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31  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 30, 2012, 04:49:50 AM

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32  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 29, 2012, 06:14:04 PM
I've been thinking about that as well, and it shouldn't be hard to port at least a simple system:

- assign aspects to characters as per DFRPG.
- if a character spends an AD on an action that uses his aspects, he gets rolls two AD instead.
- the GM triggers aspects as in DFRPG: he awards a number of AD, and the player can either accept or pay that many dice to decline

Never use that mechanic. It encourages antagonistic play and sucks for the player who had to blow his dice to avoid a complication. It also runs counter to similar mechanics in the system.

Don't punish the players for avoiding subplots and complications, reward them for going with it.

It's pretty much an exact copy of the Dresden Files RPG. Aspects are supposed to be benefits and drawbacks at the same time, and since I'm suggesting to add the Aspects at no cost, it would be silly not to have a drawback to them as well.
The one game I played in briefly didn't see a single refusal (or maybe one, but that was so weird a situation that I can't remember exactly what happened). It is a mechanic that has to be used constructively by both players and GM; if either side doesn't, it probably won't work.
33  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Which Setting? on: December 29, 2012, 06:04:17 AM

I love Aspects.  I've been pondering converting them into FC/SC for a little while now (my current thinking is using Studies to purchase them) because I really dig them.  The only downside for some games is that DFRPG really focuses on "this is out city", much the way that Dresden Files itself has Chicago as a main character.  DFRPG is one of those books I have zero regret purchasing, even though I haven't be able to play it yet (and I've had it for over a year - the planned game was kinda a nonstarter due to scheduling issues) because it's got some great GMing tips and ways of getting your players involved at a fundamental level in your game world.

I've been thinking about that as well, and it shouldn't be hard to port at least a simple system:

- assign aspects to characters as per DFRPG.
- if a character spends an AD on an action that uses his aspects, he gets rolls two AD instead.
- the GM triggers aspects as in DFRPG: he awards a number of AD, and the player can either accept or pay that many dice to decline
34  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (OOC) on: December 23, 2012, 06:09:36 AM
After today, I will be out until the 27th. I don't think the game is waiting for me right now, but if it is, let me know.

Happy holidays, everyone!
35  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: December 17, 2012, 02:05:47 PM
Though surprised by the big cat going limb, Bronn wastes no time and attempts to snap its neck, which he follows up with dragging the beast to the fireplace. He's still ready for it to start moving at any time. Holding it with one arm, he douses the head of the beast in lamp oil and then thrusts it into the fire.

"Better burn these things. Sidari, have Lief and Ronan bring theirs over, too."

Once the bodies are disposed of and the fire is stoked, Bronn agrees that the party should start preparations for the next day. Those who can still sleep should do so, though.
36  Community / License to Improvise / Re: War Never Changes... or Does It? on: December 17, 2012, 10:00:28 AM
I think there's a good chance that especially asymmetric warfare might change soon.

Armor has a lot more development potential than guns do: chemical propellant is about as good as it gets, while we're only beginning to see what complex composite armor incorporating nanomaterials might look like, and how to engineer the armor for blast deflection. Armor stands to get tougher, lighter, and ultimately cheaper.

Now, if the average soldier cannot be stopped by an assault rifle or SAW anymore, then insurgents have to invest in heavier, more expensive weaponry, which in turn will be harder to transport, maintain, and supply. This makes it much harder to employ standard guerilla tactics.

Another thing that will change asymmetric warfare are surveillance drones with long operating times, such as aerostats. They can stay above the target area for days, and can fly high enough to be impossible to shoot down from the ground. Besides monitoring the enemy and being used to target air strikes, they can also be local relays or command centers for other drones, in case ground attack drones ever become interesting.

I think there will be no way around autonomous drones in the long run, especially if the enemy has the capability to attack the drones effectively. Due to lag, the reaction time currently is too slow to effectively fight with a drone in a dog fight.

On the other hand, I can see autonomous ground attack drones actually being a good thing: the average soldier gets a split second to decide if he's facing friend or foe, and whether to shoot or not, which can lead to civilian casualties. A drone should be much tougher and therefore have more time to decide.
Also, autonomous drones don't harbor feelings of frustration or hatred, and won't feel the need to pay anyone back for suffering injuries or losing comrades.
37  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: December 16, 2012, 03:29:57 AM
As he tumbles, Bronn rolls past the open backpack with the lamp oil flasks, and a desperate plan forms in his mind. He jabs the feline into the ribs, then jumps on its back and grabs it around the neck.

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38  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (OOC) on: December 07, 2012, 10:08:07 PM
My actions for Round 1 stand: 2 regular attacks on my cat while I'm prone, with the results I rolled.

I'm also calling out the warning about the possibility of a second cat.

