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Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 10:11 PM
About Leadership:
A leadership-based character without the follower boost shouldn't overcome a combat oriented character. Just like how a combat oriented character without the combat boost shouldn't overcome a persuasion oriented character.

However, to make one proposal. I think [no contest rule] is not good. I think it should be removed, because all decision should be either agreed of players, or to agree to roll judgement. [No contest rule] is unnecessary and does not help cooperation atmosphere.

First, the no contest rule is only ever applicable when two players cooperate. One person doesn't get to declare no contest unilaterally - they suggest it and if the other player agrees, then it's a no contest. Given that cooperation is an essential part of invoking the rule, I don't see how it damages a cooperative atmosphere.

When I used the term no contest in the Leadership discussion, I was referring to any situation where one of the parties cannot win the contest roll because the math says so.

Also, I still don't think you understood my position: a character investing in leadership might very well be a "combat-oriented" character. They're just engaging in combat via minions. Saying that a sword-wielding character should usually/always win in such rolls is like saying that a sword-wielding character should always beat a summoner or beastmaster type character, even one focused exclusively on combat. That was my problem with it - the current rule set makes one style of combat vastly superior to another regardless of the situation.

But it doesn't matter, as none of my suggestions are going into the game anyway. The will of the players is to remove the category bonus that followers (and items) get and wing it whenever followers pop up. If no one else has anything else to say on it, the Leadership discussion can be considered closed.

Tebryn
2012-10-21, 01:27 AM
While this isn't a possibility for this Playground, and I -really- don't know how I didn't think to mention it before, but I think the world of Persona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Megami_Tensei:_Persona_4)(Three and Four especially) would be utterly amazing with this system and this group of people.

The_Snark
2012-10-21, 02:03 AM
Also, I still don't think you understood my position: a character investing in leadership might very well be a "combat-oriented" character. They're just engaging in combat via minions. Saying that a sword-wielding character should usually/always win in such rolls is like saying that a sword-wielding character should always beat a summoner or beastmaster type character, even one focused exclusively on combat. That was my problem with it - the current rule set makes one style of combat vastly superior to another regardless of the situation.

Does it...? The way I understand it, the two styles are pretty evenly matched. By way of example, here's two combat-focused characters, one a lone warrior and the other a guy with a squad of hired goons.

Bjorn Bjornsson:
Barbarian II (Common)
Weapon Expertise: Axes III (Uncommon)

Lord Percival duPonce:
Leadership V
-Soldier II (Common)
-Weapon Expertise: Swords III (Uncommon)

Each of them will have a +8 bonus in most fights. Mr. Bjornsson might pick up Magic Axe I (Uncommon) with his next Advantage; Lord duPonce could hire a couple of mages and add Fire Magic I (Uncommon) to his followers at the same time, and they remain evenly matched. Am I missing something, or misunderstanding...?


(I *would* like to point out that my leadership revision does not make it "super easy" to get a "huge combat bonus" unless you're willing to invest more ranks in it than any player has ever had in any of the Playground iterations and then bring all of their dudes to the same fight. It is still difficult to raise an effective army, but now it is possible.)
*nod* Duly noted. I think I was addressing that remark at the Playground 4 rules, not your revised crunchier Leadership. My objection to the revised version is based on complexity, not balance.

EDIT - As a last addendum/suggestion: one of the things that's bothering you is that there's no way to represent huge armies in the Playground 3 version. Might I suggest something like this setup...?

Leadership V
-Soldiers II (Common)
-Army III (Rare)

The first Advantage is Common; this represents the small number of soldiers you keep with you. You might have a couple of bodyguards following you on the street, waiting in the foyer at a fancy party, or going door-to-door searching for fugitives. The second one is Rare, because it represents sheer weight of numbers—it's only applicable when you can field hundreds or thousands of guys in a fight. If someone attacks a fortified base, makes trouble at a military parade, or otherwise tries to go up against the army head-on, then you'll have a fairly hefty bonus.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-21, 02:50 AM
@Snark

Your example is slightly off - Percival Ponce has to take leadership before he can have those advantages, but that can be resolved by shifting to Leadership I, Soldier I, Weapon Expertise III, at which point he'll have the same bonus.

And you are correct that it's balanced and reasonable when we're talking about a dozen guys, but it starts to get squirrely and absurd when we talk about items and huge armies - but we've been through that already.

If we're eliminating the extra bonus to item advantages - and it sounds like we might be - that helps with the problem, but does not solve it.

Having gone over it all again, I think that between player cooperation/consensus and, possibly, your suggested use of a rare advantage to represent times that the followers can focus their firepower, we probably have a working Leadership mechanic. I do thank you for putting as much thought into this as you have. We'll do it your way unless someone seriously objects.

@Kasa

I forgot to mention this before, but I really liked the Lynks Federation and other story elements you've got reserved, and I'm glad someone put in an analogue to the League of Nations. :smallsmile:

GuyFawkes
2012-10-21, 02:52 AM
I think I understood it the way The_Snark put it in the first part of her post above as well. I was kinda confused why you were discussing about the imbalance between a lone guy having +6 owning a leader type guy with +3. The way I envisioned it is how the The_Snark's example worked out. And I also think the rare version of when every one of your mooks is there is a good move to represent the sheer numbers.

Also, I would like to say that again, with the right funds, my character could easily be the government's dog.

The_Snark
2012-10-21, 04:55 AM
@Jade: Ah, I see. To make sure I'm understanding you correctly: Leadership I is a generic Common Advantage, representing (essentially) access to unskilled labor? And if you want them to be skilled at something, you then give them other Advantages on top of that basic Leadership Advantage?

This seems reasonable, and I think I recall seeing something like it in the rules; it's just that I'm pretty sure not all the followers in previous games have done it that way. (Quite possibly we all made the same mistake I just did.)

And you're quite welcome; thanks yourself for being willing to go back and forth like this. =)

TechnOkami
2012-10-21, 05:05 AM
Aaaand this is why I sometimes regret clicking "jump to latest" when moving to this thread.

But... but... greasy moose (http://www.greasymoose.com/) and everything...

TheDarkDM
2012-10-21, 07:07 AM
Going to reserve these and write them up tomorrow...

Armored Warfare

Needs information...

Krauler Industries

Needs information...

Fort Dauphane

Needs information...

Cinema (need a story element...chances for a loan?)

Needs information...

VonDoom
2012-10-21, 07:09 AM
Well, I was going to add something in regards to the Leadership conversation, but now you've managed to utterly confuse me and I'm not sure as to the current status of things anymore.

That said, as noted before, I am generally all for keeping things as simple as possible -- heck, I wouldn't be opposed to an entirely free-form game, though I understand those apparently aren't too popular on these boards.

TechnOkami
2012-10-21, 07:22 AM
Well, I was going to add something in regards to the Leadership conversation, but now you've managed to utterly confuse me and I'm not sure as to the current status of things anymore.

That said, as noted before, I am generally all for keeping things as simple as possible -- heck, I wouldn't be opposed to an entirely free-form game, though I understand those apparently aren't too popular on these boards.

*raises hand* I like free-form games... I'm even in one, and it's been a great game so far.

VonDoom
2012-10-21, 07:37 AM
Augh, why are people already reserving so specific story elements left and right? Before people start claiming too much warfare engineering stuff left and right I gotta make my claims, too, then ...

Biological Warfare shared with the The_Snark
Reserved. I figure I'll share it with The_Snark since The Company will be the ones introducing it while she'll be the one doing all the sciency stuff.

Weaponized Magic
Reserved. Pending details on magic and magic-use in the setting.

Armed Non-Vehicular Warfare
You know. Guns. Grenades. Special equipment like darkened lenses to protect from flares. The sort. Reserved.

Edit:

And the old ones:

The Great Beasts (better name pending)
Big, powerful magical creatures. Pending the setup of magic, may be strongly rooted with its source or a potential source for magic bonds via essentially selling your soul/fate/will/body to the entities.

'Eastern Folklore Country/Island/Nation' (better name pending)
A country that adds an asiatic component, combining various cultures and folklores into one whole. Distinctly different from how Ikoku was set up in Playground 3. Taking suggestions for how to differentiate, but I think it might be a 'lost continent' instead, with their proper culture having been an ancient civilisation and with remnants of its people, magic and culture spread over the world.

'Evil Corporation centered in Adventure City' (to be named)
Mikado's company. It's as big and powerful as we can reasonably make it at the start and, while Mikado may be its head, may not yet be fully under his direct control, explaining any differences between the theoretical corporate scale and what the character can actually do.

Major provider of weapons and a factor in winning the war. Develops on all fronts as long as it can be weaponized and (The_Snark's character or a different biologist-type pending) also started experimenting with human/elf/dwarf/whatever biology awhile ago. Quite naturally reputed for being a war-profiteer and ruthless.

Swordslinger
2012-10-21, 08:23 AM
Going to reserve these and write them up tomorrow...

Cinema (need a story element...chances for a loan?)

Needs information...

You can have one of mine.

Kasanip
2012-10-21, 09:17 AM
@Kasa

I forgot to mention this before, but I really liked the Lynks Federation and other story elements you've got reserved, and I'm glad someone put in an analogue to the League of Nations. :smallsmile:

Thank you! I am happy they are liked. :smallredface: 
Probably I will wait to write more about story element until [Recruitment Thread], so to coordinate with other players some more.


Well, I was going to add something in regards to the Leadership conversation, but now you've managed to utterly confuse me and I'm not sure as to the current status of things anymore.

That said, as noted before, I am generally all for keeping things as simple as possible -- heck, I wouldn't be opposed to an entirely free-form game, though I understand those apparently aren't too popular on these boards.

There is a separate board for Free-form games, it is Free Form Roleplaying (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=32). If it is desired to participate in more of such a game, please look! :smallsmile:

VonDoom
2012-10-21, 09:21 AM
Having the freeform games separate and as a sub-board of 'Silly Message Board Games' says it all, really. (Not to mention that there's plenty of ways to have freeform AND a DM, unlike the forum blurb.) :smallbiggrin: But thank you for the suggestion.

TechnOkami
2012-10-21, 05:55 PM
There is a separate board for Free-form games, it is Free Form Roleplaying (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=32). If it is desired to participate in more of such a game, please look! :smallsmile:

Ooh... I didn't know this existed... thank you Kasanip.

Valgunn
2012-10-22, 08:41 PM
Click, sway, click, sway. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Y-hkdYAJo)

TechnOkami
2012-10-22, 08:48 PM
Click, sway, click, sway. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Y-hkdYAJo)

...and now I wanna play a Jazz Musician...

choices choices...

TheDarkDM
2012-10-22, 09:47 PM
...and now I wanna play a Jazz Musician...

choices choices...

Do it! I demand it!

:smalltongue:


Click, sway, click, sway. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Y-hkdYAJo)

Oh, and this is pretty sweet.

Valgunn
2012-10-22, 10:05 PM
If you liked that, you may like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoGaji-WqH4).

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 02:47 AM
If you liked that, you may like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoGaji-WqH4).

I only don't like it for one reason, because I don't like Creep by Radiohead (although I do like Radiohead).

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 02:59 AM
So, it sounds like everyone is happy-to-indifferent concerning the rules discussions, in which case we should probably open up a recruitment thread and put all of our story elements there.

To be clear, the following was decided:

1. We would keep Playground 4 rules, except...
2. Leadership and Item advantages now have a bonus equal to regular advantages. Some special Leadership-related advantages have been added. Vehicle and Warbeast advantages still have a bonus one category higher than normal. Locus advantages still have a bonus two categories higher than normal.
3. Adventures are being kept with the same rules, but dropping out halfway through running one is considered poor form and sharply to be avoided.
4. Challenges (from PG1) are being added back in.
5. Chapters are being kept.
6. The basic tech level is 1930's, styled as dieselpunk.
7. Players will start with 10 advantages, the base dice size is d10, and advantages are gained once per month, once per chapter, and once per adventure per chapter.

If anyone has a problem with any of this, now would be the time to speak up.

PS Thought on Leadership: Would it be fair to say that the Army advantaged discussed grants a single "focused area" per rank? In short, a place (no larger than a few blocks) where the Army advantage applies. So someone with Army 3 could designate the Occupation HQ, the train station, and the public utilities as focused areas, and could engage with the full +9 bonus from Army at any of them. Anywhere else, the army advantages don't apply (but the rest of the follower advantages might).

PS on Torun: Aaaaanyone else want to join up on the Torun side of the equation? We have DM, myself, and sort-of Nef. Is there no other law-abiding badass out there? :smallamused:

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 03:05 AM
Just a by the way... The more I think about it, the more I like this Jazz Musician route. I mean, Plague Doctor's are cool n' all, but in terms of just how suave I could play this chap, I think I'd have a much more enjoyable time.

All I know so far is I wanna be a Sax player, as for what kind of race... that's still up in the air.

VonDoom
2012-10-23, 03:28 AM
@Re: Jade_Tarem:

Weren't we going to go with 2d6, as per kasanip's suggestion?

That said, any particular reason for an extra army advantage when the locus itself can already include local armored soldiers as part of the location's staff, especially when you only want them to be useful there? *headscratches*

I'm not sure the Leadership discussion is entirely -done-, it's just that it's become huge and confusing. If possible, I'd like to see an actual, readable summary of what things are supposed to be now and what new advantages there will be.

Also, I've yet to hear much feedback to my idea of 'Let's have Story Elements written and treated as IC lore this time' (though those who did respond seemed to like the idea).

Xondoure
2012-10-23, 03:44 AM
Not that I mind starting now, but wasn't the intention to start after NaNoWriMo? Not a problem if no one here is signing up though.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 04:03 AM
Not that I mind starting now, but wasn't the intention to start after NaNoWriMo? Not a problem if no one here is signing up though.

I probably won't sign up, but it may very well take upwards of a month to get the character submissions in and everyone ready. At this point I'm torn between wanting to wait until after NaNoWriMo and not wanting everyone to get bored before the game even starts. And either way, this is technically not the right thread to put down Story Elements.


@Re: Jade_Tarem:

Weren't we going to go with 2d6, as per kasanip's suggestion?

We can, if people feel that strongly about a slight change in the probability. We had a few posts on the matter and the response seemed to be "meh." Was there more love for this than I remember?


That said, any particular reason for an extra army advantage when the locus itself can already include local armored soldiers as part of the location's staff, especially when you only want them to be useful there? *headscratches*

The difference is efficiency. The army advantage lets you move a fortified area with the troops and their equipment - for instance, if a resistance hideout is located, that area can be locked down and fortified at the expense of somewhere else. Really, it's just a way to keep track of how many places can be considered to have a "concentration" of troops, as per Snark's suggestion.


I'm not sure the Leadership discussion is entirely -done-, it's just that it's become huge and confusing. If possible, I'd like to see an actual, readable summary of what things are supposed to be now and what new advantages there will be.

This isn't that hard. The leadership discussion went like this:

Me: Hey guys, remember how leadership contains an arbitrary number of followers but isn't numerically superior to other combat advantages in any situation? Don't you think it's kind of weird that we can re-enact a Rambo Movie but not the Battle of Helm's Deep?

Snark&Co.: Maybe, but one of the ways to change it unbalances the game and the other makes it vastly more complicated. Why can't we keep winging it like before?

Me: Because we'll have to do that every time it comes up, instead of once right now, and unlike previous playground games it looks like we're going to frequently have followers vs. player characters. Plus a small child with a magic sword is now more dangerous than fifty trained warriors.

Snark: Then there's a problem with the rules for magic swords. Besides, the whole army isn't going to be everywhere. Why not include a rare advantage that will give it a boost on those occasions when it is?

Me: Alright. One concentrated group of troops per rank, then?

And that's where we are right now. It works exactly like it did in... Playground 3, actually. With one extra advantage called Army, and maybe another one that will allow for more concentrated zones or something. There might be more strategy to this game than previous ones, so it's worth trying to improve the follower rules ahead of time.


Also, I've yet to hear much feedback to my idea of 'Let's have Story Elements written and treated as IC lore this time' (though those who did respond seemed to like the idea).

Story Elements are always IC lore. I'm not sure what you're getting at. :smallconfused:

Kasanip
2012-10-23, 04:03 AM
So, it sounds like everyone is happy-to-indifferent concerning the rules discussions, in which case we should probably open up a recruitment thread and put all of our story elements there.

To be clear, the following was decided:

1. We would keep Playground 4 rules, except...
2. Leadership and Item advantages now have a bonus equal to regular advantages. Some special Leadership-related advantages have been added. Vehicle and Warbeast advantages still have a bonus one category higher than normal. Locus advantages still have a bonus two categories higher than normal.
3. Adventures are being kept with the same rules, but dropping out halfway through running one is considered poor form and sharply to be avoided.
4. Challenges (from PG1) are being added back in.
5. Chapters are being kept.
6. The basic tech level is 1930's, styled as dieselpunk.
7. Players will start with 10 advantages, the base dice size is d10, and advantages are gained once per month, once per chapter, and once per adventure per chapter.

If anyone has a problem with any of this, now would be the time to speak up.

PS Thought on Leadership: Would it be fair to say that the Army advantaged discussed grants a single "focused area" per rank? In short, a place (no larger than a few blocks) where the Army advantage applies. So someone with Army 3 could designate the Occupation HQ, the train station, and the public utilities as focused areas, and could engage with the full +9 bonus from Army at any of them. Anywhere else, the army advantages don't apply (but the rest of the follower advantages might).

PS on Torun: Aaaaanyone else want to join up on the Torun side of the equation? We have DM, myself, and sort-of Nef. Is there no other law-abiding badass out there? :smallamused:

What are the [special Leadership-related advantages have been added]? Like VonDoom, I would like to read summary of the new Leadership rules. I think when I tried to talk about it, there were many misunderstandings. :smallredface:

I suggested to use 2d6 some time ago, but if opinion is to stay 1d10, it is ok too. Judgement Values are more difficult to make, however.

I think that [focused area] is interesting idea for Leadership, but I don't think I understand. Is [Army] different than [Follower]?
Before a comment can be made, to wait to understand all new leadership rules.


Also, I've yet to hear much feedback to my idea of 'Let's have Story Elements written and treated as IC lore this time' (though those who did respond seemed to like the idea).

I think sometimes it is ok. But of course it is a little strange sometimes. Maybe some PC points at my character and shout "Lynks are a myth!" like this. . . Only problem I think is if it is [contradict] another player story elements. But some things it is useful to collaborate, such as magic, if different magic system is created. For example, already it can be seen in this thread contention of things like [Shadow Magic] or [Military Weapons]. So, it can be a good idea too.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 04:21 AM
What are the [special Leadership-related advantages have been added]? Like VonDoom, I would like to read summary of the new Leadership rules. I think when I tried to talk about it, there were many misunderstandings. :smallredface:

I think that [focused area] is interesting idea for Leadership, but I don't think I understand. Is [Army] different than [Follower]?
Before a comment can be made, to wait to understand all new leadership rules.

Ah. To clarify:

Followers are the same as Leadership, and the rules now work exactly as they did for Playground... 3, actually. Playground 3. Advantages assigned to followers do *not* count as having a bonus one category higher as they did in Playground 4. You are assumed to have enough followers in any given area (including nearby) to count all of their advantages unless it makes no sense for your followers to be there (such as on a tiny boat or a secret area). In other words, if DM has his Torun forces in the city, you can assume that they're in the streets and public buildings, and near his character, but not in the private buildings, in every business, basement, home, etc. They're all over the city, but not omnipresent.

Army is the only new advantage discussed so far. The idea was that it is a Rare (+3) advantage that represents the fact that there are a lot of followers in town and that if a whole bunch of them gather in one spot, they would be much harder to defeat. My suggestion was that each rank of the advantage is one more place that the followers could be "gathered" simultaneously.

So say that Colonel Krauler has the followers with the advantage spread (9 total advantages):

Leadership (Common) III
Soldier (Common) II
Weapon Expertise: Rifles (Uncommon) I
Army (Rare) III

Then he can station his troops basically all over town - Leadership III is a reasonable bid for having lots and lots of followers. He can also concentrate them in three places - in this case, we'll say his Headquarters, the train station, and the airport.

Now, anyone picking a fight with the soldiers will, usually go up against them "normally" - representing only a few soldiers in the area. They would roll against the Soldiers' bonus of +7 (For Leadership, Soldier, and Rifles). If, for whatever reason, a player decided to raid Occupation HQ, then the Army advantage kicks in and the player now goes up against Soldiers with a net bonus of +16. In character, they're no longer fighting a few soldiers on guard somewhere but now are going up against a significant number of coordinated warriors.

The reason this might be more desirable than establishing a Locus advantage and giving it a trio of combat-only bonuses (which, due to the Locus rules, would be a +15 instead of +9) is that the "Army" can move and cover more area (3 locuses would need twice as many advantages to have the same bonus). If Example-Krauler wants to crack down on an area, he can move the group from the train station to lock down a city block or three instead, and now soldier fights in that area are hard, but the soldiers at the train station are down to a +7.

Does that make sense?

As for other advantages, the only other new one I can think of would be something like Logistics (Special), which just grants two or three new areas that could be considered to have concentrated troops on them.

None of this may ever come up, depending on how long it takes for the resistance to get going, but it seems we're heading toward a high-conflict game and it might be good to get this sorted out ahead of time.

Xondoure
2012-10-23, 04:31 AM
I think what Vondoom meant was that story elements would be sections of a book, notes from an anthropologist's journal, ancient tablets discovered by an archeologist, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, even a speech given by an NPC. Just to add a bit of flavor.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 04:33 AM
I think what Vondoom meant was that story elements would be sections of a book, notes from an anthropologists journal, ancient tablets discovered by an archeologist, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, even a speech given by an NPC. Just to add a bit of flavor.

We could do it that way. I don't have a strong preference.

VonDoom
2012-10-23, 04:41 AM
We can, if people feel that strongly about a slight change in the probability. We had a few posts on the matter and the response seemed to be "meh." Was there more love for this than I remember?

I'm not sure, but I recall a sort of 'don't really mind either way' attitude. It's the same for me, but if kasanip feels strongly about it and no one has any strong reason or argument for 1d10, I feel we ought to respect and include that, though.


The difference is efficiency. The army advantage lets you move a fortified area with the troops and their equipment - for instance, if a resistance hideout is located, that area can be locked down and fortified at the expense of somewhere else. Really, it's just a way to keep track of how many places can be considered to have a "concentration" of troops, as per Snark's suggestion.

Ah, I see the reasoning. Alright. Maybe add a stipulation that those locations can't be switched willy-nilly (mobilization of a large armed force does require time ICly after all), but other than that, it ought to be fine.



This isn't that hard. The leadership discussion went like this:

Me: Hey guys, remember how leadership contains an arbitrary number of followers but isn't numerically superior to other combat advantages in any situation? Don't you think it's kind of weird that we can re-enact a Rambo Movie but not the Battle of Helm's Deep?

Snark&Co.: Maybe, but one of the ways to change it unbalances the game and the other makes it vastly more complicated. Why can't we keep winging it like before?

Me: Because we'll have to do that every time it comes up, instead of once right now, and unlike previous playground games it looks like we're going to frequently have followers vs. player characters. Plus a small child with a magic sword is now more dangerous than fifty trained warriors.

Snark: Then there's a problem with the rules for magic swords. Besides, the whole army isn't going to be everywhere. Why not include a rare advantage that will give it a boost on those occasions when it is?

Me: Alright. One concentrated group of troops per rank, then?

And that's where we are right now. It works exactly like it did in... Playground 3, actually. With one extra advantage called Army, and maybe another one that will allow for more concentrated zones or something. There might be more strategy to this game than previous ones, so it's worth trying to improve the follower rules ahead of time.

A little less of the sarcasm, please? It was a fairly long discussion with lots of examples, different proposals and all that. With plenty of other stuff in-between. But between that and the explanation in post #527 I didn't quote, it sounds like it'll be fine.

Though we may want to first get a draft to explain this new system for new participants and such up and then get another round of feedback for it, might prompt some useful ideas.


Story Elements are always IC lore. I'm not sure what you're getting at. :smallconfused:

Exactly what Xondoure wrote. By writing the Story Elements from an IC perspective, they're both more flexible and adaptable, since there may be details the narrator was not aware of, or might even have been wrong about (if, say, it's an old element no one was making use of for ages and someone new is coming in with ideas).

And it adds some nice flavor, too.

Xondoure
2012-10-23, 04:47 AM
Should we consider bringing back the SAW characters? Or was there some issue with them I'm forgetting?

Kasanip
2012-10-23, 05:03 AM
About dice, it was my suggestion to use 2d6 system, because it is the usual system for trpg games. Like it is said, it is more balanced.

To make Judgement Values in adventures was very difficult. [Far the Atelier] or [Rescue of Arukumedez] were both this kind of difficulty. Always it was judgement value is too easy, or almost impossible.

If to use 2d6, first a set Judgement Value can be developed easily:
6-8 Easy to Succeed
9-11 Usually can succeed
12-15 Difficult to succeed
16- Almost impossible to succeed

Using such a base, it can be better known ability of character success. And can adjust easily the judgement value without [critical] and [fumble].
Because a 1d10 system has never been played by me, I don't know how such a judgement value can be made. Probably it can work, but I would like someone to explain to me before adventure is made again. :smallredface:


Should we consider bringing back the SAW characters? Or was there some issue with them I'm forgetting?

I don't think so. I think it caused many unnecessary problems in Playground 3. If it is desired, then at such a time many advantage are received, it can be decided again. I think I showed successfully in Playground 4 that several characters can be played without such a [SAW].

The_Snark
2012-10-23, 05:20 AM
About dice, it was my suggestion to use 2d6 system, because it is the usual system for trpg games. Like it is said, it is more balanced.

I'm neutral on the 2d6 suggestion. At first I was a bit concerned it would put the underdog in any contest at (even more of) a disadvantage, because a 2d6 dice roll favors average rolls more than 1d10, and the underdog needs to 1) roll high and 2) hope the other person rolls low in order to win. But after tinkering with the numbers a bit, it looks like a very small difference. If people want to try this out I'm game.


Also, I've yet to hear much feedback to my idea of 'Let's have Story Elements written and treated as IC lore this time' (though those who did respond seemed to like the idea).

I want to like this suggestion, but I think it could be confusing, especially with propaganda looking like it's going to play a large role in the game. Also, it implies that we can't use Story Elements to establish objective facts, and I'm not sure I like that.

For instance: let's say I look at DarkDM's war SE and decide, "I don't like that Auverlaine instigated the war. That's Torunnite propaganda! Auverlaine says they were attacked first." And that's all fine from an IC perspective; it's perfectly plausible for two warring countries to make contradictory claims like that, and some characters may believe it. But OOC, Dark is all "uh, my character's backstory says he was at the first battle, what's the deal with that?" And there's this awkward situation where we the players are not sure what's true or not, and has Dark's character been retroactively made into a liar?

The more I think about it, the more hesitant I am, but... I dunno. Can you give me an example of how you think it might work in play? (Work well, I mean, as opposed to my example.)


Should we consider bringing back the SAW characters? Or was there some issue with them I'm forgetting?

I liked the idea, but I don't think we should start off with them in play. Let's get the game off the ground first; later, if we feel like introducing more characters, we can bring that rule back.


Just a by the way... The more I think about it, the more I like this Jazz Musician route. I mean, Plague Doctor's are cool n' all, but in terms of just how suave I could play this chap, I think I'd have a much more enjoyable time.

All I know so far is I wanna be a Sax player, as for what kind of race... that's still up in the air.

I approve of jazz musicians on general principle. That said, would you mind keeping the Plague Doctor story element around? (I can use one of my SEs, if you'd rather conserve yours for something else.

VonDoom
2012-10-23, 05:38 AM
I want to like this suggestion, but I think it could be confusing, especially with propaganda looking like it's going to play a large role in the game. Also, it implies that we can't use Story Elements to establish objective facts, and I'm not sure I like that.

