The Gaming Den Forum Index The Gaming Den
Welcome to the Gaming Den.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Google
 Search WWW   Search tgdmb.com 
Analysis of Troubled Design: After Sundown
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion...
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Orion
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3624

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Analysis of Troubled Design: After Sundown Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Magic Dice Pools Have Mechanical, Thematic, and QoL problems.


Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Sorcery is incoherently defined. After Sundown labels some things as "sorceries" and "universal disciplines" and then tries to use it to make at least 4 distinctions.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

_________________
STEAM: Orion.anderson
A Broken SkyIdentity Crisis


Last edited by Orion on Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27158

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think these assessments are mostly pretty fair. I should definitely do something about most of it.

Orion wrote:
Magic Always Works


Magic is usually about +4-6 dice on an opponent of your power level, with an even bigger bonus if you manage to get your opponent with a scissors to their paper. Against "boss monsters" you're generally down 1-2 dice. 12 dice to an opponent's 7 gets a net success about 71% of the time. Which seems fine to me. Even 12 dice against 6 succeeds 77% of the time, which is a pretty reasonable success rate for "my big trick against Rando Calrissian." Against boss monsters it gets pretty harsh, with 12 dice against a resistance pool of 14 you get a net success only 31% of the time.

Now you could make a pretty good case that that's still too high. After all, a fight against a boss monster is pretty likely to involve four against one. But if chances go down any farther it seems too likely to run into TPKs, especially as how such enemies are going to be smacking down a PC on like 90% of their turns or more.

Orion wrote:
Strength Magic is Godly


This is absolutely true. It was just plain a mistake to have any save or lose effects roll off Strength. All Strength rolls should go through the medium of damage, where they need more than one net hit to take out opponents.

Strength is just unavoidably on a different scale than the other stats, just as it is in every game. There are no characters in Champions with an Intelligence or Dexterity of 100, those numbers don't even mean anything. But the Strength table goes beyond 100 and it's important and helpful that it does. As such, the game needs to expect much more massive disparities between Strength Stats of characters and adjust the results of opposed rolls appropriately. I didn't always do that, and the results are sometimes pretty bad.

Orion wrote:
The intro to each discipline should tell you what stats and skills you need


This is 100% true. A little blurb by each discipline listing out the common dice pools would make creating a character and learning the game way easier and I should have done that and will do that in the future.

Orion wrote:
Every PC is House or Elvis


This is true, but I'm not convinced it's bad. In most dicepool games, characters end up being House or Elvis, simply because dicepool games inherently reward that sort of specialization. You roll dicepools that you are the best at more than you roll dicepools that other player characters are better than you at. Being the second best at everything just means that the team never calls on you to do anything.

Adding an additional reason to specialize in skills does not change the fact of the incentive to specialize, merely the size of it. Frankly, I'm note really sure what you could do in a dicepool game that would encourage people to not specialize. And after a quarter century of White Wolf and Shadowrun giving people ineffectual lectures about how specializing your dicepools was playing the game wrong, I'm not sure it actually is. Fictional characters should generally succeed at tasks that they are defined as being good at. Specialization of dicepools helps make that happen.

Orion wrote:
Sorcery is incoherently defined.


Yes.

Let's just say I went through a lot of revisions in my mind and in early drafts on how to do it all. The final version does not convey information as well as I'd like.

There are a couple of important things that you need to know. You need to know what is a magical effect that can be countered while it is being invoked, you need to know what is a magical effect that can be disenchanted while it's running, and you need to know whether a name is a specific power or the group that powers are in. Moving forward, I really think that information should just go much more front and center: with individual powers being marked as "spells" if they can be countered and "enchantments" if they can be disenchanted. Categories can be called Disciplines and individual powers can be called Powers, I think that is clear enough.

There's a separate piece of information, where some powers require you to learn from evil witches or musty tomes and others you just get through normal character advancement. But I think that information was sufficiently well communicated by the Universal and Sorcerous Disciplines distinction. That can stay. Moreover, I think I should probably push some of that information back to the monster types by having monster templates explicitly call out Sorceries that they can learn like Universal Disciplines.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27158

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Attribute plus Skill nomenclature has been with us since the 80s, but it doesn't really convey a lot of information to new players. People kind of want it to mean that having a bigger skill makes you more better than having a bigger attribute, but that's not the way the game works. Actually having a low attribute and a high skill means your dicepool is exactly the same as having a high attribute and a low skill. Games from this century like Shadowrun 4, nWoD, and Scion all have little rants about what having different levels in a skill means, and they are all total bullshit.

