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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 10:06:00 AM »

Yeah, Core Narrative Control is a shared responsablity between the group and GM.

Player input on Campaign Qualities (Do you want Dark and Edgy like 24's CTU or Light and Campy like 70's Era James Bond?")

When it comes down to Modern Espionage RPG'ing you've got the Holy Trinity of James Bond, Jason Borune, and Jack Bauer. If your game can't handle all three of those playstyles, don't even bother.

Resource Control. Are you scrambling for anything you can get your hands on (Burn Notice) or do you have unlimited access (Q Branch)?

Chase Scenes are a must. If I can't show the player's Ronin and say "We're gonna do this!", and then transition to the rooftop footchase from Bourne, something's wrong.

Player Narrative Input: "I really liked that female rebel from Columbia last Mission, can I have her as a Contact?"

Thanks for the suggestions, but this thread isn't about what you want, but rather what you love - mechanics that already exist that you can't help but recommend. Entirely separate thing. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2012, 10:14:14 AM »

This isn't a new game by any means.. but it's a mechanic that is small in terms of mechanics.. but something I always loved.

D20 Star Wars.  The cost of some force powers required Vitality as payment.  I'm pretty sure there was another game that used that same idea.. but I can't for the life think of it.  Basically.. I LOVED the idea that certain abilities (even if it's only the super strong abilities) required either a debuff or loss of some health to use.  Physical exertion, etc.
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2012, 10:20:27 AM »

This isn't a new game by any means.. but it's a mechanic that is small in terms of mechanics.. but something I always loved.

D20 Star Wars.  The cost of some force powers required Vitality as payment.  I'm pretty sure there was another game that used that same idea.. but I can't for the life think of it.  Basically.. I LOVED the idea that certain abilities (even if it's only the super strong abilities) required either a debuff or loss of some health to use.  Physical exertion, etc.

We actually did that with psionic powers back in SFA. Great mechanic. Thanks for the suggestion!
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2012, 10:21:48 AM »

This isn't a new game by any means.. but it's a mechanic that is small in terms of mechanics.. but something I always loved.

D20 Star Wars.  The cost of some force powers required Vitality as payment.  I'm pretty sure there was another game that used that same idea.. but I can't for the life think of it.  Basically.. I LOVED the idea that certain abilities (even if it's only the super strong abilities) required either a debuff or loss of some health to use.  Physical exertion, etc.

We actually did that with psionic powers back in SFA. Great mechanic. Thanks for the suggestion!

THAT'S THE OTHER GAME!  Damn it.. how did I not remember it was SC1?!  *laughs*  Thanks C_P!
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2012, 11:04:06 AM »

In looking at Spycraft, something I was really close to loving was gear. I've written about this many moons ago, but I love the idea of picking gear but hate the time it takes. I recently ran a table of Spycraft for new players and the gear just overwhelmed them. I thought a lot about this in the following day and also how it went when I first played classic Spycraft... I was just as overwhelmed. But, I also loved looking at options and seeing the party make gear choices that drove a plan.

I would love to see the gearing up phase be a visit to Q's lab, or a rendezvous with another agent, or a weapon's cache you have. Either way, the GM has a series of bundles and you pick one. The rules would provide various default bundles by caliber and type of mission (exploration/trek, underwater, extraction, social, undercover, etc.). DMs could make their own using those as templates. A bundle could also have a high-tech pick... an item that may or may not work as intended (rules could be provided for that). An example would be a car that can fly for a brief moment, but that will also go out of control at an unexpected moment.

The end goal would be that the players would look at the bundles and make a pick in 5 minutes tops, but still have fun choosing.
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2012, 11:21:45 AM »

I also really like Aspects, but I particularly liked my experience with Dresden Files where the GM and players worked together to define the campaign's aspects. we knew more about the campaign during character generation and were more engaged than my previous campaign at the 3 month mark! A system by which GMs could define aspects of the spy organization (country, branch, etc.), the foes (countries, style, goals, NPCs, etc.) and the setting (cold war, high tech, conspiracy, gritty, wire fu, etc.) could really work well.

