Thursday, April 14, 2011

Partial Changelog

I'm still hard at work on version 1.3 - Here are a list of some of the changes you can expect for the next book.

* Many spelling fixes
* Static defense now runs off of lower of Wis and Dex
* Gain 2 hit points every time you complete a class
* Halfling racial power allows them to use Dex for static defense even if wisdom is lower
* Gnomes now just start with one free weapon proficiency and one free armor proficiency.
* Atlanteans 'safe' recharge of motes now requires an hour of meditation per point.
* Assassins now have Brawl
* The paragon asset 'legendary trait' can be taken at any time, with the caveat that the Paragon must be in a class that would allow him to advance the chosen characteristic.
* It has been made more specific that taking the Kid hindrance is not the same as taking the Small hindrance - a teenager can be pretty much the same size as an adult, he just doesn't get no respect.
* Abjuration gets a spell that gives Aura
* Unarmed weapons added to the melee weapons list. They add to unarmed damage and use the Brawl skill, as you'd expect.
* Max dex on armor now just applies to Speed, Dodge tests, and 'anything the GM determines applies'. Protip: Swimming is something that will usually make it apply.
* Artifact Ranged Weapons are now artifact ammunition for solid-bullet weapons. They are more powerful than before in that their abilities *stack* with the quality of the weapon.
* Darksteel made less broken, returned to normal cost.
* Wraithbone bullets now count as magical attacks, affected by Aura instead of Armor.
* Added in the missing 'Diseased' condition. It prevents you from recovering HP.
* Full Auto now gives +1k0 damage per raise instead of an extra hit. Not sure it'll stay this way - this was suggested to me and we'll see how it goes. Looks better against armor, worse against peasants.

* Might make attacks run off of Level instead of Dex, just to break down Dex as a godstat a bit more. It may seem like this will make it hard to hit things, but since Static Defense as a whole will be lower...
* Considering giving paragons more abilities. Could use some ideas.


  1. How does the artifact ammunition work? Does it run out, or do you mean it "applies" these bonuses to the shots just like before, but stacking with the quality? Will there be reason to take good quality on a reliable weapon, or best quality on anything other than plasma or musket?

    +1k0 damage will reduce ranged combat's options significantly, especially if limited in +1k0's to the burst rating. You end up rolling less dice total, and keeping less, than with the multiple hits format. Not applying armor multiple times can be nice, but if you're still limited to two dice kept, you're just guaranteed that one above average hit that you would have gotten anyways with several hits. This forces you into burst-10 or accurate, with accurate being by far the more effective option. A lasgun's 3-shot burst by comparison becomes a full-action version of a single swing of a common melee weapon.

    I'll put my suggestions as a seperate post since this is getting rather long in the box.

  2. First: Paragons (it was last, then cat hit backspace and by sheer luck lost the page and wall of text): Pressure as it is is fine, but its stylisticly weak and unnoticible in the grand scheme of things. A good base ability, always useful, but won't really get the character noticed.

    Taking a page from HKAT, Fantasycraft and a few others: Action Points could be used to call in the ol'explosive barrel. Spend 1+ points to call in fortuitous terrain effects (A wild Cover appears! ... or they lose part of theirs, or tree falls creating rough terrain for that guy's charge line, or something that can go boom is right there in line of sight...) or 'nature's fury' (environment bad; which is good when you're the one who planned and called it) and all those other weak deus-ex effects that help the heroes out of a bad fix.

    Levels for attacks: Other than "everyone ends up with 5 dice quickly, or is severely punished for going mercenary first until they catch up", it doesn't fix the problem so much as ensure everyone has maxed attack dice before or by "midgame.

    Its hard not to have it linked to dex and still make sense. For melee it could be lower of dex/strength, and for ranged dex/wisdom?

    Full Auto:
    Can deal a maximum number of hits depending on the weapon type: 2/3/4 for pistol/basic/heavy. (just add something in plasma to limit to 2 it since its firing only 2 shots). Every odd raise gives +1k0 damage to all hits, every even adds another hit, each with a maximum equal to the weapon class limit. Therefore, Autopistols can deal up to 2 hits of 4k2 each, while a Heavy Bolter could dish out 4 hits of 8k2 each.

    Weapons fired in single-shot mode that lack the 'accurate' quality gain +1 to the total damage roll for every two raises on the attack. This reduces the heavy bias against them somewhat, without really putting them at a level where they need greater rarity.

  3. Addendum: The weapon's full auto rating would still be there, indicating how much ammunition is spent from the action.

    Might want to extend the Shield's "armored" bonus a bit. Perhaps +1 armor to the remainder of the user as well, if used proficiently. These things are notoriously annoying to get around, no matter what the hordes of dual-wielding-chaotic-good-drow players might tell us.

