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Author Topic: Substantial House Rules; things I would like to do if I have time  (Read 1681 times)
tfwfh
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 12:31:47 PM »

The thing about PC vitality is that after a certain point, say around 100 (YMMV), any additional vitality becomes fairly meaningless. At that point, critical hits become the more common way for characters to get killed (or otherwise removed) in combat, and the table of ouch is a bigger concern than simple vitality loss.  Characters keep gaining VP past that point because there's no reason not to, but it will hardly ever come into play.  Really the only reason to scale up damage is to keep the hit point attrition slog fest combat style of DnD to a halfway reasonable amount of time, but FC doesn't have that problem, thanks to vitality/wounds.  If you really feel like high level NPCs need to do more damage, there's ways, and graded weapon attacks is one of them, but I think you'll find it just results in accidentally killing PCs nearly every time you crit.

As to the action economy, I see where you're coming from, but implementing standard/move/minor actions really will be a huge amount of work, when the much easier option is to just work with your players so they're not dominating all of the time spent in combat.  You could restrict options that take disproportionately long to resolve.  Or, you might see if your mounted warlord with a PL will be willing to share control of his PL with the other players.  And to address speed at the table, my experience is that standard/move style actions take much much longer to resolve than half/half style actions.  The extra time for standard/move style comes from having to sort out and keep track of all the extra character options, and which ones are standard, which are moves.  I see the appeal of a minor or swift style action, but I think it's better to just let common sense rule the day with regard to how many or how elaborate free actions can be before they stop being free actions.

Your chit based encounter system is interesting.  It's broadly similar to a variety of complex skill check mechanics, but with an added wagering mechanic that I can imagine adds quite a bit of interest.  I'm not sure I'd use it, since I loves me some dramatic conflicts.  And for situations that warrant more than a single skill check, but less than a dram con, it seems more involved than I would want.  Still, interesting.  Just a thought, but have you considered letting action dice work as a guide for how many chits each party gets?  Or maybe just using action dice themselves?  Like I said, just a thought.  It would weight things more in the players' favor, and it seems like your system as presented is weighted somewhat against the players.  It would also benefit chance build characters, which you may or may not like.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 12:41:29 PM by tfwfh » Logged

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blacksheepcannibal
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 12:45:20 PM »

re: 4e's "everyone must be equally effective" balance concept

P1 It's not a question of effective, or everybody at the table being awesome. The problem is how much table time they're getting. One player can spend 6-10 minutes just rolling and taking actions for him and his 3 NPCs, doing trivial damage, missing a lot, or not being very effective due to DR, or whatever; another player can cast one spell and do hundreds of points of damage between several creatures or hit the damage weakness or just outright kill something that the other player cannot, but take 30 seconds to do so. Yes, players need to pay attention when it's not them resolving things at the table, but when you have 9 characters on the board, and 4 of them are controlled by one person, you cannot say that everybody is playing the game equally.

Again, it's not a matter of if they player with 4 characters on the board is better, worse, or effective or not effective; they are just taking up way more time at the table than other players. Running them as NPCs only increases the GM's workload. Having a limited number of actions, no matter how many NPCs you have seems to be an effective, static, and predictable way of keeping 20 minute turns being 12 minutes on one player, 8 minutes on the other 4.

As far as "two half actions and one relatively inconsequential actions" being more or less complicated, or more or less restrictive: It's nice when things are predictable for the player. "Well, if I take this, will I be able to do it once a turn? Twice a turn? 4 times a turn? Who knows, until either I ask the GM or he makes the call at the table. This other thing, that is similar, but not quite the same? Different answer, but I still don't know until I ask the GM". It's nice when a game is predictable. You can make calls as a GM; you're supposed to. But if you have to make calls on everything, why not boil it down so all you have are characters with 6 attributes, and everything else is just a GMs call? A bit of hyperbole, but the point stands - I like to make as few unnecessary calls as possible, and reserve my attention for the character that is doing something awesome, not "can I do this ordinary-ish thing".

I'm not saying that FC is totally unpredictable as is; it's rather nice in that way, and I understand that part of FC's mantra is that GM calls are a required part of the game - that's great, and part of what drove me away from 4e was the invisible wall of "if it's not in the book, don't do it" (even though there are very good guidelines in that game for doing things outside the rules).

