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 STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Fri May 11, 2018 9:40 pm

Garthanos wrote:
I very much feel like building that APP with a rpg character creation and reflavoring API. Feature 1 will be reflavoring and sharing of abilities and feature two creating,sharing and loading custom content.

For me this has been the failing of most all digital rpg tools if this functionality is approached it is done after the fact and not made approachable in this way to the everyday user. It is a fundamental difference between table top rpgs and video game rpgs....

You have to be a serious techie to use cbloader with character builder to extend 4e.

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Fri May 11, 2018 10:15 pm

One of my goals for Terrors & Tactics is to make character generation easy enough that app-wise you could do it with a properly designed spreadsheet. There’s a lot less stacking for things than there was for 4E and the math is even more straightforward; you don’t have to calculate your ability modifiers seperate from your ability scores... your score is the modifier.

That said, a better looking interface never hurts. The biggest issue I foresee with an app is how to keep the the App from negating the need for the books/pdf or, more accurately not negating the income.

One likely approach that I could see would be designing the interface to be part of Hero Lab; which has pretty solid digital rights management (you have to purchase a license to use it with a particular system and the whole thing has a security key that requires deactivating the program on one system before it can be activated on another system).

If you’re interested they do have free developer tools for creating system specific interfaces, including combat management tools for GMs to track combat and conditions during game sessions.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun May 13, 2018 9:40 am

Garthanos wrote:
Chris24601 wrote:
My solution is sorta the real world one of, no one is 100% melee exclusive. Even the most melee focused knight is going to have been taught how to throw a spear or fire a crossbow to down a boar or other game on a hunt and while it may not be AS effective as melee, many of the attacks that knight can select work with ranged weapons as easily as melee ones.
The realistic solution does have an ease factor. However Boar spears had cross bars because the damn thing could run up the spear and still  gore the user (ie not a throwing tool) and it was considered a honorable form of hunting because it was personal bravery and close range against a mighty beast. And crossbows were frowned on by European church. Never the less the Archer Samurai was very real and realism would definitely have knights with squires who didnt care about honor so much protecting them using that crossbow.  The Paladin would be the pure melee knight and divine blessings might protect them from ignominious attack (ie ranged weaponry).

 There are enough archetypes I feel need to be really heavily and almost exclusivelly melee I am comfortable giving them specific gifts to deal with or induce enemies into needing/wanting to melee them.

A friend of mine noticed that the classic AD&D mages having almost entirely ally un friendly attacks meant that class encouraged enemies to move in on the part and not sit back where they could be maged to death with impunity. It also kept mages multi-targeting power potentially a bit more under control.

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun May 13, 2018 12:35 pm

That's an interesting point there - it encourages tactical thinking and "should I use this big explosive."

***
Yeah, I'm not the most computer savvy beyond using basic functions, so I've been pretty quiet on the cbloader/character-building app front.

***
Chris24601, the Traveler background still lists 3 skills plus one of choice. It's obviously a typo, but I just wanted to mention it.

By the way, I wonder if you're going to have any Zealous Astral sample characters - your breakdown didn't list any.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun May 13, 2018 3:31 pm

All typo corrections are more than welcome.

Also nice to see you posting again.

The latest pass updated Blackfeather (the Ravenkin Beastman) to zealous (which as a small critter actually makes more sense... it also let me bump END instead of STR for better surges without compromising defenses or any other elements).

That'll show up in my next update of the PDF along with the Fetch; which is taking slightly longer than intended because it ricocheted onto the human entry as I had to rewrite the half-shade bits to include the Fetch and that, unlike the previous iteration, it is now possible and likely even common for half-shades descended from Fetches to grow up with their Fetch parent in their lives like the half-Avatar and dwarf (leaving only the half-elf out in the cold for cultural reasons). Also, they're no longer rough-featured since they're not essentially half-orcs either.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu May 17, 2018 8:59 am

Honorbound wrote:
That's an interesting point there - it encourages tactical thinking and "should I use this big explosive."
.
I think the interesting part is not the player side (which is a long known phenomena) but rather the DM side where his monsters have a reason to close with the party.

So why did you have them rush up on the party when they could have sat back with arrows? To avoid being easy fireball bait

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu May 17, 2018 2:07 pm

You raise a good point there.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu May 17, 2018 4:50 pm

Also worth noting in that regard is that another reason to bunch up into melee was to reduce the effectiveness of ranged attackers. Pre-3e the rules for firing into a melee or other dense group were that you rolled randomly to see who was hit.

