a choice, but more like the Sorcerer (and make it distinct from the path of Necromancy... which is villain only)... something you didn’t choose, but have access to and so choose to try and do good with it.

I dunno. Just throwing out ideas and probably proving why that bit at least isn’t ready for prime time.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1006
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:55 pm

Quote :

I kinda don’t even want to be responsible for giving players the tools to be something eternally damned... I still remember when a friend of mine in middle school had their mother try to burn all his D&D stuff because she thought it demonic (and would have if she hadn’t taken her son to our priest first and gave the books to him saying ‘this is my son’s devil worship kit’ expecting the priest to set her son right... instead he gave the books back to my friend and explained to his mom that it’s a game about fighting monsters).

I had teachers in the 80s asking me how I thought D&D might contribute to helping with kids learn to socialize who had certain disorders. Yes it was probably concurrent with the above scenario happening else where. One really cannot account for true ignorance nor prevent its implications.

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:45 am

Garthanos wrote:
I had teachers in the 80s asking me how I thought D&D might contribute to helping with kids learn to socialize who had certain disorders. Yes it was probably concurrent with the above scenario happening else where. One really cannot account for true ignorance nor prevent its implications.
Probably not, but you also can learn from past mistakes.

Game rules do shape expectations. If you have a game that lets you steal cars as part of your premise, players are going to try to steal cars in the game. Make that even a small part of the game and you give certain types ammunition to come after you for promoting the behavior.

I think a case can also be made that you don't want to include rules that subvert your setting. If you were making a Thundarr the Barbarian RPG would you include rules for making PC Evil Wizard Overlords when a whole chunk of the source material is about opposing and overthrowing them?

I'm kinda seeing the Shadow spellcasting path (and without question the demonic one) to be sorta in that vein. The whole premise in the Terrors & Tactics setting is that your PC is a light in the vast darkness that has fallen on the world and its up to them to grow that light. "But here are rules for playing as the things whose sole goal is to tear down civilization and plunge the world into eternal darkness for our own aggrandizement" seems a bit counter to that theme.

I can probably salvage the shadow path in the same way that I can salvage the halfling/shadeling mechanics via the Fetch species (i.e. keep the shadow element, but lose the whole "soulless shadow of a murdered child" thing that, while sounding really edgy, was easily the least possible species I could have ever devised and replace it with the exiled servants of Grey Huntress who tirelessly hunt the undead that prey on humanity and provide comfort to Men at the hour of death).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:11 pm

You raise a very good point about the shadow and demonic paths running counter to the themes of the setting - they muddle things a bit too much. If players want to go that way, they could repurpose the astral path's mechanics and just refluff things.

Given the fluff of your setting, I don't really see how you could salvage the shadow path - something that your setting's version of Lucifer developed is better left alone.

Edit: Your priest at the time sounds like a good man - he read the material and got to the essence of D&D instead of doing the easy thing and going along with the Satanic panic.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:39 am

My priest was a great man and was eventually recognized as a Monsignor for he did for his parish.

As to the shadow path... I'm not saying it would be easy. As I alluded to earlier, I think the ONLY way it would even be possible is if you...

A) Shifted the shadow spellcasting path from something you choose (like a Wizard) to something you're born with (like a Sorcerer). Almost like a shadow malfean, except it strikes randomly instead of being genetically/spiritually inherited and is able to hide the outward effects.

B) Shifted the actual shadow magic the path wields away from Necromancy and towards manipulating actual darkness/shadow (which exist in natural form apart from the Demon Emperor)... basically the 4E divide between Necromancy and Nethermancy.

And even with those two its still incredibly problematic, I'll admit (not least of which is that Malfeans aren't nearly as hated as Necromancers or anything with even the whiff of Necromancy).

It ALMOST makes me wish I hadn't tied it so closely to the Demon Emperor and made it more of a "natural force" that easily leads to corruption without an iron will to control it. I say almost though because with true demons largely limited to manifesting aspects summoned by mortals there needs to be something that exists as the opposite of the light of civilization... the darkest of darks... the literal end to light and life and hope... the Shades, Undead, Necromancers (High Priests) and the Ghoul "Princes" of the Demon Emperor certainly fill that role.

I suppose the Cambions do too, but they're more 'corrupt the world' types. They want slaves and citadels and profane temples raised in a new Demon Empire and, while they regard their demon parents as worthy of worship, their corrupted hearts probably think its for the best that the demons got retired to beyond the Great Barrier because their time is past and now its time for their children to rule. So they're still trying to build a civilization of a sort.