I am wondering whether it would make more sense to rename the skills to something like "Specializations," "Focus," or "Traits" which don't have the sort of baggage you expect from something named Skills. What they are game mechanically is a secondary source of dice for your dicepool. Right now I am leaning to the non-commital terminology "Traits." Few expectations with that word, so maybe their arbitrary game mechanical effects would be more intuitive?

I considered eliminating the odd numbered skill values altogether, but after running the math it seems that rolling 1 extra die makes the difference between hitting your threshold and not a bit over 6% of the time, which makes it a little better than getting +1 in D20. And while those things are barely worth chasing after, anything better than that certainly is.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1630

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trait tends to imply something that you're born with, not something that can be improved with training. I think more 'green eyes are a trait' or 'being ambidextrous' is a trait. I don't think of 'computer skills' or 'engineering' as traits.

I could see things like 'studious' or 'detail-oriented' as traits that could apply to a bunch of potential skills.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OgreBattle
King


Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 5098

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah agree with DMW. I'd also expect a 'focus' to be a specific situation for getting a skill bonus like 'focus: driving in deserts'

AS skills are exactly what I expect them to be so I'm not sure what you mean by the term skill not conveying proper info.

Like if you want mechanical distinction between skill and attribute maybe something where attribute= maximum result cap and skill= how many dice you roll, capped by attribute.


Last edited by OgreBattle on Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
violence in the media
Duke


Joined: 06 Jan 2009
Posts: 1633

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Would it be sensible to set things such that having the skill in question gave you a bonus to the roll, but how much of the skill you had was irrelevant? Or have the power be it's own skill that you could sink points into to be better at?

So having Medicine on a necessary power roll just gave you +1 dice or +1 success, whether you had Medicine 1 or 5. Combined with the other idea, this could mean you're rolling Intelligence + your skill of Craft the Flesh (or whatever) + the bonus that having Medicine at all gives you.

You'd be able to have ancient Flesh Crafters that weren't inherently surgeons, and you'd be able to have surgeons acquire the power without going straight to master-class capability in it immediately. I get that this would functionally be a skill tax on your powers, but would it effectively help the House/Elvis issue? Could you tie it into the concept of needing mortals around sometimes? Monsters that want to be good at monstering tend not to be good at non-monstering activities?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harshax
Journeyman


Joined: 05 Sep 2014
Posts: 133
Location: Chicago, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
AS skills are exactly what I expect them to be so I'm not sure what you mean by the term skill not conveying proper info.


I think the "problem" that was illustrated is that in an attribute+stat mechanic, someone with a high stat and a low skill is equal to a person with a low stat and a high skill. So when you say, 'This person is highly skilled,' you can't differentiate them mechanically from someone who is naturally gifted (high stat).

Part of that differentiation can be played out by an unskilled penalty or auto-fail. The other way it can be mechanically relevant is to weigh skills more heavily than attributes, where one pip of training in a skill is worth more than one pip in the underlying attribute.

I think Skill is an absolutely suitable term and shouldn't be discarded at all. Inventing terminology in the attempt to add nuance to a bad mechanics is avoiding the problem.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
virgil
King


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 6018

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mutants & Masterminds: Training vs Talent wrote:
In game terms there’s no difference between a character who has ranks in a skill because of extensive training and another whose skill ranks represent a natural “knack” or aptitude for the skill. Both are considered “trained” in the skill. For example, one character might have a high Diplomacy skill based on the character’s extensive training in negotiation, debate, and management. Another character’s Diplomacy skill may stem more from personal attractiveness or a talent for getting others to cooperate, while a third character may have a combination of the two. Feel free to decide for yourself what mix of training and talent your character’s skill ranks represent.

