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Thread: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

  1. #81
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Except it's not even necessarily that. A level in AGE could really easily just be a focus in a secondary role.... not even HP or a reroll talent. All very meh. It's very reminiscent to me of old D&D fighters just getting 3 HP and-1 THAC0.

    IMO, if you're going to have levels, there should be a distinction between them, and in AGE, there just really isn't. The levels just don't really serve any purpose. They don't provide a power gauge.

    The more they alter the system, the more they should just go levelless.

  2. #82
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    Except it's not even necessarily that. A level in AGE could really easily just be a focus in a secondary role.... not even HP or a reroll talent. All very meh. It's very reminiscent to me of old D&D fighters just getting 3 HP and-1 THAC0.

    IMO, if you're going to have levels, there should be a distinction between them, and in AGE, there just really isn't. The levels just don't really serve any purpose. They don't provide a power gauge.

    The more they alter the system, the more they should just go levelless.
    Exceot levels don't have to be big. The point of levels is not getting a lot of stuff at once, although it can be if you're running a game based around that, it's more about being able to tell what people can have.

    Having got Modern AGE and flipped through now, I do have to agree that F-AGE is too slow. You really should be getting a Talent rank every level (I'd maybe consider every other level for Mages, so they get either a Talent or an Arcana Talent rank every level). But that's just because I feel that Talents are given out far too slowly compared to everything else. I think a new Talent rank means that players would always get enough for it to be exciting, without getting to the D&D stage where I can level up and find myself with three new abilities to juggle (or the Anima stage where I level up and have to spend another 100DP, while I actually like that it's way too much hassle).

    I also houserule out the stat caps, as I think the rules build in enough diminishing returns that it's just not worth pushing most stats above 5 (the exception is your Damage Stat, at which point you're sacrificing versatility for power, go nuts for all I care). When you're hitting Hard checks over 60% of the time I don't see the need, but I'm also less likely to call for truly high Difficulty checks.
    Last edited by AnonymousWizard; 09-14-2018 at 11:55 AM.

  3. #83
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousWizard View Post
    Exceot levels don't have to be big. The point of levels is not getting a lot of stuff at once, although it can be if you're running a game based around that, it's more about being able to tell what people can have.
    Agreed that levels don't have to be big, but they should still be significant. Gauging power level is true from a GM perspective, but from a player perspective there should be some sort of increase. A strength and a weakness of AGE is dividing leveling on primary and secondary roles. On the one hand, it's nice because there isn't a penalty to increase your secondary functions. On the other hand, it can realistically be 4 levels to see an increase in your primary role. Factor in gritty rules, and a warrior will be the at the same combat prowess essentially for a long time.

    Having got Modern AGE and flipped through now, I do have to agree that F-AGE is too slow. You really should be getting a Talent rank every level (I'd maybe consider every other level for Mages, so they get either a Talent or an Arcana Talent rank every level). But that's just because I feel that Talents are given out far too slowly compared to everything else. I think a new Talent rank means that players would always get enough for it to be exciting, without getting to the D&D stage where I can level up and find myself with three new abilities to juggle (or the Anima stage where I level up and have to spend another 100DP, while I actually like that it's way too much hassle).
    Yeah, that's what I've done. There are too many talents that are taxes that you can't really explore others. For mages, I found the DAGE progression to be superior, so I used that one instead - and would continue using it in FAGE.

    I also houserule out the stat caps, as I think the rules build in enough diminishing returns that it's just not worth pushing most stats above 5 (the exception is your Damage Stat, at which point you're sacrificing versatility for power, go nuts for all I care). When you're hitting Hard checks over 60% of the time I don't see the need, but I'm also less likely to call for truly high Difficulty checks.
    There isn't really a need for the ability caps in place. At +7, you're in auto-hit territory. Surpassing that threshold is really just a waste of points in most cases. Having the bell curve and the ability advancement system imo forces characters into relatively uniform builds. I know when I got rid of Ability Advancements and kept a uniform 1:1 ability increase, I actually saw more diversification. That could just be my table, though, but more actual points allowed characters to invest more.

  4. #84
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    Agreed that levels don't have to be big, but they should still be significant.

    I feel that levels are quite significant in FAGE, even a little too significant, even leaving HP and stat increase out of the picture. You get at least one new ability each level, often two (either through a talent or as a class ability); this might be little compared to D&D, but it's a lot (and frankly, a lot to handle!) compared to pretty much any other level-based system I know. Getting one talent rank each level in addition to class abilities would be total overkill for me - you'd get characters with 10 or 20 special abilities to keep track of by level 6 or 7, which would be a nightmare for everyone who is not used to feat-heavy stuff like Pathfinder; and it would certainly not be rules-lite anymore.

  5. #85
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Looking at what a level in FAGE gives you we get:
    -Ability Advancement, great if you're bumping up one below 5, almost worthless on it's own otherwise. Recommendation: replace with just increasing an ability by one.
    -A new Focus, which is great. Focuses are specific enough that you'll rarely have ones that cover everything, although the possibility of having to take one in an ability you don't care about is annoying.
    -A new Talent level or class ability (potentially both), rolling Specialisations in here, in many ways the Talent Pick is the preferable option because there's so many taxes or near-taxes that characters look rather cookie cutter. I'd say just up the rate of Talent gain and have the class abilities as occasional bonuses.
    -More hp, great at levels up to ten (except for combat length, but that's a different discussion), a bit meh after that.
    -More mp for Mages. This is great, because mages begin off with far too few and it slows down at about the point where careful management will make you not really need the extras.

    Now that's actually a fairly decent boost if you get a Talent, but there's the potential for characters to not get much. It needs evening out but removing a couple of more silly limits, but I wouldn't remove the levels (in fact levelled classless systems are rare enough to make MAGE stand out from the crowd).

