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gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

I thought the chase rules in Night's Black Agents were quite good: there's a distance between the pursuer and the pursued, and it's about making point-spends and die rolls to Do Things that will either assist the pursued in getting away faster, or assist the pursuer in catching up.

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Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Hostile V posted:

Happy October y'all! Don't burn yourselves out on projects such as these by attempting to keep momentum going! It's okay to take a break and come back when you find that passion again!

oh cool, I was just wondering to myself the other day when Hostile V was going to pick back up reviewing books again.

any chance that, after what you've got pre-planned, you'll be going back to AFMBE? I was really digging the way you presented that series.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




I like to think the chase rules Vance and I came up with for Shards of the Exalted Dream were pretty okay. They were still attached to Exalted 2e, though.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Legend of the Five Rings: Scene Change

One thing I was asked to bring up in regards to last post - the katana is, you will notice, no longer the be-all end-all weapon. Some earlier editions sold it as this, and it was indeed pretty much superior to any weapon that was not a tetsubo or a bow. Now, the katana is pretty much on par with other swords, you can specialize in just about any weapon and not feel like an idiot, and the main benefit of a katana is just about everyone has one free and it can double as identity verification.

The game notes that 'per session' abilities assume a 2-4 hour play session and that if you really wanted you could change up their reset timers based on that, as long as you tell your players. Anyway, scenes. There are three kinds: narrative, downtime and conflict. Narrative scenes are non-structured interactions with NPCs and the environment, generally with a narrow focus and taking place over a relatively short period of IC time. They are mostly about roleplaying, and turn order does not need to be tracked, nor does exact flow of time. If there's nothing else interesting left to say in a scene but still stuff to do, you can transition to downtime scenes. If order of action is suddenly important, you can transition to conflict scenes.

Downtime scenes tend to be low stakes dramatically, though potentially very important. Time is not regimented, but rather, the players and GM give short anecdotes of what is going on. A journey might last for weeks, but only have a few brief interesting events. Checks can be made, but order of actions is not important; if they are, you need a conflict scene. During a downtime scene, players should choose at least one Downtime Acivity to pursue. These are things like gathering supplies, gathering information, creating items and so on, though the GM may rule out actions that there isn't time to complete. Generally a PC can pursue one Downtime Activity for every two days of downtime, or maybe two if they go without sleep. For extremely long downtime, the GM may hand up a small amount of XP to represent time spent training.

Conflict scenes are when two or more characters are opposing each other over more than a brief period. The most common kinds are Intrigues/Debates (the game has been swapping between the two terms interchangeably throughout, without any real consistency), Duels, Skirmishes and Mass Battles, but it would be easily possible to use the conflict rules to also cover things like chase scenes or natural disasters. Conflicts can escalate up that four-step ladder if appropriate - someone draws a blade in a debate, others join in a duel to make it a skirmish, a skirmish draws in a larger armed force. When this happens, however, there is generally no time to reassess the scene, so you don't get the benefit of doing that. Sometimes there will be, such as if negotiations break down and everyone pulls back to prepare for the fight, however. And yes, escalation and de-escalation can skip stages.

Conflicts take place in structured time, with a turn order and a limit on what you can do each turn. Some will also track relative position of characters to each other. They also follow a set series of events. At the start of any conflict scene, you have Phase 1: Assess the Scene. During this phase, each participant gets to observe the area and the opponents to learn about them with an Assessment Check. You may choose to forego any assessments in order to remove 3 Strife instead. You may also have to determine Initiative, if the type of conflict calls for it. After that, there is Phase 2: Take Turns. This is the meat of it - everyone takes one turn each round, with the number of rounds and what you can do varying by conflict type. At the end, there is Phase 3: Resolution, in which the results of the conflict are made clear if they weren't already and any final effects resolve.

So, Phase 1. At the start of every conflict scene, as noted, you get to either lose 3 Strife or make an Assessment check. If the order is relevant, it goes in descending order of Honor, but it's usually not relevant. For Intrigue/Debate, it's a TN 1 Sentiment check, for Duels, TN 1 Meditation, for Skirmishes, TN 1 Tactics and for Mass Battle, TN 1 Command. You can use any Ring you want, but each Ring will give different info. A Fire assessment will tell you the immediate goal or objective of one other character in the scene. A Water assessment well tell you about one object, item or piece of terrain in the scene, complete with its narrative features and terrain qualities. An Earth assessment lets you select one known Disadvantage of a character in the scene and let the person who has it ignore it for the scene. An Air assessment will tell you the demeanor and current Wounds and Strife of one other character in the scene. A Void assessment will reveal if any powerful supernatural creatures or active kiho, invocations or maho are present, though not what they are or where. Lastly, your stance in the first round of conflict will always be the same as the Ring you used. Anyone that chose not to make a check starts in Void Stance.

