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Products => Spycraft Third Edition => Topic started by: Gundark on November 11, 2012, 02:57:34 PM

Title: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Gundark on November 11, 2012, 02:57:34 PM
I ran a classic game in the past, one which my group really enjoyed . We were pretty excited when 2.0 came out, then played a campaign which was less fun. While there were brilliant parts to 2.0, the rules were heavy. I picked up fantasycraft, but did not run a game as the rules are dense, and you can't alter the system much without affecting  large parts of the system.

So while my memories of spycraft classic make me interested in 3rd, I have to wonder if I will be faced with a dense set of rules which would make it a pass for me.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 12, 2012, 11:54:14 AM
To succinctly answer your thread title question...

"Most definitely, yes."

Speaking strictly in terms of previous editions, Spycraft Third is much closer to Classic than 2.0.

Speaking from the inside, watching the system develop and now having seen it run in full alpha state, I would argue that it's actually significantly less complex even than Classic.

This is not a dense game. Not even close. Robust, yes. Dense? Not. At. All.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Viperion on November 12, 2012, 02:56:28 PM
Just to echo (and confirm): It's less dense than FantasyCraft?

FC is a fantastic book, but as Gundark says, you get a real sense that if you change something over here, something waaaay over there that you never even considered is thrown out of whack as a result.

To kick off an analogy: FC (to me, at least) feels like a miniature Swiss Watch. Every piece moving in perfect harmony, but so complicated and interdependant that if you move that little spring, the whole thing falls apart. Which is kind of daunting  :o
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Alex on November 12, 2012, 05:31:26 PM
Just to echo (and confirm): It's less dense than FantasyCraft?

FC is a fantastic book, but as Gundark says, you get a real sense that if you change something over here, something waaaay over there that you never even considered is thrown out of whack as a result.

To kick off an analogy: FC (to me, at least) feels like a miniature Swiss Watch. Every piece moving in perfect harmony, but so complicated and interdependant that if you move that little spring, the whole thing falls apart. Which is kind of daunting  :o

Short answer: absolutely.

Long answer: The "Swiss Watch" aspect of FC has been on Pat's and my "to-fix" list since day 1 of the development process (over a year so far). We have heard very clearly, from a great many people in a great number of ways, that while they everything runs well, sometimes they need to pull it apart (because they want to tweak their game, because their players don't like a certain feature, because they don't have the time or will to use certain rules assumed as the core, etc.). We use the term "decoupling" a lot in this process, because we believe that having things run well alongside, but largely independent of, one another is a strength which will enable groups, rather than forcing them into a certain set of rules.

Now that doesn't mean everything can be broken off (like skills or the d20) but it does mean you don't have the cascading issues when you choose to hack your game however you like. Obviously, we'll be including lots of information to help you tweak to your heart's delight, and to provide those who don't care or want something "out of the box" to just pick up and run, but you'll find SC3 to be much more compartmentalized to prevent against the unintended consequences of the tweaking we so actively encourage.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Viperion on November 12, 2012, 05:48:09 PM
Youse fullas are oarsome :D :D :D

C'mere and gimme a hug!

Ahem. Back to your regularly scheduled patient waiting. (Is it here yet?)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Gundark on November 12, 2012, 05:53:22 PM
Yeah , it's good to hear that it will be lighter. It made me nervous initially as Mastercraft was supposed to be easier and more streamlined, to which IMHO it's not. If you're going to layer on complexity, then make those layers easy to remove, not an interconnected tapestry , or like the Swiss watch idea.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 12, 2012, 07:59:15 PM
Yeah , it's good to hear that it will be lighter. It made me nervous initially as Mastercraft was supposed to be easier and more streamlined, to which IMHO it's not. If you're going to layer on complexity, then make those layers easy to remove, not an interconnected tapestry , or like the Swiss watch idea.

Definitely don't hold up Fantasy Craft as any indication of Spycraft Third's density or complexity. Even with the tweaks we made there, Fantasy Craft was still a pretty interconnected engine with quite a few rules that looked modular and weren't, not really.

When we say Spycraft Third will be modular and easy to grasp and run, we mean it. This is an entirely different beast now - and based on your feedback, very much for the better.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Morganti on November 12, 2012, 08:31:56 PM
I am way early in the game I am 100% sure, but will the lessons learned from FantasyCraft/Mastercraft and the lightening of Spycraft 3 lead to perhaps a FantasyCraft 2? Even if it is just an add on like the Origin of the Species?
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Morgenstern on November 12, 2012, 08:47:43 PM
Its going to be fascinating to see how this 'decoupling' plays out. Order of the Stick has made an art form out of harpooning weak connections in D&D concepts like characters doubling in size with a spell not having the slightest impact on their speed.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: ludomastro on November 12, 2012, 10:54:24 PM
This thread just made SC3 move from my "Take a Look at It" list, to my "Must Buy" list.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 12, 2012, 11:51:34 PM
I am way early in the game I am 100% sure, but will the lessons learned from FantasyCraft/Mastercraft and the lightening of Spycraft 3 lead to perhaps a FantasyCraft 2? Even if it is just an add on like the Origin of the Species?