For instance: let's say I look at DarkDM's war SE and decide, "I don't like that Auverlaine instigated the war. That's Torunnite propaganda! Auverlaine says they were attacked first." And that's all fine from an IC perspective; it's perfectly plausible for two warring countries to make contradictory claims like that, and some characters may believe it. But OOC, Dark is all "uh, my character's backstory says he was at the first battle, what's the deal with that?" And there's this awkward situation where we the players are not sure what's true or not, and has Dark's character been retroactively made into a liar?

The more I think about it, the more hesitant I am, but... I dunno. Can you give me an example of how you think it might work in play? (Work well, I mean, as opposed to my example.)

Ahh, yes, let me elaborate. That nightmare scenario definitely shouldn't happen, for one simple reason:

Even if the Story Elements are written from an IC perspective, their writer is still the ultimate authority in regards to the Story Element and must be consulted if anything is to be elaborated upon, derived or changed.

Also, if a Story Element is there, its 'lore' should be the generally accepted version. Not to mention that the more recent and less abstract, the more reliable any IC information will be. So basically if someone wants to claim what you wrote in your example, they'd have to consult Dark:

'Say, Dark, I have a neat idea that would include the reveal that the war was actually instigated by Torun and that they faked the commonly accepted public version -- would that be something you'd care to introduce to your Story Element?'

In which case Dark is fully within his rights as the person who 'owns' the Story Element to flat out say no, propose an alternative, or happily welcome the scenario.

Tebryn
2012-10-23, 06:26 AM
See, I was under the impression that it was always the case that Story Elements could be used as Lore. It's one of the reasons I really like writing magic entries. I think the main thing is that it should be from an objective source instead of a subjective source.

Xondoure
2012-10-23, 06:30 AM
If someone wants to "publish" an article claiming Torun started the war that should be fine. If someone wants to overlay an existing story element with objective fact saying theirs is the true version then obviously that would need to be okayed by the holder of the SE. Yes?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 10:08 AM
Ah, I see the reasoning. Alright. Maybe add a stipulation that those locations can't be switched willy-nilly (mobilization of a large armed force does require time ICly after all), but other than that, it ought to be fine.

Yes, that's fine. The army still has to obey all the rules for follower motion, after all, so they can't all be bussed across the city in a couple of minutes - it may take one to several hours to set them up anywhere in the city, or even longer for places outside the city.


A little less of the sarcasm, please? It was a fairly long discussion with lots of examples, different proposals and all that. With plenty of other stuff in-between. But between that and the explanation in post #527 I didn't quote, it sounds like it'll be fine.

Ouch, it sounds like my reputation comes to bite me. I wasn't actually being sarcastic, but it's hard to get that in writing...


On Who Started It: While all of the concerns for the IC objectivity are valid, Torun did start the war - when DM mentioned the "most recent aggressor," he meant thirty years before when Auveraine took the land and won a much smaller war. The Benefactors' War started as a tiny border dispute that basically amounted to "They tried to steal our bullets with their faces! You all saw it!" And it is extremely unclear who actually ended up "shooting first."

Mind, Auveraine took approximately zero seconds to declare war right back, and had a huge part in setting up that situation to begin with - both countries had been pushing for a war outcome based on the whole "Short Victorious War" fallacy. The ultimate take-away is that there shouldn't be a clear "bad guy" in the objective sense.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-23, 10:13 AM
On Who Started It: While all of the concerns for the IC objectivity are valid, Torun did start the war - when DM mentioned the "most recent aggressor," he meant thirty years before when Auveraine took the land and won a much smaller war. The Benefactors' War started as a tiny border dispute that basically amounted to "They tried to steal our bullets with their faces! You all saw it!" And it is extremely unclear who actually ended up "shooting first."

Mind, Auveraine took approximately zero seconds to declare war right back, and had a huge part in setting up that situation to begin with - both countries had been pushing for a war outcome based on the whole "Short Victorious War" fallacy. The ultimate take-away is that there shouldn't be a clear "bad guy" in the objective sense.

READ: World War I with some minor changes. :smalltongue:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-23, 10:14 AM
READ: World War I with some minor changes. :smalltongue:

Nailed it in one.

Edit: Assuming you count "Who won" as a minor change.

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 11:23 AM
I approve of jazz musicians on general principle. That said, would you mind keeping the Plague Doctor story element around? (I can use one of my SEs, if you'd rather conserve yours for something else.

I think I'd prefer that, yes. Thank you.

Currently I'm thinking lizardman w/ sax wearing a trenchcoa, suit & fadorah. Other than that, not too sure yet. I'll probably make some sort of Jazz Loungue to go along w/ him.

Xondoure
2012-10-23, 11:48 AM
I think it was mostly being used as an example. :smalltongue:

Valgunn
2012-10-23, 12:53 PM
I think I'd prefer that, yes. Thank you.

Currently I'm thinking lizardman w/ sax wearing a trenchcoa, suit & fadorah. Other than that, not too sure yet. I'll probably make some sort of Jazz Loungue to go along w/ him.

I'm working on an SE for a popular pre-war hotel called the Star Hotel that's experiencing a resurgence as people try to get back to 'normality'. Would you be interested in taking over the hotel's lounge for your SE?

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 01:06 PM
I'm working on an SE for a popular pre-war hotel called the Star Hotel that's experiencing a resurgence as people try to get back to 'normality'. Would you be interested in taking over the hotel's lounge for your SE?

Ooh... that sounds interesting. I think I certainly can.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-23, 01:08 PM
I think I'd prefer that, yes. Thank you.

Currently I'm thinking lizardman w/ sax wearing a trenchcoa, suit & fadorah. Other than that, not too sure yet. I'll probably make some sort of Jazz Loungue to go along w/ him.

So you're saying you intend to play a lounge lizard? :smalltongue:

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 01:47 PM
So you're saying you intend to play a lounge lizard? :smalltongue:

Intended, originally, yes. :smalltongue:

Actually, I'm thinking of just broadening the scope and just owning the joint itself, running the show sort to speak (with an army of Jazz Musicians at my beck and call, MUAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!!).

So, basically, I'll play the proprietor of the joint, perhaps looking something like this. http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/290/7/e/lackadaisy_demon_rum_by_tracyjb-d5i3ou0.jpg

Nothing set in stone, however. Still rummaging through ideas.

VonDoom
2012-10-23, 01:51 PM
Sounds interesting, though of course working together nets you some interaction bonuses. So to speak. Maybe you two could be co-owners?

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 01:55 PM
Sounds interesting, though of course working together nets you some interaction bonuses. So to speak. Maybe you two could be co-owners?

Perhaps. I think it was intended for Valgunn to own the Hotel and myself the Lounge, but I'm open to ideas. Although technically it would be the Hotel owner who also owns the Lounge, but I do still run it.

*shrug* Things'll pan out one way or another.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-23, 02:16 PM
Nothing like drinking and listening to jazz while drafting up the next device to make things go boom with. Looks like my character just found his place to chill in on wednesday nights.

Valgunn
2012-10-23, 03:10 PM
Perhaps. I think it was intended for Valgunn to own the Hotel and myself the Lounge, but I'm open to ideas. Although technically it would be the Hotel owner who also owns the Lounge, but I do still run it.

*shrug* Things'll pan out one way or another.

It's a little complicated. :smallredface:

My character, at the moment, is planned to be Emma Uhman (formerly Emma Gladstone, but she married Erik Uhman, son of Aldric Uhman, captain of industry and founder of Uhman Motors). It's Aldric Uhman that owns the hotel, and he even lives in the penthouse suite, but since the end of the war and the death of his sons (which left Emma Uhman a widow) he's become a recluse - absorbing himself in impossible problems that he subconsciously hopes will keep him from facing the death of his sons. This has left Emma as the conduit through which his wishes are relayed to pretty much anyone whose day is begun by hearing them (Uhman Motors and so on). He's not interested in anything beyond being allowed to keep working on his problems though, so she's had to become the de-facto head of his personal empire - which involves making no shortage of business decisions while keeping people from using the situation to seize control for themselves, and trying to break Mr. Uhman's seclusion.

It's all still in flux though - we've yet to hit 88 mph.

Edit: Essentially whoever-it-is would be given a free hand to run the lounge however he wants as long as it remains successful.

TechnOkami
2012-10-23, 03:21 PM
Aah, I see then. This should be interesting.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-23, 04:57 PM
1d10 Distribution
{table=head]Player 1's Advantage|Player 1 Wins|Tie|Player 1 Loses
+0|45%|10%|45%
+1|55%|9%|36%
+2|64%|8%|28%
+3|72%|7%|21%
+4|79%|6%|15%
+5|85%|5%|10%
+6|90%|4%|6%
+7|94%|3%|3%
+8|97%|2%|1%
+9|99%|1%|0%
+10|100%|0%|0%
[/table]

2d6 Distribution
{table=head]Player 1's Advantage|Player 1 Wins|Tie|Player 1 Loses
+0|44.4%|11.3%|44.4%
+1|55.6%|10.8%|33.6%
+2|66.4%|9.6%|23.9%
+3|76.1%|8.0%|15.9%
+4|84.1%|6.2%|9.7%
+5|90.3%|4.3%|5.4%
+6|94.6%|2.7%|2.7%
+7|97.3%|1.5%|1.2%
+8|98.8%|.8%|.4%
+9|99.6%|.3%|.1%
+10|99.92%|0.08%|0.00%
[/table]

Summary: I was wrong earlier and 1d10 vs 1d10 is actually more competitive than 2d6 vs 2d6.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-24, 09:39 AM
Alright, to reiterate VonDoom's question:

Is there anyone who really, really wants to keep it as 1d10? Because if not, we should switch it to 2d6 for the people who would prefer it that way.

Valgunn
2012-10-24, 11:02 AM
I have a pathological fear of decimals. Does that count? :smalltongue:

Tebryn
2012-10-24, 11:06 AM
I'm not certain there would be enough people to outvote not switching so...if a 1d10 is more competitive and gives everyone a chance then I'm for it. However, if everyone else wants to move to 2d6...that's fine with me.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-24, 11:10 AM
Meh. Dice never works for me when I need them to anyway, so whatever.

TechnOkami
2012-10-24, 03:48 PM
I don't care one way or another. I'm perfectly fine if people want 2d6.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 03:26 AM
I'd prefer 1d10 just because it is more competitive for small differences. It is, of course, a very small difference, but it is significant. The idea of the conflict roll is to build dramatic tension and I think that works even better when the underdog has a bit more of a chance.

While I'm here, I'd also like to pitch two ideas that have had some discussion, but I don't think have been brought up in this thread.

1. No one character may have more than 1/2 of their total advantages as combat-only advantages. You could, of course, still stack Strength, Dexterity and other Common advantages that add to combat, but this would prevent people from just stacking numbers. Combat focused characters are fine and well within the spirit of the game, but sometimes it feels as if people are in an arms race and their character builds (particularly their starting advantages) are so geared towards their idea of "how tough their character ought to be" that they don't have enough left over to create fully rounded and developed characters. Or, more importantly, end up describing their characters as being Charming or Handsome or Intimidating even though they skimped on (or never bought) those advantages and instead grabbed a third rank in Martial Arts.

This would only apply to the +2 Uncommon combat advantages like Fire Magic, Swordsmanship, Martial Arts, etc -- you could spend half or your total budget on them and any further bonuses to combat would need to come from Common advantages instead.

2. Disadvantages. You may, at the time of character creation or through some in-game development (like a terrible injury) take 1 Disadvantage. Taking a disadvantage grants you one additional advantage. Disadvantages cause a penalty to all applicable rolls and are one grade higher than they would normally be. You may also not take any advantages that are clearly the opposite of your disadvantage.

For example, you might take Frail as a disadvantage. That's the opposite of Strength and you'd take a -2 penalty to any physical feats (any physical combat, climbing, lifting...). Since Strength is graded Common, Frailty is one grade higher. Obviously, you couldn't have both the Frail disadvantage and Strength. You can remove your disadvantage by spending an advantage.

Edit: And Disadvantages would have to be something that actually inconveniences your character. You can't take something stupid like Really Really Bad At Math (-5 on all mathematics)! Missing a limb, being blind or deaf, being hideous or plainly dumb are all appropriate Disadvantages.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 03:44 AM
Dice

Okay, so so far we have

2d6: kasanip
1d10: Nefarian Xid

Everyone else, to my recall, was ambivalent or didn't care. Anyone want to pipe in with a preference? Tebryn, I think you mentioned a slight preference for d10?

Pure Combat Advantage Limitation

At first I was was all'but, wait, what about the soldiers and warriors and such', but then I thought a bit about it. And I support this notion.

If someone wants to be the tough soldier who isn't smart and socially awkward, then they will need those physical non-pure combat advantages anyway. How realistic is a swordsmaster who is weak, feeble and slow? Unless a weak constitution is a specific character point, of course. Say, the rather stereotypical image of the Samurai with a weak body who starts coughing up blood if he exerts himself too much. But that still leaves plenty of other options.

That said, while we're at it, why not take it a bit further and say that no one is allowed to put more than half their uncommon+ advantages into one area of the physical/social/mental/supernatural axis?

Disadvantages

Back in Playground 3 I was against introducing them mid-game, but if we start out with them and keep it all reasonable, it should only add to the flair of things. For example, if we had started in Playground 3, I could have given Mikado a Frail disadvantage via the malnourished state from his long journey.

Yupp. Also in support of this one.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 03:51 AM
Pure Combat Advantages:

Another way of dealing with this is telling people that they can't describe themselves as charming or witty until they actually cough up the advantages for them.

Disadvantages

These I dislike. If a player wishes to have a disadvantage that's their choice, but I'm not sure it should be rewarded. That said, if it does exist I'll definitely use it. So... neutral I guess.

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 04:04 AM
Pure Combat Advantages: Like. The reasoning seems sound, and I'm a fan of Common Advantages anyway.

Disadvantages: Also like. They'll need to be weighed on an individual basis to make sure they're meaningful, of course. But we already do that with custom Advantages, so that doesn't seem like a big deal.

They also allows for some things that have been lacking so far; for instance, if you somehow persuaded the mods to suspend the Vampire Rule and want your bloodsucker to recoil from daylight, you can take Weak in Daylight (common) and bam! Now the rules support your nocturnal habits.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 04:13 AM
Vampire? What vampire? Oh, you're refering to the photo-sensitive biological creation, the one we infused with cells based on parasitic light-river infused fungal matter, that can drain the life energy from a person via touch? That we also transplanted fangs onto for the full predator experience? :smallbiggrin:

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 04:38 AM
I don't recall any player attempting to stack Charisma, Charm, and Beauty so much so that it required more than half of their advantage budget. Such a character would be a little weird and one dimensional, but probably less so than a super ninja sorcerer commando assassin knight. And I do feel that there absolutely is a kind of "arms race" mentality sometimes. Like, "I really wanted to pick up Wealth, but my rivals just got another rank of Battle Magic..."

An alternative to the "no more than 1/2" rule would be: For every Uncommon or Rare combat advantage, you must have 1 appropriate Common advantage. From example, battle magic would require a rank of Intelligence or Charisma; martial arts would require Strength or Dexterity or Agility.

BTW, I'd say a vampire character with the Disadvantage "Weak/Frail (Daytime Only)" would be Rare, -3. It would be bumped up two categories instead of just one because it only applies half the time (and you'd expect vampire characters to be played smart and not take any unnecessary risks in the daytime anyway.)

I only suggest Disadvantages because I'd also insist on them being a significant and often unavoidable detriment to a character. Nothing trivial could ever be considered a Disadvantage. If you take Uncharismatic as a disadvantage, you're not just "unattractive" or "socially awkward", you're so inept and tiresome to be around that you take a -2 penalty when trying to interact with people in any way. You're so bad in social situations that someone with TWO ranks of Charisma is as delightful and charming as you are trite and gauche.

Kasanip
2012-10-25, 04:42 AM
About Dice: It was realized that most players don't know 2d6 system, so if it is a difficulty, I think 1d10 is ok. To think about it, for Adventures maybe 1d10 is:

4 Easy to Succeed
8 Usually can succeed
12-15 Difficult to succeed
16- Almost impossible to succeed

I don't know. But it isn't important, if Adventures are removed.


About 1.: Combat Advantage

I don't agree with this idea. There was never arms race about character builds. I already made my comment about this idea in Playground 4 discussion. It seems unfair to make such a restraint of combat advantage and not social or leadership advantage, if it is desired such a [well rounded character].

This only seems to limit character creation in a game that is supposed to support such a choice. Already there is [3 rank rule] about ability.

About 2.: Disadvantage

I don't agree with this idea. I think I showed in Playground 3 this kind of rule is unnecessary to play such a disadvantage character successfully.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 04:56 AM
Eh, specific advantage requirements would be complicating things more than necessary, I think.

Though if we do use something like this:
I'd be more in favor of 'having at least one related common advantage at the level you're raising it from' -- as in, if you want Sword Training II, you need Strength/Stamina/whatever I. After all, without an advantage, you're at the human average. And you can be at that level and still know how to handle a sword well. But you won't be able to compete with an advanced sword fighter.

---

That said, even if we haven't seen it being done, why not extend the potential ruling that's being discussed to cover those aspects as well? Just because combat is the one that has actually seen it doesn't mean we won't get, for example, someone trying to be Steve Hawking at some point and taking it a little too far.

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 05:14 AM
Further comments:

I like Nef's suggestion on combat Advantages because it encourages people to either a) spread out and be good at a number of things, or b) take more Common Advantages, which has much the same effect. I don't know if we've ever actually had a character who would run afoul of this rule, but it seems like a solid guideline.

I like the idea of Disadvantages, but I think it's important that we not make them expected (in the way that every D&D character takes flaws when they're allowed). Not all characters should have Disadvantages (mine probably won't). Those that don't should not be at a, uh... disadvantage. You know what I mean.


Vampire? What vampire? Oh, you're refering to the photo-sensitive biological creation, the one we infused with cells based on parasitic light-river infused fungal matter, that can drain the life energy from a person via touch? That we also transplanted fangs onto for the full predator experience? :smallbiggrin:

I once played a superhero game in which one of my fellow PCs was a plant-based superhero who claimed to be a vampire. Partly, this was an effort to confuse his enemies, and partly it was because he was a LARP geek and thought it'd be cool. It was entertaining.

Which is apropos of nothing, except to say that I approve of plant vampires. Also, I don't think it violates the Vampire Rule if they're abominations of science, does it? I mean, they do, but at the same time they're SUPPOSED to be violations of the natural order. It fits.

(Also, our vegetable monsters will be photosynthetic, thank you very much)

TechnOkami
2012-10-25, 05:16 AM
*throws a fact into the void*

If I couldn't have a full battle-based set of Advantages, then I would not have been able to make nor probably play Murdok with the way he was. And, he's by far one of the most memorable characters I've made to date (who is interestingly enough being used in an entirely different campaign).

Also, I wouldn't do disadvantages.

On a completely different note-

I was talking with my lady this evening, and she and I had a thought for my character which I wanted to pass by you guys before I start fully diving into character fluffing. Who I want to play is essentially the owner of a Jazz Loungue, and I've decided I'm going to play a charismatic guy rather than a gal. However... and picture this: "A fire elemental in a fire-proof suit, tie, and shoes, sitting in the back of the audience as the performance is underway. His clothes is a combination of pinstriped slate gray and coal black, shoes like polished obsidian. Casually as the slow, rhythmic beat of piano to saxophone to bass all sing to each other, he slowly sips from a martini glass, occasionally pulling a well-seasoned cigar to his lips for a puff or two."

Anywho, I've definitely got gender and general mood of the guy down, I just need to know what he is and what he looks like, and I'm gold.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 05:24 AM
Ooh I really like the idea of elemental denizens walking about. Would there only be fire elementals (fitting with the diesel punk) or would all the classic elements be represented? Perhaps they were originally constructed by mages to perform menial chores. While only in the last few centuries have they been granted freedom, resulting in a slightly charged attitude towards them by the general populace.

Or you know, something else entirely. :smalltongue: What I mean to say is the concept intrigues me.

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 05:25 AM
*throws a fact into the void*

If I couldn't have a full battle-based set of Advantages, then I would not have been able to make nor probably play Murdok with the way he was. And, he's by far one of the most memorable characters I've made to date (who is interestingly enough being used in an entirely different campaign).

I liked Murdok, but frankly I thought it was a little odd that he didn't have any ranks in, say, Intimidation. The guy was a half-giant with a huge sword; he was seen and portrayed as intimidating. It would've been easy enough to exchange a rank or two of combat stuff to account for that. (Also, didn't you take a lot of Strength and Toughness for him? Those aren't considered combat-only, so if you really wanted to avoid having anything not useful in combat, you could have met the quota with those.)

TechnOkami
2012-10-25, 05:31 AM
I liked Murdok, but frankly I thought it was a little odd that he didn't have any ranks in, say, Intimidation. The guy was a half-giant with a huge sword; he was seen and portrayed as intimidating. It would've been easy enough to exchange a rank or two of combat stuff to account for that. (Also, didn't you take a lot of Strength and Toughness for him? Those aren't considered combat-only, so if you really wanted to avoid having anything not useful in combat, you could have met the quota with those.)

Hum... I suppose that's true... I was actually planning in taking some intimidation/toughness advantages, but sadly the game stopped before those plans could be set into motion.

If I recall, I had roughly 9 Advantages. 2 went to the sword, 3 to swordsmanship, 3 to strength, and 1 went to an AoE ice ability I gave him. So, most of his Advantages were geared to offense namely because I wanted to be reliably good at something, and so I spec'd Murdok for combat.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 05:32 AM
Can't dig it up right now, but Tebryn already claimed an 'Elemental' advantage. I'm pretty sure there are more than just fire ones in that.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 05:36 AM
Tebryn's Elementals are Mushi, and thus could probably go by a different name. Or perhaps be the same, with Techno's type as a subspecies.

Edit: Hmmm... Let's see if I could spec Marcoth under the combat restriction in such a way as to be satisfied. Strength I, Agility I, Toughness I, Intimidate I, cunning I, Stealth II, Weapon Mastery I, Killing Intent I, Blood Healing I.

It appears I can. However long term he'd be picking up a lot more pure combat advantages than he would be those of other types.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 05:44 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, Xon, but of the advantages listed here, aren't only 2 or 3 pure combat advantages? As in, Weapon Mastery, Killing Intent and, probably, Blood Healing? That's 3 to 7, and his ideal combat total bonus would be at 10, discounting Stealth and Intimidate. A powerful combatant, I'd say and well within the scope of the proposed rule.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 05:50 AM
Well, yeah you could make Murdok, he may just have ended up being 1 point less effective on combat. Say what you wanted to build was something like...

Murdok 1: Strength III, Toughness I, Sword Expertise III, Magic Sword III

But that would put you over the 1/2 combat limit. So instead you'd just cut it back to...

Murdok 2: Strength III, Toughness I, Sword Expertise III, Magic Sword II and then one rank of absolutely anything else that would be appropriate for the character.

You still wind up with the toughest melee combatant in the game, just not one that totally outpaces every other combat oriented character. (This would basically create a ceiling where all extremely combat focused characters are about equal in power).

Frankly, it's just annoying when someone optimizes a character so much for combat that they neglect everything else fun or even logical about that character. How exactly does someone get three ranks in Martial arts without a single rank in Strength, Dexterity or Agility? That's one heck of a dedicated and experienced martial artist with a curious lack of any other form of physical prowess. "Running, jumping, swimming, climbing, lifting, dancing, balancing, acrobatics or archery? Nope. I'm just really good at hitting things with my fists and nothing else."

It's even more annoying to see someone stack unrelated combat-only advantages and ends up with something like Battle Magic (Fire) III, Battle Magic (Lightning) III, Martial Arts III, Magic Weapon I...

Again, it's totally fine and well within the spirit of the game to build heavily combat themed characters. It's also power-gaming to just stack numbers so you can be the best at combat.

Note: I honestly don't mean for that to sound overly critical of anyone's past characters. It's just there are plenty of ways to build the same character concept and often it seems like people will sacrifice other important parts of that concept just to gain an extra combat advantage. Essentially, this rule would just be a way to avoid having to step in and say, "Hey, it looks like you're just stacking up loads of combat advantages that don't make much sense," and end up singling out somebody.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 05:59 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, Xon, but of the advantages listed here, aren't only 2 or 3 pure combat advantages? As in, Weapon Mastery, Killing Intent and, probably, Blood Healing? That's 3 to 7, and his ideal combat total bonus would be at 10, discounting Stealth and Intimidate. A powerful combatant, I'd say and well within the scope of the proposed rule.

Well his ideal bonus would include stealth, but even then he's 5/5 which is even. What I meant was, I'm okay with the rule, so long as there isn't a ratio that needs to be maintained over time. Because Marcoth would be gaining advantages like Hellfire Blood, and Gluttonous Blade long after I would have satisfied my requirements in other fields.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 06:02 AM
Actually, I should point out, there definitely are characters that would have dedication to and experience in martial arts, but little or no other physical advantages:

The aged martial arts master/veteran who overcomes his physical frailty through technique and experience. It should be noted here that, indeed, at one point the character did have those physical advantages, just not anymore.

Mikado himself is an example of that, albeit the reason wasn't age but rather the journey I cited before -- unlike the martial arts gramps who's simply too old to compete muscle by muscle, however, he would have naturally built up and taken those physical advantages again once his recovery was underway properly. Since mental and social competences that aren't represented in the advantages yet are harder to explain away, I simply chose to get those up to the task first.

That's still assuming that the advantages existed in the character at some point, though. With 10 advantages to start with, we probably won't have as much of a need to explain away backgrounds that are on a more grand scope than what 4 advantages could reasonably support.

Edit:
@Xon But Stealth isn't combat-only, right? We should probably skip doing 'combat only' applications of stuff that's really plenty useful outside of it as well. If you can do stealth during combat, you can do it period.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 06:05 AM
To be clear, it would be a ratio that you'd have to maintain. No more than 1/2 of your advantages as combat-only at any time. 5/5 to start, and then you couldn't take another combat advantage until you'd taken one of any other common or non-combat advantage.

Take Marcoth, you'd start out at 7/3 which gives you room to rack up 4 more combat-only advantages before being "forced" to take something like Agility, Alacrity, Strength, Dexterity, Cunning...

Kasanip
2012-10-25, 06:06 AM
Further Comments:

I disagree with Combat Advantage suggestion because it only targets one kind of advantage that is already limited by [uncommon] trait, and [3 trait rule]. If character is very good at combat of course disadvantage is to be not good at other situations (like social and leadership).

By this rule, Eris would have been unplayable character because of her Fire Magic.

Could Eris be changed for such a theme? I don't think so. Even if it was possible, old style system worked, so it isn't broken.

Also it must be said that it doesn't fix the supposed problem of [arms race] anyway, because only to change to common advantage, for example:
Soldier III, Agility II, Gunfu III (uncommon), Toughness II (uncommon).

Because supposed [arms race] worry is about future advantage, nothing is changed about such a [wealth or battle magic?] choice, too.

So, I don't think this rule is useful. Uncommon advantage already has limit. I don't understand a reason to limit [combat advantage] only, because other uncommon advantage is not changed. I haven't seen example of a problem character that would not be discussed in character creation.


I disagree about disadvantage rule because it isn't necessary to play interesting characters. Also, it seems like suggested that some disadvantages are not as good as other disadvantage. Since gained advantage doesn't have to relate, it is still player start with 11 advantage against 10 advantage.

Eris was a child, what is level of disadvantage? I can use for another cunning or deceitful or magic advantage. Nothing is changed from Playground 3, except actually stronger than old rule. I don't think this rule is necessary. Mystletinn was a sword, what is level of disadvantage and what is my reward? I don't think it is deserved any. I don't think [one armed swordsman] deserves reward against [two armed swordsman]. I don't think there was problem of Mikado's playstyle. I don't think there was any problem to fix with this rule.
If it is desired for disadvantage character, play such a character without expectation for reward.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 06:24 AM
I'm in agreement with Kasanip for the most part.

