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16  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 25, 2014, 01:48:58 AM
  Pretty! Yeah, I was rushing the campaign qualities so you clean up looks good. The prereq reformat looks clear and sound. Timing issue on Shower of light should read~

  If you hit at least 1 special enemy, the next time you use Seal of the Stars during this combat it costs only 3 Edge.

  I'm still wrestling with folding in Street Fighter. Its not going as easily as I had hoped, though some progress has been made. I'm going to set this project aside for about a week - I have to pack up/get ready to move and what time I can spare for design should be directed towards StormSURGE's pbp until I am fully settled in at my next location.
17  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 24, 2014, 01:01:41 AM
Martial Champions
  Martial Champions is a rules expansion for bringing the visually flashy warriors common to video games to table-top play. Sword strikes leaving trails of light, full defense actions causing motes of light to appear and gather around the character, and shadowy auras of personal spiritual energy overflowing the body and evaporating into the surrounding air are common warning signs of the martial champion’s larger than life threat potential.
  These abilities are frequently grouped into “styles” - the set of effects used by a particular character inspiring one of the cluster of feats found here. Many of these abilities are referred to as “techniques” and the feat tree used to gather them here is called the Technique feat tree. Because the feats that make up a style are named fancifully rather than using the strict Basics/Mastery/Supremacy nomenclature, a sidebar has been provided to help players track down all the pieces belonging to each style.
  Some sources (particularly those that have endured and grown over multiple games) suggest “families” of styles - the classic Street Fighter characters Ken and Ryu began with identical ability sets but evolved over time to where they share several basic abilities but their stronger abilities now differ. These families also grow as new characters are introduced who share similar training such as Akuma, Sakura, and even Dan in the case of Ken and Ryu’s fictional ‘shotokan karate’ style. Some in-family styles arise from students of established champions who absorb only some of their master’s lessons like Ken’s student Sean and Akuma’s protégé Kairi. The original champions may themselves have alternate versions like Dark Ken and Dark Ryu which inspire new mechanics, techniques, and related sub-styles within the family.

CAMPAIGN QUALITIES
  The majority of this system is enabled by the  Martial Champions campaign quality. Several other qualities are offered to assist in blending these tools into a desired whole.

Martial Champion (Campaign Only)
  Player character may select feats from the Technique feat tree (see below). Special NPCs may be created using feats from the Technique tree. Because the Technique tree as a whole is so heavily reliant upon Edge, standard NPCs may not include feats from this tree even if the specific feat does not include Edge in it’s benefits.

Old Masters (Campaign Only - Requires Martial Champion)
  Characters may have multiple foundation feats. A character may gain only a single Edge per round from any number of foundation feats.

Scary Old Masters (Campaign Only - Requires Martial Champion)
  Includes the effects of Old Masters, but character may also have multiple signature feats.

FERVOR
  Some characters have an extraordinary drive to win – the ability to overcome hardship and strife to achieve victory. This resilience can come from within or be inspired by the words and actions of others. Fervor is an expression of this heroic zeal as it applies to combat. Fervor points act as an additional buffer, absorbing damage before it reaches a character’s vitality or wounds. Fervor has the following properties.

• Lethal, stress, and subdual damage are all applied to fervor after any applicable DR and resistances with each point removing 1 point of fervor. If any damage remains after the character’s fervor is reduced to 0, it affects the character normally.
• When you gain fervor, you either keep your current fervor or replace it with the new value, whichever is higher – multiple sources of Fervor DO NOT stack unless they explicitly say so.
• Fervor cannot be healed or restored, only gained or lost.
• All fervor is lost at the end of each scene.

NEW CONDITIONS

  Concussed: The next time any character hits a concussed character with a threat or critical hit, the concussed character is stunned for 1 round and is no longer concussed. Concussed characters may cancel the condition by taking a full defense action without moving from their present square.

  Laid Bare: Characters who have been laid bare take increased divine damage from effects that inflict divine damage equal to the total value of lay bare effects they have suffered. They may cancel all laid bare effects on them by taking a full defense action without moving from their present square.

  Lifted: Lifted characters lose one half action and the lifted condition at the beginning of their next initiative count. Characters that can fly or who automatically reduce their falling damage by 1 or more dice cannot be lifted.

  Shredded: Shredded characters lose DR equal to the single highest shred effect they have suffered (multiple shreds do not typically stack). They may cancel the condition by spending 2 use item actions.

NEW CONSTRUCTION TYPE

  Spiritual: Objects with the spiritual construction type are manifestations of supernatural force with physical presence. They tend to be highly resistant to ordinary physical damage to the extent that they can only be damage by divine damage and (at the GMs discretion) damage caused by spells or similarly supernatural causes.
  Scenery with the spirit construction type often corrode and decay rapidly in the absence of a character able to create them, making them less than ideal as building materials without a permanent guardian/caretaker to ‘anchor’ them to mundane reality.

NEW WEAPON QUALITIES

  Concussive: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Fortitude save bonus, the target is concussed.

  Lay Bare X: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Will save bonus, the target is laid bare, taking additional divine damage from sources of divine damage equal to the number after the quality.

  Lift-Off: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Reflex save bonus, the target is lifted.

  Shredding X: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Reflex save bonus, the target is shredded, losing DR equal to the number after the quality.

SPIRIT WEAPONS
Spirit weapons are an additional weapon type with their own weapon proficiency and forte (spirit weapons and spirit weapons forte). Spirit weapons are a type of melee weapon though they often have the reach quality. Spirit weapons often produce a projectile as part of their attack but do not require ammo or reloading.

TECHNIQUE FEATS
  Technique feats represent beyond-natural or even supernatural fighting skills. Most rely on Edge and players should be familiar with that mechanic before continuing (see page 84).
  Techniques use the tags foundation technique and signature technique to identify limited options. A character may only have a single foundation technique and a single signature technique as described in their prerequisites (unless modified by a campaign quality). Foundation technique feats generally set up a basic means of building Edge and represent the starting point of a style. Signature technique feats represent the climax of a particular style, and much like game-breaker abilities for classes, these feats tend to define an entire character in their moment of awesome.
  Many techniques act at a distance or fill space. In all cases, “draw a line” refers to a straight line, with one or both end points defined by the ability. “draw a trail” creates a series of squares that may curve and twist as the character wishes but may not cross over itself (including diagonally across an intersection of squares).

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League of Legends Styles
The following styles were inspired by character from the multi-player on-line battle arena (MOBA) game League of Legends.

