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Author Topic: Spycraft Third edition Wishlist and Suggestions Mega-thread  (Read 26456 times)
tfwfh
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« Reply #255 on: March 20, 2012, 12:08:13 AM »

Mostly I want the science skill to do what it already does in 2.0.  Especially the chemistry, economy, genetics, mathematics, pharmacology, and programming specialties.  Using the same skill (and the knowledge, training, and experience that it abstracts) to build a car and a neurotoxin just feels wrong to me.  I also don't think it would necessarily change anything with regard to other feats and abilities.  It could be renamed Super-science and get hidden off behind a campaign quality like with Spellcasting.  Using the campaign quality lets you have technobabel solutions to your problems (like star trek or star gate) and wacky impossible gadgets (like venture brothers).  Or with a more serious tone, it lets a character be Walther White from Breaking Bad.
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« Reply #256 on: March 20, 2012, 01:45:19 AM »

While you wait for the Crafty Boys, for more discussion of technology and ways to deal with 'super science' see this thread:
http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=6158.0
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« Reply #257 on: March 20, 2012, 05:37:43 AM »

Mostly I want the science skill to do what it already does in 2.0.  Especially the chemistry, economy, genetics, mathematics, pharmacology, and programming specialties.  Using the same skill (and the knowledge, training, and experience that it abstracts) to build a car and a neurotoxin just feels wrong to me.  I also don't think it would necessarily change anything with regard to other feats and abilities.  It could be renamed Super-science and get hidden off behind a campaign quality like with Spellcasting.  Using the campaign quality lets you have technobabel solutions to your problems (like star trek or star gate) and wacky impossible gadgets (like venture brothers).  Or with a more serious tone, it lets a character be Walther White from Breaking Bad.

Crafting already replaces the science skill, and like that skill, you need the appropriate focus to make a trained skill check.
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« Reply #258 on: March 20, 2012, 06:23:45 PM »

Mostly I want the science skill to do what it already does in 2.0.  Especially the chemistry, economy, genetics, mathematics, pharmacology, and programming specialties.  Using the same skill (and the knowledge, training, and experience that it abstracts) to build a car and a neurotoxin just feels wrong to me.  I also don't think it would necessarily change anything with regard to other feats and abilities.  It could be renamed Super-science and get hidden off behind a campaign quality like with Spellcasting.  Using the campaign quality lets you have technobabel solutions to your problems (like star trek or star gate) and wacky impossible gadgets (like venture brothers).  Or with a more serious tone, it lets a character be Walther White from Breaking Bad.

I'm just curious - do you also have a problem with Craft as it exists in FantasyCraft?  It does the same thing that you're worried about - lets you build a car (well, cart...) and a neurotoxin.  I'm not having a go, I'm just curious if it's just the higher tech level that causes a problem to you.

EDIT: Also, for what it's worth - if you go through Science, everything it did except Economy is already in Craft (if we call Gadgets Magic Items for the convienance sake).  Economy is a weird one - I never saw it get any play (players just couldn't afford it) and I think it'll end up making far more use as a way to use Reputation then pure cash in 3rd (like a far more complex holding).
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 06:30:07 PM by Sletchman » Logged
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« Reply #259 on: March 20, 2012, 10:23:10 PM »

Hey everyone,

First, thanks for keeping a clear head and assuming the best. We do, and we find it really helps the process. Smiley

Second, I'd like to point you back to our original Mastercraft announcement, and reiterate a couple things. While there were some early exploratory attempts at full compatibility you'll notice that the announcement never once uses the word. That's intentional. What we found in that process is that it ends in nothing but tears for everyone - a fully compatible system bed renders every game less than the sum of its parts, creating unnecessary and in many cases extremely detrimental restrictions in terms of language, rules bloat, complexity, and utility. Everything suffers, and no one would be happy.

