Back to Crafty Games Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 25, 2014, 03:04:43 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Welcome to the Crafty Games Forums!

Note to New Members: To combat spam, we have instituted new rules: you must post 5 replies to existing threads before you can create new threads.

+  Crafty Games Forum
|-+  Community
| |-+  License to Improvise
| | |-+  [Notebook] Reworking Action Dice
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 Go Down Print
Author Topic: [Notebook] Reworking Action Dice  (Read 3412 times)
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2012, 05:39:06 AM »

The other two don't generally attack the bosses.  They're low damage types and it isn't worth their while.  They fall into support/minion killer roles.  However, if you gave each of them a 10% chance to stun the boss, they're going to take that and leave the minions to the soldier.

In short, crit to stun is good enough to knock their current actions off the table and have them attack each round.

Question: Since the current subdual rules allow you to stun for 1 round on a crit (and for 1d6 rounds if the target fails their save!!), why aren't those two already going after the boss with hammers?
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Mister Andersen
Control
******
Posts: 10777


I'm leaving for a destination I still don't know


View Profile
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2012, 07:09:29 AM »

No, attacks, saves, and pretty much every other form of opposed check all benefit from unlimited explosions. Frex, assuming 2 opposed characters have the same ranks+bonuses going against each other, and one rolls a 3 and the other an 18, a xap of +12 is a waste of an action die and removes the tension of a hail mary as well as the exultation of the possibility of that prayer being answered.

Then as a matter of taste, if you blew a roll by more than 12... lump it.

PCs are the favoured children of the cosmos and even though the likelihood of getting that hail mary is small, the small percentage that you might pull it off is going to drive a lot of exubriant risk-taking behaviour. Hard caps are for when you're meant to lose.

Quote
Quote
What then is the difference between this approach and RAW? Stunning a character leaves them helpless

By RAW no it doesn't. and if that needs to be put in there explicity, I'll do so. The penalty is you're flat footed and lose you next action, full stop. Were you playing that color spray = instant death?

If you can't take any actions, that sounds like a pretty text book definition of being unable to defend yourself. Especially as the Stunning extraordinary attack is priced more expensively at 4 xp per grade than the 3 xp paralysing attack whcih specifically allows mental actions.

Quote
Quote
It really does need to factor class into it. A soldier and a burglar with an identical Con really shouldn't be recharging at an identical rate

I see one class that says "brickier" on it already. Check the Lancer Smiley.
A specialist ability doesn't justify  poor general approach. Speaking of class abilities, the Martial Artist's core ability will need examining
Logged

Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2012, 07:38:35 AM »

If you can't take any actions, that sounds like a pretty text book definition of being unable to defend yourself. Especially as the Stunning extraordinary attack is priced more expensively at 4 xp per grade than the 3 xp paralysing attack whcih specifically allows mental actions.

You just explained the difference in cost (one allows mental actions, the other does not). Neither of them prompts helpless. If you're letting stunned prompt helpless, I sincenely encourage you to add the terminal tag to color spray save, because you just re-wrote it to be save-or-die Tongue.
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Blankbeard
Handler
*****
Posts: 781



View Profile
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2012, 02:43:46 PM »

Question: Since the current subdual rules allow you to stun for 1 round on a crit (and for 1d6 rounds if the target fails their save!!), why aren't those two already going after the boss with hammers?

I am blessed with a group that cares nothing for optimization.   They buy feats because they sound cool, use interesting looking weapons and cast spells that sound neat.   As long as they are having fun, they don't care where I'm pulling stuff out of.  If they win or lose by the skin of their teeth, they could care less if I'm actually using rules at all.  In reality, even if criticals caused instant death, they wouldn't take advantage of them (If they caused explosive decapitation, they'd be all over that.)

I run boss battles with tons of mooks coming in waves mixed in with a few standards.  I may have an environmental danger I can bring up if things are a bit slow.  My villains are likely to have some support abilities and spend actions monologuing.  We are much closer to Power Rangers than we are to Call of Duty but everyone has a good time.  We had an early incident where a Drake (I can play a Dragon!) managed to kill the party with his breath weapon due to me keeping track of where the fire was spreading.  "I breathe fire!" is our table's version of Leroy Jenkins.

So I have the world's easiest GM job which may be why I play with the rules on the forum so much.  Very little of what
happens in my home game is applicable to more serious games.  I have had enough experience with other groups to understand what goes on in "normal" games. 

