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  • Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

    So I showed one of my players the Free Form Age document and while it was good, he still wants more the math behind it all.

    I am not sure exactly what he means, so I am creating this thread, linking it to him, and hoping he comes and posts to get the ball rolling more.

    Sorry to be so vague

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    ZENITH COMICS: BE HEROIC!
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  • #2
    Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

    If he wants some more math about AGE in general, here is a link to my blog. I go overboard on the analysis. Have him look up some of my threads as well. Draco used some of my weapon balancing maths in Free Form FAGE.

    http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/
    [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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    • #3
      Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

      Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
      If he wants some more math about AGE in general, here is a link to my blog. I go overboard on the analysis. Have him look up some of my threads as well. Draco used some of my weapon balancing maths in Free Form FAGE.

      http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/
      Hey mdlthree - he did, in fact, send me there. And you certainly approached things similarly to what I am looking for. In the end, I am not overly interested in breaking things down to a freeform system (although that is also an interesting piece of work). Rather, I'm trying to figure out what the patterns and tradeoffs are to each class and how they progress. I had guessed that since this is using the same Warrior-Rogue-Mage breakdown that True20 was, there would be something similar to the underlying logic GR showed in their True20 Companion, where you saw the tradeoffs in advances for the different classes.

      Right now it doesn't seem like it actually does have an underlying logic like that. It seems far more that they just distinguished the classes through restricting what you can take. (Which has its frustrations.) This makes sense in that there isn't the equivalent of an increasing "to hit" roll by level and such in AGE, and hit points increase the same across the board, but I still thought I might discern something like that with the class powers progressions. It would make it easier to homebrew and tweak things if there was such a logic. (At least in my estimation.)

      Still, your site is an amazing heavy breakdown of the math of various elements, which is great!

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      • #4
        Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

        Originally posted by lightcastle View Post
        ...Rather, I'm trying to figure out what the patterns and tradeoffs are to each class and how they progress.
        Exactly what I am trying to do. Free Form FAGE goes quite far to breaking all the talents and stuff into a point system soup. As I explore AGE, DnD, Pathfinder and any other tabletop RPG I get closer if figuring out the fundamentals of what drives these fanstasy dice games.

        Out of my blog post, maybe this one on an alternate progression system is the closest to what you are looking for. What is missing from the write ups is what I saw analyzing the original rules. If you count and breakdown how many talents, class talents, other things that each class gets, you end up with quite different distributions but almost the same number of things. So there might be some reasoning...

        Overall I think the situation for all the RPG, is that they are primarily built on experience. And more often than not things do end up balanced enough. Most of my research ends up with some sort of explanation why developers may have made certain decision. I happen to be the type of player/GM that desires the how and why to the mechanics (combat, exploration and roleplaying).

        Anyway, I am glad you like some of my content. Stick around the forums and throw in your two cents on some mechanics discussions.
        [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

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        • #5
          Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

          Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
          Free Form FAGE goes quite far to breaking all the talents and stuff into a point system soup.
          "Point system soup"

          Yeah well, what I did was rather simple.

          It all started under Dragon-AGE with the optional point-buy rules present in Set 2. Namely, you don't roll abilities but get 10 increases and more importantly, instead of rolling for racial benefits you choose up to 3 points of benefits, with focuses costing 1 and abilitiy increases cost 2.

          Going from there, I first dabbled for the remaining costs like talents for 2 etc (wasn't that much missing).

          Finally I checked the 3 classes and compared the benefits per level and translated them as points.

          Since classes only get a few truely unique abilities, I had to find a way to either emulate or "save" them.

          The final result of all of it is what you can see in the Essentials.
          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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          • #6
            Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

            Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
            Exactly what I am trying to do. Free Form FAGE goes quite far to breaking all the talents and stuff into a point system soup.
            Yes, and while I like what DracoDruid is doing, it is a slightly separate exercise from that of figuring out how the classes work in the first place.

            Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
            As I explore AGE, DnD, Pathfinder and any other tabletop RPG I get closer if figuring out the fundamentals of what drives these fanstasy dice games.
            I do like poking around at the underlying mechanics, even if just to see what the designers thought important.

            Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
            Out of my blog post, maybe this one on an alternate progression system is the closest to what you are looking for. What is missing from the write ups is what I saw analyzing the original rules. If you count and breakdown how many talents, class talents, other things that each class gets, you end up with quite different distributions but almost the same number of things. So there might be some reasoning...
            I noticed that, but I'm not sure if the distributions actually even out. Are talents really the same as stunt bonuses or arcana?

            Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
            Anyway, I am glad you like some of my content. Stick around the forums and throw in your two cents on some mechanics discussions.
            I intend to, even if it is just to poke at things for the game ZenithComics is going to run.

            Originally posted by DracoDruid View Post
            Yeah well, what I did was rather simple.

