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1  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Mighty Appropriate on: February 26, 2015, 08:10:05 PM
Quick question.

In the section on building Villains and Extras, it gives a ton of options unavailable to regular players. Is there a reason these options are not initially allowed?

Yes. You should never make a game of the complexity to a RPG without considering very carefully whether an option *needs* to exist in the core game - everything needs to justify its existence or GTFO. My reasons for this particular decision:

1) Simplicity. You give people many more options than we did for Powers and it gets to be way too hard to pick a matrix of powers. Combine that with the literally hundreds of others configurations when building a character (gear x Traits x Attributes x Standings x Powers) and you run the risk of creating option paralysis.
2) Game Balance. Already people are inherently (some might say maniacally  Evil) drawn to Mistborn's Powers, to the point that one of the top 3 questions people have about the game is 'Can you play a regular human, and if so, are you an idiot for doing so?' Tipping the game/world even more toward Powers would basically mean the effective extinction of non-Powered characters in all but purely "fluff" games. That does not fit with the narrative of Mistborn, which has really important characters who are not Mistborn affecting the story profoundly and often.
3) Character Balance. I made the conscious decision that having good Powers meant sacrifices beyond allocating Strengths. While I didn't want tell people they simply can't play Mistborn, I make players with Powers work for cool combinations via Advancements; a starting character with lots of Powers is not particularly good at anything, until he or she commits most if not all of their Advancements to getting stunts and improving their ratings. Mistings are good with their one power - the rating of 5 and a starting Stunt is a BIG deal mathematically - and normal humans' "power" is flexibility, both from Traits and freedom to spend Advancements however they feel is best.

NPCs don't follow those limitations, because they don't get the opportunity to grow through Advancements, and most only live for 1 adventure anyway! Thus, they needed a lot more options to represent the spectrum of abilities seen in the books. 

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Would there be any balance issues if a player were to take "A Rating 4 spike and an Average Power" as a Strong power?

I agree with everyone else that it's your game, and you get to decide what's right for your group. I don't think this is particularly overpowered as a Strong power choice.
2  Products / Little Wizards / Re: LW experiences? on: February 17, 2015, 11:52:42 AM
Speaking only for myself for a moment - experienced roleplayers should know better than to discourage someone who actually wants to be a GM. In so many groups, GMing is not a position that is fought for, as most people want to "play" (GMing is a very deep type of play, but players don't tend to see that). If they keep being smug, tell them you were thinking of GMing for them, but, you know, you need to cut your teeth somewhere...
3  Products / Little Wizards / Re: LW experiences? on: February 16, 2015, 08:33:29 PM
I'm learning how to DM RPGs in a way that I think teaches soft-skill DM stuff, but some people tease me for (e.g. "If you're DM'ing a kids game, I'm sure you're doing great. DMing anything else is another story altogether."

I don't know, what do you think?   Are the improv/adaptation skills learned from LW in addition to gameplay structure like if to let the players decide vs. telling them "you go here..." unsolicited sometimes... does it have value?

I think it does.

Simple answer: Abso-**cking-lutely.

Little Wizards is not a game just for kids, it is an entry-level RPG. The skills we focused on developing as part of our (entirely original to the English Edition) GM section are things we considered bedrock principles for being a good GM. Pat and I collectively have been writing GM advice for 30 frigging years (not a typo) and there's nothing in LW that I would consider useless in ANY RPG...and a good many things there that should be in other "harder" RPGs.

People who tease you and say it's a totally different ball game are flat-out wrong (and kinda being jerks, IMHO). In fact, I would argue it's actually harder to GM in some ways, because you don't have the old crutch of "then ninjas attack!" (or other random violence to gap story), and you do have a more open, freeform play style where you can't look to rules for all the answers. Rules =/= game, and harder rules do not make a better, richer, or more entertaining experience...just a different one.

You keep on keepin' on. The world needs more GMs who care about story and are really great at the basics. The skills you learn from this game were engineered to help you be a better GM, no matter what you choose to play next Smiley
4  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Kickstarter? on: February 16, 2015, 08:21:50 PM
Yay for Kickstarter, shut up and take my money please!

