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91
Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting.
« Last post by SilvercatMoonpaw on September 09, 2017, 04:50:50 AM »
Would it help the archery issue any if the special damage arrows weren't as good?  Maybe birds are less accurate, flaming add some extra load time, things like that.  It doesn't everthing on its own, but it gives them a little tactical drawback.
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Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting.
« Last post by TheVastator on September 09, 2017, 01:19:35 AM »
Nice analysis!
I'm still currently running Rise of the Runelords for FC, and I got an archer in the party. He doesn't seem that OP (mind that I use the concentration rules for firing if you got adjacent enemies, as well for spellcasting checks in the same situation), but I'll keep an eye on him :)
As for the damage, I kinda agree with The_Grand_User, sometimes it's hard for standard enemies to damage the party. I use higher base stats than what suggested from the bestiary, and juggle with the roman numerals a bit to gauge the power level. So far the players haven't complained in a way or the other about difficulty.
I apply the Morale rules to the enemies but not to the players, it would seem too forced in my opinion.
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Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting.
« Last post by The_Grand_User on September 08, 2017, 07:43:16 PM »
Ah yes, the Lich Emperor of the Old Elven Empire. The Crone may have been the big boss of the setting, bit the Emperor was mine, and I think the one that had the most investment from me and the players. His seeds were a combination of misunderstanding what the gaunt elves were and a random treasure roll for a "plot item".

The misunderstanding lead to an encounter of an elven lich and some impressive elven warriors, on their way to assassinate the presumed future raven king. But when we realized the mistake sometime later we knew they didn't fit the intended gaunt elf lore, so we explained it as some remnant of the old empire. Obviously they'd be a big player from then on.

The random plot item they gained after clearing out some orcish pirates who were working with some underhanded dwarves with some ties to borogg and soregg. It was one of those "Oh shoot, what could it be? Uh. UH. Uhhh..... It's a compass but the lower half is that of a squid's tentacles, and it's not pointing north!" Yeah, that got their attention ;)

Turns out it lead them to the prison of the Soregg Queen (and the Soregg Queen and Lyss King are a whole other story to go into) made by the ancient elves and still standing till this day. Inside they found a statue of five heroes. One of them was Brindol, the Binder (though they only had an untranslatable ancient elvish word at the time).

Brindol would go on to become the elven emperor, and then a lich. And the high elven lords would become lichs, and none of them left their Tower Hall of Lords, because they did not trust each other and wanted to keep the others in sight at all times. And the party would later discover had also betrayed his former friends and comrades, and used their souls to empower and protect his phylactery.

The PCs sooooo wanted him dead, permanently ;)



And in response to Takure's pointing out of the Arms Races, I don't think it was so much about the extra feats as it was simply about the inherent flaws of a d20 based system at high levels. My second biggest frustration was with getting the to-hit/defense/skills numbers just right to work well against them, and the biggest frustration is that when a regular weapon using enemy (of which made up the vast majority) it often hardly did any damage to them, as DR and resistances went up on the PC side, but I didn't really have much mechanism to increase weapon-based damage on the NPC side (That I was aware of), save perhaps given all them weapon mastery in whatever.
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Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting.
« Last post by Morgenstern on September 08, 2017, 06:58:34 PM »
  ((takes notes))

  Thanks for the insight. There's definitely a couple of items there I will try to address better in the future.

  I've already made a few changes to archery in my new system :). While you can improve the fire rate considerably through feat-investment, it still basically tops out at 2 shots per turn.

  Bows
  While bows were developed independently in almost every corner of the globe, they have a rather unique mode of operation. Bows make up the entirety of the Archery Proficiency. All bows add your Precision modifier to the attack roll. Bows add your Fitness modifier to the damage roll unless they have the Precision tag.

  If you have ammunition (arrows) readily accessible, bows require one action to load (sometimes called nocking the arrow) and one action to draw before they may be fired. Once drawn, you may keep the bow readied for a number of rounds equal to your Ranks in Stamina (minimum 3) before it automatically returns to the loaded-but-not-drawn state. If you set the weapon down or attempt to pass it to another character it become unloaded.