Instead, we've always approached Mastercraft as an evolving rules set that allows portability. As we mention in the original announcement, the plan has always been to adapt the system on two fronts with each new game: first to the genre and second to the market. The needs of both evolve over time - as you can see respectively by watching the Bond movie series in order, and reading gaming blogs over any stretch of years. We also grow as designers, and choices that once looked best may not always yield the sweetest fruit in light of that growth and experience.

The intent has never been to create a GURPS-style rules set, but rather a broader, less generic, more useful bed for all our games, and to evolve each game's system on top of that. Some games will look more similar than others - for example, Spycraft Third and 10kB, which are intentionally being developed in tandem so they're as close to 100% compatible as possible (and there will still be differences, because some pieces of each game simply won't belong or make sense in the other). The Mastercraft logo doesn't signify compatibility as much as consistent design strategy, focusing on the same heroes first / genre second / utility third ethos we've always striven to present. It lets you know there are commonalities between games - enough to encourage and assist kit-bashing but not so much that it stifles each game on its own merits.

So what does this mean for individual rules in future games, including Spycraft Third and 10kB? We're not ready to say, and probably won't be until this summer - likely around Gen Con, after we've run our current thoughts through the playtest tumbler. We can say that we're not abandoning Fantasy Craft - and are indeed factoring it directly into our discussions of the broader Mastercraft family, every step of the way. You don't have to worry about your game going away, though as is usual with a toolkit system we think you'll probably find that a lot of stuff from newer games will improve the older titles (and sometimes vice-versa). That's the way creativity and game design work - it's an ongoing, evolving process, and benefits from room to breathe.

So, back to the discussion at hand... I can say that AP and DR got a wee bit of a face list at the Summit, but nothing so severe that you wouldn't recognize the rules or be able to easily decide how they operate in a merged 10kB / Fantasy Craft campaign (for example). That said, one of the things Alex and I do regularly on the forums is watch what you guys are saying - not merely with idle curiosity but rather critical analysis. When folks raise a topic, unless it's something we know isn't an issue, we're likely to listen, and when valid points come up and substantial improvements are posited, we consider them. That's why I asked about AP and DR - there might be something game-changing in here - a better way to do things that will benefit every Mastercraft game from now on.

So go, talk. Let us know what you think of the rules as they are, what you'd change, and how. It can't hurt, and it may very well help. Smiley
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 10:28:12 PM by Crafty_Pat » Logged

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« Reply #260 on: March 21, 2012, 08:22:42 AM »

I'm just curious - do you also have a problem with Craft as it exists in FantasyCraft?  It does the same thing that you're worried about - lets you build a car (well, cart...) and a neurotoxin.  I'm not having a go, I'm just curious if it's just the higher tech level that causes a problem to you.

Yes, I think the higher tech does have a lot to do with it.  I think having the separate skills makes for a better model of the real modern world.  Basically, in a historical fantasy setting, there's less to know, so you can just have that one skill and being very good at it is how you model DaVinci, for instance.  In a contemporary modern setting, our knowledge has gone beyond what I feel is appropriate to represent with just one skill.  It bothers me that becoming better at welding would also make a person better at programming, and vice versa.  That is not at all consistent with my experience in the world.

In addition to that, a lot of the focuses I recommended for the science skill would often involve tasks that aren't building or modifying anything.  For hacking in particular, you would want a computer related skill.  And using Investigate to model that doesn't work any better than it would for breaking into a library.  Investigate is the skill you use once you already have access to the data, not to get access to it in the first place.  But it's not just for hacking, it wouldn't be unusual for a character to need to identify a structural weakness, or compare samples of a virus, or identify a chemical residue.  Basically things that would have fallen under the analysis, computers, and science skills in SC 2.0.
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« Reply #261 on: March 24, 2012, 07:56:01 PM »

Fair points tfwfh - I don't necessarily agree, but I totally understand where you're coming from.

Just another thought I had - I think Fortes need to be more special.  People on the boards always tell newcomers that a forte represents advanced training with a weapon (and it does), but the problem is that in it's current incarnation it's both too good, and too bad.