Not so, the Undead. The Will of the Demon Emperor that whispers in the 'soul' of every Undead and Shade is to DESTROY and to drag as many souls as possible screaming into the Shadow World where they will know the same unending damnation as the Demon Emperor itself. The shades and undead don't want slaves; they want corpses that can be raised into mindless automatons and thrown against their friends and families. They don't seek to build... they inhabit the ruins and seek to tear down the new lights rising from the darkness; either directly (via Shades and Wights/Death Knights) and by carving them out from within (via the Ghouls).

Yeah... I've completely talked myself out of trying to turn the Shadow path into anything playable. If anything I think I need to play up the fact that the turn to Shadow doesn't empower; it enslaves and then destroys the person who was... leaving only an undead shell in thrall to the whispers of the Demon Emperor. In other words they CAN'T be PC's because they always lack true free will... it is literally the path to NPC status because you no longer control yourself.

When the Demonic spellcasting path actually looks PC friendly by comparison (and its pretty messed up) that's saying something.

The only things I think might be salvageable from the Shadow Path are things that make thematic sense for the Fetch species; who embody the night (which is different from the Shadow) and the proper passing from life to death to afterlife (instead of lingering in the Shadow World) and actively hunt down the undead (and get 'bless weapon' as an innate always-on ability). Their pre-Earthbound status was very much in the vein of St. Michael who comes in the hour of death to give each soul the chance to redeem itself and thus thwart the will of the devil/Demon Emperor so, not being human and, having a mandate through the Grey Huntress that may actually come from the Source itself, can actually safely wield the power of Shadow against the Shadow (thus turning even evils toward the good).
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Honorbound
Heroic Adventurer
Heroic Adventurer


Posts : 140
Join date : 2013-11-12

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:13 pm

From the way you're describing it, you could easily reintroduce the Fetch species in the core book - you've got most of the mechanics locked down thanks to the old Shadeling, and now you've got a solid handle on the fluff. With the half-shade, I would also consider making them descended from either shades or fetches - the half-shade is a useful multipurpose bit of crunch - I don't see why it couldn't be reused for the children of Fetches.

I also noticed the new goblin, orc, and ogre entries, as well as the updated Astral entries - very nice. I did notice that the section on page 47 regarding armor defense still uses Ref or Int instead of Ref or Wit - without that change, the Primal guys are up a creek for armor defense. Also the runic entry is missing (I presume) medium armor proficiency and using Str in place of Ref for medium and heavy armor.

Speaking of armor, I went through the actual classes and noticed that only two classes use heavy armor by default: the Defender with Armored Panoply, and the Abjurer with Armor Training. Everybody else uses medium or light armor. It says a lot about your setting, I think.

Finally, I was reading through the racial entries, and I really liked Erin'ye's new favored animal - the wasp makes perfect sense for her, both because of its solitary, motherly nature and her art - her armor looked chitinous upon first glance. Her weapons could also be redesigned to resemble a wasp's stinger.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:32 pm

Yeah, I'm thinking the Fetch (former halfling/shadeling) might make a comeback to the core book after all. Once they shifted away from "shadows of murdered children" to "exiled astral(?) spirits akin to elves" I'd always intended that the Half-Shade could be either an actual Shade or a Fetch.

* * * *

Armor defense still using REF or INT; WHOOPS! Thanks for the catch. Yes, it should be REF or WIT just like Dodge. Correction made and the Primal guys are safely back down the creek and Runics can use medium armor if they desire.

As to the armor levels, remember that I recently dropped light armor (because there was literally no reason to ever use it) and shifted all the other armor types down one level. Where light armor once meant padding or soft leather it now means up to 50% coverage in steel (or much thicker padding/hides over most of the body and probably still with a steel helmet). The current medium armor is 50-75% coverage in steel while heavy is 75%+ coverage in steel. Its a bit lighter than in some settings, but its not like they're running around in chain mail bikinis and loin cloths either.

That said, a chunk of that is realism and genre related. Armor is HEAVY and its hot. Actual wandering adventurers would need armor that isn't too hot or heavy to wear as they traveled and likely something they can don and keep clean themselves. Armors like the padded gambeson, chain hauberks and brigandine/coat of plates are the most sensible armors for traveling adventurers and can map pretty well to light (gambeson), medium (chain or a brigandine) and heavy (brigandine over chain) armors pretty easily.