  Crossbows
  As the original weapons leading to the development of modern firearm grip and stock designs, 1-handed crossbows are part of the Sidearms proficiency, while 2-handed crossbows are under the Longarms Proficiency.
  If you have ammunition (bolts) readily accessible, crossbows require one action to load and a double action to cock before they may be fired. Unlike bows, once cocked, a crossbow remains ready to fire indefinitely and can even be set down or passed to another character.



 
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Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting.
« Last post by Takeru on September 08, 2017, 05:46:39 PM »
Time for a more in-depth analysis of how our Sunchaser game did. I may or may not add a few points, but I'll add my thoughts on each point now that I've had a few days to cool off in spoiler text.

  • Gaining a feat every single level is tempting at first, but becomes absurd and impossible to track at level 20.
Spoiler: show

TGU Implemented a custom campaign quality called "Gonzo Feats." It was really fun at first, but having a total of twenty feats from level up, not counting how many you get from character options such as class abilities and origins and magic items? It got a bit crazy. At the end of the game I had four maxxed out melee combat feat trees, three of which were weapon specific and thus couldn't be used together. It led to some really cool moments of flexibility, but ultimately I feel like you could scrap it all and do Fast Feats. This probably contributed a lot to the arms race we and TGU got into during the late game, wherein he'd keep throwing bigger and bigger statblocks at people and we'd kill them in faster and more spectacular ways.

My finale? The last combat action I took in the entire game? A knife-based Raging Demon (think akuma from street fighter with a knife) hitting for 1d4+12 damage 12 times, with four hits of 7d6 sneak attack, hitting at threat range 12 or higher. I ended up burning through all remaining toughness and doing a total of 170ish vitality damage and 42 wounds damage as a full action. It was beautiful.


  • Be very careful of giving an NPC any graded quality above 7. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, things can become incredibly unfun to players. The Nightmare is a good example- their Grade 8 Attack is offset by relatively pathetic fire damage. Giving someone high attack, high defense, and high health is a recipe for an unfun slogfest.
Spoiler: show
Ah. The Arms Race. Part of Fantasy Crafts biggest weakness is never properly explaining in the book the way the NPC Grade Mechanics should be scaled in a neutral environment. Knowing know that 5 is the highest a standard PC will get puts things into really good perspective. We'd regularly run into enemies with 7s, 8s, 9s, and a few 10s in the various grades. Sometimes in grades that double dipped. Things like having high defense high DR AND high health turned into "let's race to see whose dice rolls a critical first and negates vitality." I think that Fantasy Crafts customizable NPCs is a beauitful system, but in absentia of explanation it can be easily misused to the detriment of the entire system. Sometimes bloat can make a useless enemy worth a ton of XP, or someone with just High Attack and High Defense and a bow can wreck an entire party.


  • Cleave, high threat range, and critical surge is an insane combo we had to houserule immediately.
Spoiler: show
Imagine someone who gets a new action whenever they get a critical hit. Imagine that character having a feat chain that lets them attack multiple characters per round, giving more chance to roll a crit. Imagine this character has an increased threat range and free crits on Standard Characters.

She ended an entire combat in one round and then we all agreed to give critical surge a one turn limit.


  • Regeneration magic items are overpowered if you don't include an attunement style system or make it so they only work on wounds gained while the item is in your prize slot.
Spoiler: show
The item was mine. How I used it, it was fine- I wore it all the time, it protected me from a few crits, it kept me alive through some nasty damage. Then someone else in the party got a broken arm and they said "hey can I have your troll amulet?" (a perfectly reasonable request) and I felt like I'd be a jerk if I didn't say yes.

Two adventures of this sort of use later it was mysteriously the only item that we didn't recover after a failed combat encounter where we were tied up and our gear was left in a crate. Hmm.  :-X


  • Cold Read is amazing if you know what questions to ask and know how to extrapolate personality from things such as favorite hobby and their greatest dream
Spoiler: show
My character pegged SO MANY PEOPLE based on the question "What is their favorite hobby?"  What someone does in their own time, for their own amusement tells you so much about a character. Are they a gardener? Then they're either someone who prefers meticulous control over a situation or who enjoys creating something an observing how it grows- but either way they have to be patient and enjoy the act of creating something. Does someone read books? Then they're likely to be an intellectual or at least someone who likes their privacy, the type of person who's okay with silence and their own thoughts or who is wanting to learn. Cold Read is so useful if you figure out what to ask to get a person pegged, it's also good for creating fake alibis and inroads for conversation.