Child of the Stars Style (Soraka): Heavenly Luminance, Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, Touched by Starlight, & Wish Upon a Star
Cuts Like the Wind Style (Yasuo): A Wanderer’s Journey, Breeze Strike, Howl with the Sky, Steel Winds, & Voice of the Typhoon
Guardian of Ice Style (Braum): Concussive Blows, Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, Winter's Wall, Winter’s Wrath
Hungry Nine-Tails Style (Ahri): Essence Theft, Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, Fox's Kiss, & Fox’s Leap
Order of the Sun-Dragon Style (Jarvan IV): Assault Cadence, Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, Sun-Dragon's Lance, & Sun-Dragon’s Tears
 
More about these the characters and the game moves/graphics that inspired these feats can be found at~

http://gameinfo.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/game-info/champions/

Assault Cadence
  You strive to dictate the flow of battle from the very first attack.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. The first time you hit each opponent with a 2-handed weapon during a combat, you gain a bonus to damage equal to 1 + the target’s Career/Threat Level. Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or damaged at least 3 enemies that round.

Banner of the Sun-Dragon
  The white & gold crest of the Sun-Dragon knights inspires unrelenting defiance against the enemy.
  Prerequisites: Assault Cadence feat
  Benefit: You may ready a banner of your alignment as a free action and ignoring hand limits. You also gain a stance.
  Flag of the Sun-Dragon (banner of your alignment stance): You must spend 4 Edge when entering this stance. You gain DR 1 and the Contempt feat. You may exit this stance to plant your standard in your current square. The standard then provides the “Banner of the Sun-Dragon” bonus to all allies able to see the banner and within 50 ft. including yourself until the standard is moved, destroyed, or combat ends. Banner of the Sun-Dragon is a named bonus granting DR 1 and the Contempt feat.

Concussive Blows
  “Fists like hammers” isn’t a fanciful metaphor where you are concerned.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Your unarmed attacks and blunt weapons gain the concussive quality. Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or concussed an enemy.

 Essence Theft
  Not the whole thing of course... just a little taste with each “bite”.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Each time you inflict divine damage on an enemy while you have 9 fervor or more, you lose 9 fervor and heal up to 9 points of vitality. When you inflict divine damage on an enemy and you have less than 9 fervor, you gain fervor equal to 1 + your current Fervor (i.e. your fervor increases by 1). Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or lost fervor that round.

Fox’s Bounce
  Don’t look now, but it’s coming back...
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat; spirit weapons forte
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit orb readied, you may draw a 40 ft. line starting from your square. Make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against all enemies along this line (roll damage separately). Then make a second ranged attack check against each of those targets you hit, this time doubling any dodge bonuses they may have. Damage from this second attack cannot be resisted or redirected. You may only use Fox’s Bounce if you did not use it last round.
  If you have previously fixated a target at any point during this combat, you gain a +2 bonus to both damage rolls against them when using this ability.

Fox’s Flames
  Hungry spirits follow in your wake, thirsty for essence.
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat
  Benefit: You gain a stance.
  Ghost Lights (spirit orb stance): You must spend 3 Edge when entering this stance. Surround yourself with 3 floating orbs of foxfire. You may spend 3 Edge as a free action to refresh the number of foxfires surrounding you to 3. Twice per round during your initiative count you may consume a foxfire to make a free attack with your spirit orb. Instead of its normal damage, this attack does 1d10 + your Charisma modifier divine damage for the first foxfire, 1d8 + your Charisma modifier for the second, and 1d6 + your Charisma modifier for the third.

Fox’s Kiss
  Your wiles have teeth and your teeth have wiles.
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit orb readied, you may draw a 50 ft. line starting from your square. Spend 4 Edge and make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against the nearest enemy along this line that you can see. If this attack check hits and the result exceeds 15 + the target’s Will save bonus, instead of inflicting damage they become fixated on you for 2 rounds. During that time they may only move towards you at half speed on their initiative count and may not make attack or skill checks. This fixation is so powerful that you may damage them without breaking the fixation and they may not apply dodge bonuses against your attacks.

Fox’s Leap
  ‘Here’ is such a mutable concept to the spirits...
  Prerequisites: Fox’s Bounce, Fox’s Flames, & Fox’s Kiss feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Up to 3 times per combat when you would be struck by an enemy’s attack but before damage is rolled, you may gain a +5 dodge bonus to defense against that attack. After that attack is resolved you may immediately teleport up to 30 ft. and enter the ghost lights stance or if already in that stance refresh the number of foxfires surrounding you to 3 without spending Edge.

Heavenly Luminance
  Your connection to the stars is a giving, kindly glow.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Your Intelligence rises by 1. If you give Edge to an ally who has 0 Edge, they gain 1 additional Edge. If you heal an ally who has less than 50% of their vitality remaining, the amount you heal them for is increased by 50% (round up). Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense and/or were attacked by an enemy that round.

Seal of the Stars
  Those you bless are nearly as eternal as the stars above.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 4 Edge to target an ally you can see within 40 ft, healing them for a number of points equal to your Intelligence score and granting them “Seal of the Stars”. Restore wounds first, then vitality, stress, and subdual damage in that order. Seal of the Stars is a named bonus giving DR 3 and lasts until you use this ability again or the fight ends.

Shower of Light
  The rays of the stars rain down on your foes, sharp as arrows.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat; spirit weapons forte.
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit staff readied you may make a single attack with it against all enemies within 25 ft. This attack check uses your Intelligence bonus instead of Wisdom and has the lay bare 1 quality. Each target you hit suffers 1d6 + your Intelligence modifier divine damage (roll damage separately). You may only use Shower of Light if you did not use it last round.
  If you hit at least 1 special enemy, the next time you use Seal of the Stars it costs only 3 Edge.
 
Stand Behind Me
  You’re always ready to take one for the team.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 3 Edge to gain fervor equal to your Constitution modifier + one-half Career Level (round up). If  you do, you may also choose an ally you can see within 20 ft. to gain the same amount of fervor. You then move to any empty square adjacent to that ally (ignoring adjacency). You must choose a square between them and a visible enemy if possible.

Sun-Dragon’s Aegis
  The Sun knows its own.
  Prerequisites: Assault Cadence feat
  Benefit: Any time you are hit, before damage is rolled you may spend 3 Edge to gain fervor equal to one-half your Career Level + 5 for each special enemy within 100 ft. (rounded up). Then each enemy you are able to see within 20 ft. has all of their movement speeds reduced by 10 ft. for 2 rounds.

Sun-Dragon’s Lance
  You have mastered a powerful thrusting attack using your spear to channel your martial spirit.
  Prerequisites:  Assault Cadence feat; edged forte
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a 2-handed spear readied you may draw a 30 ft. line starting from your square. As a full action, make a single attack with the qualifying weapon against all enemies along this line (roll damage separately). This attack gains shredding 1. You may only use Sun-Dragon’s Lance if you did not use it last round.
  Special: If your Sun-Dragon’s Lance attack crosses the square where you have planted a standard with flag of the Sun-Dragon, this attack gains the lift-off quality and you move to the nearest empty square adjacent to your standard after the attack is resolved (ignoring adjacency).