This had two effects. First, it made it problematic to fire when your own guys were engaged... though if they were outnumbered you could possibly play the odds (3 orcs engaged with a PC means 75% chance of shooting an orc).

The second was that if the wizard stayed close to beefier guys (PCs or NPCs) the odds of getting picked off by a stray arrow go down immensely. A wizard grouped up with five hired bodyguards meant that despite an AC of 8-9 (descending in those days) any given arrow had only a 1-in-6 chance of hitting the wizard instead of one of the bodyguards.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu May 17, 2018 11:51 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
Also worth noting in that regard is that another reason to bunch up into melee was to reduce the effectiveness of ranged attackers. Pre-3e the rules for firing into a melee or other dense group were that you rolled randomly to see who was hit.
Sort of the same effect ie since there is a chance of hitting allies the ranged attacker whether using fireball or arrow volleys.... would hold off if you closed up.

In 4e the hunters rapid shot is already "each creature" so we kind of have it already.

It simply has to remain a pattern for it to be valuable tactic driving thing. Add a "careless archer" feature to chunk of npc ranged combatants so they have a reason to not fire into melee.

Essentials (sloppy game design of the year award) I believe gave wizards some wicked upgrades in the realm of ally friendly must have magics.

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sat May 19, 2018 2:22 pm

Today's update; Weapon Properties.

Specifically the relative balance between accurate, lethal, improved crit and high crit.

I've been playing with the numbers for a bit, trying to smooth out the rate that damage increases (because those extra dice at 5 and 10 create huge bumps) and at some point I decided to model what the damage started to look like when you took fine quality weapons into the mix.

Who boy!

First, in terms of design I intend to use accurate as the default value for these properties as the +1 to hit for those weapons relative to ones of a die size larger is so baked into the math it'd be difficult to adjust.

With that in mind, the changes to Attack Focus had the unnoticed until now consequence of making the High Critical property ridiculously strong compared to all the other properties. This is because attack focus allows you to trigger a critical hit multiple times in a combat just by spending focus. It was outperforming accurate by up to 118% (about 112% in the middle levels).

I finally found some numbers that worked though... the new benefit of high crit is +2/3/4 (by tier) to critical damage. That puts it at the extremes of 98.9 to 101.1% of accurate depending on level when you take attack focus into account.

By contrast, Improved Critical was severely under-performing compared to the accurate property since it only triggered on a natural 19 (i.e. 5% of the time) and wasn't even a full critical hit in terms of the damage it added. The numbers that ended up working to bring it into line with the benefit of accurate and high critical was that it had to trigger a full critical hit on a natural 18-20. This put it at 98.6 to 99.7% of the those values.

Lethal though? Lethal is a mess. It scored only 92% of Accurate's benefits and, even worse, it's actual benefit was just 100.6% of not even having the property at all. It is quite literally a worthless property as currently written. Fortunately, I do have something that IS right in line with accurate in this regard. Accurate was originally balanced around being the equal of a weapon with the next larger die size (i.e. an accurate d8 weapon is equal to a d10 weapon) so the lethal property is going to be changed to (increase the weapon's damage die by one type).

So with the current damage math, that will bring the "Big Four" properties into line with each other in terms of benefit; making your choice of weapon a legitimate choice of preferred options over one single best option for extra features.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 pm

Very glad to hear you pay attention to the numbers...

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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.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon May 21, 2018 7:10 am

The numbers are one of the most important things to me. I want T&T to be as mechanically sound with both its balance and encounter building as possible.

In a lot of ways I'm trying to build the anti-5e. Rigorous math, Skilled classes with as many options as the spellcasters (and the ability to make simple spellcasters as well as simple skilled characters if desired), easy encounter budgets, no holes with the save math and save-or-suck effects, etc.

With weapon properties balanced out, there's not a "one best weapon" but a bunch of viable options within your level of proficiency. Yeah, if you only have basic proficiency your weapon options won't be as good as those with expert proficiency, but all your basic options will be on par with each other. Likewise, all the expert tier options should be on par with each other and all the master tier ones should be on par as well.

One other interesting aspect of the numbers is that +1 die size mechanically is as sound as a +1 to hit... this is also the same ratio as the damage bump you get from using a two-handed weapon instead of a normal shield (+1 die size, but -1 to Armor)... which in turn makes the choice of 'sword and board' or 'great weapon' on par with each other, just as the choice to use an accurate weapon or one that deals more damage is.