As a note, Minion NPCs will rarely make Assessment checks unless the GM wants to randomize their initiative a bit. Adversary NPCs usually will, but might not if that'd be cumbersome to track or not make sense narratively.

For some conflicts, like duels or skirmishes, initiative is important. If you were prepared for the conflict, your initiative is (Focus+bonus Assessment successes). If you weren't, such is in an ambush, it's (Vigilance+bonus Assessment successes). Actions then happen in descending Initiative order.

In Phase 2, we move to turn-taking. Before anyone's turn, the round begins and any 'at the beginning of the round' triggers are resolved. After everyone gets a turn, 'at the end of the round' triggers resolve. Then, the GM either declares the conflict over or a new round begins. On your turn, any 'at the beginning of your turn' triggers resolve, and then you select your stance. (Assuming it wasn't set for you, as in the first round.) Every stance has an effect that applies during conflicts, no matter what. When you select your stance, you may ready or stow one item or weapon, and may set the grip you are wielding it with. You may also drop as many items as you want on the ground. Your action in a round must use the same Ring as your stance. If it can't, you can't do that action. In action conflicts, your stance reflects your primary means of repositioning and attacking; in social conflicts, it will generally reflect your tone and demeanor.

Earth Stance is rooted, firm, ready to endure what comes and waiting for the right moment. When other characters make Attack or Scheme actions targeting you, they cannot spend Opportunity symbols to inflict crits, conditions or persistent effects on you.
Water Stance is flexible, shifting and ready to react. After you make a check, you may remove 2 Strife, ready or stow an item, or move one range band.
Fire Stance is aggressive and all-out, with little defense. When you succeed on a check, you count as having one additional bonus success per Strife symbol in your Kept dice.
Air Stance is precise, graceful and mobile. The TN of Attack and Scheme actions targeting you goes up by 1.
Void Stance is formless, not committing to any specific tactic. You do not suffer Strife from Strife symbols.

In your turn, you can perform a single Action, with what you can do determined by the type of conflict. You may also move a distance before or after acting; some conflicts will use specific increments for movement. If your Action is focused around speech, you can say as much as the GM agrees is reasonable at the time. For any other action, you may always say up to five words - or six, if the final word is 'fool' or some other insult. Then your turn ends, and 'at the end of your turn' effects resolve. When you act, you first declare what you want to do. Then you make your check and resolve its effects, success or failure. Every action is one of four types - Attack (used to inflict harm), Scheme (used to influence, manipulate or control), Movement (used to reposition) or Support (used to help or protect). To Attack, you generally must be able to see and reach your target. To Scheme or Support, you generally must be able to communicate with your target. To do a Movement, you must generally be able to reach where you intend to go.

Intrigues/Debates are social engagements, used when a large group of people with several different goals are having a social exchange. For only two people, it's usually unneeded, though you might use some of the rules as the basis for handling one-on-one social convincing stuff. Likewise, when only one group has a concrete social objective, you probably don't need a full conflict - just do a narrative scene. Rather, this is for when there's multiple factions present, all trying to get something different, or for when you're running a trial or interrogation. Note that due to Ninjo and Giri, even apparently simple stuff can reach full Conflict status due to PCs having different goals, even if those goals aren't totally opposed.