Sun-Dragon’s Tears
  With a mighty bound you strike like the Sun-Dragon’s fiery tears.
  Prerequisites: Banner of the Sun Dragon, Sun Dragon’s Aegis, & Sun-Dragon’s Lance feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Once per combat during your initiative count and while you have a 2-handed spear readied, you may target a special enemy you can see within 30 ft. You immediately move to the nearest unoccupied square adjacent to the target (ignoring adjacency). The target is lifted and takes lethal edged damage equal to your the higher of your Strength or Constitution scores + your Career Level. Then you may choose whether the force of your impact creates a crater (a permanent, unmoving 25 ft. diameter ring of very difficult terrain centered on the target’s square).

Touched by Starlight
  The stars see all... and judge them.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 3 Edge and choose a non-bystander character you can see within 40 ft. If they are an ally, you grant them 3 Edge. If they are an enemy, they cannot spend Edge for 2 rounds.

Winter’s Bite
  Shards of ice fly from your shield, ensuring there is no escape.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat; blunt forte
  Benefit: As a full action make an attack with a shield. The attack gains reach 8. If it hits the target is also concussed and their speed is halved for two rounds (round speeds down to the nearest 5 ft.). You may only use Winter’s Bite if you did not use it last round.

Winter’s Wall
  You may freeze the air itself to build a shelter against your enemies.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat
  Benefit: When you would be hit by any ranged attack, you may spend 4 Edge to cancel the effects of that attack and gain the “Winter’s Wall” bonus for 4 rounds. Winter’s Wall is a named bonus that gives you DR 10 against ranged attacks. Further if any ranged attack passes within 10 ft of you, you may choose to have it strike you directly instead of its intended target/destination. You may not make saves against attacks you have redirected in this fashion.

Winter’s Wrath
  The glaciers of your home burst forth from the earth at your command.
  Prerequisites: Stand Behind Me, Winter’s Bite, & Winter’s Wall feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Once per combat while you have a shield readied you may draw a 30 ft. line starting from your square. As a full action make a single attack with the qualifying weapon against all opponents adjacent to you and/or along that line. This attack has the lift-off quality and targets hit take subdual damage equal to your Constitution score + your Career Level (no damage roll needed). All squares in the line are filled with waist-high broken ice blocks (very rough terrain) until the ice melts.

Wish Upon a Star
  This wish will be granted.
  Prerequisites: Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, & Touched by Starlight feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature technique. Once per combat as a free action you may heal yourself and all teammates within 1 mile for a number of points equal to your Intelligence score + twice your Career Level. This healing ignores the Burden of Ages drawback. Restore wounds first, then vitality, stress, and subdual damage in that order.


NEW PATHS
  Styles can be the ideal basis for Paths. If the campaign feature Miracles but not Martial Champions, its likely that Paths are the ONLY way of gaining those feats in that campaign setting.

Path of Cutting Winds
   Cutting Winds I: You gain the A Wanderer’s Journey feat.
   Cutting Winds II: You gain your choice of the Breeze Strike, Howl with the Sky, or Steel Winds feats.
   Cutting Winds III: You gain your choice of the Breeze Strike, Howl with the Sky, or Steel Winds feats.
  Cutting Winds IV: You gain your choice of the Breeze Strike, Howl with the Sky, or Steel Winds feats.
  Cutting Winds V: You gain the Voice of the Typhoon feat.

Path of the Hungry Nine-Tail
  Hungry Nine-Tail I: You gain the Essence Theft feat.
  Hungry Nine-Tail II: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail III: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail IV: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail V: You gain the Fox's Leap feat.

Path of Ice's Guardian
  Ice's Guardian I: You gain the Concussive Blows feat.
  Ice's Guardian II: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian III: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian IV: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian V: You gain the Winter's Wrath feat.

Path of the Star-Child
  Star-Child I: You gain the Heavenly Luminance feat.
  Star-Child II: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child III: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child IV: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child V: You gain the Wish Upon a Star feat.

Path of the Sun-Dragon
  Sun-Dragon I: You gain the Assault Cadence feat.
  Sun-Dragon II: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon III: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon IV: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon V: You gain the Sun-Dragon's Tears feat.




18  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 23, 2014, 10:11:19 PM
Glad it helps in someway!  Grin

  I like that it helps the design process and the end user. Everybody likes a pretty page. Its not always obvious how much the desire to achieve a pretty page affects the design process of the mechanics Smiley.

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I figured it should follow the precedent set by the Blood feats - since it's basically the same thing - a restriction, not a prereq. That's why I did that. I'm a big fan of replicating style and format in the homebrew presentation. And the die has been cast as of the Blood feats' format for restrictions being a Special: rider.

  I see your point, but upon reviewing those feats I think they'd be clearer having it in the prerequisite too Smiley. Hopefully you'll indulge me on the next pass so I can see it on the laid out page.

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Cool. I'll adjust them after you work out the MK III version.

I revised the mk II posts. It was a small tweak to what you had. Just take a glance at them. I'll do a complete mk III.2 recap so I can look at the What Tree? issue.

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I'll look at re-adding them. You're not pressed for space, but I kinda am.  Smiley

Nah. You convinced me (through the sorcerous power of your complete example/lay out-fu) Smiley.

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I wait with baited breath.

  I'm leaning more and more towards putting these in their own tree to make them much easier to switch on and off through campaign qualities (after all these have about as much relation to the real world as the Spellcasting feat tree Wink). That aspect is pretty clean, but it does generate some baggage in getting them into the hands of classes for whom they make sense and how/whether they should contribute to feat tree counts. The other issue is that while I've arranged alphabetical progression within each cluster, dumping all the clusters into a single alphabetized stack will make it much harder to follow them. I think they probably should be placed in a single sack, but some sort of sidebar/chart helping a player find all the parts of their chosen cluster would greatly add to the utility. The Paths kind of do the job in a round about fashion. I think I'd rather have something really bluntly spelling it out for ease of reference.

  "Blah blah blah LoL styles. Here's a few of them:

  Children of the Stars: Heavenly Luminance, Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, Touched by Starlight, & Wish Upon a Star.
  Cuts Like the Wind: A Wanderer's Journey, breeze Strike, Howling with the Sky, Steel Winds, & Voice of the Typhoon"

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I think it should just get treated like any other bundle of awesome. Like so:

  Agreed. The paragraph break/indentation is sufficient call out that something unusual is happening from that point on.

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Also, is this a 30 foot straight line? or does it just start at you and snake as you desire with a total length of 30 feet?

  Line in this case is the line as defined in the spell casting areas (page 113) - always a straight line. The selectably curvy route you describe would probably be called a wall, though lacking a barrier component I'd probably describe is as a "trail" (path might be more intuitive, but that word is taken Smiley)

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The weird thing is, I don't know why I dislike it.

  Could be connotations of the word itself rather than the mechanic.

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 There is also a part of me struck by the perversity that the fervor and conditions text would go in chapter 5, the weapons and weapon qualities in chapter 4, and the actual feats in chapter 3 - its laid out the correct direction for understanding in this document and completely in reverse of how the book would position them. Strange.

Yeah. You write stuff to supplement the chapters in Fantasy Craft. I write and edit to cover integration with players. (Campaign qualities come first, then origin options, then classes, then feats, then gear, magic, and finally rules. Oh, then NPCs.)

