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1  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: August 20, 2015, 01:55:16 AM
The book mentions there are four tribes of Vessa still independent from the Sharos, have you thought about what they're like at all, Morgenstern? My players are going there to try to unite them with everyone to face the Crone.

  There's some hints/implications in the Ironfang class description.  I would expect to see a significant presence of Dragon Kings priests, but also mages providing integrated firepower -- these are water creatures native to the by-waters of the river of worldmagic. These are the tribes that hew to the old ways when they were fighting a war of extinction with the black erron rootwalkers. So a very militant tribalism. Piracy is still their main export and all negotiations are a naked test of strength. If they follow you it'll be out or respect based on manifest power not wisdom, forethought, or indistinct future dangers. But if they think you have the taint of the Ashenade they're gonna murder you first, burn the bodies to ash second, pat themselves on the back for a job well done third, and feel bad about having done it never. They have experience with the Soregg as vile evil that needs cleansing by fire, but the Lyss occasionally take an interest and seduce individuals into glory and damnation.

  An alliance, actual or perceived between the 99 Knights and the black erron (or worse the Godtree itself) will set them off in a BIG way. Though if one of the 99 mantles were to fall upon a black Erron it's be a nightmare you'd want the Vessa on board fighting. Were a mantle to merge with one of the great spawn of the tree and you've got a threat snuggling right up against the line of being a god in it's own right.

  You could instead seek the blessing of a Dragon King. A true prophet/emissary of the Six-Who-Rule would be an irresistible magnet drawing the faithful 'true' tribes in their wake.

2  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Specialties Inspired by Pathfinder on: August 18, 2015, 08:58:47 PM
I've not seen these origins; mind offering a link to take a look? 

...for the discussion and some odds and ends. You'd have to ask Aegis if the pdf is still available.
3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Specialties Inspired by Pathfinder on: August 18, 2015, 08:56:58 PM
Okay. Smiley

  There's a couple trees where the tree is as important as the benefit. Well, maybe 1/3 to 1/4 of the total benefit Smiley.
4  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Specialties Inspired by Pathfinder on: August 18, 2015, 07:12:45 PM
I'm not sure I like the Summoner's benefit for of Soul Link; maybe something a bit more esoteric and not as "bigger monsters right now, vroom vroom". But you are correct, the Familiar Basics feat that was previewed has something similar; I think it's 25 or 30 + (5*Spellcasting Feats) for XP or something?

Soul link is a variation in name from the soulmate benefit used in a couple of Rokugan-inspired origins.
5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Specialties Inspired by Pathfinder on: August 18, 2015, 07:01:02 PM
I'm not sure I follow: shouldn't feats be considered on their own merits?

  They are.. and "+1 to all save DCs against your spells" is a merit. That it's not written out each time doesn't mean it's not there. Much as all Chance feats exist within the context of pumping Fortunate and around half of all other chance feats.
6  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Let's Read: Fantasy Craft on: August 18, 2015, 02:28:26 PM
This is Slashes-With-Claws, signing out.

  Kind of the end of an era Smiley.

  Thanks for slashing with claws. There are lessons learned from this thread.
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: So, I owe Skyfall an apology. on: August 16, 2015, 12:13:36 PM
  See, silver lining Smiley!
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: So, I owe Skyfall an apology. on: August 16, 2015, 01:48:05 AM
  Watch your security clearance be revoked, your employment/posting terminated, and charges being drawn up for smuggling and criminal negligence... check.

*looks at paperwork on desk*  Yea.  That's close enough, anyway. Though, there's a Union, so... we'll see about the termination instead of "moved to a available position".

  I think you'll find a frank and off the record conversation that leads with "You can accept termination without contesting it or we can send you to jail for 9-14 years." will really dramatically simplify the Union component of the process...
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: So, I owe Skyfall an apology. on: August 15, 2015, 08:07:22 PM
  Watch your security clearance be revoked, your employment/posting terminated, and charges being drawn up for smuggling and criminal negligence... check.
10  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 15, 2015, 11:19:29 AM
I hate playing the better gear game. It's pretty much what killed every MMO ever for me. I also don't like dealing with it for tabletop games.