_________________
Come see Sprockets & Serials
How do you confuse a barbarian?
Put a greatsword a maul and a greataxe in a room and ask them to take their pick
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
deaddmwalking
Duke


Joined: 21 May 2012
Posts: 1630

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Orion pointed out that Strength was crazy and Frank agreed, but I think it helps illustrate a problem that RPGs have in modeling reality.

If you're Athletic, you're likely good at a lot of physical things. You can be good at Baseball and Football and Golf because being coordinated and physically conditioned apply to all of those situations.

If you're smart, you might know everything there is to know about brain chemistry, but you might know relatively little about inorganic chemistry. You almost certainly know very little about particle physics.

However you break up your skills, you probably have some where 'good attributes' are of primary importance and others where 'training' is much more important. You certainly don't want a pencil-neck geek to be the best at shotput because he's 'studied the technique' but you don't have the same problem if the muscle-bound Olympian knows computers.

If you make attributes and skills co-equal, there's going to be a point where it makes sense to raise attributes and another where skill purchases make more sense - depending on how many skills you're interested that tie to the attribute.

I suppose it's not necessarily a problem if a weakling can become awesome at shotput if the more effective way is to balance athleticism with skill (so most people are getting relatively equal numbers of dice from each pool).

I suppose I would like training to generally matter more (granting total number of dice) and attribute contributing in another way.

Just brainstorming here, but if I used a d10 for my pool and attributes range from 1-6 with the attribute applied to modify TN. So 10 is a 'success', but if I have a 5, 5+ is a success, if I have a 4, a 6+ is a success (etc). That would imply someone with appropriate attributes would do better than someone with poor attributes given equal training, but people with equal training would be limited to the same maximum number of successes...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mask_De_H
Duke


Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 1790

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You could always make the combined attribute + other stat value the Skill value and call current skills trainings. So attribute + training = skill.

Skill toggles sound good for a flat or bell curve system like D&D, although if you did lower the granularity between skill ranks and dice in AS I feel they'd work there, too.
_________________
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27158

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Harshax wrote:
The other way it can be mechanically relevant is to weigh skills more heavily than attributes, where one pip of training in a skill is worth more than one pip in the underlying attribute.


The issue is that it's actually undesirable from a game mechanics standpoint for the specialist part of the dicepool to be larger than the generalist part of the dicepool. The thing SR4 did where starting attributes were 5-7 but starting skills were 4 was actually a good thing in terms of the relative size of those pools. If the specialist part of the dicepool is the bigger part, then the dicepools are more divergent in size between the specialists and the non-specialists, and from a playability standpoint that is bad.

It's a mismatch between what's good game design and what people expect. People expect a big disparity between a specialist and some Rando. But the problem is that in this case "some Rando" is one of the protagonists of the story and they need to have acceptable success rates so that the story doesn't falter. The benefit from having invested significantly into the "skill" portion of the character sheet needs to grant a bonus because you're investing things, but that bonus also needs to be comparatively small because dabbler characters still need to be able to move the plot forward.

It's exactly like how in D&D your Wizard rapidly becomes crazy good with a dagger even though they never ever swing one around. Because if for whatever reason they ever did have to start stabbing fools, they'd need to be on the RNG to do that. Narratively your character is still a bumbling book learned pacifist, but they still get a BAB because game functionality requires it.

Violence in the Media wrote:
Would it be sensible to set things such that having the skill in question gave you a bonus to the roll, but how much of the skill you had was irrelevant? Or have the power be it's own skill that you could sink points into to be better at?


First of all, we'd like to stay far away from the "Spellcasting Skill" of Shadowrun, because that skill is simply better than all other skills. But also the fact that heavy investment into a skill gives you a subset of sorcery that you could be good at is entirely intentional. It creates a set of "soft classes." While you have enough points to throw around that you could be awesome with any two magic powers you happen to name, you do so at the expense of investing in the skills that would make you good at other things.