However, I had (perhaps foolishly) hoped Spy3 was a lot closer to completion than "3-12 months before a product will feasibly be on the market" (and that after the Kickstarter winds up)  Undecided
 
Not this year, then. Especially not if you have a bunch of Stretch Goals to create (I'd assume they aren't existant before the Kickstarter starts, as you wouldn't know which ones will be needed.

Stop right there. This is a discussion of Kickstarter, not of Spycraft Third, specifically. As I said in my very first post...

Quote from: me
While we're not ready to start talking about our plans for Spycraft quite yet

Please do not take my answers to a general question as to being anything more than that. Thanks!
5  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Kickstarter? on: February 16, 2015, 02:06:15 PM
Speaking only for our case...a bit of both. Mistborn Dice, for instance, started as something where we were actually completely unsure of what demand might be. The KS actually caused us to switch prospective manufacturers and scale, since we ended up selling over 2000 sets in the KS alone.

On the other hand, you have Spycraft, which as you all know we intend to make...what KS will be telling us is twofold: how many copies to print (and thus, where and how we manufacture), and as a byproduct, what to expect from the line and how to plan in the future. So in a sense, it's pre-order-ish in this case, but there's a lot that will be determined by the campaign itself (we have many cool stretches in mind).

In both cases, the biggest value aside from business intelligence, is the promotional value. Mistborn dice would have been vastly different in terms of momentum on the market if we didn't have the KS behind it, and I imagine the same will apply to Spycraft. Activating your loyal customers and getting word of mouth going 3-12 months before a product will feasibly be on the market carries tremendous value, particularly for smaller or more niche industries like ours.
6  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Kickstarter? on: February 16, 2015, 11:33:23 AM
Will there be a Kickstarter for Third Edition?

While we're not ready to start talking about our plans for Spycraft quite yet, it does seem likely, yes Smiley
7  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Mistborn Allomancy Dice (Kickstarter) on: February 13, 2015, 07:18:52 PM
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Group Orders: Because we only get one survey, we are not able to break up voting for backers ordering multiple sets. This includes retail backers and international backers that may be ordering for more than one person. Thus, each single backer who pledged any amount - no matter how many sets were requested - will only be able to vote for ONE first choice, ONE second choice, and ONE third choice.
It would be possible to make a single survey that allowed splitting votes.

Yes, while technically possible, it would so overcomplicate the form for the vast majority of our backers, in addition to adding far too many opportunities for confusion (we would have to make a number of "votes for this set" entries in the form to match the person who pledged for the most sets of everyone - way way WAY too inconvenient for most folks who pledge for just one - and we'd then have to rely on everyone voting for exactly the right amount of sets) that it wasn't worth consideration.
8  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Mistborn General Purpose Newbie-Friendly Q&A Thread on: February 07, 2015, 01:09:37 PM
My group is still new to the game, with only two games in, so I'm not sure if this would be overpowered or not.

Would it be too much to allow my players to have free reign with their action dice?

Say they have 7 ad, they could do two 2d attacks and one 3d defense, or could do two 2d attacks and one 3d attack if they wanted. It seems balanced to me since their attacks will hit less, but I haven't had the time to see in game exactly how it would work.

Hoping someone else has thought of this and tried it out.

The action die economy is by design, namely for simplicity's sake and to protect player characters. Let me explain.

I tried in playtesting - I didn't like the outcome. While the players may think they want it to work that way, the first time they run into a Thug with 10-12 action dice, they're going to change their minds right quick. 3 4 dice attacks are going to hit pretty often - likely 2 out of 3 - which when combined with a big weapon may mean a Hero goes down per turn. When you have an average Health of 6 on a PC, you can see where this would get troublesome. Add in the fact you as the Narrator don't have to give a care for the continued existence of any of these NPCs necessarily, so if the Thug dies right after, so what?

That said, it's your table. I would just put a big warning sticker on this, and let them know what's good for the gander also applies to the goose Smiley
9  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Mistborn Allomancy Dice (Kickstarter) on: February 03, 2015, 07:28:55 PM
One set of 11 dice (the big 10 + Malatium) in Silver with white pips.
One set of 11 dice (the big 10 + Malatium) in Metallic Black with white pips*.
and the final pair (Aluminum and Chromium in my world) in Copper with white pips**.

