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1  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Fantasy Craft] [Class Conversion] Modding the Sweeper on: January 04, 2015, 05:48:11 PM
Not so much; in either iteration, Cleave I just gives you a single extra attack per roud provided you've killed someone and by making the ranged option a trick it limits you being able to get ridicuously silly with the damage output.

And given the spiel they give about the gun kata training making the gun an "extension of the body", it feels appropriate giving the sweeper the ability to treat it as such. The other option based on that line of thought is to make a ranged attack within a certain radious equivalent to a natural attack...

Just because the class only provides Cleave Mastery at higher doesn't mean you can't take it early, so what this version of Deathdealer does is essentially extend attack range. What I'd do is use the Think Ahead trick to clear everything in range 1, and then switch to Deathdealer I. With the Wis bonus adding +5 to my attack, I can use All-out Attack and still have a sufficient damage output to have good odds of wiping the everything else in reach as well.

Requiring the attack to be a done with a ranged weapon is a better idea, IMO.
2  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Fantasy Craft] [Class Conversion] Modding the Sweeper on: January 03, 2015, 01:25:33 PM
Wow, that sounds like all sorts of ouchie.

I took levels in Sweeper with the samurai that I made for Gatac's game. The samurai was original built as Sense Motive/Sword chain monster, but in the mean time has picked up Martial Arts as well and went to Wisdom 20. I assume it is 'use Wisdom modifier instead of Strength modifier'?

I think Deathdealer I may be a bit much, then. My character was already great at wiping out hordes of mooks before. Now it looks like he could clear an area with a radius equal to his AD of mooks every turn.
3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Rules to rule: how to manage a realm for FC on: January 02, 2015, 04:59:09 PM
Note that multiple solutions are valid here, because different people will want different things out of a management system.

Some people will want detailed rules to make it a mini-game. Some people will want something that gives reasonable results with minimum fuss to use as role-play backdrop. Thus, there's not much of a point to say 'Birthright is better' or 'Kingmaker is better'.

Eg, I'm looking for a system that is simple enough to manage both the PCs realm and several around it, but complex enough to give interesting interactions, and I'm looking for a battle system that focuses on PC involvement and resolves everything else with minimum fuss.

To get a result from this thread and have people chip in effectively, I think you should state what you want to get out of the systems, maybe list for existing systems what you like and what you dislike, and go from there.

I unfortunately found myself with a lot less time over the break than I hoped, otherwise I would have taken a stab at an L5R like system in a different thread, but basically what that one would boil down to is:

1. What kind of rolls are made by the army commander (Tactics, some other skill, or a derived value; opposed or vs fixed DC), and how many successes or net successes are needed for victory? This will in part determine how long it takes to resolve the battle.

2. How do the PC's actions influence the battle? Single checks, or mini-encounters (probably options for either, depending on how much time you want to sink)? Maybe there's a table of actions/events to roll or choose from, like: assassinate the leader, hold the line, rally the troops, destroy the catapults, with each one having a DC or an encounter suggestion. What bonuses do the results give on the battle rolls (step 1)?

3. How do troop numbers and quality affect the battle roll? Should an average value be used (D&D), or should values be summed (GURPS)? A simple value could be taken from the NPC XP cost, counting only combat-relevant XP, and scaled appropriately in case capped levels for some NPC types. What's the bonus for outnumbering? What's the bonus for higher troop value?

4. How do mobility, ranged attacks and magic availability affect the roll? Clearly, these factors influence how you can set up your battle. Maybe use ratios of special attacks (eg. if the cavalry number (or point value) of one side outnumbers the others by 2:1, +5 to battle roll).

5. Casualties: are they applied after each round, or only at the end of the battle (the latter is less work)? How do they depend on number of successful rolls by each commander, ie how close the battle was, on total length of battle, etc? How are the PCs affected?
4  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Rules to rule: how to manage a realm for FC on: December 29, 2014, 05:57:07 PM
I found the battle rules in Empire pretty unsatisfying, but then again I've been a miniature gamer for too long.