But the action types in 4e (standard, move, minor, immediate interrupt, immediate reaction, opportunity, free) are easy, cut, dry, and very predictable, with fewer questions asked about "but when does x happen in comparison to y". That is one of the things I feel 4e has done better than any other game so far - and as much as I like FC, it is not absolutely perfect in every way in comparison to every other game. The 4e action types also allow for a finer gradient, I feel, that is more predictable.

What I am finding a hard match for those actions, is that FC advocates doing more than just attacking twice on your turn, or just move and attack, with a variety of things other than that you can do during combat -in addition to an attack or move-. Hence, a compromise seems to be in order - two half actions (or a full action) and a swift/minor action; making "handle item" a swift/minor action makes sense, especially if you can then trade and half action for a swift/minor. I think this allows a larger gradient on actions, and could serve to benefit things at my table.

P4: I like that FC can have a goblin with the same stat block challenge players at threat level 2 and threat level 12 - but the problem is it does different damage. When you're talking a level 2 soldier, with 28 vitality, a hit for 12 damage is really painful! Almost half his life! That same soldier at level 12 with 168 vitality? 12 damage? Not exactly threatening. Can I just add in some feats and class abilities and modify the xp value to higher? Yes, but I would rather just consult a chart for damage levels the same way I do for attack bonuses, saves, and other stats.

P6: I wouldn't expect everybody to use this at their tables, but I find it's an interesting way of doing something that isn't either "pass/fail this skill roll; rinse repeat" or combat. We have found it a good framework (same as attack rolls, feats, tricks, and vitality has been a framework for combat) for exactly that.
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2012, 01:21:46 PM »

re: 4e's "everyone must be equally effective" balance concept
<snip>

YMOVFM (Your Mileage Obviously Varies From Mine) on this point.  I just haven't had the problems you are trying to fix.

Quote from: blacksheepcannibal
I like to make as few unnecessary calls as possible, and reserve my attention for the character that is doing something awesome, not "can I do this ordinary-ish thing".

As do I and many others on the board.  Please provide a few examples of "unnecessary calls" so that we can get a better feel for your concern(s).  After that, the interested parties should be able to offer you suggestions.

Quote from: blacksheepcannibal
P4: I like that FC can have a goblin with the same stat block challenge players at threat level 2 and threat level 12 - but the problem is it does different damage. When you're talking a level 2 soldier, with 28 vitality, a hit for 12 damage is really painful! Almost half his life! That same soldier at level 12 with 168 vitality? 12 damage? Not exactly threatening. Can I just add in some feats and class abilities and modify the xp value to higher? Yes, but I would rather just consult a chart for damage levels the same way I do for attack bonuses, saves, and other stats.

I can understand this one.  Consider cutting vitality in half as a first step/compromise.  I think it's the Fragile Heroes campaign quality, but I'm away from my book at the moment.  Alternatively, you can use the damage rules for natural weapons and innate effects and just tell your players that the NPC is using a weapon.

e.g. I've used the beam attack to replicate a (very) large whip slamming into the ground.  The rules are already there and the damage scales with both threat level (average party level) and the number of ranks.  It worth a try.
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 01:30:55 PM »

P1 I've already had one player make a mild gripe about a necromancer being able to summon 4 skeletons at some point in the future. After playing 4e for so long, I think my players are just used to spending about equal amounts of time interacting with the game, even if they summon other things or have pets or companions or whatever.

P4 See, that's once thing where I'm a bit antsy in regard to messing with damage/vitality scales - critical hits. I had thought that might be an interesting twist in it, and it's not like they're exactly rare - especially with nat attacks IV+. As far as cutting vitality in half, I'm a bit drawn on that one - at lower levels, it makes damage even scarier, and at high levels, you're still running about the same problem. Same "slope" if you will. If anything, I'd want them to still receive the full amount of vitality, just in a slowly declining gradient - a curve that starts of really fast, then slows down very far. At that point, it seems to be easier to just modify monster damage - really, damage dice are already an approximation, so saying that a skeleton warrior hits for 2d12 on a longsword instead of 1d12 doesn't really seem abnormal to me.

P6 As far as chits and action dice, I'd like to see some way of working them together, but I haven't had any brilliant ideas hit me so far. As is, you can use them to boost your skill checks, but more than that could be something interesting. Rolling an action die to gain as many chits? Something? I'm not sure.