From Star Wars SAGA I really like the simplicity of the Condition Track. The complexity of Spycraft with conditions and ways they are added, progress, and are overcome was too high - most groups I played with (even LSpy) discarded the rules. Even Stress damage seemed to be often ignored. Now, SAGA does have issues. It can be broken too easily to send a foe too far down the track too quickly. But, I like that it is a clear mechanic and I like that it can even apply to vehicles.

From 4E, I like the way the game took away the predisposition to stay in one place and take a full attack. It created fluid and dynamic combats, which seems to me to really fit what Spycraft should be. Some method to remove the full attack and encourage movement could work well for Spycraft.

From 4E, I also like how blasts and bursts are very simple. While a bit abstract, it is really nice to not need to look at the shape of a blast radius and just know how it works and done. I could also see this working well for modern explosions: 5d6 damage in an area burst 2, but only 3d6 damage to those outside that but still in an area burst 4.

From Eclipse Phase, I like how critical hits and failures happen often and have a strong story aspect. It is a percentile dice game, and low is generally good. So, rolling 11 is a really good critical success and rolling 99 is probably a really bad critical failure. When not rolling a critical there is a use for your "karma/edge" points - you can flip the numbers. So, spend the equivalent of your action die to flip a 61 into a 16 so you succeed. Some way to drive at this storytelling aspect of crits and different ways to use action dice could be cool.

From the most recent Gamma World, I like the overcharge mechanic for high tech. It could perhaps serve as inspiration for the idea of experimental gear. You can choose to use this special feature on the experimental jet pack, but roll for that mishap!

From Shadowrun, I like how you can name your own skills but they are (in some editions) sort of different from the stated/normal skills so they are a way to create flavor. They become backgrounds of sorts that you can further over time (such as a knowledge of fine art, or wine, or corporations).

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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2012, 12:03:56 PM »

After several years of playing oWoD and dealing with the less than ideal Humanity system, I fell in love with Unknown Armies' madness meters. Yeah, it has a bit more bookkeeping, but not having to argue whether using magic to make a guy give me his stuff is more or less bad than just stealing it is worth it. And the fact that both failure and success have consequences, with successes hardening you towards future incidents of the same type but leaving you more and more emotionally numb, and with failures cracking your mind open a little bit more every time leaving you vulnerable and exposed to further exposure.
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2012, 12:09:32 PM »

In looking at Spycraft, something I was really close to loving was gear. I've written about this many moons ago, but I love the idea of picking gear but hate the time it takes. I recently ran a table of Spycraft for new players and the gear just overwhelmed them. I thought a lot about this in the following day and also how it went when I first played classic Spycraft... I was just as overwhelmed. But, I also loved looking at options and seeing the party make gear choices that drove a plan.

I would love to see the gearing up phase be a visit to Q's lab, or a rendezvous with another agent, or a weapon's cache you have. Either way, the GM has a series of bundles and you pick one. The rules would provide various default bundles by caliber and type of mission (exploration/trek, underwater, extraction, social, undercover, etc.). DMs could make their own using those as templates. A bundle could also have a high-tech pick... an item that may or may not work as intended (rules could be provided for that). An example would be a car that can fly for a brief moment, but that will also go out of control at an unexpected moment.

The end goal would be that the players would look at the bundles and make a pick in 5 minutes tops, but still have fun choosing.

While I largely agree, I think some of this is just the nature of game players and some of it is addressed in mission design (I'm a huge fan of starting games In Media Res with starting gear and providing an opportunity to add more gear during a lull but I know not everyone rolls that way).

I've explained the Gear Pick system as similar to picking a loadout in a Mass Effect, the paralysis by analysis tends to come as a function of the number of options available.

