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  • Sorry I'm finally answering this even if a little late.

    If a PC wants to be good at something, I let them be good at it. What are your thoughts?
    So after a little time to think I realised that for me there was some essentials questions I had to address :

    1) Am I fine with overspecialised character ?

    2) What actually bothered me with the lyzard-tyrant ?

    And I found the core aspect of the answer in both is : Fun and game design.

    For 1, I usually hate overspecialised character. To me they are usually a result of the metagame rather than a relatable creature living in the game (ie, the player wants to do a particular shenanigan so he constraints the character to have the requirements for the shenanigan, usually by ignoring other aspects of the character so he has enough points of whatever the system use). It's not the case for everyone but still happens most of the time. But whatever.

    The encounter was kinda boring afterwards because we felt like not much could happen to us, because they had no initiative, but were not dead nonetheless. The thing is, I'm actually quite ok now with Dawn one-shotting things on the first round. It's part of the game, I have some ideas on how to change it if for future campaigns I want to try a different aspect of the game, but mainly it's fine. The thing is at least when the Dawn kills stuff, it forwards the story. What I like about initiative is that it overall moves the game forward. Here everyone just lost initiative, and the only thing it managed to do is kinda make everything slow and tensionless. With the initiative crash he did, the lizard tyrant got back to the initiative he had so nothing changed on him, we had no idea on how to rule beastmen trained by a Lunar plotting for revegenge since millenia in the nearby Shadowlands so the battlegroup stayed because it made no sense either to say they fled since there is no rule explicitly about Battle Groups in this power, and thus the only thing that changed was the Lieutenant lost tons of initiative and it felt really bland.

    Of course there exists the question of "could I ST this thing better so it doesn't happen ?" and the answer is most likely yes, but I could also say "Well from the beginning there was not exceptionnal storytelling with this Lizard-tyrant and the specific mechanics of the lizard-tyrant always made things complicated to balance for interesting encounters so maybe it could be time to ask if I can get rid of it for my next campaigns".

    So yeah I'm sorry I guess I kinda looked like I was whining (because I was) on my post, but I was looking for people to discuss the matter and help me make up my mind about this stuff, and overall the variety of answers I got here helped me to decide what I want to do as well as to pinpoint where may have been my fault as a ST.

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    • What breaks if my solar players are allowed to home brew mastery effects (Okayed by the ST of course) if the M.A charm itself doesn't have one?

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      • Originally posted by Chronos12 View Post
        What breaks if my solar players are allowed to home brew mastery effects (Okayed by the ST of course) if the M.A charm itself doesn't have one?
        If your players either stick to a single MA on their characters or they use MAs which aren't compatible with each other then there isn't much to worry about.

        The problem with tinkering with Martial Arts Charms is that they have to be balanced against every single Martial Arts they are compatible with to be sure you're not creating a broken combination, which tends to be a headache.

        A way to stay 100% safe would be to say that those custom-made Masteries do not activate when the Charm is used in combination with other Martial Arts.
        Last edited by Epitome; 09-04-2019, 03:59 PM.

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        • Originally posted by Chronos12 View Post
          What breaks if my solar players are allowed to home brew mastery effects (Okayed by the ST of course) if the M.A charm itself doesn't have one?
          Martial Arts becomes more powerful.

          On its own, probably fine. But you're going to have to pay close attention to how different Charms interact with each other: an effect which is balanced on its own might tip a different, delicately balanced Charm over the edge.


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

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          • Originally posted by Chronos12 View Post
            What breaks if my solar players are allowed to home brew mastery effects (Okayed by the ST of course) if the M.A charm itself doesn't have one?

            Without knowing the exact effects being proposed, it's hard to say specifically if anything breaks. Since you're talking about "with ST approval", my advice will thus center around what the ST should be looking for.

            First, I'd be cautious about allowing every charm in a martial art to have Mastery effects. The charms in an MA are designed holistically, around the idea that they all work together in a certain way. Adding extra powers, particularly to every single charm, may make them overpowered. Be careful that the Mastery-level MA charms aren't overall more powerful than the "native" Solar charmset. The route to being an amazing sword fighter shouldn't always be through Steel Devil Style, just plain Solar Melee has to remain competitive.

