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31  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Farthest Star] So, guns... on: December 09, 2014, 01:30:22 AM
As long as we can do gauss/gunfoam pistols, multicannons, and plasma cannons with plasma rocket modes.

Other than not immediately recognizing gunfoam, yeah, that's all a definite goal of this pass.
32  Community / License to Improvise / Re: [Farthest Star] So, guns... on: December 09, 2014, 01:29:21 AM
Why not 5/7/10?

  Within the class design system there is a parity/exchange between 3 vitality and 2 skill points per level. 5/7/10 would mean that 8 skill point/5vitality classes aren't paying enough for their skill points, and as skill points already tend to overshadow vitality in total utility (in large part because of the high base for vitality) I don't want to make 8 skill point classes any more appealing (relative to other configurations) than they already are.

Like the simple breakup of Sidearm & Longarm.  Add an "Other" for everything else?

  There are likely to be other modern weapons (and related proficiencies) but I can't immediately think of firearms that won't fit within the 2 category framework. Edit: hmm. Firearms you don't hold up might be a third category, maybe. Vehicle weapons are definite in their own proficiencies.

I'm good with a large range for boomsticks, as a reasonable reflection of reality.  YMMV.  (I also like a excuse to break out my dodecahedrons.)

  "Large range" will likely arise from the combinational behavior of upgrades. In terms of basic stat lines, I'd like to see 30 or less. Basically a little broader than the common arsenal of shooters, but only a little broader. I'll scrounge the MAG for a rough list, but basically one line for each of the categories seen there.

  I'm also leaning towards using the Stormsurge format of 3 range brackets, with range penalties and drop and damage drop-off as seen there. A lot simpler than SC2's 5-10 range increments. Controlling those values independently is useful for modeling different technologies on the same frame (super flat trajectories from gauss weapons for example).

Tell me more about the companies and how their weapons are different.  (Vaguely sarcastic:  As a gun bunny I want All The Choices, especially in a way that reflects the @120 years of "modern firearms," but I totally see how a) physics-wise they aren't all that different; b) game-mechanics wise there are actually maybe a dozen sidearms in the world and the other 700 are fluff that really should be left to GMs/players who really care about that sort of thing.

Manufacturer Upgrade
Phuleproof Munitions +20% base cost.
  Requires an additional action dice to activate any error as a mechanical failure of the weapon. 90% ammo (round down)

  A good reliable weapon, with emphasizes safety over ammo and commands a modest premium that makes it more popular with collectors and specialists rather than large scale buyers.

  Since there's only one manufacture 'slot' per weapon, you have opportunity costs.

  On the accuracy thing, I was thinking that certain feats would offer bonus to hit with certain weapon types - in the hands of a typical shooter, the better heat distribution and reduced barrel warping of a bull barreled sniper rifle is meaningless... but to the master, it's a significant boon. The tagging (bull barrel) would be on the weapon, but the benefit (would be on the feat when using weapons with the tag.
  Good shooting form would also be encouraged through stand alone tricks bought with proficiencies. World of difference between a trained agent with the wherewithal to use a perfect teacup grip even while ducking and rolling vs a punk waving a gun around every which way. A good grip stance is might let you handle a larger weapon comfortably, while forte continues to provide the straight +1 to hit.
33  Community / License to Improvise / [Farthest Star] So, guns... on: December 08, 2014, 08:59:56 PM
  So, I've been musing over weapons for Farthest Star. Damage tracks are interesting things, influenced from 4 corners (character wounds/vit, armor values, weapon damage, and heal rates).

  For vitality I'm looking at 4/7/10 points per level (down from 6/9/12) as a way of both increasing the danger during combat and making the low skill point classes more appealing/relevant in a more civilized setting. It has the added benefit of increasing the impact of the Constitution modifier contribution, an attribute that could use some loving (Determination in New Pie).

  I've been going over the armor values HERE. While they work pretty well, I may increase the medium and heavy protection slightly just to get clearer differentiation between the levels.