  • If your PCs ever end up 'too strong' you can loop your final boss back around to making it feel awesome by having an effortlessly won victory drag on just enough for them to revel in power but end before it feels like they're picking on inferior foes.
Spoiler: show
Our first fight with the crone lasted two rounds. Our second lasted three, and that was because I spent most of that reciting the stories of the past heroes while we stress damaged her into near unconsciousness. Yeah- it felt good. Sometimes being overpowered superheroes is fun.

  • When you're invisible and behind an unaware opponent, ask your GM if it's a terminal situation before you throw out a low-damage knife attack and get hit with 16 arrows in melee range. At least cut the bowstring. You will regret taking the boring mechanical route.
Spoiler: show
THINKING INSIDE THE BOX KILLS CREATIVITY.
KILLING CREATIVITY KILLS FUN.
I SHOULD HAVE CUT THE BOWSTRING.
Basically we were being attacked by an OP Super Archer firing bird arrows. Since the GM was the type who constantly forgot that concentration checks are a thing, this meant she could fire blackened sky with multishot and hit us with 12 bird arrows in one full action at point blank range. I had used invisibility to sneak up on her hiding spot and-  attacked her. With a knife. I had -thought- since she was pinned against a wall my knife would be better than her bow in close quarters combat. I was wrong. We lost because of this. I should have thought outside of the box and cut her bowstring. Then she'd be firing no arrows. Think outside the box. The game is not the rules.

  • It always feels cool to kill a Dracolich.
Spoiler: show
Not a whole lot needs to be said about this one, but I'll say a bit of the set up. Our GM figured that the elven empire didn't entirely fall, just a good 80% of it and the rest was on the other side of the newly made superdesert. Why were the elves punished by Avva? They had all decided to become liches, at least they were -led- by nothing but liches. The Emperor, who we ended up violently dethroning, had a spell to occupy bodies. This included a lich warrior, a lich wizard, and finally a lich dragon. Going at that guy with an undead-bane weapon and screaming if he knew who the hell I am was such a good time.

  • Your dice are to be used to make the game better. Use them. Activate anything you can make cool. If you run out? That's incentive to be cool on your own to get more.
Spoiler: show
Your dice are cooler if you spend them. Don't hoard. Don't be a hoarder. If you hoard your dice and only use them bcause you failed something, you're not taking cool enough risks and the game is probably suffering. Besides- if you do a cool thing and spend an AD? Your DM just got reminded AD exist and is likely to throw you one for doing a cool thing.

  • $&#*ing BRUISED EGO!
Spoiler: show
OKAY SO THIS ONE TAKES SOME SETUP.
My character Janus of Issau is an Assassin/Gallant/Regent. He was mostly an Assassin for his whole career, and swiftly got ambush ,knives, etc. and hit a point where he plateaued on sneak attack. Being an ASSASSIN and not a SCOUT, I got only one innate sneak attack dice from my Mask ability and I'd taken all the good feats. This meant I had a very predictable range of damage since I used low base damage weapon, which means if I ever did enough damage to force someone to the table of ouch-

95% of the time I got "Bruised Ego." On an NPC. An NPC that will be dead long before the reduction in healing times actually even matters. Thinking maybe Bruised Ego should come with some sort of Morale penalty on top of the reduction time- then it'd mean SOMETHING when you hit an NPC with it.