If you only needed cursory background knowledges to make the different sorceries work, everyone would have essentially unfettered access to all of the spells and there'd be no role protection at all - just a weird set of character background explanations you'd have to make for everyone to justify why you could use all the magic.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Whipstitch
Prince


Joined: 29 Apr 2011
Posts: 2963

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In my experience such changes don't prevent specialization so much as they funnel people into specific forms of specialization. Creation point scarcity encourages players to play it safe and create murder hobos with all their points sunk into self-defense and perception skills since such rolls can be thrust upon you and have harsh consequences for failure whereas a lack of technical skills typically just means that you miss out on a few opportunities and alternate win conditions. It sucks when you can't fix your toaster but not as much as getting your head pulled off by a chimera. I'm not really in favor of big changes on this front, but if it must be changed I'd rather base magical powers on Potency+Attribute and have sorcery give small thematic bonuses rather than implement heavier skill taxes. That'd still be a blow to role protection but on the other hand it'd also lower the opportunity cost of spending your points on just things that you actually want and reduce the amount of time you spend matching your skills to your powers.
_________________
bears fall, everyone dies


Last edited by Whipstitch on Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27158

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

As far as the stat and skill associations goes, the reason they are harder to piece together than they should be is because I made the original assignments based on "feel." Then I went back over them to make sure that there was enough minimal coverage that none of the skills were useless and you could make a character that could do something no matter what you planned to do. But all the really good combos are emergent properties because I only tweaked it for floors of minimal synergy and not for local maximums of synergy. The result is something that is a lot harder to data mine than it should be.

Obviously when I'm writing in the extra ones like Secrets of the Earth and Tangle of Arachne, I need to do a better job of anticipating likely characters and also presenting the information in a way that people can quickly see what synergies can be made. I'm thinking a chart with all the Disciplines as rows and all the Skills as Columns and check marks where all the skills that each Discipline can potentially use line up. And then you could run your finger down the page to see where potential skill overlaps for different powers might be found.

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
souran
Knight-Baron


Joined: 05 Aug 2009
Posts: 971

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How big of an issue is it really that stat + skill can't differentiate between high natural talent (stat) and high investment in learning (skill)?

Does any game really need to support players who share the same role or function but get results that are different enough to justify having each member because one is a talented amateur and the other is of average talent but lots of experience?

Most of the time I would think we would want the talented amateur and the average expert to get to the same result, in part because the party probably only has one of those two for each task it confronts. That sort of turns this into a paper space argument. I would think that this is actually the advantage of stat + skill dicepools. There is no "roll time" difference once your pool is set.

That said, this does seem like it implies that calling somebody "novice" or "expert" should be based around total dice pool instead of their actual skill rating. A novice is a person whose pool consistently generates 1 net success/hit and an expert is a person who generates 3, or 4 or 5 depending on how large typical dice pools are.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NoDot
Master


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 232

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quick idea: Attribute+Skill with Skill as a cap on hits?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Occluded Sun
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 May 2014
Posts: 996

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
If you're Athletic, you're likely good at a lot of physical things. You can be good at Baseball and Football and Golf because being coordinated and physically conditioned apply to all of those situations.
That's only true at a fairly low level of casual play. Professional players often develop physiques that limit which sports they can be good at - or fail to develop physiques that would be required to succeed in certain roles in other sports. There's also the nature of the talents required.

I don't think there are many world-class swimmers who could also be world-class linebackers, for instance. And I would be surprised if there are many former Olympic athletes who, after their careers, go on to do well even in sports that are relatively tolerant of age (like, say, golf). The skills of a gymnast don't translate to hitting balls long distances with great accuracy, or putting well. I'm pretty sure no Olympic weightlifter ever goes on to do anything athletic, period - extreme specialization and associated physical damage takes it toll.

RPGs aren't very good at representing reality, not least because people generally realize that the return on investment in trying to make them so is miniscule. So they accept unrealistic systems like 'Strength ratings' because they're quick and functional.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Orion
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 3624