  No, no. I'd write it out in the same directions as you: Concept needing to be understood -> specific manifestation of that concept as character option. I'm just pondering use-cases. Reading-learning use, the concept needs to come first. Reference-in-use use you bundle all your components where you can browse them. Its more of wondering if I'd do anything differently in a new book after seeing some of the concerns raised in the Lets Read thread. If there's one thing in all of chapter 1 I regret it is that 90% of the advantages a rootwalker gets are 200+ pages away without even so much as a page pointer to tell you to go look for them.
19  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 23, 2014, 01:46:57 AM
You could retype the stances as (Edge Stance), with a prologue to the feats that anything labeled as such require your to burn edge to enter the stance?

  I'd be concerned that it muddies the format of feats that indicate you have to have a certain weapon to be in that stance. Its logical that if you're in I'm Errol Flynn, Biatch (fencing blade stance) and you get your rapier disarmed you lose the stance since you no longer have the required weapon readied. Following that experience, you might reasonably think that you'd drop out of Street Fighter II Rulz (Edge stance) if you have 0 Edge...

  The text in the pdf is close, but it caught my eye as possibly subject to confusion.

  Edit: Support text and all 5 styles updated.
20  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 23, 2014, 01:10:06 AM
I'm intrigued enough for this:

  I was wondering if it would catch your eye Smiley. Seeing my scribbles in a different font and/or juggled by editing always helps me examine it more clearly.

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Changes I did while putting this together (Hope these are cool, and if not, why? How are they incorrect or unnessary?):

Made Spirit Construction into a Weapon Quality.

  Probably the better solution is to write out a full/proper description of Spirit as a new construction category added to the existing text on page 155 and table 4.5. The table conveys it well with Spirit in the construction column so I'd like to keep the qualities pruned back where possible.

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Moved all those Prereqs that weren't prereqs into the Special: section of each feat.

  Its good to have seen it that way on the page, but I prefer it in the prerequisites - its a restriction on taking it in the first place, so putting it up front emphasizes that you can stop reading now if you already have a foundation/signature. Being in the prerequisites means you see it at the time that matters Smiley. I will note that your italicizing it looks way better than boldfaced.

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Feats that granted a stance that require edge burn to enter moved the edge burn into the stance text and added the "You gain a stance" text to the feat.

  That's definitely better structure though I'm concerned the wording of spending edge after you're already in the stance might lead you to believe you can enter it whenever and then spend as much as you have up to that amount rather than it being an absolute barrier to entry if you're short of the mark. Will tinker.

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Made the conditions into actual conditions.
 Good call, though the parenthetical-italic "keyword" text still has its uses. We're not pressed for space here, so same-page reminders give a lot of value by reducing look-ups/page flips.

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Prepped for the Alignment info.

  Now that the 3 middle feats actually have the related foundation as a hard requirement I'll likely dump the alignment requirement, script a really linear Path for each chain, and let the world-builders mix and match to taste after that.

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Need:

Feat categories.

  Yeah. Couple possibilities on that (the obvious answer, and the one that might be more useful in corralling this sort of pseudo-magical combat). Let me think on it a bit more specifically.

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Comment:
Not really thrilled with the Synergy callout. Why do you think this needs to be separated from the other benefits?

  Mostly because of the non-linear nature of these feat clusters - Synergy (as it was being used in my brain) is a call out that identify lateral interactions where you may or may not already have the affected feat. However it probably can use the existing "Special:" labeling as there is precedent for lateral interactions being flagged that way in many Species feats. Just one of those things that gets clearer after you've gotten over the hurdle of making it work at all and are looking back at how to make it smoother Smiley.

Quote
I dislike Fervor. That's just me, though.

  You're allowed. It has its uses though and it's a lot simpler/more compact than "temporary vitality (hit points)" it grew out of Smiley.

  There is also a part of me struck by the perversity that the fervor and conditions text would go in chapter 5, the weapons and weapon qualities in chapter 4, and the actual feats in chapter 3 - its laid out the correct direction for understanding in this document and completely in reverse of how the book would position them. Strange.
21  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 22, 2014, 07:50:53 PM
Reminds me of Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū, that it does.

  That makes sense as browsing Rurouni Kehshin wiki's descriptions of the style do strongly hint at it being a Air/Wind/Vacuum based sword style Smiley. Could very well be one of the influences on the LoL designers. Though from what I see I'd probably make the nine-headed dragon strike the Signature Technique.

  Most of the LoL characters have a non-attack/utility-or-defense skill mixed in with their other abilities. I don't really know what would be appropriate for Hiruma Kenshin...? Godspeed (extra base speed and actions per round) maybe?
22  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: June 22, 2014, 09:08:20 AM
...but I sense that it is homebrew.

  Yeah. If I were doing it for publication I'd change the +4 to +3 in the first feat and drop the resistance to 2 in the second. Not because the current values are wrong for most games, but because the 4s would be irresistible in the van Helsing game I described. Feat tax level of must have. Part of the fun/joy/nervous-breakdown of designing for a toolbox game is trying to hit a happy medium when you know nothing about the environment the tools will actually get unwrapped into Wink.
23  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: June 22, 2014, 08:44:35 AM
*shrug* Replace 'should' with 'could' and I'm there Wink.

New Campaign Quality: ...And Samuel L. Jackson is his Prophet (1 action die)
  All special characters with an alignment gain the benefits of the And I will Strike down upon Thee feat.
24  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: June 22, 2014, 08:22:00 AM
  It does something - it bypasses DR/that alignment. Whether that ever shows up in any particular game depends on the setting designer/GM. It could be a foot note, or it could be the only solution to saving the world from a hideous disembodied beating dragon's heart pumping black ichor for a ritual that will unleash eternal darkness... that just happens to have DR 99/[your sword's alignment here]. And while that sounds cheesy, I promise I could make a player feel like the biggest badass in history that evening at the gaming table Smiley.

  One thing to remember is that while the Core book is expansive, its not all inclusive. The Game doesn't stop at the back cover. Some things in it are hooks for setting designers to employ (though that may call for extreme/excessive levels of system mastery to understand those hooks). Some thing are groundwork for books that were intended to follow on afterwards. It was pointed out in the Lets Read thread that the table of schools and disciplines doesn't do a lot. It does have some implications and interactions there in the book, but mostly its ground work for Spellbound.

  Those feat I just banged out in about the same amount of time as it took to type them are examples of how the hooks can be employed. If you only use official material then yeah, weapon alignment is almost vestigial until Crafty chooses to do something with it. But if you enjoy the bounty of the License to Improvise, I'm sure some one already has or will hook you up Smiley.
25  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Dissociated mechanics and a gamer manifesto on: June 22, 2014, 07:57:02 AM
RE: the first article "new world order" I couldn't disagree more with the author when he says "The role of a designer is to only use what you absolutely have to. If a creation can exist without something, a good designer will take it away. For game design, this means that you want to only leave in the game what is necessary for the game to function." right, so new RPG game design, flip a coin, heads your character succeeds, tails he fails, if its a specialty skill you can flip again or spend a fate penny and you can re-flip, bitchen art and game support to follow. great game?

