Thursday, June 30, 2011

Expert - also known as a Weapon Specialization and Silver Tongue

One of the changes made to the Rogue listing of powers was to replace vigilance with Expert. The idea for both is the same, so that when you are spotted in a stealth action you accrue less suspicion (ie, damage).

Vigilance was kind of lame though, impacting the difficulty of critically failing a stealth roll. But the more I thought on it this seemed like a waste of a power (and something I will be, much like with combat, in fact EXACTLY like with combat, basing upon gear). So I took a cue from two successful powers from other classes: Weapon Specialization and Silver Tongue. These allowed the re-roll of damage dice (or influence dice as the case may be), selecting the better result.

So 'Expert' was set to use the same mechanic, however I didn't like the idea of all stealth rolls being equal; I wanted a character to be able to be better at hiding than pick pocketing, or wearing a disguise. The player with the power (much like weapon specialization) could select 1 type of stealth action (including keeping watch, or tracking, etc) per pie piece they have selected in rogue. This allowed them to force the re-roll of a die and choose the better result (lower if they are hiding, higher if they are keeping watch). In the case of conflicting roles (Expert Hider VS Expert Seeker) simply roll one die as normal.

Initial tests went well, though we shall see in extended play.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cake: Cheese or Beef?

One of the new "armour tags" added in the last addition is the cake tag. This marks a set of armour as being either cheesecake or beefcake.

This gives a bonus to awesomeness..though...some ..other penalties may apply.

Oh so witty

One of the changes made in the last release was to the "Wit" power for Bards. This has always been intended as an ability for a Bard (or someone who is part Bard) to be the wisecracking specialist, or to have the dry cool wit (tm) required to be an action hero.

Mechanically on the roll of a lucky number, the bard got a chance to steal someone else's luck points for their own (think HP drain). It wasn't automatic, but it was useful. The problem became that it was too infrequent for it to ever be to the forefront. It required both the luck of the roll and that the opponent had luck points.

The second problem was the roll of a lucky number also often coincided with gaining an "opportunity attack". This required the use of creative brainpower already, and after the combination of the attack and the opportunity attack would drain the target of luck points before wit could work.

The solution came with the immense satisfaction that came through the priest power "exorcism". This allowed a priest to physically harm supernatural creatures through social conflict as if it was physical damage. It was reliable but not overpowering. And people seemed to love it.

Thus I modelled Wit after exorcism. A bard with this power could now launch social conflict attacks as if they were physical attacks against an opponent. As with exorcism there were criteria: The attacks could only damage luck points and the bard must be in physical combat with the opponent, as the opponent's target. The bard could thus not sit on the sidelines and heckle, nor could the bard taunt an ogre to death, or in any way physically harm someone through speech alone. This seems to be going well in testing as it allows the bard to participate in battles, much as a warriors "trademark item" may give him the credibility to participate in social conflicts in a limited scope.

Making sure everyone at the table has something to do is a prime concern.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Update: Release Piecemeal 1e Beta 2.75

Updated on June 25th 2011

* Beefcake/Cheesecake tag for armour
* Simplification of weapon tags
* Major Changes to Rogue, Priest and Bard Powers
* Tweak to travel rules
* Changes to "wee folk" species
* Re-organized spells to be in alphabetical order (Waaay overdue)
* Changes to Patron rules
* Additional small tweaks

I will go over some of these changes in more detail shortly.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Give a man a fish VS teaching a man to fish

Unfortunately I do not have as much to post lately as some game design blogs, part of that no doubt is the way I approach game design, and what I choose to write about. While I love reading about this subject, I don't want to give people fish. I want to give people new ways of fishing.

This means that I won't give people a bunch of tables for interesting events, frankly other people can do that far better than I tend to. Gothridge manner recently had a very evocative post on the crossroads (which I will probably use in an upcoming game, I love crossroad lore). I prefer to write a new way to make tables in the first place, or I would if Zak S. hadn't 100% outshone me with his brilliant Vornheim book. Whatever your take on the content might be the mechanical concept is brilliant to me.

But I do wish to assure you I am not dead. I am merely tinkering with a few different mechanical concepts, trying to build a better mousetrap rather than showcase examples of dead mice. Because there are better showmen around with better dead mice to show.

Though I shall re-post some of the greater hits I think this month, hopefully I may yet have some useful surprises ahead.