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Charisma: It's Garbage

After Sundown characters have 6 ability scores. 4 of them passively contribute to keeping your character alive. Everyone would like to have more Intuition, Willpower, Agility, or even Strength than they currently do, because these stats help you resist magic, dodge attacks, survive damage, see threats coming, and react to those threats before they gank you. You will roll these stats whether you want to or not. Those same four stats also improve your character's ability to actually participate in adventures. I'm not trying to say they they enable you to solve problems and complete objectives, although they do. I'm saying that they make it more likely you can interact with objectives at all. You can't do anything to anything unless you can get to the place it is and notice that it's there, and so the stats that support perception, stealth, athletics, driving, and the like will always have a certain cachet. Plus, if killing people with weapons is a thing you're into, you're also hitting up these stats. "Going places, finding things, and surviving stuff" would be a pretty good job description for an adventurer, and so if you're going to offer people stats that don't affect any of that, they had better work pretty hard to justify themselves. Logic and Charisma are basically "opt-in" stats; they only get rolled when you voluntarily take tools from their toolkit. Because every stat offers at least a few problem-solving options, Log and Cha need to offer truly exciting abilities to justify their specialized natures.

Also, After Sundown sets attributes up in pairs are asks you to trade them off against each other. This means that it's not enough to prove that a stat is nice in general or that you might prioritize it over any other stat. You need to make sure there are characters who would specifically be willing to lose a point of Intuition to get a point of Logic and to lose a point of Willpower to gain Charisma. Logic passes this test, and Charisma doesn't. Let's look at why.

There is a ton of fictional support for High-Logic Low-Intuition protagonists, and vice versa. Mechanically, there is essentially zero overlap between their effects. Intuition is a very strong stat that everyone uses, but there is nothing special about Logic-based characters that makes them want Intution more than a Strength-based or Charisma-Based character would. Logic functions don't really overlap with any other stats. Logic skills let you interact with devices and info sources that otherwise couldn't be used at all. Logic magic is also special. There are several disciplines that run on Logic and only on Logic, and those Logic-only powers include some interesting, powerful, and fairly unique effects like Thaumaturgical Forensics. And, if you're into dealing HP damage, there spells which use Logic to set both the dicepool and the damage code, which I believe is only available to Logic and Willpower.

After Sundown asks you to burn Willpower if you want to stack Charisma, and that's a bitter pill to swallow, because there are very few high-Cha low-Will protagonists in fiction, and because players who intend their characters to spend a lot of time talking to people who may or may not have their interests at heart will want those characters to be difficult to influence. Unfortunately, once you have some Will, there's very little incentive to invest in Charisma at all. Willpower itself is a very powerful social stat, and it's 100% possible to build a Willpower/Intuition face whose Charisma is 1. Hell, even Logic is cited 5 times in the social interaction rules. When you look at Charisma-Based magic, the situation is even worse. There are only 4 non-elder powers that actually require charisma and they are, honestly, not very good. The rest of them offer alternate stats, generally Willpower, Logic, or Strength. The Strength/Charisma magic tends to be more physical than social. A huge number of the Charisma powers a face might want are shared with Willpower, but Willpower also has access to a lot of social powers which Charisma doesn't get and which are better than the things Charisma does get.

When you account for the fact that each character will have at least 2 good stats, you'll find that Willpower/Logic and Willpower/Intuition builds are good enough that Charisma variants have no real reason to exist.
_________________
STEAM: Orion.anderson
A Broken SkyIdentity Crisis
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FrankTrollman
Serious Badass


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 27158

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Orion wrote:
When you account for the fact that each character will have at least 2 good stats, you'll find that Willpower/Logic and Willpower/Intuition builds are good enough that Charisma variants have no real reason to exist.


Well there's some pretty powerful Infernal Sorcery like Banishment and Contradiction that runs off Charisma and not other things. Also whenever I've played Shadowrun or Vampire or anything of the like, the team has benefited significantly from having at least one character who had a big friendly banter dicepool.

But I get that this is essentially a weak counterargument. All I can really say is that the team benefits from having one character that invests heavily in Charisma. When the band is 4-6 characters and they all have two good stats and there are six stats and only one character is investing in Charisma, then it's clear that the stat has the least incidental utility.

Now some of that can be addressed by slightly rejiggering magic dicepools. A lot of key face powers run off of Charisma or Willpower, which leaves people open to dump Charisma even when they want to be the hypnotically sexy vampire or whatever. But you get at a more fundamental issue, which is that right now you necessarily have to trade off between Willpower and Charisma and spells go after your biggest pool which encourages min/maxing. That can be addressed by altering the way people get starting attribute points. If you are distributing points between Strength/Willpower/Perception and then distributing points between Agility/Charisma/Intelligence, then you're going to get a lot more people making the kinds of Willpower/Charisma builds that I think a lot of people want to make. It would have the secondary advantage of giving everyone pretty similar total defenses (barring of course the occassional bullet resistant character whose total defenses are higher).

