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  • Questions/Reactions to the Early Access PDF

    So, what do people think about the Early Access PDF?

    I'm liking it, though I do have a couple of questions.

    Why do breeds have their first trick specified at character generation? For ease of use or is there a mechanical reason?

    One of the issues that some versions of D&D have had were Wizards or Priests becoming "too powerful" as compared to the other classes. How have Artisans and Shepherds stacked up against the other Callings? Do you think it might become an issue in this game?

    Can my Masterwork Focus be an iPad? How about a Sonic Screwdriver?

    Are there going to be more level 0 spells in the full version of the game? If so, I'd like options to be able to learn more than three of them. I mean, ok, you start with three of the four, that's fine. But if that number increases to, like, 12 or something then knowing I'll never be able to learn most of them will bother me. Which, ok, that might just be me, since the opportunity cost of learning another level 0 spell probably won't be worth it, but I play a Wizard to have a wide variety of options to use when solving problems so it always bugs me when I can't get more of one type of something.

    (I still want to play a Sorcerer/Cleric/Mystic Theurge sometime. Cast ALL the Spells.)

    ...Thinking on it, I just realized. Artisans don't need to prepare spells ahead of time. Or by level. Granted, they don't get many slots to use, but they get half their total back after each fight, so ...Yeah. I'm liking this system so far. I can't exactly spam spells, but I will be able to cast usefully and I'll be able to stab people with a sword when I'm out.

    Are Exotic Weapons going to be in the full version? Are Guns going to be Exotic Weapons or Relics? Or both?



  • #2
    I'm encouraged by it. I'm not a big fan of the d20 base system, but the Early Access PDF has made me happy that the balance of the mechanics reducing a lot of things I don't like, but still being familiar enough that I can whip it out for more D&D heavy gaming crowds and get them on board quickly seems like it's in a good place.

    One the iPad/sonic screwdriver bit, I don't think they're bad inspirations, but it's probably best to not be too on-the-nose with such things. They also might stray a bit too far into the cherished Relic category over something to have a Masterwork.

    I also figure a lot of your questions will be answered in the full version... but unless Eddy or someone else involved says something it's hard to say.

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    • #3
      The iPad is a masterwork item, they call it a tablet I believe or, is within the group of tablets.

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      • #4
        I'm unclear on something. Under the section on magic, it says that, when an Artisan or Shepherd gains an improvement, they get two more spells. Under the section on Focus Magic it says that taking a Focus Magic Refinement gets you new spells.

        So, does any improvement also carry with it two additional spells and you can Refine Focus Magic as your improvement to get 2 more? Or do you need to spend your improvement on Refining Focus Magic to gain more spells?

        I'm also wondering what the final spell list will look like. If the game only goes to level 10, then an Artisan or Shepherd can get up to 9th level spells, but they only get two spells of each level. So they've pretty much sacrificed everything for power. I'm not entirely sure that this game needs that temptation. Or maybe it does. I'm not sure.


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        • #5
          I'm not sure the exact answer to that, but I think it's part of addressing the Linear Warrior Quadratic Wizard problem from D&D. The lower number of levels, combined with the serious sacrifices need to dump everything to get to the height of spell-casting the game, means you're less likely to have Aristans and Shepherds rule the game.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            I'm not sure the exact answer to that, but I think it's part of addressing the Linear Warrior Quadratic Wizard problem from D&D. The lower number of levels, combined with the serious sacrifices need to dump everything to get to the height of spell-casting the game, means you're less likely to have Aristans and Shepherds rule the game.
            That was my reading too that, if you want more spells, you have to give up on the other stuff. Just, then I noticed that alternate reading was possible, so it made me wonder.

            Really, everything looks good to me, so far. But I wonder how many more options we'll be getting when we get the full version. I mean, as is, I'm already suffering some buyer's remorse knowing that I'm gonna have to give up on a lot of stuff if I want Fireball, let alone the higher level things. If too many more options are added, I'm going to be really sad about only being able to pick one thing per level.