And those kind of checks don't happen all that often. So far, two sessions in, we've only done one, with another coming up real soon. They're interesting, but not something you want to do twice or more a session.
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 02:13:26 PM »

P4: I like that FC can have a goblin with the same stat block challenge players at threat level 2 and threat level 12 - but the problem is it does different damage. When you're talking a level 2 soldier, with 28 vitality, a hit for 12 damage is really painful! Almost half his life! That same soldier at level 12 with 168 vitality? 12 damage? Not exactly threatening. Can I just add in some feats and class abilities and modify the xp value to higher? Yes, but I would rather just consult a chart for damage levels the same way I do for attack bonuses, saves, and other stats.

What's happening here is you're thinking about vitality the wrong way.  When a character runs low on vitality, they are sweaty, dirty, tired, winded, maybe even scraped or bruised, but they are not injured.  Only wound damage indicates a meaningful injury.  Gaining more vitality represents a growing ability to narrowly avoid what would otherwise be a grievous wound, or a painful death.  However, when an attack actually connects (does wound damage), that's where things get serious.  At low levels, it is feasible to wear down a PC's vitality and then start in on their wounds.  At high levels, it's really not.  And that's intentional.  It makes higher level characters a little more durable than lower level ones, but only a little, and only to a point.  It doesn't make fights take any longer, because the character's wounds haven't gone up (usually), and crit rates haven't gone down.  So it still only takes 1 or 2 hits actually connecting to put a character out of the fight.  High level characters can't be beaten into bloody pulps, they're too good for that.  But they can still fall victim to a lucky hit, because a sword or a bow or a set of fangs are just as deadly as they ever were.

So, to go back to your example, when the low level soldier with 28 vitality takes 12 damage (not a crit), that's not a big deal, it's nothing.  The sword scratched his armor and nothing more, because only wounds bleed.  From a meta game perspective, yes, he is about 1/3 of the way to dying.  From a narrative perspective, the attack did almost nothing.  If you hit a high level soldier (who has, for the sake of poetry, 128 vitality) for 12 damage, it has exactly the same effect.  And, they both fear the next attack equally, because the next attack could always be the one that connects.  In both cases, if that 12 damage went to wounds instead of vitality, that soldier is now seriously injured.  At the end of the day, they'll both have the same scar.  And if they get particularly unlucky, a second hit to wounds will kill them both equally dead.

Now, having said all that, if you really still think that high level characters have too much vitality and are too hard to kill, you should have a look at this thread.  Scaling up NPC damage will just result in insta-kills every time you crit.  It will feel unfair to the players, and rightly so.  The better option is to reduce their vitality.  You could do that via the fragile heroes quality, or you could pick a point where they simply stop gaining vitality.  I think capped vitality is the better solution, because like I said in my previous post, after some point gaining additional vitality becomes fairly pointless.  Beyond the level where a character still has vitality points left the second time they take a critical hit, vitality doesn't matter.
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2012, 02:21:07 PM »

P1: It's worth noting that if you're on a mount, you already choose which of your actions to spend.  It's only if you're not riding your pet that they act autonomously.

If you were to limit the actions of PLs, summoned critters etc. as a campaign quality, however, it might work something like this:

Mindless Minions (many action dice)  Sometimes, it seems like a lot of people simply can't do anything for themselves.  NPCs under the control of your character [this may not be the best text, but you know what I mean] act on your character's initiative if you want them to by taking one or both of his half actions or a full action.  Otherwise, they take no actions in combat and are simply battlefield scenery.  Your character must give up a minimum of one half action for NPCs to act at all even if they possess abilities that would normally grant them extra actions; however, if your character grants them at least one action they may use these additional actions in addition.

Optional tweaks:
- A degree of immunity to this for Captains (especially if they have their gamebreaker ability) and Beastmasters.
- Allowing NPCs your character controls to use your character's saves, defence etc. if better than their own.

It'd be a big change to the system, and not one I'd want to make.  But if you really want to do it... this might be how.
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2012, 02:24:21 PM »

P1 It's not a question of effective, or everybody at the table being awesome. The problem is how much table time they're getting. One player can spend 6-10 minutes just rolling and taking actions for him and his 3 NPCs, doing trivial damage, missing a lot, or not being very effective due to DR, or whatever; another player can cast one spell and do hundreds of points of damage between several creatures or hit the damage weakness or just outright kill something that the other player cannot, but take 30 seconds to do so. Yes, players need to pay attention when it's not them resolving things at the table, but when you have 9 characters on the board, and 4 of them are controlled by one person, you cannot say that everybody is playing the game equally.