On the genre-related front... running around in full plate harnesses just isn't what main characters in fantasy television and movie series do.

It should also be noted that I established the default setting's climate as a Maritime one specifically to be as generous as possible with wearing it around. Specifically,  the summer highs in Old Praetoria are typically in the mid-seventies with a couple days peaking into the low eighties while conversely it only drops below freezing for a few days in the winter with the daytime winter temps being in the mid-forties. Overcast days are common (think Seattle or Britain), but the rain coming evenly throughout the year and a lack of a hard freeze means a much longer growing season to support the population on a smaller area (the primary staple crop being corn also helps with that; fish, eggs, grits and cornbread are primary foodstuffs of the lower classes in Blackspire).

* * * *

Erin'yi is already getting slightly updated artwork with wasp stingers in place of forearm blades and retractable wasp wings. Its a better fit than having to create a specific beast in the lore to match her appearance. Plus, flight is cool.

Danai-Lan (the Elven Noble) is also getting wings since I swapped his example over to Archon with the Potent Spark and Caste Allegiance benefits to showcase all of those additions. Vanida (the changeling) also got a slight tweek to her background such that she now identifies more with the people's she's been sent to as a missionary than the strict tenants of the Elven hierarchy to reflect the shift to the default PC elves being more the outcasts than the stalwarts.

* * * *

So, fun facts learned after last night's playtest;

1) I apparently need rules for what happens when a crocodile tries to flip over a Floating Disk (or anyone tries to for that matter) while people are on it.

2) I actually did NOT have a basic "ground underneath you gets unstable (when its not your turn), try and remain standing" check. Yes, I have rules for improvising, but that's such a common one it feels like something that should be there. They've been added (short version is; free action; TN 10+5 per step the terrain was worsened by. Remain standing if you succeed. Suffer a ground terrain mishap if you fail. If it becomes blocking terrain you shift to the closest open space whether you succeed or not).

3) Of the 60+ listed skill-related tasks... only 11 of them do not have the phrase "You cannot take 20 on this check" in them. About half of those 11 also have special rules for what happens when you take 20. This seems like a situation where maybe I should rewrite the Take 20 rules to "You can only use them if the skill says you can" instead of "You can use it unless the skill says you cannot" as it would make a number of the skills cleaner to read.

I noticed the last one while adding the "balance" task to Acrobatics and that everything on that page and on the Arcana page facing it (except Sense Magic) had the "Special: You cannot take 20 on this check" after it. So I followed the rabbit down the hole.

* * * *

Another minor change of nomenclature... it was pointed out that simple, military/martial and exotic as weapon categories are exactly the categories D&D uses. So I'm changing the weapon types to "Basic proficiency, Expert proficiency and Master proficiency" just to cover my butt.

It also makes it easier to clarify with classes and other abilities that you gain "Expert proficiency in all weapons" instead of "proficiency with all simple and military weapons" as it makes it clear that you are proficient with the simple/basic weapons at the expert level... thus daggers have the thrown property for you and the quarterstaff is a double weapon for you.

It likewise means that instead of "gain proficiency in one military weapon" its "gain expert proficiency in one weapon." Its clearer that you can select the dagger or quarterstaff or javelin (which all gain properties if you have military/expert proficiency with them) with that ability instead of having to pick a weapon like a longsword.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1006
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:00 am

So what race are the Neanderthals ... Wink

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1006
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:06 am

Do you have a site you are posting your world and game on. Or do you need one?

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:21 am

I don't have any Neanderthals per se, but given that most humans have a couple percent of their DNA in our ancestry I'd be inclined to just say that they're humans mechanically with STR as one of their ability boosts. In actuality they were a bit stronger than us, but humans, on average, were larger (so better reach) and had MUCH higher stamina (forget healthy as a horse, horses are spun glass compared to humans... they can die of shock if they break a leg... humans pinned in accidents without hope of rescue have sawed off their own limbs using small knives without anesthesia and then gone on to lead otherwise normal lives. Humans are the freaking TERMINATOR of the Animal Kingdom*).

Either that or, if you choose certain options in the "what is the truth" section, then the whole setting is actually Earth millions of years in the future, the magic is just "sufficiently advanced technology", the primal spirits are actually the first evolution of humanity that evolved past the need for corporeal bodies and later re-seeded the world with a new batch of humans (with the hope that they'd one day evolve sufficiently to join them) and the Astral gods are rogue AI's inside the Arcane Web that are trying to use a shortcut the process by uploading them into their digital realms at death (instead of into the Source).