How big is our current fire? Are we down to embers, or is it still a flame?
39  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: Interest in Way of the Wicked? on: December 06, 2012, 01:32:37 AM
Also, tell us more about the level of evil we're talking about here.

Most of the crimes that were listed in another thread sound like they're all within a day's work for the average PC - it's amazing what kind of stuff players will have their characters do to NPCs.

As long as the campaign goes heavily over moral grays, I'm interested. Characters who have done evil deeds for the right reasons, eg some of the WH40k inquisitors, even characters who do evil deeds because they are somewhat misguided, are interesting.

If this is more a "hey, look, we're evil and cool with it" kind of game, which is what it sounds like to first order, I'll pass.
40  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: December 03, 2012, 04:18:02 PM
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"Demon cats! Look for a second one!", Bronn calls out while struggling with his beast.
41  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: December 02, 2012, 02:11:31 AM
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Bronn fights like a wild beast, tumbling over the ground with the feline, ramming his spurs over and over into the big cat until he is covered with its blood and gore. He is completely oblivious to everything else.
42  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: November 29, 2012, 10:49:46 PM
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Sidari is surprised at how fast a big man like Bronn can move! Before the cat even reaches him, he has stood and raised the pistol from his lap. He nimbly dodges the feline's swipe and pushes it off-balance, then fires his gun at it as it drops. Without bothering to see if he hit, he then drops onto the big cat and drive the spike on his vambrace savagely into the cat.

The report of the firearm rolls off the nearby hills and adds to Sidari's effort to wake the rest of the crew.
43  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (OOC) on: November 24, 2012, 10:59:23 AM
Bronn will sleep in armor. As far as anyone can tell, he has not taken it off since they have entered the wilderness. It's chainmail; not sure how comfortable it is, but I think you can get used to it.
44  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: From the Ashes (IC) on: November 23, 2012, 02:15:13 AM
Once the camp is set up and the area surveyed, Bronn addresses everyone at the evening meal.

"Tomorrow will be a long day. It looks like our sponsor want us to create a new path with that powder keg over there. Brin, I trust you have read over the instructions and know what to do? How long will it take to set up?"

"Once that path is made, we will have to be on guard immediately. Who knows what's going to be in that canyon? There should be plenty of wild creatures left, unlike here, where the delvers have worn a path into the area. I want everybody alert and in peak condition."

"So that means regular watches tonight, two men... er.. people to a shift, and make sure you get enough sleep. Lief and Brin go first, Ronan and Baxton are second, and Sidari and I will take the last shift."

"Oh, and this is some great stew. You should reconsider your cooking career, Sidari."
45  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: I sit on the lighter end of rules spectrum , will 3.0 be for me? on: November 20, 2012, 04:26:33 PM
I'm not Gundark (obviously), but my group also got behind Chases in a big way.  Mostly because they were Chases.  At that point (and possibly still) no other game had a good mechanic for chases, and they are something that's so prevalent in the sort of source material we use that having a system for them was just fantastic.  Well run, they were fun and evocative sequences, and the rules had enough depth to cover a whole heap of situations, while not being so dense that they were painful to use.

First, thanks much for the feedback. As it happens, DramCons are one of the last, if not the last, major component Alex and I have yet to settle on. We have strong thoughts about how it should work, but those ideas have yet to coalesce on paper.

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Remove Strategy Penalties.  My group decided very early on that a handful of Strategies (Redline and Outfox in particular) where "the Strategy", depending on if you were Predator or Prey.  Having a +2 bonus when I was suffering between a -4 and -8 meant that they'd frequently get another advantage (or use the net benefit to practically guarantee winning).  It meant that the "Chase" bit became less exciting (and more predictable), and the stuff going on around it had to be ramped out to keep the scene exciting (opponents suppressing their driver, attacks against tyres, etc).

This is actually one of my biggest personal issues with the 2.0 system, so consider that point well represented at the design table. Smiley

(Thanks for the assist BTW. As a designer it's very nice to see other folks validating your ideas. It helps you suss out when you're not crazy - which, let's admit it, is often a dicey diagnosis.)


I was also a big fan of the Dramatic Conflicts, and I enjoyed their use for things other than Chases as well. In fact, I liked the DramCon idea so much that I toyed around with ways of making combat a DramCon, just to see what would come of it.

If you are collecting input, here are some more things:

- introduce a timer. This may be tricky, but I think worthwhile. I remember sessions where the chase just took too long, because neither participant could solidify his gains, and we kept trading lead gains back and forth. I'm envisioning something like a total number of leads that need to be attained, and the first participant to reach that number wins the DramCon

- more options for everybody. Some DramCons seem to limit the number of actions a character can take severely (was looking at Seduction the other day, where more than half the actions have some form of prerequisite in lead or other). I'd rather see people that have the prereq get a bonus, than not be able to take the option at all. Also, options that don't necessarily use the principal skill check for that particular DramCon.

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