  4. Taking dex away from attacks would seem kinda silly to me, particularly for ranged combatants. Without the static defense benefit i'd have little need to focus on physical at all.

    As always thanks for the work. You've given a fantastic gift to the gaming community.

  5. Other possible problem is that level=attack lets weapon/brawl users go for max strength. No point in going past 2 or 3 wisdom/dex since defense and dodge will be locked by your armor.

  6. Less attacks on autofire means a lot easier to dodge.

  7. Ah. Yeah, the dodge mechanic would have to be revamped too.

  8. Making SD key off of -lower- of Dex/Wis doesn't make Dex less of a god stat, it just makes Wis more necessary. Use the -higher- of Dex/Wis and characters won't need Dex so much... though now you've made some casters much harder to hit. Maybe just add them, so SD=10+3*(Dex+Wis)-2*size? (this might raise defenses overall a bit, which might not be a bad thing)

    What makes Dex a god stat is that too many things in combat key off of it. I might consider making Weaponry tests (maybe not all, keep some "finesse" weapons) key off Str instead. Grappling is already a good mix of Dex and Str. And maybe have Dodge be a choice of Dex+Acrobatics or Wis+Perception, although I suppose there are already spells that do something close to this. I think Parry should remain Dex+Weaponry, just so melee chars can't completely forget about Dex.

    Also, Str adding unkept dice to damage is kinda crap for weapons that already deal more unkept than kept. 2k2 to 4k2 is a little over +5 average damage, but 4k2 to 6k2 isn't even +3 avg damage. Ironically, this means greatweapon users generally shouldn't bother putting dots in Str, whereas that katar-wielding assassin really needs Str. I think the "big" melee weapons should deal more kept dice rather than unkept... maybe 2k3 for hand weapons, on up to 1k4 to 3k4 for two-handers. This makes Str a lot more important.

  9. Thanks for answering the "Kid" thing.

    Maybe you could have a " "Small Kid" " double package, so one has to pay XP to get rid of both "Small" and "Kid".

  10. Making other stats more important is an alternative to lowering what dex is needed for. The goal is, after all, in limiting the growth rate through attrition of a finite resource amongst the possible targets of its use.

    Pure STR+Weaponry just makes it easier to max melee output than when you also want dex there. Remember that a fighter will get weapon specialization, so its not 6k2 but 7k3 he ends up with... assuming he for some reason isn't using a weapon that's k3 to begin with. They can't really deal more kept dice than they already do: a Goremaul already hits harder than a krak grenade, and a fencing sword is just like plasma (less penetration, but +STR dice). Though perhaps a full rebalance of the table involving such a change would be fine. Lots of work for poor lawfulnice though.

    However, lowering the unkept dice to be replaced mostly by strength (1k4 on the largest, 1k2 on a club/shield) would be good, if dex remains the weapon stat.

  11. Erm...another Abjuration spell that grants Aura? Armouring Aura is enough, low level and effective. I'd like to see other ways to get Aura, though; probably a Chosen trait that grants Aura based off Faith but lowers magical potential (indicating resilience to magic through disbelief). So far, Aura is hard to get, which makes Abjurers the ultimate defense against magic (particularly Evokers) and Wraithbone pretty much an essential item.

    Also, Static Defense based off the lower of two stats doesn't make for much balancing IMO; quite the contrary, it makes you a bit more Characteristic-dependent for a defense that's easily bypassed. The higher of Wis or Dex would be reasonable, though, making Wis a solid competitor for primary Mental characters (though it might boost off magicians in that case).

  12. I agree with Oscar. Attack rolls are already quite high, and static defense has thus not been a huge deterrent. Choosing the lower of the two will significantly drop static defenses all around, where as picking the higher of the two, or at least a combination of (wis+dex+x, as someone else suggested) could reward wis based casters and more.

    Also, I feel like basing attacks off of level will cause even more issues.

  13. I'm really fond of combining dex AND wisdom for static defense. Could adjust it for a larger range, and would reward both mental and physical characters without almost universally dropping it, forcing you to balance the already high to-hit system.

  14. Some answers:
    Artifact ammo runs out. You get one clip per resupply, stacks with weapon quality modifiers.

    Static defense changed again to use Wis and Dex.

    Dodge was already modd'd to work with Full Auto - TN is your static defense, every raise takes away 1k0 of the bonus damage.

    I'll consider changing weapon stats a bit.

    I'm still looking at ways to make dex less of a godstat. As you've all noted, attack rolls were already quite high - basing things off level might help that a bit. If anyone has a suggestion for something else to base attacks on, I'm more than willing to listen. I don't want to use STR for attack rolls for obvious reasons.