Fantasy Craft is what it is, and it's a strong game for it - a very different beast than Spycraft Third. There are no current plans for a second edition of Fantasy Craft, nor a drastic deviation from that game's assigned path. That of course just speaks for its foreseeable future - who knows what may lie beyond that horizon.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 12, 2012, 11:52:54 PM
This thread just made SC3 move from my "Take a Look at It" list, to my "Must Buy" list.

 :)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 12, 2012, 11:54:09 PM
Its going to be fascinating to see how this 'decoupling' plays out. Order of the Stick has made an art form out of harpooning weak connections in D&D concepts like characters doubling in size with a spell not having the slightest impact on their speed.

I have a feeling we're far enough outside OotS's preferred territory that they wouldn't even consider us a landmark.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Sletchman on November 13, 2012, 03:37:40 AM
This thread just made SC3 move from my "Take a Look at It" list, to my "Must Buy" list.

It actually had the opposite effect on me.  I'd be concerned about the end product if it wasn't for Crafty's track record firmly keeping them as a company I can trust.  That and I understand that answering one specific question while at an early playtest stage is in absolutely no way indicative of the finalised product.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 06:30:05 AM
This thread just made SC3 move from my "Take a Look at It" list, to my "Must Buy" list.

It actually had the opposite effect on me.  I'd be concerned about the end product if it wasn't for Crafty's track record firmly keeping them as a company I can trust.  That and I understand that answering one specific question while at an early playtest stage is in absolutely no way indicative of the finalised product.

I'm cautiously intrigued.  As long as this 'Mastercraft' idea hasn't suddenly gone by the wayside, I trust in the Crafty.  One of the strong draws for a new version was for 'Crafty Products' that could invade other Crafty Products.  And.. this is no way questioning or giving the query eye to the Crafty.  They've made solid products in their entire lifetime.  Timelines have been their only bump on the head.  I'll trust em and see what they put out.  

Plus.. I think my group will welcome a 'lighter' or more modular, quick response SC3.0.  I LOVED SC2, my player base though.. they were weighted down sometimes by XYZ. 
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Gundark on November 13, 2012, 07:00:19 AM
This thread just made SC3 move from my "Take a Look at It" list, to my "Must Buy" list.

It actually had the opposite effect on me.  I'd be concerned about the end product if it wasn't for Crafty's track record firmly keeping them as a company I can trust.  That and I understand that answering one specific question while at an early playtest stage is in absolutely no way indicative of the finalised product.

Yeah and I think the crafty games crowd for the most part (at least the ones that post here)  sit  on the heavier end of the spectrum. Which initially made me wonder if Crafty would pull a Paizo and market their game for their existing fanbase rather than attempt to gather new people in/back.

For me I will be buying SC3 if the final product is as described. Even FC while dense was a good read and was well thought out. There were many times reading it I thought "wow that's a cool rule" . It was just far too much, and I wondered how long I could run a game before it collapsed under it's own weight.

Definitely looking forward to SC 3 , if you need some playtesters to give a lighter perspective (hint hint) my group has tested published products before :)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 07:14:07 AM
Though.. if the Crafty are feeling generous.. ..did the dramatic conflicts survive to SC3 alpha?    :-X
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Desertpuma on November 13, 2012, 07:22:26 AM
I'm in on SC3 regardless. I have absolute faith in Pat and Alex on this.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Alex on November 13, 2012, 08:20:43 AM
Though.. if the Crafty are feeling generous.. ..did the dramatic conflicts survive to SC3 alpha?    :-X

Alpha (the most very core mechanics) is not beta (draft of final game) so the answer is not yet :)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Sletchman on November 13, 2012, 09:33:55 AM
I'm in on SC3 regardless. I have absolute faith in Pat and Alex on this.

Oh absolutely, and with no doubt.

How it turns out will simply determine if it becomes the game I turn to strictly for the espionage genre, or the game I turn to for almost everything.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 09:42:27 AM
I'm in on SC3 regardless. I have absolute faith in Pat and Alex on this.

Oh absolutely, and with no doubt.

How it turns out will simply determine if it becomes the game I turn to strictly for the espionage genre, or the game I turn to for almost everything.

You know.. a completely random aside.. someone should kickstart a SpyCraft board game...  <.< >.>  (Don't mind the Koala.  He's sleep deprived again and trying to prep an adventure for tonight, my sole night off.)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 13, 2012, 11:25:18 AM
For me I will be buying SC3 if the final product is as described. Even FC while dense was a good read and was well thought out. There were many times reading it I thought "wow that's a cool rule" . It was just far too much, and I wondered how long I could run a game before it collapsed under it's own weight.

Sadly, you are not alone in this feeling. Fantasy Craft absolutely has its boosters, and we're very proud of the system, but it's ultimately too much for many people. Spycraft Third is being intentionally designed to sidestep this issue, and we believe it will ultimately land in a spot that works best for everyone.

This seems like a good opportunity to say again, as we have over and over for more than a year: Spycraft Third Edition will not be compatible with Fantasy Craft. Portable, sure, with some effort. They are not using the same system, however, and there are very different assumptions and design goals going into the underlying foundation.

Quote
Definitely looking forward to SC 3 , if you need some playtesters to give a lighter perspective (hint hint) my group has tested published products before :)

We'll be opening things up to select playtest teams in time. Not quite there yet, however.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 13, 2012, 11:26:37 AM
Though.. if the Crafty are feeling generous.. ..did the dramatic conflicts survive to SC3 alpha?    :-X

Alpha (the most very core mechanics) is not beta (draft of final game) so the answer is not yet :)

Also worth repeating, as we've said this for a long while too: Dramatic Conflicts will return.