Oh and that reminds me - I'm really liking the names Perception and Intelligence better than Intuition and Logic. I understand why it was trendy to replace Intelligence with other words, and I did it. But it just doesn't do it for me anymore. Obviously that would mean getting rid of the Perception skill, which I think is actually good. It means that different characters will end up having better perception dicepools in different situations. This in turn either calls for a new Physical Skill to replace it, or the removal of one of the Technical and Social skills for symmetry purposes. Anyone got opinions on that?

-Frank
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DrPraetor
Knight-Baron


Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 820

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Since I didn't want it in the skill list to begin with, for me, Animal Ken is the "easy removal" for social skills (animals are a specialty of other skills.) Animal Ken hardly gets used in the spells list. I think this may have been in response to an early comment on my part, that we didn't want "Animal Ken" to be spellcasting for animalism builds.

Technical skills are tougher. The argument could be made to either:
  • Combine Rigging[11 spells] and Sabotage[5 spells]
  • Combine Rigging and Artisan[15 spells]
  • Combine Operations[17 spells] and Electronics[only 3 spells?]

    Those are from quick-searching the document and might be off.

    Anyway I think Rigging+Sabotage makes more sense. I suppose that Electronics is one of the "better" skills just as a skill (Operations is not), so it makes more sense that Operations would be used in more spell formulae.
    _________________
    Chaosium rules are made of unicorn pubic hair and cancer. --AncientH
    When you talk, all I can hear is "DunningKruger" over and over again like you were a god damn Pokemon. --Frank
  • Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Chamomile
    Prince


    Joined: 03 May 2011
    Posts: 3904

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FrankTrollman wrote:
    I understand why it was trendy to replace Intelligence with other words, and I did it.


    I don't. What's the story here?
    _________________
    I have a blog
    Also a Discord channel
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Whipstitch
    Prince


    Joined: 29 Apr 2011
    Posts: 2963

    PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    People often don't like implying characters are outright stupid as a consequence of build pressures pushing their point spending towards social or physical acumen instead of technical acumen. And obviously, saying characters have low Intelligence totally accomplishes that. There's also the knockdown effect where sometimes characters with low stats get persecuted by MCs with Secret Houserules that say low Intelligence means characters should get treated as legit retarded like in Fallout 1.
    _________________
    bears fall, everyone dies
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    FrankTrollman
    Serious Badass


    Joined: 07 Mar 2008
    Posts: 27158

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrP wrote:
    Anyway I think Rigging+Sabotage makes more sense. I suppose that Electronics is one of the "better" skills just as a skill (Operations is not), so it makes more sense that Operations would be used in more spell formulae.


    Electronics gets a few more options with Technomancy, but basically it's about as far as a skill gets from ancient magics as they come. Still, it's pretty damn good as you say. And only going to get better as "present day, present time" moves forward.

    But yeah, I think combining Rigging and Sabotage into Rigging and then dropping Animal Ken and just accepting that people have less skills is probably the way to go.

    Whipstitch wrote:
    There's also the knockdown effect where sometimes characters with low stats get persecuted by MCs with Secret Houserules that say low Intelligence means characters should get treated as legit retarded like in Fallout 1.


    There's definitely that. Having MCs arbitrarily tell you that you can't do things that are "too smart" if your character's Int is too low is a thing that has happened in a lot of games, especially in the 80s. It's about as bad as Wisdom in that regard. But really, it's more that by the end of the nineties the idea of measuring "Intelligence" as a single thing was out of fashion. People talked about verbal and spatial intelligence and shit and there was a cultural feeling that putting a single number on Intelligence as a whole was overly reductionist. By the early 21st century, having an "Intelligence" stat really made you look like you were a relic from the 80s.

    But honestly I don't think that any of the terms people came up with to characterize different kinds of intelligence were ever very helpful in transcribing characters to mechanics or bringing characters from the mechanics into the narrative. The simple fact is that the word Intelligence has pretty much the connotations that people actually want to use to describe fictional characters.

