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16  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: March 20, 2014, 11:21:05 PM
1) You can't take a 5-ft step in the same round that you take any Movement actions. Handle Item is a Movement action. By RAW, it's pretty much crystal clear that you can't so much as 5-ft step in the same round that you, say, draw a weapon, or drop a stone into your sling. Even Quick Draw won't help you, because even if they're free actions they're still Movement actions. Is this intentional? It seems needlessly restrictive to me.

Sometimes things like this happen when we're trying to broadly classify rules for usability and utility at the same time. I'll flag it as something to look at in the next errata update, but it's pretty easily house-ruled away regardless.
17  Legacy Games / Classic Spycraft / Re: Numbers of encounters in a serial on: March 20, 2014, 10:45:41 PM
This part of the rules is very much subject to GC purview, and there are far fewer hard-and-fast rules than there are loose suggestions. The table and example in question are trying to jointly show how you can apply the basic rules of thumb to a range and variety of serial constructions, but probably need more language indicating that they aren't an absolutely full view of the variations in play.

Glad you're liking the game! Hopefully Spycraft Third will speak to you as Classic clearly has.
18  Legacy Games / Classic Spycraft / Re: EL Calculations in Classic Spycraft on: March 20, 2014, 10:31:55 PM
So my question is now whether the last sentence in the first paragraph that I quoted above implies that minions (plural) when encountered in the recommended squad size equal a CR of Agent Level - 1.  So that would mean a squad of 5th level minions has a CR of 4.  That would seem to be how CRs for minions squads in the examples are calculated.  I just want to confirm that I am reading this correctly.

Yes, that's correct.

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Also, if a 6th level henchman is encountered with a squad of 5th level minions (CR 4), the effective EL is 7 per Table 9.12 on p. 265, right?  But that mix seems to break the rule stated in the 2nd quote above that minions must be at least two levels lower than the henchman they serve.  Which means the henchman should be 7th level or the minions should be 4th level (effective CR 3), which requires some interpolation on table 9.12, yes?

Yes, that table is of course meant as a rough guideline. Personally, and in retrospect, I'd eliminate the "minions must always be 2 levels lower" rule and keep it strictly as a guideline, then stick to everything else. You should be fine. Classic Spycraft is wildly forgiving. Smiley

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Table 9.16 is a terrific aid and all of the related discussion and examples within Chapter 9 are something I consider to be a huge help for a novice Control, and a critical must-have for any core book of a RPG game system.  I hope a similar section will be provided in the upcoming Spycraft 3 core materials.  I'm stating the obvious, but RPG's are nothing without willing and enthusiastic GMs.  The easier it is for novice GM's to take the plunge, the more likely it will be for the game to gain traction and expand its player base.  And I hope that answers to my questions in this post can help inform the analogous section in the upcoming Spycraft 3 rules Smiley  Thanks for any and all assistance.

Thanks! We strive to include all the guidance we would want ourselves - and we have pretty high standards. Wink

Rest assured that Spycraft Third will not disappoint in this regard.
19  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: A little something fun for Spellbound on: March 20, 2014, 09:33:07 AM
If the gods decides otherwise, may I be so naive to kindly ask you to release the unfinished material you have, one way or another?

We'll cross that bridge if we get to it.
20  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Dynamic Conflict Resolution Expanded in 3rd? on: March 10, 2014, 10:43:40 PM
We're going a somewhat different route with Dramatic Conflicts in Third. They're in the mix, but we're not ready to talk about how they work or how far-reaching they are quite yet.
21  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: A little something fun for Spellbound on: March 06, 2014, 07:57:52 PM
Well, all I can say by way of reply is thanks for all the support over the years, and we hope that what we make in the future is something you're interested in playing.

Let's all be honest: this isn't the easiest or the most lucrative gig on the planet. If it were, a lot more people would be doing it. People don't just sit down at a keyboard and magically cobble together roleplaying game products that deserve to sit on game store shelves. There's talent involved, and sweat, and sacrifice, and yes, money - and in the end most projects fail (even the professional ones). That's a statistical fact. Most game products fail. To be honest we've done a pretty remarkable job staying in the black for 9 years, and making products that are sold and played all over the world. Most companies don't get that far. Most games don't survive that long. So by my math it's pretty hard to be unhappy with what we've accomplished.