  For firearms, I have a couple of goals:
  Two proficiencies: Sidearms & Longarms. This is basically a 1-hand/2-hand split. There will be some creep with 1-hand weapons than have a second (optional) grip and a few longarms short enough to be dual wielded by Rambo fans.
  A Strength score requirement for "comfortable use". I'm looking for this to be a binary state - either the gun is comfortable for a person of your size/strength or its a bit overwhelming (Fitness in New Pie). Weapons will be broken into separate base stat lines keyed to this value (i.e. several sizes of pistols suited to a range of users).
  Damage values for the weapons should be more consistent within class - the dice will be there to introduce variability into the outcome rather than the bulk of the damage for larger weapons. I've really enjoyed the fixed damage values in the Storm Surge rules and will be leaning more that way here. The cornerstone ATM is I'd like the most generic widely used pistols (largely analogous to the 9mm) damage to be 1d8+1. A lighter pistol would be 1d8 and heavier pistols would be 1d8+N. The d8 is the variability for all of them. Dex mod will be added to damage.
  Double tap and 3-round burst should resemble the tricks we see now. They will only penalize your attack check if the weapon is too big for you (see above). In other words, getting shot up will HURT.
  A simple 'Rapid Fire' value that ties into autofire attack tricks. While I expect this value to be applied from a design balance perspective, I will try to set up a workable conversion sidebar should people want to import real weapons into the toolset.
  As this is a near future/sci-fi tool, I will be shying away from specific weapons and specific ammo caliber information. However, I do look forward to introducing gun companies and their product lines as a craftsmanship upgrade.
  I am looking to make to hit rolls with guns slightly more difficult than melee combat as a general rule. That said, the weapons themselves will probably NOT have a significant contribution positive or negative to the attack check. I want this aspect of combat to be primarily based on shooter's skill. (Ok, a weapon in really terrible condition might have an accuracy penalty, but It's going to be a lot more granular in this regard). Cover is going to be highly emphasized. A lot. No, probably more than that even.

  I hope to rough-in some tables for discussion shortly, but this should explain my thinking Smiley.
34  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: December 08, 2014, 08:20:33 PM
Nice! I like the faction rebalancing. The tweaks for affinity units look promising. I see about 5 of my favorite abuses beaten heavily about the head and shoulders with the nerf bat. There were things I was doing with invulnerable-to-aliens explorers that were just dumb. And trade routes were ridiculously powerful (more so with the now removed autoplant extra trade route option). Looking forward to this a lot.

Edit: Oh yeah, that tech tree-web-thing is  much easier to read with a little color coding.
35  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Kicking the Rust off an Ol' Player Koala. on: December 08, 2014, 03:33:15 PM
That may be more Captain-like than Mage. Possibly Priest. And I wouldn't rule out music as an explanation for a Sage's abilities.

And I'd definitely look to the Talents with encouragement.
36  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: December 06, 2014, 07:59:34 PM
One thing that the game has inspired is a deeper look at the tensions introduced by having multiple interests colonizing the same planet. Initially I envisioned most new worlds being settled by only a single faction in Farthest Star, but upon reflection, having a bit of a land grab/free for all creates much more interesting environments.

It certainly does.  Any chance the factions decided to do an experiment, or series of experiments, that start with launching expeditions that will arrive at nearly the same time on a specific planet?

  Well, I think at the interstellar nation level, having a single star system being colonized by two powers would be extremely rare and extremely fraught with peril - and therefore worth doing 1-3 times total in the setting Smiley. But, more and more I'm thinking the state largely controls terraforming and could "open a world" in a way that 5+ factions within that nation might land at nearly the same time. I already had some interesting real-estate ownership laws on the books (essentially an individual can only hold properties in two large 'bubbles' to help reduce the hyper-accumulation of wealth) so factions carving a world into a couple of bubbles sort of makes sense. However these would still be rival components of the SAME country, so open warfare would be fairly infrequent. Lots more turning to higher powers for arbitration.

  On the whole this works out well as by the Farthest Star play era, there's grown to be a fair degree of fear/concern about mono-cultural colonies. Without the checks and balances of more diverse views, having a colony grow into a 'pyre state' hypertechnological meltdown is a lot more common. The transcendence victory of BE is considered a lose condition in Farthest Star Smiley. The emancipation gate victory is a goddamn nightmare from the old worlds' perspective. Rogue colony attempts invasion of the parent culture backed by extreme tech? No thanks.
37  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: December 06, 2014, 07:52:09 PM
There need to be atmosphere processors...

Funny you should mention that as I just used the satellites that'll clear miasma from a 19 hex area for the first time my last game. You could re-envision that as a plant on the ground not associated with any city. In fact my next outing with BE I'm wanting to do a civilization that heavily leverages the various satellite/launch control radius effects. Possibly Slavic, but maybe not.

The pursuit of virtues has also been interesting - I tend to go bee-line down the prosperity line until I have both the (greatly) enhanced terracapes (usually unlocking that 1-3 turns before my first terrascape tiles are completed) and the MASSIVE reduction in -negative health that lies at eh bottom of that line. I tend to find the Prosperity line in keeping with a Union colonization effort, while the Industry line more fitting for Authority worlds under development. (the science line demands some very specific early strategies to properly exploit the bonuses to expeditions). The Military tree seems the weakest to me, but it may be more valuable in higher difficulty runs. Mixing virtue preference with affinity definitely helps model the various interstellar powers in Farthest Star over affinity-only generalizations.

