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How do people feel about TN shifting?

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  • How do people feel about TN shifting?

    So, over in the Mummy Kickstarter thread there were a bunch of people objecting to TN shifting powers coming back again. I have no idea how they were implemented, but it made me wonder what people thought of it in Exalted. I know some people weren’t fond of the large number of dice tricks in the Solar charms, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that people might not like TN shifting.

    Personally, I don’t see it as a big deal and I like how it sets apart those splats that connect with Fate, but I will admit that I bounced off Sidereals a bit because of how weird their powers were, and I suppose it’s possible that TN shifting might have been part of that.

    I’d still hate to see it go though.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts?


    ....

  • #2
    I prefer it to "re-roll 5s and 6s" or whatever, because it's quicker.


    I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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    • #3
      Exalted already uses a lot of different dice tricks spread out in powersets, and the math of its base is slightly more predictable. I think TN adjustment has character as a core trick of sidereals as opposed to something that only shows up in one or two places to skew the math towards weird places, but I wouldn't necessarily feel bad if its frequency was reduced.

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      • #4
        I'm quite fond of it. The impact is immediately obvious even to the untrained (+/- 1 sux per ten dice) and it doesn't slow down play since there's no rerolling involved.
        My only complaint is with non-instant hostile TN modification, and that's just because people tend to forget about it.

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        • #5
          My take is pretty much going to be around how the sux and essence:sux math work out.

          Its always been cool as a high concept for Sidereals to have an expressive, unique dice trick that expresses who they are (which includes being a finely honed stiletto of precision, generating more from less).

          But if using TN to express their theme, compared to where they should be, makes them too strong or weak at odds points in their dice pool size, and its just impossible to neatly square the circle again Exalts who deal mainly in dice adders, then I'd prefer to express Sidereal nature through other mechanisms.

          How it feels matters a bunch too, but ultimately the main thing is if it just creates more balance problems relative to what it contributes to the 'USP' of the Sidereals. (Presuming we're still talking about it operating as *the* Sidereal dice mechanic in 3e).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
            My take is pretty much going to be around how the sux and essence:sux math work out.

            Its always been cool as a high concept for Sidereals to have an expressive, unique dice trick that expresses who they are (which includes being a finely honed stiletto of precision, generating more from less).

            But if using TN to express their theme, compared to where they should be, makes them too strong or weak at odds points in their dice pool size, and its just impossible to neatly square the circle again Exalts who deal mainly in dice adders, then I'd prefer to express Sidereal nature through other mechanisms.

            How it feels matters a bunch too, but ultimately the main thing is if it just creates more balance problems relative to what it contributes to the 'USP' of the Sidereals. (Presuming we're still talking about it operating as *the* Sidereal dice mechanic in 3e).
            It actually works out pretty much perfectly, if they keep the Excellency mechanics from the core QCs.
            Assumptions: The Solar can Excellency for as many dice as their base roll (max 10). Every roll includes a two die stunt.
            At Essence 1, a Sidereal with a base pool of 7 dice averages exactly as many sux as a Solar. Anything above 7 base gives the lead to the Solar, anything lower gives the lead to the Sidereal. If both roll 11 base (IE max possible) the Solar gets 11.5 sux and the Sidereal gets 11.2 Sux. The Sidereal always has lower variance, so their rolls are more predictable but less able to get amazing lucky rolls.
            Since the Sidereal dice cap increases with Essence, Sidereals get inherent improvement as they grow in power. Solars get crazy dice tricks though and get more mileage from each dice trick due to bigger pools. At Essence 5, a Solar rolling with Double 7s and rerolling 6s still beats out the Sidereal with Double 7s.

            Here's an Anydice roller so you can play around with numbers and see what falls out: https://anydice.com/program/1897a
            Last edited by vwllss trnt prncss; 11-15-2019, 08:22 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post

              It actually works out pretty much perfectly, if they keep the Excellency mechanics from the core QCs.
              Assumptions: The Solar can Excellency for as many dice as their base roll (max 10). Every roll includes a two die stunt.
              At Essence 1, a Sidereal with a base pool of 7 dice averages exactly as many sux as a Solar. Anything above 7 base gives the lead to the Solar, anything lower gives the lead to the Sidereal. If both roll 11 base (IE max possible) the Solar gets 11.5 sux and the Sidereal gets 11.2 Sux. The Sidereal always has lower variance, so their rolls are more predictable but less able to get amazing lucky rolls.
              Since the Sidereal dice cap increases with Essence, Sidereals get inherent improvement as they grow in power. Solars get crazy dice tricks though and get more mileage from each dice trick due to bigger pools. At Essence 5, a Solar rolling with Double 7s and rerolling 6s still beats out the Sidereal with Double 7s.

              Here's an Anydice roller so you can play around with numbers and see what falls out: https://anydice.com/program/1897a
              They do have different mote costs - the sidereal is spending 4m in your first two examples, to the solars 7 and 10. With max stats and a light artifact weapon (or ranged weapon at ideal range), a sidereal spending 3m gets 14.4 successes compared to a solar spending 10m and getting 14 successes. Solars get some charms that give more efficiency, but they vary by ability, and combat abilities tend to have fewer. (In my experience, combat tends to be when mote efficiency matters most, since it generally has repeated rolls where success or failure matters a lot)
              That's hardly a fundamental problem with target number reduction though, just with costing it at 1m per 1 point.