  I would argue its not functioning - you have minimum goals/expectations that it's not meeting, so by definition it's been over simplified. Realistically, what you describe wouldn't actually see print before someone reached up and pulled the suck cord. That's one of the actual advantages of design by committee. You can disagree with Mark Rosewater, but I think its foolish in the extreme to dismiss out of hand anything the lead designer responsible for BILLIONS of dollars of sold game materials cares to share about design. He may not resonate for you, but he's got the lock on a truly vast number of gamer hearts and minds.

  I'd also suggest that most fresh designers I've spoken with tend to agree with you: the heady power of godhood inspires the desire to create. To sketch in all corners. To define. The impulse to use a light touch usually takes years (...many years...) of examining the feedback from your work before it manifests, in my experience. I sure as hell didn't come to it quickly Roll Eyes. The way I design now is very different from how I approached Spycraft first ed. And while he and I approach challenges differently I can't wait to see what Alex does with Spycraft third edition because he's just flat out more seasoned than he/we were when we took on the second ed.

Quote
this goes into your next points about market awareness, support, and business... is the goal of great game design to make money? is that the be all end all of what determines what is or isn't a great table top RPG?

  No... but it IS what rapidly separates the professional designer from the hobbyist/vanity designer. If you don't move with an awareness of those things you don't get to keep making games. And ultimately, the amount of money you have to realize your vision has tremendous impact on how "good" the game is. Like movies, complete game design and presentation is a massively multi-disciplinary undertaking. Someone's college film project may be art, executed to the finest level with the resources available, but it's not its destiny to become a household name. In RPG the same is true. You don't get great illustrations, beautifully elegant typesetting, robust design, rigorous play-testing, intriguing props, and a print run of more that 27 copies without someone being able - and willing - to foot the bill for a quality team and not just a lone developer with a laptop. I've dealt with people who sank tens of thousands into their vanity project with no one on their team to consider the market they were approaching. The designer? He loved it to death. The backer? It was perfect in his eyes. It addressed everything about table top gaming that ever bothered him and it did it in a mere 400 pages of droning text and god knows how many full page tables. While they may have printed 2-3 thousand they sold less than 400 - and many of those at a loss considering where they shipped them to. great game?

  I don't know precisely how you want to quantify a game's "greatness", but to me no one person gets to claim to be the arbiter of it, so yeah, sales have some value as a tool for polling the broader culture if you understand the scales between publishers (and if you want to watch bad design trump megabucks, consider Hecatomb... Holy F**K, what were they thinking?). Maybe player base? How many people choose to expend their leisure time on your particular past time must count for something, right? Critical acclaim is handy too, if maybe a little elitist. How about longevity? I think chess is a greater game than any RPG ever made because it has and will continue to outlive us all. How well the game matches my personal Preferences? ...Not so much. I don't pretend my tastes are going to be broadly shared or prompt money being spent by others to gratify them... Actually I usually assume if I like a TV show that gives it an 85% chance of being canceled at the end of the first season, but it doesn't make me rant against the entire industry that they are lazy writers (ok, sometimes, but I secretly know I'm full of it when I do). Some days I'm just not the target audience. If you think the best game ever made is probably sitting in a stack of unbound printer pages played six times by a total of 8 people ever because somewhere there's an unsung genius who is simply that much better than every designer who actually jumps through the hoops of mass publication, we'll just have to agree we use different metrics Smiley. I like polish. And you don't get polish without getting it into the hands of a LOT of people. And now were back at doing design as a professional (or at least with professionalism) rather than as a hobbyist. Hobbyists basically can't rise to the level I desire without going pro and professionals must be aware of the business realities.
26  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: June 22, 2014, 04:42:21 AM
  Keep in mind "alignments" in Fantasycraft aren't a universal presumption or a static construct/cosmology. As an undefined mechanic it can ONLY be used as targeting when you talk about alignments or opposed alignment in general because for "alignment effects" to be flavorful and appropriate you'd have to know what the alignment IS beforehand Smiley. If you want flavorful affects relating to alignments, look at the paths - in settings with miracles active alignments are built out of those thematically and that's where the flavor is rather than the generic toolkit all of them access.

  The importance of alignments is determined not so much by absolute rules as by how much of the setting the GM chooses to link to them. If its a corner case where only a few restricted groups have the intensity of mad-on to both qualify as an alignment in the first place and to have a member of your sworn foes show up one adventure in twelve, then those tools will rightly migrate to the bottom of the stack.

  On the other hand if your entire party is the mailed fist of a van Helsing-esque society complete with its own alignment and every unrepentant bat-winged abomination in the entire world subscribes the "we cull the flock of humanity" alignment (with the predictable mutually opposed status between them) and your adventure structure is unabashedly "burn the bloodsucker of the week" then holy water starts looking like a really good buy Wink.

  A GM can dial the significance of alignments all the way up to eleven-point-five, but the system doesn't MAKE THEM do that. It's a setting design choice Smiley.

  Now where we run into some real head scratchers vs. The Other Game, is why would I as a demon prince breeding minions for millennia create foot-soldiers that are - get this - vulnerable only to my enemies and highly resistant to any disciplinary action I might choose to dish out?

  The usual Evil is vulnerable to Good, Good is vulnerable to Evil is basically absurd. All its really saying is 'hey neutral, piss off!' Its really there to provide mechanical support to the asymmetric notion 'good always wins' because the violence good does is just better. Its why monsters get weakness to heroes (players) and players generally don't get weaknesses to monsters.

  Resistances I can see - I, Bubba, Lord of the Pit am true ebil and get Good Resistance 8. That make sense. good folk quail before me, neutral folks start thinking they're wise to have not gone all goody-two shoes, and the rest of evildom gives me high-fives in the corridor outside Hell's Cafeteria. Or they betray me in the way evil so often does and they are not particularly concerned doubt my Good Resistance 8 while they do it. Sensible, that

  Amusingly I just did a new character option where alignment mattered - it gave you a buff for planting a flag... and it only works if the flag matches your alignment. Maybe what aligned weapons need to be more accessible is character options that only trigger when you're wielding a weapon of your alignment...

And I Will Strike Down Upon Thee
  ...with great vengeance and furious anger.
  Prerequisites: Alignment (any)
  Benefit: While you have a weapon with your alignment readied you gain a +1 bonus to all attack checks and damage rolls with that weapon. This bonus increases to +4 when attacking characters or objects with an opposing alignment.

Yay, though I walk...
   There's a serious badass around here and it's probably me.
  Prerequisites: Alignment (any)
  Benefit: While you have a weapon with your alignment readied you gain DR 1 and Opposed Alignment Resistance 4 (this applies to any source of damage with the opposing alignment be it character, object, or scenery).