            Second, even assuming that adding Mastery effects to an MA's charms doesn't break things game-balance-wise, you also need to be cautious about how adding Mastery effects changes the style's feel. The placement of Mastery effects in the charm progression can affect how the experience of learning and using the style comes off. If a style is supposed to be an easy route to fast power, for instance, it will have more Mastery and fewer Terrestrial keywords early in the tree, for example, while one that's supposed to be a slow journey towards being a master will put them further back. Also, styles like the Five Immaculate Dragon Styles deliberately have no Mastery keywords, because they were designed, in-setting, to be harmonious with Dragon-Blooded Essence, something the DBs could unlock the potential of just as well as a Solar. Adding Mastery powers to them would break that feeling.

            Third, I'd consider whether these new Mastery effects are something that, in setting, have always existed as part of the martial art, or if the Solars learning them are innovating them for the first time. If it's the latter, any Sidereals in the game might feel a bit slighted, since they are technically capable of accessing Mastery effects as well, and are supposed to be "peerless martial artists". Finding out that, oh yeah, Solar martial artists are capable of just suddenly busting out an extra level of power on all the martial arts that Sidereals have studied and tried to perfect for millennia could rankle. If the effects have existed forever, and you're just retconning their existence, I would at least limit it to martial arts charms that any Sidereals in the group haven't already learned, because finding out that there was a way to do this but apparently they never got to use it before now is also going to be aggravating. Adding retconned Mastery effects to charms they haven't learned at least lets the Sidereals say "Oh, yeah, my old Snake Style sifu could do that too. I never progressed far enough in my training to learn that trick, but she could do a number on you."

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            • Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post


              Without knowing the exact effects being proposed, it's hard to say specifically if anything breaks. Since you're talking about "with ST approval", my advice will thus center around what the ST should be looking for.

              First, I'd be cautious about allowing every charm in a martial art to have Mastery effects. The charms in an MA are designed holistically, around the idea that they all work together in a certain way. Adding extra powers, particularly to every single charm, may make them overpowered. Be careful that the Mastery-level MA charms aren't overall more powerful than the "native" Solar charmset. The route to being an amazing sword fighter shouldn't always be through Steel Devil Style, just plain Solar Melee has to remain competitive.
              This is reasonable advice, and I agree with everything posted here. I only thought of this ideal due to how some styles feel less useful then others based on the fact that they have less mastery effects then other styles and often due to that are often seen as not worth getting over native charms. The goal would be for solars to take martial arts and have every charm be as worth getting as native charms. I do not want them to be better then native charms.

              Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
              Also, styles like the Five Immaculate Dragon Styles deliberately have no Mastery keywords, because they were designed, in-setting, to be harmonious with Dragon-Blooded Essence, something the DBs could unlock the potential of just as well as a Solar. Adding Mastery powers to them would break that feeling.
              I apologies, but I forgot to mention that detail yes. I'm fine with IMAs not getting mastery effects for the sake of setting narrative. Even if I feel that just mean no solars will ever have the charms save if they're deliberatively gimping themselves for role-playing reasons.

              Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
              Third, I'd consider whether these new Mastery effects are something that, in setting, have always existed as part of the martial art, or if the Solars learning them are innovating them for the first time.
              I would think it would be in the "always existed" category myself. Again this is all for mostly mechanical reasons I think this rule should be here not narrative reasons.

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              • Originally posted by Chronos12 View Post
                I only thought of this ideal due to how some styles feel less useful then others based on the fact that they have less mastery effects then other styles and often due to that are often seen as not worth getting over native charms.
                Bear in mind that "fewer Mastery effects" doesn't necessarily equal "overall weaker" either. A style could well be designed that was at the top-end of existing martial arts in power, and just have very few Mastery effects. It would just mean that not only Solars, Sidereals, and their peers could access the power, but rather it would be more equally available.

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                • Originally posted by Chronos12 View Post
                  I apologies, but I forgot to mention that detail yes. I'm fine with IMAs not getting mastery effects for the sake of setting narrative. Even if I feel that just mean no solars will ever have the charms save if they're deliberatively gimping themselves for role-playing reasons.
                  That's not entirely true :

                  -some IMA uniquely combine with regular MAs, i.e. if a Steel Devil stylist wants to expand beyond their main style, Fire Dragon is the only other MA that focuses on dual wielded swords.

                  -some styles are simply a strong fit as a secondary, i.e. Air Dragon is a better fit than most for an Ebon Shadow stylist since it helps with Stealth.

