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31  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: What Spycraft Third Edition Isn't on: January 25, 2013, 01:54:57 PM
No, because if it were me, I would have done the same. And I do love espionage though, go figure. When you give an espionage game/player the opportunity to drift toward pure action effectiveness, your primal instinct is to go for it (at least mine and my players' are, obviously Tongue). But the fact is, and even my players acknowledged that later, it doesn't make the game more fun. Just the opposite in fact*. Preventing this kind of entirely natural behavior is in my opinion the only way to keep the game genre about espionage and keep it fun that way. Military action in itself can be fun, and I'm not saying it shouldn't be attempted in a different book (although see second point below) but it's too tempting. Too strong. It spoils all other genres it touches. So if you're aiming for something even just a little bit different from full military action, like the Crafty guys obviously are, you must obliterate the latter from the equation (or at least reduce it to almost nothing). That's my first point.

The second is that, again in my opinion only, pure action is not fit for tabletop RPGs. I've tried dozens of RPGs. Hell, I have two shelves bursting of RPG books my wife want to burn since we met in order to save some place in our tiny flat. None of those based on pure action ever worked for me, at least, as I said above, not as far as combat action is concerned. I like Call of Duty, I love Counter Strike, but I have never been able to feel the same kind of adrenaline rush with a tabletop RPG ever. It's just not the good medium for that, at least for me.

* A little bit beside the point, but just for reference. Said players started a campaign with me that was very much Smiley-like. Since they were extremely military-geared, I started to throw a little bit more fights in the scenarios. Feedback after two or three or these: combats are the least interesting part of the game! So, you could call me a bad GM and I couldn't pretend you're 100% wrong, but when they reoriented their careers and gear a little bit more toward espionage in the next scenarios, it suddenly become much more interesting, and even the combats were now fun for them (maybe because they were rarer also, I don't know). Anyway, the point is, we went there eventually, and there were some really good moments in this campaign. But it took us at least three full scenarios to adjust things in order to "get it right". It's a pity. With the original Spycraft, the first time was always the charm.
32  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: What Spycraft Third Edition Isn't on: January 25, 2013, 10:42:59 AM
I think Morgenstern and Viperion have raised two very important points here.

First, full-action genres are difficult to capture in an RPG. Many recent games have tried to get that feel in order to attract the oh so many players interested in action games by creating, "sleek and fast" rules, "fast, fun, and furious" games, "narrative storytelling" RPGs, and so forth. I won't name them, but if you're not new to tabletop RPGs, you can make an educated guess. Inevitable conclusion, at least for me: they failed. I don't mean they failed as RPGs, some of them are really good and are even commercial successes, they failed in capturing this action-packed genre. It's still really really hard to make a 100% action RPG that's fluid, dynamic, and fun to play. Specific rules are needed for intense conflicts like combat (that's where those RPGs which are too rules-light fail), but humans are not processing things as fast as machines (that's where the rules-heavy ones fail), and in the end you're always looking for a compromise that cannot be entirely satisfying. Hence, military-oriented RPGs are, in my opinion, a bad call. I do like action, don't get me wrong, but combat must not be the central focus of the game, at least that's my belief.

Then, espionage is not difficult to get into if you're carefully guided. As Viperion said, the original Spycraft was 100% espionage and most players I've known never really had an issue when they played it for the first time (except for the English, but that's beside the point). The thing is, they didn't know anything about espionage and to be truthful, at that time, me neither. But the book was very much centered on the genre and so was guiding us very nicely, almost transparently, allowing us to discover the genre while playing the game just because it was dedicated to it. On the opposite, Spycraft 2.0, which I appreciate very much but which is much more open-ended (in my opinion), has been a completely different experience. For experienced players, it was quite easy to learn, but for beginners ... something else entirely. The loss of focus, I believe, was the main cause. And once the players understood how the rules worked, they rushed on the gear tables to get a Ruger Super Redhawk or a Barrett and that's it. And there espionage goes through the window ...

So maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned myself - although I'm not thirty yet - but I'm glad Spycraft 3 will be focused on espionage again. It's something I haven't seen in a role-playing game in a very, very long time, and I miss it. Still playing Classic Spycraft and James Bond RPG, that's too old fashioned even for me, and I want a new game!   Cheesy
33  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Viking game ideas on: January 05, 2013, 12:14:18 PM
I'm sure I've seen an English language version of this.. yup here.
Well, in this case I have only one advice: Read this book. You'll find all the answers you search and more (although with a touch a fantastic folklore from time to time).
34  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Viking game ideas on: January 04, 2013, 12:21:57 PM
There is a lot to be said about northern culture, history, legends, and geopolitics at that time. Sadly, the only game I know which explores this theme thoroughly is Yggdrasil, and it's in French.

One quick thing you can use though: there were three main political powers at that time, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Most of the great wars were due either to internal struggles or rivalries between these three kingdoms.