  15. Well, you could use half your dex value rounded up. Also, more feats would be awesome, like adding feats that would allow for one handed use with a two handed weapon with no penalty. If you do go about adding more feats, skim through D&D 3.5 books for ideas. If you don't add more feats, I guess I could homebrew them, but that probably won't sit well with some of my friends.

  16. Correction on what I said. You could use half your dex value(minimum of 1) plus either your composure or half of it. Just an idea.

  17. It seems like full auto is going to suffer a lot here.
    -Lower static defenses will make it much easier to dodge full auto,
    -only silly high to-hits will covert unkept dice to kept, now at a 2:1 ratio
    -and successful dodges will be removing kept dice fist and foremost

    other than that comment, I have no clue what to do with the attack problem. Str and Dex seem like the only viable options for characteristics, and i worry using level as a base would cause further balance problems.

  18. Maybe change weapons to also have a max Dex value? Or a Dex modifier? It's kind of a fiddly hack, but it gives another way to differentiate a knife (say maxDex 4, 0k2 damage) from a greatweapon (say maxDex 2, 1k2 damage, 4 pen). As things are now, both have basically the same "accuracy".

  19. I should add that this should just as easily apply to guns as well.

    A way of linking it to level might be to allow characters to buy a higher max Dex value, through class feats or whatever. Maybe build it into Weapon Focus? So a Level 1 Guardsman might only be able to apply Dex 2 when using an Autogun, but by Level 3 maybe they've bought it up to where they can apply Dex 3 or 4.

  20. Just one clip per... resupply is what, one mission? for 5 dots? or is it a little cheaper now?

    Potential static 60-size makes it pretty tough to hit without those 4-5 kept dice. Everyone ends up having huge rolls on attack, but it balances out.

    Are Good/Best quality being changed so that ranged weapon users get something for having it?

    Full Auto = extra unkept dice only seems really weak. Its still "k2" damage unless you beat the static defense by 40+ on a heavy bolter. That's 8 raises minimum for 10k3, more on lighter weapons.

    For attack rolls, what if it is half dex rounded down, plus half of another stat rounded down, plus one for every class completed? So someone with 4 in two stats PLUS at least 5 levels has 10 dice if their weaponry or ballistic is at 5.

    The number of dice will eventually max out and spill over, but that is a matter of time and progression in the roll/keep system, not an "if" (nor should it be because its awesome if you deserve it)

  21. Are there any plans to re-organize the stats used for spellcasing?

    There are only two schools that use CHA (Evocation/Enchantment), two that use INT (Necromancy/Illusion) and there five that are Wisdom based, a stat that the Magic User can't even upgrade.

    It just seems odd to me that the class called Magic User can't upgrade the primary stat that governs more than half of the spell schools.

  22. What is a resupply action? The only time the word is ever mentioned is once, on page 268, regarding world-ships.

    Makes the deal rather odd also. Good buy for a lasgun, but do you really only get two shells for a shotgun? three flamer shots? One web-shot for 4 dots? One crossbow bolt per 2?

  23. Actually, while half of the spell schools are based on Wisdom, only 1/3rd of the Magic User spells are based on Wisdom. Notice that, of what you mentioned, two schools use Int (which they can upgrade) and two use Cha (which they can also upgrade). On the other hand, the remaining five schools (Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Healing, Transmutation) are spells which the Cleric has access to, and Cleric has only access to Wisdom. That means that, while you may have troubles with Magic User unable to increase the main stat of 1/3rd of its spells, there's a slight chance that altering the remaining 5 schools causes the Cleric to be unable to increase the main stat of ITS spells.

    The only contention point would be Abjuration, which...AFAIK, could be based on the best of two stats (let's say Wisdom or Intelligence). That way, both classes have little problems with that thing. In fact: Bards have it worse. HALF of their spells are based on a stat THEY can't upgrade. Namely, Illusion.

    Still, there's a few things that might seem a bit odd. IMO, Magic Users should gain access to Conjuration, and perhaps leave one spell school to Clerics. Clerics are already fine with Abjuration, Divination, Healing and Transmutation, but half of the Conjuration spells sorta don't fit. One is summoning (which both Clerics/Techpriests/Heretics and Magic Users/Sorcerers/Psykers reasonably have access to) while the other is teleportation (and while it's a trademark of the D&D cleric, it's also a great deal on most Magic Users as well). Thus, it's odd to see a lack of Conjuration on the MU. However, this leads to the MU having access to 7 schools. Of all those, only Enchantment and Illusion are less viable than Conjuration: Bard has access to them, and while Illusion is equally viable on Bard and MU, Enchantment is almost indispensable on the Bard while not as much on the MU.