  Still generic as all heck and an exercise in targeting, but easy to see the appeal Smiley.
27  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 22, 2014, 02:43:06 AM
  Her "knock you down and staple you to the ground with her shortsword through the chest" throw remains one of the most memorable moves in my large catalogue of fighting game experiences. For what amounts to a neutral-good druid, she's kind of ill-tempered Shocked. The whole roster is made considerably better by having had honorable/savage versions of the same character introduced with variants in their moves.

  I may tinker with applying this structure for other character adaptations as 5 feats gives a lot more room than a 3 feat chain for character with complex ability sets, and the start->three in any order->finish feels like it will allow nicely organic development choices even within a fixed "track"
  It may also be a lot easier to mate this structure to my observations that every Capcom and SNK fighting character ever (excluding a few bosses that may or may not have later become playable) can be faithfully mapped to a 3x normal, 1x enhanced, 2x super ability structure, which has never fit into a 3 feat chain entirely satisfactorily (especially with an integral Edge building mechanic being required).
28  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 22, 2014, 01:54:56 AM
  This chain is based on Yasuo the Unforgiven. This is the character that got me started on this track as I'm a total sucker for the whole "dash past them before they know they've been cut" shtick. Tachibana Ukyo Forever. Since Yasuo is also an unmistakable homage to Haomaru from the same game, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that remembers Samurai Spirits/Showdown fondly Smiley.

A Wanderer's Journey
  The wind is your teacher and the air itself your guardian.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. When you roll a threat with a melee or unarmed attack you may confirm the critical without spending an action die by accepting a –2 penalty to the damage roll (minimum 1). The first time each combat that you are hit by a special character, before damage is rolled you gain fervor equal to your Dexterity modifier + one-half your Career Level (rounded up). Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you moved at least 25 ft. that round.

Breeze Strike
  True speed in swordsmanship requires you to let go of your ties to this world.
  Prerequisites: A Wanderer's Journey feat
  Benefit: While you have a fencing blade, sword, or greatsword readied, you may draw a 20 ft. line starting from your square and where the farthest square is unoccupied. Make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against one enemy on this line. Hit or miss, you then move to the farthest square of the line (ignoring adjacency). Each time you use this ability you gain a cumulative +1 bonus to damage the next time you use Breeze Strike until the end of combat (maximum +4 on the 5th and subsequent Breeze Strikes). You may not attack the same character with Breeze Strike more than once per combat.

Howling with the Sky
  Let us cross blades, for arrows have no place here.
  Prerequisites: A Wanderer's Journey feat
  Benefit: You gain a stance.
  Voice of the Howling Winds (stance): You must spend 4 Edge when entering this stance. Reset your A Wanderer's Journey feat and you gain +2 bonus to resist anticipate, feint, and trip attempts. As a half action you may leave this stance to draw a line up to 25 ft. long with both ends within 30 ft. of you. A screen of elemental wind fills that line for 4 rounds, preventing any ranged attacks from crossing it except for siege weapons.

Steel Winds
  Your slashing blade can arouse a cyclone of furious air.
  Prerequisites: A Wanderer's Journey feat; edged forte
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a fencing blade, sword, or greatsword readied and your Edge is 0 or 1 you may draw a 10 ft. line beginning in your square. Make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against all enemies on this line (roll damage separately). Gain 1 Edge if you hit at least one enemy. If your Edge is 2 or higher you instead draw a 20 ft. line beginning in your square, and the attack gains the lift-off quality. You Edge is then reduced to 0. You may only use Steel Winds if you did not use it last round.
  Special: If you have used Breeze Strike earlier this round, instead of drawing a line, these attacks target all enemies adjacent to you.

Voice of the Typhoon
  This storm speaks with lethal authority.
  Prerequisites: Breeze Strike, Howling with the Sky, & Steel Winds feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Once per combat at any time during the round you may target a lifted special enemy you can see within 60 ft. You immediately move to the nearest unoccupied square adjacent to the target (ignoring adjacency). The target and all other lifted enemies within 15 ft. of the target take lethal edged damage equal to your Dexterity score + your Career level. Reset your A Wanderer's Journey feat, reduce your Edge to 0, and you gain the “Voice of the Typhoon” bonus. Voice of the Typhoon is a named bonus giving all your melee and unarmed attacks against special characters armor piercing 4 and lasts until the combat ends.

29  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Any League of Legends players? on: June 21, 2014, 10:30:57 PM
  Balance pass and text clean up~

FERVOR
  Some characters have an extraordinary drive to win – the ability to overcome hardship and strife to achieve victory. This resilience can come from within or be inspired by the words and actions of others. Fervor is an expression of this heroic zeal as it applies to combat. Fervor points act as an additional buffer, absorbing damage before it reaches a character’s vitality or wounds. Fervor has the following properties.

• Lethal, stress, and subdual damage are all applied to fervor after any applicable DR and resistances with each point removing 1 point of fervor. If any damage remains after the character’s fervor is reduced to 0, it affects the character normally.
• When you gain fervor, you either keep your current fervor or replace it with the new value, whichever is higher – multiple sources of Fervor DO NOT stack unless they explicitly say so.
• Fervor cannot be healed or restored, only gained or lost.
• All fervor is lost at the end of each scene.

NEW CONDITIONS

  Concussed: The next time any character hits a concussed character with a threat or critical hit, the concussed character is stunned for 1 round and is no longer concussed. Concussed characters may cancel the condition by taking a full defense action without moving from their present square.

  Laid Bare: Characters who have been laid bare take increased divine damage from effects that inflict divine damage equal to the total value of lay bare effects they have suffered. They may cancel all laid bare effects on them by taking a full defense action without moving from their present square.

  Lifted: Lifted characters lose one half action and the lifted condition at the beginning of their next initiative count. Characters that can fly or who automatically reduce their falling damage by 1 or more dice cannot be lifted.

  Shredded: Shredded characters lose DR equal to the single highest shred effect they have suffered (multiple shreds do not typically stack). They may cancel the condition by spending 2 use item actions.

NEW WEAPON QUALITIES

  Concussive: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Fortitude save bonus, the target is concussed.

  Lay Bare X: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Will save bonus, the target is laid bare, taking additional divine damage from sources of divine damage equal to the number after the quality.

  Lift-Off: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Reflex save bonus, the target is lifted.

  Shredding X: When an attack or weapon with this quality hits, if the attack check result is equal to or greater than 15 + the target’s Reflex save bonus, the target is shredded, losing DR equal to the number after the quality.

NEW PATHS

Path of the Hungry Nine-Tail
  Hungry Nine-Tail I: You gain the Essence Theft feat.
  Hungry Nine-Tail II: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail III: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail IV: You gain your choice of the Fox's Bounce, Fox's Flames, or Fox's Kiss feats.
  Hungry Nine-Tail V: You gain the Fox's Leap feat.