  • Never build your game such that one person is literally employing all the other people unless you want your game to hinge entirely around the attendance and constant participation of the Boss. Believe me. I was the Boss.
Spoiler: show
My character Janus ended up being the Mayor of a small village (Which soon grew into a large town and future major City) named Whitestone out on one of the Six Lakes. Because of this, my character was literally employing the other characters past a certain point- the merchant explorer was my accountant, the bladeweaver martial artist was my lady judge, the burglar was my huscarl and personal assassin, and the mage was my personal wizard. This meant whenever it came time to decide "where does the party go next",
 the entire table snaps their eyes to me IC and OOC to decide. This was good in some regards- it meant I could ensure that the drama of the story was upheld in our pacing and where/when we went to do things, but it was bad in that if I ever missed a session it was automatically cancelled and I had to be especially on my game in order to not disappoint everyone when choices were made.

  • Holdings are thematically fulfilling but mechanically lacking in just about every regard.
Spoiler: show
As Mayor, I had my own manor house constructed. I also asked if I could use Extra Holding to represent the town itself- the occupancy and scale being multiplied and reputation being spent to improve the place by opening new stores (Rooms) and hiring famous merchants (occupants). It went- basically nowhere. The problem was that even if we made sure to teleport back to home after an adventure, another one would whisk us away really quickly and the benefits the holdings gave us were far outclassed by the ratio of "Silver made > things to spend silver on." We afforded the best lodgings, meals, services, and everything we wanted every single scene it mattered. It ended up being such that the only thing the holding was good for was the one time we used the jail- all the defenses and vault I'd put in never even got tested against once the entire campaign. It's a good BASE for a system, but it feels super lacking when it comes to what you can do with it and what you get out of it in exchange for your reputation investment.

  • Artifact-level magic items require careful fluff, inventive design, and unique awe and splendor or they ultimately feel check marks on a tally.
Spoiler: show
By the end of the game we had Longtooths Spear, Brighteyes' Holy Symbol, The Morrublade (a sword made out of the silver moon), The Rascal's Harp, and something or the other from Lady Snowblade. The fact that I cant remember what is telling in and of itself. All of these legendary, world-shaping magical items from the original four heroes of humanity? They were decently useful but felt boring compared to artifacts that the players had ended up making- a set of legendary swordfighting armor and a deadly poison blade made from the spine of a sorregg. The Shortblade Armor and Soul Feast felt more important to the game than any of the other legendary relics, partially because they were just written up as statblocks of abilities and that was it. You need backstory, descriptive design, history and awe to make an Artifact work- and it's not just this game either!

In another game I'm in one of the players randomly discovered an artifact amulet that, when worn, fused itself into his collarbone and gave him the bestial spirit of lycanthropy. He can turn into a partial werewolf now (as represented by a very powerful Brawn spell and that spell that gives you claws and a bite) and some DR or something. It's a cool item. He does literally nothing with it most sessions and it languishes in the realm of 'a slightly more powerful magic item'. Artifacts need to be handled with care and only given to the players who can do so.

  • It always feels cool to brutus your way to a new Emperor. Especially when it's not your Empire.
Spoiler: show
Yeah you remember how I said that the elven empire existed and was ruled by a lich? Not anymore in our world. We ended up making a museum and setting up displays of the various armors, bits of his bodies, and eventually a full on replica of the dracolich (not to scale) being stabbed by Janus. It was a really good session of an enemy we couldn't kill constantly rezzing as we fought our way to his phylactery.

  • Concentration and Morale are in the game for a reason. Use them.
Spoiler: show
ARCHERY IS 100% BROKEN IN FANTASY CRAFT IF YOU DON'T USE CONCENTRATION CHECKS.
You can do Fire, you can do Subdual, you can do Lethal, you have high attack speed, you have some of the best AP in the game, and it's nearly impossible for PCs to get access to resistance keyed towards bows. Without some way to shut them down, like concentration checks? Archers can sit and plant iron fences into their enemies with multishot and custom arrows doing mass amounts of damage and dropping characters from full health to Subdual 5 in one full action. On top of this, concentration checks are kind of the only reason the Resolve skill even exists- let your Assassins not have 50% of their auto-success skill go to waste. Make sure that if someone is doing something complicated and their focus might break that they make a Concentration check.

As for Morale- a lot of fights feel more dramatic if you're making Morale checks on either or both sides to represent creatures not always wanting to fight to the death. They're in the game, they make it better to use them.



