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C20: Minor tweaks to a nostalgia product vs a more drastic overhaul?

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  • C20: Minor tweaks to a nostalgia product vs a more drastic overhaul?

    In another thread a side conversation has developed about just how unworkable Changeling: The Dreaming was as a game and just how much of the 2nd Edition mechanics should be changed in the C20 edition. Now, I know the manuscript is either in editing or just completed editing, so there's no chance of this affecting C20 at all, which I'm fine with, but I was wondering what people thought generally about the nostalgia of simply giving Changeling the revised edition it never got plus a 20th anniversary update akin to the rest of the line vs actually overhauling the mechanics and making the game function better as a coherent whole.

    Personally, I think there's some charm to the almost schizophrenic / multiple personality / "too many different directions" nature of the rules. I'm hoping C20 is simply a smoothing of the edges and the bits of changes that should have appeared in the revised edition, plus the minor tweaks thanks to the 20th anniversary edition (in keeping with the other games and the minor tweaks they received when going from 2nd revised to 20th). But some disagree:

    Originally posted by Keichiokami View Post
    I completely disagree, I am looking forward to Changeling getting updated mechanics that reflect both the Revised edition it should have gotten, and an update using modern game design principles. All of indications and previews have pointed out that with C20, that will be the case.

    Nostalgia is awesome and all, but consider every CtD game I have played in both LARP and Tabletop has been *extensively* house ruled to be playable, I am sooooo ready for that not to be the case.
    Now, rather than continuing a thread derailment, let's have that conversation here.

    So, what do people think? Minor tweaks and updates, but mostly a nostalgia product that remains true to Changeling 2nd Edition, or a game that's more drastically updated and rules overhauled?
    Last edited by Rabbit Pooka; 09-12-2016, 08:34 PM.

  • #2
    I'm hoping for a balance of the 2. I want a game that feels like Changeling, even if the rules need to be changed somewhat to work better thematically.
    I do think a good portion of the rules need...something. Tweaking a lot of the time. Overhauling here and there. I'm really looking forward to the Arts/Realm mixtures since they are supposed to work better in C20 (have more actual viable combinations) than in CtD.

    I have faith in the people behind it and will await judgement until I see my book/pdf.


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    • #3
      Any attempt to smooth the edges for some people will be "a drastic overhaul". We know for a fact before Changeling was cancelled it was going to get a drastic overhaul. Building in the book of Glamour into C20 is damned reasonable.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lian View Post
        Any attempt to smooth the edges for some people will be "a drastic overhaul". We know for a fact before Changeling was cancelled it was going to get a drastic overhaul. Building in the book of Glamour into C20 is damned reasonable.
        This is actually what I was talking about in my original post. There was a lot of talk of overhauling the magic system in Book of Glamour shortly before the line was cancelled. I and the majority of the CtD fan community was genuinely excited for those upcoming changes.

        The idea of getting a solid update using Revised mechanics, the new overhauls to cantrips and glamour that were being planned, AND fresh new ideas to revitalize the game? Those ideas get me excited. From the various posts we have seen from the writers and developers that seems to be what C20 is going to be and I am so down.

        Do I want the game to be unrecognizeable? No of course not! It has a wonderful and rich setting, with awesome themes, that is why I feel in love with the game in the first place. But I am open to any and all mechanical updates they improve my enjoyment of the game.


        "May you live in interesting times"

        Storyteller of The Hakura Chronicle

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        • #5
          The setting changes appear to be minimal, from the excerpts we've seen. There are still the usual kiths, seemings, etc. The thallain seem to have expanded, but that's not a bad thing.

          From the excerpt we've seen, the magic system is much simpler (I didn't care for the example bunks given, but that was a matter of taste) and Unleashing is a huge boon. No more useless Arts. It also looks like some subsystems may have been codified as Arts (Invoking the Dragon's Ire, Contracts), which may or may not work, but seems a pretty reasonable idea.

          There's also a fifth way of gaining Glamour: Revelry, I think. This addresses the Glamour economy, although I wonder if Glamour will ever be as easy for changelings to regain as it is for Inanimae (the ability to meditate among the relevant element makes it easy to fudge the replenishing of Glamour).

          I do agree with others that it'll be good not to have to house rule everything. Glamour and magic were the big things to fix. The other Revised-era changes (bashing and lethal damage, new initiative and damage rules, tweaks to multiple actions, etc) were always easy enough to crib from other Revised books, so they're less valuable to the fixes to other systems.
          Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 09-13-2016, 03:33 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Keichiokami View Post

            This is actually what I was talking about in my original post. There was a lot of talk of overhauling the magic system in Book of Glamour shortly before the line was cancelled. I and the majority of the CtD fan community was genuinely excited for those upcoming changes.

