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[Aberrant] Streamlining Scale

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  • [Aberrant] Streamlining Scale

    Preface; I am not angry or upset. Actually, if anything this is a wonderful exercise in design and feedback. I love the setting (even the changes)
    and am intrigued by the system.



    So I have been doing some thinking about Scale (as many may have noticed from my ludicrous number of posts about it), but something that struck me is that in CORE's Scale is not used very often, nor is it codified. By extension, Aeon is the same way. However, in Aberrant, it is a staple. Now it has been mentioned by writers and devs that Scale in Aberrant is basically supposed to be just as loosely applied as it is in CORE and Aeon, but with just a bit more application and structure. I have an issue with this.

    In its current state, all I can imagine is a million gamers crying out and arguing with their Storyguides on when and how Scale is implemented. I can almost hear them ask, with every roll, "Does my X Scale apply?". Having Scale defined, but not codified and regulated, is problematic in the long run. I feel it puts too much of a burden on the Storyguide, who needs to be devoting as much time as they can running the rest of the game. Let's face it, Storypath is cool and fun, but it has a lot of moving parts, especially where Edges and Powers are involved. With that said, I would love to see the seven Aberrant scales and nova powers better defined and integrated with Scale in mind. However, I know it has been stated that this basically won't happen. I respect that. That would take a lot more work to balance out and render. This is where my solution comes in.

    Since CORE is fairly loosey-goosey about Scale and even with the seven Scales being defined as they are, why not pull back and not have these seven defined Scales at all. Let me put it this way:

    On any given roll, a player is only going to be rolling one attribute (or even just an attribute), why not make it to where each dot in a given Mega-Attribute adds a point of Scale to the roll. Then is these Scales come into conflict with one another, they will start to cancel each other out. That would be it. This way if someone has Mega-Presence and try to enthrall another nova and they have Mega-Composure, these Scales would start to counter-act each other. We weed out hedge cases and specific wording of rules. This is much more streamlined. Everyone knows what to expect. If you roll an attribute and have dots in its corresponding mega-attribute, you increase your Scale for any given roll by the dots in that Mega-Attribute. Each Mega-Attribute would still grant other small benefits, like Mega-Stamina making healing faster, or Mega-Resolve lowering injury condition modifiers, etc.

    Now I understand, there are a few issues with this idea. This would make all the Mega- Resilience attributes really good for defence (which they would be, but that more of an issue with the core system than mega-attributes specifically). To balance this, we define that unless a character has the correct Mega-Edge (IE Durability) they can’t use their Scale from Mega-Resilience attributes on Defense rolls. As a side benefit, we could make it as a part of Mega-Speed that novas could use their Dexterity for Defense rolls, or even just the Scale derived off mega-Dexterity. This way we can have Super-Speedsters in our Superhero game.

    Those meg-edges that provide other, more nuanced, applications of Scales would still apply where they normally would. Like Mega-Speed adding to a nova's movement speed, etc.

    I think this creates a more intuitive system that streamlines the process and lets people get back to the game.
    Are there any thoughts on this idea? Mechanical issues I am missing? I am open for debate.
    Last edited by Bioagent; 07-25-2019, 07:48 AM. Reason: For clarity

  • #2
    This isn't too far off from the way Mega-Attributes work in the first place, though currently you get +2 Enhancement to an action that your Scale applies in for every dot you have over the opposite. But that cancelling thing is already built in as your Enhancement only comes from the difference in Scale.

    I think with all the conversation about Scale in Aberrant we're going to be making the language about when Scale applies, how, and where far clearer in the final version. I knew going into this that Scale would be the thing that would trip people up. It did when the Core came out and we keep learning how to make the language more clear and concise to convey the information. So thank you for continuing to give us good feedback.


    Danielle Lauzon, Requiem Developer, Storypath Guru, freelance writer

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    • #3
      Originally posted by impernious View Post
      This isn't too far off from the way Mega-Attributes work in the first place, though currently, you get +2 Enhancement to an action that your Scale applies in for every dot you have over the opposite. But that canceling thing is already built-in as your Enhancement only comes from the difference in Scale.

      I think with all the conversation about Scale in Aberrant we're going to be making the language about when Scale applies, how, and where far clearer in the final version. I knew going into this that Scale would be the thing that would trip people up. It did when the Core came out and we keep learning how to make the language more clear and concise to convey the information. So thank you for continuing to give us good feedback.
      Yes, sorry. I was using cancel as shorthand for the basics of how Scale interacts with the character and one another.