Their form and function remains in flux, however.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 11:29:22 AM
Though.. if the Crafty are feeling generous.. ..did the dramatic conflicts survive to SC3 alpha?    :-X

Alpha (the most very core mechanics) is not beta (draft of final game) so the answer is not yet :)

Also worth repeating, as we've said this for a long while too: Dramatic Conflicts will return.

Their form and function remains in flux, however.

Thanks!  Just with the ebb and flow of product design, some things you want in sometimes don't fit.  I was just checking in on my personal favorite (and 2nd personal favorite Crafty mechanic) mechanic of Spycraft.  I was more curious than worried.  :)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 13, 2012, 11:34:15 AM
Thanks!  Just with the ebb and flow of product design, some things you want in sometimes don't fit.  I was just checking in on my personal favorite (and 2nd personal favorite Crafty mechanic) mechanic of Spycraft.  I was more curious than worried.  :)

'sall good. I wanted to make sure everyone understood that they're part of the current game - just not part of the current alpha. ;)
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 11:38:07 AM
This seems like a good opportunity to say again, as we have over and over for more than a year: Spycraft Third Edition will not be compatible with Fantasy Craft. Portable, sure, with some effort. They are not using the same system, however, and there are very different assumptions and design goals going into the underlying foundation.

If this isn't answerable, I completely understand.  Just for my own terms of understanding, what's the difference between compatible and portable?  And.. 'not' the same system?  Did we leave D20?  ..man.. I gotta keep up with the Crafty Press releases better.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 13, 2012, 12:04:27 PM
If this isn't answerable, I completely understand.  Just for my own terms of understanding, what's the difference between compatible and portable?  And.. 'not' the same system?  Did we leave D20?  ..man.. I gotta keep up with the Crafty Press releases better.

"Compatible" is the term we use to mean "little to no effort to use books together."

"Portable" is the term we use to mean "these books are not intended to work together but you can hack them together with some effort - sometimes a little, sometimes more, depending on the games and what you want to do with them." Consider this a middle ground between "compatible" and flatly "not compatible," where games share some but not all features and fundamentals.

As to d20, well, Fantasy Craft isn't d20 - it's OGL. Spycraft Third is... something else.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 12:06:29 PM
If this isn't answerable, I completely understand.  Just for my own terms of understanding, what's the difference between compatible and portable?  And.. 'not' the same system?  Did we leave D20?  ..man.. I gotta keep up with the Crafty Press releases better.

"Compatible" is the term we use to mean "little to no effort to use books together."

"Portable" is the term we use to mean "these books are not intended to work together but you can hack them together with some effort - sometimes a little, sometimes more, depending on the games and what you want to do with them." Consider this a middle ground between "compatible" and flatly "not compatible," where games share some but not all features and fundamentals.

As to d20, well, Fantasy Craft isn't d20 - it's OGL. Spycraft Third is... something else.

Got it!  Okay cool.  And.. okay.. let me rephrase that as the damn die is also the name of a system mechanic.  Does SC3 roll D20s as the main die?  :)  
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Viperion on November 13, 2012, 12:22:41 PM
This seems like a good opportunity to say again, as we have over and over for more than a year: Spycraft Third Edition will not be compatible with Fantasy Craft.
Huh. I have completely missed you saying that :) That's a thing!

Really looking forward to what you come up with, crew. :D
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 13, 2012, 12:54:46 PM
Got it!  Okay cool.  And.. okay.. let me rephrase that as the damn die is also the name of a system mechanic.  Does SC3 roll D20s as the main die?  :)  

Yes, Spycraft Third still involves rolling a d20 with higher values being better. That much (and some more) is absolutely set and completely unchanged.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 13, 2012, 01:44:46 PM
Got it!  Okay cool.  And.. okay.. let me rephrase that as the damn die is also the name of a system mechanic.  Does SC3 roll D20s as the main die?  :)  

Yes, Spycraft Third still involves rolling a d20 with higher values being better. That much (and some more) is absolutely set and completely unchanged.

Excellent!  The Koalan Inquisition is done with its 2,000,001 random questions.  Thanks Craftys!
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Gundark on November 13, 2012, 06:46:10 PM
Though.. if the Crafty are feeling generous.. ..did the dramatic conflicts survive to SC3 alpha?    :-X

Alpha (the most very core mechanics) is not beta (draft of final game) so the answer is not yet :)

Also worth repeating, as we've said this for a long while too: Dramatic Conflicts will return.

Their form and function remains in flux, however.

Chases are some of my most fondest memories from Spycraft. Glad to hear they are coming back.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Aldus Vertten on November 14, 2012, 05:40:59 AM
I've enjoyed SC Classic, SGSG1, SC2 and FC greatly so I'm sure i will enjoy SC3 as well.

But what means all this changes to the Mastercraft concept? From the beggining I understood that MC was a core system that would be adapted to the genre of the setting, with all the required changes and making them "portable". But what are you hinting about here sounds more and more like a new system and a different "philosophy" about the concepts and how the engine works... So whats the point of Mastercraft? And I'm wondering...did the development of Mistborn influence on how you look at the system now?
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Fastidious Monk on November 14, 2012, 04:09:53 PM

"Compatible" is the term we use to mean "little to no effort to use books together."