            The idea of getting a solid update using Revised mechanics, the new overhauls to cantrips and glamour that were being planned, AND fresh new ideas to revitalize the game? Those ideas get me excited. From the various posts we have seen from the writers and developers that seems to be what C20 is going to be and I am so down.

            Do I want the game to be unrecognizeable? No of course not! It has a wonderful and rich setting, with awesome themes, that is why I feel in love with the game in the first place. But I am open to any and all mechanical updates they improve my enjoyment of the game.


            Lets look at infusion. Its an art that exists to paper over a hole in the system. Now lets say someone decided Infusion needed to go but replaced it with a full and readily available system for making chimera and treasures. Something anyone can do but Nockers are really good at. Some might say "that's making the game unregognizeable!" since they focused entirely on the idea of Nockers having a secret art that no one else could use.. yet some how everyone had Treasures.

            Let look at Title. This is something intrinsically upheld by the Dreaming in most books. Except in Kithbook Eshu where you can buy Title that white people can ignore but is totally cool In the Middle East/India/Africa. I find this a edge that needs to be cleaned up not other people would say "that's unrecognizeable!"

            We barely have any real cover outside North America, even going over the Kingdoms of Europe would be an almost unrecognizable difference even with the same players.

            Finally this is 20+ years later from the Resurgence, even assuming the metaplot its 17 years since the Second House coming, the Situation with teh Sidhe will have changed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lian View Post
              Lets look at infusion. Its an art that exists to paper over a hole in the system. Now lets say someone decided Infusion needed to go but replaced it with a full and readily available system for making chimera and treasures. Something anyone can do but Nockers are really good at. Some might say "that's making the game unregognizeable!" since they focused entirely on the idea of Nockers having a secret art that no one else could use.. yet some how everyone had Treasures.
              Nice example

              What about things that were totally ST discretion before, like Bedlam? Would it be better to keep it totally up to the ST or give rules so that players can see their characters becoming addicted to Glamour?

              What about something as fundamental as "the present day?" Would it be better assume the events in Denizens/War in Concordia/Book of Lost Houses are still the status quo or to assume it's now 2016 and stuff happened in the intervening years?

              C20 has an interesting tightrope to walk that V20, W20, and M20 didn't have to worry about — it's both an anniversary book and true new edition at the same time. Some things that stay the same might be leaving a broken mess to some folks. Some things that change might be making the game unrecognizable to others. Where that line is drawn will definitely vary from person to person.


              Charlie Cantrell
              Onyx Path Freelancer
              Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes, Book of Freeholds

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PookaKnight View Post


                What about something as fundamental as "the present day?" Would it be better assume the events in Denizens/War in Concordia/Book of Lost Houses are still the status quo or to assume it's now 2016 and stuff happened in the intervening years?
                Alot of the intial setting of Changeling was defined by the Accordance war, but that was 27 years out and fading into the legends of Grumps.. now the Ressuregence and the Accordance war are well over 50 years ago, functionally its been two generations since then(changeling time can be wonky) the unique tying of Changeling to a real world time period forces somethings that other games don't have.


                And as I said earlier I'd love to see something more than "Concordia" yes the United states is the largest segment of the audience but at least cover something more..
                Last edited by Lian; 09-13-2016, 02:49 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post

                  Alot of the intial setting of Changeling was defined by the Accordance war, but that was 27 years out and fading into the legends of Grumps.. now the Ressuregence and the Accordance war are well over 50 years ago, functionally its been two generations since then(changeling time can be wonky) the unique tying of Changeling to a real world time period forces somethings that other games don't have.


                  And as I said earlier I'd love to see something more than "Concordia" yes the United states is the largest segment of the audience but at least cover something more..
                  God, yes! Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Romania . . . There's so much faerie lore to be mined.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                    God, yes! Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Romania . . . There's so much faerie lore to be mined.

                    Well Britain and Ireland were theoretically covered.. I say in theory because Isle of the Mighty had as much in common with the Britain and the Rest fo the UK as Avalon from 7th Sea.

                    Let me throw out there South America, it should have a similar history of imperalism, but we don't even know what the native Fae would even be called as a group.. maybe they did better intergrating? It would be a full on alien setting for Changeling as it was in 2e..

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                    • #11
                      Sure, I'd love to see the setting expanded and updated, as I'm assuming it was for the other 20th lines. My concern was explicitly mechanical as Changeling was the youngest line with the most changes from 1st to 2nd, and the most that still needed work before being cancelled. But then I'm a firm believer that the mechanics matter and they invariably affect the way the game plays and the fiction created in play. I'm just concerned that there will be things missing (as hinted at by comments that some Arts just don't work like they used to), and that the need to nail down an exact system and mechanic for everything is a wonderfully Banal irony.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rabbit Pooka View Post
                        Sure, I'd love to see the setting expanded and updated, as I'm assuming it was for the other 20th lines. My concern was explicitly mechanical as Changeling was the youngest line with the most changes from 1st to 2nd, and the most that still needed work before being cancelled. But then I'm a firm believer that the mechanics matter and they invariably affect the way the game plays and the fiction created in play. I'm just concerned that there will be things missing (as hinted at by comments that some Arts just don't work like they used to), and that the need to nail down an exact system and mechanic for everything is a wonderfully Banal irony.