            It all started under Dragon-AGE with the optional point-buy rules present in Set 2. Namely, you don't roll abilities but get 10 increases and more importantly, instead of rolling for racial benefits you choose up to 3 points of benefits, with focuses costing 1 and abilitiy increases cost 2.
            See, now that is interesting. I have access to set 2 somewhere, and would be curious to see how they originally explained it

            Originally posted by DracoDruid View Post
            Going from there, I first dabbled for the remaining costs like talents for 2 etc (wasn't that much missing).

            Finally I checked the 3 classes and compared the benefits per level and translated them as points.

            Since classes only get a few truely unique abilities, I had to find a way to either emulate or "save" them.

            The final result of all of it is what you can see in the Essentials.
            Right, and I can see the choices you made there. You also removed the hitpoint changes, from what I can tell. The completely stripped down system to base principles and free form buys is interesting, and I can see the appeal, but I was hoping to have a bit more of a way to analyse what can be switched in and out.

            For instance, as is, if I want a character to have magic, I have to take a mage. They can't be someone who primarily fights and then has some small magic on the side. There is no obvious way to give someone an arcana as a talent and address the magic point issue. I'm not sure what to make of the restricted talents. Etc. It isn't like you have "Progression in fighting, progression in HP, progression in spells, progression in feats" and can trade speed of advance in one off with the other. FAGE seems to have "Progression in Magic Talents", "Progression in Talents", "Progression in Focus", "Progression in Stunt Bonus" as maybe these categories - plus a whole bunch of restrictions about who can get what.

            I had thought that with the Warrior/Mage/Rogue structure the idea would be that any other class you want to do would just be a variant either due to specialty or some other trade off, but it seems less obvious than that.

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            • #7
              Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

              Originally posted by lightcastle View Post
              I had guessed that since this is using the same Warrior-Rogue-Mage breakdown that True20 was, there would be something similar to the underlying logic GR showed in their True20 Companion, where you saw the tradeoffs in advances for the different classes.
              Thanks a lot for your tip about True20. I had not looked at that system at all. Now that I am twenty pages into the core book, I can see some interesting similarities. It is really interesting comparing different rule system and even see the evolution. I started with AGE, then Pathfinder. Then going from Pathfinder to DnD 5e I saw a lot of things that AGE does to simplify RPG gameplay. Now that I have True20 to look at I can see the evolutionary tree of the systems. It is a lot more structured than AGE. I am really suprised that more of True20 did not make it into FAGE. However, let's see what happens with the Blue Rose conversion.
              [URL="http://herdingdice.tumblr.com/"]Herding Dice[/URL] - A tumblr where I put things about Adventure Game Engine design.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

                Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
                Thanks a lot for your tip about True20. I had not looked at that system at all. Now that I am twenty pages into the core book, I can see some interesting similarities. It is really interesting comparing different rule system and even see the evolution. I started with AGE, then Pathfinder. Then going from Pathfinder to DnD 5e I saw a lot of things that AGE does to simplify RPG gameplay. Now that I have True20 to look at I can see the evolutionary tree of the systems. It is a lot more structured than AGE. I am really suprised that more of True20 did not make it into FAGE.
                I mostly skipped Pathfinder except for Beginner's Box (thanks to someone being very big on it). True20 Companion is actually what you should look at (or the revised edition, which put the Companion elements in). That's where they actually lay out the basic logic of how the roles are built and how they can be tweaked.

                I really thought FAGE was going to have something like that given the same W/M/R set up.

                Anyway, as it is now, I see most people are homebrewing by adding any other powers or elements in a specialty, or by just making a whole new class. It all feels a bit haphazard, though. In the end, that is what I would probably do, using the PFBB and 5e logic of "there is sort of a basic approach to a class and you should just stick in bits that work". Having lots of classes is always a way things can go, and the modular nature of things here (and the work you and DracoDruid have done) makes it really not too difficult to build things.

                However, I actually like the W/M/R archetype (Combat focus/Powers focus/Skills focus) which you then tweak so you can access anything as a spin on that. It seems that isn't how they wanted to go with this system, which surprised me.

                Originally posted by mdlthree View Post
                However, let's see what happens with the Blue Rose conversion.
                I am intrigued. I've read an earlier version of the setting, and I am somewhat fond of it.

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                • #9
                  Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

                  I guess in the end, this is all just me being a victim of my own expectations. I heard it was modular and easy to mod and homebrew, saw the W/M/R set up and assumed it was paralleling True20. But it came out of an effort to emulate DragonAge, and in DragonAge Rogue is "Stealthy/Speed fighter" (with some ability to do traps and such). Rather than three archetypes that can have supporting material hung off of them it is probably better to think in terms of entirely new classes.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Free Form AGE Breakdowns?

                    I am with you Lightcastle, I would rather it was the True20 model of Adept/Expert/Warrior, rather than Mage/Rogue/Warrior and am looking to find a way to house rule that asap.

                    I appreciate why they went the way they did (DAGE after all) but think they would have better suited the world by going the other way. The problem is that this game is being seen as an "introductory" game I think and as such, easy to fill roles are better for new players than complex builds that can break the boundaries.

                    Still, nothing says we can't do that

                    Cheers!
                    ZENITH COMICS: BE HEROIC!
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