  That's one area where the real contemporary world helps. Fantasy settings count on magic to make stuff better. Pluses are a thing. Ultimately the cost to benefit ratio is ridiculously generous to players. They are expected to have +4 gear when the time comes. Basic stuff is very good in the contemporary setting and fewer pluses are even possible and they represent about 2 order of magnitude shifts in the cost. In a Modern setting upgrades are price multipliers (not small ones either) and they're applied sequentially. This upgrade is a x3. This one's a x4. Putting both on a single item is x12...

As a GM, once the players start asking for sale prices of items and selling loot, I just pack up my stuff because I know the rest of the night is going to consist of me watching them pour over price lists of items, answering questions about what is available and them buying stuff.

  So here's a watch. Its 20$ and works great. A +1 watch is $2,000. A +2 watch is $200,000. A +3 watch (if they even exist) is $20,000,000. Just about any meaningful upgrade doubles each of those base prices. Two upgrades in any combination quadruples it. Sure. You want to do $100 here, $120 chicken scratch deals to get a $800,000 watch? Knock yourself out. The only way you are expected to have a +2 watch is if the campaign is structured to have you operating on the megabucks scale. Either starting out there or reaching it as the story progresses.

  Basically in a technological, post-mass-production world tangible advantage makes price skyrocket and have such incredible diminishing returns that a person who would happily wear a $20 watch is never going to save up for a $200,000 watch. They live in different worlds.

  And in many modern settings selling stuff can easily be wired to burn your reputation so hard and fast that generating that kinda of a paper trail is raw idiocy. "You sold a gun used in a shoot out? Do you WANT homicide detectives to come knocking?" (gained $2500, lost 5 rep. Yeah, not a winning plan).

As a player, I get bored looking through price lists, so I tend to just add my treasure cut to my sheet where it accumulates over time until my character becomes more or less useless every 4 or 5 levels. Then I begrudgingly buy some items to make my character viable while being annoyed that 80% of my character's effectiveness stems from the gear he is carrying.

  In the example above (the watch) a character's own attribute modifiers are easily as important as a +1 or +2 (+3 may not even exist, remember). Feats definitely overshadow gear. Skill ranks trump the +1 or +2 completely. So a +3 is great, and we'd all love to have that extra cushion on rolls, but are you willing to pay a million times as much for it? It may make for a fun long term goal (one day I'll be parking that supercar in my garage...), but for 90% of the campaign a +1 version with a couple upgrades is gonna be a great item to have and your character will consistently be more important than that +1.

  Really meaningful gear, like character defining stuff -- like a cyberpunk setting Hackers deck -- rapidly becomes a Prize. Then selling off stuff for a pittance becomes even more the enemy of advancement, because upgrading your deck either takes personal skill or Reputation in the first place.
11  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 14, 2015, 08:56:39 PM
  Given the narrative function of language barriers, part of me says "hard to understand" and "completely unintelligible" are NPC qualities that you pay about 2 and 5 xp for respectively... and never deal with languages again. Its all NPC side. In a truly narrative environment the only reason you can't talk to an NPC is because the GM wants to screw with the talky characters, so why not just pay a fee for it and move on? Wink You loose the quirky moment where Foggy Nelson will use his college classes in Punjabi to save the day (it'll happen) but you also skip all the "well poop. If I had just picked Cantonese instead..." fail moments. You can't talk to them because you were meant to not talk to them and the story both expects that and is not derailed by it. Don't worry, the clue you actually need is probably in their pocket where you can either pickpocket it or roll them after you beat them down.

Side note - this attitude about minutiae has extended to gear as well. Just like languages, spies "just have" a certain lifestyle and mission assets like cash, so we can keep it all the hell out of the way and avoid the "jet setting murder hobo" of 2.0.