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            • #7
              I doubt we're going to see a massive increase in the Tricks/Spell lists in the full version. I think the full version is going to expand a lot more on non-character building stuff (that seems pretty well covered), such as magical items, monsters, and setting.

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              • #8
                Yeah, the magic question is a big one and it will depend entirely on how many spells are in the final game. Right now it seems that not choosing magic as your trick for Artisans/Shepherds is a bad move. The other abilities you can choose get pretty awesome when you level up, but you're stuck into a rather limited skill set and it seems difficult to catch up if you don't just spam magic from an early level.

                Something I'd like to see is Artisans and Shepherds get their three 0-level spells just as part of their class- they're super fun and flavorful, and at least allows a non-magic focused player to do some spell effects. It also makes the Focus Magic trick work the same regardless of level.

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                • #9
                  On spells, you need to spend your improvement to refine the spellcasting trick. I just put it in two places so people know it's there, but I'll clarify that in the final product.

                  As for why, I discovered in playtesting that there are people who really like the idea of playing a tinkerer or a cleric, but don't want to track spells. That's why I made the starting trick optional for spellcasting. In play, most people do take that as the first trick -- there's a pretty clear "optimum path" -- but I wanted to make it optional for players who wanted to try other options.

                  And right now, I don't plan to add more 0-level spells. I'm actually debating something similar to what was suggested earlier, and just give three 0-level spells to everyone starting out, making them outside the usual spell progression, but it's something I'm still contemplating.

                  The focus can be whatever makes sense for your game. I tend to prefer bizarre and esoteric devices that are evocative of fantasy (like wands and spheres), but I've seen groups use everything from solar-powered tablets to rubber bones.

                  Finally, the starting breed trick is to reduce choice overload at character creation. One goal was for players to make only a few meaningful choices so they can start playing. Since breed is subordinate to calling in terms of mechanical weight, I pushed the "choice" of breed tricks further down the progression chain.

                  Hope that helps!

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                  • #10
                    It does. I like to know the reasoning behind things before changing them. Not that I'm going to necessarily, but it's nice to know that t probably wouldn't break anything if I let players choose their breed trick at chargen too.


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                    • #11
                      Precise Attack.
                      "The ratter can now use this trick if she already has an edge on melee or ranged attacks." The phrasing here confused my gaming group, since it suggests that the trick normally cannot be used without edge. I think this is supposed to say "The ratter can now use the once per turn bonus damage with melee or ranged attacks."

                      Last edited by Iry; 03-04-2016, 10:39 PM.

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                      • #12
                        What's the reasoning behind making all members of the same family be restricted to the same second breed trick? I think it's kind of neat to give players that sort of power, but at the same time I'm like, "What?"


                        "Nihhina kalekal-zidu kal masun, kal manudanadu. Nihhina kalekal-zidu nukal shaghu-desasudu — nihhina kalekal-zidu kal innu-desasudu udhkal samm." Arthur Ashe
                        Check out my tumblr for Chronicles of Darkness-related musings

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigDamnHero View Post
                          What's the reasoning behind making all members of the same family be restricted to the same second breed trick? I think it's kind of neat to give players that sort of power, but at the same time I'm like, "What?"
                          I think the idea was that Breed tricks are like traits for that breed/family. So making only one character from that family have those tricks would be weird, because it should apply to all members of that family if it is an inherent trait. That's kind of how I thought about it, I may be wrong.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah. I read it as a bit of player defining the setting design. Basically, the Breeds can have a few ways they can be run, but the players rather than the GM pick which direction to push them towards.

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                            • #15
                              It's a very neat idea, but it causes some complications. Such as when two players are the same breed. Or when someone makes a new character, wants to be a specific breed, but does not want your second trick. I can definitely see your children having it, but your cousin twice removed? The implication seems to be that there is only one 'family' per breed in Pugmire, but what about members of your breed from other kingdoms?
                              Last edited by Iry; 03-04-2016, 11:27 PM.

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