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Author Topic: [Notebook] Mass(ter)craft 2nd ed: Getting the ball rolling  (Read 7195 times)
Mister Andersen
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« on: May 04, 2012, 03:57:06 PM »

I'll kick off with biotics, which are kinda one of the two signature aspects of the MEverse.

The basic idea -- a power is gained through a gatekeeper character option then evolved via feats -- is sound and works elegantly enough within the Spycraft 2.0 ruleset. However, part of that involves Origins rigidly dolling out benefits over the course of a 20 level career that a lot of players may well never see, an idea that Mastercraft has thankfully by and large ditched in favour of frontloading, so the new mechanics we come up with will have to bear that in mind.

Having just been through chargen however, I'm not a fan of access to biotics being restricted to a tiny number of specialties + a single "fuck yeah humanity!" feat. While it understanably simplifies things, I find it needlessly restrictive.

To my eye, biotics should be handled much as magic use is, with a skill check; some powers treat it as a straight attack check, others work based on the value rolled like a jump check. Given how we're told using biotics works, there's a very distinct attraction to using the constitution-baed Resolve here; starting from that point, individual powers are then handled as discrete Proficiencies, which can then be affected by tricks, with the usual forte required before you can access the associated feat chain.

This has the knock on effect of making the Soldier a really good choice for Adept characters, especially if you decide to introduce tricks with a vitality cost (which is how I'd be tempted to deal with introducing biotic explosions)

« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 10:12:26 PM by Mister Andersen » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 04:41:20 PM »

Is that actually a good thing?  In the video games, soldiers quite clearly have only tech powers, and adepts are pretty much as far from soldier as you can get.  Also, if you envision biotics working the way FC spells do, shouldn't biotic characters get spell points to spend?  Or possibly paths?

In fact, I feel like paths offer a better representation of ME powers than spells do.  First step gives you a power, subsequent steps give you tweaks to it, and more/bigger/better uses of it.  That is if we're not just keeping the powers pretty much as they are, which is also a good option (certainly easier).  I tend to agree that the manner of getting these powers shouldn't be specialties.  I think back to basics style classes is the better answer.
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foproy
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 04:49:33 PM »

tech powers should have other options, but biotics require some kinda latent abilities so i can see them being a part of an origin.
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 05:16:58 PM »

There's nothing saying you can't have been born with biotic potential and simply never chosen to develop it until "now". According to the Codex, for example, Asari although natural biotics rather than victims of accidential exposure are not always users of biotics (otherwise thered be no need to specify being an active biotic for military service).

Is that actually a good thing?  In the video games, soldiers quite clearly have only tech powers, and adepts are pretty much as far from soldier as you can get. 

The MC.soldier is simply someone who's mechanically good at fighting; the weapons she chooses to use are largely irrelevant. The ME.soldier only fights a certain way (with "tech" abilities). Unless it's specifically called out, when I use the term soldier I am referring to the class from the book not the comouter game.

Speaking of the game, the fact that Adepts trade off the number of weapons they can use for biotic powers in the first two games is a good argument for the powers=proficiencies approach

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Also, if you envision biotics working the way FC spells do, shouldn't biotic characters get spell points to spend?  Or possibly paths?

Why? Power points by and large tie you to a single class, and in any event just don't come anywhere near replicating the in-game experience of biotics. Neither do paths: they're a long-game approach that don;t give you the freedom to dump character options into building up a primary power/ability as quickly as possible (frex in multiplayer, I build up the infiltrator's cloak or the asari's stasis as fast as possible, ignoring most of the other abilities until that first one is approaching maxed)

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In fact, I feel like paths offer a better representation of ME powers than spells do.  First step gives you a power, subsequent steps give you tweaks to it, and more/bigger/better uses of it.  That is if we're not just keeping the powers pretty much as they are, which is also a good option (certainly easier).

That's virtually the way powers work now except being horribly slower to progress
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 05:23:16 PM by Mister Andersen » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 05:27:10 PM »

actually i think tech powers= proficiencies, since they seem to be learnable, and biotics= paths with some kind of class associated with it.
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 05:40:15 PM »

You've got to at least maintain something close to parity, which is one advantage of the tied-to-specialty approach. Paths fail that basic requirement.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 07:02:06 PM by Mister Andersen » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 12:47:09 AM »

You've got to at least maintain something close to parity, which is one advantage of the tied-to-specialty approach. Paths fail that basic requirement.