Yup, because a reaction to "If I give him a die, its gonna vastly more significant than the die I get for doing so..." is barely a social evaluation. Its not choking off action dice because the player is trash talking or spilled a pepsi on the play mat, its comming from the evaluation of a strictly mechanical function - what that player is going to do with the die vs. what I'll do with mine. When the imbalance is so bad the GM feels the only solution is to not play that game at all, there is a mechanical problem, not a social one.

I know I'm not going to convince you of this and I'm not really trying but not shutting off the flow of action dice *appears* to prevent the problems of AD related chance feats and nearly every other problem encountered with one notable exception:

Most use of action dice are symetrical - you boost checks, I boost checks. The one grossly asymetic use of dice is for confirming crits on attacks. If a player is abusing lady lucks smile or fortunate, we're talking like 6, maybe 10, xp to make an NPC hit back every bit as hard on that front. ...Except for one-shotting. ANd that's why my focus is currently on lookng at how crits work, because they don't work in some ways. Or more accurately they only work on one side of the game screen.

Yeah, this one.  I think it's the one area that may submit to a mechanical solution.  I think the problem is pretty well understood so let me put out some criteria I think the solution has to conform to:

1) It has to be effective enough for PC's to want to use it but not so effective that GM's feel they can't.
2) It shouldn't be a nerf to lethal damage. 
3) It should eliminate the one-hit kill.
4) It should be as self-contained as possible.

Not surprisingly, I have a solution I think fits the bill.  I'm assuming your "all action dice are d6" here.

When you score a threat against a special character, you may spend and roll one action die.  The result of that die is applied directly to the target's wounds.  This die may not explode or otherwise be modified except by specific character options that target wounds.

One shots are off the table.  There's just no way to do more than 6 wounds.  You can hit PC's with this and be sure that you won't one shot them either while still being deadly enough to put the fear of GM in them.

It's broadly comparable to subdual and stress.  Add in the stun and it's almost the same.  Wounds become a sort of condition track.  It doesn't favor any weapon type and doesn't care what else action dice can do.  Crit immunity still works as do all the other NPC options. 

An average PC/NPC will need 2-4 criticals to take them out.  Only a very combat oriented group is going to generate that many crits in less than a few rounds.  No amount of chance chicanery changes the numbers.

Quote
But again, no one will bother because subdual damage will stun just as well and walk the boss up the fatigued condition chart.

Psst. If you find a water-well with smoke billowing out of it, let me know so I can throw subdual damage down it. It works, I'll defend vigorously that it works... but it is such an insanely delicate balancing act that nothing can be done relating to lethal crits without having words with subdual also, because they are intimately intermingled.

I'm just saving that part for later. For now pretend it doesn't exist Smiley.

In theory, subdual and stress are overpowered.  In practice, they work pretty well.  I think the above comes pretty close to squaring that circle, at least enough for you to come up with something that works well.
Logged
Krensky
Control
******
Posts: 7051


WWTWD?


View Profile
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2012, 02:58:08 PM »

And?
Lots of things go down in value as you level up.

As long as we're clear that I wasn not misspeaking myself. There are character options that run in retrograde because of the way action die size increases across the Career Levels. That's the "and?" and that's all I was clarifying Smiley.

The effect of benefit reducing as you rise in level isn't retrograde. That would be if the benefit turned into a penalty at higher levels.

Are you going to rework Great Fortitude or the sidekick feats next too?

I might Smiley. Its not the same as the D&D version, so in truth I already have, just not recently Wink. Actually since I've already mentioned I don't think Veteran is a valid purchase for PLs in the last few days, I'd say I've already been looking at the sidekick feats and wondering how the thing in my head failed to manifest from the thing on the page. Clearly the NPC rules had a few more unsafe-for-player-use twists in them that I failed to bar in the feat text.

What I mean is the value decreases as level rises argument applies to both. The sidekick feats are strongest at level 1 (if you don't allow Veteran) both due to TL parity with the PC and because the Stat lines are closest to (or even slightly better then) PC progressions at low levels. As the level rises both the TL and the stats fall behind the PCs.

Similarly the rump of Toughness that shows up in Great Fortitude is most valuable at lower levels when 4 points is a significant part of your total W/V pool.
Logged

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2012, 07:26:30 PM »

I am blessed with a group that cares nothing for optimization.