*That's what the kickstarter dice look like to me.
** Or whatever metal scheme can be pulled off.

Point of order: The KS dice are pearlized silver with a slightly darker swirl in them (they looked darker on the 6 face due to exposure and the resin pour).

All dice will be the same color, though the 3 exclusives may vary slightly as they are going to be made at a separate facility than the 10 core dice. We are matching them as closely as possible.
10  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Double-Dipping Nudges on: February 03, 2015, 02:19:19 PM
Nudges are not "spent" to break ties. They are simply used for counting purposes (they'd be mostly useless otherwise, since ties are no terribly common).

Regarding uncontested rolls and "Difficulty 0" - The section you are missing is here on page 178:

Quote from: Types of Actions and Difficulty
At this time the Narrator also declares whether each action is a Challenge (uncontested by the target) or a Contest (opposed by the target).

Referring back to Challenges for the base rule:

Quote from: page 144, Difficulty
Once your pool is formed but before you roll the dice, the Narrator declares a Diffi culty. This is a number ranging from 1 to 5, based on how hard the Narrator thinks your character’s task is.

Thus, there is no such thing a Difficulty 0 roll in the system - a failed uncontested roll with Nudges can only erase the Complications from failure, not push to a success.
11  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Feruchemists catch all the beats on: February 03, 2015, 12:28:43 PM
Let me briefly speak to my intent: Pat and I intended to keep the system as simple, open, and free for interpretation as possible. Feruchemy was designed to be as open to interpretation within the stated framework because do lock it down any more specifically was only going to make everyone who wants to use Feruchemy upset it "wasn't powerful enough," because we are trying to put numbers to something that only existed as a narrative device in the books without stats or limits.

However, the one place we did not intend to do anything is make the game unfun. Feruchemists running the board on all other PCs is not fun, IMO, but maybe it is in your game. Atium savants (which IMO should be nearly impossible to see storywise) going buck all the time is not fun, but that's mainly determined by your group's tolerance for silliness. These things are a result from us trusting in groups and players to define what their limits are for fun, and to self-regulate fun for everyone, because to get super technical in rules readings is without a doubt fun for no one.

So take the following technical conversation with a grain of salt, because it is FAR more rules lawyery and nitpicky than I ever get in any game I run. I am doing this because some of you seem to need this to prevent abuse at your tables. For my part, the only thing you really need is a contract for mutual fun.

Onward.

It all seriousness, I admire your quest for simplicity, but can you clarify what you mean by that? I assume you mean that defence dice can still be spent even if you spend 10 action dice during your action, otherwise there'd be no point in Thorrow keeping those two dice, but it doesn't read like that to me.

In the example, there are 2 types of dice: ACTION dice, and DEFENSE dice. When Thorrow forms his pool,  he uses 10 ACTION dice, and the remaining 2 become DEFENSE dice. If Thorrow caught a beat, he could spend his DEFENSE Dice to form a new pool outside that, but he cannot spend any more ACTION dice.

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Further, as Mac has said, how does this interact with the extra action granted by catching a beat?

You know, while I think a blanket rule makes everything simpler, we're not looking in the right place for the answer. The issue is the timing of when a Feruchemist can tap charges to boost a roll.. Here's where we find our solution:

Quote from: MAG pg. 283
A Feruchemist may choose to tap anytime he or she takes an action or makes a roll. Charges are tapped after an action is declared and pools are formed (see Dice Pools, page 140), but before the dice are rolled. During a Conflict, a Feruchemist taps charges during Step 2: Resolve Actions, after forming a pool from his or her Action Dice (see page 179). This timing lets the Feruchemist fully assess a situation and take into account any Traits, Tools, and Circumstances that may apply to his or her roll before committing charges to the effort.