I just don't understand. I really don't. So some players turns take longer. So what? They're both at the table. They're both having fun. They're both playing the game equally. How are they not because one player spends a few minutes whiffing due to bad rolls, and then the next player spends thirty seconds being awesome because he rolled well. This is why 4e might be a ok skirmish game, but it's a horrible, horrible rpg.

Are they complaining that at high levels the soldier gets to just say he kills NPCs without rolling or doing anything? Or that the Burglar becomes the head of his own thieves guild? Or that the courtier gets a whole retinue of lackies? Or that the Explorer gets to laugh in the face of death and take his friends along for the ride? Or that the Gallant gets to reduce their opponent's combat choices to a standard attack or a standard attack? High level character all get cool things to do. Summoning 4 standard 36XP skeletons at level 9 or 11 is much more a problem solving spell then a combat spell.

Again, it's not a matter of if they player with 4 characters on the board is better, worse, or effective or not effective; they are just taking up way more time at the table than other players. Running them as NPCs only increases the GM's workload. Having a limited number of actions, no matter how many NPCs you have seems to be an effective, static, and predictable way of keeping 20 minute turns being 12 minutes on one player, 8 minutes on the other 4.

Then don't allow them to take those options. Frankly I've never seen it, my players with multiple characters take about the same, maybe a little less time then the single character ones. Limiting the number of actions on a player rather then character level is destroys disbelief because it renders the NPCs brain dead robots that can't do anything unless their boss tells them.

Instead of turning the game into a miniatures skirmish game, try an egg timer.

As far as "two half actions and one relatively inconsequential actions" being more or less complicated, or more or less restrictive: It's nice when things are predictable for the player. "Well, if I take this, will I be able to do it once a turn? Twice a turn? 4 times a turn? Who knows, until either I ask the GM or he makes the call at the table. This other thing, that is similar, but not quite the same? Different answer, but I still don't know until I ask the GM". It's nice when a game is predictable. You can make calls as a GM; you're supposed to. But if you have to make calls on everything, why not boil it down so all you have are characters with 6 attributes, and everything else is just a GMs call? A bit of hyperbole, but the point stands - I like to make as few unnecessary calls as possible, and reserve my attention for the character that is doing something awesome, not "can I do this ordinary-ish thing".

Name me one action that is not covered in the rules that you think is less a half action and more then a free action. I will guarantee it's because you're still thinking in D&D terms or because you over or under estimate it's impact. honestly, I've never been in a position where I felt the need to say "that's too many free actions".

I'm not saying that FC is totally unpredictable as is; it's rather nice in that way, and I understand that part of FC's mantra is that GM calls are a required part of the game - that's great, and part of what drove me away from 4e was the invisible wall of "if it's not in the book, don't do it" (even though there are very good guidelines in that game for doing things outside the rules).

But the action types in 4e (standard, move, minor, immediate interrupt, immediate reaction, opportunity, free) are easy, cut, dry, and very predictable, with fewer questions asked about "but when does x happen in comparison to y". That is one of the things I feel 4e has done better than any other game so far - and as much as I like FC, it is not absolutely perfect in every way in comparison to every other game. The 4e action types also allow for a finer gradient, I feel, that is more predictable.

So you left 4e because it was to proscriptive and restrictive. But then you want to make FC more proscriptive and restrictive?

What I am finding a hard match for those actions, is that FC advocates doing more than just attacking twice on your turn, or just move and attack, with a variety of things other than that you can do during combat -in addition to an attack or move-. Hence, a compromise seems to be in order - two half actions (or a full action) and a swift/minor action; making "handle item" a swift/minor action makes sense, especially if you can then trade and half action for a swift/minor. I think this allows a larger gradient on actions, and could serve to benefit things at my table.

Um... Yeah. All of those things other then move or attack are full actions, half actions, or free actions. Also, making handle item a swift action and adding it on is a horrible idea. It tosses the balance on load weapons out the window.

P4: I like that FC can have a goblin with the same stat block challenge players at threat level 2 and threat level 12 - but the problem is it does different damage. When you're talking a level 2 soldier, with 28 vitality, a hit for 12 damage is really painful! Almost half his life! That same soldier at level 12 with 168 vitality? 12 damage? Not exactly threatening. Can I just add in some feats and class abilities and modify the xp value to higher? Yes, but I would rather just consult a chart for damage levels the same way I do for attack bonuses, saves, and other stats.