Are we up there with the big boys? No, we're not. We know that, and we don't ask ourselves to compete with them - not anymore. There was a long time when Alex and I agonized about how to break through to the next level, and every year the company would grow just this much, leaving us hungry and demoralized. Then we figured out that in the end what was important was that we could pay the bills and be proud of what we've actually built and made. That's why we started Crafty Games in the first place.

Now, we've made a lot of mistakes over the years. All small business owners do - even the ones that are well-informed. It's a law of the process - you can't just learn from the mistakes of others. Even if you do manage to avoid all the mistakes you watch other folks struggle with, you'll make a ton of new ones yourself. You can fret about all those mistakes you actually do make, or you can learn from them as well - do something to improve and move on. Well, one of the biggest mistakes we've made over the years - repeatedly, in fact - is allowing ourselves to be driven by obligation and guilt - and we've paid a hefty price for that.

By all rights Spellbound should have been canceled ages ago. Retailers and most players expect that it's already been canceled, and that we just haven't bothered to mention it. This is a product that's been literally years in the making, and that's consistently failed to materialize despite the best efforts of everyone at our company, alone and together, and more false starts than I care to consider. There's a point where you just have to face facts and accept that something you wanted, no matter how much, may simply not be possible.

As I've said, we're not quite there yet (but yes, in the interest of transparency, we are dangerously close). We think there's another try in this, and we are hoping it will succeed. If it does, the Mysterious Stranger will deserve mad props, and we will be the first to offer them up at his feet. But if it doesn't, you know, that's OK. We'll make good with everyone who's invested in the book, and we'll do what we do - we'll move on - because otherwise we'd never get to make the next thing, and the thing after that - and for Alex and I, that's what it's all about.

If that's not enough for anyone else, we get it. No harm, no foul. We're not going to ask anyone to stick around when they feel there are greener pastures for them elsewhere. As I say, if we wind up making something else down the line that you really dig, you'll always be welcome to come sit at our table again.

And yes, for anyone keeping score, there will be a lot more stuff for you to maybe (hopefully) dig. What and when? Well, best to just get it out and see what you like, right? How about that Terris book? Alex, Logan, and Co. did a bang up job there, I think. Smiley
22  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: A little something fun for Spellbound on: March 03, 2014, 12:46:07 PM
Spellbound is still in development but things have shifted a bit on that front (as they do). As most of you longtimers probably recall, the biggest hurdle with this project is its scope. The concept is simply too large and too far-reaching for us to make any meaningful headway on it, let alone get it done, unless there's someone on it exclusively. That's not hyperbole, but a literal statement of fact: anyone who takes this project on pretty much cannot do anything else - not a day job, not another freelance project, not running a company, not handling said company's finances, not even a single other concurrent project... not anything. It's just that mind-bendingly complex.

For a long time I tried, desperately and ultimately in vain, to keep the project rolling alongside my other Crafty duties, but that effort ultimately failed. I tried bringing on freelancers to tackle chunks of it, but the coordination alone was too much to manage alongside other projects. Alex tried taking it on, and he ran into the same brick wall. For a very short time we considered abandoning the core tenets of the project that make it so difficult to produce - the ideas that we should cover as much of magic as possible in one volume; that spell effect replication should be kept to a minimum, if not eliminated; and retaining the current School and Discipline structure that demands a precise number of spells - but if we do any of that the book becomes just another spell compendium, and no one wants that. We're better than that. Fantasy Craft is better than that.

For an even shorter time, we considered simply canceling the project altogether - accepting that it was too much for our company to accomplish in its current form ("maybe if we had an infrastructure that allowed Alex and I to work as employees rather than employers, we could manage it"), but we ultimately decided it was too early to make that call as well. There's still a little fight left in this old girl, and we're not quite ready to cede this particular war.

So we're trying one more time - passing the book along to a trusted freelancer who can hopefully dedicate everything to pushing the product across the finish line. It's someone we've worked with plenty of times before, and he knows the Fantasy Craft system very well. We'll be available to advise, but the reality is that Alex and I simply cannot work on Spellbound any longer - not if we want Crafty Games to keep going at all. The project's become an anchor for us, and that can't stand anymore.