              Also, while solars get more mileage from double Xs, they get the same from reroll xs, and less from non-charm dice

              Also, it leads to the question of what charms sidereals get. They're trapped between "Sidereal excellency is good enough that if their dice trick charms are at all good they get far too many successes" and "Sidereal excellent is so mote efficient that unless their dice trick charms are very good they will just use the excellency, which leads to Sidereals being too similar"
              Last edited by autXautY; 11-15-2019, 08:59 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                That's hardly a fundamental problem with target number reduction though, just with costing it at 1m per 1 point.
                Agreed. 2.5m per point is probably the sweet spot, which makes balancing irritating since no half-motes.

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                • #9
                  I would honestly prefer Sidereals to get a normal dice-adder or success-adder Excellency with Celestial caps, and for their TN manipulation to be in Charms for each of their trees that allow them to lower their rolls' TN with that Ability by -1 and has a rider on the side to differentiate each. Then a second one later on, and a third one for a max of TN 4 further later on. Maybe at E1, E2 and E3 respectively. E3 one having a WP cost, the rest just motes.

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                  • #10
                    Sid Charms tend to be indirect.

                    I wouldn't be surprised if they had very few dice trick Charms in their Native set, instead having Charms which bypass mechanics. The Bronze Faction Assassin in the Corebook doesn't get Double 7s on Ammunition checks, she just uses anything on hand as ammo. I suspect that Sid Charms are going to be all about weird things (like hitching a city to the back of your horse, or firing rats out of your bow).

                    Sids have smaller Essence pools than Solars (and Lunars until they break even at Essence 5). They have fewer Personal Motes than Liminals (and an Esssence 1 Deeb has more Personal Motes than an Essence 1 Sid).

                    Thus I am fine with Sids having very efficient Excellencies. Because that's likely to be the only straight-forward power they can bring to bear. ("I want to climb this mountain. Do I convince the sherpa that I'm lying about being an experienced climber, break up the local shepard girl's marrige so no-one ever loves her again, transform my best friend into a dragon (which will kill him once I reach the top of the mountain), or reverse the flow of the river so I can swim up (whilst dragging massive amounts of ecosystem destroying salt in from the sea)? Better stick to Athletics Excellency this time.")


                    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                    • #11
                      The thing I usually don't like in Exalted is the ST usually has the same tools than the players, so the ST needs to have in mind all the different mechanics of everyone. If it's just for players, and they want to give to them a different mechanic to feel fresh I'm fine. But if the ST has then to remember how each Exalted has his special mechanic for his NPCs, it becomes a huge burden on him I think.

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                      • #12
                        True, but I find TN shifting to be simpler than most of the dice trick mechanics.


                        I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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                        • #13
                          The thing with current Sids and their excellencies is that despite them being made out to be masters of martial arts, a lot of MA Charms add dice or successes to rolls that their tiny dice caps cannot fully take advantage of. For example, just on the Lunars book:

                          Centipede Style: Blurring Scurry Prana (cannot add the full amount of dice until E3 despite being an E1 Charm, even DBs can get this benefit from E1), Hundred Leg Embrace (The Ninety-Nine More's attack and control benefits are severely diminished, limited to a max of 2 dice at E2), Tenacious Centipede Technique (if not suffering from penalties she misses out on a single die of control rolls).

                          Falcon Style: Falcon Takes Flight's success-adder mechanics are limited to your Essence.

                          Laughing Monster Style: Furiously Stalling Destiny's stackable gambit bonuses only stack (Essence) times. Laughing Monster Form only adds (Essence) dice to gambits instead of (Occult), meaning even DBs get +5 dice on those and Sids get +1 upon purchase. Subtle Hammer's Mastery effect gets impacted in exactly the same way. Dancing Wind-Monster Transformation offering allies the benefits of Laughing Monster Form has the same issue if your allies are fellow Sidereals, as well as them getting to use the style's Charms.

                          Swaying Grass Dance Style: Jubilant Battle Proposition's bonus dice to Join Battle are reduced to (Essence). Teeth-in-the-Grass Strike's bonus dice are reduced to (Essence) instead of (Performance). Serenading the Reed's Evasion bonuses are reduced to (Essence) from a potential +5.

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                          • #14
                            To me TN manipulation is among the dice tricks that create human errors which will lead to frustration and/or incorrect outcomes at the table. It's not as bad as say "make 5 attack rolls and count the 10s among them" but it's still a big enough deviation that it can lead to problems.

                            I'm 100% on board with Sids having their own unique dice trick, but I think they could have a better one than their current TN manipulation mechanic while still having the flavor of fate manipulation.

                            Some simple examples where Sid Excellency would scale with Abilities :
                            • reroll [Ability] failed dice once - when you reroll them, TN is 3
                            • reroll [Ability] failed dice once - among those dice, you can choose to change (Essence) of them into successes instead of rerolling them.
                            • reroll [Ability] failed dice up to (Essence) times each

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              True, but I find TN shifting to be simpler than most of the dice trick mechanics.
                              Yeah the dice trick is simple, but when there are so many mechanics on the side to remember it becomes too much I think. Faes have huge dice pools without boost to them, elementals have usually small dice pools but with huge powers of direct damage, Solars have full excellencies, Dragon Blooded have smaller excellencies but auras are complicated, Lunar have metamorphosis and excellencies from caracs, Demons have ...

                              I really like the fact that every one of them is unique from a player standpoint bcause it offers different experiences, but I really wish there was a way for the ST to not account for everything more easily.

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