    I honestly think FAGE should have just been classless. Characters begin with 25+CON+1d6 Health, say three Novice level Talents of their choice, and MP equal to 10+Willpower+1d6 if they decide to take Arcana Talents. At every level they gain an extra ability point, a new focus, and a new Talent (or level in a Talent they have), don't worry about Primary and Secondary Abilities (which were stupid anyway). Maybe make Arcane Blast and/or other minor magics open to anybody with an Arcana Talent, maybe make them a Talent of their own (and if they aren't their own Talent make one that improves them). Oh, and if you want your HP increases balance them out with a reliable way to increase damage or make them relatively slow, maybe 1d3+CON/level might work alright? Or we can steal Toughness from MAGE (after we've slashed Armour Values a bit of course) and increase that and/or Defence instead of increasing hp.

  6. #86
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakob Schmidt View Post
    I feel that levels are quite significant in FAGE, even a little too significant, even leaving HP and stat increase out of the picture. You get at least one new ability each level, often two (either through a talent or as a class ability); this might be little compared to D&D, but it's a lot (and frankly, a lot to handle!) compared to pretty much any other level-based system I know. Getting one talent rank each level in addition to class abilities would be total overkill for me - you'd get characters with 10 or 20 special abilities to keep track of by level 6 or 7, which would be a nightmare for everyone who is not used to feat-heavy stuff like Pathfinder; and it would certainly not be rules-lite anymore.
    Out of the 57 level advances, there are only 17 that give multiple abilities (from a quick skim). 3 of those are warriors getting additional weapon groups, which I find to be questionable as benefits.

    Out of the 25-26 talents (again from a quick skim), about 20 levels were either rerolls or talent SP reductions. Even more focus on improving previously given modes.

    Warriors and rogues get about a dozen talents. Mages much less. Factor in taxes: 1 weapon style and armor for warriors, 1 weapon for rogues (and rogues should take the Chiurgy talent), and you're left with about 6 talent points to spend. Due to the action economy, the first 2 Quick Reflexes iirc were also very strong (but that might be more for DAGE).

    The problem I found was that you have enough RAW talents to make a solid combat centric character, but out of combat extremely limited in talents. Granting talents every level allows for your solid combat characters to have a few decent out of combat choices. Or your noncombat characters to really shine outside of combat. Or a solid combat character can really devote to combat -- which would not be overpowered because you're still limited to what you can hold.

    If each talent gave a new ability, I might agree with you. But the amount of rerolls are imo essentially nonbenefits. Couple the unsexiness of the ability with the fact that those rerolls often occur within your specialty, then the actual need for rerolls is ultimately few and far between.

    So yeah, if you go up a level and get 1/2 of a stat point, no HP, a focus, and only a reroll in a check that you succeed at 90% of the time, there's virtually no difference between the new level and the old.

    I would not go classless... at least not without a serious revamping. You'd just end up with Pinpoint Attack, armor, Lethality, and Veteran. Instead I'd make something of a combat ability chain per class with each subsequent ability marked with an XP cost, talents costing XP, stats costing XP, and so forth. It would be a different revamping of the system, though. (And actually, I don't mind just giving the talents every level.)

  7. #87
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    So yeah, if you go up a level and get 1/2 of a stat point, no HP, a focus, and only a reroll in a check that you succeed at 90% of the time, there's virtually no difference between the new level and the old.
    That would be an extreme case ... to be honest, I'd be quite okay with just getting a new focus. There'll be a cool new thing at some other point. But as I said, I'm used to level-based systems that are more about capping how far you can increase your characteristics/skills on certain levels and not about getting cool new toys every level. I'm aware that F-AGE is in many ways a game in the tradition of D&D 3rd+. But that doesn't mean that it has to feel like it in each and every regard (magic is handled significantly different, as well). There are many kinds of level-based systems out there (Rolemaster/HARP, Savage Worlds, in a way even Fate with its Milestones or OSR games) in which levels don't mean that you necessarily get an improvement besides a few points here and there.

    However, you're certainly right that re-rolls are not that interesting as abilities, and stunt discounts might be more effective than they look, but they are also not "a cool new thing I can do." And both have the downside that they are still abilities that you have to keep track of, so you might just as well get a totally new ability ...
    On the other hand, they are at least abilities that are mechanically simple. Getting a new ability that is basically a new rule to learn each level ... well, as I said, for me that would be overkill (which is one of the reasons why I'll never, ever, play Pathfinder again).
    Also, with re-rolls, I house-rule that you always get to re-roll and pick your favoured result - that way, re-rolls become much more about generating stunt points, since there's the possibility (and incentive) to re-roll a test with one or two SP, hoping to get a five or six instead.

  8. #88
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    I noticed that my last post there might have come accross too adversarial, sorry about that ...

    Anyway, I thought about a more benevolent perspective on how talents are designed RAW and why they are designed that way, and I think that some of them (especially the specializations) make more sense if you don't view them as enablers for certain concepts, but as boosts for concepts you can already realize without them. You can certainly play a Bard without the Bard specialization, and I would say that the Bard special talent actually doesn't add that much.

    So maybe many talents just don't matter that much by design; the big and combat-relevant stuff is mostly in the class abilities, probably to make sure that no one misses out on it; balancing, after all, is mainly a combat thing, since combat is the only mini-game within most RPGs where you can actually implement something like game balance.

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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    I had a huge reply typed out and it won't let me paste it....

  10. #90
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    Re: Excited about the new Fantasy AGE Companion

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    I had a huge reply typed out and it won't let me paste it....
    I know that kind of pain

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