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31  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: [OOC] Way of the Wicked on: October 14, 2014, 12:42:34 AM
Pity. Actually, is 'morning after' medication and/or abortion generally legal in Talengarde? How would someone in Caldwin's position be expected to act if a member of minor nobility -- or more accurately his wife -- sent a request for such things?
32  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Inspector on: October 14, 2014, 12:21:00 AM
    • The fact that Field Experience can't overcharge a second skill doesn't mean it doesn't work. It means that you're not going to feel as huge of a gap in your skill point spread when you invest those extra skill points into your elevated Investigate cap. If you want, you could change it to the following so you don't feel like you're missing out on anything.

           Field Experience: Sometimes it's the eccentricities that help provide crucial insight into a case. Choose one of your origin skills. Each time you gain 1 or more ranks in that skill skill, you also gain an equal number of ranks in the Investgate skill. This may not increase your Investigate skill beyond its maximum rank. Additionally, you may use this skill pairing with the Skill Mastery feat chain.

    • Replace Break Them Down's Repartee chain with the Black Cat chain, for reasons previously mentioned. You're also wrong about Inspectors not having to be talkers -- I don't know what sort of crime shows you watch, but having consumed this sort of thing for decades I can say that misdirecting a suspect into revealing their true intentions or preventing them from realising your partner is sneaking up somewhere they shouldn't is a fairly basic investigative technique.
           Similarly, physically tracking people is rarely something the Inspector archetype is about -- they have partners and minions for that. Virtually every instance of the investigator doing so is basically a foot chase -- so contested athletics and notice/tactics checks. If you really want the Inspector to be able to properly track -- as in you're a non trivial amount of time behind your quarry, using their spore to close in -- make it an option on Honed instincts.

    • Chance defines the investigative process especially in a cinematic narrative. Investigators both fiction and real routine refer to lucky breaks in a case where they've only come across a vital clue or lead through serendipity or other seemingly improbable avenues. But running through the chance feats:
      • Adventurers' Luck - you've been clever enough to notice where the real stash was
      • All In - You have to risk it all to find the chink in the criminal mastermind's armour
      • Black Cat/Jinx/Tough Luck - Your superior insights and techniques continually leaves the suspect on the back foot
      • Close Call - What happens when the suspect leaves traps for the unwary pursuer or turns out to be a master hypnotist?
      • Fortune Favors The Bold - Those surges of insight that allow your investigation to emerge successful from a situation that seemed doomed to fail
      • Fortune's Fool - All investigations risk going the wrong way, and you're smart enough to learn from your mistakes
      • Lady Luck's Smile - By Jove, you've cracked it Holmes!
      And so on and so forth.

    • I was misremembering how the skill mastery feats implemented the threat range boost, but ultimately the +2 per iteration for harsh persuasion doesn't bother me because Intimidate as a combat skill (Threaten action) isn't affected by critical successes, while at 11-20 threat range when making coerce or browbeat checks only means that you have more opportunity to spend the same number of action dice you have at any other level. Without AD, threat rage is meaningless, and character abilities that let you activate threats on skills for free are exceedingly rare to the point that there isn't even a campaign quality that does it.
    • Assisting With Enquiries means that if you have Heroic renown 3, your virtual military/noble/etc renown is 2. Why on earth would you assume that the cost of favours is reduced?
    • Of course Confidential Informants is intended to benefit from Assisting... -- why wouldn't it? and no, the suggestions don't make this particularly "favour heavy" at all. A favour heavy class would be cutting the cost and expanding the gates of favours across the board. The game has stuck particular mechanical benefits that suit an inspector style character in a certain hard to access area and these suggestions are making them more easily available.
    • The free hints provided by Little Grey Cells are a 1 point origin benefit that have been trumping the priest out of the gate since day 0. Signs & Portents's strength lies in the escalating number of AD you receive for denial of answers. By the time the possibility of LGC rocks around -- an inspector can go their whole career without it -- the priest has had S&P for 4 levels already, and will benefit from LGC just as much as anyone else.
    • The courtier gets npcs worth 35 points, so Taskforce calling watchmen -- which is entirely appropriate for an Inspector -- isn't out of step. If you don't like watchmen, make your own slightly cheaper statblock and call it investigators or meddling kids.
    • My Sudden Insight generate has no need to generate clues because (a) you have your investigate rolls for that if you're operating solo, and (b) it's intended as a force multiplier for teammate who bring their own clue generating level 10 abilities to the game. And as the wording is "when you gain a clue it is always illuminating", not "you always gain an illuminating clue", of course you don't get a clue if you screw it up. (Of course if you allow crit failures on successful checks, you could get the clue you need only to end up with your arse on suspension...)