  I say this without sarcasm of any kind: Good luck with that. Smiley

  I'd almost say fictional spies DON'T have cash, because they basically next-to-never walk into a store and buy what they need. Shopping is hard on pacing both on the screen and at the gaming table. If they come up short mid-story they steal stuff. Not even steal money to buy stuff, the go straight for stealing the stuff. In my experience if you tell a player he has a very reasonable 4-5 thousand dollars in their cache of IDs and small arms, they actually can't not try to spend it. Its there for a reason, right? That a writer might eventually fire Checkov's Gun in the form of a gambling scene or extravagant bribe, a gamer sees a near universal tool and not much reason to hold it for a dramtically fitting moment. Because they, unlike the writer, don't know it's coming.

  Huh. I wonder if there's a way to incentivize the dramatic "crush a problem with money" so that players look for those instead of shopping sprees when you hand them a couple thick bundles of bills.
12  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 14, 2015, 07:13:55 AM
So you're saying we interpreted it wrong?

  At this stage I honestly don't recall the details. My vague recollection was the system was supposed to operate along the lines of "Are you in a territory you're proficient in operating in? If yes, don't sweat language barriers. If no, the GM may screw with you a bit." The number of other territories you knew shouldn't make a difference when right now, you're not in them. Which to me is a pretty simple thing - are in your normal zone of operations Y/N? Fiercely unambiguous as befits a tournament-friendly system. But people ALWAYS wanted to know what exact, actual languages they spoke. To the point of filling in what a zone must include and allowing agents to port that elsewhere, pretty much entirely defeating the point of having clear borders on where you can and cannot be assured of being able to operate without language hassles.

Well, let's consider that "North America" means only the major NA languages; English, Spanish, French, various native languages. What about Chinese, in the case of a San Francisco agent/character? Or Japanese for one from Portland? You get into a sort of quagmire of "okay, so what languages do you speak again?"

  Except it DIDN'T mean you knew "major NA languages". It didn't even try to suggest which languages you knew at all. It just said "hey, you're on your home turf. Don't worry about it." And then it threatened the complimentary situation: hey you need to go outside your comfort zone... Uh-oh, there could be some challenge/hi-jinks based on not being able to speak the lingo...

  It was extremely easy for GMs to parse because it dealt with plot. But the moment you ask "so, do I know French?" it exploded. Because that's not the question it was ever meant to answer.

  Basically the lesson learned was when it comes down to "What do I have?" be it languages known or bottle caps, people DON'T WANT A NARATIVE ANSWER. They want an inventory. Explicit. Same thing happened with gear. You had a huge organization backing your plays and people would not stop selling agency assets so they could have a known number of dollars in their wallet. "How much is a gear pick worth?" "Just pick a jetliner and sell if for maximum dollars on the barrelhead." Serious as a heart attack, how many times have you ever seen a superspy stop and count the bills in their wallet? It's completely superfluous, but most folks will not let it go.
13  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 14, 2015, 01:10:18 AM
Interesting list, Scott.

  Thanks Smiley.

Since I have the file open at the moment, here's what the current language rules are (as a subset of the Academics skill)

  Stylish. I like the scaled complexity of the message and the GMing advice.
14  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 14, 2015, 01:06:55 AM

Maybe my table misinterpreted how the rule worked, but having, say, North America got you English, Spanish, French, and the various aboriginal languages, plus maybe some others and then you could speak those anywhere.

  Which ultimately would still be a "You know these specific languages" system except the languages themselves are sold in bulk packages depending on/themed according to which continent you picked.
15  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Realworld Languages Table on: August 13, 2015, 12:16:15 AM
AFAIC it was an issue of not having to muck with a kind of gating and 2.0's was an unobtrusive solution.

  Well, obviously I though it had potential Wink, but it was just as likely to cause logic loops where people noticed they could speak Spanish in Mexico, but not in Spain. I've learned the value of occasionally going with the most literal, least imaginative solution that still largely works.

  Though in this case it was just that the info I needed was largely accessible and as I've never been able to master multiple languages it's always seemed like a remarkable, mysterious, and perhaps slightly rare power to me Grin.
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