In that case they'd probably be mutants whose latent Neanderthal DNA got triggered by the Cataclysm's energies... or a REALLY weird beastman someone created during the First Empire.

* * * *

* Sidebar: If I ever do a Sci-Fi version of these rules, the human in that setting is going to get the ability modifier of +2 END (yes, I know its normally +1 to two, but in this case its appropriate). Unless every other alien in existence also evolved from hyper-specialized pursuit predators there's no way they match our endurance (which also means that Fitness/Extra Effort and having more heroic surges and regaining them faster... i.e. being crazy-awesome... would be humans' HAT).

Also... this. https://www.tor.com/2016/10/17/the-answer-to-why-humans-are-so-central-in-star-trek/

* * * *

Also, I don't have a site yet, but I'm working with a guy I know to get one put together.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Garthanos
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 1006
Join date : 2013-05-25
Location : Nebraska

Character sheet
Name: Garthanos
Class: Arcadian Knight
Race: Auld Worlder

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:18 am

Chris24601 wrote:
I don't have any Neanderthals per se, but given that most humans have a couple percent of their DNA in our ancestry I'd be inclined to just say that they're humans mechanically with STR as one of their ability boosts. In actuality they were a bit stronger than us, but humans, on average, were larger (so better reach) and had MUCH higher stamina (forget healthy as a horse, horses are spun glass compared to humans... they can die of shock if they break a leg... humans pinned in accidents without hope of rescue have sawed off their own limbs using small knives without anesthesia and then gone on to lead otherwise normal lives. Humans are the freaking TERMINATOR of the Animal Kingdom*).
Yes and not only that we also have better burst speed than those horses... its like we evolved to catch em.

Chris24601 wrote:

Also, I don't have a site yet, but I'm working with a guy I know to get one put together.
I am a web dev myself and was curious... I am also itching to build a character builder app of some sort.

_________________
Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dyasdesigns.com/kingsmagic.html
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:37 am

A character builder app is something I'm definitely looking to have done. Probably as a stretch goal for the kickstarter.

I need to get the player rules 100% finalized first. They mostly are... but the Fetch is probably going to be returning and while I don't expect it in terms of character building options specifically, the playtest might yet turn up something unusual.

I guess the two big question to ask are; A) what data would you need to build such an app and how easy is the data to update? B) what does an app like that run commercially?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:35 pm

So, for today's update I thought I'd share some of the game rules art I've been working up.

Here, for example, is the graphic I'm using in the section on measuring distance/range;



Here's my graphic on creature sizes;



This is on the page facing targets and area of effects;



Before I give you the last one for determining cover, I have to update that, because of regular issues with measuring to determine cover really slowing the game down (specifically having to determine whether 1-2, 3 or 4 corners were blocked and what they were blocked by) the game I made some slight tweaks to cover to both make it a bit easier, but also add a couple more realistic bits to it. Now regular cover is at least one clear line and at least one blocked line (so you can stop measuring once you have one of each) and that heavy cover comes only from special conditions or taking certain actions.

Here's the actual rule update;

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cover

Blocking Terrain, objects and non-allied creatures are the most common
sources of cover. Unless the cover is transparent it also blocks line of sight.

Determining Cover: To determine a target’s cover, make a line from
the center of your space to each corner of a square that the target occupies
(a ruler is helpful). If any of the lines pass through blocking terrain or through
objects or another creature not allied with you then the target has cover
from you.

If all of the lines pass through blocking terrain or objects (not creatures)
then they have total cover and you have no line of effect to the target.

Heavy Cover: Some types of cover (ex. arrow slits) or actions
(ex. dropping prone or squeezing behind cover; see below) grant heavy
cover instead.

Low Cover: windows, low walls and overturned tables only count as
cover if the attacker is further from them than the target is.