"Portable" is the term we use to mean "these books are not intended to work together but you can hack them together with some effort ...
(Bold mine)

Well, that just killed my excitement.

I was looking forward to using Spellbound with SC3 & 10K Bullets, but it seems that ain't gonna happen.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 14, 2012, 04:55:31 PM

"Compatible" is the term we use to mean "little to no effort to use books together."

"Portable" is the term we use to mean "these books are not intended to work together but you can hack them together with some effort ...
(Bold mine)

Well, that just killed my excitement.

I was looking forward to using Spellbound with SC3 & 10K Bullets, but it seems that ain't gonna happen.

That could be what Vow of Silence is for, assuming its on the dev board still.  I dunno.  I think if they're focusing on plug'n'play and espionage, and leave magic for something else to plug in, we may be far better served. 
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Number Three on November 14, 2012, 08:19:54 PM
As to d20, well, Fantasy Craft isn't d20 - it's OGL. Spycraft Third is... something else.

I find this line intriguing.  Does this mean that you feel SP3 is so far removed from baseline D&D3.x that you no longer consider it related, or will Crafty be eschewing the Open Game License entirely?
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: ludomastro on November 15, 2012, 12:15:09 AM
My interpretation* has been that SC3 won't be interchangeable with FC; however, you can use them together with a little work.  Same can be said for SC2 and FC.  I can't drop the Mage into SC2 wholesale but it wouldn't take much.  Going the other way, I can't drop the Channeler into FC without a little work.  Doesn't mean I can't use them, just means that I may have to do some thinking up front.


* Yes, I'm well aware I'm not Crafty.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Coyote0273 on November 15, 2012, 10:54:52 AM
As to d20, well, Fantasy Craft isn't d20 - it's OGL. Spycraft Third is... something else.

I find this line intriguing.  Does this mean that you feel SP3 is so far removed from baseline D&D3.x that you no longer consider it related, or will Crafty be eschewing the Open Game License entirely?

I honestly don't think Fantasy Craft is OGL either. The only stuff taken specifically from Wizards is the Vitality/Wound rules from Star Wars. Which isn't OGL either. I could be wrong, on that though.

Edit: Whoops, didn't notice the original was from Pat.. and I'd assume he'd know the legalities. *blushes*
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Number Three on November 15, 2012, 06:38:52 PM
As to d20, well, Fantasy Craft isn't d20 - it's OGL. Spycraft Third is... something else.

I find this line intriguing.  Does this mean that you feel SP3 is so far removed from baseline D&D3.x that you no longer consider it related, or will Crafty be eschewing the Open Game License entirely?

I honestly don't think Fantasy Craft is OGL either. The only stuff taken specifically from Wizards is the Vitality/Wound rules from Star Wars. Which isn't OGL either. I could be wrong, on that though.

What I am referring to is the magic page of legalize called the Open Gaming License in the back of the book.  Correct me if I'm wrong, you could certainly create a book with the OGL and exempt your own new mechanics from it, but when you own the original text (in this case, Fastasycraft), do you have to bother with the OGL at all?
Caveat 1: I am not a lawyer.
Caveat 2: This is all baseless speculation on my part.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Morgenstern on November 15, 2012, 06:45:42 PM
I honestly don't think Fantasy Craft is OGL either. The only stuff taken specifically from Wizards is the Vitality/Wound rules from Star Wars. Which isn't OGL either.

20 levels, the big 6 attributes, the three saves, the Level + 3 skill cap, class skills, 0-9th level spells, feats, multiclassing...

I'd have to throw out and start over on a lot of fronts to feel like I didn't need to ackowlege the shoulders of the giants I had stood on.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 19, 2012, 09:21:09 PM
Chases are some of my most fondest memories from Spycraft.

That's great to hear. :)

Quote
Glad to hear they are coming back.

So... What do you love about them so much, and how do you think they could improve?

Please be as specific as possible.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Sletchman on November 19, 2012, 10:39:00 PM
So... What do you love about them so much, and how do you think they could improve?

Please be as specific as possible.

I'm not Gundark (obviously), but my group also got behind Chases in a big way.  Mostly because they were Chases.  At that point (and possibly still) no other game had a good mechanic for chases, and they are something that's so prevalent in the sort of source material we use that having a system for them was just fantastic.  Well run, they were fun and evocative sequences, and the rules had enough depth to cover a whole heap of situations, while not being so dense that they were painful to use.

In terms of improvement, there is two big ones that come to my mind:
Remove Strategy Penalties.  My group decided very early on that a handful of Strategies (Redline and Outfox in particular) where "the Strategy", depending on if you were Predator or Prey.  Having a +2 bonus when I was suffering between a -4 and -8 meant that they'd frequently get another advantage (or use the net benefit to practically guarantee winning).  It meant that the "Chase" bit became less exciting (and more predictable), and the stuff going on around it had to be ramped out to keep the scene exciting (opponents suppressing their driver, attacks against tyres, etc).

Improve Chase Specialists.  Chase feats were cool, but often you didn't need them to win (high drive + custom ride + vehicle familiarity left you in really good stead, often able to dominate).  Since that was all they did, many players I came across preferred to have generally useful feats, instead of specifically useful feats.  I think the entire Chase tree would have been far more popular if they had a general, "always on" benefit and a chase trick (or even a strategy specific trick).  Most of the feats have gone this way between SC2.0 and FC, but I feel it's worth mentioning, since I just never saw Chase feats get the same love as the others.