In other news, the other rules elements are up to date in the Player's Guide now, and its not just waiting on the Fetch fluff text before I get a new version of that up.

As much as anything I think I'll be burying my nose in monster designs this week.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon May 21, 2018 12:02 pm

Chris24601 wrote:
The numbers are one of the most important things to me. I want T&T to be as mechanically sound with both its balance and encounter building as possible.

In a lot of ways I'm trying to build the anti-5e. Rigorous math, Skilled classes with as many options as the spellcasters (and the ability to make simple spellcasters as well as simple skilled characters if desired), easy encounter budgets, no holes with the save math and save-or-suck effects, etc. .

In that etc is class balance is not dependent on a particular pace of play - not sure how far down that hole 5e went but the differing class resource systems is problematic in that regards. (AND I do not trust Mearles)

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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.


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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Mon May 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Resource structure in T&T is as balanced as I could make it and isn’t dependent on class regardless. There are essentially three resource style builds In T&T; Heavy Focus, Heavy Surge and Balanced.

Heavy Focus is putting a 4 in your Focus stat. With a 4 in your attack stat that leaves you with a 0-1 for Endurance for starting values of 4 Focus and 7-8 surges. 4 focus is enough for you to have a focus to spend on your every turn in a typical combat. It is the only build that will get you to 9 focus by endgame which would allow you to spend 3 focus per round for three straight rounds. Its downside is having only 7-8 surges to start and regaining only 1 per hour of rest. They’re good at steady state performance, but they don’t have quite the deep reserves of the balanced approach.

If you’re doing lots of fights in a day without much rest time, this one might put you ahead of the others, but it won’t stack up compared to Heavy Surge if there’s plenty of rest time between fights.

Heavy Surge is putting a 4 in Endurance (which leaves just a 1 stat for your focus). This gets you 11 surges to start (ramping to 13 over time) and, more importantly, the ability to regain 3 surges (4 in tier three) with an hour’s rest. The downside is just 1 focus at level 1 and just 6 at max level.

This build is fantastic if you only get into one or two big fights in a day or can spend a couple hours between fights. It suffers when you have lots of smaller battles with no rest time beyond a minute or two to regain focus between fights.

Balanced is designed to be generally best. A 3 in your focus score and a 2 in END gives you 3 focus, 9 surges to start and you regain 2 surges with an hour’s rest. By max level its 8 focus, 11 surges and regain 3/hour of rest.

Not quite as good at the extremes of Focus or Surges, but enough focus for lots of options during a fight and enough long term resources to dig deep when you have to and still somewhat bounce back with just an hour or two’s rest. It won’t shine if the campaign is at either extreme for encounters, but it will be passable. By contrast if the campaign falls in the middle or varies from one end to the other it will have the flexibility to shine overall.

My personal feelings are that Balanced > Heavy Focus > Heavy Surge for a typical dungeon crawl type campaign where the GM tracks resources across sessions.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Tue May 22, 2018 8:25 am

So, while taking a break from working on the Fetch's fluff text, I ended up popping out a new option for the Avatar and Malfean; Metal and Rust respectively.

It arose from probably the stupidest source ever... I was working on some new art for the Vermin Malfean and realized that despite the sheer iconic nature of it, NONE of my Malfeans actually had the traditional red skin; Brine was blue-green, Dust was dusty tan, Ember was ash white, Husk was dead wood grey, Miasma was corpse-like pallor, Slush was cool grey and Vermin was dark with a chitinous sheen. Enter the Rust Malfean... rust red skin with horns of pitted iron whose touch is corrosive and absorbs strength from corroded metals.

I'd always included metal on my list of composite elements (plant was earth/water, ice was air/water, metal was earth/fire, light was air/fire), but I didn't figure I'd be including it this soon. Honestly, the composite elements and their echoes were originally going to be for a supplement, but I'd always needed plant for my Treant as "Plant Giant" and once giants and sprites merged into avatar I couldn't combine the water and ice into a single thing without losing either water sprites or Frost Giants... so ice got added. Feral (which would technically be a mix of all four primary elements) came in when I decided that werebeasts worked better as avatars than beastmen.

So really adding metal avatars and rust malfeans just finishes off the elemental wheel (the absence of light/astral and its echo, shadow, is deliberate... and a possible origin for the Astral spirits/gods).

