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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I've been thinking, especially with the PrC/Paragon Paths discussion, but honestly since I started working on this, about whether I really want to do the "Race as Class" thing.

Part of the problem is that was included when this was supposed to be more Tolkien based, rather than merely inspired by the Hobbit movies. I need to get around to giving LotR another read, but that's not going to happen any time soon, I don't think. I'm more into Mage/Dungeonpunk sort of fiction than traditional ("Grandpa") fantasy. While Middle Earth has some really interesting stuff, Mr. Tolkien's books just move...

...so...

...fucking...

Here's a song that the ents like to sing and will take up the next three pages!!

...slow...

...ly...

so as much as I should give them another go, I'd put good money on finishing Midgard before I finish Fellowship.

I definitely want race/essence to matter, but that can be better handled through racial paragon classes, monster classes and substitution levels.

This leaves me the question of how to handle other classes, however, especially since I want magic to be a skill anyone can pick up. I'm considering a more free form model with trees of selectable abilities, and giving characters more feats. So I'm looking at something where you get a feat (or whatever) each level, and a Class Feature at least every other. I might go up in numbers from there, but that's probably a minimum.

So I suppose from there I need to figure out what the basic archetypes I need to support in a Viking Dungeonpunk game are which don't boil down to "fighter" or "Spellcaster," because really everyone should be fighting and at least have the option of picking up spellcasting.

I'm also considering a rule on skills that you can only up any given skill by one tier on level up as a mechanized fluff thing to keep people from going "Well, I know I had absolutely no skill in this yesterday, but now I have the same amount of skill as the guy whose been doing it since we started the game!"
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16080

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Over dinner, I sat down to start brainstorming classes for Midgard, trying to figure out what they're going to look like in a system where combat and magical ability are governed by skill points. I thought about restricting the "Focused" skill tier to class skills (so you'd have to be, say, a rogue with Stealth as a class skill to put 4 points in and get Level+3 as your base bonus).

But I had another idea- what about instead of doing on rails classes with set abilities, or even select-able trees, players chose Specialties, and each specialty had requirements like being Focused in a specific skill and represented a group of abilities. You could have multiple specialties so long as you met the requirements and you chose one Specialty ability each time you leveled up.

So you'd have something like-

Rogue
Rogues are people who use cunning and deception to take opponents and obstacles apart, favouring efficiency and evasion of harm over overwhelming might and resilience.
Requirement- Focused Athletics, Steath or Trickery or Lagrkin or Integrated Blak Rune

Unseen Blade
Unseen Blade abilities center around surprising your opponent when they are unable to protect themself, distracted, or not aware of your threat.
Sneak Attack: [Rogue Sneak Attack, scales]
Prereq- Base Stealth +4

Tendon Snapper: When making a SA, you may drop your opponent's speed by 5' instead of dealing 1d6 damage. You may trade any number of d6s from SA (not from other sources) for this speed reduction. If you would lower your target's speed to 0 or less, they are knocked Prone and cannot stand until they have healed 10 hp/5' base movement speed. Flight, burrow and swim may be reduced by this ability, but the creature is only knocked prone if they are using the reduced speed when they are struck (a prone swimmer floats to the surface of the medium they are swimming in).
Prereq- Sneak Attack 2d6
[[more]]

Slippery Bastard
Slippery Bastard abilities center around being hard to hit or pin down. If you are denied your dexterity modifier to AC you cannot use Slippery Bastard abilities unless otherwise stated.
Uncanny Dodge: [as Rogue]
Prereq- Base Tumble +4

Berserk
Berserks are warriors who make use of their anger and totemic connections to improve their ability to deal death and wreak havoc in battle.
Requirement- Focused Brawl or Naturalism or Durskin (Orc) or Integrated Uruz Rune

Battle Fury
Rage: [Barbarian Rage Ability, probably Tome not PHB]
Prereq- Base Brawl +4

Bearsark: When using your Rage ability, you manifest qualities of a totemic creature chosen when you select this ability. The traditional Berserk totem is a bear, which gives the Specialty and this ability their names after the tradition of berserkers wearing bear skin tunics into battle to connect them with their totem. To use Bearsark, the Berserk must carry a physical representation of their totem in the form of skin, feathers, bones, teeth, or other parts of the creature they have selected. When you use Bearsark, you gain one of-
  • An enhancement bonus of 1/3 Char Lv to one ability score which is higher than 10 in the average member of the totem species example-a bear totem berserk may increase their strength score, as bears have strength scores above 10.
  • A movement mode possessed by the totem creature at a speed equal to double your land speed. Flight maneuverability is one category lower than the totem creature's example- a raven totem human berserk may gain a fly speed of 60' at Poor maneuverability.
  • An Natural Armour rating or enhancement bonus to existing, non-temporary natural armour of 1/3 Char Lv if the totem creature has a natural armour bonus
  • One extraordinary ability of the totem creature example-a wolf totem berserk may gain the improved trip ability of a wolf
  • One natural attack possessed by the totem creature but dealing damage appropriate to the berserk's size.