    • Denoument: During Dramatic Scenes, you are at the centre of a Zone of Truth with a casting level equal to your career level. This non-magical effect extends out to Close Range, cannot be dismissed, and the penalty to Bluff checks also applies to Blend, Disguise, Sneak, and Tactics checks targeting you within this area, as well as spellcasting checks for illusions. Effects with a minimum result such as flawless abilities or spells such as Disguise Self no longer benefit from it. Only you benefit from this ability, but you may spend an action die to force any one character so revealed to you to unveil themselves to everyone present.
           (Someone revealed by this ability to be pretending to be the president could be forced to unmask thus revealing themselves as an alien mastermind, or you could break the optical illusion disguising the bridge leading to the holy grail)
    33  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Inspector on: October 13, 2014, 07:53:02 AM
    (click to show/hide)

    One thing I'm not really getting from this class that I really should is a sense of iconic identity. While base classes are meant to be generic broadly adaptable, this feels very background characterish -- more Bell than Watson or Holmes.

    • I'm going to suggest a new core ability to start with; that AD one is blandly generic.

           Field Experience: Sometimes it's the eccentricities that help provide crucial insight into a case. Choose one of your origin skills. You gain the Talented feat for that skill paired with Investigate, and may also use this pairing for the purpose of Skill Mastery feats.

    • For Across The Years, replace Resolve with either Notice (so you'll be able to pull off the trick of instantly reading a room) or Tactics (which is sorely underrated as a social skill that can make a suspect's web of lies collapse).

    • I'm On The Case is amusing, but ultimately risks devaluing any contribution a scout (or other dedicated tracker) might end up making -- I can see the two classes working together quite synergestically together much like Ray and Benton from due South. Might I suggest making the basic kernal of this part of the F ability and looking to the Lancer as a source of inspiration.

           Break Them Down I: At Level 2, you gain the Repartee Basics feat and your maximum Investigate rank increases to your Career Level + 6.
           Break Them Down II: At Level 11, you gain the Repartee Mastery feat and your maximum Investigate rank increases to your Career Level + 7.
           Break Them Down III: At Level 19, you gain the Repartee Supremacy feat and your maximum Investigate rank increases to your Career Level + 8.

      Yes this is intended to work with Field Experience

    • Bonus Feat should offer a choice of Skill and Chance (do not under estimate the advantages of the Black Cat chain in elevating a suspect's error ranges when combined with the effect of a successful tactics check). You might also offer access to a limited number of paths here.
    • Change Expert Detective to Great Detective, and instead of the knowledge check bonus offer a choice between taking that level of heroic renown, or increasing their legend by 1 -- do they become known for their work, or their results...?
    • Harsh Persuasion doesn't make a great deal of sense to me -- browbeating is next to useless without a massive result gap, while the actual thing you're trying to model of bullying a suspect into confessing or grassing someone up is far better covered by the Coerce action. Ideally the ability should be giving you an insight bonus to threat range of your Intimidate checks that increases by 2 per iteration.

    • Honed Instincts has a lot of solid choices, but try this mix.

