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What does FAGE do really well?

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  • #16
    Re: What does FAGE do really well?

    Originally posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
    I like combat encounters, but only for the sense of danger and urgency, and only about one per session
    Then your combat becomes one of two things: Centrepiece (being just once or twice in a gaming session), or something just needed to propel the narrative.

    If combat is a centrepiece, then the FAGE rules and other flashy tidbits work. They make for memorable combat moments.

    If your combat is just part of the narrative, then you can treat it just as you would the usual social encounter. For example:
    • You are trying to use deception to get past a guard. It's a measly opposed test. You win, you get past. You lose, the guard doesn't let you through.
    • Now, you are trying to battle your way past guards that are blocking your exit. Make it an opposed test (maybe have a combat ability like Fighting or something new like Combat). You win, you defeat the guards, and get to set the narrative on what happened in combat. You lose, you get beat, and the DM sets the narrative on what happened in combat.


    That should really speed up combat, if your focus is the narrative. No more need to track defense, health, attack rolls, and whatnot. You can still have items and talents that contribute to your Combat ability so that you get higher scores on combat rolls. ^_^

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    • #17
      Re: What does FAGE do really well?

      FAGE does two things very well which makes it a very attractive system. Simplicity and stunts.

      It makes for even the non powergamer and powergamer to immerse in its mechanic. I personally like it.

      Their is some stuff it do not do very good. Which makes for some heavy house ruling if your group has any sense of balance and mechanic. I would say it's a bit unfinished and should have been more polished before release.

      Disposition
      It is very hard to find certain rules in the book as they are scattered all over the place. From putting leveling mechanic without a header at the end of warrior class section to scattering rules through talents and everywhere else in the book basically.

      Deception
      It states that class is just a formal choice, yet its basically everything. Class defines you as it is designed at the moment and very few option to break out of it are available. It also forces you into certain play styles and focus choices. Eerily enough you can make a sort of Mage/Monk and some other unusual combos.
      Tradeskills. Is mentioned as not being included, yet the talent section starts with 2 talents which basically is "get cheaper stuff". But, no rules what so ever to support it.

      Imbalanced
      The warrior is a deathmachine compared to the other classes. The rogue can never dish out that consistent damage. The mage will be constantly out of magicpoints.
      On top of that I put my party up vs. some tricky gremlins. Having faced some bandits in the form of pressgangers I didnt think much of letting them face 5 gremlins labeled as a "minor threat". However at LVL 1, 4 players vs 5 gremlins with Def 14 and +5 to hit made me wake up at least. It's lethal.

      Gunpowder weapons and grenades
      Is a nice addition but it is just added and basically do not sync with the rest of the rules. This can be noticed with several weapon groups as well. They are just added but basically don't add anything to the game.

      Having around 44% chance to blow up each round (and that's just vs. one opponent) is not a good mechanic, when wielding grenades.

      Dual talent etc. do not take in the fact that a pistol changes dual wielding inherently.

      Good topic, realized after I wrote it, that I wrote more about it's flaws. But that's my thought on the system.

      Regards

      Aurel

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      • #18
        Re: What does FAGE do really well?

        I don't get the HP inflation thing people are talking about here. I doubt many people will have above +3 con if that. Assuming you even roll all 6s on everything you will get 120HP by level 10. 150 by level 20. I think that is fine personally. I find the problem being armor scaling, and the fact that the only class that can deal with armor on a regular basis (mage) has low damage, and easily avoidable rolls on it.

        Let's assume armor rating 10, as that is what a character can get. Now let us use just strictly melee based weapons (and a warrior). Great Axe has 3d6, which technically has the highest chance for damage out put and since this is based on max rolls we will go with that. Let us also assume the person attacking with the great axe has +3 Strength (which is probably average, I assume any fighting oriented melee people will have 5 at least). Now let us assume they all out attack, stunt for 5, use the +2d6 stunt and roll max damage on all of it

        6x5+1+3 = 34. This is with a great axe, non-magical (people seem to forget magical weapons are a thing here.) Now subtract 10 from that you get 24. 24 damage on 150 isn't that bad for one attack. Realistically though, instead of rolling max you will usually roll half that which is 17.

        17-10=7. This is where the problem of AR comes in more so than higher Health pools. Since most boss monsters in the book have higher AR and health it becomes a problem. Mages by pass armor with most of their spells (Watery doom being the best) the problem is mage spells are hilariously easy to roll the target number for.