So for a while - until this new person (who shall for now remain nameless) can get up to speed and offer us assurances that the project will in fact be done at some point - you're going to see other projects coming out. We would appreciate it if during this time you left our new project lead to his business, and didn't bang on this drum too much. We know you want the book, and we want to give it to you, but another reality is that every time the pressure goes up on this one, the chance of it never happening goes up with it. Because sadly, there's a real chance of that now - that if our new project lead can't crack this nut, and we can't go back to it (and we can't), then we may have to simply call it quits, make amends with the few insanely loyal and magnanimous folks who've invested in the book, and move on.

We'll get you news as soon as we have it. Until then, expect more from other fronts. It's how it must be for now.
23  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Does anybody need a software engineer? on: August 31, 2013, 08:33:22 AM
Earlier today I was let go from my position for undisclosed reasons. Thus, I am now in the need of a job. I hate to come here begging, but networking is networking, right?
I'm a skilled software engineer, and I am also quite talented as a math tutor. If anyone has anything just message me and I'll forward you my resume.

Sorry man! That is a huge ball of suck. Sad

I don't know of any openings with friends right now, but I will definitely keep an eye out and let you know if I see anything.
24  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Swarm mechanics on: August 28, 2013, 02:39:18 AM
1) So do the other wolves have to be adjacent at the time of the swarm attack, or just the attacker?

Though the RAW doesn't elaborate, I would rule that so long as the wolves are moving together (i.e. they are all within their Reach of each other), the swarm can attack together so long as it is also within any single wolf's Reach of the target.

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2) Do the other wolves need to take a Ready action in order to co-ordinate?

No. Swarm attacks are a group action. All the NPCs do that and nothing else. Das fin.

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3) Is the Swarm attack a Full action, or Half, like all other attacks?

Same as the base attack for the creature. This may be half, full, or follow other special rules.

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4) If Swarm is a half action, can it be done twice in the same round?

If the available/chosen attack is a half action, then yes.
25  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Spell Reflection question on: August 26, 2013, 07:43:07 PM
Even a spell with an Area has to have a target (a square, never a character). Yes, this means that Spell Reflection cannot be used on spells with Area effects - by design.
26  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: August 26, 2013, 07:40:40 PM
Hey-o, everyone chill. Let's welcome the nice newcomer who's interested in our system, shall we?

As one of the designers on the game, let me present the fundamentals we have in place in the hope of explaining the why before we get into the how...

In our experience, tying Strength to both unarmed/melee combat and a host of non-combat options tends to produce results that almost always cause problems for one when "realistically" depicting the other. Fantasy Craft divides these functions, such that raw Strength is largely a facet of how a person or creature can apply physical power without considering the effects of Size. For everything else, Size is factored in as expected, though it comes as a separate calculation to keep the combat and skill numbers from breaking the scale and making Strength too important, or making the game too hard to balance and therefore in our opinion, unfun.

Now, as to the relevant sections, you'll want to check out the following parts of Fantasy Craft Second Printing...

  • Attributes ( page 8 )
  • Size ( page 216 )

The second will point you to other relevant sections. That should give you a good start. Once you've absorbed those sections please ping us with any other questions you might have and we'll do our best to answer.
27  Products / News and Announcements / Pat Joins Twilight Creations, Inc. (NOT LEAVING CRAFTY) on: August 26, 2013, 06:10:35 AM

Time for another announcement, this time on a somewhat longer timeline (Longer than four months? Really? In fact, it’s open-ended). I mentioned there were exciting new opportunities happening for me, and the most exciting of those is getting to once again work with my close friends over at Twilight Creations, Inc.

These are the folks who brought you Zombie Survival, Little Dead Riding Hood, and the award-winning smash hit, Zombies!!! All great games — and they’re looking to forge ahead with many more. As part of that expansion they've brought me on as a staff designer and consultant, which basically means that I’ll be pitch-hitting in lots of ways across the board. You’ll see my name in their credits, and we’ll be working closely to strengthen and advance every part of their company.