If someone wants to play a witty swordsman, and has Swordsmanship X (for the same of the example) then the swordsman isn't actually witty and should be treated as such.

Edit@Vondoom: You are correct. Marcoth's spread would probably be Stealth I, Assassination I.

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 06:42 AM
I'm still not sure what 'Alacrity' is supposed to represent that isn't covered between Dexterity and Agility. It's a word for being fast and acting without hesitation, isn't it?

(Still not a native speaker.)


@Xondoure
This is all personal opinion, to note:
Assassination seems better suited as a 'job' advantage akin to Rogue, since assassinating someone generally requires quite a number of skills. The D&D 'Sneak Attack', if that's what you're going for, is just taking advantage of a momentary lapse in defense or weak point -- I'd put that as 'Precision Fighter' or 'Dirty Fighting' depending on how it's styled, myself.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-25, 08:30 AM
Step 1: Leadership rules alteration rejected because it will increase the complexity of the rules.
Step 2: New combat rules wildly accepted, which will increase the complexity of the rules.
Step 3: Mind = Blown.

The Combat advantage limitation trashes more archetypes than just the wizened martial arts master - any character who wants to represent being, say, a powerful and naturally talented sorcerer now has to be arbitrarily good at something else regardless of whether or not that kind of magic works that way. It also implies that Martial Arts training is completely useless unless you are literally twice as strong or fast as an ordinary man, which is a bit silly - especially when we get into Weapon Expertise: Guns. I guess they're throwing the bullets or something?

But if we're going to adopt it anyway, let's take a brief look at the endgame version of Claye Kilnmyr, then.

Agility 2, Machinist 2, Battle Magic (Fire) 3, Martial Arts (Brawling) 2, Rogue 2, Cunning 2, Intelligence 1

As someone who actually did keep track of who had what in terms of combat advantages, I know that Claye was pretty "Up there" in terms of combat bonus - packing a +14 to a +20 depending on the situation. And she nonetheless fits these rules. In fact, for much of the game she was the heaviest combat character around. I just don't see the need for this rule.

As for the disadvantages, the rule generally has always been that you're expected to write a flawed and imperfect character - to do any less is to generate a Mary Sue. From past games that I've run, I find disadvantage compensation leads to two unfortunate side effects:

1. Players feel a sense of entitlement whenever their character is limited somehow. Claye was brash and paranoid, which doesn't translate into a roll penalty very well, but it didn't give her laser vision - she was just brash and paranoid.

2. There's a strong implication that the natural course of having a disability is that you will automatically and totally compensate for it, which is one of the most obnoxious tropes in fiction, as it suggests that anyone with a physical or mental disability who is held back by it in any way has only themselves to blame for being too weak to turn it into a superpower somehow.

And there's a third problem, which is that it's really, really hard to model disadvantages under the current system. Being blind is an enormous problem in virtually every combat situation and many others besides, making it a Common (-2) disadvantage. Yet a blind man with two ranks in Combat Expertise (Guns) can shoot just as accurately as a guy who just has one rank in the same advantage, even at targets so far away that they can only be detected by sight.

But okay, maybe we could consider an aiming-related advantage the "opposite" of blindness and forbid it from being taken. Instead, we give our mystery blind man and regular guy Magic Gun, and now Blindey O'Sightless shoots even better than the regular guy (+4 vs. +3)! I fail to see how gun ownership is the opposite of being blind, so this is a legitimate maneuver.

(Warning: Shameless yet Potentially Justified Whining): Between this and the leadership rejection, I'm wondering if rules alterations aren't being approved or rejected based on how well it benefits the character concept a given player chooses to make. No one wants to make a leadership character, so leadership alterations are rejected. People are interested in making non-combat characters and don't want to be worse at combat than the big mean meaniehead combat-focused characters, so an alteration that limits combat characters and expands possible advantage pools is quickly approved. It may not even be a conscious thing, but it's pretty clear that "complexity" is not the real issue, here...

VonDoom
2012-10-25, 08:44 AM
Psst, Jade, I was one of the people screaming for Leadership simplicity and keeping it from getting too strong ... and just so happen to also be one of the people most likely to be the strongest investors into those advantages.

And I fail to see how keeping a 'ratio' in mind to keep things from getting too one-sided is even remotely as complex or elaborate as some of the proposed leadership changes. You're arguing with an example of one of the worst possible scenarios of flaw use -- why do we have assigned game moderators? To keep such silliness out of the game and try and have everything make sense without becoming as absurd as someone banking on being blind and still magically hitting everything to do so.

If someone were to propose a blind archer, or Marvel's Daredevil -- quite simply, the very concept rejects the notion that the blindness is an actual limitation, so it's not a flaw.

I do, however, agree with kasanip's argument against flaws. It was one of the reasons I originally was against including them for Playground 3 myself, but I figured that it can't hurt to give it a try here and see how it goes. There are systems where flaws (and merits) serve as an excellent enhancement of the game. The simplistic nature of the Playground system may make them more of a detriment, but I'm open to seeing how it works out in practice. Every game and every playerbase is different.

After kasanip's reminder of what was also my original reasoning, however, I'll change my opinion regarding Flaws to 'neutral'. I still think a ratio limit is not a bad idea, though it should apply to all broad categories between combat/physical, social, mental and supernatural.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-25, 10:26 AM
Under the "ratio" system, a person with average stats cannot learn any kind of combat. Or own a weapon. And then taking a rank of Strength gives you access to a rank of Battle Magic, because... actually, there's no logic there at all, it's just an arbitrary limitation. Even better, if we extend this to all fields, then a person with average stats (no bonuses) cannot learn anything or own anything at all until they have a common stat rank. Peasant finds a magic sword? He has to drop it like a hot rock until he becomes strong enough to lift it... by taking a rank in Charisma or, I dunno, Profession: Decorative Cake Frosting.

I don't find it that weird to want to be able to build my character without worrying about whether or not I've taken the prerequisites in a game that uses simplicity as a selling point. This change doesn't even do what it proposes to: fixing the "arms race" mentality - a person who actually thinks in terms of beating the other players (in a game where, I'd like to remind everyone, players rarely fight each other) will build almost the same character, but it will be slightly weaker. :smallconfused:

GuyFawkes
2012-10-25, 10:56 AM
Agreed. The proposition has its points, but really doesn't address the main issue of avoiding the arms race mentality. Although it could be handy as a guide, but not as an absolute rule.

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 03:09 PM
Step 1: Leadership rules alteration rejected because it will increase the complexity of the rules.
Step 2: New combat rules wildly accepted, which will increase the complexity of the rules.
Step 3: Mind = Blown.

I suppose I should clarify: I like Nef's suggestion about a 1/2 limit. I do not like any suggestion that involves adding hard prerequisites. A ratio is pretty simple, and flexible enough to account for pretty much any concept—like I said, I don't think we've ever had any characters who ran afoul of that rule. Eris had Cunning and Deceitful and stuff as well as Fire Magic; Murdok had Strength and Toughness as well as Swordsmanship and Frost Aura (and could have swapped for Intimidating easily, if needed). A hypothetical aged martial artist presumably has something other Martial Arts; maybe he's got an Iron Will, or a reputation as a local wise man, or something.

As you point out, you had a combat-heavy character in Playground III - but right from the start you had things like Cunning, Machinist and Well-Traveled, rather than putting all your points into Battle Magic and Brawling and fleshing out the rest later (if at all). I think that's the sort of thing Nef wants to encourage with this rule.

Having said that, I don't feel too strongly about it; I'm content to be overruled if people would rather spend their Advantages however they please.

Some good points about Disadvantages; I think my opinion is shifting to "I like this in theory, but in practice it will be a total pain."

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 03:33 PM
Widely accepted? Seems about even to me with people liking/rejecting it.

Edit: I'm still okay with a ratio in the beginning, but absolutely reject it long term. This because the arms race will always be there, but I can see how early game it causes people to work harder at their characters. I'd prefer it be nonexistent, with people being reminded that social advantages are necessary for their character to act smart/charismatic if they ignore the spectrum,

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 03:59 PM
Under the "ratio" system, a person with average stats cannot learn any kind of combat. Or own a weapon. And then taking a rank of Strength gives you access to a rank of Battle Magic, because... actually, there's no logic there at all, it's just an arbitrary limitation. Even better, if we extend this to all fields, then a person with average stats (no bonuses) cannot learn anything or own anything at all until they have a common stat rank. Peasant finds a magic sword? He has to drop it like a hot rock until he becomes strong enough to lift it... by taking a rank in Charisma or, I dunno, Profession: Decorative Cake Frosting.

I don't find it that weird to want to be able to build my character without worrying about whether or not I've taken the prerequisites in a game that uses simplicity as a selling point. This change doesn't even do what it proposes to: fixing the "arms race" mentality - a person who actually thinks in terms of beating the other players (in a game where, I'd like to remind everyone, players rarely fight each other) will build almost the same character, but it will be slightly weaker. :smallconfused:

First of all, you're mixing up my 1/2 Combat Advantage proposal with an alternate proposal.


An alternative to the "no more than 1/2" rule would be: For every Uncommon or Rare combat advantage, you must have 1 appropriate Common advantage. From example, battle magic would require a rank of Intelligence or Charisma; martial arts would require Strength or Dexterity or Agility.

That idea didn't gain any traction and isn't being discussed anymore. We're just talking about the 1/2 Combat Advantage rule.

Now. Frankly, a peasant with no talents, skills or anything remarkable about him except the fact that he found a magic sword... is a dumb character. The only valid character along these lines might be a teenage monk who has trained his entire life in martial arts. Still, you'd think someone who'd lived in a monastery his entire life might have also learned eloquent speech, philosophy, calligraphy, the art of stealth, history, any craft, or at least be physically fit enough to merit a single rank in Agility. Likewise, I think even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can manage enough ranks in Agility, Stealth, Profession (Rogue/Ninja) to offset all of their Ninjutsu and Weapon expertise.

And yes, it's possible that you might end up with a similar situation (to the peasant and his magic sword) in game where a character (already at their limit of combat advantages) finds a magic item and can't make use of it until they've gained yet another advantage and spent it on anything else. At worse, you HAVE the sword, you just can't make use of its mechanical bonus for a week or two. Big deal. You've already stacked the numbers as high as they'll go, you can go without that extra +2 on top of it all. I find it hard to believe that any well developed character concept would absolutely necessitate yet another pure combat advantage instead of taking a rank in a skill or profession or basic attribute.

I don't see this being a problem with 10 advantages anyway. I could approve of a character starting with 3 combat advantages back when we started the game with only 4 advantages total. It's not a personal preference, but it's nothing that I would forbid. But, with 10 advantages, I really have to question any concept that needs 6 of those 10 to be pure combat. Like I said, this rule would just save us from having the conversation with a player who is actually power gaming.

Edit: I'm not strongly in favor of the addition of Disadvantages, I just wanted to talk about the idea since that's what this thread is for.

Edit 2: I'd also challenge anyone to build a character with 10 or 20 advantages that needs more than 1/2 of those advantages to be combat-only and could not be built any other way. I think even the biggest munchkins and Mary Sues in history had more going for them than to have half of their advantage budget devoted exclusively to combat training and combat equipment.

Edit for VonDoom: "Alacrity" is more like a readiness to react and respond. A character with Alacrity might have quick reflexes, and a keen sense of danger. You might describe a canny Dwarf Fighter as alacritous, but not agile.

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 04:48 PM
Edit 2: I'd also challenge anyone to build a character with 10 or 20 advantages that needs more than 1/2 of those advantages to be combat-only and could not be built any other way. I think even the biggest munchkins and Mary Sues in history had more going for them than to have half of their advantage budget devoted exclusively to combat training and combat equipment.



I'd agree with this. However, because it's unlikely someone will load up like that thus making the need to enforce the rule superfluous. I understand the logic behind it but I don't actually think it's needed. It's also not our job to tell people what they can and can't take for Advantages outside of them being unbalanced or such. If people do want to load up on nothing but combat advantages they should be allowed. And when the time comes when they're not fighting they'll find that the game is boring and it'll be their fault. When all you have is a hammer and all that.

I echo "I like the idea but not the execution" of Disadvantages.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 04:55 PM
How about if someone wanted to play a brainwashed assassin meant only for killing, who slowly begins to realize their humanity? Sure they might start with some basics like strength, agility, and intelligence. But early on it'd probably be those three against every combat advantage in the book, with more social advantages appearing as a part of their character development when the mindless killing machine is exposed to more than just mindless killing.

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 05:03 PM
Tebryn's Elementals are Mushi, and thus could probably go by a different name. Or perhaps be the same, with Techno's type as a subspecies.



Forgot to clarify with my last post.


This is correct but also not the whole picture. Elementals range from the "Mushi" to massive and intellegent entities similar to FF Summons and classical D&D Elementals. They're called Elementals not only because they're made up of the Elements of Nature and the "Classical" Elements but also because they are elemental building blocks of at the very least the dichotomy between The River of Light and The Deep Flow.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-25, 05:44 PM
@Nef:

I think you've mistaken the thrust of my objection. I wasn't saying that you *can't* build a character with the ratio thing in place, because you obviously can. I was saying that the rule is pointless as well as one more thing for the mods to double check.

If the arms race mentality has become a problem, then we should address that by addressing the problem players (if any), not by arbitrarily instituting a nerf that wouldn't have affected even the heavy-combat characters from past games.

For the sake of transparency, I will post my planned advantage spread for a character that I think is going to be an absolute boss of a combat PC (an elven sniper from the war and DarkDM's adjutant, thanks for askin'):

Agility 2, Intelligence 1, Cunning 1, Mirrish Martial Arts (aka Brawling) 1, Perception 1, Rune Casting 1, Authority 1, Weapon Expertise (Gun) 2

That's 10 advantages, 4 of which are Uncommon (Combat Only). In order, those are Torun Martial Arts, Rune Casting, and Weapon Expertise. Her total combat bonus is +11 out the gate, unless we're allowing Perception to be used as a bonus when fighting with guns, in which case it's +12.

Now that's fine and dandy, but suppose we have a chapter end, wherein she improves her rune magic but - oh noes! - her adventure reward at chapter's end was an enchanted gun. Now she has to arbitrarily not use it until she completes another adventure, and if the advantage from that is also a combat item, then she's down two advantages until the chapter ends (which could well be months away, as that seems to be the trend) at which point she has sharply limited options concerning what she can take - and will still be down an advantage until another chapter goes by. At that point this is no longer a way to make a character well rounded, but rather a punishment for daring to play a martial character as well as a limitation on the ways in which your character can develop.

And I didn't even start right at the limit! Only 40% of my advantages are combat only to begin with, and I don't give a single effervescent elven crap about whether or not that's the highest combat bonus in the game, yet I still end up in lockdown for being a horrible, horrible munchkin.

Edit: My math is slightly off - the Rune Casting + Gun makes it 6 of 12 for combat, so still technically legal. However, this simply delays my example by one chapter, it doesn't resolve it.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 06:35 PM
Then take Profession (Sniper) or Profession (Rogue) or Profession (Soldier) or Dexterity or Stealth or Cunning or Alacrity or Perception or Intimidation or Infamy or any of the other possible advantages that make her a better sniper or soldier besides just "Now my magic bullets are slightly more magic than before".

Or, just possibly, the character might branch out or grow in any other way that doesn't include murdering things with magic bullets more efficiently.

Xon: Brainwashed super assassin? May I suggest ranks in Rogue and Stealth before worrying about hitting your limit on pure combat advantages? Even if you wanted to play a brain dead pit fighter, you might be able to scrounge up enough ranks on Strength/Agility/Alacrity/Stamina/Endurance to avoid hitting the limit.

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 06:39 PM
Right, but we shouldn't be telling people what Advantages to take in the fist place. Players should be allowed to take the Advantages they want.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 06:51 PM
No, that's one of the things mods are precisely in place to do.

"No, you cannot take 5 ranks in Lightning magic, there is a 3 rank limit at the start of the game."

"No, your character is totally one dimensional, boring, cliched and probably doesn't have any motivation to interact with other characters."

"Shouldn't a super assassin have a single rank in Rogue or Stealth?"

"You've repeatedly described your character as good looking, witty and funny, but you don't have a single rank in Charm or Charisma."

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 07:04 PM
Those are fair points but not really what I meant. I think it's certainly in the Mods scope to enforce the rule of three ranks in an advantage but that's got nothing to do with the topic at hand. That's a rule for all Advantages, no matter what they are. The second is honestly what we should be doing rather than enforce an arbitrary rule, as the third example and fourth example as well. We shouldn't tell them "No, you can't take 10 ranks in nothing but combat advantages". If the character doesn't make sense, we should speak up but otherwise...it's their character.

When they see that they're not the charismatic, roguish fop they intend their straight combat character to be...they'll start taking those kinds of Advantages. Or they'll find themselves quickly left out of pace. We shouldn't punish people who want to be more on the combat side because...I don't even know why. Yes, they'll be beastly in Combat situations but so what? They'll suck at absolutely everything else. That's the price you pay. The "punishment" is already built in as it were.

I know I learned my lesson with Takashi who started rather combat focused. I quickly learned that that wasn't a very good idea and took Advantages that would better indicate what I intended. To the point that Vasae from Playground Four had a set up more like you want everyone to have and...looking at the sheet for my character for this one, I think I've got only 3 ranks in straight combat designed Advantages and I am billed to be a Hired Assassin, so a combat focused character from the start. I wouldn't, however, have learned my lesson had I not been able to make the mistakes the first time around.

Is this even a problem? I don't recall many characters who are nothing but combat power houses from any of the Playground Games I've played except (admittedly) my own from Playground 3 and I corrected those mistakes swiftly. Why make a fix to a problem that isn't even a problem?

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 08:01 PM
Some more (now somewhat conflicted) thoughts on this:

FOR: Once again, I'm going to use an example to illustrate the issue we're looking at.

Character 1 is a rakish master swordsman. His Advantage layout is as follows:
Weapon Expertise: Swords III (uncommon)
Swashbuckler III (common)
Cunning I (common)
Charismatic I (common)
Handsome I (rare)
Nobility I (???)

Character 2 is a brainwashed super-soldier, trained from birth by a secretive cult/sinister corporation/government agency to be a killing machine. Her Advantage layout is as follows:
Weapon Expertise: Swords III (uncommon)
Martial Arts III (uncommon)
Battle Magic III (uncommon)
Something else I (irrelevant)

Now, Character 1 is supposed to be an excellent fighter, and his Advantages reflect that: he has a +9 or +10 bonus in most circumstances, and has invested quite a bit in combat-relevant skills (7 out of 10 Advantages). But he didn't want to be focused completely on combat, and he isn't; he's also witty and charming and a world-class expert at swinging from chandeliers, all the better to pull off his rakish heroism.

Character 2 is not well-rounded. This doesn't necessarily mean she's a bad character; quite possibly she's supposed to be plain, naive, and inexperienced with situations like "talking to people" and "making her own decisions". Killing people is her one talent, and she's really good at it: her combat bonus in most fights is +18. Okay, fine.

The problem arises when you compare the two—and people will make that comparison, because other characters are the only meaningful standard we have to measure ourselves against. Character 1 is supposed to be a good fighter—a world-class swordsman if you buy the idea that three ranks in an Advantage is equivalent to mastery!—but he's outclassed to the point of a no contest roll by Character 2, because he wanted to be good at things other than combat too.

As Kasanip pointed out, it's not a bad thing for someone who invests more in combat to be better at it; Character 2 should have an edge, since she's more focused on it. But the degree of inequity we see there is not good. She's arguably too focused, forcing other people to be equally single-minded if they don't want to be utterly outclassed.

AGAINST:

As I mentioned before, Character 2 is not necessarily a bad character (I have in fact played a similar character quite successfully). Are we limiting that concept by instituting this rule? In this particular example, it probably wouldn't hurt the concept to include a few Common Advantages (Agile, Strong, Soldier, or Assassin spring to mind); but it's possible that there are other concepts that aren't as simple to deal with. Maybe someone wants to play a magical prodigy, and his combat Advantages are all sorcerous—that's a lot harder to account for with Common Advantages.

How does this interact with combat-related Followers? If somebody wants to make a Torunnite general, do his followers (Weapon Expertise II, Army III) prevent him from taking any combat-only Advantages of his own? Again, switching to Leadership (Soldiers II, Army III) will mitigate this, but... eh.

It also becomes problematic when you consider characters with less than 10 Advantages. I didn't initially pay attention to Jade's example of a 1-Advantage character, because to my knowledge we've never had any of those. But we have had characters with less than a full spread of Advantages. Let's say I decide I'm going to split my advantages between 2 characters; one of them is a war veteran, an artillerist with Battle Magic III, Soldier I, and Cunning I. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable Advantage spread, but it's not permissible under these rules. It wouldn't affect me terribly to change to Battle Magic II, Soldier II, and Cunning I... but it also seems needlessly restrictive to require that change.

Also, this:
If the arms race mentality has become a problem, then we should address that by addressing the problem players (if any), not by arbitrarily instituting a nerf that wouldn't have affected even the heavy-combat characters from past games.

IN CONCLUSION: ????

I still like Nef's intent, and don't think it would be a difficult rule to live with. But I'm also not sure it needs to be a hard-and-fast rule, because there are a lot of border cases that don't need fixing.

Perhaps this would work better as a guideline for new players/the mods?

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 08:11 PM
I think it's the requirement aspect that's the core of the issue here really. At least it is for me. For your example two character, wouldn't it be better to simply say "Hey, that's a lot of combat advantages you've got there. Is your character good at anything else? Maybe you should take some Advantages to reflect that and pick up the other advantages later. You'll find the game more fulfilling that way since your character will be able to interact with more characters outside of purely combat situations, which is what you have right now." rather than say "Nope. Fix your character."

The_Snark
2012-10-25, 08:28 PM
Arguably, the player for Character 2 might answer, "No, I actually don't want her to be good at other things. Just because she's not an expert socialite or scholar doesn't mean she can't participate in those things, and in fact I intend to enjoy fumbling through normal interaction. Later on, she'll start picking up non-combat Advantages as she learns how to be a human being." And that would be a valid answer, and then there'd be a dialogue between the mods and the players and hopefully everything could get sorted out.

But yeah, point taken. Handling this on an individual basis seems to be the way to go.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-25, 08:37 PM
Then take Profession (Sniper) or Profession (Rogue) or Profession (Soldier) or Dexterity or Stealth or Cunning or Alacrity or Perception or Intimidation or Infamy or any of the other possible advantages that make her a better sniper or soldier besides just "Now my magic bullets are slightly more magic than before".

Or, just possibly, the character might branch out or grow in any other way that doesn't include murdering things with magic bullets more efficiently.

She might have grown in other ways anyway - my point is that now she has to, regardless of what makes sense from an in-story perspective. I've twice considered dropping Weapon Expertise Guns for Profession: Soldier or Rogue anyway. I'm also not sure why we have 3 flavors of "Fast Reflexes and Coordination" (Agility, Dexterity, Alacrity) but whatever.

I think you also might be approaching this from the assumption that common advantages are inherently more fluffy and wonderful than focused ones, which is unwarranted. I'm not going to write up an increase in Rune Magic with a simple "AN NOW TEH BULITZ R BETTAR" in the OOC - there's going to be study, some expansion of the Rune Magic story element, etc, to explain why her bullets are suddenly hitting with the force of artillery shells.

Given that we've had one or two characters in the history of Playground that would actually fail this rule (I could be mistaken, but Eris and Murdock are the only ones mentioned so far), I once again fail to see why this arbitrary ratio is so desperately needed that we can't live another moment without it.

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 08:40 PM
Arguably, the player for Character 2 might answer, "No, I actually don't want her to be good at other things. Just because she's not an expert socialite or scholar doesn't mean she can't participate in those things, and in fact I intend to enjoy fumbling through normal interaction. Later on, she'll start picking up non-combat Advantages as she learns how to be a human being." And that would be a valid answer, and then there'd be a dialogue between the mods and the players and hopefully everything could get sorted out.

But yeah, point taken. Handling this on an individual basis seems to be the way to go.


Certainly. I would personally stand by their right. Not everyone is graced with the ability to navigate social situations or talented in any regards outside a narrow spectrum.

The other issue, and this is in no way related to your post The_Snark, is that this rule puts more weight on non-combat related Advantages. A player who wants to put all their Advantage Ranks in non-Combat related things is allowed to do that without repercussions. The same is not provided anyone else however and that isn't really fair.


Given that we've had one or two characters in the history of Playground that would actually fail this rule (I could be mistaken, but Eris and Murdock are the only ones mentioned so far), I once again fail to see why this arbitrary ratio is so desperately needed that we can't live another moment without it

Takeshi had, at the start, 3 of his 4 Advantages as combat related. Two being in Red Lantern Magic, one being in Martial Arts and one being in Profession: Rogue.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-25, 08:45 PM
Takeshi had, at the start, 3 of his 4 Advantages as combat related. Two being in Red Lantern Magic, one being in Martial Arts and one being in Profession: Rogue.

And do you feel that Takeshi was a terrible character because of it?

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-25, 08:47 PM
Except that's precisely what combat advantages are. If you want to be even better at fire magic than what 3 ranks of Battle Magic (Fire) could entail, please select General Magic (Fire) instead, which would entitle you to use fire magic for all kinds of practical, utilitarian and non-combat purposes. A character with 3 ranks in Swashbuckling and none in any relevant Common advantage is just as clumsy and slow as Joe Peasant, unless he happens to be dueling. Honestly, you don't manage Swashbuckling III and Sword Expertise III (total mastery in two different fighting styles) without some natural ability.

A character with a +15 bonus in "killing stuff with his sword" is already the best swordsman in the game, possibly the entire region in the setting. It's not a very convincing argument to say you absolutely need another +2 bonus when there are any number of appropriate (more appropriate) advantages that grant a +1 bonus to that and other things.

Tebryn
2012-10-25, 09:01 PM
And do you feel that Takeshi was a terrible character because of it?

Based solely on that metric? No.

Kasanip
2012-10-25, 09:30 PM
I am writing one more post about this, to clearly show my position.

Probably it takes a long time, so if more post is written, my post won't answer it.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-25, 09:34 PM
Except that's precisely what combat advantages are. If you want to be even better at fire magic than what 3 ranks of Battle Magic (Fire) could entail, please select General Magic (Fire) instead, which would entitle you to use fire magic for all kinds of practical, utilitarian and non-combat purposes. A character with 3 ranks in Swashbuckling and none in any relevant Common advantage is just as clumsy and slow as Joe Peasant, unless he happens to be dueling. Honestly, you don't manage Swashbuckling III and Sword Expertise III (total mastery in two different fighting styles) without some natural ability.

A character with a +15 bonus in "killing stuff with his sword" is already the best swordsman in the game, possibly the entire region in the setting. It's not a very convincing argument to say you absolutely need another +2 bonus when there are any number of appropriate (more appropriate) advantages that grant a +1 bonus to that and other things.

But it's also entirely unconvincing to tell that hypothetical player that they can't take the advantages they want simply because they're too good at one thing. If that person is playing badly, that's one thing, but that's a situation we'd step in on anyway.

I do understand where Nef is coming from. We've had a few characters in every Playground (almost all short lived), that stepped into the game with a massive number of combat Advantages, and with the exception of those that lasted (who are, coincidentally, the ones played by the people still involved) those characters were awful. It's a natural desire to want to curtail such things with a hard rules change, and if I'm not mistake I've even advocated such a thing in the past, but with the benefit of a clear head I don't think it's necessary so long as word of Mod is respected. Admittedly, we've had some problems with that in the past and I still want to punch those two players through the internet, but we have a large enough core group now that I think any reasonable adjudication will be backed up.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-25, 10:39 PM
Agreed again. It should fall more on the core group to try to convince someone to steer his character into the more balanced category rather than set how many advantages they could have that are combat-related outright.