        Watery Doom - 2d6 + Willpower + Penetrating damage. Let us assume they can breath, and the caster has 3 Willpower, and the monster somehow fails a con check (highly unlikely), and you max stun for it, increasing it's damage by +2d6. 6x4+3 = 27 full damage on the first turn and 16 full damage a turn for 5 turns (assuming they fail) is really good right? Realistically it will never work like this, and you will roll much less and everything even on a basic level has an above average chance to succeed on the TN Spell power rolls. This isn't even including how much mana it takes to cast such spells, and how you'll have none if you went for it right away by third level, and cast it.


        On the flip side, mages are just really bad in general. The magic/Mana system is fine, but their damage out put is too small for how paper thin they are. If you want no penalties for casting, moving, dex checks you can't wear any worth while armor. So you are forced into taking Stone Cloak for some sort of armor, which will probably be 5. Most mages will have low HP. I play a orc mage, and I got 34HP at level 3 (2 con), 34 mana (3 Willpower) and that is VERY lucky cause I rolled 6 on level 1 and 2 for it. I won't have 150HP by level 20, and I won't have 10 armor. So my mage will literally get eaten a live. I figured this out early on and after taking Earth/Healing Arcane I immediately went into Fates to help with more party buffing.

        Meanwhile, Rogue and Warrior will always do a good amount of damage, have way more options for talents/skills, more HP. Mages would be way better if there was less ways to resist, or flat out negate most of their damage. As it is right now, it is really easy to do so. Cause of this, high armor, high health targets just don't die at any sort of decent pace. In theory, magical items could fix this, but at the same time, why not just give the rogue a piercing magical weapon and call it a day? Much easier to do than to say, balance giving a mage an magical item that increases all their magical attack damage rolls by 1d6, and increases their spellpower.

        In theory, the high health pools are fine with low armor rating. In practice, high health pools come with high armor rating, and the only class that by passes armor at a regular pace does really low, easily avoidable damage. I think it is a combination of Armor Rating + higher health pools at higher levels is the problem, not more so one or the other.

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        • #19
          Re: What does FAGE do really well?

          Armor is exacerbated by Armor Training. The master level gives 1/2 AR to resisting penetrating damage. Penetrating spells are typically low damage anyway, so this talent renders many spells completely non-damaging.

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          • #20
            Re: What does FAGE do really well?

            Originally posted by shonuff View Post
            Armor is exacerbated by Armor Training. The master level gives 1/2 AR to resisting penetrating damage. Penetrating spells are typically low damage anyway, so this talent renders many spells completely non-damaging.
            Yep!

            So mages not only have to beat a target number to activate the spell (which is usually easy enough), then they got to have the enemy fail the spell power check (which is hard to have happen), then if the enemy has armor training and is a warrior type (or the player) He basically gets to ignore most of that penetrating damage.

            The Elf/Saurian warrior in my group has 16 defense, 10 AR, and level 2 armor training. He is a literal monster. Using a Sword and Shield, not even an optimal sword at that. Not only is he annoying to hit at our current level, he negates almost all damage. So the GM has been having things with pierce/penetration. The problem? My mage only has 3 armor. I get hit for 10 damage piercing at 34HP I get wrecked. Our rogue is similar, but he does big damage at least with pin point attack and his high dex.

            Mages just need some serious changes in their spells. All the buff spells are perfectly fine IMO. We get access to way less talents as it is all arcana training instead. Because of this our spells should be powerful and scary.

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            • #21
              Re: What does FAGE do really well?

              Originally posted by Ogrumz View Post
              I don't get the HP inflation thing people are talking about here. I doubt many people will have above +3 con if that. Assuming you even roll all 6s on everything you will get 120HP by level 10. 150 by level 20. I think that is fine personally. I find the problem being armor scaling, and the fact that the only class that can deal with armor on a regular basis (mage) has low damage, and easily avoidable rolls on it.

              Let's assume armor rating 10, as that is what a character can get. Now let us use just strictly melee based weapons (and a warrior). Great Axe has 3d6, which technically has the highest chance for damage out put and since this is based on max rolls we will go with that. Let us also assume the person attacking with the great axe has +3 Strength (which is probably average, I assume any fighting oriented melee people will have 5 at least). Now let us assume they all out attack, stunt for 5, use the +2d6 stunt and roll max damage on all of it

              6x5+1+3 = 34. This is with a great axe, non-magical (people seem to forget magical weapons are a thing here.) Now subtract 10 from that you get 24. 24 damage on 150 isn't that bad for one attack. Realistically though, instead of rolling max you will usually roll half that which is 17.
              That's the point where I just have a different perspective: for dramatic reasons (I'm not talking about realism or any such thing here), I feel that a maximum damage hit with a big weapon should usually fell any human or human-like creature, or at least reduce her or him to less than 30% of their HP. To me, everything elso feels like: "So that character just did the very best hit he could, and it kind of glanced off? He'll actually have to do five of those?"