Anyway, back to work on the Fetch to hopefully put the Player's Guide finally to bed (sans artwork).
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Thu May 24, 2018 6:06 pm

I'm having some serious writer's block on the Fetch fluff text (I know what I want to say, but it reads clunky), but I've made some good progress elsewhere.

First, I got the damage math and Edge scores smoothed out. The new Edge values are 20+5/level for standard monsters and PCs, 24+6/level for brutes and guardians, and 16+4/level for brittles and companion NPCs. At first level they're just as beefy as before (25, 30 and 20 instead of 24, 30 and 18), but they improve more slowly. This was done both to keep the numbers a bit more reasonable (under 100 Edge for most PCs and monsters) and also to match up the values with the rate that monster damage scales (8+2/level for a 6 vs. Armor) so that even level monsters remain as dangerous at level 15 as they are at level 1.

Related to this is that the lower values also made it easier to smooth out the PC damage math. To start with the huge damage spikes from adding extra dice got smoothed out by switching to damage die bumps (ie instead of rolling a d4 for a dagger, it increases to a d6, d8, etc.). This provides a much smoother +1 to average damage and +2 to critical damage with each die bump than the +6.5 and +12 that adding a second or third d12 adds.

The lowered Edge totals also mean that it doesn't take both a basic level bonus and a half-level proficiency bonus to keep pace with monster Edge scores; instead non-proficient attacks deal just dice + ability modifier (abilities going up at 6 and 11 and dice bumps act to improve the damage over time) and the proficiency bonus to damage equals your level (you also add your proficiency bonus to critical damage; non-proficient crits just deal max damage).

The remainder of the damage you need to stay even with monster Edge as you level up comes from being able to trigger critical hits on command an increasing number of times per battle via Attack Focus.

Between the reduction in Edge and damage smoothing the average combat length falls at about 4 rounds for a normal difficulty combat.

* * * *

These numbers have also worked their way into the monster math. The most notable aspect of this is the effect on grunts. Specifically, grunts now cap out at level 5 as a level 6 grunt would have the same Edge and damage totals as a level 0 standard monster (for a while I'd tried replacing 'grunt' with 'level -X (-1, -2, -3, etc.), but it just felt a lot clunkier than it needed to be and made it harder to implement certain effects (ex. Edge pooling) for them.

Another change that's come to monsters is their ability scores playing a bit more of a role in their defenses and attacks. More accurately, I started basing monster ability scores on the attacks and defenses I gave them and then took into account the way that the 1/tier ability scores improvements would affect them. This started with the decision to include more rigorous options for creating custom NPCs and opponents and the desire to have numbers that add up similarly.

You can still just use the guidelines for quick attack and defense scores and ignore ability scores, but all the monsters I'm including in the GMs Guide will have ability scores, attack bonuses and defenses that line up.The

Going along with this and the use the Player's Guide to build important NPCs (if desired) is that monsters are losing their focus (scores). Instead I'm replacing them with escalating abilities (as if they were spending focus on attacks) that don't need to be tracked. This comes after some GM feedback and the desire to not have to track anything beyond Edge totals since having focus scores essentially doubles the number of things for the UK to track (5 monsters means 5 Edge scores and 5 focus pools vs. players only having to track one Edge, one focus and one surge pool each).

Another bit of GM feedback is that I should just bite the bullet and make each of the variant monsters (ex. Wolf, Alpha Wolf, Dire Wolf and Dire Wolf Alpha) a separate stat block so it's  easier to reference. This will basically double the length of the monster section, but should make it a lot more useable at the table because the added conditions/effects and scaled values won't have to be parsed out from the base entry and one of several variant entries.

One other thing I've decided to push ahead with that swings T&T back in a slightly more 'narrative' direction is to shift XP into the optional rule category and make the default leveling system 'milestone' based. In practice it's what I've been using in virtually every level-based game I've run or played in for at least the last 15-20 years, so why am I trying to shoehorn in a system I'd never use?

Sacred Cows and because the XP budget is the single best encounter building tool I've seen in any game system. But there's no reason you can't use the latter without having the former and those reading this know how I feel about Sacred Cows (break out the BBQ).