Bearsark lasts a number of rounds equal to the Berserk's Strength Modifier, and at the end of this duration the Berserk is exhausted.
Prereq- Base Naturalism 6+, Transformation 3+ (ie, a 3rd level character Focused [4 skill points] in Naturalism and Skilled [3 skill points] in Transformation)



So basically your skills give you the ability to take basic actions like hit people/climb shit/use magic, and then your specialties let you say "because I'm good at hitting people/climbing shit/using magic I can hit a lot of people at once/fight giant monsters like I'm playing Shadow of the Colossus/get a bit more out of magic than just spells"
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


Last edited by Prak on Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dean
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have doubt's about including Presence as a stat
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16080

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for moving that here.

As far as status modifying presence, I would probably have that handled by conditional modifiers to Presence related rolls, rather than having your Presence go up 10 points because you're king. Most other nordvolk might care, and probably the other mortal races around you, but that won't mean much to other denizens of other realms, or the universe at large, or even people from another area of Midgard*. Just ruling a bunch of schmucks doesn't necessarily make you better at convincing stampeding cattle to stop, or the dead to rise.

I like charisma from D&D as a measure of one's force of will (the rationale I've given for why UMD is charisma based). Without a charisma stat, I have to think of another way to handle social skills. We saw what a cluster fuck reworking social encounters was when I tried to do so for Tides of Shadow (I swear I'll get back to that at some point), I'm really planning on going with something more similar to D&D's social encounter set up, except with a bit more thought put into it. It may work similarly to the combat system, where there are DCs to affect someone, and their stance gives them a conditional mod to what that number is. But at the moment, Charisma exists as something to hang social encounter rolls on, as well as base trickery, music and death magic on. Binding gets to be int based since it's contract based.


*(note to self- reconcile norse cosmology with desire to have expansions based on other cultures. Possibly by abandoning spherical earth for interconnected realms, or compromising Norse cosmology a bit)
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16080

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't particularly like the idea of dropping down to four stats (no clue why, it's just a bias I have... four stats seems like too few, even though I know it can handle things just fine). However, it occurs to me that Wisdom and Presence could be combined, since Wisdom is already representing mental fortitude and resilience. If I did that, I would probably let people decide whether they used knowledge (Kenning) or awareness (Wisdom) in their social interactions, or might even split social interaction skills by approach, into Manipulation (Ken) and Appeal (Wis), rather than by subject with Handle Animal and Negotiation.

I'd then need to move Pres' magic skills-- necromancy could be folded into Binding, since I'm looking at them working similarly. That leaves me with Trickery--a Kenning skill if I decide that manipulation is a Kenning approach to social interaction--and Skaldry, which is all about music magic.

I could make Skaldry a Specialty rather than a skill. This means that Trickery gives Kenning an equal number of skills to Wisdom's current five (Healing, Perception, Runes, Naturalism, Divination).

The only foreseeable problem with that is how to handle non-magical musical ability. Just playing the lyre is not equal to having a familiar or sneak attack, but I don't want everyone who plays the flute to be a music-magic user. Just being able to sing or play an instrument is flavour, not an important ability. I'm looking at having backgrounds, and possibly something about professions, so I can shove it into there. There can just be a Bard profession which says "you can play an instrument, pick one. For each point of Kenning Mod, you can play another. Your instrument allows you a special way to use Manipulation and Appeal, see page XX."

Then I guess the Skald specialty requires you to have the Bard profession, or another background that gives you an instrument, and X ranks in Appeal or Manipulation.


I still don't like a four stat set up and still have no actual defense of that. But it could work. I'm almost tempted to inflate the perceived number of ability scores by putting in derived stats that I call Abilities, like calling initiative an ability derived by taking the average of Kenning and Agility.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Dean
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Joined: 12 May 2008
Posts: 1698

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For musical ability you could make it dexterity, wisdom, intelligence or the higher of any of those skills. But I don't see any non metagame reason anyone would ever invest in presence. Force of personality isn't a thing. Humans respond to implied threats or implied rewards. Putin has as much charisma as a granite slab but if he told you to hand him your car keys you'd do it because he is an actual murderer. Kate Upton is a vapid uninteresting ditz who has never held her own in a conversation since she was 12 but she looks like Barbie's hotter sister so there go your car keys.

Charisma or Presence to be in any way versimilitudinous would need to be context dependent on rank, local power, physical threat, physical attraction, and manipulative ability.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I was thinking more about the question RE: Presence, and my dislike for having less than five stats.

I really don't want to have fewer than five stats. It's a stupid aesthetic thing, I realize, but it's just not a model I like.

