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Author Topic: [A New Pie] High Roller - The NEW Hawtness  (Read 2617 times)
Morgenstern
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2012, 11:35:29 AM »

Unless of course the Sage just adds the damage to any critical hit damage rolls.  Then watch as 12 damage gets added on average to any wound damage inflicted.

Ah, yes. And GMs are so reluctant to do unto others as is done unto them. Honestly I'd kill that charcter with that exact trick and see what they come up with next time. But then I do tend to go through any doors that players open for me Wink. "You convinced me it was fun... or at least how the universe works."

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There's been quite a few fights that ended anti-climatically with this which has unfortunately prompted me to feel the need to add 3-4 levels of tough to anything that needs to live longer than 1 round.

Hmm. I wonder if that isn't more a structural issue with the combat so much as chance feats, as any character can do it. Most combat types I know save up 2 dice to one-shot things that annoy them - less once they don't need dice to confirm the crit anymore.

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Not a fan of this nor have I ever been a fan of game effects using real world timers.  Currently, the "per session" timer is one of my least favorite things about Master Craft and a semi-hourly timer strikes me as just a tiny bit better.

Just musing out loud. The whole conversation has put me on the track of considering a little more... vigorous... competition between GMs and chance monkeys. "Give me what I want or give me some action dice" is pretty well established in some other abilities.

At the other end of the spectrum, there's some potential in making action dice less alarmingly powerful, and thus maybe better suited to use as plot lubrication through regular granting. For one thing, adding to damage has always been different ftom adding to checks. Just because the contribution reletive to the base is so much larger, and because as yo note, its a place where magnitude matters, while checks an saves are mostly looking for threshold.

For the New Pie I've been mulling over nuking the critical hit rules off the face of the Earth anyway because they're grossly lopsided (player's cant wait to one-shot, GMs don't dare...). Action dice are bound up in that process at a couple of points, so maybe its time to do that review in earnest...

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And people were poo-pooing me when I said SC3 should insist that everyone gets a new action die at the start of every scene

I'd still poo-poo that until the dice themselves have been looked at. With or without chance feats, they may be a bit too good. At minimum, I'd insist that action dice get discarded down to a cap before adding something like that.

"At the begining of each scene, discard 1 action die if you have more than your starting action dice. Gain 1 action die if you have less than your starting action dice." ...is probably still too genererous.

I think it needs to be looked at like Edge - the goal of mechanics should be to create a flow of dice from GM to players to use - and to seriously de-incentivize hoarding dice...
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 11:50:44 AM by Morgenstern » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 01:51:38 PM »

I think it needs to be looked at like Edge - the goal of mechanics should be to create a flow of dice from GM to players to use - and to seriously de-incentivize hoarding dice...
Speaking as a (distressingly irregular) player, I'm a bad hoarder of action dice. 
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2012, 07:12:46 PM »

And people were poo-pooing me when I said SC3 should insist that everyone gets a new action die at the start of every scene

For the record, I still poo-pooh that.  Smiley

It was not my intention to try to steer the High Roller here into a different direction. What I'm pointing out is, as others have said, a social problem that can't be solved mechanically (at least not in a way that will be cool in the long run). MY suggestion is to include with the class, should it see some flavor of print, a column of discussion regarding action die flow, both to encourage players to work to earn them (and not hoard), and to reassure GMs that it's really okay if the PCs get more during play.
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2012, 07:38:32 PM »

Not a fan of this nor have I ever been a fan of game effects using real world timers.  Currently, the "per session" timer is one of my least favorite things about Master Craft and a semi-hourly timer strikes me as just a tiny bit better.

Agreed.  I'm not as against "per session" but I really dislike "per hour" type timers.  I have a guy in my Fallout game who gets a reroll once an hour and he always forgets because of the hourly timer - yet the same guy had no problem with per scene type counters.
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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 11:43:27 PM »

The primary reason I have a problem with real life timers stems in part from my group size.  On any given night I have between 8-9 people around the table.  The simple logistics of having 8 characters means adventures just take longer.  But, even when we have smaller groups, we still take longer than seems to be expected.