It’s an insanely exciting move for me. It lets me stretch some muscles that I've been itching to stretch for some time, and of course it lets me work closely with one of my favorite people in the world: Kerry Breitenstein. The job also lets me work remotely, which is critical because...

I am NOT leaving Crafty Games, nor are my duties there really changing all that much. For a while, Alex and I have been refining our methods and timetables so we’re playing to each of our strengths and getting the most out of our days for you and for us, and this new position comes at just the right time to interlock with that. I shall still be finishing up Spellbound before anything else, and my work on Spycraft Third Edition will not change, nor will this job impact how that product line rolls out.

What will change is that you’ll see my name in a few more places, and honestly, I think you’ll all notice a general uptick in smiles from my direction. I love working with Alex, and I’ll work with him for as long as he and his lovely wife Becky will have me, but I've been pining for some side projects to keep me fresh and nimble, and Kerry’s offered me an ideal way to make that happen.

Thank you, Kerry and Alex, for letting me find a balance that works well for me just now. I can’t wait to show both of you all the awesome I still have to offer.
28  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Attach a file? on: August 25, 2013, 05:45:19 PM
Sharspace doesn't seem to exist (sharespace.com looks like pregnancy forums)

Whoops! I meant SendSpace. Sorry about that. Juggling too many windows at once and got my wires crossed.
29  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: How many Alignments? on: August 25, 2013, 05:43:20 PM
Basically your alignment costs one Interest no matter how many parts there are to it. In a recent conversion from D&D3 we tried, we used this format: "[Chaotic/Lawful] [Good/Evil] follower of [Deity]"
So essentially there were up to three components to one's alignment (having no deity being an option), and you could have opposed alignments based on any of the three (a Chaotic Neutral follower of Moradin could be opposed to a Lawful Neutral follower of Moradin as far as Chaos/Law abilities were concerned - but a Chaotic weapon wouldn't grant benefits against other Chaotic characters even if the rest of the alignment differed).

I asked this question back shortly after the book had released, and IIRC the answer was you can only have one Alignment, so if you want to play Lawful Good you can't just smush together Lawful and Good, you have to make a new Alignment called Lawful Good.

Both true. The Alignment system kinda shatters if you let people pick more than one, but you can include multiple choices within that one Alignment to simulate multiple Alignments presented as single combination, or to represent various sub-ethos, and so on.
30  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread on: August 25, 2013, 05:38:05 PM
While rereading the options of the spell "call from beyond" I noticed that the Advisor has Identify I as a spell.
Awesome, one spell less to learn, except...
Identify has a casting time of 8 hours. Even with maximum possible caster level and all tricks to extend the duration you won't be able to keep the little outsider longer than 50 minutes.

Short of Permanency it seems to be impossible to use this ability. Am I missing something?

Your world, your rules.  You can always say that the demon can automatically cast it without the waiting time.  After all, it IS an outsider and not subject to mortal rules for magic.

Or you could summon it, get it to cast on the item in question, and 8 hours later you find out what its spell tells you about said stuff as if you'd cast the spell yourself.

I would run with a variation of this. My gut tells me that in a "traditional" fantasy setting the best call would be to skin the exchange as summoning the advisor, asking it for a favor (requesting that an item be identified - as a roleplayed encounter, of course, and giving the advisor a personality to make the whole exchange worth including as more than a dry accounting of the mechanics), and then having it cast the spell over the rest of the time before it departs. Then the item's true nature comes to the requesting mage at the end of the spell's Duration, in a way that best suits the setting, story, and situation...

  • It could appear to the mage within an otherwise mundane reflective surface (a crystal ball, a mirror, etc.).
  • It could be revealed as a temporary illusion on or near the item.
  • It could simply develop slowly within the mind's eye of the mage, which would allow the GM to play a bit with descriptions leading up to the reveal.

All this keeping mind that I personally feel any shorter Duration for that spell is broken, or at least not very interesting, unless you're playing in a setting where magic is largely a scientifically known discipline. The same I feel is true of letting an NPC (or any other option, really) circumvent that Duration, because if time and effort don't have to be put into figuring out what an unknown magic item does, why bother to conceal the item's function in the first place?
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