Don't really have anything else to add at the moment. It was a really good game. Fantasy Craft, to me, seems like the core skeleton of an amazing platform that just needs some care, love, and fleshing out to make a wonderful system to run in. This sunchaser game got a lot of that in the right areas, but hit a lot of jagged potholes in the system too. But it ended on a high note, and given how many campaigns never end in the first place, isn't that all we can ask for?  :)
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Off-Topic / Re: XCOM (Reactions, stories, let's play setups, etc...)
« Last post by RusVal on September 08, 2017, 02:39:38 PM »
While it's possible that I'm going to be jinxing my next playthrough, I will say that I did not have as much trouble with the Warlock and Hunter as I did the Assassin.  While it could be because I didn't really engage them until I had leveled up my soldiers and gear, the Chosen do get stronger themselves so its not entirely that.  I think the main reason is because of my general playstyle of 1.)always moving just out of sight until I am ready to engage, and 2.) always Alpha Striking anyone that I come down on.  The Assassin's constant moving and cloaking always would have me scrambling around, desperately holding my squad together until I could get a clean shot, but the Warlock and Hunter?  The Warlock's exploding zombies are annoying, but manageable (my squads are well drilled in taking down explosive enemies), and the Hunter's tracking shot is laughable easy to move out of.  And once I get in range?  BOOM!!  Lay the smackdown on 'em.

Heck, even when I was assaulting their strongholds, I had a lot more trouble with the Assassin than with her brothers, to the point where I practically flawlessed said brothers while suffering terrible injuries against the not-ninja.
97
Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread
« Last post by Slashes-With-Claws on September 08, 2017, 05:22:27 AM »
No, and I wasn't expecting it to be the difference between life and death, but I was expecting it to be there. I didn't have time in the middle of the play session to see if other normal animals (notably things like Elephants) have DR as part of the official template.

Elephants are Health V, Tough I, DR 2.

Other animal examples
War Horse: Health III, Tough I, no DR
Rhino: Health VI, DR 4, no Tough
Tiger: Health V, no DR, no Tough

So it seems animals only get DR if it really fits strongly with the idea of them.  Others on the other hand are hard to kill in different ways.  So while a Rhino is hard to hurt, but goes down if you can hurt it, a bear is easy to hurt, but will keep fighting even after a bad wound.

if a spell has a range other than personal or touch, can it be cast on the caster? Haste, for example?

Yes.  The Distances of Close, Local, and Remote can all target the caster.
98
Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread
« Last post by Viperion on September 07, 2017, 07:26:59 PM »
Good analysis (as always from you  :) ) <-- that is not sarcasm

Couple things;

BIGSNIP - math
Yeah I realise how the math works and I realise (and made jokes about) the bears inability to actually make any decent rolls at the time. I do know how vulnerable a TL:1, single standard NPC is, that wasn't really the point of the post.

Quote
This is of course all assuming a fairly best-case scenario for the bear. Realistically, I imagine those two characters had an attribute bonus on their damage rolls as well, which makes the bear's odds worse. In particular, if the spearman has at least a +2 Str modifier, the bear is still guaranteed to have to make a save.
I don't remember off the top of my head, I think the damage rolls in question were something-around-5 and something-around-4

Quote
This would be my guess as to why animals without particularly noteworthy natural armor don't have DR: at small values, it's an additional fiddly bit to worry about for relatively little gain, so unless it's downright iconic to the critter for simplicity's sake it's better to just scrap it. Small DR values like this are really only noticeable over baby iterations: Either over large groups of standards, or for a special where you're needing multiple hits to wear down its Vitality. On a single standard, it's not a big factor.
No, and I wasn't expecting it to be the difference between life and death, but I was expecting it to be there. I didn't have time in the middle of the play session to see if other normal animals (notably things like Elephants) have DR as part of the official template.