Path of Ice's Guardian
  Ice's Guardian I: You gain the Essence Theft feat.
  Ice's Guardian II: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian III: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian IV: You gain your choice of the Stand Behind Me, Winter's Bite, or Winter's Wall feats.
  Ice's Guardian V: You gain the Winter's Wrath feat.

Path of the Star-Child
  Star-Child I: You gain the Heavenly Luminance feat.
  Star-Child II: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child III: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child IV: You gain your choice of the Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, or Touched by Starlight feats.
  Star-Child V: You gain the Wish Upon a Star feat.

Path of the Sun-Dragon
  Sun-Dragon I: You gain the Assault Cadence feat.
  Sun-Dragon II: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon III: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon IV: You gain your choice of the Banner of the Sun-Dragon, Sun-Dragon's Aegis, or Sun-Dragon's Lance feats.
  Sun-Dragon V: You gain the Sun-Dragon's Tears feat.

- - - - - -

  Basic “LoL Styles” feat progression~

Foundation
   / | \
Three Feats (in any order)
   └┴┬┘
Signature

- - - - - -

Assault Cadence
  You strive to dictate the flow of battle from the very first attack.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. The first time you hit each opponent with a 2-handed weapon during a combat, you gain a bonus to damage equal to 1 + the target’s Career/Threat Level. Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or damaged at least 3 enemies that round.

Banner of the Sun-Dragon
  The white & gold crest of the Sun-Dragon knights inspires unrelenting defiance against the enemy.
  Prerequisites: Assault Cadence feat
  Benefit: You may ready a banner of your alignment as a free action and ignoring hand limits. You also gain a stance.
  Flag of the Sun-Dragon (banner of your alignment stance): You must spend 4 Edge when entering this stance. You gain DR 1 and the Contempt feat. You may exit this stance to plant your standard in your current square. The standard then provides the “Banner of the Sun-Dragon” bonus to all allies able to see the banner and within 50 ft. including yourself until the standard is moved, destroyed, or combat ends. Banner of the Sun-Dragon is a named bonus granting DR 1 and the Contempt feat.

Sun-Dragon’s Aegis
  The Sun knows its own.
  Prerequisites: Assault Cadence feat
  Benefit: Any time you are hit, before damage is rolled you may spend 3 Edge to gain fervor equal to one-half your Career Level + 5 for each special enemy within 100 ft. (rounded up). Then each enemy you are able to see within 20 ft. has all of their movement speeds reduced by 10 ft. for 2 rounds.

Sun-Dragon’s Lance
  You have mastered a powerful thrusting attack using your spear to channel your martial spirit.
  Prerequisites:  Assault Cadence feat; edged forte
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a 2-handed spear readied you may draw a 30 ft. line starting from your square. As a full action, make a single attack with the qualifying weapon against all enemies along this line (roll damage separately). This attack gains shredding 1. You may only use Sun-Dragon’s Lance if you did not use it last round.
  Special: If your Sun-Dragon’s Lance attack crosses the square where you have planted a standard with flag of the Sun-Dragon, this attack gains the lift-off quality and you move to the nearest empty square adjacent to your standard after the attack is resolved (ignoring adjacency).

Sun-Dragon’s Tears
  With a mighty bound you strike like the Sun-Dragon’s fiery tears.
  Prerequisites: Banner of the Sun Dragon, Sun Dragon’s Aegis, & Sun-Dragon’s Lance feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Once per combat during your initiative count and while you have a 2-handed spear readied, you may target a special enemy you can see within 30 ft. You immediately move to the nearest unoccupied square adjacent to the target (ignoring adjacency). The target is lifted and takes lethal edged damage equal to your the higher of your Strength or Constitution scores + your Career Level. Then you may choose whether the force of your impact creates a crater (a permanent, unmoving 25 ft. diameter ring of very difficult terrain centered on the target’s square).

- - - - - -

Essence Theft
  Not the whole thing of course... just a little taste with each “bite”.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Each time you inflict divine damage on an enemy while you have 9 fervor or more, you lose 9 fervor and heal up to 9 points of vitality. When you inflict divine damage on an enemy and you have less than 9 fervor, you gain fervor equal to 1 + your current Fervor (i.e. your fervor increases by 1). Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or lost fervor that round.

Fox’s Bounce
  Don’t look now, but it’s coming back...
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat; spirit weapons forte
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit orb readied, you may draw a 40 ft. line starting from your square. Make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against all enemies along this line (roll damage separately). Then make a second ranged attack check against each of those targets you hit, this time doubling any dodge bonuses they may have. Damage from this second attack cannot be resisted or redirected. You may only use Fox’s Bounce if you did not use it last round.
  Special: If you have previously fixated a target at any point during this combat, you gain a +2 bonus to both damage rolls against them when using this ability.

Fox’s Flames
  Hungry spirits follow in your wake, thirsty for essence.
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat
  Benefit: You gain a stance.
  Ghost Lights (spirit orb stance): You must spend 3 Edge when entering this stance. Surround yourself with 3 floating orbs of foxfire. You may spend 3 Edge as a free action to refresh the number of foxfires surrounding you to 3. Twice per round during your initiative count you may consume a foxfire to make a free attack with your spirit orb. Instead of its normal damage, this attack does 1d10 + your Charisma modifier divine damage for the first foxfire, 1d8 + your Charisma modifier for the second, and 1d6 + your Charisma modifier for the third.

Fox’s Kiss
  Your wiles have teeth and your teeth have wiles.
  Prerequisites: Essence Theft feat
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit orb readied, you may draw a 50 ft. line starting from your square. Spend 4 Edge and make a standard attack with the qualifying weapon against the nearest enemy along this line that you can see. If this attack check hits and the result exceeds 15 + the target’s Will save bonus, instead of inflicting damage they become fixated on you for 2 rounds. During that time they may only move towards you at half speed on their initiative count and may not make attack or skill checks. This fixation is so powerful that you may damage them without breaking the fixation and they may not apply dodge bonuses against your attacks.

Fox’s Leap
  ‘Here’ is such a mutable concept to the spirits...
  Prerequisites: Fox’s Bounce, Fox’s Flames, & Fox’s Kiss feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Up to 3 times per combat when you would be struck by an enemy’s attack but before damage is rolled, you may gain a +5 dodge bonus to defense against that attack. After that attack is resolved you may immediately teleport up to 30 ft. and enter the ghost lights stance or if already in that stance refresh the number of foxfires surrounding you to 3 without spending Edge.
 
- - - - - -

Concussive Blows
  “Fists like hammers” isn’t a fanciful metaphor where you are concerned.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Your unarmed attacks and blunt weapons gain the concussive quality. Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense or concussed an enemy.

Stand Behind Me
  You’re always ready to take one for the team.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 3 Edge to gain fervor equal to your Constitution modifier + one-half Career Level (round up). If  you do, you may also choose an ally you can see within 20 ft. to gain the same amount of fervor. You then move to any empty square adjacent to that ally (ignoring adjacency). You must choose a square between them and a visible enemy if possible.