      Though from what has been released Scales derived off Mega-Attributes are not all equal, and that is basically what I am suggesting. Mega-Presence and Mega-Manipulation both adding to Leadership scale create an imbalance because Mega-Composure does not readily counteract the Scale that those mega-attributes provide. (not to mention it is also two mega-Attributes stacking together for scale, against one).

      Regardless, I do hope feedback has been helpful and I am very glad you all are so communicative about the design thought process.

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      • #4
        Danielle,

        The entire idea of Scale is genial, it make the same rules apply every time, no need for a bazillion dice roll.

        Bioagent, I and a few other guys had a nice time discussing it on another post, and I am happy you read it (and answered it, but the fact you read is enough because you can see why we are understanding by ourselves) as we probably brought many of the questions the people is having while try the game.

        I personally love the way it was explained, maybe a explanation about when you are on the lower side of the scale would be better, but leaving it a bit loose about when you apply it and when you don’t, you allow the SG to take control of the situation and tell the player that how it’s going to happen in that situation or the other.

        One comment I have on Narrative Scale is just drop the idea of multiplying the successes, it made many people confuse. It’s narrative, so just narrate it, it can be about the results and not the way those results are calculated. Anyway, its the way I see the narrative scale, it’s interesting and fun, and it don’t need a strict mechanic to deal with.

        Thanks for listening and helping with our doubts (that used to be many, but thanks to the dev team are rapidly reducing).

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        • #5
          After thinking about it. The TLDR of my solution is to make Mega-Attributes have Scale rather than abstract categories. It keeps everything as 1:1 as possible. However, this could lead to issues as I mentioned above.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bioagent View Post
            After thinking about it. The TLDR of my solution is to make Mega-Attributes have Scale rather than abstract categories. It keeps everything as 1:1 as possible. However, this could lead to issues as I mentioned above.
            You mean like a scale for each attribute? Dexterity scale and Resolve Scale for example?

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            • #7
              Basically. This way there is little to no interpretation if, when, and how a scale applies. Likely if you have a power that grants Scale when you use it (ie Quantum Attack), only the highest Scale applies.

              I came up with this idea when I saw that many Nova social/mental influence powers are resisted by the defender making a roll. This reminded me that there is only one attribute used per roll. That being a common denominator, why not use it as your guidepost for Scale.

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              • #8
                Only problem with that is when you start stepping outside of Nova v Nova play. It was my initial fear about the mega-attributes that was assuaged once I saw they had specific applications.


                Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                • #9
                  I can understand that. However, the big limiting/balancing factor between the type are the powers they have access to and their XP. The starting 150 xp does the work of building what you want, but it doesn't last long. Also, with having to spend so much for your cool nova powers. Give a Psion or Talent the same amount, they start really being capable because they can focus on normal attributes, skills, and their cheaper powers.

                  Also, look at it this way. Batman (assuming he is an experienced Talent) can't take on or handle Superman in most situations without a good deal of luck/setup.

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                  • #10
                    Well, you can’t build Superman in its full glory with 150XP, but you can build a pretty descent XMan.
                    Give 150XP to a talent and he can do a lot of things, probably ha could do anything he wants easily, but hardly he will be able to became bullet proof, lift a truck, or control fire.
                    A psion is more versatile than a talent in this aspect, he can became extremely powerful on whatever he is focused, but the Nova can scale above a psion. It’s not a matter of how expensive the powers are, the dots in powers for novas are exponential, the first dot is a psion level power, the second dot is a 6dot psi power and from 3rd dot is beyond psions reach.

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                    • #11
                      Simple example.
                      A Psion attack power is like this:
                      Enhancement equal to dots + X tags

                      A Nova attack power is like this:
                      Enhancement equal to Quantum/2 + 2 per dot above first (scale) + dot tags.
                      A Q3 3 dot attack is 6en + 3 tags (can cause 4 injuries)
                      A Q4 4 dot attack is 8en + 4 tags (can cause 5 injuries)
                      A Q5 5 dot attack is 11en + 5 tags (can cause 6 injuries)

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                      • #12
                        You can build Action Comics #1 Superman easy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jetstream View Post
                          You can build Action Comics #1 Superman easy.
                          “Superman in its full glory” is a bit more “versatile”, not to mention how far his strength, speed and toughness can go without anyone questioning it.

                          But yes, Superman as first stated was 150xp, now he is more like 750 XP (just to put a number, didn’t make the stats nor the counting)

                          By the way, Batman, 150 extra XP is enough from the Talent base?

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