Quote
A couple things that can help in this situation:

  • Remember that you can boost Health saves with action dice. If it feels too soon for the NPC to drop, and it only failed by a small margin, boost it! GMs get lots of AD for a reason.
  • Don't undersell your PCs: A pech with Martial Arts is most certainly not a "65-lb weakling". He's a highly trained unarmed combatant (basically a 1st-degree black belt; further Unarmed Combat feats and class options would be analogous to higher degrees). And this is a high-action, high-heroics game system.
I actually didn't remember that I can boost Damage saves with AD; I think I fuzzily remembered that I could only do that in Dramatic Scenes? So that's useful to remember, thanks. And yeah the Pech Martial Artist is the Assassin in the group; he's plenty dangerous enough (but it was a little incongruous to have a literal 65-lb weakling (that's why he uses Martial Arts (Dex)) knock out the bear :) )
99
License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: Entertainer
« Last post by DW on September 07, 2017, 07:20:12 PM »
Hey, thanks BigJim! Looks awesome!
100
Fantasy Craft / Re: Fantasy Craft Second Printing Q&A Thread
« Last post by TKDB on September 07, 2017, 06:33:31 PM »
Honestly, that sounds to me more like a confluence of bad rolls + "standards are flimsy" + "level 1s are squishy". How much difference would a couple points of DR really have made, there? The minimum DC for a Health save is 10, so with a +3 bonus that means any hit that deals any damage at all has at least a 30% chance of dropping it. Failing two such minimum-DC saves in a row isn't super likely, but it is certainly far from impossible (still more likely than rolling a natural 20). And if it's more than just 1 damage going through, that makes the odds more likely of the bear going down.

And you have to consider, unless you have enough DR to negate the hit entirely, you're just reducing the Health save DC by a bit. Every 2 points of damage is a one-point swing in the save DC, or 5 percentage points swing in the likelihood of success or failure. Going by the conversion guidelines with the stats from TOG, and by comparison to regular armor, a bear would qualify for DR 1 or 2. That's no more than a 1-point swing in the save DC, at best, and is highly unlikely to negate a hit entirely.

So, in your situation, your guy with the spear is doing 1d8+Str damage. Even assuming no Str bonus, that's a 40% chance the bear fails his health save. The pech with Martial Arts is hitting for at least 1d4+2, which likewise has a 40% chance of dropping the bear. Together, given the two hit, that's a 16% chance the bear goes down just from those -- not super likely, but well within the realm of possibility.

Now, suppose we gave our bear DR 2. That gives a 25% chance of negating the spear hit from a Str 10 wielder, and the spread of results for the hits that go through are equivalent to a hit for 1d6. This gives a 28.125% chance the bear succumbs to the spear wound - better than before, certainly, but still a decent chance. The pech's punch, meanwhile, is reduced to simply a 1d4, giving a 35% chance the bear goes down. Overall odds the bear is defeated in these two hits have gone down from 16% to 9.8% -- a 38% lower chance of death, but still in about the same ballpark of likelihood. The difference between the two chances is about the same as the difference in threat chance between an 18-20 weapon and a 19-20 weapon.

This is of course all assuming a fairly best-case scenario for the bear. Realistically, I imagine those two characters had an attribute bonus on their damage rolls as well, which makes the bear's odds worse. In particular, if the spearman has at least a +2 Str modifier, the bear is still guaranteed to have to make a save.

This would be my guess as to why animals without particularly noteworthy natural armor don't have DR: at small values, it's an additional fiddly bit to worry about for relatively little gain, so unless it's downright iconic to the critter for simplicity's sake it's better to just scrap it. Small DR values like this are really only noticeable over baby iterations: Either over large groups of standards, or for a special where you're needing multiple hits to wear down its Vitality. On a single standard, it's not a big factor.

TL;DR: the issue here isn't that the bear had no DR, but that the bear was a low-level standard NPC and the dice were against it. A couple things that can help in this situation:

  • Remember that you can boost Health saves with action dice. If it feels too soon for the NPC to drop, and it only failed by a small margin, boost it! GMs get lots of AD for a reason.
  • Don't undersell your PCs: A pech with Martial Arts is most certainly not a "65-lb weakling". He's a highly trained unarmed combatant (basically a 1st-degree black belt; further Unarmed Combat feats and class options would be analogous to higher degrees). And this is a high-action, high-heroics game system.
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