           On The Case: At levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 you may choose one of the following abilities. each ability may only be chose once.
           Always Ready: You may always act during surprise rounds.
           Assisting With Enquiries: A number of times per adventure equal to your starting action dice you may substitute your Heroic renown for another Renown track when purchasing favours. When doing so, the value of this virtual track is considered 1 lower than your actual Heroic renown.
           Confidential Informants: You benefit from Reconnaissance favours as though they were 1 grade higher (ie, purchasing a cursory reconnaissance yields 2 key detail instead of 1.
           Expertise: Choose one of your Inspector class skills. You may always take 10 with this skill. Further, taking 10 with this skill doesn’t take twice as long and taking 20 takes only 10 times as long.
           Gentle Threats: When making Browbeat and Coercion targeting standard characters, you may use the Impress modifiers on table 2.12.
           Iron Will: You gain the Iron Will feat.
           Little Grey Cells: You gain a pool of free hints per session equal to your starting action dice. If they can see or hear you, your teammates may utilise this pool.
           Taskforce: You gain the Followers feat, the NPC group consisting of Watchmen (see page 248). You may gain the Followers feat a second time later, as your character options allow.
           Warrant: Once per adventure as a free action, you may gain a free Detention Favor with a cost equal to your Class Level + 5. Unless used, this Favor is lost at the end of the scene.
           Withering Scrutiny: When a character opposes your Sense Motive, they must roll twice and keep the lower result.

    • Given your feelings about wanting clues from this ability yet having a surfeit of them...

           Sudden Insight: Your ability to synthesize useful information is from countless sources is nearly peerless. At level 10, whenever you or your teammates uncover a Clue, it is always at least Illuminating.
           At level 20, the clue is always Revelatory.

    • Elementary is terribly overpowered. Try this.

           Denoument: During Dramatic Scenes, you are at the centre of a Zone of Truth with a casting level equal to your career level. This non-magical effect extends out to Close Range and cannot be dismissed. Once per round you may target a single character and spend an action die to force them to reroll any and all blend, bluff, disguise, sneak, or tactics check they are currently benefiting from; the result is apparant only to you.
    34  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: [OOC] Way of the Wicked on: October 12, 2014, 04:56:10 PM
    So nothing incriminating our scarlett woman?
    35  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Revised conditions on: October 11, 2014, 07:09:47 PM
    And there you have the crux of my dilemma

    Added Tainted, changed the mulitgrade conditions to increase error range

    Just to specify, its no longer possible to have multiple dice of vantage affecting a check -- it's you either have it or you don't.

    And even at grade IV, with a escalating error range most people are only facing an error range of 1-9 so on any individual roll they still have a better than average chance of avoiding complications. RAW, error range only matters if you fail the roll; if you play the way lots of people play where success and critical failure are compatable, someone with fatigued IV who succeeds at a roll but the raw number is within the enhanced error range could easily be seen to impale an enemy only to have their weapon torn from their grasp as the body topples away.
    36  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Revised conditions using 5e (dis)advantage rules on: October 11, 2014, 08:14:43 AM
    I dunno, I think it adds a nice frisson -- the more grades you're carrying, the more likely you are to stuff up.
    37  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Revised conditions on: October 09, 2014, 08:11:23 PM
    And there you have the crux of my dilemma

    Added Tainted, changed the mulitgrade conditions to increase error range
    38  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Revised conditions on: October 09, 2014, 05:40:46 PM
    I've modified a some of the pre-existing FC consitions based on the 5e ones -- I quite liked their charmed condition so made that part of fixated, and I think invisible & hidden now work in a way that makes sense.

    In 5e, 'vantage is strictly binary: regardless of how many sources grant it you have it or you don't so two conditions adversely affecting attacks don't grant more than 1 additional die. Conversely it also doesn't have baffled/fatigued/shaken the way FC does and having them inflict multiple disadvantage seemed to be the simplest way of keeping them as graded conditions. Otherwise each grade needs to be individually enumerated like the 5e rules for exhaustion are:

    Quote from: Exhaustion
    Some special abilities and environmental hazards, such as starvation and the long-term effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect’s description.

    Lvl  Effect
    1    Disadvantage on ability checks
    2    Speed halved
    3    Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws
    4    Hit point maximum halved
    5    Speed reduced to 0
    6    Death

    If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the amount specified in the effect’s description. A creature suffers the effect of its current level of
    exhaustion as well as all lower levels. For example, a creature suffering level 2 exhaustion has its speed halved and has disadvantage on ability checks.