I WOULD suggest considering an approach to functional encumbrance that isn't about counting # of pounds but primarily set by size/items carried
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2012, 12:26:57 PM »

Another very important one to me at least, and a lot of the people at my table was being able to go to the chart of gear and find your 'favorite' firearm of this or that.  Sure, having a generic pump shotgun is ok.  But when you get people who are diehard about tricking out their characters I found it awesome to make the players go 'shopping' to find out what guns and toys they thought were the best as far as looks go in real life, and then finding them actually listed in game mechanically.

Mechanically speaking they may not be too far off from one another, but it was just a nice thing  in Spycraft and a few other systems to say this M1911 is better because it does X rather than this FN FiveseveN that has Y.  And being able to trick things out that way.  Gives gear an extra layer of crunch that I enjoy.

That being said, I would also not be opposed to a rules light version where you strip down all of that and just have simple stat blocks in a quick chart for those that don't enjoy the crunch.  Just, I'd prefer Both rather than just one or the other. 
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2012, 12:33:22 PM »

This isn't a new game by any means.. but it's a mechanic that is small in terms of mechanics.. but something I always loved.

D20 Star Wars.  The cost of some force powers required Vitality as payment.  I'm pretty sure there was another game that used that same idea.. but I can't for the life think of it.  Basically.. I LOVED the idea that certain abilities (even if it's only the super strong abilities) required either a debuff or loss of some health to use.  Physical exertion, etc.

We actually did that with psionic powers back in SFA. Great mechanic. Thanks for the suggestion!

While I've no problem with power use disadvantaging you in some fashion even if it's just a cool down period before you can use it again I actually hated that. Or more specifically the way it was implemented with each power having its own skill. The current weighting between vitality and skill points ends up with classes that should have a whole heap of vitality to power abilities have nowhere near enough points to actually buy those powers and be capable of anything else.

While the system itself was too static and difficut to increase range of proficiency in, I really liked the basic thought processes behind Star Wars Saga Edition's approach to skills, which is that you generally became more competent at life as your character level escalates: 1d20 + half career level + ability mod + other mods, with trained skills getting a +5 bonus. I could see that being applied in some form to mastercraft's check cap on untrained skills.

I also really liked the way that system did away with conventional AC in favour of Fortitude / Reflex / Will Defence, making those save columns seem a lot more meaningful that usual. While I appreciate the mechanical antecedants involved in the existance of those three saves, having a distinct AC/Defence score (+ the Resolve skill) in addition to them always felt redundant.

I would love to see the gearing up phase be a visit to Q's lab, or a rendezvous with another agent, or a weapon's cache you have. Either way, the GM has a series of bundles and you pick one. The rules would provide various default bundles by caliber and type of mission (exploration/trek, underwater, extraction, social, undercover, etc.). DMs could make their own using those as templates. A bundle could also have a high-tech pick... an item that may or may not work as intended (rules could be provided for that). An example would be a car that can fly for a brief moment, but that will also go out of control at an unexpected moment.

Its always been a gripe that Spycraft proper penalises players for the GM supplying them Q-style with gear for missions when instead that should have been at the very core of the gear system. By contrast, the mission bundles from Stargate were an excellent implementation of the gear system and it disappointed me when 2.0 did away with them.

Abstracted wealth systems are also very big on my list for modern games: I'm not a huge fan of more than very basic resource management (Mass Effect 1's infinite ammo vs. cooldown mechanic is vastly superior to what effectively amounts to bullet counting in #2 and #3, though I can see the latter being easier to manage in a P&P game than having to detwrmine if your gun is too hot yet). Again, while their actual implemention of it was rather lacking, the basic idea behind WotC's use of a DC-based wealth system in D20 Modern was quite appealing.