              Of course, I admit that there's no right or wrong here. It is simply a matter of expectations: Do you want your fights short and brutal or long and with room for a lot of actions by each party?

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              • #22
                Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                Originally posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
                I feel that a maximum damage hit with a big weapon should usually fell any human or human-like creature, or at least reduce her or him to less than 30% of their HP.
                Hmm. On one hand, I agree with you here. On the other hand, I want to avoid the "TPK in first battle due to rolls" scenario. Nor do I like fudging rolls or denying NPCs thematic and PC-available options like greataxes.

                In general, FAGE seems to work best at lower levels. Honestly, levels 11+ feel tacked on to me (a bit too "let's be like D&D!"), and level 8 seems to be a good capstone level.

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                • #23
                  Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                  Originally posted by fendrin View Post
                  Hmm. On one hand, I agree with you here. On the other hand, I want to avoid the "TPK in first battle due to rolls" scenario. Nor do I like fudging rolls or denying NPCs thematic and PC-available options like greataxes.
                  I agree. If every encounter can be deadly, then the really challenging ones lose weight. As-is, with stunts and with simple tactics, encounters can be punishing to non-armored characters.

                  In general, FAGE seems to work best at lower levels. Honestly, levels 11+ feel tacked on to me (a bit too "let's be like D&D!"), and level 8 seems to be a good capstone level.
                  IMO, this stems from D-AGE being released for levels 1-5 before being expanded to 6-10. There are numerous examples of abilities released early that are made redundant later on - eg, master level dual wield is worthless in D-AGE (I think it is in F-AGE, too, but I'd have to check,).

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                  • #24
                    Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                    Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                    IMO, this stems from D-AGE being released for levels 1-5 before being expanded to 6-10. There are numerous examples of abilities released early that are made redundant later on - eg, master level dual wield is worthless in D-AGE (I think it is in F-AGE, too, but I'd have to check,).
                    I'm curious what makes you think its worthless. Journeyman you can perform the stunt for 2 SP instead of 3 and then at master you can do a second attack as a minor action so if you didn't roll any stunt points you can still attack twice regardless. Why do think its no use?
                    Not trying to start a argument I'm just curious.

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                    • #25
                      Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                      Originally posted by Blue Nova View Post
                      I'm curious what makes you think its worthless. Journeyman you can perform the stunt for 2 SP instead of 3 and then at master you can do a second attack as a minor action so if you didn't roll any stunt points you can still attack twice regardless. Why do think its no use?
                      Not trying to start a argument I'm just curious.
                      A lot of it is a holdover from D-AGE, where it was just a terrible option all the way around. It is better in F-AGE, but it still has some glaring problems:

                      First, as a SP reduction, it has to be the secondary weapon, which is almost definitely the weaker of the two weapons. It has to bypass AR, as well. So even at 2 SP, there probably isn't much difference between that and Mighty Blow or Pierce Armor (and it requires two talent points). Also, it's somewhat of a trap as a stunt - you can't repeat stunts, so if you use Lightning Attack with your offhand you can't use it also with your main hand (and you're more likely to get 4+ SP than <3).

                      As for the extra attack, if you are a warrior you are getting an extra attack at 15, and it can be your primary weapon, with re-rolling damage and a cheaper Mighty Blow.

                      As for rogues, they're much more melee friendly in F-AGE than D-AGE, but they still get an extra ranged attack as a regular ability. So while the second attack option is more viable for a rogue, it's very expensive when you consider that a third of your talent points are going towards it.

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                      • #26
                        Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                        Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                        A lot of it is a holdover from D-AGE, where it was just a terrible option all the way around. It is better in F-AGE, but it still has some glaring problems:

                        First, as a SP reduction, it has to be the secondary weapon, which is almost definitely the weaker of the two weapons. It has to bypass AR, as well. So even at 2 SP, there probably isn't much difference between that and Mighty Blow or Pierce Armor (and it requires two talent points). Also, it's somewhat of a trap as a stunt - you can't repeat stunts, so if you use Lightning Attack with your offhand you can't use it also with your main hand (and you're more likely to get 4+ SP than <3).

                        As for the extra attack, if you are a warrior you are getting an extra attack at 15, and it can be your primary weapon, with re-rolling damage and a cheaper Mighty Blow.

                        As for rogues, they're much more melee friendly in F-AGE than D-AGE, but they still get an extra ranged attack as a regular ability. So while the second attack option is more viable for a rogue, it's very expensive when you consider that a third of your talent points are going towards it.
                        Fair enough. I still don't think its as useless as you are making it out to be but hey to each their own. From what I've read of DA and FA the only issue I can see running into is the HP bloat and fights dragging on too long and/or not being dangerous enough. This is the first system/game I will be GM-ing.
                        I still am trying to decide whether to run DA or FA for the group I'm getting together. If the companion book comes out soon then I'll run FA but where it stands DA has the complete rules and more options at the moment. Not to mention more creatures. I do know there are the fan made ones so its still a toss up lol.

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                        • #27
                          Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                          Originally posted by Blue Nova View Post
                          Not to mention more creatures. I do know there are the fan made ones so its still a toss up lol.
                          Lo and behold, the Mystara Bestiary conversion, to further mess the toss up.
                          DiBastet's Homebrew - My own homebrew. Use them, mine them for ideas, change them, as you see fit.
                          AGE of Darkness - Converting World of Darkness to Fantasy Age.
                          AGE of Wacraft - Playing AGE in Azeroth.

                          Age of Homebrew - Links to other homebrew. Feel free to add more.

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                          • #28
                            Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                            Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
                            Lo and behold, the Mystara Bestiary conversion, to further mess the toss up.
                            There's also the Midgard campaign setting and bestiary - $25 for 60 adversaries, 3 races, 3 new schools of magic with 30-40ish spells, 9 new specializations. GR also has several PDFs up that are statted for D-AGE, and only one so far for F-AGE.

                            As is, if I were to pick one system, I'd pick D-AGE. It has more content, and Dragon Age will continue regardless of GR. F-AGE has the potential for more content, but the settings are already split between Blue Rose, Titansgrave, and Freeport. And I don't know how much I trust GR to keep a timely release schedule. Case in point: D-AGE Set 3. Case in other point: Freeport AGE, which was Kickstarted 3 years ago (and is now expected this fall).

                            That said, if I were to start over, and I had access to both F-AGE and D-AGE, I'd pick neither... Or both. Basically, D-AGE has some great bits, but it also has some glaring flaws. F-AGE fixed some of D-AGE's mistakes, but left some turds, as well. So personally, I'd pick and choose:

                            1. I'd use F-AGE's system for how stats affected magic, for an even split between INT & WIL.

                            2. I'd use F-AGE's rogue progression - it's much more melee friendly than D-AGE's.

                            3. I'd use D-AGE's mage progression - picking spells, talents, and focuses rather than Arcana. Note: I would actually keep the Arcana system around as a GM tool. Second Note: I would create a flow chart because picking spells is messy until you them.

                            4. I'd use F-AGE's specialization progression.

                            5. I'd use d-AGE's stats. No Fighting or Accuracy, although I'd consider axing Magic, as well.

                            6. I'd make a ranged attack and melee attack stat. Ranged attack - (PER+DEX)/2; Melee attack - (STR+DEX+PER)/3; DEF - DEX+PER.
                            Another note: #6 isn't completely thought out, and needs testing.

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                            • #29
                              Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                              I think I'll see when the bestiary for FA comes out (which is hopefully soon) and use FA. If I decide to do DA I can change it later on down the track. I think FA with a few fan made arcanas and house rules as we go along will work well. As I am planning on being very narrative with my games but still have combat be dangerous at times. And I can just tweak ideas I have for my DA campaign for my fantasy world. And I can take pages out of Critical Role.
                              I hope it goes well for me as I've only really dabbled in GM-ing with FFG Star Wars and one very short session with DA.

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                              • #30
                                Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                                I think being a mage in general is extremely underwhelming and hope they do some change ups to fix it. Being a mage right now is literally healing/buffing your team. All the attack magic is over costed, very low damage. Mages also get almost no talents.

                                Mage (non-magical) talents are at the following levels...

                                2, 10, 18, 20.

                                Rogues

                                3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,19

                                Warrior

                                3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,19

                                Warriors/Rogues got access to better talents too. Such as warriors getting armor training (easily the best talent in the game.) People could say "Well, mages get tons of magical talents!" which doesn't matter when they average less damage, and up time compared to Warrior/rogue passively just being themselves. Also mages can't take any fluff talents for RP IE: My orc mage started off with linguistics, took music cause he is a performer, and now I want lore as well. But I feel like I will be spreading myself thin by delving 1 into all these talents.


                                Ontop of it all, mages get the least HP, least armor value unless you don't mind moving slower/penalties on casting. My GM already apologizes to me every time he attacks me cause he knows it actually hurts me, unlike the warrior/rogue.

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