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[Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

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  • #16
    Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

    Originally posted by shonuff View Post
    Lowering base Defense is unnecessary if you don't have a FIG/ACC stat that does nothing but give your +Attack. It's easier to increase Attack than Defense.
    You need to lower it if you want to maintain a 50% of hitting at level one with average stats. Let's use FAGE stats table and assume a character rolls +1 on all abilities. If we want the defense to be like a TN11 (50%) it needs to add up to ten giving us a new floor and making the def calculation 8 + Dex + Perc. Given a character can efficiently achieve 5/5 Dex/Percep the upper limit of defense is 18. Regular rules it would be impractical to attain that, so under Dex\Perc maybe we reduce it further by 2, giving us a 6 + Dex + Perc.
    I've found that a major defend action is rarely used. You just don't simply have the actions to use it.
    Well then we just need to design an encounter where it is a useful element.
    it should be all actions, not just attacking.
    I think the original rule is a little broad in the penalties. It also is a zero sum ability which offers sub par value for a minor action. Compare it with Aim that leaves you with positive value for the action.
    That said, I wouldn't choose a method of weapon grouping because it jives with Arcana. Arcana took a decent magic system and oversimplified it. I see no reason to do that to weapons, too.
    I wouldn't say over simplified, maybe over prescriptive. FAGE arcana says you must take these spells while DAGE lets you choose a new spell from a school. Unless we can come up with weapon "spells" or move/combos, I think this simple tier system that makes the base of arcana progression is appropriate. start solid and then elaborate.
    [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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    • #17
      Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

      Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
      You need to lower it if you want to maintain a 50% of hitting at level one with average stats. Let's use FAGE stats table and assume a character rolls +1 on all abilities. If we want the defense to be like a TN11 (50%) it needs to add up to ten giving us a new floor and making the def calculation 8 + Dex + Perc. Given a character can efficiently achieve 5/5 Dex/Percep the upper limit of defense is 18. Regular rules it would be impractical to attain that, so under Dex\Perc maybe we reduce it further by 2, giving us a 6 + Dex + Perc.
      That feeds into the overall problem with AGE. If you plan the basis of your challenging encounters for level 1 and average stats, any decent warrior is going to tear into a 5 DEX/PER adversary, with a 10 base or anything lower. I'm not saying that a dodge ninja couldn't be built - I'm just saying that they'd be overspecialized and would have to overspend in order to accomplish that.

      Well then we just need to design an encounter where it is a useful element.
      It won't be, unless you retool other, different aspects (which I'm in favor of, but they need to be retooled before you just arbitrarily Defense).

      1. HP bloat and high AR - AGE combat can drag, especially as you need stunts to even damage some enemies. Fewer hits means fewer stunts.

      2. More importantly, because of the nature of the bell curve, the more Defense matters, the more non-optimized options will be abject failures. Players will be pigeon-holed in their roles.

      I think the original rule is a little broad in the penalties. It also is a zero sum ability which offers sub par value for a minor action. Compare it with Aim that leaves you with positive value for the action.
      They're similar, but Aim gives you a +1 on one action. Guard Up gives you a +1/2 on potentially multiple actions. If it's a free action with a penalty only on the attack, it just gives Mages a bunch of free Defense points.

      I wouldn't say over simplified, maybe over prescriptive. FAGE arcana says you must take these spells while DAGE lets you choose a new spell from a school. Unless we can come up with weapon "spells" or move/combos, I think this simple tier system that makes the base of arcana progression is appropriate. start solid and then elaborate.
      Except it doesn't start solid. It starts limiting and restrictive, and you can't elaborate unless you can either create a whole tiered system or add to an additional one. IMO, the Arcana system is a trap system: if you start down a line, you basically have to finish it. If you don't, you are limited on the focus and the talent side. In D-AGE, you can pick the depth to which you go - you can dabble in 2 schools and specialize in a third; you can overly specialize in two schools; or you could be a generalist.

      But if it's overly prescriptive, it is overly simplified. People tend to play RPGs because they want agency. They wand to create the narrative with their unique snowflake. Limited options, limited choices, and overly streamlined play makes it more like a board game.

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      • #18
        Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

        I am strongly tending towards doing:

        - merging Accuracy into Fighting
        - former Accuracy weapons will use Dexterity for damage
        - Defense = 8 + Dexterity + Fighting (+ Shield)
        Fantasy AGE Homebrew Wiki: Take me to the wiki!

        Free-Form Fantasy AGE System: Essentials - Version 2.5

        DracoDruid's Fantasy AGE: The Thread | Version 2.4

        Fantasy AGE - Revised Alchemy Rules: The Thread | Version 2.0

        Free-Form Dragon Age System: The Thread | Essentials

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        • #19
          Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

          Things I have learned from Pathfinder / DnD 5e in the last few weeks pertaining to this topic.
          • While they do have a hit mechanic, they do not have a player configurable hit stat. There is a Basic Attack Bonus (goes up by one every level) or a proficiency bonus (goes up by one every fourth level)
          • Skill ranks and proficiency bonuses are like focuses but weirder. No skill ranks apply to hit mechanics but proficiency bonus can.
          • AGE hands out ability advancements like candy, Pathfinder hands out skill ranks like candy, DnD 5e has limited choice.

          Solutions for (F)AGE
          • Reduce the number of ability advancements awarded. They are too versatile and may be the source of various bloat problems. In my "Alternate AGE Character Progression" post I reduced ability advancements on levels 1,5,7,11,13,17,19 (total of seven) where there were gaps in the advancements of specialisations and talents.
          • Focuses are a better way to specialise and should continue to be awarded every level. However we should consider making each focus advancement +1 (not +2/+1) and perhaps raising how many you can stack. Perhaps up to +4 total where you maximum allowed focus bonus is ROUNDUP(current_level / 5).
          • With the above two suggestions implemented, all accuracy / fighting focuses can be rolled into into the dexterity category. Speed and defence remain in the dexterity column. I don't see a problem with dex modifying both attack and defense since the total number of ability enhancements is decreased.

          Notes on your recent mechanics opinions:
          • I like perception better as a base for the former accuracy weapons.
          • There is no precedent for adding two abilities together to form a derived stat (Dex + Fighting). Add +def bonuses to talents and flavour them appropriately (dodge, parry, etc).
          • Having a defense floor of 9 means a basic 75% chance to hit. floor of 8 is a 53% chance to hit. 8 is a bit too low. I think 10 is not as good value (hold over from Dnd). 11 would make more sense at 50%. To keep the action moving at low levels a defence floor of 9 would be my suggestion. (its like an untrained penalty of -2 for an ability test)
          [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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          • #20
            Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

            Reducing ability advancements greatly reduces what you actually get when you level up. Then why level? Ability advancements are also fairly necessary to actually improving your character. Likewise the +2 for focuses is necessary to keeping the game from being solely stat derivative.

            The progression isn't a problem. If they're delayed more (as a whole), you have no growth. The problem is that your starting values are too high with the progression and the 3d6 pool.

            There are a couple of factors to address when looking at altering progression: pacing and challenge. Right now, AGE seems to be relatively fine with pacing (except HO bloat), but suffers with challenge. While changing the pace helps with challenge, you're pacing is now off.

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            • #21
              Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
              Reducing ability advancements greatly reduces what you actually get when you level up.
              When you count the things you get in the RAW, mage/rouge/warrior get 67/68/69 things (any item listed in each class progression + (focus X 20) + (ability X 20)).

              When you count the things you get in my alternate progression, each class gets 50 things or 73% of RAW things. Each level has at least 2 things, 3 things often, 4 things twice.

              I think saying that it "greatly reduces" what you get perhaps is a touch strong. 50 things to choose is still a lot. Way more choosing that you get to do in DnD 5e (because classes are highly prescriptive).

              The other thing about reducing the ability points is that it makes it easier to make loot that does not have insignificant stats versus your natural ability. Let's say 20 ability points is a good number to have achieved at level 20. If 7 of them come from character progression, then 13 of them can safely come from items. A budget of 13 abilities gets you (assuming a total of 3 value points is a legendary item) four legendary items and an uncommon. DAGE seems to have some of their items total up to 5. If 5 points is a legendary (1:uncommon, 3:rare) then a 13 budget gets you to legendaries (assume armor and weapon) plus a rare ring/amulet/whatever. Getting loot would be another reason to play the game and level.

              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
              The progression isn't a problem. If they're delayed more (as a whole), you have no growth.
              Progression up levels is a function of XP rewarded. GM can adjust that rate to suit the players patience.

              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
              There are a couple of factors to address when looking at altering progression: pacing and challenge. Right now, AGE seems to be relatively fine with pacing (except HO bloat), but suffers with challenge. While changing the pace helps with challenge, you're pacing is now off.
              When talking about a good pace, what seems good to you? For me it seems to be between 3 and 6 rounds of combat.
              What is a challenging fight? Is it where there is a trick to the encounter that the party needs to figure out to quickly dispatch the enemy? Or is it a dps race where only an decently well optimized party can successfully win? Probably both. I would want to challenge my players with both types with some basic tank and spanks in there as well against some flavourful but ultimately middle of the road challenge.
              [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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              • #22
                Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

                What one have to understand with FAGE is that it's not an attributes + skills system.

                Abilities represent BOTH natural aptitude (aka attributes) AND training (aka skills).
                Thats why you get a LA every level, your skills in a given (maybe rather broad) area of expertise are improving.
                A focus is just what it sounds like, a specialization in a specific subskill or narrow area of expertise.

                Delaying LA and making focuses more fine grained moves the system back towards attributes + skills.

                You may prefer this, but its not what AGE tries to simulate.
                Fantasy AGE Homebrew Wiki: Take me to the wiki!

                Free-Form Fantasy AGE System: Essentials - Version 2.5

                DracoDruid's Fantasy AGE: The Thread | Version 2.4

                Fantasy AGE - Revised Alchemy Rules: The Thread | Version 2.0

                Free-Form Dragon Age System: The Thread | Essentials

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                • #23
                  Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

                  Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
                  When you count the things you get in the RAW, mage/rouge/warrior get 67/68/69 things (any item listed in each class progression + (focus X 20) + (ability X 20)).

                  When you count the things you get in my alternate progression, each class gets 50 things or 73% of RAW things. Each level has at least 2 things, 3 things often, 4 things twice.

                  I think saying that it "greatly reduces" what you get perhaps is a touch strong. 50 things to choose is still a lot. Way more choosing that you get to do in DnD 5e (because classes are highly prescriptive).
                  It's less than you'd think, though. Many of the focuses are basically taxes. There are so many Self-Discipline and Stamina rolls that reducing the importance of focuses just means that you need to invest more to achieve the same result, meaning you will have fewer points to invest in actual differentiation.

                  Additionally, the +2 focus allows for differentiation. As it stands, the +2 of a focus allows for you to spend your ability point somewhere else - +2 to Self-Discipline allows for an increase, and then the character can also have +1 COM.

                  The other thing about reducing the ability points is that it makes it easier to make loot that does not have insignificant stats versus your natural ability. Let's say 20 ability points is a good number to have achieved at level 20. If 7 of them come from character progression, then 13 of them can safely come from items. A budget of 13 abilities gets you (assuming a total of 3 value points is a legendary item) four legendary items and an uncommon. DAGE seems to have some of their items total up to 5. If 5 points is a legendary (1:uncommon, 3:rare) then a 13 budget gets you to legendaries (assume armor and weapon) plus a rare ring/amulet/whatever. Getting loot would be another reason to play the game and level.
                  But by reducing the effect of leveling, you reduce the necessity of leveling. As it stands, there is a decent pace to progression. If growth is reduced, you run into the risk of 2E D&D - where fighters got 3HP, -1 THAC0, and a boost to saves.

                  When talking about a good pace, what seems good to you? For me it seems to be between 3 and 6 rounds of combat.
                  What is a challenging fight? Is it where there is a trick to the encounter that the party needs to figure out to quickly dispatch the enemy? Or is it a dps race where only an decently well optimized party can successfully win? Probably both. I would want to challenge my players with both types with some basic tank and spanks in there as well against some flavourful but ultimately middle of the road challenge.
                  When I'm talking about pacing here, it's in regards to leveling pace. Ideally, there should be some sort of ding effect. Reducing progression leads to leveling becoming less exciting.

                  As to encounters, there's lots of ways to make them challenging: numbers, tricks, tactics, etc. I typically use a variety. I think limiting combat encounters to 3-6 rounds make them a little too quick if that's your average. No reason to invest in buffs/debuffs if they're that short.

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                  • #24
                    Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

                    Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                    It's less than you'd think, though. Many of the focuses are basically taxes. There are so many Self-Discipline and Stamina rolls that reducing the importance of focuses just means that you need to invest more to achieve the same result, meaning you will have fewer points to invest in actual differentiation.
                    You are right about a tax on those defensive focuses (for combat optimization at least):
                    • Dexterity (Acrobatics) *
                    • Strength (Might) *
                    • Willpower (Self Discipline) *
                    • Constitution (Stamina) *
                    • Willpower (Courage)
                    • Willpower (Faith)

                    Those are most of the defensive tests I found with a glance over the rules. The first four occur quite a bit so even in the RAW, you would at least spend 20% of your focuses (for +2) on these ones. This fact reveal a little insight into DnD / Pathfinder mechanics of skills checks and saving throws. At first I did not see a reason why they should be different. FAGE is my first tRPG and they are the same. I can see how you might want to treat them a little differently.

                    WHAT IF?
                    If instead in an opposed situation like "Communication (Deception) versus Willpower (Self Discipline)" an opposed test was only "Communication (Deception) versus Willpower". The difference being that the defender does not apply focuses in the opposed roll. This gives a bonus for making active choices and eliminates the necessity to build your character defensively based on combat. It is basically similar to how attack rolls are made.
                    [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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                    • #25
                      Re: [Feedback Request] New Ability set + attack/damage combinations

                      That's an interesting idea, but it'd need more research:

                      1. Would any of those focuses become unnecessary if not a part of a defensive roll. Acrobatics would still be useful, but Self-Discipline and Stamina potentially less so.

                      2. It would put more importance on stats - a warrior now could invest in a focus for defense and still choose something else. If the defensive roll is stat only, then there's less room to individualize. It's less of an issue now, but I think with more settings coming out you'll eventually see the nastier D-AGE spells crossing over.

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