Just as an example, I ran my group through Darkest Hour which is "designed for a 4- to 5-hour convention-style timeslot".  My group finished it in 5 sessions.  As designed, players will have 1 set of action dice and have 1 use of per session abilities for the entire adventure.  At my table, my players get 4 additional action dice refreshers and 4 additional uses of per session abilities to cover the same exact adventure as the group sprinting through it during a 4 hour time slot.

So why should a large, slow group get about 5 times the resources to complete the same adventure?

Hourly timers run into other problems.  Just about everyone I game with are friends away from the gaming table, too.  There is going to inevitably be time lost as people BS and otherwise get caught up on the previous weeks events, or we'll wait while someone orders pizza or whatever.  While we are in this "kinda sorta playing" phase what happens to the real life timers?  If we start playing at 6:55, does the guy get an action die at 7:00 because the GM hasn't handed out dice yet?  What about when a couple people step out to pick up pizza for the group and those of us left behind are just discussing different aspects of the game?

Real life timers seem to operate under certain assumptions about how people play the games which don't seem to actually be true in real life.  In general, real life timers get messy and I would rather not have them at all.


At the other end of the spectrum, there's some potential in making action dice less alarmingly powerful, and thus maybe better suited to use as plot lubrication through regular granting. For one thing, adding to damage has always been different ftom adding to checks. Just because the contribution reletive to the base is so much larger, and because as yo note, its a place where magnitude matters, while checks an saves are mostly looking for threshold.

That's a couple things I had noticed, too.

Adding action dice to skill checks of a d20 vs adding action dice to damage of a d6 to d12 gives a markedly higher percentage return on the expenditure.

Also, spending an action die to heal?  You get 2 wounds.  Spending an action die to cause wounds?  You get whatever you can roll out of it which will almost always be at least 2.

I've contemplated removing the action dice ability to add damage on several occasions now and limit their expenditure to d20 rolls.

I've also contemplated swapping the action dice cost for critical injuries, which would now require 1 action die, with critical hits, which would now require at least 2 but maybe more action dice.
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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 02:59:48 AM »

No worries, folks. The hourly thing was just off the cuff. My more serious efforts work from a per scene basis Smiley.

I was tinkering with a new Core ability for the High Roller along the lines of~

Let the Good Times Roll: You gain a +1 bonus to Defense and all Saves if you have fewer action dice than your starting action dice. This bonus increases to +4 if you currently have no action dice.

I am seriously giving Fortunate the hairy eyeball at the moment. The gains in simplicty over the 2.0 version just don't offset the recurrent problems arising from that feat.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 03:08:35 AM by Morgenstern » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 03:05:17 AM »

The other restriction I'm mulling over (prior to getting down and dirty with critical hits... 'cause that nut is gonna take a big ol' hammer later...) is both simple and complex - "You may only spend action dice on an action once." Meaning if you pay for a hail check cap removal, you can't spend more action dice to boot the roll. If you spend dice to boost the roll, you can't spend action dice to confirm a crit. And perhaps most importantly if you spent an action die on any of those thing you can't spend one to boost damage...

All of which points pretty much to allowing action dice to be spent on damage is probably the root of the problem that needs to be addressed. Or torn out. Entirely.
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 03:07:55 AM »

I think it needs to be looked at like Edge - the goal of mechanics should be to create a flow of dice from GM to players to use - and to seriously de-incentivize hoarding dice...
Speaking as a (distressingly irregular) player, I'm a bad hoarder of action dice. 

Not surprisingly. As the rules stand now it's kinda stupid not to hang on to a few for that chance to just anhilate a major threat in 1 half action. That's the crux of the issue, really. Their value in combat, particularly at the roll damage step but also in the confirm crit phase just completely overshadows their plot-impact as skill check de-oops-ifiers.
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 11:19:57 AM »

Keeping an AD around is also nice for Saving Throws, especially against some nastier effects like radiation.