Prone and Squeezing: If a creature drops prone or squeezes while
behind cover, it gains Heavy Cover and is NOT flat-footed to effects it has
cover against. Low cover acts as blocking terrain if you are prone while
benefiting from it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's the graphic followed by the captions describing it that follow;



This one had some captions underneath which I'm including below;

Shade 1 has no cover from Jon because it has no blocking terrain, objects or other creatures blocking lines to any corner of the square it occupies.
Shade 2 has cover from Jon because Shade 1 is blocking all lines to the corners of its square. It does not have total cover because it’s not from blocking terrain.
Shade 3 has cover from Jon because a line is blocked by blocking terrain, but at least one line to the Shade is clear. It has no cover from Erin.
Shade 4 has heavy cover from Jon and Erin because it is squeezing behind cover.
Shade 5 has total cover from Jon because all lines cross blocking terrain. It has no cover from Erin because it is not closer to the low cover than she is.
Shade 6 has cover from Erin because it’s closer to the lower cover than she is.
Shade 7 has total cover from Erin because it is prone behind the low cover.

* * * * * *

Also, for due diligence and "let people play how they want" sake, I'm running a few combat tests replacing the +/-3 condition modifiers (but only those modifiers) with "roll twice and keep best/worst" and the -5 penalties with "roll twice and keep worst, plus effects only deal half damage" just to see if combat flows better.

I've had a few reports of people having problems tracking the bonuses/penalties with all the conditions floating around and the test is to see if not having to adjust your basic modifiers helps those players (i.e. your weapon attack normally is +7 vs. Armor... so instead of needing to adjust it to +10 vs. armor or +4 vs. Armor, you just roll twice with +7 vs. Armor and use the best/worst result).

The probabilities from that are an average "+/-3.36" so it should have a comparable effect to the +/-3 modifiers.

I'm also not doing it with ALL the modifiers, just the ones from conditions (so flat-footed, cover, obscured, shadowed/darkened/blinded and shaken/scared/terrified).

If it works okay, I'll put it into the optional rules section alongside things like "rolling more or less dice for damage," "defenders roll their defense" and "simplified ranges/bursts" (i.e. count diagonals the same as edges like 4E does).

* * * * * *

On a related note, I've been noticing in test that no one has been using the universal "special effects" for spending focus.

Special Effects: In addition to uses listed with specific actions, you can also spend focus on the following Special Effects;
Focused Effort (you make a skill check): Gain +3 to the check per focus spent.
Damaging Miss (you make an attack): The attack gains one of the following Miss effects for 1 focus or both effects for 2 focus; Deal ½ damage or the target is subject to any non-damage hit effects imposed by the attack.
Sustained Effect (you use an action with an effect with a duration of SNT or ENT): For 1 focus you extend the duration of the action’s non-damaging effects to (sustain hit) if it requires an action check or to (sustain slowed) if it does not.


On asking some of the other people running tests for me it turns out NO ONE is actually using them. Most of the time the players are also forgetting to add in the +3 focused advantage modifier (added to incentivize not spamming the same attacks over and over) as well... even when its printed on their character sheets right above the combat stance/attack spell section of the sheet and a lot of them only remembered after they missed and started hunting for bonuses to turn it into a hit (never mind that the trigger was usually 'make attack' not 'after you roll'... most of the GMs ended up letting them do it because they were 'just learning the system').

*

To be honest, I'm not sure WHAT to do with that. I'm glad I noticed and decided to ask for additional feedback, but jeez...

The Focused Effort rule probably just needs to be repeated in the actual Skills section (along with the 'spend a surge to gain a natural 20 on a skill check' rule listed under heroic surges), but damaging miss, sustained effect and just the focused advantage bonus are going to take more thought.

For those who might have suggestions, the thinking behind those abilities was that the first two (damaging miss/sustained effect) were primarily put in to let the extra focus when you burn a surge on an attack to make them act more like a 4E daily power (i.e. half damage on miss, effects on a miss and/or save ends effects), the latter to simulate the 1/encounter powers by encouraging you to to use different ones each turn to get the accuracy boost when you're burning a limited resource to get a bigger effect (i.e. replacing the extra damage most encounter attacks dealt with hitting more often... both add to your average damage per round, just in different ways).

Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Chris24601
Legend
Legend


Posts : 546
Join date : 2013-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Fort Wayne, IN

Character sheet
Name:
Class:
Race:

PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:43 am

So, I've been baking my noodle on the whole 'default uses of focus' issue.

The Focused Effort one as I said is pretty easy. It turns out after removing the 'you can't take 20 on this check' from all those skills it was actually easiest to just put a "if you spend X time on this check you can treat the result as if you rolled a 20 on the die" and the few actions you could take 20 on since half of them (like insight checks) had special rules for using them that way anyway.

