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31  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: April 06, 2014, 05:50:14 PM
Would the owner of the powder blue trebuchet please move their siege weapon? It's currently blocking the tavern entrance.
32  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: A little something fun for Spellbound on: April 06, 2014, 05:48:13 PM
I'm not married to symmetry for symmetry's sake. That said, I've noticed something that is probably driving the grimoire's structure: with three disciplines per school, you would need at least 24 good spells at every spell level just to make sure all the currently published character options are adequately covered. So, 240 spells is the minimum size. Beyond that, I don't see much purpose in slavery to symmetry, although I would expect overall balance. So, to answer Morg's question, it would not bother me at all. It is inconceivable that even a dedicated group could exhaust over 800 spells in the first place, the presence of a few more in one school does not seem like a big deal to me. I would be more concerned with the fit of the spells; expansion materials are an open door to niche creep.

I am just working under the assumption that Spellbound is going to work out. Otherwise, I'll just have to start hacking more stuff on my own.
33  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Downgrades for NPC Extraordinary attacks on: March 23, 2014, 05:10:44 PM
Being able to to it both of the first two rounds of combat is not trivial, semi- or otherwise.

As for shambling, there's a lot it doesn't restrict. For instance, if you have an area effect acid attack, and it's not limited to every other round, you can spam that every round. On a more powerful creature, shambling doesn't offer much of a discount for its power down. However, for a weak creature, the kind for which shambling was intended, the effect is fairly trivial.

XP costs should be fairly conservative, but "significantly depowers an extraordinary attack" is pretty significant. Do you think slapping an every other round restriction on the fire drake's attack in the book is really only worth -1 XP?
34  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Dissociated mechanics and a gamer manifesto on: March 21, 2014, 11:13:43 PM
Mechanics are by definition dissociated. And dissociated mechanics are what distinguishes an RPG from hippie storytelling games, which while awesome in their own way, are not RPGs. In effect, RPGs run on a mix of currency and risks, and you play it to develop an emotionally satisfying outcome.

Having dabbled lately in stuff like Fate, the latest Marvel game, and even more traditional games like Fantasy Craft, I can basically tell you that as far as I am concerned, "dissociated mechanics" are as vital to a good storytelling system as empty space is to sculpture.
35  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Downgrades for NPC Extraordinary attacks on: March 21, 2014, 11:07:17 PM
So, just to be clear, you guys think +2 XP is reasonable for adding armor-piercing to one attack, but -2 XP is too generous for using an ability every other round? Quick question, what do you think's better, a grade V attack that deals acid damage, usable once every other round, or a grade IV acid attack with no limitations?

Arguably, the attack upgrades are probably only worth 1 xp each for the most part, but that's another kettle of fish.
36  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [FC] Massive Damage Alteration on: March 21, 2014, 02:10:56 AM
What about tying the the massive damage save to the TL of the encounter instead of huge-normous amounts of damage?
37  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Downgrades for NPC Extraordinary attacks on: March 21, 2014, 02:08:12 AM
Those are useful for player-controlled NPCs, but surely GMs should be able to control themselves enough that a one-shot attack is only used once or less frequently than mechanically intended in much the same way you don't get points back for substandard attributes and speed?

It isn't a matter of GM self-control. You could give an orc five bite attacks and simply refrain from using a flurry. There are two reasons attack downgrades make sense. First, XP sanity. There ought to be some relationship between the intended use of an ability and its XP value. For instance, the nine-biting orc is essentially an abuse of the XP system. A dragon that only breathes fire at dramatic moments is less of an abuse, but in the same category of imbalance. Second, control of GM resources. GMs are already committed to adhering to various rules, and FC makes a point of measuring this control through such mechanisms as menace level, GM action dice, and so forth. I like the idea that the monster creation system is straightforward, flexible, and doesn't sweat a number of details. I don't see how downgraded attacks fail any of those virtues. In fact, purposefully limiting certain abilities in the build make the GM's job easier, because then you don't have to fly by the seat of your pants in-session. There are already plenty of NPC qualities with limited uses, such as charging and frenzy. Why shouldn't extraordinary attacks be modifiable in this way? I turns a handful of abilities into potentially dozens of new configurations with unique strengths in encounter building.
38  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: A little something fun for Spellbound on: March 21, 2014, 01:57:59 AM
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.

On the contrary, I would be very happy to see "another spell compendium," or in this case, a spell compendium. It would make the game easier to play, and really there is nothing more important than that. There are several campaigns I've thought about running, but became stillborn when I realized would would be involved in homebrewing spells. I appreciate the quality of writing and development that has gone into FC, but I would rather have something than a book that is "too good for this Earth."

I understand this is a business decision and naturally I accept that. I hope that Spellbound still appears. I've been holding my breath for a while for the missing content. If this attempt disappoints, I guess we will find out how much fan energy remains to finish the great work. I personally would love to see FC continue to grow and flourish. If Spellbound falters, perhaps a fan effort or a third party publisher could still bring to life "another spell compendium," and piece-wise, devise other extensions to the magic system.
39  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Super Craft scratch pad thread on: February 13, 2014, 03:12:12 PM
Actually, I'm pretty sure that engaging in social combat with Spider-Man is never a good idea.
40  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Super Craft scratch pad thread on: February 13, 2014, 03:51:47 AM

Well as a model I find it both unappealing -- even more so with mastercraft where you need to factor in things like core abilities -- and not particularly genre-appropriate.

The whole point of d20 is level 1-20+ play. Requiring skipping of levels as a baseline rather than a preference argues that you're using the wrong mechanics.

I absolutely don't see a problem with starting classic X-Men at Level 1. But I can't see any solution that makes newbie Angel Level 1 that also makes Peter Parker Level 1. I appreciate the modularity of the level system. I think it's cool that, if you want, you can just level everyone up a bit, and they become more powerful, without requiring any special campaign qualities or anything.
41  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Super Craft scratch pad thread on: February 13, 2014, 12:05:10 AM
There is no reason to assume level 1 has to be the starting level. Characters like Spider-Man are just balanced differently from Batman. Even as a novice, Spider-Man has the resource to handle diverse threats and take down multiple veteran opponents. So, in my make-believe model, Peter Parker might only be a level 1 Burglar, but he's got a few levels in Powerhouse representing innate ability.
42  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Super Craft scratch pad thread on: February 12, 2014, 11:39:47 PM
If you assume beginning supers are 6th level, a lot of things fall into place.
43  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Super Craft scratch pad thread on: February 12, 2014, 06:35:50 PM
Part of what started my brain down this path was thinking that using feats, paths, and Prizes to regulate commonly used powers would keep PCs fairly grounded in their original concepts. It would take significant amounts of advancement resources to boost a character's "power level." Kind of like Heroes Unlimited, but not horrible and wildly unbalanced.
44  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: February 10, 2014, 03:56:51 PM
Not being a dragon also makes one less conspicuous.
45  Community / Wiki Development / Re: [New Wiki]What are we trying to build here? on: February 10, 2014, 11:50:22 AM
Has anything further happened on the Wiki front?
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