I'z just sayin' a counter of "its too powerful, my players would always do that" is a little skewed when there is already an option that works the same (stun 1 round on crit) and that method is even more powerful (or stun 1d6 rounds if you crit and they fail a save).

Quote
I think it's the one area that may submit to a mechanical solution.  I think the problem is pretty well understood so let me put out some criteria I think the solution has to conform to:

1) It has to be effective enough for PC's to want to use it but not so effective that GM's feel they can't.
2) It shouldn't be a nerf to lethal damage.  
3) It should eliminate the one-hit kill.
4) It should be as self-contained as possible.

I'd tweak a few particulars, but that is a decent frame to start from.

Quote
Not surprisingly, I have a solution I think fits the bill.  I'm assuming your "all action dice are d6" here.

When you score a threat against a special character, you may spend and roll one action die.  The result of that die is applied directly to the target's wounds. This die may not explode or otherwise be modified except by specific character options that target wounds.

One shots are off the table.  There's just no way to do more than 6 wounds.  You can hit PC's with this and be sure that you won't one shot them either while still being deadly enough to put the fear of GM in them.

To me it still fails because it's just delaying the inevitable - the target's wounds are going to go down, but on the second or third or whatever time, the player has every incentive to pull the triger, while the socially adept GM will hit a point where he doesn't go there. Its titlating the first time or two, but the reality is its an empty threat.

That's the problem that has emerged for observed behavior - decison triggered criticals say "hey GM, they don't happen when you don't want them to happen," and sounds great on paper. What happens though is decision controled criticals mean "hey, GM if these do happen, its your fault." There is no random element for the GM to hide behind like in similar games. There is simply no way to not take it personally in the social environment surrounding the event, because it was a personal attack. That wasn't dice, the GM just gunned your one and only personal presence in the setting down in cold blood. That's really the thing I see as most needing to change. No one can have the choice to flat out kill a special character, because the the level of investment in special characters is so completely asymetical across sides of the screen.

Maybe this is addequately addressed under the big damn hereos concept - where a one-shot crit just instantly removes you for the rest of the scene, but I'd like to look at crits as they eist in the standard environment, and there I think my highest goal is that crits have to not attach blame to the person who uses them, and by person I really just mean blame ot the GM for them happening.

Ooo... idea. Just a moment while I chase this around in my head.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 08:02:08 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2012, 07:36:57 PM »

The effect of benefit reducing as you rise in level isn't retrograde. That would be if the benefit turned into a penalty at higher levels.

Then in the interests of communication, let me say the current system of variable die sizes causes some benefits to sharply decline in value as career level rises Smiley.

Quote
What I mean is the value decreases as level rises argument applies to both. The sidekick feats are strongest at level 1 (if you don't allow Veteran) both due to TL parity with the PC and because the Stat lines are closest to (or even slightly better then) PC progressions at low levels. As the level rises both the TL and the stats fall behind the PCs.

The PL runs properly from career level 5 on - 80% of the level range. Its quirky behavior at low levels is an unfortunate sacrifice to the minor diety of obliterating career level requirments from feats. The simplest fix of all is to restore its all previous incarnations prerequisite of "Career Level 6 or higher". Then if you do get it given to you by a class or origin, you can write off the preiod of quirkieness as a clear advantage over the baseline - that you really shouldn't have Alfred at all, and yes, proportionally he is going to steadily fade inot the background until he takes his rightfull place as CL -4 set dressing.

Quote
Similarly the rump of Toughness that shows up in Great Fortitude is most valuable at lower levels when 4 points is a significant part of your total W/V pool.

I dunno. While it becomes a smaller proportional contribution, the number of times in this thread alone it's been said "damage dowsn't go up that much" I'd say its practical value - absorb 1 mediocre hit - remains pretty sound across the level range, and its absolute value does not decline. LLS's absolute value does decline. That's an undesirable curve for long duration campaigns.
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2012, 08:20:00 PM »

Is anyone keeping track of all these "problem rules": grappling, feat-granted NPCs, action dice.  Someone needs to issue a document warning of all these and providing the houserule fixes because GMs are going to start falling all over themselves without help.
Logged
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2012, 08:24:38 PM »

Ok, so after rolling it around, the crux of the issue for combat crits isn't what they do its how they are triggered. So let me lay out an alternative by reverting something back to it's d20 roots...