Additionally, I'd consider changing it so the strategy is simply the advantage desired - so the player just chooses Impact and rolls their opposed check.  At that point it's obvious they're ramming the enemy vehicle, so you don't really need to choose Ram (and you can make lead requirements based on the advantage itself - which will probably make them more logical).  The player can describe how they achieve their desired advantage, and the GM can give them a circumstance bonus / penalty based on their description.

Finally, I think it'd be great if there were some Chase (and other Dramatic Conflict) specific Narrative Control options / examples.  If only to give players something to think about for their dice (and keep the focus on Narrative Control - something I consider to be a big standard of your system, and one of the coolest uses of Action Dice).


EDIT:
Also in the "we liked" column is the Vehicle statlines - my group has a bunch of gear heads who liked having varied Acceleration and Turning, and having it have an impact on chasing someone (that it's harder to catch a motorcycle in a van then it is on another motorcycle was something that we all liked).  Same with upgrades - being able to performance tune a vehicle is a cool use of Wheelman gear.  Though I'd limit it more (say X upgrades per vehicle - make people really think "Do I want handling or power?").
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 19, 2012, 10:44:18 PM
My apologies for not getting back to the boards sooner. My previous posts were made from Alex's house up in Portland and since mid-last week I've been traveling home, recovering from what turned out to be five weeks on the road out of the last seven (not a typo), waging the ongoing war with my inbox, and spinning back up, slowly but surely, with the creative end of my docket. (For those keeping track, yes, that's Spellbound - about which I'll post something in a bit, over in the Spellbound threat. It'll be brief, so don't expect some earth-shattering revelation or anything.)

Back to the business at hand. I'll try to answer everyone's questions as succinctly and squarely as I can. There's an important caveat here: while we want to get the word out with regard to where we are with the project and what to expect, a lot is still up in the air and there's much we simply cannot say yet. We can't comment on specific rules, for example, as we're still very early in playtesting and too much could change.

With that in mind...

I've enjoyed SC Classic, SGSG1, SC2 and FC greatly so I'm sure i will enjoy SC3 as well.

Thanks for the vote of confidence! :)

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But what means all this changes to the Mastercraft concept? From the beggining I understood that MC was a core system that would be adapted to the genre of the setting, with all the required changes and making them "portable". But what are you hinting about here sounds more and more like a new system and a different "philosophy" about the concepts and how the engine works... So whats the point of Mastercraft? And I'm wondering...did the development of Mistborn influence on how you look at the system now?

It's been a long five years or so since we started development on Fantasy Craft. In that time the market has changed dramatically, and just as importantly Alex and I have gathered a not-insubstantial amount of direct data about how the game is perceived, what folks want out of it, what they feel it does well, and how they feel it fails. We've learned even more about ourselves as designers: what we're capable of, what we're not, what we're good at, and how to capitalize on it.

As we got started on Spycraft Third the intent was to build a Mastercraft game. That was our starting point, but things change, and more than any previous design this has illuminated where Crafty Games needs to go and how it needs to operate. What we found in the course of a full year of design and literally weeks of deep conversation about our games, and games in general, is that they work best when they're designed for a purpose, and in this case - in our case - that purpose is serving the genre. Singular. Forcing one system to meet the needs of every genre just shattered in too many ways, and what was coming out of that discussion for modern was nothing we wanted to make, or anything we think you would have enjoyed.

So we took a chance and looked at what would happen if we used Fantasy Craft as a launchpad rather than a destination, and the process took off in fantastic new ways. The game is everything we wanted it to be: faster, simpler, easier to learn and teach, and yet still robust enough to proudly call a Crafty game. It's adaptable for any modern genre with enough room for expansion into sub-genres and even bringing some radical ideas into the mix (for more on that, see below). It is not, however, the same game as Fantasy Craft, and that means that in all likelihood it won't be a Mastercraft game either. It would simply be disingenuous to make that claim.

I was looking forward to using Spellbound with SC3 & 10K Bullets, but it seems that ain't gonna happen.

Hold that thought. You might not be able to use Spellbound directly with Spycraft Third - at least, not unless you want to tinker a bit to port over the core of those spellcasting rules - but...

That could be what Vow of Silence is for, assuming its on the dev board still.   

It is, and Vow will be a Spycraft Third product line. It'll be of the 'closed' variety, which is to say that it will have a beginning, middle, and end, with only a set number of products planned as one complete thought. That line will necessarily contain magic and that system will be fully compatible with Spycraft Third Edition (and by extension, Ten Thousand Bullets).

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I dunno. I think if they're focusing on plug'n'play and espionage, and leave magic for something else to plug in, we may be far better served. 

This is another one of those things we had to learn the hard way. Even modern sub-genres like, say, military, counter-terror, and blockbuster action simply drown out the espionage when they all try to live under the same roof. So we're moving them all into their own condos and doing them up right on their own *. You'll be able to tour any of their lovely homes on their own, and even drag one or more of them over to the others' houses with zero effort, but trying to get them all to live together is simply a recipe for disaster (or a bad sit-com - you pick).

