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Mechanics Changes in What Fire Has Wrought

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  • Mechanics Changes in What Fire Has Wrought

    Now that the preview pdf has gone out to backers, I thought I'd discuss some of the more significant mechanics changes we made, and why we made them. I'm not gonna get into every little tweak, although I'm sure some clever folks will be able to autocompile lists of them, and I'd be glad to discuss them here.

    1. Five Free Excellencies: At character creation, you get five Excellencies from any of your Aspect or Favored Abilities, in addition to your normal allotment of starting Charms. One of the biggest pieces of feedback we got was that folks really, really hated having to use their limited supply of Charm picks on Excellencies. We weren't going to have them unlock for free the way Solar Excellencies do — being able to throw dice at that many kinds of rolls with no investment would drown out the strength of their Essence 1 and 2 Charms — so giving out a fixed number of free Excellencies seemed like the best compromise.

    2. No Excellency Prerequisites: All Dragon-Blooded Charms that previously required an Excellency as one of their prerequisites no longer do so. This goes hand in hand with the previous change, although it might seem counterintuitive — the reason for making Excellency prerequisites so common was as a way of steering people towards taking them, ensuring that they wouldn't accidentally end up underpowering themselves by not taking any (in addition to the fact that an Excellency makes sense as a prerequisite for any Charm that's a demonstration of supernatural skill). Now that you're guaranteed to get some Excellencies, we can free up the range of player options in picking Charms.

    3. Reduced XP Curve: The amounts of XP needed to raise your Essence have been lowered. One of the things we heard back from actual play was that Dragon-Blooded's slower rate of progress compared to Solars diminished the feeling of rewards from "powering up," and didn't work great with the session length of actual games. While they're still a bit higher than the Solar progression curve, Dragon-Blooded PCs will rise in Essence much faster (keep in mind, this is PCs only — the XP curve isn't for your average Dragon-Blood).


    Developer for Exalted

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  • #2
    Could you post the new XP curve? I was unemployed at the time, and just supported the lowest tier, so I only have access to the KS manuscript, and not the Backer PDF, and this would be really useful for me.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Clophiroth View Post
      Could you post the new XP curve? I was unemployed at the time, and just supported the lowest tier, so I only have access to the KS manuscript, and not the Backer PDF, and this would be really useful for me.
      Essence 3: 75 XP
      Essence 4: 250 XP
      Essence 5: 325 XP


      Developer for Exalted

      Want to write for Exalted? Look at the freelancer submission guidelines.

      Robert Vance's Patreon

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
        Essence 3: 75 XP
        Essence 4: 250 XP
        Essence 5: 325 XP
        This was probably a good call, it was just asking for trouble in mixed campaigns.

        Over all, I'm pretty happy with the mechanical changes and they do serve to make mixed-campaigns as attractive, which is always an opportunity for interesting stories.

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        • #5
          I haven't gotten my copy yet, but are there any charms you errata'd and can you explain why? I know I was curious about that myself so I'm interested in hearing about those.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Flare View Post
            I haven't gotten my copy yet, but are there any charms you errata'd and can you explain why? I know I was curious about that myself so I'm interested in hearing about those.
            We made a number of changes to Charms, ranging from rewording to improve clarity to mechanical changes to strengthen Charms that were a bit too weak or weaken ones that were a bit too strong. Too many to conveniently list out, although I'd be happy to discuss the reasoning behind individual changes.


            Developer for Exalted

            Want to write for Exalted? Look at the freelancer submission guidelines.

            Robert Vance's Patreon

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            • #7
              Archery looks like it's been buffed across the board.
              • Unobstructed Hunter's Aim, the excellency, has improved its secondary effect from 'as long as you attack a living or undead target, ignore one point of penalty from visual obstruction' to the same, but every added die ignores one point of such penalties - meaning you could potentially ignore up to 6 points of penalty on a full excellency. That's actually huge.
              • Sky-Calming Draw went from 4m to 3m, and changed "In Air Aura, the Dragon-Blood may use this Charm without needing to aim beforehand" to "If her weapon already has long range, she instead adds an automatic success on the attack roll" which is much much better.
              • Death From Nowhere went from 3m to 4m, but you don't need to spend a round aiming before using it, and if you did aim beforehand, you ignore (higher of Essence or Perception) soak, instead of (lower of Essence or Perception).
              • Life-Swelling Sap Strike's 1wp cost is now an optional surcharge when used against undead, to ensure they are incapacitated if crashed. The surcharge is waived if used against trivial foes (!).
              • Arbor Sentinel Technique no longer requires 1wp to use.
              • Spring Follows Winter has been heavily changed. The cost has been reduced from 5m, 2i, to 2m (+1i per die). Instead of being 'make a decisive attack, roll twice and use the better result', you can reroll non-1 failures for one Initiative each (the initiative isnt paid until after the roll).
              • Horizon-Spanning Arc is now once-per-scene, reset by crashing an enemy whose initiative was higher than yours.
              • Seven-Year Swarm Volley and Swallows Defend the Nest have changed names for some reason.
              And that's just Archery.
              Last edited by Parabola; 12-19-2018, 04:39 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
                We made a number of changes to Charms, ranging from rewording to improve clarity to mechanical changes to strengthen Charms that were a bit too weak or weaken ones that were a bit too strong. Too many to conveniently list out, although I'd be happy to discuss the reasoning behind individual changes.
                What about these three:

                Strength of Stone Technique changing from 1m, 1wp to 5m. I assume this was to put it more inline with how Increasing Strength Exercise works?

                Blade Deflecting Palm: This looks like a buff to it's effect, by letting you pay how many rerolls you want and an overall decrease to the cost unless you're paying for 4 successes, and removing the willpower makes it more spammable. The removal of the Aura effect would then be just to keep it from getting too strong?

                Soul Fire Cremation technique now works on Exalts. I approve of this change, and assume the idea was just to prevent some kind of 'Dragonblooded Magic doesn't work on Exalts' thing from creeping in?

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                • #9
                  Soul Fire Cremation still specifies a mortal corpse.

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                  • #10
                    Pretty sure it's meant to be there to justify the Dragon-Blooded Host giving the corpses of the Usurped Solars proper lavish burials and justify the First Age Tombs and such.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                      Soul Fire Cremation still specifies a mortal corpse.
                      So it does.

                      That actually makes it more confusing it feels but oh well.

                      I understood it was supposed to be there for tombs but it felt interesting that there could have been a change.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Parabola View Post
                        [*]Seven-Year Swarm Volley and Swallows Defend the Nest have changed names for some reason.
                        It was pointed out that Defends The Nest is not only the more fitting name for the Charm that lets you shoot arrows out of the air to protect your friends, that's actually the sort of effect the name was used for the last two Editions.

                        Likewise, Swarm Volley sounds like an attack Charm, and that's what it always was.


                        Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, seems more intuitive.

                          I like the excellency changes. It puts DB characters a bit less behind Solars, and not having excellencies as prereqs means you can have a DB with some interesting magical effects in skilks she's well-trained in without having superhuman skill. It just means more interesting characters, IMO.


                          "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                          • #14
                            I don't think the Essence 4 or 5 essence progression is a big deal, but it was a long, long time from character creation to your first essence progression (and access to signature charms) so reducing it to 15 games (still a considerable number) seems wise.


                            "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                            • #15
                              Plus it helps with the whole "most get to 3, only a notable few get to 4" idea.

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