To explain: You can have a forte in all things edged - everything edged at once, you specialise in.  Thematically it's a little bit much - from watching Top Shot recently, there was a guy who was a champion pistol shooter who used a Glock 17 in competition.  He picked up a Beretta and just sucked out loud.  Sure it works for a certain concept - the blade master for example.  But I think having all of a given major category is a little much.  I think Forte should be by subcategory (Edged Proficiency, Knife Forte - or in a modern setting Longarm Proficiency, Shotgun Forte).  It won't affect feats in any meaningful way - you still need the Shotgun Forte to take Shotgun Basics, but it makes a characters proficiencies and forte's more distinct (you invest heavily in various sidearm forte's to be a master of a variety of concealable weapons).

On to the second part: The bonus sucks - really, the only reason you'd bother is for feat requirements.  This doesn't match up with the conceptual part of "specialised".  So I also think the bonus needs to increase.  For my own fantasy game I was considering a multi-tiered approach, but it might be too complex for a core rule (I can pass the idea on if anyone is interested in hearing it though).  So for a core rule I'm thinking maybe +1 Threat.  It's not with a huge array of equipment, and becomes a more worthy reason to both invest (beyond "So i can take X basics") and with the more specific forte categories means that you won't end up with +1 threat all round, unless you're a soldier who wants to be a real jack of all trades.

Thoughts?  The bonus is just an asspull, so it might not be quite right - but +1 to hit for a "specialist" is a little bit naff, IMO.  I'm especially interested in other peoples thoughts on the idea of breaking them down - I think weapon by weapon is a little too far on the side of realism, and harsh to players (wrt: prizes), but by subcategory seems about right to me.
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« Reply #262 on: March 25, 2012, 09:52:09 AM »

I like the idea of taking Fortes by weapon group rather than damage type.  I'm perfectly willing to make the "edge master" harder to play if that means being a "fencing master" is actually different from being an "axe master".  As far as +1 Threat goes, I worry about that.  For the typical character, there's probably not really a problem with it.  But, the soldier is hardly a typical character in this regard, and he could have that +1 threat with most of the weapons in the game by level 20.  Sooner if he's willing to trade a few feats for it.  And the Martial Artist is an even bigger concern.  He gets to play from level 1 having +1 Threat with the only melee weapon he's ever going to use, his hands.  And since Martial Artists have proficiencies to spare, he'll probably never make a ranged attack without that +1 threat either.  I think what I would do instead is make all tricks require a forte, rather than just some of them.
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« Reply #263 on: March 25, 2012, 09:56:57 AM »

Very true - but I did warn that the bonus suggested was a total asspull...  Thoughts on what an appropriate bonus might be?  +1 to hit just strikes me as kinda... meh.

Perhaps +1 to hit and damage?  In my original idea I had a bunch of different bonuses - the plan was 1 per weapon type (based on what the weapon was / did).  Probably far to complex for a standard rule though - even though I think it'd be cool.
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« Reply #264 on: March 25, 2012, 03:40:57 PM »

I want to see cover become much more integral to firefights. Tricks such as 'tactical advance', where if you take a full action to move from one cover to another cover, you get the benefit of the weakest of the two during the move even if exposed to fire.

Then again, I *always* use Bloodbath, Gritty and Violent in every SC game I run. You fucking should be scared of being shot at!
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« Reply #265 on: March 25, 2012, 08:04:00 PM »

No kidding.
I think you should especially be scared of being shot at at point blank range.