For example, the character choosing Battle Magic (Fire) who is forced to take General Magic (Fire) instead. I think this is bad taste in the sense that his/her choice is forced upon him/her. Rather, we can just remind the player about what his/her choice would entail, ie choosing Battle Magic would boost his combat effectiveness but not out of combat utility while choosing General Magic may not boost combat effectiveness as much (but still does) and at the same time make him more useful outside of one.

I still advocate this to be a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. And if we do set it as guideline, the ultimate goal (of avoiding boring, one dimensional characters) should be well explained.

Xondoure
2012-10-25, 11:50 PM
Well obviously there is room for prerequisites, requiring certain stats to accomplish certain feats, and other restrictions. But then we have D20 or D&D. As a general rule, I'm against restricting advantages in this system. Though I could see it being acceptable for character creation.

Edit: And unless you have a very good reason, it makes little sense why fire magic is only useful in combat. :smalltongue:

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 12:29 AM
Edit: And unless you have a very good reason, it makes little sense why fire magic is only useful in combat. :smalltongue:

Fire Magic has been considered Uncommon for a couple games now, hasn't it? :smallconfused: Off the top of my head I remember several characters using it as such: Eris, Claye, Takeshi, and Xondoure's wizard fellow from IV. In fact, it's specifically referenced in the rules:


... in fact some kinds of magic had a narrow enough range of uses to be bumped up to Uncommon. Fire Magic is really only useful for combat and starting fires, and that one utility use was not enough to make it Common. Water magic, except in Nautical games (like Playground 4) also tends to be Uncommon, but Earth and Air are available everywhere and have a variety of uses, from moving things about to climbing aids to making ships sail faster, and remained Common.

Naturally, the magic in whatever Playground game is made next won't necessarily have elemental themes or Story Elements, but the principle holds regardless.
I'm not sure what a more general Fire Magic advantage would do to warrant the Common designation.

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 02:07 AM
I'm not sure what a more general Fire Magic advantage would do to warrant the Common designation.

Cauterize wounds, cut through objects, power technology, boil water, create steam through boiling water, make a fire, dispose of evidence via turning it into ashes, do fireworks, create signals ... and I can't think of a single argument how that utility would not be available to someone who can conjure fire.

---

That said, I'm on board with making a 'ratio' more a 'guideline for new players' than a rule. If we have an excellent roleplayer jumping in who wants to propose something that falls outside of that, we can most likely still see that the actual character writeup and reasoning is good.

---

Jade pointed out something that I had in the back of my mind for a bit, too: Dexterity/Agility/Alacrity ... kind of unnecessary to have all three, even if the definition is -ever so slightly- different. Particularly if we want to keep the advantages neat and manageable so they don't duplicate and mirror each other too often.

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 02:11 AM
I actually invested in a fire manipulation advantage that was common because while people had only been using fire magic for combat, that's ignoring all of it's potential uses: light generation, heat generation, cauterization, destruction of property, powering engines and other such devises.

That said, I also had fire as a battle magic, but the reasoning there was Jonathan was quite good at using fire to his advantage in combat.

Edit: ninja'd

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 02:47 AM
Cauterize wounds, cut through objects, power technology, boil water, create steam through boiling water, make a fire, dispose of evidence via turning it into ashes, do fireworks, create signals ... and I can't think of a single argument how that utility would not be available to someone who can conjure fire.

*shrug* Lack of fine control? I think most people have just been interested in lighting their enemies on fire. I suppose I may have been mixing it up with Battle Magic (Fire), but on the other hand, it is sitting there in the first post. May want to fix that.

And I'm a little unsure; when I think of a Common Advantage I think of something like Spy or Agile, useful in many situations. Spy will help you sneak, gather information, lie with a straight face, notice other people lying to you with a straight face, murder people in back alleys... Agile will add to most physical rolls: fighting, running away when you lose, chasing the other guy if they run away, climbing a wall, jimmying a lock, avoiding deathtraps. You can see how these will come up a lot.

But when are you ever going to roll to light an incriminating letter on fire, or boil water, or power an engine? Most of that list feels like... perks, I guess. Handy, but you could do most of those with a box of matches, a fireman's axe, a flare gun and a can of diesel, and we don't make you pay for those.


Jade pointed out something that I had in the back of my mind for a bit, too: Dexterity/Agility/Alacrity ... kind of unnecessary to have all three, even if the definition is -ever so slightly- different. Particularly if we want to keep the advantages neat and manageable so they don't duplicate and mirror each other too often.

My personal favorite almost-synonym is Quick. :smalltongue:

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 02:57 AM
If fire is applicable in situations other than combat, it isn't a pure combat advantage. Take strength. It's really only useful outside of combat for lifting heavy objects. And yet it's common.

And for pure battle magic (fire) characters, lack of fine control / only in short bursts works as an excuse. But if someone wants more than that, they should probably pick up a rank of basic fire manipulation (like I did. :smallsmile:)

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 02:58 AM
But when are you ever going to roll to light an incriminating letter on fire, or boil water, or power an engine? Most of that list feels like... perks, I guess. Handy, but you could do most of those with a box of matches, a fireman's axe, a flare gun and a can of diesel, and we don't make you pay for those.

I don't particularly care if Fire Magic is Common or Uncommon, but you were asking. :smalltongue:


My personal favorite almost-synonym is Quick. :smalltongue:

... darn, we're even again. :smalltongue:

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 03:14 AM
If fire is applicable in situations other than combat, it isn't a pure combat advantage. Take strength. It's really only useful outside of combat for lifting heavy objects. And yet it's common.

Actually, I sometimes wonder about Strength as well. It's not pure combat, and breaking down doors and lifting things could conceivably be rolled, but it has very few applications compared to most other Common Advantages. (Ditto for things like Soldier and Fighter, although I can think of a few possible non-combat uses for those.)

That said, it's clearly more versatile than something like Weapon Expertise, so I usually just chalk it up as one of those slight unavoidable inequities you get with a simple system. Maybe that's where Fire Magic falls too. Can always go with Battle Magic (or a combination) if lighting your enemies on fire is what you really wanted out of it.

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 03:29 AM
That might actually not be a bad way to go about it. Make most non-specialized magic types (note: most, not all) common and let them be a bit more flexible again -- and have a 'Magic Combat' advantage that shows how well the character can use their magic in combat.

For example, let's have a look at Water Magic.

Water Magic I
Summon water, maybe use it to heal or soothe people, cool something, etc. +1 combat bonus, probably best described as distracting enemies with creative splashes and sprays.

Water Magic I
Magic Combat I
Yeah, they can conjure up some water, throw it around, maybe freeze it to use as projectiles or get some genuine force behind those splashes. +3 combat bonus.

Water Magic I
Magic Combat III
Not a very powerful magic-user ... but, oh boy, do they know how to use what they have. +7 to combat when fighting using water magic!

Water Magic III
Magic Combat III
Now you're a regular waterbending master and fight at +9 using water magic! Congratulations, you!

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 03:37 AM
I don't think we need to parse it out that much honestly. The rules already account for this without really being stated explicitly as is.

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 03:41 AM
That might actually not be a bad way to go about it. Make most non-specialized magic types (note: most, not all) common and let them be a bit more flexible again -- and have a 'Magic Combat' advantage that shows how well the character can use their magic in combat.

For example, let's have a look at Water Magic.

Water Magic I
Summon water, maybe use it to heal or soothe people, cool something, etc. +1 combat bonus, probably best described as distracting enemies with creative splashes and sprays.

Water Magic I
Magic Combat I
Yeah, they can conjure up some water, throw it around, maybe freeze it to use as projectiles or get some genuine force behind those splashes. +3 combat bonus.

Water Magic I
Magic Combat III
Not a very powerful magic-user ... but, oh boy, do they know how to use what they have. +7 to combat when fighting using water magic!

Water Magic III
Magic Combat III
Now you're a regular waterbending master and fight at +9 using water magic! Congratulations, you!

That's basically what I was doing with Jonathan. I was planning on adding in a few twists such as fae fire (eats magic) and solid flames (sort of speaks for itself.) But yeah, fire manipulation, and red flames for battle. So I'm in support of this idea.

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 03:49 AM
My only real issue with it is here


Water Magic I
Magic Combat III
Not a very powerful magic-user ... but, oh boy, do they know how to use what they have. +7 to combat when fighting using water magic!

You've got three ranks in a Magic Advantage regardless. It just seems strange wording. That should indicate being plenty powerful with the use of magic. You're more specialized but that's all it should indicate.

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 03:52 AM
My only real issue with it is here

You've got three ranks in a Magic Advantage regardless. It just seems strange wording. That should indicate being plenty powerful with the use of magic. You're more specialized but that's all it should indicate.

I think what Vondoom meant was it's like Katara with her Water Whip. Quantity might not be that impressive, but when it's a sword/whip being used by a master it's still quite effective in combat.

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 03:53 AM
I sort of think that healing might need its own Advantage, in accordance with the one-trick rule. It might be part of water magic as defined by Story Elements, particularly if someone's been watching Avatar recently, but healing and moving water around are not the same trick and I think we're trying to avoid super-broad Common magical advantages.

But that's just me quibbling with the example. Seems like a sensible enough arrangement for a dedicated sorcerer-type.


You've got three ranks in a Magic Advantage regardless. It just seems strange wording. That should indicate being plenty powerful with the use of magic. You're more specialized but that's all it should indicate.
That too. In fact, you could interpret that spread the opposite way too: maybe you've got a lot of raw firepower, but lack the fine control to be good at much except blowing things up.

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 03:58 AM
That too. In fact, you could interpret that spread the opposite way too: maybe you've got a lot of raw firepower, but lack the fine control to be good at much except blowing things up.

I think treating the magic type as the raw energy, and the battle magic type as the training to use it well in combat makes more sense.

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 04:06 AM
I think treating the magic type as the raw energy, and the battle magic type as the training to use it well in combat makes more sense.

Sometimes. In other cases (fire magic) it might make more sense the other way; raw power is really only useful for burning things, while finesse and training lets you do things like power diesel engines and make fancy-colored lights. Let the player who's actually taking the Advantages decide what it means.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-26, 04:17 AM
I think treating the magic type as the raw energy, and the battle magic type as the training to use it well in combat makes more sense.

This is why I stuck with supernatural abilities. Much simpler. :smalltongue:

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 04:20 AM
Sometimes. In other cases (fire magic) it might make more sense the other way; raw power is really only useful for burning things, while finesse and training lets you do things like power diesel engines and make fancy-colored lights. Let the player who's actually taking the Advantages decide what it means.

Echo this strongly.

It's safe to say I think, when it comes to general rules issue I fall very much on a case by case situation more often than not. Unless it's a rule that applies to everyone, Advantages (the rarer they are) should be more closley tied to the character. Profession: Cook will generally have similarities no matter who has it. Battle Magic: Peony Blossom Death Gaze Crimson Hurricane being the signature move of Lady Firebrand is probably going to be a unqiue spell or at the very least not something everyone is going to be running around with and it's up to that player to explain just what that means in the perspective of the story.

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 04:46 AM
Yeah, I was just making a general example, not one for quoting and explanation purposes; with it being only one potential approach to explain the interaction between the basic 'magic' and 'combat use' advantage.

'Magic Combat' would essentially define how skilled/powerful the person is in using their existing magic in combat (and this would be applicable to -all- types of magic the person has advantages for that aren't part of a different skill-set -- shooting a gun that shoots magic rays is still shooting a gun, not combat-application of magic spells -- so you can't load up on multiple instances of Magic Combat), but do nothing by itself. Like Weapon Training, except Magic's the weapon. So it's technically a Combat Advantage, not a magic one.

Kasanip
2012-10-26, 04:53 AM
I spent several hours yesterday and today to write this. I don't think I can express more my [Against] nature to the Combat Advantage Ratio. Since last post, thread wasn't read, so it isn't known how late to be. Sorry. :smallredface:


~*~

I would like to say Nefarion_Xid, there is nothing that you have explained that have addressed my disagreement with your proposal. I also wonder if it was read by other players.

These are the opinions I have seen that support the [Combat Advantage Ratio]:

1) It prevents Powergaming.

No, it doesn't. It changes so-called [powergaming] to Common/Rare/Vehicle/Follower advantages for combat, and doesn't address any problem of [powergaming] for Social/Leadership/other advantage styles.

Additionally, moderators and community already have the power to prevent Powergaming with discussion at character creation and during play.

Additionally, it hasn't been seen in Playground 2, 3, or 4 an example of such a combat character powergaming. Since only examples have been provided of characters that have done this (Murdok and Eris), I remain skeptical as to what it is about the current rules that are broken. Especially about [powergamer Eris] I will talk about.

2) It prevents the Arms Race.

My response: I don't believe there is an Arms Race. And no, it doesn't. Even if there is such an arms race, it can be continued with common/rare/vehicle/follower advantages anyway, since this rule doesn't discuss them. If it is worried about [I want to take wealth but my rival took battle magic], the solution isn't [make a rule that makes my rival unable to take battle magic]. Because now the worry is [I want to take wealth but my rival took "mecha I (vehicle)" or "Charm II"]. The problem is the attitude of worry, not the advantage. If it is desired to stop some kind of behavior, I suggest the better rule is the current one used in the game: OOC Discussion and planning of consequences of a battle. Players working cooperatively to resolve situation, like it always has been.

3)
But, with 10 advantages, I really have to question any concept that needs 6 of those 10 to be pure combat.

It is agreed by me that 10 advantages is enough to make a Well-Rounded Character (so I don't see why such a restriction is needed). But I don't see why there is a problem of 6/4, 7/3, 8/2, 9/1 style of characters for you. It seems like the concern is actually about 10/0 style of characters, which I cannot remember to see.


4)
Like I said, this rule would just save us from having the conversation with a player who is actually power gaming.

No, it doesn't. Because we still must have a conversation with the player who is [powergaming], like we would without this rule in OOC or PM. Isn't that already the job of the players and moderators to do such a thing, to support friendly and enjoyable play for everyone? Isn't that universal rule of any TRPG?


Additionally: Why don't limit the Charm III Beauty III Persuasive III Charisma I character who can stop any fight? Why don't limit the Leadership IX, Authority I character who can send his army after one's character? Why don't limit the Vehicle [Mecha] V, Mecha Piloting III, Vehicle Expert II character who can defeat you in a duel anyway?

None of these characters are [Powergamers]. In fact, each of them will lose to the other in a certain situation. All of them are very specialized, and don't actually have a limit under this arbitrary rule.
*)If it is answered that these characters are acceptable, then I would answer that they are just as [powerful] as Fire Sorcery III, FoxFire III, Cunning II, Fire Resistance II. Actually probably more powerful. But such a Fire Sorcerer cannot be played with arbitrary rule. That isn't fair.
*)If it is answered that these characters are unacceptable, then as a moderator or player you will have to address them, since there isn't an arbitrary rule to prevent them. And since a moderator or player can already address them normally, why is this arbitrary rule even needed?


To even use the example of The_Snark, the example of the brainwashed-super soldier is such a similar idea. It can be said in the normal fight, the Rakish Master Swordsman will lose if he fights the Super-Soldier with just his sword.

But I can imagine this result very easily:

] a very heroic and emotional fight as the Rakish Master Swordsman defends desperately against the Super-Soldier in a running, sword battle. He uses the terrain to slow her down while appealing to her humanity and as he falls to the ground and she points her sword at his neck, something breaks in the brainwashing and she realizes in horror that he isn't really an enemy, and what she is doing to one of the few people who truly cares about her.
(To say, he uses his Swashbuckler + Cunning + Charismatic + Handsome + Nobility against her 0 social Advantages).

It seems like the results of such a fight, maybe Rakish Master Swordsman is injured and that is a problem for sometime (if organization sent Super-Soldier to defeat him for some reason), but now some interesting new potential is for Rakish Master Swordsman and Super-Soldier. Maybe in the future Super-Soldier will take advantages that show her renewed humanity, or maybe it will give her determination to fight to protect things not because of orders, but because of her choice. Maybe the two will become friendly allies and even come to love each other. When she runs from the organization, maybe she will run to the one character whose feelings she can understand a little, because they share this [language of swords]. And maybe he will realize that even though he was a rakish swashbuckler, that he has a cause to fight for, to defeat such an organization who would make such a tragic brainwashing.

What [Arms Race] is seen in this example? The Super-Soldier is better at combat than Swashbuckler. But Swashbuckler can do things she cannot do, and even cause such a consequence that affects her character very much. It's up to the players to play their character properly.

I think people are complaining about some [Arms Race] too much.

My personal disagreement of this rule, by a [Powergaming][Arms Race][Frankly Annoying][Against spirit of the game] character: About Eris and Fire Magic

Eris' concept was a 200 year old Immortal child Fire Sorcerer. Because of her nature, she was supposed to be the best Fire Sorcerer in the world. To just look at her combat advantages, this was shown with:

Battle Magic (Fire) III, Fire Sorcery (Foxfire) III, Fire Resistance II, Cunning I.
The 5 kinds of Fire Sorcery were explained in my Story Element (did anyone read, I wonder?). Following the [One Spell One Effect] rule, of course they are different things. Foxfire is not the same kind of fire that Elffire (it became same name 'Battle Magic') was explained as. It is not the same as Ghostfire, which is only good against Ghosts (rare), or Dragon Fire, which is hot enough to make people insanity (it was another uncommon, but required 4 ranks of fire magics). It is not the same as Phoenix Fire, which could cure wounds (common). I explained all of these things in Story Element as a Part of the story. None of these types of fire in Fire Sorcery are usual and mundane. Because Fire Sorcery is the elite style of fire magic by the supernatural gifted elite nobles. They have servants and slaves and often looked down on everyone. Why would they waste their skill so easily on useless things?
Also, by mechanic, it is balanced in the game. Eris didn't start out with all of this, she worked towards it - she stole a forbidden tome from the Ostrim Library's Old Testament security after C'nor's character helped her to enter the Tower again.

Eris uses cunning and manipulative nature to do dramatic and unexpected blue ball fire manipulation (Foxfire) was this kind of special fire. But when she was flustered, angry, or not using cunning, this Foxfire was also not used. That's why it was (uncommon) and (combat-only) advantage. It takes a very special manipulation and focus to use. To be fox-like.
This could be seen when to fight Kyranis (I'm sorry, maybe mistake name), C'nor's Ice Sorcerer, and to lose because she was angry, she didn't use this advantage or her cunning advantage in that fight (even though it is common). In fact, this showed her own weakness against melee as a child, and to lose to a follower who pinned her.

She was better than any other fire sorcerer, to be more experienced by 200 years. That is shown by [Fire Resistance], to explain that if anyone uses Battle Magic (Fire) against her, she will win by negating that. Basically, Battle Magic (Fire) advantage was useless against her. But that doesn't mean she cannot lose against a shinobi, or against ice sorcerer, or lightning sorcerer, or dragon, or demon or other character..

I am annoyed that finally it can be said clearly that this kind of rule is used because it was thought Eris was [Powergaming] [Arms Race] [Frankly Annoying] and against the [spirit of the game]. These assertions are one you are making Nefarion_Xid, since this is your opinion about characters that don't follow this rule. I'm annoyed especially since none of this opinion was ever shared to me, and when Eris lost every fight she was in during the game, unless was helped by other player characters.

I'm wouldn't take [General Magic (Fire)] instead of the thematic and story element supported Foxfire, because Eris doesn't make fire art, or cook with her fire, or burn letters, or light candles. In fact, Phoenix Fire (common) was such a utility of healing fire that she would have eventually taken if the game continued. But [General Magic] was never a Story Element (while Foxfire was and a thematic of the cunning nature of Eris' mastery of fire in a [One Spell One Effect] system), and even if it was, those things are mundane and at worse, foolish and rude uses of fire sorcery for Eris. She was a proud noble fire sorcerer who would never do such a thing. Make the servants and craftsmen or entertainers use fire normally for such a purpose. In mechanics, yes it shows she [can't] but she can explain it as she [won't] just as easily.
Probably it isn't remembered she became very annoyed and to hunt Annah the demon for her very rude and improper use of fire.

We can argue about all of the different ways the advantages can be written. More cunning can be taken. More deceitful or knowledge: history could be taken (these were also advantages she had that were not combat-only). In the playground system, there are many different ways advantages could be taken. Why are you absolutely opposed to the way I choose mine?

To make a further declaration like The_Snark's super-soldier example:

Eris probably easily could defeat Anselme in a fight, but she was still smitten and flustered by him at the Arena. That became an annoyance and obsession for her, why she couldn't deal with such an emotion. Even though she swore several times she would solve the problem (which problem? her feelings, or her annoyance at how he had rejected her, or her confusion about the whole issue because she is a child? Eris didn't know which problem- isn't that a complicated character?) by burning Anselme, I think that if they had met again, Anselme could have convinced her.

I think too much worry is about the advantages. If you are worried about losing in a fight, take more combat advantages, if you are worried about losing in a social situation, take more social advantages, if you are worried about losing in a mechanics battle, take more mechanics advantage. But you cannot take everything without being worse at one thing than a specialist. That is the meaning of [fair]. If you want to make the game of [generalists] then everyone is going to have Charisma, Agility, Intelligence, etc. And if you are worried about [advantages] more than [playing the character], then please relax. They are balanced against each other.

Fire Magic (combat) is uncommon, because that is balanced against Lightning Magic (combat) and Charm (social) and Swordsmanship (combat) and other things. If it is desired to play a character who uses mundane fire magic, it can take the (common). I think it's much more interesting to create the restriction and think of reasons how.

Maybe your character's [Battle Magic: Fire] is:
1) such a shinobi hand-symbol, and to blow fire from mouth.
2) to do martial art punch and make fire
3) to snap finger while staring at opponent's mouth
4) to write character on a papers on keyholder and bite corner to tear pages off
5) to ask spirits of fire to burn enemies
6) to touch tattoo to call magic
7) to pray to fire god

It can be explained why all of these cannot make [letter burn] or [camp fire] or [light hallway]. They are all more interesting than [Generic Magic]. They also all use (uncommon) advantage because combat.

To make a summary:

Here are my questions that have been asked and not answered by Nefarion_Xid or anyone who supports this [Combat Advantage Ratio] idea:

Without the [Combat Advantage Ratio], what in the current game rules prevents players/moderators from:
1) Limiting Powergaming?
2) Preventing a supposed Arms Race?
3) Helping to encourage Well-Rounded Characters during Character Creation?
4) Creating Interesting characters?

I cannot think of anything in the current rules that already prevents these kinds of situations. So, this rule doesn't appear to do anything useful, and at worst is potentially harmful.

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 05:12 AM
I'm pretty much in agreement with Kasanip.

If you don't take the "obvious" common advantages for your character then you should be shown without those advantages, and that alone balances the system.

If a famed swordfighter can't defeat a hulking automaton of war, that doesn't mean either player failed. It just means that a swordfighter isn't a match for a hulking automaton of war. :smalltongue:

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 05:28 AM
I've all along said that I'm in favor of a ratio -- however, I always added that I'm in favor of an -overall- ratio and not just one for combat advantages, and have since agreed that it is better to use as a guideline for new players who aren't yet familiar with the system, rather than a rule.

And that is where I'll remain for now.


Also, kasanip:
I doubt anyone was annoyed at your Eris. She was an excellent character.

TechnOkami
2012-10-26, 05:36 AM
Also, kasanip:
I doubt anyone was annoyed at your Eris. She was an excellent character.

I definitely was not.

*fond memories of Eris sitting on one of Murdok's shoulders in a weird time dilation pocket dimension thingamajig... good times...*

Also, as to the "arms race": the only reason it vaguely felt like there was one is because of, in my opinion, DarkDM's use of characters with mountains of advantages vs everyone else, who didn't. I'm not trying to shift the full blame onto him, but I will point it out as a subconscious reason that nobody really wanted to bring up, which is why the "Arms Race" occurred in the first place.

The_Snark
2012-10-26, 05:40 AM
I believe Nef mentioned at one point that while the mods can of course step in when problems arise, having it written into the rules would make it clear beforehand, hopefully preventing problems rather than fixing them after they've arisen; and if it happens anyway, it will seem less like they're singling [hypothetical problem player] out arbitrarily.

But I think the majority favors leaving it up to mods to handle problems if/when they arise, for more or less the reasons you (kasanip) just summed up.


To even use the example of The_Snark, the example of the brainwashed-super soldier is such a similar idea. It can be said in the normal fight, the Rakish Master Swordsman will lose if he fights the Super-Soldier with just his sword.

But I can imagine this result very easily:

(To say, he uses his Swashbuckler + Cunning + Charismatic + Handsome + Nobility against her 0 social Advantages).

It seems like the results of such a fight, maybe Rakish Master Swordsman is injured and that is a problem for sometime (if organization sent Super-Soldier to defeat him for some reason), but now some interesting new potential is for Rakish Master Swordsman and Super-Soldier. Maybe in the future Super-Soldier will take advantages that show her renewed humanity, or maybe it will give her determination to fight to protect things not because of orders, but because of her choice. Maybe the two will become friendly allies and even come to love each other. When she runs from the organization, maybe she will run to the one character whose feelings she can understand a little, because they share this [language of swords]. And maybe he will realize that even though he was a rakish swashbuckler, that he has a cause to fight for, to defeat such an organization who would make such a tragic brainwashing.

... darnit, now you're making me wish these were actual characters in a game and not nameless examples.

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 08:30 AM
No problem, Snark. Just make it happen. Your scientist has all the tools you need to make the brainwashed super-soldier a reality. :smallbiggrin:

By the way:
I'm thinking of writing up a framework for the standard advantages over the weekend, based on what we had for Playground 3 and 4. I'll look into the Playground 4 wiki for that purpose.

It's basically the: 'if the advantage you want corresponds to anything in there, use that, otherwise write your own advantage proposal' list. Naturally, since magic is a very individualistic thing, I won't include any specific types of magic in there to start with.

For the not totally obvious ones (Strength, Dexterity, etc.), I'll add my thoughts as to why it was included with a spoiler tag. Those are obviously just a proposal, but not having a dozen different advantages for 'My character is strong' makes things a lot easier on players and moderators alike.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-26, 10:18 AM
Whoo boy.

Final two cents on Combat-Only

"Combat Only" has never meant that an advantage can only ever be used in combat no matter what. It means that the primary purpose is for combat - this advantage is a weapon first and foremost, and you have to be really, really clever or lucky to find another use for it, but there are rare situations where it might come in handy that do not involve trying to murder people.

Once again, Common Sense should reign supreme. If we make it 100% exclusive to combat, then we run into a situation where Weapon Expertise: Bows cannot be used to win an archery competition. You are, after all, not trying to kill anyone. Or for another example - a magic axe can't be used to cut down a tree - or even to cut a sheet of paper. Sure, you have a very sharp blade and... paper, but darn it, the paper isn't your enemy!

Similarly, while Fire Magic may have one or two utility purposes that aren't covered by "I buy a torch and a zippo lighter" - something we don't charge an advantage for - these will come up rarely enough that it can remain "Combat Only." By contrast, Air Magic can make sailing vessels go faster, move things to/from you at a distance, clear fog or smoke away to clean up visibility, keep good air around you in a burning building, protect you from noxious gassy areas... and is good in combat. You can't do all of that other stuff for the price of a few bucks, so Air Magic is Common. If we want to upgrade to Battle Magic (Air), an actual Uncommon advantage, we now have air motion so violent that it isn't good for most of that any more. I'd still say it could blow poison gasses and fog away, but now you can't control it finely enough to move things to you, and trying to make a sailboat faster will only rip the sails.

Is it 100% perfectly balanced? Probably not. That's why we have common sense.

VonDoom
2012-10-26, 12:08 PM
Guile stares at the ship's sails. Suddenly, he has a brilliant idea. "Sonic Boom!"

Well, maybe not so brilliant. :smallamused:

TechnOkami
2012-10-26, 12:48 PM
Guile stares at the ship's sails. Suddenly, he has a brilliant idea. "Sonic Boom!"

Well, maybe not so brilliant. :smallamused:

Hey hey, It's ok. Guile's theme goes with everything.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-26, 04:44 PM
Hey hey, It's ok. Guile's theme goes with everything.