So that means I either need to justify the existence of the Charisma-like stat, or replace it. It's hard to think of another stat to use, unless I just start looking at things commonly associated with/part of Charisma, like Appearance or Manipulation. Looking around at a few games, there isn't really a stat that jumps out as being a good thing to include that I haven't already covered with one of the ones I have. I could split discrete stuff off of others, like Size (Runequest), Perception (SR), etc.

The other way I could go is making Presence more important. While social skills and Presence's magics could be handled by other stats, Presence works well for them as well, and I had a thought for something more for Presence to do.

A big deal in Norse mythology was fate, and it's inescapable nature. And I really like making Presence a bit of a "Luck" sort of stat in addition to your ability to force your will on others/the universe, possibly because it represents those things. The idea is that as a person in Midgard, you have a predetermined fate, your wyrd. In actual norse mythology, Wyrd was unavoidable. If you died because you cut yourself making dinner and it got infected, it's because you were literally destined to do that. However, in Midgard, because you're playing an adventurer, it's assumed that your destiny is a good bit more impressive and less ignoble than that, and since Midgard is still pulling on Tolkien a bit, mortals are less bound by fate than the gods and other immortals.

The idea is that all of your abilities act as saves, and while I was initially a bit stymied as to what a Presence save might be, other than assaults on your very existence, now I have a more concrete idea.

Your Presence score represents you as an individual piece of reality, a thread in the loom of the Norns. A low Presence means a modest thread, while a high Presence means thread that is bold and vibrant, you are destined to stand out in history as a figure of great importance. Those of low Presence may too, but the lower your Presence, the less bold and strong your thread in the weave of the world, the more easily you may be misplaced or lost or shifted from your destiny. When you are at the edge of death, and hear the steeds of the valkyries approaching, Presence is your last gasp OH SHIT save. Death comes at negative (10+Character Level+Might Mod) hp, and if you have not yet stabilized, you roll a Presence save. If you succeed, you are stabilized and safe for the scene. The higher your level, the more clear, strong, and important your destiny, hence why this last chance death evasion roll is handled like all other saves.

In addition to Presence governing one's destiny, I'm also going to include a Destiny aspect in the FATE aspect system thieving. Basically, when you make your character, you also decide what sort of destiny they have. It could be "Slain by a 1-eyed man," and if the opponent who dropped you had more than one eye or was not a man, you could invoke it and get +4 to your Presence save to avoid death (assuming you have the fate point). (And if I were running a game and a character was slain because they invoked said aspect, but failed, I would bring the One Eyed Man thing into the game in some way, so their Aspect would contribute to the story even if it failed them. Maybe the party was attacked by Dvurskin sent by a warlord in the region who is a one eyed man.)

So, in addition to Might making you a bit harder to drop, and aspects being something you can call on to help you survive negative hp, Presence becomes more important as an "Oh Shit" button that should keep you in the game.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Prak
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 16080

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dean wrote:
For musical ability you could make it dexterity, wisdom, intelligence or the higher of any of those skills. But I don't see any non metagame reason anyone would ever invest in presence. Force of personality isn't a thing. Humans respond to implied threats or implied rewards. Putin has as much charisma as a granite slab but if he told you to hand him your car keys you'd do it because he is an actual murderer. Kate Upton is a vapid uninteresting ditz who has never held her own in a conversation since she was 12 but she looks like Barbie's hotter sister so there go your car keys.

Charisma or Presence to be in any way versimilitudinous would need to be context dependent on rank, local power, physical threat, physical attraction, and manipulative ability.

Yeah, and I'll have those things provide circumstance bonuses. While "force of personality" may not be a thing in real life, neither is fire magic.
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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OgreBattle
King


Joined: 03 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:


So that means I either need to justify the existence of the Charisma-like stat, or replace it. It's hard to think of another stat to use, unless I just start looking at things commonly associated with/part of Charisma, like Appearance or Manipulation.


I figure you could try an array like...

Might- Your muscles and resilience
Agility- How coordinated you are
Kenning- Your ability to logic out a problem, binding magic.
Sense- Sensing both environmental details and nuance in conversation, being in tune with magic.
Willpower- Mental resilience, manipulation magic.

And then you divide up your social skills to any of those 5 stats so you can have someone that's intimidating because they can sense their target's insecurities, or someone that's charismatic because of how graceful they are, or someone that flexes his muscles and makes observer's hearts go pitter patter. This leads to people not having a social 'dump stat' where mighty warriors and cunning wizards wind up shy wallflowers when they have to talk to someone.

*Shoot, I might just use this for my heartbreaker, and I was so set on just going with 4 attributes...