                  -some effects are unique to IMAs, i.e. only Wood Style will give you combat healing and let you kill any enemy instantly regardless of their health, including Legendary Size enemies.

                  -only IMAs go above Essence 3, which means a Martial Arts Supernal can start the game with powerful Essence 4-5 Martial Arts Charms if she focuses on an IMA.

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                  • What breaks if I make a charm, Essence and Medicine 4/5, which cuts down on the costs of Essence 1/2 charms like Instant treatment methodology and Wound Mending care technique. I'm trying to write about a medicine supernal, and having her be hamstrung because she spends 5 motes several times on wound mending care technique several times seems to be a downer.

                    And another thing. What about high level charms like on Essence 4/5, that can be comboed with other charms such that the Solar heals not just individual people but heals Magnitude's worth of people. For use on mass battlefields and plague-stricken cities.

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                    • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                      What breaks if I make a charm, Essence and Medicine 4/5, which cuts down on the costs of Essence 1/2 charms like Instant treatment methodology and Wound Mending care technique. I'm trying to write about a medicine supernal, and having her be hamstrung because she spends 5 motes several times on wound mending care technique several times seems to be a downer.
                      There are a number of Charms which have the only function of making other Charms cheaper. Healing Trance Meditation and Life-Exchanging Prana immediately jump to mind. Medicine 5 Essence 4 and a Willpower cost for a decent length (a day, say) sounds fine to me if it uses those Charms as a prereq. (And only effects the low level Charms so you still have reason to use the pre-reqs.)

                      Or committed motes that give a discount like Harmonious Presence Meditation would probably be ok for a weaker effect: I'd be ok with a M2 E1 Charm that worked exactly like Harmonious Presence Meditation but for Medicine.

                      If you don't balance it, then Charms like Benison of Celestial Healing become worthless. Nothing overly much breaks narratively. Solars are meant to be the ultimate healers of legend. Mechanically, I'd be wary of buffing Feit of Imparted Nature, but otherwise you can't heal wounds which don't exist so I don't think it messes with the mechanical or narrative balance too much.

                      And another thing. What about high level charms like on Essence 4/5, that can be comboed with other charms such that the Solar heals not just individual people but heals Magnitude's worth of people. For use on mass battlefields and plague-stricken cities.
                      I feel like THAT breaks the setting. If you can instantly heal everyone on the battlefield with magic that's way beyond what Solar medicine thematically is about and is mega broken mechanically.

                      You actually have to doctor these people.

                      Maybe a 1/Story Charm that requires expending 3a that let you impart a single -0 level (that didn't stack with Feit of Imparted Nature) and Exalted-level Disease/Poison resistence to 1 Magnitude for every Aggravated health level you take as you rip yourself in every direction to stabilize hundreds of dying folks would be ok. Not healing as such, but staunching wounds, slowing plague and imparting a new surge of life long enough for the Solar and her allies to heal these folks conventionally.

                      If the Solar doctor doesn't have to use her skill but can just cast Mass Heal then this flies counter to Solar themes and removes difficult moral and tactical choices.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-10-2019, 06:17 AM.


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

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                      • Even a miraculously good doctor has limits.

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                        • Just saying this, are you saying that solar medicine charms should always work on a case by case basis?

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                          • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                            If the Solar doctor doesn't have to use her skill but can just cast Mass Heal then this flies counter to Solar themes and removes difficult moral and tactical choices.
                            But doesn't this apply to, well, everything a Solar does?

                            I mean, where do you draw the line? Solars can make healing occur in the span of minutes. Solars can do in several seconds what would take doctors hours of surgery and treatment. Solars can make sure they can always make the right diagnosis.


                            What's the difference between 'cast detect disease' and the solar using the charm that lets her never make a misdiagnosis. What's the difference between 'Heal!' and 'I am so good at doctoring, that my patients recover from near-death in minutes'?

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                            • Alright. Fine. What about a mass stabilization event? You have an entire battlefield of bleeding and dying soldiers, and this charm lets you staunch their bleeding and give you one day to solve their problems, whether poison, bleeding, or disease.

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                              • I think it's in-theme for an Essence 5 charm but it's going to have to be something extremely Obvious, like a giant healing saint-like glow. Maybe requiring 3 anima levels to be burnt, or it automatically makes you flare iconically, or something like that. Not just wave your hands.


                                My characters:
                                Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                                Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                                Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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