Maybe splitting combat and non-combat AD pools could help?  Or refresh AD every scene, bring the players up to starting AD at the start of the new scene?
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2012, 12:38:57 PM »

Assuming you keep action dice adding to damage at all, perhaps a fixed die size would help (spend an action die to add 1d6 damage or confirm a critical hit, but not both.)

For the refresh action, eliminate the constraint that the action fails if you are attacked.  I don't think it's needed. 

If your players are hoarding action dice, I think you should ask them why.  Try just handing out a few for no good reason.  Hey, new scene, everybody have a action die.  Spend your own dice.  Heck, spend them unwisely.  When you get low, give everyone another die.  People hoard what's rare and valuable.  Once they learn that these aren't level based action points and start spending, you can back off.

I've told my group that as long as they are using their action dice to make the game more fun, I will not let them run out.  Once that sunk in, they stopped saving them.
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2012, 07:03:53 PM »

+1 on that. This is a social issue that needs to be solved at individual tables by the players playing. Mechanical incentive schemes or other "fixes" to action die use and issue are fraught with peril.
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 10:01:41 PM »

+1 on that. This is a social issue that needs to be solved at individual tables by the players playing. Mechanical incentive schemes or other "fixes" to action die use and issue are fraught with peril.

I don't agree. The rules create the environment where all behavior emerges. There is a pretty open structure in when, why, and how often GMs give out dice, constrained by that being they main way they get dice themselves. If a single player being able to get more out of those dice is so scary that the GM is strangling his own supply to avoid propting that, there may be a problem.

The biggest imbalance in the action die system has ALWAYS been their ability to cause instant death, because GMs who like to keep their player groups don't exercise that option, an players who like to suceed always do so. If that's making it difficult to have intersting chance-monkeys that don't drive the GM to slap them in the junk just for playing, then there's more than just a "social" issue at work. That kind of agressively stomping the shit out of a build by GMs is the mark of a broken build. Usually thats reserved for a lot nastier combos than "I took 4 feats from the same tree". You don't see GMs refusing to include fight scenes because there's a Soldier in the party...

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 12:21:16 AM by Morgenstern » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 12:08:44 AM »

Ok,gonna move the action dice in the New Pie thoughts into a new thread. Assuming the Chance Feats tree doesn't have a hideous lingering stigmata when the dust settles, it sounds like the rest of this class went over reasonably well Smiley.
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 12:51:27 AM »

I see your post but I think leaving this post here is most appropriate.  This and the Ninja are both excellent classes.

I am not attempting to start a fight or tee anyone off.   I am expressing my viewpoint which may or may not be reasonable.  

I would not be unhappy to see every chance feat that deals with action dice die in a fire at the bottom of a well.  The Black Cat tree is much better.  Throw in some Edge manipulating feats and maybe something like the All or Nothing and Lucky Break from 2.0.  In origin design, gaining an action die is a feat level benefit.  There are 2 chance feats that give you multiple action dice for the cost of a single feat.  Yes, they're limited size but that just means you use them when size doesn't matter and save your regulars for when it does.  That's way too good.

Action dice have been toned down before.  If they're toned down again, so be it.  The refresh action needs some work.  Giving up a full action for a chance at 2 wounds and a few vitality was ok in spycraft but FC has magical healing.  I've only seen Martial Artists get any use out of refresh and they mostly use it when they're dead.  For a start how about roll and recover the action die on all 3 tracks with no chance of interruption.

Adding damage with an action die isn't nearly as good as adding damage to a crit.  It's a common houserule to switch critical injury and straight to wounds effects.  Maybe we have to say one roll is subject to only one action die at a time so you can't activate a crit and boost damage on the same roll.

Straight out eliminating the damage boost will mean half the weapons in the book will never be used again.  I see small damage weapons selected for being cool all the time.  And those players boost their damage regularly.  



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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 02:08:01 AM »

The whole point of RPGs is to create a scenario for the players to win. The GC can deliver setbacks but they are not supposed to ever win, and frankly there are GCs who need to have that fact beaten into them with a big stick. To use an analogy, they're the party's designated driver.
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