So XP values are becoming CP (Challenge Point) values and are used for encounter-building, but default leveling will be milestone based (with GM guidelines and options) with converting CP to XP (or silver to XP or an accomplishment-based XP table; think Palladium Books) as optional rules for those looking for another feel.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Yesterday at 3:11 am

I've been wondering, how do you handle the die increase for weapons that start at d10 and d12? I don't think that the d14 and d16 are commonly produced gaming dice.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Yesterday at 8:49 am

Default right now for the math is 2 die bumps over the course of 15 levels (plus one possible from the lethal property) so you only need three steps up.

The default for quickest math is that each bump above a d12 gets a flat +2 bonus instead (in addition to my own math working out, this is what Savage Worlds uses when its dice get bumped above a d12). This keeps every damage roll as one die + damage modifier for easy math (particularly with multi-attack slayers like the Beastmaster, Skirmisher or Shifter).

However, if you don’t mind adding multiple dice, with the hit and other probabilities in my game being what they are, 2d8 is within a half point of DPR with 1d12+2. Similarly 2d10 lines up with 1d12+4 and 2d12 with 1d12+6. As such, this is going to be another optional rule for the GM’s Guide.

Honestly, I think the “Make the Rules Your Own” section of the GM’s Guide might be the most interesting for me since not only does provide a LOT of optional rule toggles to make the game play more like other editions of D&D, but it gives me the design space to share with the reader WHY these are the options instead of the standard. In short, it’s a section about design philosophy and what you prioritize as a GM and a player.

For example, in this case I had a choice between easier math (X+Y) vs. the fun of rolling more dice (X1+X2+Y) because as sorry as it might sound, I’ve seen turns bog down on people having to add multiple dice results together (some adults are worse than my godkids). Likewise the roll twice, use best/worst for certain modifiers is not just more fun for players, it’s less math; add higher or lower of the two to your normal modifer instead of roll+ normal modifier + situational modifier.

Both speed up play. So does free strikes being a static autohit effect (making it an easier cost/benefit choice for the person triggering one in a fight and saving an attack roll and damage roll from an off turn action).

I think 5e made the wrong design choice in limiting off turn actions to one per round (making it very hard to play a true Defender class character unless the GM uses only 1-2 opponents per fight), but the problem they were addressing of off-turn actions bogging down the game was a real one. My solution is to speed up the off-turn actions by removing all rolls from them. If they trigger they have a simple effect that can be applied even if the player with the reaction is taking a restroom break at the time and the round continues.

But, if you like Opportunity Attacks as they functioned in 4e, there’s an optional rule for that (three actually, one for just a hit roll with static damage, another with just a damage roll and a third that’s a full attack and damage roll), along with sharing what effect this will have on your game experience (ie. slower off-turn resolution, but increased tension as triggering a free strike becomes a gamble... it might miss or it might deal a full hit worth of damage or even crit).

Similarly the static +2 die bumps on d12s are a compromise between speed of play and having a feeling of variability to the attacks. With non-slayer non-dice damage modifiers typically capping at about +25 (6 stat, 15 level, 4 specialization) a range of 30-41 (35.5 average) damage from a normal hit with a d12+4 weapon still feels like a significant amount of variance while keeping the math to a singe die + modifier for damage. The ultimate in speed of play would be to just use a flat damage value (ie. D&D minis or T&T monsters), the most effective in variable damage results is to roll a lot of dice or to link damage to the attack roll’s margin of success... but both of them slow things down (adding up damage for a 10d6 fireball or subtracting the attack roll from the defense and then applying a multiplier based on the weapon).

I’ve done a lot of exploring of D&Ds sacred cows over the course of this project. I’ve slain several that even 4E wasn’t willing to, but the amusing thing to me as I dig deeper into it is how the really core mechanics of Original D&D (attack roll vs. target number then roll damage) actually are the best methods for speedy combat resolution (conversely margins of success and armor as damage reduction are two of the biggest slowdowns for tabletop games). Everything else tacked on after that or changed from that core is a fight between speed and realism in a battle where victory is holding the players’ interest.

In other news, I definitely think the decision to go with separate entries for the monster variants is going to be the right one. Not only are they easier to read (and not too long... I’m getting 2-3 variants per page depending on the critter), but they’re also making it easier to apply different effects to them at different levels and have which ones apply be completely obvious (ex. the difference between a typical wights death threat and that of the death knight).

Efficiency in play I think is worth a bit of loss in efficiency in page count.
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PostSubject: Re: STILL Not Dead (Terrors & Tactics Updade)   Yesterday at 3:50 pm

Ah. That resolves things rather neatly. Awesome!
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