Last edited by OgreBattle on Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:59 am; edited 4 times in total
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thought some more about the magic stuff for Midgard with an eye towards a rules light/rules tight system (hence the thread). I like the idea of free-form magic, but of course it always works out kind of terribly. Mostly, I would want to avoid Mage's and Ars Magica's shitfests. I once had a friend ask about whether they could use Mage's system to turn people into lead, and in about ten minutes I worked out both a late game "yes, you can" and a starting game "you can just encase them" methodology.

Here's what I'm looking at for giving the magic skills flavour for something along these lines-

Binding- Binding is the magic of contracts. The Binder either goes to a creature, or brings one to themselves, and makes a formal compact with it. Weak and mindless creatures may be compelled to service, while more powerful and intelligent creatures will demand restitution for their services (and potentially their time in forming the contract). A Binder can hold any number of contracts, but can only make use of a number on any given day equal to their Kenning Modifier. Each contract called upon may be called upon as frequently as the subject agrees to. However, a Binder may only make use of bindings whose HD total no more than their own at once.
Resource- Contracts, per day and at once limits

Craft- Craft is the magic of impressing magic into an item. The Crafter makes or otherwise acquires an item and uses magic to make it magical. An example might be creating a sword which can cleave through any substance. Crafting leans on the other magical skills depending on what the Crafter is making and how. An item which holds a bound spirit relies on Binding in addition to Craft, an item which is enscribed with runes to fuel a magical effect relies on Runes in addition to Craft. Crafting takes time.
Resource- Time

Divination- Divination is the magic of remote sensing and signs and portents. The Diviner casts their senses across space and time, or examines omens for relevant information. The requirements of Divination depend on the form of divination. Remote sensing often takes an initial ritual, and then you are sensing another place or time in real time, reading omens often requires minutes at the least, while visions may occur in a flash or may take minute.
Resource- Time, Focus

Healing- Healing is the magic of restoring creatures and people to health and wellness. It requires mixing potions, unguents and salves, creating poltices, and other mystical alchemy. As it deals extensively with herbs and natural ingredients, it confers knowledge of flora and fauna uses and risks. A Healer typically takes minutes or hours to prepare their healing kits, is limited by what they can carry, and may need to spend hours or days providing care to someone who is injured.
Resource- Time, Carrying Capacity

Naturalism- Naturalism is the magic of calling upon animals, plants and natural forces such as fire and wind. It is distinct from Binding in that it does not rely on contracts, instead being limited by a pool of magical energy the Naturalist cultivates within themselves.
Resource- Mana

Necromancy- Necromancy is magic which deals with the dead. The Necromancer bottles or otherwise contains the soul or essence of creatures, or creates artificial souls from deathly energies, and can use these contained souls and essences to reanimate corpses which they can then command. Like Binders, Necromancers may command practically any number of undead, but are limited to a total HD of commanded undead that is no more than their own HD.
Resource- Souls, HD limitation

Runecasting- Runecasting is the most ubiquitous form of magic in Midgard, as they are the atoms of Midgard's magical reality, the substance which composes everything. The Runecaster achieves his magic by invoking the runes, either singly for simple effects, or by creating bind runes combining two or more individual runes for more complex effects. Creating a bind rune takes time for design, but the time to use is the same as normal runes. A Runecaster knows a number of runes equal to (Kenning+Runes)-11, to a maximum of 27. Like Naturalism, Runecasting is limited by the amount of magical energy the Runecaster has cultivated within themselves.
Resource- Mana

Skaldry- Skaldry is the music of poetry and music. A Skald can use this magic to lift spirits, oppress the soul, or loose pure destructive force. Skaldry requires performance, though the exact form of performance at most only matters for specific uses. Similar to Runecasting, Skaldry effects can be combined into Compositions, however, unlike Bind Runes, take longer to use than individual effects. Skaldry is limited by time and focus.
Resource- Actions, Time

Transmutation- Transmutation is the magic of change. It governs both the change of self and others. The change of self and other creatures is called Shapeshifting, while the changing of objects is called Alchemy. The change or addition of qualities of creatures or objects is called Augmenting. Transmuters can maintain a number of transmutations equal to their Kenning modifier, though some alchemy is permanent and restricted by time.
Resource- Focus

Trickery- Trickery is the magic of charming, domination of the will, and deception of the senses. Tricksters are masters of truth, bonds and morale. Through their twisting, serpentine words, they can light fires in their hearts of their allies, crush their enemies with despair, or push people across the lines of conflict. The currency of Trickery is Wyrd, and Tricksters must spend it to attempt to evoke the powers of their silver tongues in an encounter.
Resource- Wyrd (Fate Points)

I'm not so concerned about magic showing up martial because anyone will be able to pick up magic. Skaldry's resource of "Actions" is perhaps a bit redundant since there will be an action choice with all of these, and the difference is just that Skaldry requires you to use consecutive rounds' actions.

Thoughts?
_________________
Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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