One of my pet peeves about the system is that the chance of a threat (and therefore doing health damage) is the same whether you are at point blank or at long range and in cover. Should I ever get to run Spycraft (or Fantasycraft) again, I will try out a crit system based on by how much you beat the DC, eg. DC+6 is a threat. Improved threat range would then reduce that number. This would make cover more valuable, but also add value to maneuvers which make you harder to hit and the opponent easier to hit, which should hopefully spice up combat a bit. The only thing I haven't decided on yet is whether you should be allowed to trigger a threat that you only reach after using AD.
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« Reply #266 on: March 25, 2012, 08:31:11 PM »

As long as we're wishing for things that are probably to complicated for their own good, I've always wished that the benefits of carbines, bullpups, and other short rifles were better represented.  That is, they are physically smaller, and thus easier to use in cramped spaces.  I envision something like the maneuvering room aspect of chases in 2.0, but applied to regular combat, with large weapons suffering some kind of penalty in crowded environments.
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« Reply #267 on: March 25, 2012, 09:56:39 PM »

I remember bullpups having a special rule in MAG, but I can't remember exactly what it was - I think it was like a small to hit bonus.

I think that falls fairly squarely under the GM assigned penalties rule (and it's one I've used in Spycraft) - you wanna aim that huge rifle in a crowd?  I usually ramp up error range and on an error they've often nailed a civilian.  In one game a player of mine had a 50 cal (with armour defeating rounds of some flavour) and after realising his error range and overpenetration made him nail a bystander with most of his shots (it was a huge crowd - of terrified people) he just started shooting through people at his target.  He was less pleased with his performance after I asked him to wait a moment while I checked some rules in Fragile Minds...
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« Reply #268 on: March 26, 2012, 06:30:13 AM »

No kidding.
I think you should especially be scared of being shot at at point blank range.

For what it's worth, we agree.

Quote
One of my pet peeves about the system is that the chance of a threat (and therefore doing health damage) is the same whether you are at point blank or at long range and in cover. Should I ever get to run Spycraft (or Fantasycraft) again, I will try out a crit system based on by how much you beat the DC, eg. DC+6 is a threat. Improved threat range would then reduce that number. This would make cover more valuable, but also add value to maneuvers which make you harder to hit and the opponent easier to hit, which should hopefully spice up combat a bit. The only thing I haven't decided on yet is whether you should be allowed to trigger a threat that you only reach after using AD.

That's a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, the extra computation that would be required every time you rolled a die makes it a non-starter for a tabletop RPG. Now in a computer game design...
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« Reply #269 on: March 26, 2012, 11:01:34 AM »


Quote
One of my pet peeves about the system is that the chance of a threat (and therefore doing health damage) is the same whether you are at point blank or at long range and in cover. Should I ever get to run Spycraft (or Fantasycraft) again, I will try out a crit system based on by how much you beat the DC, eg. DC+6 is a threat. Improved threat range would then reduce that number. This would make cover more valuable, but also add value to maneuvers which make you harder to hit and the opponent easier to hit, which should hopefully spice up combat a bit. The only thing I haven't decided on yet is whether you should be allowed to trigger a threat that you only reach after using AD.

That's a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, the extra computation that would be required every time you rolled a die makes it a non-starter for a tabletop RPG. Now in a computer game design...

I'm only talking about a single addition (unless that falls under "extra computation").
Eg (all numbers taken off the top of my head, 'cause no book in hand):

You have a pistol (threat 19-20), which converts to DC+5 threat under my idea (threat 20 is DC+6, say).

Case 1: You have covered an opponent at point blank range with your pistol. His Defense is 13, your attack bonus is +4. You aimed (+2), you get a bonus for point blank (+2), total +8. You roll an 11, +8 is 19, which is greater than 13+5, so a threat.

Case 2: The other opponent ran away. By the time you've shot his buddy, he is a long range (-5) and covered by a stack of boxes (-4), total -5 with your +4 attack bonus. You roll a 19, -5 is 14, only one better than the DC, so a hit, but no threat.

Cover is starting to look really good...


If modifiers change DC rather than the roll (which they might, I don't remember how Spycraft does it), it becomes even more intuitive, because then you just compare your roll to DC and DC +threat. Note that, like your threat range now, the threat of your weapon/skill typically is fixed.

Actual numbers would have to be tinkered with a bit to get the desired balance.
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