...including being dead in the water, apparently.

Are we set up for the rules and everything? Do I start a recruitment thread? Even if we want to start this thing after NaNoWriMo, we will in any case need to get the new players up to speed.

Edit: I'm thinking that there probably shouldn't be an all-encompassing rule concerning magic. When people set up their magic-based story element they want it to be *their* story element. I'd hate to design Rune Magic only to find out that it has to be powered by goat's blood or something.

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 04:49 PM
...including being dead in the water, apparently.

Are we set up for the rules and everything? Do I start a recruitment thread? Even if we want to start this thing after NaNoWriMo, we will in any case need to get the new players up to speed.

Edit: I'm thinking that there probably shouldn't be an all-encompassing rule concerning magic. When people set up their magic-based story element they want it to be *their* story element. I'd hate to design Rune Magic only to find out that it has to be powered by goat's blood or something.

Sure, I think we're ready to start a Recruitment thread.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-26, 04:53 PM
...including being dead in the water, apparently.

Are we set up for the rules and everything? Do I start a recruitment thread? Even if we want to start this thing after NaNoWriMo, we will in any case need to get the new players up to speed.

Edit: I'm thinking that there probably shouldn't be an all-encompassing rule concerning magic. When people set up their magic-based story element they want it to be *their* story element. I'd hate to design Rune Magic only to find out that it has to be powered by goat's blood or something.

I actually have an idea for magic that I'd like to discuss with you.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-26, 04:54 PM
I actually have an idea for magic that I'd like to discuss with you.

Ah. Well, you know where to AIM. :smallamused: See you this evening.

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 05:09 PM
I think the only other thing that hasn't been discussed up to this point is who the mods will be? I know we discussed setting up new ones at the early onset and some names were mentioned there. So, I'd propose

Xondoure
VonDoom
GuyFawks

as the More for this game. I still think we can set up a recruitment thread up at this stage, since we're going to have that process take a while.

TechnOkami
2012-10-26, 05:31 PM
I thought we were waiting until the dead months passed over.

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 05:44 PM
I thought we were waiting until the dead months passed over.

There was talk about starting it since the Recruitment process would take some time. Also it was noted that most of the core players aren't involved in NaNoWriMo. Are any of our people involved in it in fact?

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 08:41 PM
As I said, I have no problem with the old mods returning, but I think we need to add a few in case they all vanish again. :smalltongue: And yeah, I'm happy to help.

Edit: I'll be on AIM tonight if anyone wants to talk / link backstories / come up with cool story elements or something.

Tebryn
2012-10-26, 08:46 PM
As I said, I have no problem with the old mods returning, but I think we need to add a few in case they all vanish again. :smalltongue: And yeah, I'm happy to help.

Edit: I'll be on AIM tonight if anyone wants to talk / link backstories / come up with cool story elements or something.

What's your AIM?

Xondoure
2012-10-26, 08:48 PM
What's your AIM?

Should be Xondoure.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-26, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I am not confident myself with my interpretation of all the rules of the game. But since I am, more or less, always around, I am more than willing to help in whatever I can, especially to the new players

As for setting up a recruitment thread, I think it would be okay, as new players would have lots of time to digest the game rules and guidelines and come up with better story elements. We should specify though the tentative date for the start of the game so they know outright that it's not gonna start for some time.

VonDoom
2012-10-27, 12:23 AM
As I said, I'll still be drafting up a proposal for the standard advantage framework we'll start out with. And we should also consider rewriting some of the OOC intro and explanation text -- parts of it may well be outdated and I'm pretty sure there are a few things that could be summarized, added together or rephrased for easier understanding and streamlining.

Probably best to do that here and post 'em. Get some feedback -- a lot of us are already very familiar with how things work or at least the thought processes that go into it and might well overlook something a new player would find confusing.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-27, 12:35 AM
As I said, I'll still be drafting up a proposal for the standard advantage framework we'll start out with. And we should also consider rewriting some of the OOC intro and explanation text -- parts of it may well be outdated and I'm pretty sure there are a few things that could be summarized, added together or rephrased for easier understanding and streamlining.

Probably best to do that here and post 'em. Get some feedback -- a lot of us are already very familiar with how things work or at least the thought processes that go into it and might well overlook something a new player would find confusing.

That's a good idea, although I'd prefer not to repost the entire OP - especially as the workbench makes the post too long for one post spot.

Although... I did some updating when I made this thread. Can you point out anything specific that needs an update?

VonDoom
2012-10-27, 12:50 AM
Later. Today, hopefully, but later. I just got back from an ultra-long P&P session and it's 7.50 AM in the morning right now. I need sleep.

Swordslinger
2012-10-27, 11:57 AM
As far as I can see no one has reserved a dragon story element, right? I have some ideas for that.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-27, 12:23 PM
Jade pointed out something that I had in the back of my mind for a bit, too: Dexterity/Agility/Alacrity ... kind of unnecessary to have all three, even if the definition is -ever so slightly- different. Particularly if we want to keep the advantages neat and manageable so they don't duplicate and mirror each other too often.

I just remembered why we have the three flavors. I think it went like this:

Agility: All purpose (Common) advantage. Your character is faster, more dextrous, and more nimble than an average adult human, regardless of the circumstances.

Dexterity: Only works for feats of sleight of hand and various other tasks requiring, well... manual Dexterity. (Non-Combat Uncommon).

Alacrity: You respond quickly to combat threats (Combat-Only Uncommon). You are not necessarily more dextrous, more nimble, or more swift than an average person.

This only came up when someone wanted a bit more trapfinding and pickpocketing mojo and didn't want to get it packaged with Agility or Profession: Rogue one +1 at a time. I think that player took Dexterity and we came up with Alacrity because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I do not recall, off the top of my head, anyone actually taking Alacrity.

A couple of suggestions: We might want to make Alacrity a Rare advantage that only kicks in when the character is being surprised, thus treating it as the opposite of stealth-based and sneaky attacks. So it would operate as a kind of Resistance: Ambushes. Or we could delete it if we don't think it would be useful.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-27, 05:01 PM
Nope. The three were all Common advantages.

Agility - Combat (Dodging), Dancing, Balance, Sneaking, Acrobatics. An agile person is able to respond quickly with their feet and core. A cat is agile.

Dexterity - Combat (Ranged weapons, Finesse weapons), Steadiness of hand, Slight of Hand (Legerdemain), Climbing, Disarming Traps, Picking Locks, several Crafts. A dexterous person is skillful and graceful particularly with their hands -- their ability to manipulate, catch, gasp. A one-legged dwarf might still be quite Dextrous (and is a good marksman and gem cutter), but not at all agile. A cat isn't dextrous.

Alacrity - Did pretty much the same thing as Agility, only the connotation is that Agility is a physical attribute (a product of fitness and training) whereas Alacrity is a mental or spiritual sort of quickness. I took Alacrity for Anselme because he didn't move like an elven acrobat, he had an unnatural sort of motion and seemed to flit between spaces. Mechanically, they could be the same. I wouldn't make Alacrity Uncommon (Combat Only) because an alacritous character should b good at all the things an Agile character is good at. It may work as Uncommon (Combat Only).


Alacrity II (Common) - Anselme has supernatural reflexes and, in short bursts, he is capable of inhuman speed and grace. He can traverse short distances in a blink and his feats of legerdemain appear magical. In combat he is exceedingly difficult to pin down and few can catch him off guard.

Agility II (Common): In Raina's case, this stems from learning how to walk quietly, and how to run through the tree-branches of her childhood home. She is incredibly graceful, able to move swiftly and to climb the walls and buildings of the city as easily as climbing a tree; it also allows her to (usually) dodge the attacks of common bully-boys, though stronger, more determined challengers are a threat.

I'm so far unable to find an example of Dexterity.

Xondoure
2012-10-27, 10:07 PM
Well presuming everyone is okay with a mod team of Nef, Dark, Jade, Doom, and Xon, should we get this thing underway? :smallcool:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-27, 10:32 PM
I can start on opening a recruitment thread. In fact, I think I'll start now.

Edit: It's mostly done, but needs more editing. I'll finish it up before the weekend is over.

VonDoom
2012-10-28, 11:15 AM
Okay, here is some feedback on the first post:

The Rules


1. Players own all game currency (advantages, plot tickets).

This ... doesn't seem clear at all. May need a little elaboration.

Advantages


Rare -
Rare advantages have only one purpose. Combat advantages that only effect a certain kind of target or provide protection against a single element are Rare. Single skills are usually Rare. Examples: A magic dagger enchanted to kill trolls (+3 combat against trolls, +0 against other targets), Fire Resistance (+3 combat if your opponent uses fire against you), Beauty (+3 in social situations when you employ your good looks against characters who find your gender appealing), Stealth (+3 when hiding or sneaking), Arcana (+3 knowledge for magical matters).

Still strongly disagree that being good-looking only gives an advantage for what basically amounts to 'mollifying the sexually interested'. In the framework I'm typing up, I'll propose two distinct advantages instead.

Errata

This one is probably the one that needs the most reworking. Most of the explanations talk about rule changes and such, but -- there's no rule anywhere to see regarding them. It would be easier to just write them into the rules and don't explain the history of how the rule (change) came about.

Specific Errata:

Flight: Is it really that problematic as to require special attention beyond being Common? Sure, flying is neat, but so is having a sniper rifle and some distance.

Teleport: Teleport is obviously worse than Flight, as the Errata points out. I'd say a rule that Teleportation advantages require reasonable limits to be worked out in advance when applying for one such advantage should be enough.

Time Travel: I'd recommend just saying that actual time travel is impossible within the scope of the game without unreasonable amounts of preparation and energy. Small-time time manipulation to make yourself move faster or the classic 'Slow' D&D spell shouldn't be a problem and aren't really time travel, anyway.

Magic Nerf: Do we want to keep this as is? One Advantage-One Trick is an approach that works, sure, but there may be upsides to making it -slightly- less restrictive. I myself wouldn't recommend loosening it up much, but some among us may want to make an argument for doing so. If so, go right ahead and tell us.

Jade, you didn't include the 1st and 2nd Clarification (also known as Jade's and Nef's Wisdom) from past games in your first post -- were you intending to rewrite those entirely since Leadership and Locus stuff has changed quite a bit, or should I look them over as well (and which version)?

And please wait with actually opening a recruitment thread until my framework proposal is done -- or post the content here first, instead. :smallsmile:

---

Challenges and Adventures

I believe we're currently at the consensus of keeping Adventures in, but to try and make sure people who want to start them have enough dedication and time to actually stick with them to the finish. AND to add Challenges back in. This seems a good solution to me, so if anyone still has a problem with that, step forward and speak now.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 12:16 PM
Magic Nerf: Do we want to keep this as is? One Advantage-One Trick is an approach that works, sure, but there may be upsides to making it -slightly- less restrictive. I myself wouldn't recommend loosening it up much, but some among us may want to make an argument for doing so. If so, go right ahead and tell us.


I don't think we need to make it less restrictive when a "Trick" can be as broad as "Summon and Control Lava".


Though...I'm going to bring this up again.


Players gain 3 Story Elements per chapter. Unused story elements are saved between chapters.

This seems terribly restrictive and an arbitrary way to give out Story Elements considering Chapters take months of real world time to complete. 3 Story Elements every month/two months/three months based on purely arbitrary points seems a bad system for a game that is supposed to focus on the story. I've brought this up before and no one explained why it was change to make it any less arbitrary or why we should keep it around.

What was wrong with Playground 3's system of 1 a week? They don't stack past six so it's not like you're just sitting on a pile of Story Elements like some miserly baron who doesn't want to share his food with the dirty peasants. All the limit of three per chapter does is limit the players who want to write the story elements. They'll use their three story elements for the stuff they couldn't do with the starting six at the first of the chapter and then be out until the next Chapter when ever that is. Or it forces them to hoard them and that seems somewhat against the spirit of the game and all in a pretty profound way.

The other point is, I thought we were discussing dropping the Chapter System from the get go. Maybe I'm wrong it's not unlikely so do correct me if I'm wrong.

Swordslinger
2012-10-28, 02:15 PM
Dragon story element:
Dragons are enigmatic and powerful creatures from beyond the borders of the world. Their true form ranges from lizard to serpent like usually featuring wings, although the full range and diversity of their appearance is not known as very few sightings has been recorded. When in the world dragons almost always take on human form or that of an animal as dragons are forbidden from entering the world in their full form. It was believed in ancient times that dragons transformed their own bodies onto the shape of a human, something that even today is a common misconception. In truth the dragons do not full enter the world but rather create a projection or a puppet that they can control while their true body remains outside the world. When a dragon fully enters the world it causes a strain upon the fabric of reality because of the imminence power the dragons contain. It has also been implied in conversations with dragons that they themselves are also hurt. A more common occurrence is for the dragons to temporarily manifest parts of their true body to compliment the projection such as wings, claws or tail.

The form of the projection is entirely created by dragons themselves and can mirror existing persons or be made up from their imagination. For an experienced dragon changing the appearance of the projection might be a trivial task, changing between looks, gender or even species at will. However for a young and inexperienced dragon the task of creating or altering such a projection might be a difficult task requiring years.

Little is known exactly what kind of power the dragons have, the only known incident of a dragon fighting in its true form (Myth not included) comes from writings dating back 400 years when the mad dragon entered the world and started feasting on the nearby populace. The dragon was taken down and its remains removed by two other dragons who followed after it, while details are scarce the marks left on the landscapes after the fight are visible even today.

In their human form they have sometimes displayed varying powers beyond human capabilities both in physical prowess, intellect and magical power. They are also able to regenerate their human form since the body is just a puppet and any damage to it won’t cause physical damage the dragon’s true body. It is theorized that creating and regenerating the human form drains life force from the dragon and thus it might be theoretically possible to kill a dragon by inflicting damage to the human form faster than the dragon can regain the energy.

Very little is known about the dragons life cycle or their culture, the appearance of a dragon is a rare occurrence and those that have been willing to converse with humans have been less than forthcoming about themselves and their race. The largest impact the dragons have had upon the world is by their existence as entities from beyond the world and has inspired people throughout the ages to explore and understand the world. As such dragons have always remained as symbols for discovery, progress and the unknown.


I am planning on playing a juvenile dragon who essentially ran away from home and has been staying in the world(Do the world as a whole have a name yet?) for the last century or so.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 02:37 PM
Okay, here is some feedback on the first post:

The Rules

This ... doesn't seem clear at all. May need a little elaboration.

Noted.


Errata

This one is probably the one that needs the most reworking. Most of the explanations talk about rule changes and such, but -- there's no rule anywhere to see regarding them. It would be easier to just write them into the rules and don't explain the history of how the rule (change) came about.

I was already implementing that change - the discussion of why the change came about was for this thread.


Specific Errata:

Flight: Is it really that problematic as to require special attention beyond being Common? Sure, flying is neat, but so is having a sniper rifle and some distance.

The difference there is that the sniper rifle is a combat-only advantage. And just as you said, you need distance for it to have maximum, melee-cancelling effect. Flight provides many separate advantages, and basically lets you create your own distance whenever you feel like it. Compared to other Common advantages like Strength, Agility, Intelligence, etc., Flight is extremely powerful, topped only by teleport.


Teleport: Teleport is obviously worse than Flight, as the Errata points out. I'd say a rule that Teleportation advantages require reasonable limits to be worked out in advance when applying for one such advantage should be enough.

Time Travel: I'd recommend just saying that actual time travel is impossible within the scope of the game without unreasonable amounts of preparation and energy. Small-time time manipulation to make yourself move faster or the classic 'Slow' D&D spell shouldn't be a problem and aren't really time travel, anyway.

This is, I think, what we were going with.


Magic Nerf: Do we want to keep this as is? One Advantage-One Trick is an approach that works, sure, but there may be upsides to making it -slightly- less restrictive. I myself wouldn't recommend loosening it up much, but some among us may want to make an argument for doing so. If so, go right ahead and tell us.

It's not terribly restrictive as-is.


Jade, you didn't include the 1st and 2nd Clarification (also known as Jade's and Nef's Wisdom) from past games in your first post -- were you intending to rewrite those entirely since Leadership and Locus stuff has changed quite a bit, or should I look them over as well (and which version)?

I did include them originally, but had to get rid of them to make room for the workbench. Since the workbench section isn't going into the OP of the recruitment thread, I'm putting them back in and updating the references to more generic ones, so you can concentrate on the advantage framework.


And please wait with actually opening a recruitment thread until my framework proposal is done -- or post the content here first, instead. :smallsmile:

I will post it here first. :smallcool:


Challenges and Adventures

I believe we're currently at the consensus of keeping Adventures in, but to try and make sure people who want to start them have enough dedication and time to actually stick with them to the finish. AND to add Challenges back in. This seems a good solution to me, so if anyone still has a problem with that, step forward and speak now.

I do believe that's what we're doing, and the OP will say as much.


This seems terribly restrictive and an arbitrary way to give out Story Elements considering Chapters take months of real world time to complete. 3 Story Elements every month/two months/three months based on purely arbitrary points seems a bad system for a game that is supposed to focus on the story. I've brought this up before and no one explained why it was change to make it any less arbitrary or why we should keep it around.

What was wrong with Playground 3's system of 1 a week? They don't stack past six so it's not like you're just sitting on a pile of Story Elements like some miserly baron who doesn't want to share his food with the dirty peasants. All the limit of three per chapter does is limit the players who want to write the story elements. They'll use their three story elements for the stuff they couldn't do with the starting six at the first of the chapter and then be out until the next Chapter when ever that is. Or it forces them to hoard them and that seems somewhat against the spirit of the game and all in a pretty profound way.

I wasn't even aware we'd moved off of Playground 3's system. Yes, 1 per week is fine. Does anyone disagree?


The other point is, I thought we were discussing dropping the Chapter System from the get go. Maybe I'm wrong it's not unlikely so do correct me if I'm wrong.

We had discussed it, but it met with some resistance. I suppose the mods will simply need to be more enterprising when it comes time to decide when to end chapters.

Having shorter adventures wouldn't hurt either. Hrm... :smallconfused:

VonDoom
2012-10-28, 03:16 PM
I'm cool with 1 per week.


Hrrm. Okay, I have a basic start for the framework here. I mostly included stuff that was on the main Advantages wiki pages from 3 and 4. Far from complete, of course, and very open for feedback or suggestions for additions. Especially regarding further Physical, Mental and Combat ones -- I think I've covered most of the 'sought after' Social stuff.

I considered doing a 'Tactician' combat advantage that works with Leadership or when acting as a field leader for multiple characters, but I'm not sure at all as to what level would be appropriate, or how it'd work without being either superfluous or too powerful.

========================

Advantages Index

Physical

Dexterity (Common) - A dextrous characters may be agile and graceful, fast and athletic or nimble-fingered and possessing of fast reflexes -- or all of those, for that matter.

This advantage covers the previous common versions of Agility, Dexterity and Acuity. If a player just wants to have quick reflexes or 'shoot faster than his own shadow', that's fluff.

Perceptive (Common) - A perceptive character either has sharper senses, or simply is better at noticing things than others.

Stealth (Uncommon) - A character trained in the ways of stealth knows how to be quiet and keep to the shadows, moving unseen. Ideal for spies and secret messengers. Unlike related Advantages such as Profession: Rogue or Assassin, this gives no additional bonus when attacking someone from behind or trying to steal a purse.

Strength (Common) - Strong characters are, as the name indicates, strong. They may have the physique of a weight lifter or simply use their strength very efficiently. They may have supernatural, or unnatural strength. Whichever it is, they can carry more, benchpress more, run faster, hit harder, etc.

Toughness (Common) - Tough characters can not only take a punch, but are also able to handle more extraneous activity and are more likely to survive disease, poison and torture.


Mental

Cunning (Common) - Cunning characters are wily and adapt quickly to new situations. They are able to use the environment to their advantage in battle, develop strategies on the fly and are all around quick studies.

Educated (Uncommon) - Your character is well educated and highly literate, though without the Intelligence advantage he lacks the creativity and planning capacity associated with it.

Expert (Rare) - Your character is well-versed in one specific intellectual field.

Intelligence (Common) - An intelligent character in this day and age is smart, knows how to plan well, and has broad knowledge of a variety of subjects, but doesn't really specialize in any of them unless a separate advantage is taken. They are also much better at understanding and remembering new information, being quick studies.

Iron Will (Uncommon) - Long training, or sheer force of personality enables some individuals to resist charms or temptations that would easily seduce others and remain masters of their own fate. They are harder to interrogate or seduce and are even stubborn enough to resist most forms of mind control.

Social

Allure (Rare) - Characters who hold sway over those attracted to their gender. They know how to use their charms to seduce, to move in such a way as to entice and tease in just the right ways. Unlike Attractiveness, this only applies to about half of the populace and requires close interaction.

Attractiveness (Common) - An attractive character is handsome or beautiful and will generally be better received by those around him. Whether this is due to attraction, being intimidated by the character's beauty or simply finding a well-kempt appearance more pleasant and respectable is, of course, up to the observer. Attractiveness often, though not always, applies to the same things Charisma would, but should generally be presented in a different way.

Charisma (Common) - Charismatic characters just know people. They're adept at various forms of manipulation and coercions as well as genuine diplomacy. Charismatic characters are likely to be found attractive owing to their poise and charm even if they're not actually more beautiful than average.

Charm (Uncommon) - Charming characters are persuasive and amiable. They gain a bonus when using their good looks or wit to gain influence or favor. They make good orators, but do not gain a bonus when trying to intimidate or lead people.

Cultured (Uncommon) - Cultured characters have a broad perspective on life, owing to education, travel, life experiences, or some combination of all three. Their refined personalities allow them to more easily gain favor and influence, particularly when the person they are interacting with is educated or noble.

Deceitful (Uncommon) - Deceitful characters know how to lie with a straight face, or lace their words with just the right insinuations to paint the truth the way they want it to be understand. They know how to manipulative, deceive, trick and beguile others.

Inscrutable (Rare) - Characters with Inscrutable are extremely hard to read when they put on a mask of neutrality, allowing them to keep their true feelings hidden. This applies to social situations only and grants no benefit against torture or during combat.

Intimidation (Uncommon) - An intimidating character is precisely that. Whether through sheer, brute size, an evil-looking weapon or carefully measured words and a dark glint in their eye, these people know how to cow another into acquiescence. While Intimidation is often accompanied by other advantages that provide a good reason why they are so, such as Charisma or Strength, it is not a requirement. Intimidation does not lend itself directly to combat, though it may well circumvent it entirely by scaring off potential opponents.

Supernatural

Magic Combat (Uncommon) - This is the magical version of Martial Training. It only applies once (doesn't stack with itself), but is considered to work with all magic advantages the user has. This advantage is intended to represent a magic-user who uses primarily magic in combat, rather than a mixture of 'sword and sorcery' (for those, see 'Martial Training'). Magic Combat and Martial Training cannot both apply at the same time.

Magic Resistance (Uncommon) - Though not as good as resistance to a particular element, overall Magic Resistance makes for an effective defence against magical attacks.

[Element] Resistance (Rare) - For one reason or another, your character is resistant against one particular type of element -- this may go beyond the classic four, though some choices (steel, for example) may not be allowed. This includes natural and magical occurances both. If your character is resistant against, for example, both fire and acid, the advantage must be taken separately for each additional element.

Combat

Armor Specialist (Uncommon) - Some characters may wear armor -- whether light or heavy, those who have had training in using their armor properly are far more proficient in taking advantage of its inherent properties; be it hard plates to deflect blows with or multi-layered cloth that allows for better movement. Upon taking this advantage, one must choose which type of armor they are proficient with: light or heavy.

Martial Training (Uncommon) - Characters with Martial Training are warriors, martial artists, soldiers, mercenaries and whoever else might call extensive physical combat training their own. They are highly trained, practiced or experienced and may choose up to three weapons or martial arts styles they are familiar with and may thus apply this advantage to. If the character taking this advantage uses a fighting style that combines melee with magical power, they may also select their magic as a 'weapon' for this purpose, though they gain no additional benefit from doing so. Martial Training and Magic Combat cannot both apply at the same time.

I effectively took the Martial Arts setup from Playground III as an inspiration to write a broader entry that covers our previous Weapon Expertise and Martial Arts advantages, while also allowing for a 'magic warrior' type who channels eldritch energy into their swords to choose both of them as options -- after all, a Sword Saint who smites people with holy energy may not -want- to be proficient with any weapons but his holy sword, yet still want the flair of having been trained at the combination between smiting energy and slashing with his sword.

This also allows for one advantage to cover racial weapon trainings -- like Elven or Dwarven trainings, without creating a new advantage.

Professions

Professions usually fall under the (Common) or (Uncommon) descriptor, since most will include a variety of different skillsets needed to properly do their work. Generally, one should list this sort of Advantage as 'Profession: [X]'.

Item

Not sure how we're handling these this time around.

Follower/Leadership

Leaving this out for now.

Locus

Same.

Vehicle/Warbeast

Same.

----

How are we handling stuff like Wealth, Rank or Nobility this time around?

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 03:19 PM
I wasn't even aware we'd moved off of Playground 3's system. Yes, 1 per week is fine. Does anyone disagree?

Ah, I was just going off what the first page had. Carry on then.

Xondoure
2012-10-28, 03:25 PM
Wealth is a special advantage, meaning it doesn't provide a mechanical bonus, but does grant material worth inside the game. Rank and Nobility I imagine are much the same.

The_Snark
2012-10-28, 06:10 PM
Wealth was a Common Advantage back in III; I suppose the thinking was that it could be used for all sorts of miscellaneous rolls or hiring help, but in practice I don't think it was ever used for a roll. In IV, it was changed to a Special Advantage, which as far as I can tell means "this is definitely worth something, but we can't figure out a number for it."

Nobility was an Uncommon Advantage in III; it was a sort of social Advantage, with a little legal status thrown in as a perk. Seemed to work okay. In the upcoming game, I'd imagine it would be Rare (because this setting isn't a corrupt feudal aristocracy where the lower classes have no rights) or Special, or possibly nonexistent if titles don't mean anything on their own. Authority or Rank would probably take its place as the social+legal clout Advantage.


I considered doing a 'Tactician' combat advantage that works with Leadership or when acting as a field leader for multiple characters, but I'm not sure at all as to what level would be appropriate, or how it'd work without being either superfluous or too powerful.

I've considered the same thing, and I think it works best as Uncommon. It can't be Rare because that makes it flat-out better than having combat-focused Followers, but it's not really Common either (there may be a few out-of-combat applications, but not many). Uncommon is a reasonable compromise: not always useful in a fight, but as long as you have Followers or fellow PCs it should be available.


Attractiveness (Common) - An attractive character is handsome or beautiful and will generally be better received by those around him. Whether this is due to attraction, being intimidated by the character's beauty or simply finding a well-kempt appearance more pleasant and respectable is, of course, up to the observer. Attractiveness often, though not always, applies to the same things Charisma would, but should generally be presented in a different way.


I do not think this is at all necessary; it's generally been assumed that characters with Charisma or Charm can be good-looking if they want, although they don't have to be—the player gets to describe exactly what makes their character appealing. Making Attractive a separate Advantage implies that Charismatic characters aren't good-looking unless they have both Advantages, which I do not like. And given that you're trying to cut down on redundant Advantages like Agile and Dexterity and Alacrity...

VonDoom
2012-10-28, 06:18 PM
I do not think this is at all necessary; it's generally been assumed that characters with Charisma or Charm can be good-looking if they want, although they don't have to be—the player gets to describe exactly what makes their character appealing. Making Attractive a separate Advantage implies that Charismatic characters aren't good-looking unless they have both Advantages, which I do not like. And given that you're trying to cut down on redundant Advantages like Agile and Dexterity and Alacrity...

Hm, yes, I think I may have felt obliged to include an actual 'beauty' advantage because it had been previously used as a Rare one. You do have a point, though.

