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Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

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  • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Originally posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
    Greater Beast Form and Lesser Beast Form both give "for the rest of the encounter" as duration; in my book, this means until whatever is going on is over and a new scene starts. That basically means that these spells last for any reasonable use - so you can get to an enemy camp with it and sniff it out, since in a movie, that would probably one pretty short scene. I think F-AGE definces encounters somewhere as a metagaming measurement; it's one of these "you know it when you see it" things - you'll just know when an encounter is over.
    I'd agree with you. That definitely looks like more of a utility spell than the DAGE one. Not having it, I can't say for certain, but I'd still probably just remove the duration.

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    • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

      Originally posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
      Greater Beast Form and Lesser Beast Form both give "for the rest of the encounter" as duration; in my book, this means until whatever is going on is over and a new scene starts. That basically means that these spells last for any reasonable use - so you can get to an enemy camp with it and sniff it out, since in a movie, that would probably one pretty short scene. I think F-AGE definces encounters somewhere as a metagaming measurement; it's one of these "you know it when you see it" things - you'll just know when an encounter is over.
      Yes. The rules come closest to a definition of an encounter in the FAGE core rulebook in page 116 while discussing Experience Point Awards. Under the definition of Routine Encounters things like "everyday scenes", "supply shopping" "uneventful travel" or "casual conversation" are mentioned. So, you are absolutely right, an encounter seems to be any new "scene" in an adventure that the characters, well, encounter - a place to explore, things to do, intrigues to plot, negotiations to, eh, negotiate and enemies to fight.

      So, when the adventurers arrive at the edge of a swamp they will have to traverse, a Beast mage might simply turn into some fowl and explore the ground from above, as long as it takes. The scene lasts until the swamp is traversed anyway, with the exception of meeting some new challenge along the way (new encounter).

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      • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

        Originally posted by rulandor View Post

        So, when the adventurers arrive at the edge of a swamp they will have to traverse, a Beast mage might simply turn into some fowl and explore the ground from above, as long as it takes. The scene lasts until the swamp is traversed anyway, with the exception of meeting some new challenge along the way (new encounter).
        While it's certainly better than DAGE, and I also tend to like encounter duration spells, I find this one to be overly arbitrary. Encounter duration spells work best when it's for a specific type: e.g., a climbing spell for exploration or an attack buff for combat. But as you've shown, this could be used in any encounter type.

        Take for example changing into a dog to track a fugitive. After a while, there's several branching paths:

        1. The party is waylaid by goblins.
        2. There is a broken bridge to cross.
        3. There is a witness that the party decides to question.
        4. The fugitive is eventually tracked down after a few hours of pursuit.

        Technically, the duration would end in all but the last choice, regardless of the caster's choice. I guess it could depend on your definition of encounter, and it is admittedly nit-picking. I just think it could still be improved upon.

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        • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

          Basically, I think, you are absolutely right. The encounter duration role depends on ad hoc decisions of the GM about when a new encounter starts - especially in the situation you described, where smaller encounters are part of a larger one.

          Personally, I would rule in this example that the broken bridge and the witness constitute new encounters. After the witness has been questioned and the search continues, this would have to be ruled as another new encounter, because certain encounter based spell durations have already been interrupted twice.

          This vagueness might constitute problems for a group. It doesn't in my group, where the players, pleasantly enough, nearly always accept my decisions if I give at least a semblance of justification.

          Still, I prefer encounter durations as opposed to fixed periods of time, because the latter ones may interrupt sensible spells without any situational or narrative reason.

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          • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

            Originally posted by rulandor View Post

            Still, I prefer encounter durations as opposed to fixed periods of time, because the latter ones may interrupt sensible spells without any situational or narrative reason.
            For combat spells, I tend to agree. The difference in length of most combat encounters is a trivial difference of time. And imo, the bookkeeping isn't worth it.

            For noncombat, I prefer a set duration, because what constitutes a new encounter can vary, and a spell ending because situations change doesn't always make sense to me. For instance, talking with an animal ending because you're attacked mid-conversation, when you could then ask it for help.

            In the animal form case, I'd still let the duration extend multiple encounters because you'd be giving up your humanoid form/abilities for the next encounter. Also, if you had to revert because of a new social encounter, that'd be difficult to explain!

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            • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

              Originally posted by shonuff View Post
              While it's certainly better than DAGE, and I also tend to like encounter duration spells, I find this one to be overly arbitrary. Encounter duration spells work best when it's for a specific type: e.g., a climbing spell for exploration or an attack buff for combat. But as you've shown, this could be used in any encounter type.

              Take for example changing into a dog to track a fugitive. After a while, there's several branching paths:

              1. The party is waylaid by goblins.
              2. There is a broken bridge to cross.
              3. There is a witness that the party decides to question.
              4. The fugitive is eventually tracked down after a few hours of pursuit.

              Technically, the duration would end in all but the last choice, regardless of the caster's choice. I guess it could depend on your definition of encounter, and it is admittedly nit-picking. I just think it could still be improved upon.
              I don't really think these indicate the end of the encounter. They are new developments within the encounter. The overall objective of the encounter or scene is to track down the fugitive. These examples are wrinkles thrown in as obstacles to resolving the encounter.

              Should the party decide to no longer pursue the fugitive, then the encounter changes. An encounter can include several different elements. It could contain negotiation, traps, climbing obstacles, sneaking, combat, etc. Overall, I feel that the rules for FAGE are more about the story than micro-managing semantics. An encounter is whatever the gamemaster says it is. They should just clarify to the players upfront so there is no misunderstanding of a player thinking a particular spell was still in effect when it wasn't. And I think common sense can go a long way when dealing with a rules light type of system.

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              • Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

                On further thought, I tend to agree to shonuff's and username's points. I just read in the Modern Age rulebook about the social encounter system, and it implies very much that really, an encounter is any part of an ongoing adventure that serves more or less one purpose. So a combat can be part of an investigation, but when the adventure is primarily about that investigation, the combat does not constitute a new encounter - it is part of the ongoing encounter with the unresolved mystery that is investigated.

                So, it seems there is no perfect definition of what could be described as an encounter, und yes, common sense might on the long run be the only recourse.

                If a mage forms into a Beast for achieving a certain aim, then new conversations, new attacks, new hazards do not necessarily mean new encounters. If the adventurers search for a certain clue in an abandoned apartment block, any attack of madmen or monsters, any collapsing roof or floor, any conversation with wary homeless people will be part of the same encounter until the clue is found or the group has thoroughly established that it isn't there.

                Makes sense?
                Last edited by rulandor; 10-04-2018, 02:14 PM.

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