38  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Beyond Earth (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...) on: December 06, 2014, 04:40:14 PM
So, I'd been playing this with the hopes of getting insights into the processes of exploration and expansion that drive the Union in Farthest Star. Beyond Earth (and Alpha Centuri before it) have some issues that arise because they are games built on other games that propose starting out in mud huts on a riverbank. Much like when I was watching Prometheus the first time, a couple of the basic assumptions are just wrong when dealing with interstellar colonization - You aren't starting out as a next generation Lewis and Clark on the ground. You start out in space, looking down, from a position where launching a entire networks of satellites for recon and later global positioning, and universal net access is trivial. Any operation that isn't in complete tatters is going linger in orbit a bit and map the holy heck out of a place before dropping probes- even then people aren't going down for a while and when they do it will be at the world's absolute garden spot.

I see two other differences for Farthest Star that would radically change the gameplay. First, the new world is not cut off from the 'old worlds'. If the colony performs well there will be waves of immigrants, expansion of trade, and really no excuse for any sort of backslide technically. The Second is the availability of comparatively cheap terraforming. World-sculptors are a rare example of von Neumann devices in the setting (rather large devices at that). Allow and extra 10-20 years up fornt and there are significantly more worlds to conquer.

One thing that the game has inspired is a deeper look at the tensions introduced by having multiple interests colonizing the same planet. Initially I envisioned most new worlds being settled by only a single faction in Farthest Star, but upon reflection, having a bit of a land grab/free for all creates much more interesting environments.

More to ponder Smiley.
39  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: [LABORATORY] The final Spellbound spells on: December 04, 2014, 06:15:50 PM
That sounds like the coolest '0 Affliction' spell ever.
40  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: December 02, 2014, 12:47:58 AM
And I think that theory would be crap if it wasn't funny. Wink

I dunno... I've personally laid eyes on a 4,000 year old metal dagger. Press 50,000 CDs at that time and its quite likely none of them would make it to modern awareness. I often ponder what parts of my garbage might remain recognizable for future archeologists to pour over in 200 years and the answer is 'not much'. Some broken glassware maybe? I'm always a bit itchy about moving so much of our information infrastructure into non-human readable formats. A theoretical "Atlantean" super-culture could fall pretty damn fast if it depends on a couple of core technologies that fail.

41  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: [LABORATORY] The final Spellbound spells on: December 01, 2014, 09:23:06 AM
When cast on someone with the bleeding condition,they gain the benefit of a banner?

I'm not sure about the benefit, but I LOVE the trigger - a cantrip you can cast on allies if/when they are bleeding to gain blah buff (not a heal) is sexy as heck for the glory discipline.

Set blah to the upper end of what seems fair for an at-will ability for a first level character because it's so conditional, and you could get a very appealing little niche spell. Most of the time its a very heroic help your buddies when things are tough, but it's also got flavor for fanatics who are willing to cut themselves pretty badly to win.
42  Community / License to Improvise / Re: An invasive procedure: Removing the concept of standard NPCs on: November 28, 2014, 01:20:17 PM
It's also possible to get rid of damage saves and use wounds/vitality for standard characters with very few other changes. The inability of standard characters to crit without an NPC quality is mostly to prevent the players from inevitably succumbing to mountains of dice.

You might also find this to be interesting reading~

43  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: November 28, 2014, 10:58:24 AM
There is no actual limit to the amount of cheese in the Star Wars universe when it comes to lightsabres, so really that was trivial after the whole saber-staff treatment for Maul.

Title still seems goofy as all heck to me, but Doctor Gravely Voice's voice over sold it a little better than I was expecting.
44  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: [LABORATORY] The final Spellbound spells on: November 27, 2014, 02:26:02 AM
Willful scenery destruction does NOT seem like a likely component to me.

It's an 8th level creation spell (not conversion). The core concept is it adds stuff. Now you can make a good argument that paving over could be destructive in the "covered in earth/washed away by flashfloods" bit of over exuberance, but this seems to have a name and discipline that overall points to a nice guy spell not a poorly masked nuclear option. Several nuclear options already being available amongst 8th level spells, I'm sure Wink.

"Seven days" is usually for making a place you saw was good and then some resting Smiley. Maybe it should be explicit in producing an Eden-like oasis, with some discretion on layout? Maybe throw around the word "idyllic" a bit.

Alakazam! I just made the almighty camping spot, go rest up and get some buffs Smiley.

45  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: November 26, 2014, 02:38:09 AM
  I'm puzzled. Aside from "It look like every other 9mm, ever" (hey, not a gun nut, I just play one on the table tops) I think they've missed the basic meaning of the word 'uniform" as in 'all the same'. Maybe it's machined to better tolerance or some other invisible enhancements. While I completely support personalized grips on a personal weapon, they seem sort of counter intuitive on a uniform service weapon. I'm also a little curious about the so called ambidexterity of the thing. Can you get it to spit brass in the direction of your choosing? Because the fun never stopped with the M16 putting hot shells in my coat with me because I'm a southpaw. The location of the controls is a footnote compared to that.
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