Speaking of ME, it's a point I've raised before, but in a vitality+wounds based system, making vitality a scene-refreshed value like spell points while the wound score + enduring conditions do the heavy lifting of representing physical condition is an absolute baseline must have.
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2012, 12:44:00 PM »

Again, we're not looking for things you dislike or things you want to see in this thread. This is strictly for stuff you dig and why. Nothing more, nothing less. Thanks!
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 01:43:36 PM »

Rifter #3 Revised Grappling Rules & News Martial Arts
Groundfighting
I love the fact that it is recognized as different from grappling while standing.

D20 - Wealth Mechanic - I love the fact that it almost treats handling money like a skill. It covers all the crazy finicial nonsense in one easy to use mechanic. 

GURPS 4th Ed- Martial Arts-
Perks
I see them as small bonus with more flavor
IE
Ground Guard
You know a body of tactics for use when you and your
opponent are both on the ground. In that situation only, you
get +1 in all Regular or Quick Contests to do with grappling
– pins, chokes, attempts to break free, etc. If your foe knows
Ground Guard, too, your bonuses cancel out. This perk is
named for a fighting position used when lying face-up, commonly
called the “guard,” but encompasses many related
positions and also works when crawling or lying face-down

This may work well as a "proficiency"

I also like how they handled "Styles"
As a collection of Skills & techniques

Things I think Crafty Games does well
Representing complex Skill such as Grappling and Martial arts with Feat Chains
Feat chains are by far some of the best implementations of Mechanics.
IE
Submission Basics- with its Prone Stance (Stance) is a fairly good representation of Gurps Ground Guard perk and addressing a ground fighters stance. 
What is missing is the great transitional abilities you see in Ninjas & Super Spies
With their Body Flip/Throw mechanic if you are successful with it the character that was thrown loses their next attack so you can immediately move into ground fighting.
Some video examples of this transition
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVE82gH-v-g&feature=related
While not looking for wants I would like to see a Trip Feat Chain that is representative of this sort of transition.
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 01:58:45 PM »

I really like the way Traveller handles the firing of weapons on Full Auto.  It would be hard to port over as it is a d6 system, but it basically works likes this:

All skill checks roll 2d6 and add modifiers with success coming on an 8 or higher.  Automatic weapons have an Auto rating and a recoil rating.  These can be fired in single, burst, or full auto.  Single is handled the same as any other attack.  Burst adds the Auto rating to the damage, uses up the Auto rating in ammo and adds 1 to recoil.  The Full Auto attack gets a little more complicated, but uses 3 x Auto rating in ammo and adds half the Auto rating to the recoil rating.

Full Auto has the user roll a number of dice equal to the auto rating and place them into the pairs.  Each pair is assessed as an individual attack to determine hits and damage.  The system also limits the amount of skill that can be used in full auto to 1, and if the user has a higher skill, it is reduced to 1 for the skill check.

Recoil values are compared to the characters strength modifier and if the Recoil rating is higher, the difference is subtracted from your initiative for the following round.  The game also allows you to try to hasten your actions which increases your initiative for the round at the expense of taking a penalty on the action.  This means you can either take the time to stabilize your weapon (lower initiative) or try to maintain steady fire (higher penalties).

For example, I had a player who was unskilled with low dexterity (-4 to his check) who happened to be on watch when the camp was attacked.  He latched on to the closest weapon, which in this case was mounted automatic weapon, and opened up Full Auto (Auto 8 rating) against the attackers and rolled 8 dice.  Needing to hit 8+ after the -4, he was basically looking for a pair of 6's, which he failed to do, twice.  Instead he started grouping dice to avoid catastrophic failure, as a modified roll of 2 or less could have led to a critical failure.  Across 2 rounds, he basically wasted 48 rounds of ammunition and had nothing to really show for it.

With a bit of training, he could raise that -4 to a +0, which would really limit his chance of getting critical failures and give him a reliable chance of scoring 2-3 hits if he used Full Auto like that in the future.
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2012, 03:56:54 PM »

A few of my favourite mechanics actually come from you guys (Crafty that is, not the forum - though the forum has produced some pretty amazing stuff).
In no particular order (beyond "as they come to mind"):

• Action Dice: I port them to every other system I run now if they don't include them at default.  SC was my first system with them and it was like magic.  Awesome work guys, truly.