                        Mechanics do matter. If Mechanics fail to support game concepts then thsoe mechanics are bad. There are alot of bad arts. Infusion, Talecraft, Onerimancy, Discord. Whoever made these arts didn't understand they weren't writing up Disciplines.


                        And there's nothing more ironic than this :" I'm a firm believer that the mechanics matter and they invariably affect the way the game plays and the fiction created in play." then complaining about the need to nail down an exact system for everything. Concepts in game without mechanical support twist the fiction either by nonexistence or are made up separately at the table and thus "why am I paying for this"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rabbit Pooka View Post
                          as hinted at by comments that some Arts just don't work like they used to
                          To set expectations — some Arts just don't work like they used to. These aren't the 2E core book Arts though. Chicanery, Legerdemain, Primal, Soothsay, Sovereign, and Wayfare are all there. Some of those have been smoothed out and had a level or two changed, but they're still basically the same Arts you knew before.

                          It's the non-core book Arts that got reworked. Things like Skycraft are hopefully something players will actually want to take now. I love the new Arts. I think they serve certain character concepts that were always talked about in Changeling but never really given a solid way to be portrayed.
                          Last edited by PookaKnight; 09-15-2016, 08:30 AM. Reason: Clarity


                          Charlie Cantrell
                          Onyx Path Freelancer
                          Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes, Book of Freeholds

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                          • #14
                            There would've been a Treasure-Craft Art in the Book of Glamour, which was mentioned in a thread on Shadownessence. I hope we also get the Ravaging Art cut from Shadow Court and Pour L'Amour et Liberte.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lian View Post
                              Mechanics do matter. If Mechanics fail to support game concepts then those mechanics are bad. There are a lot of bad arts. Infusion, Talecraft, Onerimancy, Discord. Whoever made these arts didn't understand they weren't writing up Disciplines.
                              I can't argue with you there.

                              And there's nothing more ironic than this :" I'm a firm believer that the mechanics matter and they invariably affect the way the game plays and the fiction created in play." then complaining about the need to nail down an exact system for everything. Concepts in game without mechanical support twist the fiction either by nonexistence or are made up separately at the table and thus "why am I paying for this"
                              I think system does matter, but you don't need a system for everything. Especially things that either don't really matter, or that will easily lead to more focus on the mechanics themselves rather than the fiction being created at the table. For example, crafting chimera. It really doesn't need a full-blown system. From the fluff, any Changeling having a bad night can accidentally create a chimera. And artisans can intentionally craft their dreams into chimerical reality. What more do we need in terms of nailed down mechanics? Charts and tables, modifiers and ingredients? I don't think so.

                              Take this as an example, a Nocker is tasked with making a chimerical sword for the duke. Okay. But the duke wants something special... say a sword crafted from the moonlight reflected off the fountain in Armstrong Park in New Orleans. But he's the Duke of New York. You can handle that as a quest to get the stuff and once that's successfully gathered up, you just craft the sword... or you can mechanize that and force a roll to actually make the thing. Which could fail. Is that the type of mundane banal reality that needs to be reflected in the mechanics? I don't think so.

                              After a quest like that, crafting the sword should be a gimme. The fun and adventure and excitement of the quest itself is the exciting part...not in making a roll after all that, especially a roll that could be failed. This is a storytelling game. It's supposed to be about telling great stories at the table through play and later on about the play. The story you tell for years to come is about how you were chased out of Armstrong Park by a garou and had to use the pooka as bait to lure it away long enough to harvest the moonlight, not: "Yep, rolled one success to craft the sword."

                              I can hear people saying they're not mutually exclusive. I think they are, for the simple reason that having to make that roll after the quest undercuts the thing entirely. It focuses things in the wrong direction. It focuses play on the mechanics (whether you rolled well enough to craft the sword) instead of on the story about how you gathered up all the stuff on an epic road trip. It's the whiff factor, x100.

                              The other drawback is munchkining the mechanics. Take crafting in most iterations of D&D, you have charts and charts of weapons, crafting times, costs, etc. Most players and GMs think nothing of it till they get that one player to games the system. They spot that the cost of 100 arrows is about 100x the cost of crafting 100 arrows. So they start thinking of small businesses, franchise rights, and saving themselves a few coin on starting equipment. The Changeling version is skipping the Chimera background because the character's a Nocker and can just make their own. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but is that the kind of banal mundanity that should be reflected in the mechanics of C20? I don't think so.

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