Critical Success
   If a successful attack or skill check results in a threat, the character rolls the check again. If the second check is a success, the result is a critical success. Action dice may be spent to boost the second check, but boosts to the intial check do not carry foward to the second roll. If the target of this check is a character, that character may spend 1 Edge or 1 action die to cancel the critical success - the check is reduced to a normal success.
   (Any ability that would reduce the number of action dice to confirm a crit instead gives a +4 bonus to the check to confirm the crit. Any ability that alows you to spend Edge as if they were action dice to confirm a crit, lets you spend Edge to gain a +4 bonus on the check to confirm a crit.)

Crits are going to happen, and they are going to happen for purely deterministic reasons. Players might finally be on board that crits should maybe not hit so hard now that they are going to suffer them without any special GM vindictiveness to drive them Roll Eyes.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 09:09:34 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #54 on: November 08, 2012, 08:28:39 PM »

Wouldn't it just be simpler to remove GM action dice?

I mean every spending of them is an attack of some form, isn't it?
Logged
Morganti
Handler
*****
Posts: 564


Endless Eternity, Eternally Endless.


View Profile
« Reply #55 on: November 08, 2012, 08:34:50 PM »

Wouldn't it just be simpler to remove GM action dice?

I mean every spending of them is an attack of some form, isn't it?
The issue is that spending GM action dice on checks, to recover vitality, or to activate errors is less personally vindictive as "I activate this critical and spend a die to pump the damage, Bob you take 30 points straight to wounds, your character is dead"
Logged

~Do you think its possible that someone else is doing this very same thing at this very same moment?~
~D~
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2012, 08:38:55 PM »

Then just say they can't spend AD to crit PCs.

I'm not trying to come up with THE fix, just a simple one for people who'd like something that is easy to remember.
Logged
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #57 on: November 08, 2012, 08:40:05 PM »

Is anyone keeping track of all these "problem rules": grappling, feat-granted NPCs, action dice.  Someone needs to issue a document warning of all these and providing the houserule fixes because GMs are going to start falling all over themselves without help.

Honestly its not as bad as all that. The rules are largely funtional, this is just an exploration into a set of house rules that (could) make gameplay run more to my tastes.

Grappling is a bit complicated. I have some thoughts on that (surprise, surprise) but the things I want to see in grappling mostly would run alongside the current set of operations. And with enough balls in the air here, I'll save that for elsewhere Smiley. (mostly I just want more single action events - basically grappling check tricks that throw the guy, then then the grapple is over - this 3-6 rounds of groping is just way too slow to me)

Feat granted NPCs are in my opinion really close to how I'd like to see them working. The text is good. A few loopholes have emerged that are soundly blocked by "requires GMs approval", I'd just lay out what constitutes minimum requirements for approval at my table a little more strongly beforehand so the interested player can not waste his time or mine by submitting PLs with grades of veteran that I will NEVER approve.

And action dice... I want to talk about them. I want to throw out a few provacative ideas and check the tempurature of the response (is that mechanics trolling? I hope not, because at the end of the day I want there to be some benifit gained, not just a carnival skit where we watch screams and venom and flames). Am I hellbent on implementing the 5 things in the original post? No. I want to give a good look at what their consequences would be, singley or in some mixed set. IF some combination solves more problems then it generates, I might move to a more formal document for my own use and to share. I may discuss wrecking-ball class system changes freely, but I implement changes very cautiously Cheesy.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 08:43:45 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
Morgenstern
Control
******
Posts: 5269



View Profile
« Reply #58 on: November 08, 2012, 08:41:31 PM »

Then just say they can't spend AD to crit PCs.

I'm not trying to come up with THE fix, just a simple one for people who'd like something that is easy to remember.

And BANG, the GM is told in no uncertain terms "stop giving out action dice, because the ones you get suck."
Logged

At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
SilvercatMoonpaw
Control
******
Posts: 1212



View Profile
« Reply #59 on: November 08, 2012, 08:47:12 PM »


And BANG, the GM is told in no uncertain terms "stop giving out action dice, because the ones you get suck."


Who's telling the GM?  I'm suggesting they can adopt it if they want.

Because it sounds like the GMs are the ones always looking for a solution.


Really, I just keep seeing these thread about some part of the system not being satisfying, and yet the complications of the solutions eventually end with the message "If you aren't willing to make complicated changes to the system don't bother running this game".
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!