    -Frank
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Zaranthan
    Knight


    Joined: 29 May 2012
    Posts: 363

    PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I think Shadowrun 4 actually got something right here: the minimum stat was 1 and the "human average" stat was 2, while stats above 7 were basically Lala Land. That made it really cheap to make a character who was "normal" in all areas of stat measurement without spending a noticeable amount of resources that players wanted to spend on shootin gud. If your character had a stat at 1, that was something exceptional and every GM I ever met wanted you to justify that deficiency with some backstory, so there was even incentive AGAINST trying to skimp those points.
    _________________
    Koumei wrote:
    ...is the dead guy posthumously at fault for his own death and, due to the felony murder law, his own murderer?

    hyzmarca wrote:
    A palace made out of poop is much more impressive than one made out of gold. Stinkier, but more impressive. One is an ostentatious display of wealth. The other is a miraculous engineering feat.
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Whipstitch
    Prince


    Joined: 29 Apr 2011
    Posts: 2963

    PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    FrankTrollman wrote:
    But really, it's more that by the end of the nineties the idea of measuring "Intelligence" as a single thing was out of fashion.


    Yeah, that trend was pretty easy to spot as a Shadowrun fanboy given the whole business of splitting Intelligence and Quickness into Logic/Intuition and Reaction/Agility. Now obviously the primary justification was due to game balance reasons, but the sort of discussions you're talking about were always part of the background noise. It really offended modern sensibilities that Intelligence was so broad that every well-built Street Samurai was also smart enough that they probably should have stayed in school and became rocket surgeons instead of disposable assets.
    _________________
    bears fall, everyone dies


    Last edited by Whipstitch on Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:57 am; edited 1 time in total
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Orion
    Prince


    Joined: 07 Mar 2008
    Posts: 3624

    PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    It's pretty clear to me that in After Sundown, if you rename Intuition it should be called "Instinct." That likely means Intelligence is off the table, but Logic and Reason are both still open. If we're going to rename "skills" in such as way as to make them sound less important, I recommend "talents." Your dicepool (which could itself be called "your skill" if not for the fact that it would confuse the hell out of Shadowrun veterans) would be your relevant attribute + relevant talent.

    Quote:
    In most dicepool games, characters end up being House or Elvis
    I'm going to assume that you're using this phrase to mean "characters end up as superlative geniuses in one field." I was using it more specifically to mean, "characters end up specifically being awesome at surgery and rock music." That's cool, but weird, and honestly the characters are equally likely to end up being Rube Goldberg or Jiro Dreams of Sushi at some point. Yes, players of all dicepool games tend to max out the pools for their core schticks, but most games don't lash them arbitrarily to basically unrelated stuff. No one is offended when you tell them that if they want to play a commando they should max out their Guns skill. Telling them that if they want to play a fire mage, they are required to max out Craft (Basketweaving) gets you at least a raised eyebrow, and After Sundown literally asks players to accept that, because the dicepool for Cloud Memory is Logic + Artisan. People want to control weather and attack people with waterbending, but nobody knows or cares what Rigging does and no one wants to be told their Deep One is going to be a master Rigger. It doesn't help that none of this shit is spelled out up front. Players discover the required skills for their monster class emergently as they read through their disciplines, which happens well after they've read the monster's text write-up and bought in to a character concept. Nothing actually warns people that Daevas need Tactics, Baalim need Artisan, Verbena need freaking Rigging. The skill pairings also create headscratchers when you remember that this game is supposed to support monsters from a variety of time periods and from both arcane and scientific paradigms. Lightning Bolt runs off Logic+Electronics. Are the elder deep one stormcallers of the fallen empire doing internships at Radio Shack?

    (to be cont'd)
    _________________
    STEAM: Orion.anderson
    A Broken SkyIdentity Crisis


    Last edited by Orion on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:51 am; edited 2 times in total
    Back to top
    View user's profile Send private message
    Display posts from previous:   
    Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Gaming Den Forum Index -> In My Humble Opinion... All times are GMT
    Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
    Page 1 of 7

     
    Jump to:  
    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum




    Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group