The only time this is really an issue is (as everyone of these attempts to create infinite actions centers on) during a fight, so the bolded part is the most relevant sentence for our purposes. Charges are tapped before you make your first roll. This is vital, as you can only Catch a Beat after you roll and see the result. Kadrok's point about "seed" dice also fits this interpretation, as you need Action Dice already to form a pool (which of course can be partially circumvented by use of Tools, Traits and Circumstances). Note this rule automatically closes the loophole on Reactions - you are not in Step 2, thus you cannot tap charges to gain extra dice on Reaction rolls.

Now, one could argue that if you have action dice remaining from your first roll, and you Catch a Beat, that's forming a new pool in Step 2, and thus my argument springs a leak or two. The placement in the book of these rules means I don't get to mention Feruchemy (by definition an exception to the core rules, which you don't mention before the rules appear in the book), but we could solve this by adding a single sentence inside Feruchemy's rules for tapping individual charges:

Quote from: MAG page 283
However, as usual, no pool may increase beyond 10 dice, even when tapping charges. Any dice gained in excess of 10
are ignored, though the other effects of tapping those charges — such as visual or mental augmentation, and the like — still apply. Note you cannot tap individual charges when Catching a Beat; things are simply happening too fast to do so, and you'll have to rely on your normal Action Dice instead.

This ends infinite Feruchemist actions, which really is the only thing I'm concerned about, since we are not going to create any artificial limit on how many metalminds you can carry beyond the Props rules.

So basically, you need to be a Feruchemist, or a Savant, or a Mistborn with either Atium or Duralumin, in order to manufacture guaranteed Nudges, to have anything but the slimmest chance of Catching a Beat and actually being able to capitalize on it. The bare minimum you need to even theoretically roll "a success and three Nudges" otherwise is five dice, and the odds of actually doing so are so small it's ridiculous.

The "guaranteed nudges" thing is by design supposed to be a VERY special thing. "Manufacturing" is an unfortunate descriptor for me, as that I never considered people would try making characters solely around making Nudge factories every turn (e.g. not special) just to abuse the crap out of Catching a Beat. Sad

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So basically between these two rules, we've found something where attempting something making it plausible you'll get a specific bonus will, by definition, make the bonus practically worthless (i.e. you roll 8 dice, actually manage to catch a beat, and all you get out of the deal is a Hail Mary two dice which you either use on someone you hope is entirely out of Defense dice, or is more likely to inflict Complications upon you than to actually hurt the other person.)

Again, Catching a Beat was supposed to be special and not guarantee piles of attacks (see: how akimbo gunfighting works in AOL - it's very difficult to hit with 2 guns in the same turn for a reason). Bill Whitmore points at taking actions that don't require roles which is a good suggestion.

However, my idea is not to ruin Catching a Beat, either. I'm trying to shut down INFINITE actions. Does this change to Feruchemy solve your issue?
12  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Mistborn Allomancy Dice (Kickstarter) on: February 03, 2015, 11:38:11 AM
Other promotion?
I think he's referring to the last time they made dice, in 2012 (I think) and they had a Malatium die as a convention exclusive.

Correct.
13  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Feruchemists catch all the beats on: February 02, 2015, 10:02:49 PM
Kadrok, so if i said you can SPEND no more than 10 action dice per round, ever, does that work? (the remaining action dice become Defense Dice, as you note in the Thorrow example).

The reason I ask mainly is because if there's a simple statement I can make, I feel much better about this being easy to understand.
14  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Feruchemists catch all the beats on: February 02, 2015, 08:46:34 PM
That's a good analysis, Kadrok, and I think it's acceptable if I'm incorrect in my next statement. But if we're asking my intent, I think I can make this even simpler...

You can only get 10 action dice per round. Ever.

Reactions, as they do not create action dice, sit outside this rule. But you cannot complete an action, catch a beat, then create more action dice to use that beat you just caught. 10 dice only, ever.
15  Products / Mistborn Adventure Game / Re: Steel Savant question on: February 02, 2015, 02:13:06 PM
Follow-up question (and also to remind that no one has addressed my "how exactly do you act when you walk around with 0 willpower" question.)

Steel Savant Nudges. Do I get them when I use Steel Deflection?

You get to use them with every roll you make with Steel.
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