That meant that I had already pulled the "taking 20" section from the Skills chapter and so had a nice big blank spot waiting for the 'new' (even then I feel like the actual rule has been in the rules longer than half the stuff in the game now) "Spending Focus and Surges on Skills" section.

* * * * *

As to the Focused Advantage and 'damaging miss' and 'sustain hit' parts... I've had a couple thoughts, but no clear solutions yet.

The first is that I think the problem with Focused Advantage being overlooked half the time is that, just like the condition modifiers, a static bonus just isn't that attention grabbing and the conditions for when you get it probably aren't as clear as they could be.

For the wording I'm thinking the trigger needs to be clarified/changed to, "The first time you spend focus or a surge on each class attack during a conflict."

For the effect though... +3 to the attack roll is a solid benefit (given the typical target number needed it's actually about a 25% increase in your actual likelihood to hit... and so contributes about 0.25 rounds worth of extra damage to the battle), but its not memorable.

Three possible alternate effects that might work better are;

A) "If the attack deals damage as if it were a critical hit." Critical hits work out to about +50% damage over an average hit. Once you take hit rate into account that works out to about a +27.5% increase in damage for that turn. That's within a few percentage points of the gain in average DPR from the +3 modifier so mechanically its sound.

The positives for this option is that it feels closer to the 4E model where encounter attacks don't hit more often, but they do more damage when they hit and that "you can get an automatic critical hit" feels more important than +3 to hit (which you can garner close to from a variety of abilities like enabler buffs already).

Its also easier to go back and add the average critical damage bonus you'd have (i.e. average damage die result -1 + level) to the target after the fact than it is to remember what your specific die roll was. It is also cuts down on one avenue of abusing the rules if the GM isn't strict on spending focus by making their be no advantage to deciding to spend focus on your attack after you missed by 1-3 points (there's still the 'declaring you spent it after a hit' but there's only so much you can do when the GM isn't enforcing the rules closely).

The big negatives for this option is that because it doesn't hit more often you may feel like you're wasting the expenditure more often (which might lead to people favoring the 'hit w. attack' trigger attacks over the 'make attack' trigger powers) and that it wouldn't stack with exploiting vulnerabilities (since those are also treated as critical hits).

B) "You can reroll the attack and use the better result." As I mentioned previously, the math on this is about equal to a bonus of +3.36 to your roll, so its mechanically in line with the default +3 modifier.

The positive here is that getting to reroll after a miss feels better than just having increased odds on the first roll. The downside is how this might interact with the Ravager's attack ability (which is a similar ability) or if someone uses the "Flat-footed = Reroll, use better" option. Best of three is better odds than best of two, but not as big an increase as the initial reroll gives.

C) "Half damage/at-will effect on a miss." The idea here would be that leveraging focused advantage gives you basically a free focus point to spend, but only on a couple specific effects. Half damage on a miss is about a 0.25 round increase in your damage per round, so that one at least is mechanically in line with the +3. The at-will effect on a miss option is simply because sometimes damage isn't the important part of the attack (particularly for controllers and sometimes enablers). It hurts the DPS math, but could be situationally useful.

* * * * *

For the default "damaging miss" and "sustain hit" options, my current line of thought is pull them from Focus and make them part of the automatic benefits of spending a surge to boost an attack. Probably change it from "treat the effect as if you spent 2/3/4 (by tier) focus" to "treat the effect as if you spent for your focus limit and the effect gain your choice of the 'damaging miss' or 'sustain hit' effect."

Actually, in thinking about it, they should probably get BOTH benefits so that spending the surge is ALWAYS has some effect. If you miss, you're still having some effect (half damage or at-will conditions) and if you hit, you get the benefit of improved duration for the effect.

If I go this way it probably rules out option C (damaging miss) for 'focused advantage' since it wouldn't stack very well. Option B (reroll attack) also loses some punch since you're reducing the odds of damaging miss triggering, but the surge's damaging miss is sorta the consolation prize of benefits anyway... if focused advantage makes it more likely you get the 'sustain hit' benefit instead that's probably not a bad thing. Option A (automatic crit) works the cleanest with this option since you'd be halving the critical damage (so about 75% of a hit instead of half a hit) on a miss and still dealing more damage on a hit.

* * * * *

So that's what I'm thinking on this after a weekend to bake my noodle on it.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   

Back to top Go down
 
STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)
Back to top 
Page 6 of 10Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
4ENCLAVE :: 4th Edition :: 4e General Discussion-
Jump to: