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Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matter!

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  • Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matter!

    Before we begin let me start by saying that I understand not everyone cares about getting the most out of your class for combat reasons. That's fine! You don't need to worry about any of the information below! People play tabletops for a variety of reasons.

    That being said if one of the reasons you play is to be the best you can be at combat then rejoice this is the thread for you. Though if what I'm about to reveal is true it might not be the game for you!

    So please bare the following in mind with the below data:
    -Only the Basic Rulebook is taken into account
    -I haven't accounted for every situation, every build, every spell, every stunt, ect…
    -Normal Circumstances are used for combat
    -I'm not a mathematician so if you find a flaw please feel free to let me know what it is and why. I'm more than happy to edit this post to correct errors
    -I am a huge nerd for doing this

    Lets Start with the Basics:

    Fantasy Age is a game that revolves around d6's. The most common roll being a 3d6 for any tests, attack rolls, casting rolls, ect... That's fine, lots of games use 3d6, it's a solid way to average out the rolls. Here's a graph!



    What does this mean? Well it means your chances of rolling a certain value are skewed far more towards the mid range than anywhere else. The chance you’ll get a 10 or 11 is 12.5% where as a 3 or an 18 is only .46%

    This graph is the lifeblood of virtually every character, monster, NPC, Trap, and spell. When you roll you’re life is in the graphs hands. If you treat the graph right it will treat you right. But if you disrespect the graph, your life will be a living hell.

    Hitting things:

    Nobody likes to miss. Luckily if you build right in Fantasy Age you never will! Say you’re a level 1 Rogue. What are your chances of hitting that pesky goblin? He’s got a 14 Defense so it could be tough. Well lets think back to the graph. If you have 0 Accuracy you need to roll at least a 14, 15, 16, 17 or 18. The combined probability of doing that is only about 25.93% not so good. But wait! You aren’t incompetent and thought to put a 3 down for your Accuracy. Now you only need an 11 to hit em’. That’s a 50-50 shot which ain’t too shabby.

    This scenario seems pretty fair for a level 1 fight. But here’s the catch. 14 is the highest accuracy of any monster in the book. Here’s where things get more interesting.

    Same situation but you’re level 2 now. You’ve invested your focus in your current weapon and you even added a point to your Accuracy to boot. Right now you’re sitting on +6 to hit this little guy. Bringing your required dice roll all the way down to 8. That’s an 83.80% chance to hit. Over 4 out of 5 times you attack an enemy with the highest defense yet seen in the base game you hit. At level 2. It only gets easier to hit things as the game goes on. By level 4 you can have a +7 to hit which brings that chance up to 90.74%. You could increase your stat more but there’s pretty much no point. By level 11 you can increase your focus in your wep to +3 and now that chance is at 95.37%.

    Look. I get that there’s only a few monsters in the book but these monsters are the only template we have for what the game designers consider balanced.

    I have more info to add but I'll save it for a later time. I'll try to update this info as much as I can over the next few days. Please feel free to give me your thoughts!
    Last edited by Smuglord; 26th August 2015, 09:13 PM. Reason: Updated to a better graph

  • #2
    Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

    The only problem I see is that the book says to come up with a character concept first and then randomly generating ability scores. Deciding to play a master archer and then rolling a -1 for Accuracy just isn't going to do it. If you're using one of the nonrandom methods to generate your ability scores you almost certainly will start with a 2 or maybe even a 3, and then your chances to hit even a high Defense enemy are already pretty good.

    I don't see any math that isn't adding up, and also no mention of any Communication Points.
    “Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”


    Working on the Ancient Lands campaign setting for Fantasy Age.
    Spriggans Den - RPGs and Sword & Sorcery

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    • #3
      Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

      Even in the standard random roll you are allowed to swap two stats and I don't see why you wouldn't as long as it meets the concept you create. I think what he is trying to say is that the math is weird because it is trivially easy to achieve a 90% hit rate vs. every single monster in the core book, like getting to level 2 or 3 easy, when the game is built around a maximum of 20 levels. Which I think could be an issue, which is why he says it doesn't add up.Should a level 2 character be able to hit a monster two or three magnitudes stronger than them with 90% certainty? Does it make the combat more interesting or dynamic when I am almost always certain to hit?

      Most games I have played the monster would have some kind of scaling defense based on their level. A low level player fighting something a tier or two above it would not be able to hit. I guess the question you have to ask is if that actually matters to you or not.

      I think the joke is they were not brought up...because they don't matter.
      Last edited by Crit it and Quit it; 26th August 2015, 04:51 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

        Bigger monsters become a lot tougher. But it's mostly Armor and Health which increases. From my playtesting combat is already long enough, even when people are constantly hitting each other.
        “Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”


        Working on the Ancient Lands campaign setting for Fantasy Age.
        Spriggans Den - RPGs and Sword & Sorcery

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

          I would agree that monsters do gain quite a bit of health, but I would have to disagree on armor gain. Only 4 of the 11 monsters even have an armor above 5. and damage/armor penn are fairly easy to come by.

          But you do bring up a good point. Which is how to you classify an encounter? Other than the book creating loose groups of level appropriate adversaries, how do you create a level appropriate encounter? it may be fun to create a "benchmark" encounter to test various things against.

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          • #6
            Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

            Originally posted by Yora View Post
            The only problem I see is that the book says to come up with a character concept first and then randomly generating ability scores. Deciding to play a master archer and then rolling a -1 for Accuracy just isn't going to do it.
            I thought so too, first, but then I had another look at the example concepts in Dragon Age and Fantasy Age: They all pertain to elements of the backstory and the motivation; none of them actually specifies what the character is good at. They could have made this more explicit, but I think this is actually a pretty interesting concept for mixing random and non-random elements: First, for example, you decide that your character is someone who feels he has been treated unfair in his youth and now is on a crusade for justice; you might imagine a classical fighter/knight type, but then you roll up something that would be a far better mage ... if you're open to it, making your concept fit with a mage (or even a rogue) might be far more interesting than simply going for the obvious pairing.

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            • #7
              Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

              True and as far as building a character goes, randomly rolling is probably going give you a much better spread.

              How do you guys build your encounters? Looking at it is seems to me like finding the average would be adding up your parties total level and applying monsters of until they equal it. Then you can add various modifiers for how you want the fight to go.

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              • #8
                Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                My first step is to consider what would narratively make sense for the party to encounter. When I think six bandits would fit the story or four ogres, I start with that.
                Then I take a closer look at what stats those enemies have. How much Health and Armor, how high is their defense, and what's their chance to hit and the damage they cam deal. Taking into account the stats of the party, and relying on past experience, you can have a rough impression of what would happen in a fight if one is breaking out. Probalbly needs to be figured out by trial and error at first.I don't know how to quick and dirty calculate likely outcomes without simulating th entire fight in advance.

                Depending on the likely odds to win that fight, the next question is what would happen if the players lose? There is a good guideline that you should never put a locked door in an adventure unless the game can continue if the players fail to open the lock. And that applies to fights as well. There should be a way how the players can progress without a fight and some kind of way at least some can survive if they get into a fight they can't win.

                And then I start thinking about how I could perhaps also make the group of enemies slightly larger or smaller so that the encounter will work better.
                “Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”


                Working on the Ancient Lands campaign setting for Fantasy Age.
                Spriggans Den - RPGs and Sword & Sorcery

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                  Originally posted by Yora View Post
                  The only problem I see is that the book says to come up with a character concept first and then randomly generating ability scores. Deciding to play a master archer and then rolling a -1 for Accuracy just isn't going to do it. If you're using one of the nonrandom methods to generate your ability scores you almost certainly will start with a 2 or maybe even a 3, and then your chances to hit even a high Defense enemy are already pretty good.

                  I don't see any math that isn't adding up, and also no mention of any Communication Points.
                  So there's a couple issues with this argument. If you're rolling your stats the odds that you'll get below zero are less than 5%. In fact your odds of getting a 0 or less are only 25%. Most of the time you'll be rolling at least a 1. You have a 25% and you have a 9.26% chance to roll a 3 and up. Since you're rolling 9 times odds are pretty good you'll get a 3, maybe a few 2's, some 1's, some 0's, and maybe a negative. Even without optional rules you get to swap around 2 ability scores. So unless you're a glutton for punishment or just don't care about combat you're going to have a positive to hit dice.

                  Originally posted by Yora View Post
                  Bigger monsters become a lot tougher. But it's mostly Armor and Health which increases. From my playtesting combat is already long enough, even when people are constantly hitting each other.
                  When I talk about the math not adding up I'm talking about assigning values to things that make sense. The defense stat is pretty pointless for monsters. I mean yes, your DM could make you fight goblins in the pitch black during a snowstorm so you get a -3 to hit. But if he's that hard up about it by level 2-4 you can have a full 5 points in your to hit ability, a focus in your weapon of choice, and you can boost your attack by aiming for +1. Meaning you can still hit 83.80% of the time in the worst of situations before you're even fighting moderate enemies. Defense is almost pointless as a stat given this information. It serves no purpose besides just being an inconvenience you have to account for early on. You may as well just be allowed to hit your target 100% of the time and just roll for the chance to get stunt dice.

                  As for communication points, I'll concede that you use them out of combat for plenty of possible conversations. However it's used for about 2 or 3 things in combat and just about all of them are pointless or super situational.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                    When I talk about the math not adding up I'm talking about assigning values to things that make sense. The defense stat is pretty pointless for monsters. I mean yes, your DM could make you fight goblins in the pitch black during a snowstorm so you get a -3 to hit. But if he's that hard up about it by level 2-4 you can have a full 5 points in your to hit ability, a focus in your weapon of choice, and you can boost your attack by aiming for +1. Meaning you can still hit 83.80% of the time in the worst of situations before you're even fighting moderate enemies. Defense is almost pointless as a stat given this information. It serves no purpose besides just being an inconvenience you have to account for early on. You may as well just be allowed to hit your target 100% of the time and just roll for the chance to get stunt dice.
                    This has always been a problem with AGE, not just F-AGE. IMO, the reasonable variable pool is too small when you're likely starting with a +3-4.

                    Personally, I think they should have gone 3d10 or 3d12, and made the stunts truly spectacular (as opposed to necessary to keep combat from bogging down, ironic because choosing stunts often bogs down turns).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                      Thinking about it, you could also fix it by removing the requirement for 2 advancements points when advancing a stat beyond 5.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                        Does anyone now why monsters on average have such a high constitution score?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                          I guess if you wanted to lower the hit rates you could not count the stunt die in the hit calculation so in effect roll 2d6. I have not played enough yet to know if the hit rates are an issue for me.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                            That's just in the core books and just for single critters, as a GM, the critters you throw at your party should get tougher as you go along.... regardless of how easy it is to hit them.

                            There is also a matter of scale (usually seen with zombies and insects). Five or six zombies/bugs easy going. Stomp. Splat. End of flesh eating insect. Now when you're mobbed by 20+ of either critter you're not doing to be squatting them down before they have a chance to take a bite out of you.

                            Also from a real world perspective someone trained to do something is going to be able to do it almost all the time under ideal circumstances. From a cop at a firing range to a kid landing the puck in a net. Out on "the streets" that same cop that can nail a target on the range every time may still miss because of circumstances. The kid playing hockey might miss the shot because of a defender. That would be the bell curve in action.

                            Just my two cents for what it is worth. Mathwise the 3d6 is a better measure than a d20.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fantasy Age: The Tabletop Where the Math Doesn't Add Up and the Communication Points Don't Matte

                              And a lot of some of this depends on how focused you are on speed-of-combat. My own feeling is that's something people over-focus on; if spending a bit of time on combat is too long, you either should be playing a game with less combat, or more interesting combat.

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