Winter’s Bite
  Shards of ice fly from your shield, ensuring there is no escape.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat; blunt forte
  Benefit: As a full action make an attack with a shield. The attack gains reach 8. If it hits the target is also concussed and their speed is halved for two rounds (round speeds down to the nearest 5 ft.). You may only use Winter’s Bite if you did not use it last round.

Winter’s Wall
  You may freeze the air itself to build a shelter against your enemies.
  Prerequisites: Concussive Blows feat
  Benefit: When you would be hit by any ranged attack, you may spend 4 Edge to cancel the effects of that attack and gain the “Winter’s Wall” bonus for 4 rounds. Winter’s Wall is a named bonus that gives you DR 10 against ranged attacks. Further if any ranged attack passes within 10 ft of you, you may choose to have it strike you directly instead of its intended target/destination. You may not make saves against attacks you have redirected in this fashion.

Winter’s Wrath
  The glaciers of your home burst forth from the earth at your command.
  Prerequisites: Stand Behind Me, Winter’s Bite, & Winter’s Wall feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature Technique. Once per combat while you have a shield readied you may draw a 30 ft. line starting from your square. As a full action make a single attack with the qualifying weapon against all opponents adjacent to you and/or along that line. This attack has the lift-off quality and targets hit take subdual damage equal to your Constitution score + your Career Level (no damage roll needed). All squares in the line are filled with waist-high broken ice blocks (very rough terrain) until the ice melts.

- - - - - -

Heavenly Luminance
  Your connection to the stars is a giving, kindly glow.
  Prerequisites: You may have only one Foundation Technique
  Benefit: Foundation Technique. Your Intelligence rises by 1. If you give Edge to an ally who has 0 Edge, they gain 1 additional Edge. If you heal an ally who has less than 50% of their vitality remaining, the amount you heal them for is increased by 50% (round up). Gain 1 Edge at the end of your initiative count in combat if you declared full defense and/or were attacked by an enemy that round.

Seal of the Stars
  Those you bless are nearly as eternal as the stars above.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 4 Edge to target an ally you can see within 40 ft, healing them for a number of points equal to your Intelligence score and granting them “Seal of the Stars”. Restore wounds first, then vitality, stress, and subdual damage in that order. Seal of the Stars is a named bonus giving DR 3 and lasts until you use this ability again or the fight ends.

Shower of Light
  The rays of the stars rain down on your foes, sharp as arrows.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat; spirit weapons forte.
  Benefit: Once per round while you have a spirit staff readied you may make a single attack with it against all enemies within 25 ft. This attack check uses your Intelligence bonus instead of Wisdom and has the lay bare 1 quality. Each target you hit suffers 1d6 + your Intelligence modifier divine damage (roll damage separately). You may only use Shower of Light if you did not use it last round.
  Special: If you hit at least 1 special enemy, the next time you use Seal of the Stars it costs only 3 Edge.

Touched by Starlight
  The stars see all... and judge them.
  Prerequisites: Heavenly Luminance feat
  Benefit: As a half action you may spend 3 Edge and choose a non-bystander character you can see within 40 ft. If they are an ally, you grant them 3 Edge. If they are an enemy, they cannot spend Edge for 2 rounds.

Wish Upon a Star
  This wish will be granted.
  Prerequisites: Seal of the Stars, Shower of Light, & Touched by Starlight feats; you may have only one Signature Technique
  Benefit: Signature technique. Once per combat as a free action you may heal yourself and all teammates within 1 mile for a number of points equal to your Intelligence score + twice your Career Level. This healing ignores the Burden of Ages drawback. Restore wounds first, then vitality, stress, and subdual damage in that order.


30  Products / Spycraft Third Edition / Re: Dissociated mechanics and a gamer manifesto on: June 21, 2014, 07:42:17 PM
  I tend to see games visibly "kicking each other's posteriors" as a matter of publishing schedule/scale rather than all that much of a comment on system behavior/quality. In my opinion 4th ed D&D is a fairly limited example of the RPG form, and yet it cannot be denied that it seized massive quantities of gamer awareness, much of it on the strength of the name and the shear amount of shelf space it takes up. It was one of the handful of games you could actually consistently find in non-specialty book stores.

  The biggest difference between HSD and M&M in terms of market awareness isn't how they go about their business at the gaming table, its how many books have come out for them in the last 5 years - and in that light the difference is stark. As an audience we have been well conditioned not so much to expect any particular thing but to expect SUPPORT. Sure, the layout and art quality has gone way, WAY up in the last 15 years (look at the majority of pre-SRD gaming fare and most of it is downright painful to our modern, coddled eyes...) but the biggest issue in gamer chit-chat/religious arguments still boils down to how long since the last book/what's coming out next? Games that don't turn out regular offering are classed "dead games" by the larger community no matter how brilliant they are at the gaming table. Its an easy judgment to make and often excessively harsh. But the fact remains most gamers have a certain modest monthly budget to pitch to show their support for the hobby as a whole, and if your game doesn't have something for them to buy they'll support the publisher who does. "What have you done for me lately?"

  Pathfinder (and 4th ed when it was still a thing) dish multiple books every month. Its a brilliant strategy not only to make money directly, but to set a standard that drives out second tier competition by sucking all the air out of the room. Pathfinder especially enjoys strangling its rivals in the crib with the free playtest rules model (mimicked by D&D Next because imitation is a very sincere form of flattery...). They KNOW they'll make their money on the support products over the core book. They quite deliberately use that to make other smaller companies look stingy for expecting customers to actually pay for the core 200-300 pages that they bled themselves dry to produce.

  I think games get "dumbed down" a lot more because that makes them easier to write for (and thus support after the first volume) than because players have some intrinsic need to not be intrigued/challenged/engaged by depth in their engine of choice. There's also a big difference between elegant and simplistic. Looking at World of Warcraft for a minute, you have a game accused of being the grand high poobah of dumbing down, but you still have an amazingly intricate structure of choices and interactions both individually and in its group play dynamics and challenges... that does a fantastic job of introducing you to that complexity so gradually that you're hardly aware of it. To the casuals you can say "I have a 72 level Warrior" and be easily understood. To the hardcore, when you get to talking Warriors like you mean it, you get into so many possible combinations of build and gear that you're slicing fractions of a percent with a degree of precision no table top game has ever managed (or should attempt - automated bookkeeping has a ton of invisible consequences...). WoW is arguably as complicated as HSG but it hides that complexity in way that lets it be a great game for 10 year-old while HSG is scaring off veteran gamer adults. That's not "dumbing down".

  I recommend a good read through two articles about a game that made more money in its first year by about 3 orders of magnitude than most RPGs will make in their entire run. These guys are SERIOUS when it comes to managing their perception as having "deep gameplay" or being "a scary game to learn". The first article, New World Order, I consider pretty much required reading if you're gonna talk about the long term consequences of complexity on a game as a business. The second, Lenticular Design is a spin-off about applying those lessons to your design process - a little more esoteric but if you enjoy game design yourself its pretty heady stuff.
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