Except that then the PCs damage should directly scale per level. Is your issue that you don't think that the goblin is a threat at higher levels or that NPC design is an art and not a science or that the combat mini-game isn't enough like the 4e?

It's your game so do whatever you like, but I really think you're over-estimating the problems and under-estimating the effect of the fix, along with the viability and amount of work to involved.
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2012, 02:36:26 PM »

Part 1: The idea is for every character to share equal "table time". You have player 1, a multi-class warlord/lancer with a mount and a right-hand man. Maybe he even uses two-weapon fighting. So he makes his first attack, hits, rolls damage, second attack with a maneuver, hits, rolls damage, opponent has to roll save, he then moves; his mount makes it's move and attacks, misses. His right hand man uses an attack with a trick, misses.
Then you have player 2, a priest. Who casts Cure Wounds III to save another player. Rolls good. His turn is done.
This part doesn't seem like a terribly difficult fix - have it so it uses an action to command an NPC; there will be some items that need to be altered, but it doesn't quite seem draconian.

Paddy already pointed it out while I was typing, but I'll say it again. If a character is mounted, he and the mount share the same 2 half or one full actions per round.

It sounds to me you guys are still in DnD mode. If you want to make all these changes, go for it. But if you play the game the way it's designed and you can put that DnD stuff behind you ( Priest =/ Cleric) the system will really click for you. I don't want to sound like I'm judging you, there a real transition that can be awkward for everyone.
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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 11:15:05 PM »

The thread's moving quickly so I'm just going to use your points to organize my comments.

P1:  I understand that it's no fun for 4 people to be done in a total of 2 minutes and number 5 to take 10 minutes.  If pets are the slowdown, fix them.  You might consider requiring the guy with all of the NPC's to have all of his stats and attacks on a 3x5 card ready to go when play starts.  If there are several identical NPC's require that they all take the same actions as if they were a group of followers (from the followers feat).  If he's still too slow you can do things like use average damage for NPC attacks and treat them like the trick from Knife Mastery ie Roll 1 d20 for all attacks.  If you hit, roll damage for attack #1. for every 4 you hit by, one more attack hits.

Be aware that at higher levels, the guy who is a swing and a miss now will have a lot more options.  It's not hard to get 3 attacks, a couple free social combat actions, and a nonattack action.  At 7th level a flail wielding soldier can potentially make 9 attacks in a single round. 

A knife wielding soldier is going to top out around 7 attacks but each one can potentially generate 3 separate hits (and thus damage rolls).  And each of those hits can generate a damage save, a stress save, and possibly a poison save.  In addition, Mr Knife has a free action feint and if he's high enough level for 4 more feats, up to 8 free action Taunts, and a non-attack action.  For added hilarity, by the early teens he can get Cleave Mastery, with potentially unlimited Blade Flurries

Admittedly, that's a purposefully extreme example with plenty of conditional attacks thrown in.  The point is that things will tend to equalize somewhat as you level.  FC never gets as slow as 3rd edition and I'm told it's faster than 4e, which I've read but never played.  So do what you need to if it keeps things moving but you're probably currently at the most extreme difference in player times and it might even get better on its own.

As far as the action types and how often you can do them, the basic rule is pretty simple.  Each action has a size (Full round, full action, standard action, free action).  If you have an action of the required type or larger, you can perform the action.  You can perform as many free actions as the GC allows. You can only perform actions during your turn.  As long as you have all of the required resources, you can perform any action any number of times.

There are some actions that have limited uses, per turn or per scene, or may be used outside of your turn.  These are clearly marked in their descriptions.

Quote
action types in 4e (standard, move, minor, immediate interrupt, immediate reaction, opportunity, free)

In FC terms, a standard and a move are both standard actions, free is free, and a minor is a free with a once per round restriction.  I think the immediates are minors with conditions attached and both as well as the opportunity (standard) are usable outside your turn.  I believe the Parry trick would be an immediate interrupt and the Feather Fall spell an immediate reaction as well as a minor. 

Quote
making "handle item" a swift/minor action makes sense, especially if you can then trade and half action for a swift/minor.
Knife basics and Quick draw become less attractive feats while fire arms become quicker to load and thus fire.  Probably not game breaking but it will change things.  in normal FC you can throw one ax per round, 2 with quick draw.  With minors you can throw 3 every 2 rounds but still only 2 with quick draw.

I think labeling actions is good if it helps you but you've got your work cut out for you if you're going to force fit 4E's actions to Fantasy craft.