* Everyone gets that I'm just talking about these game types being split off into their own books, not into separate lines, right? Yeah? Good. Let's move on...

My interpretation* has been that SC3 won't be interchangeable with FC; however, you can use them together with a little work.  Same can be said for SC2 and FC.  I can't drop the Mage into SC2 wholesale but it wouldn't take much.  Going the other way, I can't drop the Channeler into FC without a little work.  Doesn't mean I can't use them, just means that I may have to do some thinking up front.

This is close to true. Close. I would say the difference between Fantasy Craft and Spycraft Third Edition - in terms of magnitude of change, not tone, complexity, or really anything else - is closer to the difference between Classic Spycraft and Spycraft 2.0. It's a pretty big leap, but you can still see the strands of DNA deep in the muscle. It's deep, but's it's there.

What I am referring to is the magic page of legalize called the Open Gaming License in the back of the book.  Correct me if I'm wrong, you could certainly create a book with the OGL and exempt your own new mechanics from it, but when you own the original text (in this case, Fastasycraft), do you have to bother with the OGL at all?

Allow me to be very specific here, to hopefully avoid any confusion...

Spycraft Third Edition is not an OGL game. It will not include, nor does it need to include, the Open Game License contract language.

Once you see the game, you'll understand. It's similar in some ways, but also very different - different enough that there's really no basis for the OGL anymore.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 19, 2012, 10:58:45 PM
I'm not Gundark (obviously), but my group also got behind Chases in a big way.  Mostly because they were Chases.  At that point (and possibly still) no other game had a good mechanic for chases, and they are something that's so prevalent in the sort of source material we use that having a system for them was just fantastic.  Well run, they were fun and evocative sequences, and the rules had enough depth to cover a whole heap of situations, while not being so dense that they were painful to use.

First, thanks much for the feedback. As it happens, DramCons are one of the last, if not the last, major component Alex and I have yet to settle on. We have strong thoughts about how it should work, but those ideas have yet to coalesce on paper.

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Remove Strategy Penalties.  My group decided very early on that a handful of Strategies (Redline and Outfox in particular) where "the Strategy", depending on if you were Predator or Prey.  Having a +2 bonus when I was suffering between a -4 and -8 meant that they'd frequently get another advantage (or use the net benefit to practically guarantee winning).  It meant that the "Chase" bit became less exciting (and more predictable), and the stuff going on around it had to be ramped out to keep the scene exciting (opponents suppressing their driver, attacks against tyres, etc).

This is actually one of my biggest personal issues with the 2.0 system, so consider that point well represented at the design table. :)

(Thanks for the assist BTW. As a designer it's very nice to see other folks validating your ideas. It helps you suss out when you're not crazy - which, let's admit it, is often a dicey diagnosis.)

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Improve Chase Specialists.  Chase feats were cool, but often you didn't need them to win (high drive + custom ride + vehicle familiarity left you in really good stead, often able to dominate).  Since that was all they did, many players I came across preferred to have generally useful feats, instead of specifically useful feats.  I think the entire Chase tree would have been far more popular if they had a general, "always on" benefit and a chase trick (or even a strategy specific trick).  Most of the feats have gone this way between SC2.0 and FC, but I feel it's worth mentioning, since I just never saw Chase feats get the same love as the others.

Yeah, see, it's posts like this that tell me you folks will love Spycraft Third. It's different, but when we did something right in the past... It's still there, pressed, polished, and ready for duty.

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Additionally, I'd consider changing it so the strategy is simply the advantage desired - so the player just chooses Impact and rolls their opposed check.  At that point it's obvious they're ramming the enemy vehicle, so you don't really need to choose Ram (and you can make lead requirements based on the advantage itself - which will probably make them more logical).  The player can describe how they achieve their desired advantage, and the GM can give them a circumstance bonus / penalty based on their description.

Great suggestion. Noted.

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Finally, I think it'd be great if there were some Chase (and other Dramatic Conflict) specific Narrative Control options / examples.  If only to give players something to think about for their dice (and keep the focus on Narrative Control - something I consider to be a big standard of your system, and one of the coolest uses of Action Dice).

See my response to your specialist suggestion, above. Phrase that a little more emphatically and drop ti in here.

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EDIT:
Also in the "we liked" column is the Vehicle statlines - my group has a bunch of gear heads who liked having varied Acceleration and Turning, and having it have an impact on chasing someone (that it's harder to catch a motorcycle in a van then it is on another motorcycle was something that we all liked).  Same with upgrades - being able to performance tune a vehicle is a cool use of Wheelman gear.  Though I'd limit it more (say X upgrades per vehicle - make people really think "Do I want handling or power?").

The "A/T" lines have been a point of much discussion lately. Not sure where we'll land on that but don't fret - vehicles will have their own flavors and work into whatever we land on for DramCons in different ways. It's a given.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Sletchman on November 20, 2012, 12:09:34 AM
Sounds good.  I don't mind if the A/T rules go by themselves, the big thing we liked was that a bike was different from a van which was in turn different from a pimped out sedan.  The "feel" was what we liked (more then the specific rule itself), and from other aspects of your games (knives vs axe vs club, for example) I have no doubt that'll continue.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 20, 2012, 12:13:45 AM
Sounds good.  I don't mind if the A/T rules go by themselves, the big thing we liked was that a bike was different from a van which was in turn different from a pimped out sedan.  The "feel" was what we liked (more then the specific rule itself), and from other aspects of your games (knives vs axe vs club, for example) I have no doubt that'll continue.

It will. Honestly, there would be little reason to list more than a few general vehicle types at most otherwise - and that's not happening.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 20, 2012, 05:00:22 AM
CP & CA always have great information and contact with their customers and fan base.  Gents and Lasses, I think we should return the favor a little bit and ease off the teasing about the Crafty Timetables.  (Especially if you read the Spellbound post.)  It may be in kind humor to us, but I can only imagine what its like being 6 weeks mobile and have someone pestering you about a deadline you know past 2 months ago.  ...actually.. I know exactly what that's like.  And sometimes, even if a co-worker makes the joke, after awhile, the joke starts to grate.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Desertpuma on November 20, 2012, 05:40:30 AM
Pat, that's all good news, especially the freedom from the OGL and the Chase stuff. I'll be patiently awaiting what lands next.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: SnowDog on November 20, 2012, 12:59:02 PM
How much of the 2nd edition and FC there will still be? I mean does it still have levels and classes, feats etc. that are part of the d20 system type of games.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: snake on November 20, 2012, 01:12:43 PM

"Compatible" is the term we use to mean "little to no effort to use books together."

"Portable" is the term we use to mean "these books are not intended to work together but you can hack them together with some effort ...
(Bold mine)

Well, that just killed my excitement.

I was looking forward to using Spellbound with SC3 & 10K Bullets, but it seems that ain't gonna happen.

Oh. Same thing here. I thought all the new MC games would all be slight variations on the system in FC. I wouldn't like a complete re-write of the system as different from FC as SC 2.0 is from FC.

Not sure about anyone else but I'm running games combining fantasy characters with modern characters/weapons and Sci-fi items. I'm having to convert SC2.0 Origins/items to FC to make them work together and I was hoping with SC3.0 I could take say a modern Combatant type hero and put him and his gear alongside a sword wielding Ratfolk Burglar without the conversion.  ???
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: MikeS on November 20, 2012, 01:26:33 PM
I'm not Gundark (obviously), but my group also got behind Chases in a big way.  Mostly because they were Chases.  At that point (and possibly still) no other game had a good mechanic for chases, and they are something that's so prevalent in the sort of source material we use that having a system for them was just fantastic.  Well run, they were fun and evocative sequences, and the rules had enough depth to cover a whole heap of situations, while not being so dense that they were painful to use.

First, thanks much for the feedback. As it happens, DramCons are one of the last, if not the last, major component Alex and I have yet to settle on. We have strong thoughts about how it should work, but those ideas have yet to coalesce on paper.

Quote
Remove Strategy Penalties.  My group decided very early on that a handful of Strategies (Redline and Outfox in particular) where "the Strategy", depending on if you were Predator or Prey.  Having a +2 bonus when I was suffering between a -4 and -8 meant that they'd frequently get another advantage (or use the net benefit to practically guarantee winning).  It meant that the "Chase" bit became less exciting (and more predictable), and the stuff going on around it had to be ramped out to keep the scene exciting (opponents suppressing their driver, attacks against tyres, etc).

This is actually one of my biggest personal issues with the 2.0 system, so consider that point well represented at the design table. :)

(Thanks for the assist BTW. As a designer it's very nice to see other folks validating your ideas. It helps you suss out when you're not crazy - which, let's admit it, is often a dicey diagnosis.)


I was also a big fan of the Dramatic Conflicts, and I enjoyed their use for things other than Chases as well. In fact, I liked the DramCon idea so much that I toyed around with ways of making combat a DramCon, just to see what would come of it.

If you are collecting input, here are some more things:

- introduce a timer. This may be tricky, but I think worthwhile. I remember sessions where the chase just took too long, because neither participant could solidify his gains, and we kept trading lead gains back and forth. I'm envisioning something like a total number of leads that need to be attained, and the first participant to reach that number wins the DramCon

- more options for everybody. Some DramCons seem to limit the number of actions a character can take severely (was looking at Seduction the other day, where more than half the actions have some form of prerequisite in lead or other). I'd rather see people that have the prereq get a bonus, than not be able to take the option at all. Also, options that don't necessarily use the principal skill check for that particular DramCon.

Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 20, 2012, 05:06:39 PM
How much of the 2nd edition and FC there will still be? I mean does it still have levels and classes, feats etc. that are part of the d20 system type of games.

As I mentioned, we can't speak to specific rules yet. I can verify that enough of what makes up an OGL game is replaced or different that we there's no need for the license.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 20, 2012, 05:09:28 PM
I was also a big fan of the Dramatic Conflicts, and I enjoyed their use for things other than Chases as well. In fact, I liked the DramCon idea so much that I toyed around with ways of making combat a DramCon, just to see what would come of it.

We're big fans of using DramCons for other things as well, though we do feel a re-framing of that effort is in order. More on that as we firm up details.

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- introduce a timer. This may be tricky, but I think worthwhile. I remember sessions where the chase just took too long, because neither participant could solidify his gains, and we kept trading lead gains back and forth. I'm envisioning something like a total number of leads that need to be attained, and the first participant to reach that number wins the DramCon

We've considered that. In fact, about half the approaches proposed so far feature a timer.

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- more options for everybody. Some DramCons seem to limit the number of actions a character can take severely (was looking at Seduction the other day, where more than half the actions have some form of prerequisite in lead or other). I'd rather see people that have the prereq get a bonus, than not be able to take the option at all. Also, options that don't necessarily use the principal skill check for that particular DramCon.

Could not agree more. This is of course tied to the bonus issue above.

Thanks for the feedback!
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Mister Andersen on November 20, 2012, 08:40:08 PM
How much of the 2nd edition and FC there will still be? I mean does it still have levels and classes, feats etc. that are part of the d20 system type of games.

As I mentioned, we can't speak to specific rules yet. I can verify that enough of what makes up an OGL game is replaced or different that we there's no need for the license.

Is that a gut feeling or an actual legal opinion? Because I can absolutely see some haters looking at that and going "Challenge accepted"
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: SnowDog on November 20, 2012, 11:23:39 PM
How much of the 2nd edition and FC there will still be? I mean does it still have levels and classes, feats etc. that are part of the d20 system type of games.

As I mentioned, we can't speak to specific rules yet. I can verify that enough of what makes up an OGL game is replaced or different that we there's no need for the license.
Interesting. Thanks for the info! I have to check out the OGL and try and guess what that and your comment combined might mean. Data analysis roll, anyone? :)

Anyway, I sit at the lighter end for systems these days as well, so what I have read so far sounds promising.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on November 20, 2012, 11:40:57 PM
Is that a gut feeling or an actual legal opinion? Because I can absolutely see some haters looking at that and going "Challenge accepted"

It's a fact. There's really no way anyone could argue this has to be an OGL game.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: TheOpSecTreeFloof on November 21, 2012, 05:12:44 AM
How much of the 2nd edition and FC there will still be? I mean does it still have levels and classes, feats etc. that are part of the d20 system type of games.

As I mentioned, we can't speak to specific rules yet. I can verify that enough of what makes up an OGL game is replaced or different that we there's no need for the license.

Is that a gut feeling or an actual legal opinion? Because I can absolutely see some haters looking at that and going "Challenge accepted"

LOL.  You could post "the sky is blue" and some genius on the internet will be like  :o "GREEN!"  I firmly leave OGL, and all other IP discussions in the solid hands of attorneys and law makers.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Sletchman on November 21, 2012, 06:12:42 AM
Is that a gut feeling or an actual legal opinion? Because I can absolutely see some haters looking at that and going "Challenge accepted"

It's a fact. There's really no way anyone could argue this has to be an OGL game.

That's uh...  quite a thing.

Certainly has me curious about what this product will look like in the end.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Coyote0273 on November 21, 2012, 06:30:20 AM
LOL.  You could post "the sky is blue" and some genius on the internet will be like  :o "GREEN!"  I firmly leave OGL, and all other IP discussions in the solid hands of attorneys and law makers.

Sky has no color actually. That's just the visible light we see most of the time. *halo*
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Gundark on December 11, 2012, 03:30:34 PM
Chases are some of my most fondest memories from Spycraft.

That's great to hear. :)

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Glad to hear they are coming back.

So... What do you love about them so much, and how do you think they could improve?

Please be as specific as possible.

What worked was the choosing of strategies. There was some aprehension on whether the right strategy was chosen. It was nice that there was a mechnic for chases that felt like a chase. Too many games include chases as a series of oppossed rolls (by themselves) which feels bland. I want their to be some apprehension to the choice to the "detour" strategy as I havn't seen what the GM has chosen.

That said I think I would want you to step away from *Strategy X has a modifier of -4 because the GM chose Strategy Y and I had to look on a chart to see it. Avoid excessive charts  please.

For me it's about feel; the chase scences in the Bourne movies were exciting, even now as I re-watch them I still feel that. Your game mechanics need to capture that sense of risk, and apprehension.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Big_Jim on December 11, 2012, 04:41:12 PM
What is needed for chases and dram-cons was covered at GenCon this year. I wonder if that footage will ever be posted? If it has already, I missed it.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: tfwfh on December 11, 2012, 08:34:22 PM
I wonder if that footage will ever be posted?

Yes please.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on December 12, 2012, 04:24:24 AM
I wonder if that footage will ever be posted?

Yes please.

Just spoke to the video editor a week or two ago. He does this by trade and he's very good at it. Unfortunately, he's also a bit of a perfectionist and a very busy man.

Hopefully we'll see it relatively soon, but at this point we get that it's a lot less timely than it could have been. As with many things, it'll go out when it's ready. So it goes...
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Mister Andersen on December 12, 2012, 05:00:04 AM
So what are the chances of Livestreaming it in 2013?
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Crafty_Pat on December 12, 2012, 08:50:24 AM
So what are the chances of Livestreaming it in 2013?

Highly unlikely. That kind of production costs much more than we can justify for an event like this.
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Mister Andersen on December 12, 2012, 09:14:47 AM
So what are the chances of Livestreaming it in 2013?

Highly unlikely. That kind of production costs much more than we can justify for an event like this.

Really? Because their site seems to indicate you can do it for free (http://new.livestream.com/plans).
Title: Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me?
Post by: Morganti on December 12, 2012, 11:02:06 AM
Convention Center bandwidth is crappy, which is where the real costs for live streaming from an event come in, not just the actual streaming tech.