The_Snark
2012-10-28, 06:33 PM
Could always just change Allure back to Beauty; it may be slightly misleading, but it was pretty clearly defined anyway. Filled a niche for characters like Raina (who was very good-looking, but not exactly charming or socially adept). Plus, Allure has the connotation that you're trying to impress or seduce people, which isn't necessarily the case (see again: Raina).

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 06:58 PM
Item: There is no longer anything remarkable about item advantages except that they can be traded away or stolen.

Leadership: Leadership advantages are the same as regular ones, except you can spread them over an area - wherever it's reasonable that your "followers" could get to.

Warbeast/Vehicle: Advantages in this category belong to a creature, construct, or vehicle so big that you cannot take it into small spaces (such as through man-sized doorways). At the very least, you need a clear space the width of a fair-sized street to move one around. Advantages attached to said creature or vehicle count as having the bonus from the next advantage grade up. (Common is +2, Uncommon +3, Rare +5, etc.)

Locus: Advantages in this category belong to a structure or a very large vehicle - something at least the size of a large ship, and are presumed to be immobile unless an advantage is spent specifically to give them mobility. Advantages attached to said structure or huge vehicle count as having the bonus from two advantage grades up. (Common is +3, Uncommon +5, Rare +7. A locus with a Unique or Legendary grade advantage is probably of great specific importance to the setting and, should it exist, the overall plot. Taking or using any such advantages will need to be discussed with the other players in advance.

Wealth is indeed a special advantage, giving the players license to go more places and own more goodies than they could otherwise justify having.

Authority and Nobility (both uncommon) are two versions of the same advantage - in either case, your character has a higher position than normal in the social and/or political structure of the area. This provides a +2 bonus in some social rolls, but more importantly, other characters really ought to act like they're dealing with someone important. And while it's true that a particularly rebellious character might have cause to disrespect "the Man," they shouldn't be surprised if the local NPCs react negatively to them doing so. They can also either ignore certain social and legal restrictions, or even plot tickets if the situation warrants (With three ranks of Authority, Colonel Krauler can probably bypass a police lockdown). This, too, should be discussed with the other players ahead of time, but you get the idea.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-28, 07:21 PM
I agree there should be a common nomenclature for the most frequent advantages, especially when they're complete synonyms or mechanically identical. But, I think that striving for this level of simplicity actually strips away a lot of the creativity and personalization that goes in to choosing your advantages.

Again, I'd argue that an obese one-legged dwarf wouldn't be considered Agile, but he could be a brilliant watch maker and a great shot with a rifle, which would make him Dexterous. Now, suppose we tell Fat Dwarf's player that he can't take Dexterity, because it's the same thing as Agility and that he should just "fluff" the advantage as being good with his hands. Later he runs into a situation where he, say, attempts to dive out of the way of a falling rock. That's certainly something an Agile character would be good at, but the dwarf is in no way described as being nimble or quick footed. Is he denied the bonus from Agility because of his description, or allowed to use it anyway despite how the player chose to "fluff" his advantage?

Anyway, on to specific notes:

Stealth - This should be Rare since it's a single skill (just avoiding notice). Thievery/Thief is Uncommon and aids in sneaking, picking locks, picking pockets and anything a thief should be good at.

Perception - I feel like this could be Uncommon if it doesn't have any use in combat, though, it does seem like a person with very keen senses might have an advantage in a fight. There should be an Uncommon version with no combat applications and then Rare versions that apply to a single sense. Perhaps an Exceptional versions for Gustatory (because unlike olfactory, vision, hearing and even touch seem far more useful than a super sense of taste). Ignore the fact that they lied to you and that there are actually something like 11 senses. I just can't imagine proprioception ever being useful. Equilibrioception would be covered by Agility...

Charisma/Attractiveness - Like Snark pointed out, it can be assumed that Charismatic characters are attractive. Looks like they'd be mechanically identical.

Deceitful - I'm on the fence about this one being Uncommon or Rare. I'm leaning towards Uncommon because it works kind of like Charm.

Magic Combat - Do we like the term Battle Magic better? We used that term in Playground III.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 07:37 PM
Magic Combat - Do we like the term Battle Magic better? We used that term in Playground III.

Battle Magic was a Story Element. I am hesitant to make any form of Magic an overarching Advantage other than

Magic: You can do magic. Explain your trick here please and thank you. Rarity ranges on how much you can do with it.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 07:44 PM
Tebryn is correct about it being a story element. Here is the proof (http://theplaygroundiii.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_Magic).

The_Snark
2012-10-28, 07:48 PM
I agree there should be a common nomenclature for the most frequent advantages, especially when they're complete synonyms or mechanically identical. But, I think that striving for this level of simplicity actually strips away a lot of the creativity and personalization that goes in to choosing your advantages.

I tend to agree with this. It's not a bad thing to have a list of commonly-taken Advantages for people to pick from, if only to give an example of what Advantages look like. But if someone really wants to have Agility rather than Dexterity, or Beauty rather than Allure... sure. As long as everyone's clear what they do.

I personally like the term Battle Magic, but the two are pretty much interchangeable. EDIT - It was also an Advantage; see Claye's page here (http://theplaygroundiii.wikia.com/wiki/Claye_Kilnmyr). It seems reasonable to have this kind of Advantage hanging around, in case we have someone with a Common type of magic who wants to be good at using it in a fight.

I recall Deceitful being Uncommon in previous games. It seems reasonable to me; some overlap with Charm, but also good for some situations where Charm doesn't apply very well.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 07:53 PM
Magic is just to much of a wild card when it comes to it's variety and general application to pin down to a single advantage or even an advantage tree like say...Rogue (Common), Thieving (Uncommon), Stealth (Rare). It's not like a weapon skill, where there isn't a whole lot you can do with a sword other than cut things with the sharp bit, stab things with the pointy end or bludgeon people with the dull bits. Maybe you could do that with one spell, and that would be uncommon but what about an Invisibility Spell Advantage? That'd be Rare if Stealth is a metric. Or what about Teleportation as a Spell Advantage? That's Common. Each of those examples could be introduced by three wildly different Story Elements to boot. Hamming Magic into a square peg when it's a four dimensional polyhexoctigon seems ill advised at best. There are going to be messy bits in the system regardless and trying to streamline things that can't be streamlined is a recipe for disaster. It's one of those pesky "Case by case" issues that continue to rear their ugly heads.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-28, 07:57 PM
I agree with the usefulness of making a list of advantages, especially as a "start here" kind of guide for new players. I'd just prefer the list to be as expansive as possible and not condensed to the point of being restrictive.

And yes, "Battle Magic" was a story element. It also works perfectly well to describe the ever popular "set stuff on fire" kinds of advantages and I liked the term better than "Magic Combat".

Edit: To be clear, you DO still have to pick a specific element or thematically arsenal of spells to go along with Battle Magic. Battle Magic (Fire), Battle Magic (Lightning), Battle Magic (Thrashing Dudes with Bursts of Telekinesis).

The distinction is there to separate the Common, highly utilitarian employment of a kind of magic versus the Uncommon, unsubtle, aggressive version of the same magic. Telekinesis is a good example. A rank of Telekinesis would be common, allowing you to gain a bonus in all sorts of things. Whereas the combat version of Telekinesis can't be used for things like 'gently levitating' or 'picking a lock with your mind' and would be reserved pretty much for 'hurling things with great force'.

Additionally, yes, you could easily gain the benefit of many mundane advantages via magic. Stealth would work the same way whether or not you are stealthy by skill or by using magic to shroud yourself in shadows. Same with charm spells; they wouldn't work any different mechanically than someone with the regular Charm advantage.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 08:13 PM
I agree with the usefulness of making a list of advantages, especially as a "start here" kind of guide for new players. I'd just prefer the list to be as expansive as possible and not condensed to the point of being restrictive.

And yes, "Battle Magic" was a story element. It also works perfectly well to describe the ever popular "set stuff on fire" kinds of advantages and I liked the term better than "Magic Combat".

Edit: To be clear, you DO still have to pick a specific element or thematically arsenal of spells to go along with Battle Magic. Battle Magic (Fire), Battle Magic (Lightning), Battle Magic (Thrashing Dudes with Bursts of Telekinesis).

The distinction is there to separate the Common, highly utilitarian employment of a kind of magic versus the Uncommon, unsubtle, aggressive version of the same magic. Telekinesis is a good example. A rank of Telekinesis would be common, allowing you to gain a bonus in all sorts of things. Whereas the combat version of Telekinesis can't be used for things like 'gently levitating' or 'picking a lock with your mind' and would be reserved pretty much for 'hurling things with great force'.

Additionally, yes, you could easily gain the benefit of many mundane advantages via magic. Stealth would work the same way whether or not you are stealthy by skill or by using magic to shroud yourself in shadows. Same with charm spells; they wouldn't work any different mechanically than someone with the regular Charm advantage.

Well yes but the system does that internally without us having to codify it with a header all it's own. I'm not a fan of "Magic Combat" but it's apt for what those spells do. But if we're going to explicitly state "If you use magic for combat that's Battle Magic (Whatever)" then would it just be "Battle Magic" and "Everything else"? I follow the "If it's not broke don't fix it" motto of design and the Magic Advantage Tag problem hasn't been one since I've played at the very least. I think most people are smart enough to see


Magic: Lava Control- Creates and hurls Lava

And not be confused on the applications.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 08:18 PM
Battle Magic had its uses for players that wanted to throw lightning bolts at people without having to design an entire school of magic, or to buff up the combat applications of their own magic without coming up with a new version of it. Other kinds of magic could apply to combat, but this was the combat magic move.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-28, 08:27 PM
Right. The term is intended to quickly distinguish, say, Magic (Wind) [Common] from Battle Magic (Wind) [Uncommon]. And all of this is just for the handy advantage guidebook that we're trying to whip up, which is mostly intended to help new players get into the system and figure out the appropriate way to use advantages. You can name your spells or school of magic whatever you like. "Hellfire" for example.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 08:30 PM
Battle Magic had its uses for players that wanted to throw lightning bolts at people without having to design an entire school of magic, or to buff up the combat applications of their own magic without coming up with a new version of it. Other kinds of magic could apply to combat, but this was the combat magic move.

Shouldn't they then take the existing Magic? :smallconfused: If there isn't a Story Element for magic that lets you hurl lightning bolts then it should be created. Even if it's a generic Story Element without depth or diagrams. I wasn't aware that Magic was something pre-existing that didn't require a Story Element to be established first. Or am I confusing what you're saying? I must admit I haven't had any sleep in the last forty hours so it's possible.

The_Snark
2012-10-28, 08:36 PM
Well yes but the system does that internally without us having to codify it with a header all it's own. I'm not a fan of "Magic Combat" but it's apt for what those spells do. But if we're going to explicitly state "If you use magic for combat that's Battle Magic (Whatever)" then would it just be "Battle Magic" and "Everything else"? I follow the "If it's not broke don't fix it" motto of design and the Magic Advantage Tag problem hasn't been one since I've played at the very least.

Right. We're not actually suggesting a change; Battle Magic is something that's already part of the system. It's not mandatory—I think some characters had things like Fire Magic or Ice Magic, which were Uncommon combat Advantages that worked pretty much the same way—but it's handy to have the distinction sometimes.

For instance: let's say I plan to make a sorcerer who commands the weather. Weather Magic seems like a Common Advantage for sure - you can use it in combat (wind and lighting and so on), slow down sailing ships and airships (or speed them up), create fog/heavy rain if you want to sneak someplace, and of course there are unrolled but nifty applications like watering crops. So I take Weather Magic (common).

But even if I take 3 ranks in that, it's only a +3 bonus in a fight, and I don't feel this properly represents my ability to fry my enemies with lightning bolts. So I also take Battle Magic or Magic Training or whatever we end up calling, so that my magic is more impressive in combat. If I only wanted to call down lightning, I might take Battle Magic (lightning) or Lightning Magic; I'm not sure it matters.

Edit - basically it's what Xondoure did with this guy (http://playgroundiv.wikia.com/wiki/Jonathan_Hearth). We're not changing anything about it, we're just noting "this is a thing you can do" in the list of sample Advantages. And possibly establishing a standardized term for it, I guess.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 08:51 PM
Right. We're not actually suggesting a change; Battle Magic is something that's already part of the system. It's not mandatory—I think some characters had things like Fire Magic or Ice Magic, which were Uncommon combat Advantages that worked pretty much the same way—but it's handy to have the distinction sometimes.

For instance: let's say I plan to make a sorcerer who commands the weather. Weather Magic seems like a Common Advantage for sure - you can use it in combat (wind and lighting and so on), slow down sailing ships and airships (or speed them up), create fog/heavy rain if you want to sneak someplace, and of course there are unrolled but nifty applications like watering crops. So I take Weather Magic (common).

But even if I take 3 ranks in that, it's only a +3 bonus in a fight, and I don't feel this properly represents my ability to fry my enemies with lightning bolts. So I also take Battle Magic or Magic Training or whatever we end up calling, so that my magic is more impressive in combat. If I only wanted to call down lightning, I might take Battle Magic (lightning) or Lightning Magic; I'm not sure it matters.

I get that. Perhaps I view dividing Magic in this setting a little differently, When I hear the "One Spell, One Trick" I think...Magic Missile. It's evidenced by Takeshi, both his main spells were very specialized and niche when I first made him. My second character was also a Mage (I like magic) and was much more in line with Xondoure's character. I understand now that when it says "One Spell, One Trick" that that "Trick" can be very broad. In my understanding, using your Weather Magic as an example, my mind says "One Trick" and sees "Control Winds" or "Control Rain" not "Control Weather in General".

I think we're talking past one another and that may very well be due to lack of sleep. I'm not saying "Don't change the system!" I'm saying..."What's in a name?" I see what you're proposing is for ease for new players. And quite honestly I'm all for that knowing what it's like to come into this all new and fresh.

The_Snark
2012-10-28, 09:31 PM
Ah. Yeah, I've noticed some people get that impression. I recall one new applicant made a character who initially had several lightning-related Advantages, each representing a slight variation on the theme of "kill someone with lightning" (Shocking Touch, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Storm). I don't think it's meant to be quite that strict; "lightning magic" or "fire magic" is OK. Weather magic is broader, but that's why it's Common.

The rule was originally implemented to restrict really broad Advantages, like elemental magic (command all four classic elements, exactly like it says on the tin) or enchantment magic (which encompassed mind control, mental illusions, forgetfulness and false memories, you-can't-see-me invisibility spells, and so on).

(And for what it's worth, I thought the spell names you gave your first character made Red Lantern Magic rather evocative.)

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 09:34 PM
Ah. Yeah, I've noticed some people get that impression. I recall one new applicant made a character who initially had several lightning-related Advantages, each representing a slight variation on the theme of "kill someone with lightning" (Shocking Touch, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Storm). I don't think it's meant to be quite that strict; "lightning magic" or "fire magic" is OK. Weather magic is broader, but that's why it's Common.

That would have been Da_Mongoose, and that would be because I helped her with her character. *Cough*


The rule was originally implemented to restrict really broad Advantages, like elemental magic (command all four classic elements, exactly like it says on the tin) or enchantment magic (which encompassed mind control, mental illusions, forgetfulness and false memories, you-can't-see-me invisibility spells, and so on).

Right, I think the latter of those examples is the more overpowered of the two really. Not that either is permissible when you have people taking "Combat: Sword" and it doesn't apply to anything with a vauge blade shape or sharp edge.


(And for what it's worth, I thought the spell names you gave your first character made Red Lantern Magic rather evocative.)


Why thank you. It's worth a great deal coming from you. :smallredface:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 10:18 PM
OP Complete:

Hello everyone, and welcome to our game. I realize the title of thread is a tad confusing, but "The Playground" refers to a rules system I think is very special. The Playground rules allow you to play what you want to play. Almost anything can work. Really. You can play almost anything. This isn't a game where you play as an adventurer and wait for the Game Master to tell you what happens - you write your own tales cooperatively and sometimes competitively with the other players.

The spoilers below hold a great deal of information, but please don't be put off - most of the sections below cover very specific rules clarifications that have been an issue in the past - the basic rules are fairly simple. Moreover, the mods and veteran players are ready and willing to help people learn the way the game works, so please don't hesitate to submit a concept even if you're unsure how everything fits together. Below, we have the rules for the game, the advice of two of our Moderators (not necessary reading, but recommended), as well as a links to a past game.


The Basics
Play usually centers around a city of adventure placed on an otherwise blank slate, and a basic technology level is determined to establish what can be assumed to be part of the system without a need for Story Elements (more on that later). Aside from that, there are but three important things to keep in mind for the setting:

Players earn three sorts of currencies or tickets which they get to use to influence the game. First, and generally the most appealing, are Advantages. Advantages are anything good for a character you control. Being able to use a kind of magic, being really good looking or incredibly strong, being wealthy, commanding soldiers or a horde of goblins... these are all Advantages. This keeps player characters, whatever they are, roughly as powerful or as cool as each other. It's hard to compare some character concepts, but Advantages let us say, "This character has X number of good things going for them."

Story Elements are another form of currency. These let you add something static to the setting, any one thing. These create NPCs, places, exotic plants or animals, monsters, etc.

Plot Tickets change the setting or put events in motion. You use them to make something happen that your character(s) wouldn't have control over. Plot Tickets also let you create Adventure Sites which let you play Game Master controlling NPCs and fate to lead other players on an Adventure of your creation.

Character Creation
All charaters begin with 10 Advantages, 6 Story Elements, and 1 Plot Ticket.

All applications should be submitted in this format:

Full Name, Titles in Descending Importance
Age:
Affiliations:

Physical Description:

Personality:

History:

Advantages: (itemized and detailed)

While we intend to be inclusive of concepts, writing ability will play a part in the selection process. We will of course make allowances for people whose first language isn't English, but please try and be effective and evocative in your descriptions. Ideally, your application should be long enough to cover everything important, but short enough to keep us interested. Keep in mind that a massive wall of text detailing your full lineage could hurt more than it helps.

The Rules
The Rules
While the game is principally free-form, there are rules to govern how powerful characters can be as well as ways to resolve disputes and avoid role playing gridlock. First, any boon, anything that makes a character special is called an Advantage. Your character, being a cut above the common Joe, naturally begins with a few Advantages and you gain more over time.

Second, when players can’t agree on how a scene should play out (or would prefer to keep things random) things are decided with a die roll (2d6) and each appropriate Advantage grants a bonus to each player’s roll. Third, when there’s a dispute over what Advantages are and aren’t applicable, Moderators can decide. Moderators are only there to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for the game and may ask you to edit your posts if you’ve written something your character couldn’t have done either as the product of blatant metagame knowledge or a truly impossible feat.

1. The creation of a Player Character (PC) is free. Players may grant advantages to any PC they control by spending one from their budget.
2. Players gain 1 advantage at the first of each month and 1 at the end of every chapter. Once per chapter, players may be awarded 1 advantage for heavy participation or excellent roleplaying. Bonus advantages may be rewarded to all players for holidays or during particularly lengthy chapters.
3. Moderators decide by consensus when a chapter ends.
4. Players gain 1 Story Element per week. Unused Story Elements do carry over between chapters, and a player can have as many as 6 unused story elements at a time. Should a player acquire another story element when he or she already has six, they must either use it immediately or it is lost.
5. Players gain 1 Plot Ticket per chapter. Plot Tickets do NOT carry over between chapters.
6. Moderators are charged with arbitration in the event of player disputes, clarifying rules and monitoring the appropriateness of play and story elements. Story elements will be rejected if they are inappropriate (see below) or conflict with existing cannon. Players may be asked to edit IC posts in the event their character has done something given impossible knowledge or has acted outside the extent of their advantages.

No WAAAGH! – You may not import distinct elements from well known sources. This means no chocobos, no Warhammer Orks, and no alchemists capable of reassembling matter with a clap of their hands. Mods have the power to veto any creation that resembles too closely any part of another setting. The exception to this rule is anything considered standard or iconic fantasy, for example, orcs as described in D&D’s Monster Manual. You may certainly draw inspiration from existing sources, just don’t blatantly rip off something. Riding giant birds into battle is fine, importing chocobos wholesale is not!

No Renaming the Rose – Do not create things to be kitschy or subversive. You may certainly create a noble race of orcs with a mystical heritage, but do not make your orcs fair skinned, pointy eared forest dwellers.

It Shall Have a Common Name – If you create something and give it a fantastical sounding name, ensure that it also has a common name that is easy to remember. (For example, “Eladrin” is a fine name, but “High Elves” can’t be misspelled or forgotten.)

Word of Mod – Anything deemed offensive, too silly or just “not cool” can be vetoed by the Moderators. This is especially true for anything that would countermand existing elements in the setting.


Advantages
Advantages are graded as Common (+1), Uncommon (+2), Rare (+3), Exceptional (+5), Legendary (+7) and Special (No Bonus). The grade of an advantage is decided upon before it enters play and is based on a number of factors balancing how powerful the advantage is versus how often it is likely to be used. Advantages that have a variety of applications and are likely to be used often are probably Common while advantages with a limited purpose are Rare. Uncommon is somewhere in between. Exceptional and Legendary advantages are usually not only limited in purpose, but also in availability. Specifically, advantages related to vehicles and mounts are usually 1 grade higher than normal; location based advantages are 2 grades higher. Special advantages are reserved for a talent or ability that, while certainly useful, doesn't provide a mechanical bonus in a conflict. To be clear: the name of the rating applies to how often it will be useful, not how hard it is to obtain.

Common
Advantages at this grade see frequent use and have such a wide variety of applications that it's hard to consider them all. Rough attributes or descriptors are often Common as are many professions. Common advantages can be used in both combat and noncombat situations. Examples: Strength (+1 to climbing, jumping, melee combat...) Charisma (+1 to bluff, inspire, convince...) Rogue (+1 to sneaking, stabbing, stealing...)

Uncommon
Advantages of this grade are more specific than Common advantages, but still likely to see frequent use. Importantly, advantages that only have applications in combat are Uncommon. Talents and sets of skills are usually Uncommon. Examples: Sword Expertise (+2 to using bladed weapons in combat), a Magic Dagger (+2 when used in combat), Thievery (+2 to sneaking, stealing, disarming traps, but NOT to combat), Education (+2 all knowledge), Charm (+2 in social situations when you employ humor or flattery).

Rare
Rare advantages have only one purpose. Combat advantages that only effect a certain kind of target or provide protection against a single element are Rare. Single skills are usually Rare. Examples: A magic dagger enchanted to kill trolls (+3 combat against trolls, +0 against other targets), Fire Resistance (+3 combat if your opponent uses fire against you), Beauty (+3 in social situations when you employ your good looks against characters who find your gender appealing), Stealth (+3 when hiding or sneaking), Arcana (+3 knowledge for magical matters).

Exceptional (also sometimes called Unique)
Exceptional advantages are typically skills or knowledge sets so specific that it's useless outsides of its domain. Examples: Sleight of Hand (+5 stealing small objects), Botany (+5 knowledge of plants), Cooking (+5 culinary knowledge and preparation).

Legendary
Scarcely anything qualifies as Legendary (+7). This grade is typically reserved for upgraded advantages which would normally be of a lower grade (see vehicles, etc).

Special
Special advantages do not provide any mechanical bonus, but rather allow a character's other advantages to be used in unusual ways. The ability to summon a magical sword to your hand, regardless of where you are, would be a Special grade advantage since it allows you to employ your sword advantage when it might otherwise be denied.

Advantage Categories
Some advantages are more useful than others owing not only to how likely they are to come up in play, but also because of their convenience. Other times, a category indicated a slight change in the way an advantage is handled.

Personal
Personal advantages are the norm and represent anything intrinsic to a Player Character (PC). This includes magic powers, great strength, cooking ability, whatever. Except in rare situations, these advantages cannot be stolen or traded to other players, although they can be neutralized if circumstances warrant it (Karate can't be stolen, but you can't use it against someone who is, for instance, flying or far away).

Items
Advantages can be represented by an item as well - this includes items that are magical in nature as well as those that are exceptional due to superior complexity or craftsmanship. You may trade, loan and steal items with/to/from other characters.

Followers
Followers are groups of NPCs loyal to or under the employ of a PC. Unlike PCs, they do not have "plot armor" and can be more easily manipulated and eliminated. Followers are typically minions, guards, soldiers, crew, or employees. Followers may be unable or unwilling to assist a PC everywhere, but advantages assigned to followers can be used anywhere those followers should/could logically be, even if the PC is absent.

Vehicles/Beasts/War Machine
Vehicles and large animals or monsters are limited by their size and mobility. Because they can't go everywhere a PC could go, advantages tied to a vehicle or beast are considered one grade higher, just like followers. An advantage is likely in this category if it is too large to fit through a doorway or if its presence would be disturbing, disruptive or flatly illegal, or if the thing simply cannot move on or through normal terrain. Small animal companions and familiars are considered Personal, but might conceivably be traded or stolen.

Locations (also known as Locus advantages)
Locations are simply never portable. One needs to be in or on the location and able to use its facilities to gain the related bonus. Location based advantages are TWO grades higher than normal. Examples: A Library might function like the Education (Uncommon) advantage, but since it's a location, it would be graded as Exceptional and grant a +5 bonus to anyone doing research within. A castle might have the Defense advantage and bestow an Exceptional (+5) bonus to defenders within its walls against outside attacks (Note: If two characters fought one another within the castle, neither would receive a bonus to combat).

Advantage Rank
You can take the same advantage multiple times and doing so increases an advantage's Rank. You can have up to 3 ranks in an advantage normally; 4 ranks and beyond requires permission from the Moderators. While the mechanical bonus of successive ranks progresses linearly (an uncommon advantage would grant a +2 bonus at rank 1, +4 at rank 2, +6 at rank 3...) the in-game effect varies. For example, a character with a rank in Strength is roughly twice as strong (in terms of weight lifted) as an average human adult and 2 ranks makes him twice as strong again. But, a single rank of intelligence doesn't give a character an IQ of 200. Most ranks progress an advantage by a single standard deviation. As a rule of thumb, if average means you're better than 100 out of 200 people, then 1 rank means you're better than 150 of them and better than 175 of them at 2 ranks.

Story Elements
Use Story Elements to create people, places, races, items, materials, ideas, trends and historical events. Balance the impact or significance of what you’re creating with your level of detail and expansiveness. For example, creating an entire noble family and giving them names, appearances, personalities and a brief history is fine. However, if you created a character that is a cultural icon or immensely powerful, you’d want to make sure that’s all your story element covers. As a rule of thumb, you can be as general or specific as you like when creating a story element, just don’t go off on tangents and detail things not within the purview of your current element.

Examples of Good Story Elements:

• A law that makes it illegal to carry a sword in the city without a permit
• A social trend where it’s unfashionable to wear black clothing to a formal event
• A race of yellow furred scavenger creatures that prowl the alleys
• A magical sword wielded by a hero of a past age
• An unusual metal renowned for its strength and light weight
• A war fought between two nations a century ago


Adventures
Created through the use of a Plot Ticket, Adventures are short stories that the creator "GM's" for a select group of other players, using a location they have created, a public location, or another player's location with that player's permission. The player running the Adventure is awarded an Advantage at its completion, and has the power to award a set or free Advantage to the players involved. Each player may run one Adventure per Chapter.

Note: Please consider carefully whether or not you have the necessary time and interest to run an Adventure before offering to do so - running out of gas halfway is not only rude to the players involved but hurts the game significantly, as it ties up multiple players waiting for your response.

The DOs and DO NOTs of Role Playing

DO use proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc, etc. For example: “This is a properly spelled, properly punctuated sentence.”

DO NOT use chatspeak, leetspeak, or any other form of internet/texting jargon in any post anywhere in the game. For example: “r u srs” will only get you mocked.

DO write posts that facilitate gameplay. If someone is talking to you, talk back! If you have a creative new thing to build, build it! Posts that facilitate gameplay are staples of any good game.