Unless tech powers are also paths.
And paths are only slow if you make them slow. There's no reason you couldn't gain multiple steps every level.

Also, spell points only tie you to a class if you tie spell points to a class.  If you give biotic chars spell point progression outside of their class,  then it's no longer a problem.  And since spycraft doesn't have spell points,  and FC only has them via the sorcery CQ, the only option for this route is extra-class spell points,  or 4 ME classes with spell point progression.

And powers do not equal proficiencies.  If that's the case then only soldier will be viable for any of the ME classes.

Btw, do you imagine this being based on fantasy craft or spycraft?
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 03:17:43 AM »

*points to the title of the thread*

Optimistically I think we're not going to see 3.0 until the middle of next year at the earliest and since the only other mastercraft example we have is FC, I'll let you connect the dots.

Unless tech powers are also paths.

That is taking a bad idea and making it worse.

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And paths are only slow if you make them slow. There's no reason you couldn't gain multiple steps every level.

Plese explain.

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Also, spell points only tie you to a class if you tie spell points to a class.  If you give biotic chars spell point progression outside of their class,  then it's no longer a problem.  And since spycraft doesn't have spell points,  and FC only has them via the sorcery CQ, the only option for this route is extra-class spell points,  or 4 ME classes with spell point progression.

Or none. Spell points in no way replicate the feel of either the single or multiplayer experience. Even a lowlevel character can spam a power until the cows come home; once spell points are used up you're dry.

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And powers do not equal proficiencies.  If that's the case then only soldier will be viable for any of the ME classes.

Someone who specialises in using powers -- biotic OR tech -- to their hard hitting extremes? Damn straight the soldier should be the class of choice. Powers are just weapons like guns or knives.

Someone whose approach to their powers is as an ancilliary tool? Soo many other potential choices
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2012, 06:49:41 AM »

Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2012, 04:02:59 PM »

I'd love to see where you're at with 2nd edition.  I'm also happy to provide whatever help you might want.
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2012, 09:12:34 PM »

Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
I am quite intrigued. 
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2012, 10:12:53 PM »

Mass Craft 2nd ed is already 2/3 done, and is fully mastercraft. Major overhaul to power acquisition.
I am quite intrigued. 
This
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 10:34:16 PM »

(click to show/hide)

No vorcha, as I don't think they should be a playable species; I'm almost of that opinion on volus too, as their physiology means that realistically losing suit integrity should outright kill them.

While I used Glim's versions as a starting point, there are a number of differences that came from both the use of the MC toolset, and my own interpretation of the various codex entries (and in the case of the Hanaar, Zaaed's war story).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 05:25:56 AM by Mister Andersen » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 06:43:41 AM »

Cerberus
You have been extensively augmented by the pro-human terrorist organization called Cerberus.
[1] • Attributes: +1 Intelligence, -1 Charisma.
[0] • Base Speed: 30 ft.
[2] • Fearless: You are immune to negative morale effects.
[1] • Fast Healing: You heal damage at twice the standard rate.
[-2] • Cerberus Indoctrination: Characters with a higher Cerberus Renown than you may compel you to obey their commands. Simple commands must be completed to the best of your ability, but any command that places you in personal jeopardy grants a Will save (DC 10 + commanding character’s Charisma modifier) to resist.
[1] • Low Light Vision: You ignore the effects of dim and faint light.
[2] • No Pain: You ignore the first fatigued or shaken condition that  you gain in each scene.
[2] • Stand Together: You gain +2 morale bonus to Defense and all saves when at least 2 adjacent characters share your species.

I was considering this for the new generation of cerberus troops that have been augmented using reaper tech, but I don't like the 'partial indoctrination' that is folded into it. Also, I think we need solid rules for Reaper indoctrination.

(click to show/hide)

Some sort of sliding scale where it's easy to start on it accidentally, but once you're on it, it's a slippery downward slope that is almost impossible to resist.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 06:48:55 AM by glimmerrat » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 06:51:34 AM »

Come to think of it, given the new DLC i'd consider a playable Prothean species...
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