    Shifting Conjuration with Enchantment isn't a bad idea actually. That would require a slight change, since then Conjuration would require a secondary score to make it worthwhile, and Illusion might also require a secondary score.

    But that's hard to tackle. The Magic User already has more spells than everybody else (except for, say, a Vampire Cleric with the Tremere clan asset which would have the same amount, or a Werewolf Magic User with the Silent Strider asset which would have access to 7 schools out of 9). Adding Conjuration would make a Silent Strider Werewolf MU have access to nearly ALL spell schools except Healing, but it would also be incredibly fitting to a MU.

    Still; best of 2 scores for spell schools that exist on two spell lists might be the best way to handle it. I would have expected Abjuration to be based off Willpower instead of Wisdom, since Abjuration is almost purely defensive or nullifying in origin.

  24. About Resupply - It's just a word. If you have artifact ammo, you can take a clip with you whenever you'd have a chance to refill your ammo and supplies, typically at some home base or whatever.

    Max Dex isn't a bad idea, at least in a 'weapons have different accuracy' sense. I could go with Weaponry Skill + Weapon Accuracy as the attack roll, and non-proficient people just get skill, kind of like how 4e gives different weapons different accuracy values.

  25. How about this:
    Attacks are Dex+Weapon/Ballistic, keeping Dex.
    Weapon's accuracy modifies the dice, alternating rolled and keep. A heavy bolter might be -2, and thus at -1k1 on the roll, while easy to use weapons like a lasgun might be 0 or even +1.

    Main worry about capping it is making sure not to render some weapons utterly worthless: low accuracy impacts full-auto (more severely if no longer multiple hits), and devastates weapons that lack both 'accurate' and autofire. After all, both static defense and dodge will be stacked against attack rolls. We don't want *too much* dodgetanking.

  26. Are there any plans to implement an 8th exaltation in a future edition?
    I could quite easily see you adapting the wraith, hunter or changeling games for inclusion.

  27. -Lower static defenses will make it much easier to dodge full auto,

    That doesn't really follow, at all.

    -only silly high to-hits will covert unkept dice to kept, now at a 2:1 ratio

    That's fine. Extra kept dice is a big deal, they shouldn't be had casually.

    -and successful dodges will be removing kept dice fist and foremost

    That doesn't make sense at all. Partial dodges would lower the amount of extra rolled dice Full Auto gives, not touching the kept dice of the gun.

    Skill + Level, keep Skill, is good for attack rolls. You still have progression, which a Weapon Accuracy stat won't have without a gear race, but you also don't have really excessively high attack rolls at creation, and Dex is relegated from being the Best Stat to just being a Really Good Stat, governing Parry and Dodge and half of Static Defense.

  28. I kind of like having the magic schools a bit segregated by characteristic, but I agree that Conjuration seems misplaced. It probably ought to be Int-based. But I would like to see something like an optional feat in the Magic-User tree that allows them to pick a characteristic (Int or Cha) and a school (say, Abjuration), and then use that characteristic for that school. So you could get your Int-based Abjurer/Evoker or your Cha-based Diviner/Necromacer that way.

  29. Apologies if you've seen this one before; reposting a comment from another source to ensure that you see it:

    "So DtD40k7e is this close to being an actual workable game. However there a few named things which though intrinsic to the setting, possess only a conspicuous lack of rules:

    SPELL JAMMERS: Seriously, in a game about flying across the Great Wheel through the Warp, there are 0 rules explaining how one would do so. Combat with Spell Jammers, Maneuvering Spell Jammers, Constructing Spell Jammers, Spell Jammers breaching a Crystal Sphere, all missing. What a shame.

    GATES: There probably at least one for every crystal sphere, but there are no rules for activating them, operating them, building them, or destroying them; at all.

    VEHICLES: In addition to the lack of Spell Jammers, there is a total blank concerning any other kind of vehicle. Trains, planes, cars, tanks, boats, airships, bicycles, covered wagons, horses, there is no way to get from point A to B other than first walking there and then teleporting back that does not involve an impromptu magical tea Party.

    Yeah, the game's math is broken 6 ways from Sunday, and I can forgive that because the setting is so FUCK YEAH AWESOME, but anything other than small group tactical combat or dialogue is unsupported."

    I'd be likely to play this... but not without some sort of rules to make the awesome bits of the setting actually playable.

  30. About spell schools: You're right about Conjuration. I might change one or two schools from Wisdom to Willpower, as well.

    About vehicles and stuff: That's been the most-requested stuff. It'll be in the first splatbook - I've got some ideas already. Once I've got a prototype worked up (which will be after I get 1.3 out) I'll post it up here first for people to critique.