DO NOT write yourself into a corner. If all you ever do is write pages and pages about yourself, and never interact with anyone else, chances are the others in the game won’t want to interact with you.
-And as an addition to that, DO NOT expect everyone else to come looking for you. Haven’t been talked to in a while? Don’t complain about it, go out and find someone to talk to! Writers don’t like being made to feel as if they’ve been negligent, and if we haven’t talked to you there’s probably a good reason.

DO be courteous to the other players. IC, OOC, over PM; a little teasing is acceptable, but being downright nasty only makes people feel upset and isolated, and can bring any game to a grinding halt.

DO NOT make baseless accusations against other people. It’s mean, it’s not funny, and again it can bring any game to a grinding halt. If someone plays a sneaky character, don’t accuse them of “metagaming”; if two characters who are friends tell each other things they’ve seen, don’t accuse them of “conspiring”.
-As an addition to this, DO take your perceived issues to a PM before airing your dirty laundry in the OOC threads. If someone had a problem with you, I’m sure you’d much rather they speak with you in private, as opposed to rounding up all their friends and forming a schoolyard gang to confront you; show others the same respect.

DO take serious issues to the mods. If you have found that a serious issue cannot be resolved between yourself and another character, PM a mod. That’s what they are there for, to keep the game running smoothly and to ensure that everyone is having the most fun they can.

DO feel free to ask for clarification! If you’re confused about someone’s post, have a question about the rules, or need something explained, please either PM a mod or post your question in OOC to have it cleared up. Playing when you’re uncertain about something can lead to even more snarls and confusion and make everyone irritable.

DO let the other players know if you’re going to be gone for an extended amount of time, so that they can adjust plans accordingly; there’s nothing quite so disheartening as being suddenly and inexplicably stuck in a conversation with a person who up and disappears for a week.

DO NOT use cliches, whenever you can avoid them. The point of a game like this is to be creative, so sticking to “tried and true” personalities, appearances, whatever for your person isn’t going to be inspiring to other players.
-However, DO NOT make a person whose sole purpose appears to be creeping everyone else out. Try to keep it PG-13; when your posts make everyone else shudder and avert their eyes, you’re doing it wrong.

DO NOT get huffy if someone doesn't remember every detail of every story element you wrote. We tend to start these games with 60-90 story elements already written, with more appearing as the game progresses. That's a lot to remember!
-As a corollary, while you aren't expected to have all the story elements memorized, please read up on a character's elements and advantages before you interact with them. Obvious advantages (such as Beauty) and public knowledge shouldn't be contradicted. Conversely, please do not write about another character's secrets unless your character would actually know about them.

DO have a good time while playing. Having fun is key to a good writing experience.

The First Clarification
Note: Even though it has been edited, this is a post from an older OOC and as such some (but not all!) of the information is redundant.

Let's talk about advantages!
Advantages vs. Play is always and ever the tricky part of this game (that and time skips).

I made a rather large post concerning advantages in the Playground 2 OOC Thread, but I'll go over the basic points again here.

Personal Advantages

As stated previously in the thread, the power of any given advantage is inversely proportional to the number of situations in which it can be used. For the most part, generic-sounding advantages like "Wealth" or "Cunning" can easily be used in a large variety of situations. Something like "Machinist I" can be used only if there is complex machinery that can be manipulated to your advantage. In other words, in order to use "Machinist I" in combat, there needs to be some kind of complicated weapon or tool present that the Machinist could use to hurt someone - a steampunk coffee machine or a regular hammer doesn't count. Conversely, "Strength" can almost always be used in combat and many other situations besides. Something like "Dragonslaying" can only be used against dragons, and thus would provide an even bigger bonus than Machinist I. Something that can only be used one time, like "Death Curse" would be a Unique advantage that would grant a huge bonus to the one roll you'd be allowed to use it for.

Characters do not *ding* like they do in MMORPGs. For the most part, it is better for you to write the gaining of an advantage into a story. Indeed, this is one reason we have the Adventure mechanic. If you want your character to be an absolute badass, even more so than 10 starting advantages would suggest, my personal experience has been that it's easier to start out by saying that your character has suffered some kind of major setback recently and is not in the very best shape - this makes rapid advantage gain more believable as they get back into practice, recover from their injuries, find their lost equipment, etc. Alternatively, you can start the character as moderately badass and have them work their way up - and this seems to be the route most people take.

You can, if you handle it very carefully, act like you have more advantages than you do, so long as there's no functional effect on the other players. This is tricky and generally avoided, because if your character is supposed to be an earth-shakingly powerful sorcerer but only has one rank in a magic advantage then you have to come up with a reason why he can't make the heads of his enemies explode when pressed, and this can be trying on everyone involved.

The Big Lesson

But at the most basic level, advantages really only serve two functional purposes. They define something special that your character can do or that your character possesses, and they offer a bonus during contests.

The first is story related - if your character can use Battle Magic, then that's it. They can use Battle Magic. There are no hard rules about how many times per day it can be used, memorizing spells via strange Vancian systems, or anything like that. It's part of the charm of this game.

For that matter, it's considered polite for other players to acknowledge your advantages, and not to contradict them. If your human character has the Beauty advantage, another player should never call them ugly (unless they are a member of some truly alien race that would consider ALL humans ugly). Similarly it's up to you to remember that your advantages have limits. One rank in Battle Magic (Fire) does not allow Claye to blow up a castle. One rank in Strength makes you Really Strong - but not Superman strong. One rank in Illusion Magic (do we have illusion magic yet?) does not allow you to turn Taelarys into your personal circus - in fact, you can't even turn invisible, since that would be a separate advantage. Common sense should rule.

Player versus Player

Players are encouraged to interact with each other - but given the nature of the setting and the game, player characters will enter into conflict eventually (although not as often as you might think).

When this happens, two characters may end up pursuing the same goal, whether it's "be the first to get to a certain location" or "defeat the other guy." And when that happens, there are two ways to resolve it.

1. Prior Agreement
2. Contest Roll

These rules have been listed before. You simply gather up all advantages that you can use in the contest, add together all of the bonuses, and roll against each other. Outcomes should probably be agreed upon in advance. Then, it's up to the two players how the results play out. Frequently, one player will write for multiple characters, with the consent of the other players involved.

With that in mind...

There is one other rule to keep in mind - while you can store up as many advantages as you want, you cannot spend them right before a Contest Roll, because that would be unfair and silly.

For instance, if Joe and Jane were actually to get into a personal fight, Joe can not burn an advantage right before the roll to gain "Jane Stomping" (Exceptional Advantage: +5 vs. Jane) and swing the roll his way. While that's an over-the-top example, he also can't use it even to gain something common, like Strength.

So what if you want to keep an ability secret? Just spend it in advance and say it's a secret. At that point, it's up to the other players to remember that their character has no knowledge of that advantage.

One last odd segue

Which brings me to one final point - while this may be the most difficult part of roleplaying, please keep in mind the separation between what you know and what your character knows. In Playground 2, some players had difficulty with this concept, and every time 'metagaming' occurs it damages the story.

That was a huge infodump, and probably unnecessary, but it represents the sum total of everything we've learned about the system from watching it in operation. I hope it helps.

The Second Clarification
Note: This is also a post from a prior OOC and also has some redundant data in it, but that doesn't mean it isn't valuable.

To reemphasize some points that inevitably will need repeating...

No Metagaming - This goes double for things about other player characters that are clearly spelled out to be secrets!

Take a look at a character's profile before you interact with them. If they have an advantage like Intimidating, then your character should be a little cowed or nervous around them. If a character is Charming, laugh at their jokes because they probably have good comedic timing even if you don't think it was written that way. Even if your first instinct after reading a Charming character's post is, "This guy is boorish and nothing he said is clever!" it's your responsibility as a good roleplayer to consider that your character might have actually found this guy to be every bit as witty and sophisticated as another player says he is. Of course, if a supposedly charming character is consistently played as atrocious, then that's a failing on the part of their writer and that can be addressed!

No Godmodding - This is what your advantage bonuses are for! The Conflict Resolution Mechanic does exactly what it sounds like. Use it. It's there for a reason.

Bad Roleplay Scenario A

Aldric's player posts that Aldric is observing Baldwin's secret meeting from the shadows.

This is poor roleplaying because, though Aldric may be a Stealthy character, his player has already jumped ahead and supposed that Baldwin has not spotted him so far.

Bad Roleplay Scenario B

Aldric, having waited for Baldwin outside his estate, follows him on his way to the meeting, careful to keep a safe distance and blend in with the crowd.

Baldwin spins around with his rapier leveled at Aldric's throat and demands to know why he's being followed.

Here, Baldwin's player has neglected to account for, not only the sensible description of how Aldric is tailing him, but also that Aldric has the Stealth advantage and should be quite good at such a thing.

Good Roleplay Scenario

Aldric, having waited for Baldwin outside his estate, follows him on his way to the meeting, careful to keep a safe distance and blend in with the crowd.

((Baldwin's Player - Baldwin isn't perceptive, but he does have his guards with him. I'm going to roll to see if they notice Aldric. /roll 2d6+1))
((Aldric's Player - Sure, I have the Stealth advantage so... /roll 2d6+3))
IF Baldwin Wins - He notices he's being followed and spots Aldric.
IF Aldric Wins - Baldwin is blissfully unaware that he's being observed.
IF They Tie - Becoming paranoid, Baldwin takes a sudden shortcut, giving Aldric the slip. Aldric, however, remains unseen and Baldwin isn't certain he was being followed.

This is fair because both players are allowed to post the stakes for the conflict and decide the outcome fairly with a die roll. Alternatively, they can simply decide OOC how the scene plays out ahead of time.

The Third Clarification
There are three advantages that we've found to be problematic in the past. As a result, there are stricter rules on how they're handled.

Flight
Flight is a huge, huge advantage. Even though it's "just one power" that power lets you do so many things that even as a Common advantage it's grossly overpowered. As a result, the first rank in Flight is more like stylistic falling than defiance of gravity, the second provides only limited range, elevation, and duration of flight, and the third grants you actual, full flight capability. If you want to fly faster or more nimbly, take the appropriate Speed or Agility advantages.

Teleportation
If anything, this is even worse than flight. If you can get from point A to point B without having to cover the distance between them somehow, then it is expected that you will also sharply limit this ability - at one rank, even "once per day" is not enough of a limitation. Please speak to the mods and other players before taking a teleportation advantage

Time Travel
Simple effects that are based, fluff wise, on time manipulation are usually fine - if you can represent it with another advantage, it should be okay. Wholesale time travel, however, introduces a number of complexities and headaches that most of the existing player base does not wish to deal with. Again, please consult the players and the mods about any time-traveling character concept.

Moderators:
TheDarkDM
Nefarion Xid
Jade_Tarem
Xondoure
VonDoom

One Final Thing: Setting Details

As a final note, the players from the previous iteration of the game typically decide on the basic technology level and the basics of the City of Adventure featured in the current game. After some debate, the players of Playground 4 settled on Dieselpunk for the theme for this game: a broad category that includes technology and aesthetics from the 1920's-1930's, and thus can be seen in fiction ranging from Indiana Jones to Fullmetal Alchemist. This means that technology available in first world countries in the 1930's is assumed to exist in this game without the need for a Story Element to create it.

The City of Adventure in this game is Dauphane, former capitol of a nation that came out on the losing side of a world war. The specifics are below, but a quick summary would be to imagine if Germany won the First World War and proceeded to conquer half of France. More details, and an example character submission, are in the post below.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-28, 10:24 PM
Whew! That took a lot of editing to bring up to speed. Let me know if you see anything wrong with it.

Tebryn
2012-10-28, 10:42 PM
All of it seems to check out.

Xondoure
2012-10-28, 11:18 PM
Alright, let's get this show on the road.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-28, 11:45 PM
OP looks good.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 12:37 AM
Did we resolve the advantage framework thing?

The_Snark
2012-10-29, 01:10 AM
A couple quibbles: the example of play in the Second Clarification has the players rolling 1d6 instead of 2d6, and the Third Clarification mentions four problematic Advantages but only lists three (since we removed the bit about magic).

But those aside, it looks pretty good.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 01:48 AM
Fixed. If that's the case, we're just waiting on the Advantage framework to be finished, right?

Kasanip
2012-10-29, 01:55 AM
Sorry, to have a completely different question. What are some examples of non-combat ability of [Profession: Soldier (common)]? :smallredface:

Xondoure
2012-10-29, 01:56 AM
Sorry, to have a completely different question. What are some examples of non-combat ability of [Profession: Soldier (common)]? :smallredface:

Conditioning, survival training, perhaps even a certain amount of respect/fear around locals.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 02:09 AM
Sorry, to have a completely different question. What are some examples of non-combat ability of [Profession: Soldier (common)]? :smallredface:


Conditioning, survival training, perhaps even a certain amount of respect/fear around locals.

Plus familiarity with the vehicles, basic tactics, equipment, and possibly beasts used by the army they were part of, the training to operate some of those vehicles, and possibly a passing familiarity with a foreign culture if they were stationed in that country. All of that is applicable in situations besides hitting or shooting things.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-29, 02:21 AM
Well, looks to me like it just needs to be compiled, or are there more things that need to be fixed or clarified with regards to the Advantage framework?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 02:39 AM
That's what I'm trying to find out. I'm going to give it one more day to be sure, and then when I get home from work tomorrow I'm going to nail this thing up and we can start recruiting.

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 04:29 AM
Blargh. I just woke up and thus may have gotten things a little confused, but to summarize what ought to be fixed with the framework:

Remove Attractiveness in favor of Charisma being the go-to for being attractive as well, since it all comes together into one 'other people react better to you' package.

Include something like 'Fast Reflexes' or 'Deft Aim' as Uncommon advantages (mostly because those descriptors are more easily differentiated than Agility/Dexterity/Acuity).

Also, not sure I agree on Stealth by itself being Rare. It certainly wasn't in III -- Rogue and Thief and Thievery I'm pretty sure ought to be Common. Those are incredibly useful to have and on many occasions, too. It's not just how specialized something is, but how often it'll be useful, after all.

Re: Magic Combat -- Battle Magic
I wanted to differentiate between having trained to be effective in combat with your magic -- or engaging in actual combat between mages -- and magic right out specialized and only targeted towards battle. But we can go back to Battle Magic and have people take that to enhance their existing magic or as its own advantage to use magic with, sure. It's probably easier that way.

What about my idea of using the Martial Training for fighter-mage-hybrids and giving them the option to choose their magic as a weapon? If Battle Magic isn't just the 'combat training' of magic, there is probably no reason not to make them stack ... except balance, I suppose. Thoughts?

Xondoure
2012-10-29, 04:37 AM
I'm thinking three uncommon "uses magic in combat" advantages should be allowed. Common magic advantages, or rare ones against specific foes would be fine, but combat only magical advantages beyond three just because one is fire and the other lightning is just jumping around the rules IMO.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-29, 05:17 AM
The States of Torun

For most of the past thousand years, the mountainous region of Torunar was divided into a multitude of fractious tribal groups, each vying for dominance amidst the arboreal forests and hidden valleys of their homeland. This division was only ever suspended when the region faced an external threat, at which the tribes would traditionally suspend their disputes and unite to drive out the foreign invaders. But once the enemy of the hour had fallen, the tribes would descend back into chaos, tearing at each other over feuds decades old.

As the years passed, and the tribes grew into kingdoms, overt bloodshed gave way to politicking and alliances. Men whose fathers' had been hated enemies were suddenly thrust into fellowship for political convenience, and over the next century the old tensions began to die off. The conflict did not end, to be sure, but it was conducted by kingdoms and kings, and waged for land and treasure rather than blood and vengeance. Eventually, forty six princedoms emerged as enduring powers in the land, tied together by intricate alliances of marriage and debts of honor.

But it could not last. Outside Torunar's mountainous borders, true empires had emerged, vast and mighty. The first invasion by the kingdom of Auveraine crashed down like a hammer on the kingdoms of Torunar, cutting through seven territories before being driven off by the unified might of the other thirty nine. The Dawn War, as it came to be known, shocked the people of Torunar out of their static cycle of internal conflict, forcing their eyes outwards to an array of mighty enemies eager to take Torunar's treasure for itself. The post-war period marked a sea change in the Torun way of thinking, shown most clearly by a unanimous movement to redefine the region as the more modern Torun.

It was around this time that Berthold Krauler's musket appeared in the principality of Stolitz. Though the construction process was time consuming, the weapon quickly spread throughout Torun. In an instant, an area that had been seen as ripe for conquest became one of the most feared powers in the world. Three more invasions from three different powers ended in fire and blood, and Torun was left in the enviable position of being one of the great powers of the modern age. However, a number of enlightened Torun rulers realized that their continued division left them vulnerable despite their strength, and began to take steps to unify the region once and for all. With a great deal of support from the now-eminent Krauler family, the principalities of Stolitz and Wernhalten managed to convince all forty six princes to put their names to a unified constitution. Realizing that no single royal house could hope to rule the disparate cultures within their borders, the political power of the nobility was abolished, replaced by a parliamentary system presided over by a separate executive branch, headquartered in the new capital of Konigstadt. While the nobility's financial might and property assured them a strong voice in the new Torun, the common man enjoyed a new sense of self-determination. And due to the Krauler family's iron-clad views of gender equality, Torun women found themselves equally enfranchised.

This new system of government enjoyed nearly thirty years of stability before it was dealt its first and so far most terrible blow - the Auvers invasion of Crimson Valley. For the first time, Torun found its armies unable to stem the tide of the invasion, as it was forced to cede the disputed territory to Auveraine. A vote of no confidence was called on the Torun Chancellor Emeran Bosch, and though it was not carried through the dissatisfaction behind it nearly shook Torun to its foundations. Drastic changes began to take place in Torun's domestic and foreign policy, and the already rapid industrialization of a few core states was expanded to encompass the entire country. Huge investments were made in science and engineering, and a new crop of entrepreneurs sprung up to fill the ballooning demand for new ideas and products. When Auvers tried to expand its foothold in Crimson Valley thirty years later, all of Torun was champing at the bit to prove themselves against an old foe - the Benefactors' War was inevitable.

Today, Torun remains the only nation to have objectively benefited from the Benefactors' War. It's territory has almost doubled between the occupation of Auveraine and the capitulation of her vassal states, and reconstruction offers a wealth of opportunities for Torun enterprises. A spirit of optimism has taken root among the Torun States, only slightly diminished by the remnants of war-weariness and the continued presence of wounded veterans in the streets. It seems that no nation can match Torun supremacy, and the deference paid Torun on the world stage surely supports the notion.

Armored Warfare

The first year of the Benefactors' War saw Crimson Valley transformed into a wasteland of trenches and fortifications, Torun divisions throwing themselves against the Auvers lines with little success. Thirty years of ownership with the intent to expand had given Auveraine enough time to transform the far end of the valley into a nigh impregnable wall of artillery and fortified bunkers, every pass through the mountains blocked off and rebuilt into exposed switchback trails. More than a million soldiers died trying to advance on those lines, and while Torun made some slight gains every foot was bought with the blood of hundreds.

Something had to be done, and Krauler Industries was given the challenge of finding some way to breach the Auvers bulwark. Bringing centuries of arms expertise to bear, it's engineers devised the idea of an armored automobile, its wheels replaced by rolling treads to help it along the uneven ground. While the first prototypes proved to be well armored death traps due to engine failure or a breakdown in the drive shaft, summer of the second year of the war saw the first introduction of the tank on the battlefield. It was a simple thing, armed with nothing more than a squad machine gun to clear the way for an infantry charge, but with the chance to observe the machine in the field Krauler engineers began to make improvements at a rapid pace. Even with the aid of tanks, it took until the new year to drive the Auvers from Crimson Valley, but by then the Torun tank was a monster of steel and rubber, a veritable fortress on the field.

Still, not even military secrets can be kept for long, and once the dominance of the tank was clear Auveraine spent little time in developing one of their own. Using information scrounged from their agents in Torun as well as their own industrial base, Auveraine fielded their own tank in the third year of the war. The numbers on both sides were not so great as to allow many great clashes, but what few there were served as focal points in the war. In Milseinne, Revaudan, and Antaille great metal behemoths clashed around the soldiers of both armies, the earth shaking at their combat. But the Auvers industrial base shrank with every loss, while Torun's remained inviolate, and soon fewer and fewer new tanks were produced in Auveraine. By the last months of the war, less than a hundred remained, all of them a patchwork of spare parts and hope. Their last, desperate defense of Dauphane was worthy of song, but all but a dozen were smashed by gleaming new Torun designs.

The end of the war did nothing to slow the advancement of armored technology in Torun or the rest of the world. The current backbone of the Torun mechanized divisions is a testament to the desperate need imposed by the Benefactors' War. Though much of the work continue through Krauler Industries, a number of competing companies have emerged with their own designs, along with more specialized introductions by such luminaries as Uhman Motors.

KT-57 Grey Wolf, Torun Main Battle Tank

http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Rifts/Rifts-Earth-Vehicles/Technowizard/German_Panther_Tank.jpg

KTA-39 Dire Wolf, Torun Heavy Tank

http://panzerwaffe.pl/krzemek/tiger2/tiger2_23d.jpg

KTL-45 Jackal, Torun Light Tank

http://www.twmod.org/images/media/Nov_08/Nov_08-6.jpg

AIU-85 Mark V, Former Auvers Main Tank

http://mailer.fsu.edu/~akirk/tanks/france/Fra-CharB1ter.jpg

Krauler Industries

Having existed for almost three hundred years in one form or another, the massive conglomerate commonly known as Krauler Industries has influenced some of the most impactful technological advancements in recent history. Accordingly, the companies controlled by the five branches of the Krauler Family have vast influence worldwide, and unquestioned dominance in Torun itself.

The majority of Krauler holdings are split into three broad categories: munitions, rail, and fuels. Krauler Munitions is the oldest of the three, and produces everything from service pistols to tanks for Torun as well as a number of Torun's closest allies. Despite its age and the stability of arms sales, it was surpassed more than a century ago by Krauler Rail as the most recognizable aspect of the family business. While rail companies have sprung up in every nation and a number of companies have lines that compete quite well with the Kraulers, no other rail line matches the sheer length of the Krauler East and Krauler West lines. It's a common saying that you can go from one end of the earth to the other without leaving a Krauler car, and the hyperbole is not far from the truth. The third branch of the family empire is the youngest, but the one with the greatest potential. Due to agressive testing and surveying of the territories in and around Torun, Krauler Industries was one of the first entities to realize the promise of oil, and moved aggressively to purchase the rights to vast oil fields across the world. The company controls more than 90% of all oil produced in Torun territory, and a large share of all oil produced outside it, and controls some of the largest refineries in the world.

While those three divisions provide the majority of Krauler Industries' income, the company has diversified itself many times over the years, to the point where there are dozens of subdivisions of far lesser importance than Munitions, Rail, and Oil. The lumber concern purchased by Johann Krauler has flourished in the decades since its founding, and remains an industrious enterprise with branches in six Torun states, providing timber to Krauler factories and other clients. The conquest of Auveraine gave Torun access to a major port for the first time in its history, and Krauler Industries jumped at the opportunity to purchase a veritable fleet of Auvers cargo ships from bankrupt owner. The advent of aircraft gave rise of a division of Krauler Munitions wholly devoted to aviation, and while they are no equal to the giants of the field they represent an R&D giant that helped give birth to the Tosen. While the steam engine developed by Sophia Krauler served its greatest use in rail travel, Krauler Mining put its principles to use in draining deep mines, and later providing air flow, becoming a major supplier to a number of established mining companies and operating a few of its own.

The central nerve center of all these industries is found in Imperial Station, located in the Torun capital of Konigstadt. The sprawling structure's beautiful lower levels are devoted to one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, while three soaring towers connected by sky bridges house the vast bureaucracy needed to maintain the Krauler empire. The building has grown over the years, and is one of the defining landmarks of the Torun national character - soaring, strong, and built from the ground up by a common family with uncommon talent.

Fort Dauphane

Standing atop the hill at the center of Dauphane, the newly constructed Fort Dauphane occupies both the central artery of traffic through the city and the highest point for miles in any direction. At war's end, the old arsenal that occupied the central hill was nothing but a burnt out shell, and one of the first concerns of the Torun reconstruction effort was to clear the wreckage in preparation for a new structure. The foundation was expanded, and the abject destruction of the surrounding area made it a simple matter to clear the base of the hill and construct a secondary perimeter around the construction. For almost five years, Torun military engineers worked with Torun contractors and Torun laborers to raise a building unmatched even in old Dauphane. The finished tower of concrete and steel rises eight hundred feet above the peak of the hill which was largely flattened and reinforced to support the structure. The lower levels are filled with all the facilities necessary to house three thousand troops, while the upper levels are divided into officers' quarters and bureaucratic offices. The Office of the Military Governor sits on the 70th floor, complete with the only balcony in the entire structure, a monstrous thing that provides an unmatched view of the city. The top ten floors are devoted to radio transmitting equipment and other logistical support facilities.

Outside the main building sits a well maintained parade ground ringed by a twenty foot wall of steel plate and concrete. The wall marks the end of the original armory hill, and has a number of ancillary support structures and the primary armory abutting it in a semi-circle facing the tower. Outside the main wall is a security perimeter one hundred feet across that is maintained as a grassy park. Ringed by nothing more than a mesh fence, the wildflower field would seem festive if not for the regular patrols along its white stone paths.

http://www.popbucket.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Shard-Dishonored-1.jpg

Cinema (donated by SwordSlinger)

The first camera capable of capturing moving images on film was developed in Auveraine...

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 11:17 AM
I think we'll go with 'Chuuten Corporation' or 'Chuuten Corp.'.

Do you guys think this works as a picture?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8315/7946759526_38bd919003_z.jpg

Tebryn
2012-10-29, 01:46 PM
I think we'll go with 'Chuuten Corporation' or 'Chuuten Corp.'.

Do you guys think this works as a picture?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8315/7946759526_38bd919003_z.jpg

It's certainly iconic. Nothing screams monolithic evil corporation like a big monolithic building.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-29, 01:56 PM
That would do. Even the clouds look ominous.

Swordslinger
2012-10-29, 02:26 PM
Looks good, it really has a sinister feel to it.

I’ll spend a story element on the company’s security division, which I will write later.

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 02:41 PM
You don't need to expend one of yours for it -- the company and its divisions are one story element.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-29, 02:53 PM
Also, not sure I agree on Stealth by itself being Rare. It certainly wasn't in III -- Rogue and Thief and Thievery I'm pretty sure ought to be Common. Those are incredibly useful to have and on many occasions, too. It's not just how specialized something is, but how often it'll be useful, after all.

I don't know about Rogue, but I believe that Thief does not imply combat ability or charisma. That is, it cannot be used in combat, nor can it be used for socializing. That's probably enough limitation to bump it up to Uncommon.

Tebryn
2012-10-29, 02:55 PM
I honestly think Stealth should be Uncommon. It's not quite niche to be Rare but...it defiantly is on the fringe of Uncommon.

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 03:03 PM
Rogue, Thief and Thievery would all include at the very least the following:

stealing, stealth, picking locks, placing and understanding secret messages, gathering information and intel, spying, hiding objects, finding secret passages, climbing (to get through that pesky window) and probably much more.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-29, 03:09 PM
Rogue, Thief and Thievery would all include at the very least the following:

stealing, stealth, picking locks, placing and understanding secret messages, gathering information and intel, spying, hiding objects, finding secret passages, climbing (to get through that pesky window) and probably much more.

This sounds like Spy, actually, with the combat basics cut off. Meanwhile, I don't see how Spying, Coding, and Gathering Intel are absolutely necessary attributes for a petty thief. I think it was just being stealthy, picking locks, and generally circumventing security measures.

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 03:13 PM
A petty thief doesn't need the advantage -- people who have an advantage in something are supposed to be beyond average. And as for secret messages -- I'm not sure what the term for it is, but it's been a pretty common practice to mark buildings for good or bad targets, or place warnings if they are watched and/or have security.