• Narrative Control: Heaps of systems do it different, and do it well.  FC has some good Narrative Control options and I'd like to see them expanded upon more in future.  Dresden Files RPG (which I've started reading because a HMJesus is gonna run a game) has some utterly brilliant stuff for this.

• Stargate's Core Gear rules:  I prefered this to SC2.0 immensely.  In Spycraft 2 you could be unable to get essential gear because you don't have the right pick types, which means the GM had to give them to you (and by RAW, penalise you for having to do so) - not a great situation.  I actually saw a player take a Proteus Modified Dossier because they couldn't get one normally (which is hilarious, but terrible).

• Spycraft 2.0's Personal Possession Rules (and by extension, Stockpile): Brilliant.  You have a set level and can get what you need/want.  Faceman needs a bazooka?  No problem - none of this "resource pick only" BS.

• GURPS 4E Firearm rules:  Aim action benefits based on the actual accuracy of the weapon (so aiming with a sniper rifle with match grade barrel and high end scope gives you much higher benefit then aiming with a smoothbore sawn off).  Recoil values determine the difficulty of multiple hits when burst/automatic firing (putting 3 shots with a laser with zero recoil on target is substantially easier then with something that kicks like a mule).  GURPS's firearm and tactical combat rules have it dangerously close to becomming my go to RPG for modern games - if I could take it's rules and put them into FC you'd have my perfect system.

• Spycraft 2.0's grappling feats: FC's Wrestling chain pisses me off.  The 2 tricks are just "pro wrestling" instead of actual wrestling.  Spycraft did it right - Submission chain, Brawling chain, and Wrestling chain.  You can make a wrestler rather then someone who piledrives people (which is almost impossible without them cooperating in setting up the move).

• Varied attack types:  Spycraft 2.0 had the "kick" attack, complete with it's feat chain support (Like).  FC has a Kick chain, but only NPCs can gain Natural Attack: Kick (Do not like).  It's not a problem so much as it is a logical disconnect (and I've actually had GMs not let me use the Kick chain because I didn't possess Natural Attack: Kick - because the RAW didn't support it).  Other systems also have actions in place for things like Pistol Whip and Buttstroke, which I really like (and I can't count the number of times running SC2.0 that I've had someone ask what the rules for pistol whip/buttstroke are).

• Location Injury: The Table of Ouch is a damn good start (though I don't like that your more likely to hit a key location because you do more damage).  What I really like is systems where getting shot in the leg is different (not necessarily better/worse - different) then being shot in the arm.  GURPS has a good one, but it can get to be a little bit "too much" since you have to roll on it for every attack (and subsystems like armour are based on you doing so).  I recognise that this isn't a wishlist thread, but what would move this concept from "merely like" to "love" is if a happy middle ground between the two could be struck.  Something like change the Table of Ouch to a table that determines location you hit and then produces critical injuries from there (in fact that's probably easy enough that I'm going to draft out a houserule like that today).

• Improvised Weapons:  Improvised weapons are cool, and totally fit the style of the genre - Bourne and Bond both use them extensively, so why not us?  SC2.0 didn't (quite) get it right - spend an action die to find an improvised weapon?  No thanks.  Why can't I just freely decide to use the chair the GM said was in the room a minute ago?  The table was a little dopey too, but I really appreciate the intent.

• Priest and Captain classes: My 2 favourite classes.  Whoever wrote them should be proud of their work.  Maybe not "technically" modern, but I'll allow it.  Wink
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2012, 05:34:45 PM »

• Priest and Captain classes: My 2 favourite classes.  Whoever wrote them should be proud of their work.  Maybe not "technically" modern, but I'll allow it.  Wink

If you're asking, Priest was me, Captain was Scott. Back to the regularly scheduled thread!
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