If you have more specific questions, I'll try to answer to the best of my ability, but it's been quite some time since I've read the book (which is surprisingly accurate in terms of norse history).
35  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 31, 2012, 01:44:26 AM
I've still never got my Epoch campaign off the ground, I think due to lack of scope and ideas, any thoughts Aegis?
I think I have the same problem too. To start with, I'd like to try something very like the Apocalypto movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think it would be quite easy to make an RPG scenario out of it. But after that ... I'm falling a little short honestly. If I ever launch this first adventure, I'll tell you how it went.
Similarly I've also toyed with the idea of a Witcher campaign, care to share your ideas?
Not at all. That's quite easier for me.  Smiley

I'm a big fan of Sapkowski's and I've read most of the Witcher saga (which, surprisingly, has not yet been fully translated into English if I'm not mistaken), so I stole ideas here and there, as well as in the game of course (although I haven't played Assassin of Kings yet). In my opinion, the thing with the Witcher is to always go toward dark, desperate times, which bring out the worst in the human nature, and make the characters cling to the illusion they can make things better through glimmers of hope ... only to shatter them the moment they think they've saved the day. The interesting thing is, the characters can both win and lose at the same time. They defeat their enemies, they come out stronger and stronger, they save the situation for a short time, but nothing they do makes a real difference in the long run. Villages they help are raided by religious fanatics the day after, orphans they save are slaughtered by ancient monsters, princesses they rescue are raped and burnt by an angry mob ... It's almost as if they're cursed, as if everything they touch is doomed to rot and die, or are they?

Beware the players are aware of the tone of the game before you start. Because otherwise, they might feel frustrated for their characters' efforts every time you ruin them. But if they know it's part of the ambiance, they generally take it well (at least that's my experience). The thing is that you really must act with the players to make the characters' lives miserable, not the other way around. And besides, being a bitch with the players' characters also mean they can be inhumanly cruel with your favorite NPCs too, and that's part of the fun!  Smiley   Oh also, as you might have had a clue from the books or the game, Sapkowski's world is really uncensored. It's a game better played with adult, responsible people, because it can certainly become gruesome or even quite a bit sick sometimes. Everyone at the table must always keep in mind it's just a game and leave every insane idea in it once it's over.
36  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 29, 2012, 01:33:44 AM
I'd suggest even bigger than that and the whole Elder Scrolls world.
That should be very easy, particularly if one considers how Skyrim works, with streamlined mechanics that translate easily into Origins/Skills/Feats. The way Renown works should be adjusted slightly. Gear is trivial. New monsters of course. The only tricky question in my opinion is should there be Priests or are the gods only something that grants a blessing when you pray at their altar? Might be worth digging into.  Smiley
37  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 28, 2012, 12:17:56 PM
Quite a lot actually! I've tried Eberron, Iron Kingdoms, 7th Sea, Rokugan, Conan, A Game of Thrones, everything works fine. From the Adventure Companion, I've only had the occasion to try Cloak & Dagger, but I don't despair, Epoch should be next. And finally I've tried something quite new in adapting The Witcher to Fantasy Craft. It's been really easy and it's a fantastic world to play into.
38  Legacy Games / Spycraft 2.0 / My WoF Campaign on: December 19, 2012, 06:14:39 AM
Just a quick message to say I've just posted the final word of the 5-year-long Spycraft 2.0 campaign I've been playing online with three of my players. Almost half as much have joined the campaign at some point and left before the end, but I'm quite proud to say we've finished 7 very long scenarios, and achieved a weird transition from World on Fire to something that looks a lot like Dark Inheritance in the very end. I'm a bit sad we couldn't enjoy the WoF faction supplement, but it was still a fun world to play in. If I ever find the time, I'll post an abstract of each scenario and of the campaign as a whole. But right now, I'm just both ecstatic and sad it's over.

Thanks Crafty for this great, great game! And I hope -- no I know -- 3rd Edition will be even better!  Smiley
39  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Class Compendium on: October 19, 2012, 04:04:24 AM
Right. I should finish the PDF as well. I'll check it and get back to you guys.
40  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Class Compendium on: October 16, 2012, 12:27:31 AM
Although they are in a full document, there are a few Master Classes in the Eberron and Iron Kingdoms Conversion Guides (the only ones I translated in English yet). Ozcorn and I have also reworked the Artificer as an Expert Class. As I said, I'm not that fond of new Base Classes ...
41  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Scout core ability on: September 28, 2012, 05:52:08 AM
Animal Partner can't be temporary.
42  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Scout core ability on: September 27, 2012, 03:42:08 PM
If you just count total feats there are 24 Pathfinder feats (B/M/S across 8 terrain) which is a pretty significant number.
Nope, only 10. Mastery and Supremacy apply to all the Pathfinder Basics feats you have.
43  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Get it out. on: September 27, 2012, 03:12:15 AM
A lot of it is in French, but we have a few houserules and game aids in English for Mastercraft on le Scriptorium: http://www.le-scriptorium.com/index.php?page=mastercraft
44  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Scout core ability on: September 26, 2012, 02:55:11 PM
It's mostly meant for the Pathfinder Basics feat, and then it works perfectly, because it has no prerequisites and the increased travel speed really becomes useful (since the whole group can now travel faster). Night fighting isn't a bad choice either.
45  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Truly Massive, again on: September 22, 2012, 11:12:20 AM
I agree with your concern. However, I don't see this particular gamebreaker as a real gamebreaker anyway. Even before the Adventure Companion came out, I hoped to see this one as a feat that would be accessible early on. Maybe in a more limited way, but still ... So, considering that I really don't want my dragon-like or drake PCs to have to wait Level 14 to be able to blend in with the party when necessary, what would you suggest?
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