    An effect that removes exhaustion reduces its level as specified in the effect’s description, with all exhaustion effects ending if a creature’s exhaustion level is reduced  below 1. Finishing a long rest reduces a creature's exhaustion level by 1, provided that the creature has also ingested some food and drink.
    39  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: Way of the Wicked I: The Knot of Thorns (IC thread) on: October 09, 2014, 05:27:25 PM
    Indeed, as the sun climbs into the sky, people walking past the store see a sign hanging in the window 'Closed for stocktake' as the apothecary works studiously within taking note of everything within, including the ledger of which customers have been supplied with what products...
    40  Community / License to Improvise / Revised conditions using 5e (dis)advantage rules on: October 09, 2014, 06:32:01 AM
    For those of you not following the new edition of D&D, they came up with a neat idea of replacing a whole bunch of numerical bonuses with a roll'n'keep mechanic. Thus here's an attempt to integrate that idea into mastercraft.


    Vantage
    Vantage replaces some but not all penalties or benefits characters may acrue on a check in the standard version of the rules. Vantage comes in two flavours:
    • Advantage: Roll 2 dice instead of 1, take highest result.
    • Disadvantage: Roll 2 dice instead of 1, take lowest result.
        If multiple situations affect a roll and each one grants advantage or imposes disadvantage on it, you don’t roll more than one additional d20. If two favorable situations grant advantage, for example, you still roll only one additional d20.
         If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of
    them, and you roll one d20. This is true even if multiple circumstances impose disadvantage and only one grants advantage or vice versa. In such a situation, you have neither advantage nor disadvantage.
         When you have Vantage and something in the game lets you reroll the d20, you reroll the die you would normally discard