Spy has stronger social associations, not so much combat. That'd be Assassin.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-29, 03:21 PM
A petty thief doesn't need the advantage -- people who have an advantage in something are supposed to be beyond average. And as for secret messages -- I'm not sure what the term for it is, but it's been a pretty common practice to mark buildings for good or bad targets, or place warnings if they are watched and/or have security.

Spy has stronger social associations, not so much combat. That'd be Assassin.

Hmm. In that case, maybe I shouldn't have applied Chiyome's Spy III to those combat rolls. That would at least help with the silly things like getting a 16 off of a 1d6 roll...

VonDoom
2012-10-29, 03:27 PM
Eh, they probably all have some combat utility. Rogue has been used that way in the past, too. Of all of them, Assassin is the occupation based around killing people, though. :smallbiggrin:

Swordslinger
2012-10-29, 03:34 PM
You don't need to expend one of yours for it -- the company and its divisions are one story element.

Very well.





Rogue, Thief and Thievery would all include at the very least the following:

stealing, stealth, picking locks, placing and understanding secret messages, gathering information and intel, spying, hiding objects, finding secret passages, climbing (to get through that pesky window) and probably much more.

Shouldn’t Thievery be Uncommon and a more specialist version of Thief? Only things like stealing , lock, sleight of hand etc. A Thief is good at stealing, stealth etc. But someone with Thievery and Stealth is better at those specific tasks.

Tebryn
2012-10-29, 03:55 PM
I think this is a problem of definitions so...lets give them a look and maybe parse something out? Going with Definition One on all of these from the handy dandy online Dictionary (http://dictionary.reference.com/)

Rogue: a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel.

Spy: A person employed by a government to obtain secret information or intelligence about another, usually hostile, country, especially with reference to military or naval affairs.

Assassin: A murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons.

Everyone agree with those general definitions for point of clarity?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 06:11 PM
Most profession advantages are common, and not all of them apply to combat. If Assassin, however, only gives you combat advantages or advantages related to preparing for combat, then it might qualify for Uncommon.

Stealth is very borderline, as is it's slightly broader and weaker opposite, Perception. Perception is a Common advantage because of the fact that it can be used in several situations, including ranged combat if the situation calls for it, while Stealth has traditionally been Rare because it (usually) can't be used for combat - or anything else besides avoiding the attention of PCs or NPCs. So the real question is just how valuable Stealth - the actual physical ability to hide really well and move about unnoticed - is. And if we drop it to Uncommon on the grounds that it's too good (rather than that it comes up in too many kinds of situations to be Rare), then that needs to go in the Third Clarification's list of problem advantages because that really does go against our classification scheme.

Personally, I don't care which one it is. :smallcool:

Tebryn
2012-10-29, 06:18 PM
I'd say Uncommon because it could be used for Stealth. What do you call sneak attacking and the like? Hiding in grates, waiting for your enemy to move over them before yanking them down and killing them. Yes, that's still not "Exactly" combat but how are things like that handled now? Roll a Stealth roll and -then- roll combat?

Swordslinger
2012-10-29, 06:19 PM
Sorry, to have a completely different question. What are some examples of non-combat ability of [Profession: Soldier (common)]? :smallredface:


Conditioning, survival training, perhaps even a certain amount of respect/fear around locals.

I'd say perception vs people trying to sneak or hide too. patrolling, standing guard and just being on the lookout for the enemy is very much a part of being a soldier.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-29, 11:32 PM
I'd say Uncommon because it could be used for Stealth. What do you call sneak attacking and the like? Hiding in grates, waiting for your enemy to move over them before yanking them down and killing them. Yes, that's still not "Exactly" combat but how are things like that handled now? Roll a Stealth roll and -then- roll combat?

Usually, yes. You roll to see if you can Stealth up to attack range and then what that means is determined from there. Maybe the flight character can be attacked on the ground, maybe a character who needs time to Teleport can't use teleportation to get away.

Edit: As we're now down to debating the exact status of one tiny subset of advantages, I think we're clear to start the recruitment thread. Speak now or forever hold your peace...

Tebryn
2012-10-29, 11:43 PM
Usually, yes. You roll to see if you can Stealth up to attack range and then what that means is determined from there. Maybe the flight character can be attacked on the ground, maybe a character who needs time to Teleport can't use teleportation to get away.

Edit: As we're now down to debating the exact status of one tiny subset of advantages, I think we're clear to start the recruitment thread. Speak now or forever hold your peace...

I was just asking really to clarify, as I will most certainly be taking Stealth for my character.

The_Snark
2012-10-30, 03:07 AM
Oh! These aren't so urgent that the recruitment thread needs to be delayed, but I did come up a couple of questions. Were we going to bring back Challenges alongside Adventures? I can't recall a lot of discussion about it, but I think people liked the idea.

Also, I think Xondoure asked about the secondary character rules a while back, but I don't remember the mods weighing in. Would be curious to see your thoughts on that; good idea? Bad? Should we expect to see secondary characters return at some point if the game takes off?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 03:34 AM
Oh! These aren't so urgent that the recruitment thread needs to be delayed, but I did come up a couple of questions. Were we going to bring back Challenges alongside Adventures? I can't recall a lot of discussion about it, but I think people liked the idea.

Also, I think Xondoure asked about the secondary character rules a while back, but I don't remember the mods weighing in. Would be curious to see your thoughts on that; good idea? Bad? Should we expect to see secondary characters return at some point if the game takes off?

1. We are bringing challenges back.

2. Up front, no, we are not bringing back the SAW characters. If the game really takes off we may bring them back in later.

VonDoom
2012-10-30, 05:29 AM
New version

Standard Advantages Framework

Following, you will find an index of basic advantages for your perusal. If you can cover your character's area of expertise with the ones presented here, please do so, as these are considered 'approved'. If there is something that is not covered, however, you are more than welcome to propose your own advantage during character creation (or later advancement).

Please note that you will find no magic systems beyond a very general 'Battle Magic' listed here. This is because magic is generally very individualistic and we do not want to stifle creativity. If you wish to take a look at existing types and systems of magic, you will find those in the Playground V Wiki.

Physical

Dexterity (Common) - A dextrous characters may be agile and graceful, fast and athletic or nimble-fingered and possessing of fast reflexes -- or all of those, for that matter.

Deft Aim (Uncommon) - A character with Deft Aim is very precise with ranged weapons. He knows how to hit a weak spot, or to specifically aim only for harmless ones in order to humiliate his opponent. This advantage gives a bonus when trying to shoot and hit successfully, making it useful to archers, gunslingers and snipers.

Fast Reflexes (Uncommon) - This character reacts faster to danger and is generally better able to defend himself by merit of good reflexes. Without Dexterity he is neither a good athlete nor anymore nimble-fingered, but where reacting to a threat is concerned, few will surpass him.

Perceptive (Common) - A perceptive character either has sharper senses, or simply is better at noticing things than others.

Stealth (Uncommon) - A character trained in the ways of stealth knows how to be quiet and keep to the shadows, moving unseen. Ideal for spies and secret messengers. Unlike related Advantages such as Profession: Rogue or Assassin, this gives no additional bonus when attacking someone from behind or trying to steal a purse.

Strength (Common) - Strong characters are, as the name indicates, strong. They may have the physique of a weight lifter or simply use their strength very efficiently. They may have supernatural, or unnatural strength. Whichever it is, they can carry more, benchpress more, run faster, hit harder, etc.

Toughness (Common) - Tough characters can not only take a punch, but are also able to handle more extraneous activity and are more likely to survive disease, poison and torture.


Mental

Cunning (Common) - Cunning characters are wily and adapt quickly to new situations. They are able to use the environment to their advantage in battle, develop strategies on the fly and are all around quick studies.

Educated (Uncommon) - Your character is well educated and highly literate, though without the Intelligence advantage he lacks the creativity and planning capacity associated with it.

Expert (Rare) - Your character is well-versed in one specific intellectual field.

Intelligence (Common) - An intelligent character in this day and age is smart, knows how to plan well, and has broad knowledge of a variety of subjects, but doesn't really specialize in any of them unless a separate advantage is taken. They are also much better at understanding and remembering new information, being quick studies.

Iron Will (Uncommon) - Long training, or sheer force of personality enables some individuals to resist charms or temptations that would easily seduce others and remain masters of their own fate. They are harder to interrogate or seduce and are even stubborn enough to resist most forms of mind control.

Social

Allure (Rare) - Characters who hold sway over those attracted to their gender. They know how to use their charms to seduce, to move in such a way as to entice and tease in just the right ways. Unlike Attractiveness, this only applies to about half of the populace and requires close interaction.

Charisma (Common) - Charismatic characters just know people. They're adept at various forms of manipulation and coercions as well as genuine diplomacy. Charismatic characters are likely to be found attractive owing to their poise and charm even if they're not actually more beautiful than average. On the other hand, they may be more attractive. Beautiful, even, depending on how high Charisma is taken. It falls to the player to decide how to style their character's Charisma.

Charm (Uncommon) - Charming characters are persuasive and amiable. They gain a bonus when using their good looks or wit to gain influence or favor. They make good orators, but do not gain a bonus when trying to intimidate or lead people.

Cultured (Uncommon) - Cultured characters have a broad perspective on life, owing to education, travel, life experiences, or some combination of all three. Their refined personalities allow them to more easily gain favor and influence, particularly when the person they are interacting with is educated or noble.

Deceitful (Uncommon) - Deceitful characters know how to lie with a straight face, or lace their words with just the right insinuations to paint the truth the way they want it to be understand. They know how to manipulative, deceive, trick and beguile others.

Inscrutable (Rare) - Characters with Inscrutable are extremely hard to read when they put on a mask of neutrality, allowing them to keep their true feelings hidden. This applies to social situations only and grants no benefit against torture or during combat.

Intimidation (Uncommon) - An intimidating character is precisely that. Whether through sheer, brute size, an evil-looking weapon or carefully measured words and a dark glint in their eye, these people know how to cow another into acquiescence. While Intimidation is often accompanied by other advantages that provide a good reason why they are so, such as Charisma or Strength, it is not a requirement. Intimidation does not lend itself directly to combat, though it may well circumvent it entirely by scaring off potential opponents.

Supernatural

Battle Magic (Uncommon) - This advantage can be interpreted in two ways: 1) as its own form of magic, in which case it requires an additional descriptor and story element for the type of magic if it doesn't exist already. 2) As advanced combat training in another form of magic and is considered to work with all magic advantages the user has. In either case it only applies once (doesn't stack with itself). This advantage is intended to represent a magic-user who uses primarily magic in combat, rather than a mixture of 'sword and sorcery' (for those, see 'Martial Training').

Magic Resistance (Uncommon) - Though not as good as resistance to a particular element, overall Magic Resistance makes for an effective defence against magical attacks.

[Element] Resistance (Rare) - For one reason or another, your character is resistant against one particular type of element -- this may go beyond the classic four, though some choices (steel, for example) may not be allowed. This includes natural and magical occurances both. If your character is resistant against, for example, both fire and acid, the advantage must be taken separately for each additional element.

Combat

Armor Specialist (Uncommon) - Some characters may wear armor -- whether light or heavy, those who have had training in using their armor properly are far more proficient in taking advantage of its inherent properties; be it hard plates to deflect blows with or multi-layered cloth that allows for better movement. Upon taking this advantage, one must choose which type of armor they are proficient with: light or heavy.

Martial Training (Uncommon) - Characters with Martial Training are warriors, martial artists, soldiers, mercenaries and whoever else might call extensive physical combat training their own. They are highly trained, practiced or experienced and may choose up to three weapons or martial arts styles they are familiar with and may thus apply this advantage to. If the character taking this advantage uses a fighting style that combines melee with magical power, they may also select their magic as a 'weapon' for this purpose, though they gain no additional benefit from doing so.

Tactician (Uncommon) - A Tactician knows how to coordinate on the battlefield and how to get the most out of having multiple combatants available. He can either gain an advantage himself via a Followers advantage and having enough of them around to coordinate, or split the bonus gained by this advantage between player characters.

Professions

Professions usually fall under the (Common) or (Uncommon) descriptor, since most will include a variety of different skillsets needed to properly do their work. Generally, one should list this sort of Advantage as 'Profession: [X]'.

Special

A special advantage is one that seems like it could be useful, but doesn't provide a bonus to any contest rolls. Mostly, it opens up in-story options for your character, such as allowing you to justify speaking a number of languages or modifying a different advantage in some new way that lets you do more with it. On some occasions these may provide circumstantial bonuses if a sufficient argument can be made, but you can generally expect people to react appropriately to a wealthy or noble character without requiring a contested roll.

Special Advantages include: Wealth, Authority (Rank, Nobility), Well-Traveled

Item

[Empty in case we want to add further explanations here.]

Follower/Leadership

[Empty in case we want to add further explanations here.]

Locus

[Empty in case we want to add further explanations here.]

Vehicle/Warbeast

[Empty in case we want to add further explanations here.]

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 05:46 AM
Behold (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259914)! The recruitment thread.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-30, 05:51 AM
Territories of Kelland (Formerly the Kingdom of Auveraine)
Languages Spoken: Torun, Auverac
Native Population: Auvers (Kellanders in Torun)
Adjective Form: Auveran (Kellish in Torun)

Formerly the seat of power of the Auveran Empire, the Kingdom of Auveraine now stands as the Territories of Kelland under Torun occupation, pending admittance to the States of Torun. Likely, Auveraine will be broken up and annexed as between seven and thirteen states depending on the cooperation of the disenfranchised nobility and the state of anti-Torun sentiment in the civilian population. The capture of the Auveran capital has marked fall of one of the last true monarchies in the world and the independence of its constitute territories; among them, Aensland, Miriland and numerous overseas colonies.

The Kellish region is vast and varied. Fertile plains dominate the middle of the country before giving way to the alpine-steppes of the southeast and then to the Torunar Mountains. The border of the far northern sea is rocky and bitterly cold, known only for the its wool and jokes about lonely shepherds. The southwest is cattle country, dry plains interrupted by verdant hills and narrow rivers. Here, there is a narrow access to the southern sea between Torun and Aensland. The second most populated city in Auveraine is here, the port of Lourde. Besides imperialism, or perhaps because of it, Kelland is perhaps best known for its culinary diversity. It has been said that no one can grow tired of eating eating Auveran cuisine.

Kellish people are dark in complexion, with brown or black hair and thick eyebrows and mustaches. Their skin is a distinctive middle beige. Blue and light brown eyes are the most common; green eyes are curiously rare. The Kellish chin is sharply pointed. They're quickly distinguished from the fair complected, sturdy and tall Torun and Aenslish people (who share a common ancestry).

Until the Torun occupation of the capital of Dauphane, the empire was ruled by the Empress Corinne who was much beloved by the people of Aurveraine. She inherited the title after the death of her father Gaston II in the second year of the Benefactor's War. Gaston II was the son of Gaston the Great who first claimed the title of emperor. Corinne, now only 23, was a great proponent of ending the war with a white peace. However, the empire was under the leadership of her uncle until she came of age. When she finally turned 16, Torun had already gained a decisive advantage and would only entertain discussions of surrender. Corinne (now officially only the Princess of Auveraine) currently resides in the Palace at Dauphane under indefinite house arrest, largely for her own protection against Auveran radical malcontents who blame her for the eventual surrender, despite her large popularity and fierce loyalty from most. She is famous for her beauty, piercing large blue eyes and tiny stature at 4'11" and three quarters.


(Note: The history and most of the geography of Auveraine is intentionally left sparse so as to easily incorporate new story elements.
All of south and central Auveraine is under Torun occupation. Parts of Auveraine may have declared independence after the fall of Dauphane or may even still be loyal to the crown, though in a cease-fire with Torun.)

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 06:04 AM
@Swordslinger: We are not using disadvantages.

@Everyone: Please keep "banter" in the recruitment thread itself to a minimum until some new players have had a chance to check it out. A lot of players are frightened off by a recruitment thread with 20 pages. By all means, if a new player pops in with a question, feel free to answer, and you can certainly post your own characters in there, but rapid exchanges of youtube links and rules tweaks can be kept in this thread or can wait until we have an OOC.

(Man I hated writing this post. It feels like I'm telling everyone to stop having fun.)

VonDoom
2012-10-30, 06:45 AM
Well, you heard Jade! No fun any--I kid, I kid.

I'm not seeing any of the stuff on Leadership and such in the opening post. Should be fixed and explained ASAP, preferably by someone who remembers and understands the current consensus on the setup.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 09:40 AM
I'll take care of it tonight.

VonDoom
2012-10-30, 12:16 PM
Cool beans.

Oh, and we still have Stealth as Rare in the first post and Uncommon in the framework. Needs fixing. I still support the notion that Stealth is useful more than often enough to not be Rare.

Tebryn
2012-10-30, 12:28 PM
Would you like me to PM you the Internal Eradication Division for your write up of the Chuuten Corp. VonDoom?

Also, working on my character and will flesh out the Story Advantages when I get a chance and more sleep than one or two hours. While I am not under the effects of the Hurricane/Snowstorm my family is and my phone has been ringing off the handle.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 02:47 PM
Something to consider:

Nef brought up to me the other day that Intelligence doesn't see much use for a common advantage. It doesn't apply to combat rolls or social rolls and in fact is primarily used for puzzle solving and gambling, which does not scream "common." The application of "knowing things" actually comes up more frequently and is covered in its entirety by the Educated advantage, while being more clever than the people out to get you is typically handled by Cunning.

With that in mind, do we want to upgrade Intelligence to Uncommon, remove it (basically merging it with Cunning), or is there something I'm missing here?

***

Also, although I'm not taking it just yet, I'd like to verify that the following advantage looks alright:

Sniping (Rare): A keen eye, diligent calibration, and experience with applied physics combine to allow for the true and appropriate use of a Sniper Rifle or other extreme-range personal-scale weapon. Sniping provides a +3 bonus to combat rolls where the participants begin far apart, the non-sniping participant is taken by surprise, or the non-sniping participant is somehow prevented from closing with the sniper.

TechnOkami
2012-10-30, 03:30 PM
Just a random by the way: if any of you folks know who Eric Whitacre is, he's currently @ my College, conducting.

Xondoure
2012-10-30, 03:30 PM
I always thought it went intelligence -> educated -> knowledge (specific) / intelligence -> deduction -> obsession (okay I made that one up, but it would be fun.) Adding to that it could be used against people attempting to lie / to enhance lies.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-30, 03:37 PM
I always thought it went intelligence -> educated -> knowledge (specific) / intelligence -> deduction -> obsession (okay I made that one up, but it would be fun.) Adding to that it could be used against people attempting to lie / to enhance lies.

While true, the specific point was that for common advantage, it isn't used commonly...

Xondoure
2012-10-30, 04:07 PM
While true, the specific point was that for common advantage, it isn't used commonly...

If we're going by that metric, the most commonly used advantages are combat advantages, with social advantages not far behind.

And that's forgetting intelligence can also be used alongside rolls like machinist.

Also, would it be cunning -> tactics -> strategist or intelligence -> tactics -> strategist.

Tebryn
2012-10-30, 04:37 PM
Just a random by the way: if any of you folks know who Eric Whitacre is, he's currently @ my College, conducting.

Before I pass out. Don't know who that guy is but quoting more so you see this. I noticed you're going to go with a Fire Elemental, did you see the story element I added for them? Not that it's an impossible idea, I have the same for my character but not with fire.

Xondoure
2012-10-30, 04:41 PM
So just as a suggestion, but perhaps dragons are kings of the elemental world?

Edit@ Intelligence Discussion: And seeing how many people are taking intelligence this time round, it's hard to say no one sees value in it.

VonDoom
2012-10-30, 04:58 PM
I used Intelligence in quite a few rolls in Playground III. Not to mention that it's very important to have so that you can roleplay your character as being intelligent -- remember, without it, you're of average intelligence at best. So I'm for keeping it Common.

Swordslinger
2012-10-30, 05:17 PM
So just as a suggestion, but perhaps dragons are kings of the elemental world?

I have read through Tebryn’s The River of Light and Elementals story elements and that might fit.

I purposefully left out any details about how Dragons travels between worlds and anything about else about a multiverse. But it would make sense for it to be connected to the River of Light, perhaps there flows a river through every world and they stem from or flow out in an ocean of light. Dragons certainly fit in as “Elementals range from vasts beasts of myth and legend” . Perhaps they are elementals that has moved beyond having a world of their own to steward and flies freely in the ocean and the connected rivers.

VonDoom
2012-10-30, 05:54 PM
Or you could make them descend from the Great Beasts. One of them might be the Proto-Dragon, so to speak.

TechnOkami
2012-10-30, 06:46 PM
Before I pass out. Don't know who that guy is but quoting more so you see this. I noticed you're going to go with a Fire Elemental, did you see the story element I added for them? Not that it's an impossible idea, I have the same for my character but not with fire.

No I did not, but I will look at it when I have the time.

Kasanip
2012-10-31, 01:56 AM
About sniping: I don't think it is balanced to use (rare) in this way. Unless it can be thought of melee (rare) version, or such. Isn't normally (rare) weapon to affect only one target?

So, in such a case it would be like [Lynks Sniping] (rare) or [Airplane Sniping] (rare) or [Anti-Tank] (rare)

About Intelligent I think it is ok to be (common). It is useful in many ways, especially in such a more [technology] game.

About Leadership I am a little confused about how to take such advantage now. It is to take one advantage Leadership (common), but I don't understand the effect. Is it another advantage Soldier I (common), or to receive at same time of choose Leadership (common)?

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-31, 02:00 AM
[Airplane Sniping] (rare)

This mental image amuses me greatly. :smalltongue:

Xondoure
2012-10-31, 02:00 AM
About sniping and other related gun advantages: Is it fair to say that in such a game as this combat will be more about who has the first shot / better vantage point? I assume we'll see a lot of Stormtrooper accuracy, which is fine, I just thought I should ask people's thoughts on how to handle it.

Kasanip
2012-10-31, 02:37 AM
About sniping and other related gun advantages: Is it fair to say that in such a game as this combat will be more about who has the first shot / better vantage point? I assume we'll see a lot of Stormtrooper accuracy, which is fine, I just thought I should ask people's thoughts on how to handle it.

Because a combat judgement is to decide not [one action] but to decide [outcome], it can be said that judgement roll can describe all of activity of the fight.
To think of such examples of describing in judgement:
1) Shoot weapon from hand of other character
2) Agile [curtain fire] avoid such a bullet, but trip.
3) Must reload such a time, so a surrender
4) Light injury but run away
5) No ammo
6) Shoot [scenery] to affect target
7) Jam of the weapon
8) Damaged weapon cannot respond
9) Armor to receive damage
10) Graze becomes bleeding

It is just some thought how to think about [scene]. Of course it is important think about [purpose] or [goal] of such a judgement. It should be thought not [Kill Player Character] is the goal, unless agree of both players it is ok. But it can be thought of like [Goal is arrest this person] and [escape this person], so if such a Player A wins, it must describe scene of such a combat and then to arrest at end. If Player B wins, it must describe scene of such a combat and then to escape.

Tebryn
2012-10-31, 02:40 AM
I brought this up with VonDoom yesterday but have been forgetting to post it up until this point. For those who are planning on being part of the Chuuten Corp, The_Snark, Swordslinger, myself and VonDoom and I do believe one other person, would you all be opposed to hosting a Skype conversation sometime this week/weekend?

ForzaFiori
2012-10-31, 08:21 AM
I'm the other - I'd be up for it, but it'd need to wait until next week sometime. I have school every day and work every night until Saturday, and then I got a paper to knock out. Should be back to a normal life with time for skype by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-31, 09:12 AM
About sniping and other related gun advantages: Is it fair to say that in such a game as this combat will be more about who has the first shot / better vantage point? I assume we'll see a lot of Stormtrooper accuracy, which is fine, I just thought I should ask people's thoughts on how to handle it.

Basically going to second what Kasanip said. There are a lot of ways to resolve a sniper combat beyond "boom, headshot" (though Morgan may nail a few NPCs that way). On a losing roll, the person being sniped at could be injured, their weapon could be damaged, they could run away, or they could realize that they can't evade the sniper and surrender. And of course, if the sniper loses then we can resolve it like any other combat.

Between cover, intelligent tactics, and all the supernatural moves some of these characters are packing, Stormtrooper accuracy can be avoided even in non-sniper situations.

One consideration is that melee advantages may find themselves at a disadvantage to ranged advantages for the first time in any of these games - the creation of seventy-story buildings, longarms, etc. means that there are likely going to be combats that neutralize melee bonuses, but we'll take tackle such scenarios as we come to them.

Swordslinger
2012-10-31, 11:09 AM
Just the history part left. Had to write the personality part twice because my computer crashed and word would not recover it. The hardest part about character creation must be coming up with a name xD



I brought this up with VonDoom yesterday but have been forgetting to post it up until this point. For those who are planning on being part of the Chuuten Corp, The_Snark, Swordslinger, myself and VonDoom and I do believe one other person, would you all be opposed to hosting a Skype conversation sometime this week/weekend?

You mean... talk? :/
I suppose I could, I do have Skype and a mic. However I can’t even remember the last time I needed to speak English and my pronunciation would be horrible and vocabulary likely reduced.

Xondoure
2012-10-31, 11:16 AM
Just the history part left. Had to write the personality part twice because my computer crashed and word would not recover it. The hardest part about character creation must be coming up with a name xD

Tell me about it. When I asked Nef if I could use Josef Krauler for my character he told me it was fine, and I could change the name if I wanted to. Like I would waste a perfectly good name trying to come up with- oh wait. I had to anyways. :smalltongue:

VonDoom
2012-10-31, 12:40 PM
So, hey, about the Authority advantage. I listed it as one of the (Special) advantages in the framework along with Wealth, but noticed that both Dark and Jade are listing it as Uncommon.

Are we going to be using it as Uncommon and something to roll on? Because if so, I'll have to fix the Framework post.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-31, 12:52 PM
So, what are people's thoughts on my new idea: Basically, Nikola Tesla moved into a punk setting.

Intelligence III, Cunning III, and Educated III. Plus something else, probably an item advantage for some kind of energy gun. :smallamused:

Xondoure
2012-10-31, 01:13 PM
So, what are people's thoughts on my new idea: Basically, Nikola Tesla moved into a punk setting.

Intelligence III, Cunning III, and Educated III. Plus something else, probably an item advantage for some kind of energy gun. :smallamused:

Perhaps engineering advantages instead of cunning? Edison was cunning, Tesla was a genius.

VonDoom
2012-10-31, 01:17 PM
Yupp. You'll need some engineering advantages for that. With that, you're just a very smart and educated person -- an academic education generally doesn't imply engineering skill, to my knowledge.

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-31, 01:56 PM
Perhaps engineering advantages instead of cunning? Edison was cunning, Tesla was a genius.


Yupp. You'll need some engineering advantages for that. With that, you're just a very smart and educated person -- an academic education generally doesn't imply engineering skill, to my knowledge.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Int III pretty much gets across Genius-level intellect already, so now that I think about it the Cunning's unnecessary. 3 Levels of Engineering might be a touch overkill, though. Hmm.

Tebryn
2012-10-31, 01:57 PM
You mean... talk? :/
I suppose I could, I do have Skype and a mic. However I can’t even remember the last time I needed to speak English and my pronunciation would be horrible and vocabulary likely reduced.

Yes, though none of that would be a problem certainly.

Xondoure
2012-10-31, 02:06 PM
Yeah, that sounds about right. Int III pretty much gets across Genius-level intellect already, so now that I think about it the Cunning's unnecessary. 3 Levels of Engineering might be a touch overkill, though. Hmm.

Nikola Tesla. The man with fire balls in his hands, earthquake machines, and theoretical death rays more devastating than nuclear blasts. What is this overkill you speak of? :smalltongue:

Edit: Just to check you have seen the recruitment thread right?

ForzaFiori
2012-11-01, 12:09 AM
Yes, though none of that would be a problem certainly.

I would prefer just IMing personally, but I'm able to do video chat on skype if it's the preference of everyone else - It's not due to accent or lack of english skills, I'm just more comfortable when typing.