Quote
Part 3: I don't see how this could make a spell impossible to save against? Currently, you have an NPC cast "ouchpewpew" at a character; the DC against his saving throw is 15. The player makes a Saving throw, with their +6 reflex save. They must roll a d20 and get a 9 or higher. Altered, the NPC makes an attack at +6 (dc -9) against a reflex defense of 15 (9+save bonus); they must roll a 9 or higher to hit.

When you say dc+9 and 9+save bonus are the "9's" intended to be constant with every saving throw?  I think you don't intend that.  I think you got the 9 by subtracting the save bonus from the DC, correct?  In that case, you've done a null operation.  The NPC will always make an attack at the PC's save bonus against a Defense of their DC.  You've just relabeled the save and changed who rolls it.  Not that there's anything wrong with that if that's what you want.

If the 9 is constant, consider this.  I have a save bonus of +15 versus a DC of 21. I need to roll a 6 or higher.  Under your system with constants my defense is 24 and the attack is +12.  They need to roll a 12.

Quote
The hard part of this comes with items like "you are discombobulated, make a fort save every round to see if your head clears". I think I might have a way of handling that, but I'm working on it at the moment - it'll likely be just a "roll d20, higher than 10 means you cleared it off" with some ad hoc modifiers, but it might instead be an ability check with a low DC.

Regarding the clearing roll, I really think it's not a good fit for the condition system.  If you like it, ok, but you're basically nerfing everything except pure (lethal) damage. 

P4: In Chapter 7, there are campaign qualities that are essentially premade houserules.  Fragile Heroes is the one you want.  It cuts the vitality gained in half.  Try that before you up weapon damage.  Remember this is a VP/wounds system.  With an 19-20 crit range, you're on average 5ish rounds from a critical.  You usually don't end up slogging through vitality except for a few oddball creatures.  If you do scale damage, you can control lethality by not activating crits as often or going for injuries (2 action dice) instead of wounds.  You can even flip the costs if you like that option.

p6:  This is very close to a complex task of the progress type with both players and GM using narrative control.   Take a look at those two subsystems for ideas.  Yours looks like it might be an interesting minigame.

Apologies for the length.
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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2012, 11:39:44 PM »

Krensky and I are pretty much of the same mind about your first part.

It sounds like you have one player controlling 4 different characters or 3 with his animal companion. That's not a fault of the system having full actions, half actions, and free actions. Nor is it the fault of bad rolling. He has more to manipulate in combat so he will take more time. Very simple.

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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2012, 03:18:37 AM »

Part 1: Alter the current types of actions into the "standard-move-minor" action types and action economy; alter the current action economy into something more inline with that (meaning, remove "I have a pet and a henchmen so I have 6 half actions to deal with and keep track of every round, while other players have 2").
The first element is not a problem in my opinion. "Complex-half-free" is simpler than "Complex-standard-move-minor-free", so I wouldn't change anything there. The second point however, concerning the guy who has one henchman and a pet and who knows what, is more interesting. I'd like to see what you can come up with, maybe based on what already exists for mounted characters (for pets mostly).
Part 2: Narrow the focus of generalist mages. Treat spell schools as focuses (the same way they are used with crafting and ride skills) for the Spellcasting skill.
That's something I've been working on for some time, but Spellbound is going to answer for a lot of my previous concerns. So I'd call it covered.
Part 3: Alter the way saves are made, and how durations are tracked. Alter Saving throws to be static defenses (dragons attack reflex at a +15 instead of "make a DC 25 saving throw"). Durations are going to probably be "check at the beginning of your turn if you shake this off yet or not".
I like passive saving throws, it saves time. I hate checking durations, it does the exact contrary! So I'm only interested in the first point.
Part 4: Scaling NPC damage guidelines.
What for? No need.
Part 5: Skill system simplification. Likely, each class will get a pick of a number of skills to more or less max out; multiclassing will have skills that you'll pick up as well if you don't already have them, but only a few core skills per class in such a fashion. This one is a little more wonky, and I'm not totally sure I'm going to implement it, but I'm probably going to try.
Definitely no need, the skill system is already simple. All this is going to achieve is to put limits, not simplifications. So no, I really don't see any need for this.
Part 6: Attempted integration of my chit-based "non-combat encounter" system.
I don't know what you mean, but I'm intrigued. I've always liked "wit duels", "dramatic conflicts", and other non-combat fights.
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