    Conditions
         Baffled (I–V): The character suffers disadvantage with all skill checks, and their error range increases by 2 per grade they suffer. A character loses 1 baffled grade at the end of each scene.
         Bleeding: The character suffers 1 point of subdual damage at the end of each round. If he takes 1 or more actions during the round, he suffers 1d4 lethal damage instead. This condition heals at the end of the current scene, but may be eliminated earlier with a successful full-round Medicine check (DC 20).
         Blinded: The character cannot see anything is flat-footed, and automatically fails any check that requires sight. Attack rolls made by the character have disadvantage while those targeting them have advantage.
         Charmed: The character can’t attack or otherwise target the charmer with harmful abilities or effects. The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the character.
         Deafened: The character cannot hear anything and automatically fails any check that requires hearing.
         Enraged: The character may not make skill checks and automatically attacks the nearest conscious target with his most damaging attack, even if it’s a friend. Once per round, the character may make a Resolve check (DC 20) to calm himself and lose this condition; otherwise it fades at the end of the current scene. In either case, the character falls unconscious immediately after.
         Entangled: The character suffers disadvantage with attack and Dexterity-based skill checks. They may not Refresh or Run, and his Speed drops to 1/2 standard (rounded down).
         Fatigued (I–IV + special): The character may not Run, and they gain disadvantage with physical attacks, checks, and saves. Further, their Speed drops by 5 ft., their Defence drops by 1, and their error range on rolls with disadvantage increases by 2 per grade they suffer. If a character with fatigued IV is fatigued again, they instead fall unconscious. A character loses 1 fatigued grade at the end of each scene and for each full hour of sleep.
         (e.g. at fatigued II, a character moves 10 ft. slower and their Defence is 2 lower than normal, and the error range on rolls such as attacks or tumble checks increases by 4.)
         Fixated: The character is charmed and must take at least 1 Standard Move action per round toward the source of his fixation. Once per round, the character may make a Resolve check (DC 20) to regain composure and lose this condition; otherwise it fades at the end of the current scene. This condition is also lost if the character is attacked.
         Flanked: A character is flanked when 2 opponents stand on directly opposite and adjacent sides of him. While flanked, the character's opponents gain advantage with attack checks against them.
         Flat-footed: The character loses all Dexterity and dodge bonuses bonus to Defence (if positive). They may also be targeted with a variety of special effects, such as sneak attack damage. The flat-footed condition is lost when the character takes a half or full action, or is successfully attacked.
         Frightened: The character may not attack or make skill checks and must take at least 1 Standard Move action per round away from the source of his fear. Once per round, the character may make a Resolve check (DC 20) to regain composure and lose this condition; otherwise it fades at the end of the current scene.
         Held: The character is flat-footed and may take no non-free actions except an opposed Athletics check to escape the hold. A character who becomes held a second time loses this condition and becomes pinned.
         Helpless: A character is helpless when he is unable to defend himself in any way. Attacks against a helpless character are made with advantage. Also, the character may be targeted with a Coup de Grace action (see page 219).
         Hidden: A character is hidden when others are unaware of the character's location. A hidden character is also considered to be invisible and may not be targeted by attacks and skill checks that require line of sight. When a hidden character attacks an oblivious target within Close Quarters, the target is considered flat-footed (even if he isn’t otherwise).  The condition is lost whenever the character casts a spell, makes an attack, or takes any obvious action that reveals their location
         Incorporeal: The character cannot be harmed with physical attacks but is affected by force damage and other non-physical attacks as normal. He may pass through solid objects at will, though force fields and other effects block his movement. This condition doesn’t convey any special ability to float or fly, and an incorporeal character must hold his breath when his mouth and nose are blocked. Should a character lose this condition while occupying the same space as another character or object, they merge and all characters in the merged mass are immediately killed.
         Invisible: The character is typically impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. Attack rolls against the character have disadvantage, and their attack rolls have advantage. An opponent aware of an invisible character’s presence may make an opposed full-round Search check vs. the invisible character’s Blend or Sneak (GM’s choice) and with success the opponent no longer suffers disadvantage. Depending on the nature of the invisibility, the character may lose this condition whenever they cast a spell, make an attack, or take any obvious action.
         Paralyzed: The character is flat-footed and may only take actions that are purely mental.
         Pinned: The character is flat-footed and may take no actions except an opposed Athletics check to escape the pin (in which case the character becomes held instead). He may be bound with 1 free action and may only speak as the pinning character allows. The pinning character may use him as a human shield, gaining 1/2 personal cover. Finally, each adjacent opponent gains advantage with attacks targeting the character.
         Prone: A character gains this condition when lying on the ground. The only Movement actions they may take are Handle Item and Reposition, as well as the standard Bonus 5-ft. Step. The character has disadvantage on physical attacks and checks against adjacent characters. Attacks against the character have advantage if the attacker is adjacent, otherwise  the attack roll has disadvantage.
         Shaken (I–IV + special): The character may not take 10 or 20, and they disadvantage with all attacks, mental skill checks, and Will saves. Further, their error range on rolls with disadvantage increases by 2 per grade they suffer. If a character with shaken IV is shaken again, they instead fall unconscious. A character loses 1 shaken grade at the end of each scene.
         (e.g. at shaken II, the error range on rolls such as attacks, and skill checks such as medicine or notice, increases by 4.)
         Sickened: The character suffers disadvantage with all attacks, skill checks, damage rolls, and saves.
         Slowed: The character may take only 1 half action during each round. Further, they suffer disadvantage with attack checks and Reflex saves, their Defence decreases by 1, and their Speed drops to 1/2 standard (rounded down).
         Sprawled: A character becomes both prone and flat-footed. This condition is lost when the character Repositions.
         Stunned: The character is paralyzed and may take no actions.
         Tainted (I–IV plus special): The character suffers disadvantage with Will saves and Charisma-based skill checks, and their error range with Charisma-based skill checks increases by 2 per grade suffered. If a character with tainted IV is tainted again, he instead becomes an NPC under the GM’s control. A character loses 1 tainted grade at the end of each scene.
         Unconscious: The character drops any item they are currently holding and becomes both prone and helpless. Unless otherwise specified, this condition is lost at the end of the scene.
    41  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 08, 2014, 09:20:17 PM
    Dragon Age: Origins free on Origin until October 15
    42  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: October 08, 2014, 08:40:25 PM
    I wonder how golden his parchute's going to turn out to be for jumping instead of being pushed.

    And yeah, that's some serious uncanny valley territory he's sliding into there. I think the descriptor is 'lizard-like'.
    43  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box: TV News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 08, 2014, 07:38:55 PM
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    44  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Funny Books: Comics news, reviews & reactions on: October 08, 2014, 03:55:25 AM
    Dynamite Announces 'James Bond' Comics Coming in 2015
    45  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Expert Class: The Animator on: October 08, 2014, 01:11:06 AM
    The lack of Craft for a class dealing with magical constructs is a glaring omission
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