If I really wanted to play out battles in that fashion, I would either use Warhammer or Battleground: Fantasy Warfare. Both feel more like games to me than like hours of dicing drudgery, which is what any large-scale d20 battle has felt like so far, and what Empire essentially does is turn many NPCs into one NPC to reduce die rolls and book keeping (so d20 drudgery).

What I would prefer is something like the old D&D war machine or the GURPS mass battles system, or maybe even something like the L5R battle system, or ideally a combination of all of the above, where complexity can be adjusted.

In fact, the L5R system is the best for player-centric mass battles, IMO, since it focuses on what the characters contribute, rather than being a pseudo-tactics game, but it is a bit too vague with everything but the outcome. Specifically casualties are something I'd like done better. AFAI recall, it's basically the two commanders rolling a Tactics roll each turn, modified by army size and other circumstances, and then there could be bonuses depending on character heroic action. The battle is either won by best of a specific number of rolls, or once one commander has won a set number of rolls more than the other.  There might have been expansions to this in the source books.
5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Rules to rule: how to manage a realm for FC on: December 26, 2014, 12:47:19 PM
I don't know Birthright too much, since I don't have the old manuals, just a 3.0 conversion, so I cannot say how that system works.
Would you be so kind to explain how the realm mechanics work there?

On birthright.net, there is a complete rulebook for D&D 3rd, and also an expanded and presumably improved 2nd Ed version. I had some trouble with their site and had to use Internet Explorer to download anything. The files are all very professionally done.

In Birthright, the land is divvied up into provinces. Each province has a rating (up to 10 or so), which reflects population, and there is also a magic score for each province which goes inversely to the province rating. There are four types of holding: Law, Temple, Guild, and Magic. The first three can have levels up to the province rating, and the last one up to the magic rating.

Law is, well, the law: how much authority the ruler wields in the province. This affects the level of crime and outlaws, how well you can collect taxes and control uprising. It is not outright military might. You can use Law to contest other holdings in the province.
Temples are religious holdings. Priests need certain level of these to cast domain spells (grand scale magic), and I believe they also provide income.
Guild is trade and intelligence of any sort, both legit and shady. It provides money and can be used for espionage actions.
Magic, finally, is what wizards need to cast domain spells.

A domain consists of provinces and/or holdings. Each province only belongs to one ruler, but the total holding ratings can be divided up among several rulers. Thus, you could rule a rating 5 province, but if you only control a Law 1 holding and an opponent controls a Law 3 holding, he can make your life very difficult.

The game is still built around the D&D principle of divided party roles, and each role has a specific holding type associated with it. I just looked into Empire again yesterday, and must say that that system is less satisfying in several ways. It has more detail with resources, and there are more different 'upgrades' you can buy for your realm, but I think Birthrigh provides more action types and complexity if you want it.
6  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Rules to rule: how to manage a realm for FC on: December 25, 2014, 12:07:07 PM
Funny you should bring that up at this point. I was just about to take another look at Birthright and see what needs to be done to convert the setting and realm mechanics to FC. I think the realm mechanics will actually port fairly directly, except where skill rolls interact with realm actions.
I was also going to do something with the mass combat system. It will work on its own, but it's not to my taste.

I have Empire as well. I should probably take another look at it to see what kind of refinements could be made to Birthright.

I'd like to hear your comments on Reign when you're done reading. I cross its path from time to time, but never had a chance to look into it.
7  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Around the Campfire [OOC and open feedback] on: May 22, 2014, 03:09:20 PM
Market Forces is IMO one of Morgan's strongest novels. I liked the Kovac novels - their tech level is far out and I don't turn on my scientist brain for them, but at least what the tech does is consistent, and he does apply all logical extensions (multiple copies, backups etc), which is really all I ask a science fiction writer to do.

I didn't like the fantasy novels as much. They benefit from the gritty writing style, and they're entertaining while they last, but it's not a series where I'm itching to read the next book.
8  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Around the Campfire [OOC and open feedback] on: May 22, 2014, 09:22:11 AM
I've been following your Stormsurge thread with interest. I almost signed up for it, but was extremely busy that week, and your slots filled up quickly anyway.

For background, you may enjoy a read of Market Forces by R. K. Morgan, if you haven't read it yet. It meshes well with the world you have started to build.

Also, there was a mecha like d20 game from Mongoose in the early 2000's. Armageddon 2089? I have a copy somewhere; there may be good inspiration in that one. As I recall, the core rulebook didn't have a mech building system. It had a fairly detailed set of rules for sensors and electronic warfare, though.
9  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Hacking in the world of cyberpunk on: February 03, 2014, 07:59:39 PM
To me, purchasing equipment was always the longest and most tedious parts of SR.

The rest of character creation is comparatively tame. I actually like the priority system: that way, I don't need a spreadsheet to track point expenses.

Can I get my concept exactly right this way? No, but I can get to 90+%, which is good enough for me.

PS: races not in the basic rulebook are banned from my games. I hate freak show games in general.
10  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Medieval Radiation on: January 05, 2014, 11:04:38 PM
If it's not actual silver, but 'mithril', which just so happens to be not an element, but a rare alloy of silver and ... something else (cobalt comes to mind as having highly radioactive isotopes, caesium might do), then you have a story.

Note that the amount of radiation you need depends on how fast you want people to die. If they die over months handling the stuff, then you're looking at fairly low doses, which means lower portions of the radioactive material in your alloy. If it's supposed to go fast, then you need fairly concentrated stuff.

Marie Curie and her husband poisoned themselves over many years, and I think pitchblende (uranium oxide) was the main culprit. Dirigible is right, plutonium is so rare in nature that you probably can't dose anybody with it effectively.

Maybe you don't want the dwarves to be mining for silver, but for "cold fire" instead: glowing rocks that have phosphorus in them that gets excited by the radium or uranium irradiation.
11  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Disarming and various Feats on: December 29, 2013, 06:07:49 AM
Yeah, Vader is a bit literal-minded.

Krensky, out of curiosity, why is this a "no risk, no reward" situation for you?

Basically, the character sacrifices a use of Think Ahead (which, with Sword Mastery, is worth 7+ points of additional damage) for a pretty much guaranteed disarm (which the opponent can negate with a half action, depending on the circumstances). I think that's a fair trade.
12  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Disarming and various Feats on: December 27, 2013, 01:55:06 PM
Krensky, would you mind explaining how you get to "no" for the first question? Am I missing something about attack actions and attack tricks?
13  Products / Fantasy Craft / Disarming and various Feats on: December 22, 2013, 12:13:07 PM
Two rules questions came up today:

1) Can Think Ahead (Sword Supremacy) be used with a Disarm attack struck with a Sword? I'd say yes, since Disarm is an Attack Action, and Think Ahead is a Sword Attack Trick.

2) Does a successful Disarm performed with a sword count as "hitting someone with a sword" for the purpose of performing Sword Basic's free Anticipate action? Language is a bit fuzzy here. If it said "performed a successful attack against someone with a sword", I'd say it works on a Disarm, but since it says "hit", I'm less certain, because technically the attack didn't hit the opponent.
14  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Farthest Star] Like, pew pew, man on: June 29, 2013, 03:36:47 PM
Ah, I was relating "push" and "pull" more to the direction from where the force is acting.

Why does it make enough of a difference to you to make two categories out of it?

Actually, "pull" in the Necron Gauss sense makes really for a completely separate way of hurting people.
15  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Farthest Star] Like, pew pew, man on: June 29, 2013, 02:27:28 PM
From a technical point of view, I'd assume that the plasma weapon is still "push". The plasma is probably created by heating something really fast and really hot, which leads to expansion, and the expanding mess is focused in the barrel with magnetic fields to maintain a tight dispersion of energy for a longer time.

Gauss assisted electro-thermal could mean that they are adding momentum to the superheated mass from behind, but given how hard it is to even keep solid in one piece when sending through the railgun (there are several cool vids of people turning aluminum rods and the like into molten slag with their railguns on youtube), there must be extra work going into keeping the ball of plasma in one piece.

GURPS Ultra Tech and Ultra Tech 2 are two of my favorite references for those kinds of things. The technical explanation on how they work is pretty reasonable from a scientist's point of view, though I'll admit it's been a while since I last looked.
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