During Phase 1 of a Debate, each participant names their Social Objective - the concrete goal they are working towards. Characters can share an objective, or have more than one objective. The players only have to share their objectives with the GM - they don't have to reveal them to each other. Likewise, they won't be told what Adversary NPC objectives are. (Minions rarely take part in these scenes.) You work towards these objectives by gathering rhetorical points. Each successful check gives (1+bonus successes) rhetorical points towards your cause, and they accumulate over the scene. Multiple characters working together can pool their results, and when trying to persuade a group, you target the member with highest Status. This is of course a total abstraction, and the GM may feel free to weight TNs based on RP factors such as coherence of argument if they choose. The most common objectives are:
Appeal to a Person or Group: You want to get someone to behave a certain way, like getting a lord to back you or swaying a judge. To do this, you must reach a set number of rhetorical points, chosen by the GM and revealed or hidden as the GM desires. Generally, this will be the target's Focus, modified up or down by stubbornness or other factors. At the end of any round where you get enough, the target either adopts your position or can no longer argue against it. If another character has gotten more rhetorical points, they convince the target instead; in a tie, the character with highest Status wins. Some Outbursts, either on your part or your target's, may make it impossible to complete this, as can you giving grave offense, or the target leaving before you get enough points.
Discern Someone's Qualities: You're trying to learn more about someone. When you get enough rhetorical points, you learn up to three of: their Social Objective, their Ninjo, their Giri, their Composure, their Resilience, one Advantage, one Disadvantage. You may not select the same option more than once. The only way to make this objective impossible is generally for the target to leave before you finish.
Discredit Someone: You are trying to make someone gently caress themselves up. Rather than gathering rhetorical points, you are trying to give them Strife until they have an Outburst. If they have an Outburst while this objective is active, they must either forfeit (their Glory Rank) Glory or immediately leave the scene. Obviously, this isn't going to make them likely to do something for you, but it's very good for getting rid of people or embarrassing them. They may, however, become so upset they challenge you to a duel, or try to murder you. Obviously, if the target leaves before they blow up, you have failed.
Spread a Rumor: You're trying to get a rumor started. You must gather a set number of rhetorical points (typically based on the Vigilance of the highest Status character present), you succeed...but no two of your checks may target the same character, as the rumor must appear to have multiple sources to be credible. At the end of any round where you get enough points, the rumor becomes self-sustaining. Not everyone may believe it, but it is too reputable to ignore fully. However, if you fail two checks in a row to spread the rumor, you fail and cannot complete the objective this scene.

In a Debate, there is no Initiative. Characters still act sequentially - they just act in whatever order they like. If two characters want to act simultaneously, the one with higher Focus goes first, with a tie being resolved randomly as the GM desires. However, to preempt a character of higher Status in this way, you must forfeit 1 Honor, and may have narrative problems as a result. Also of note - stances in Debate have social cues associated. An Earth stance is deliberately closed off and protective. A Fire stance is forward and engaging, possibly to the point of rudeness, and shows you want something. A Water stance is relaxed and at ease. An Air stance is alert and attentive. A Void stance is self-confident but not aggressive.

The following Actions are available in Debates:
Assist: You offer someone an argument they might use, insight, or moral support. As a Support action, you grant assistance to one character.
Persuade: You try to foster or stop an idea, emotion or desire. As a Scheme action, you make a Social Skill check targeting one or more characters that can hear you. The TN is the highest Vigilance among them. If you use Command against a lower Status target, the TN goes down by 1 due to lordly confidence. If you use Courtesy against a higher Status target, the TN goes down by 1, due to deferential politeness. If you use Games, Performance or another non-Command, non-Courtesy skill against an equal-Status target, the TN goes down by 1, due to friendly diversion. If you succeed, you earn rhetorical points.
Use Skill: As an action, you make a skill check to do something you've described to the GM. If you succeed, you get narrative effects as discussed with the GM.

A Debate ends when all social objectives are either fulfilled or cannot be completed, or when the characters pursuing them let them drop for narrative reasons.

Next time: It's time to d-d-d-d-duel

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

This is a probably going to be a controversial statement but I think Blade Runner 2049 is a good example of this type of cyberpunk narrative. The main character, K, is incredibly competent, superhuman at times, but is constantly at odds with society and his very existence. I wouldn't recommend a game set up like Blade Runner 2049 for a number of reasons but I think it's good recent example of that type of cyberpunk story and a film to get a feel for that type of narrative.
Yeah, I had actually meant to point to that film as a very well-executed example of what I'm talking about. The protagonist not only accomplishes a meaningful act of selfless goodness in a corrupt world, his actions point to a better future.* Even Rollerball, a film where all the action takes place in the context of sports, the hero is trying to make a personal statement, and the system is rigged against him because that conflicts with their propaganda line. The personal is political.

This is in stark contrast to a cyberpunk movie like Death Race 2000 which ends with the hero assassinating the president, becoming president, and presumably fixing the world. Uh, he's still president of a society that approves of slaughtering the weak for entertainment. The Running Man is similarly unsatisfying.

*Also, K may be a supercompetent badass, but there are many more like him. If he doesn't play his cards right he will just get hunted down by a small army of replicants who are just as competent as he is. It reminds me of Bester's proto-cyberpunk The Stars My Destination, where the protagonist outfits himself with cybernetic enhancements, but runs for his life when he's attacked by a special forces squad with the same enhancements.

Hostile V posted:

Of the two, KidWorld has way more in common with IDA than HB. I'll let the official content warning this book actually comes with speak for itself.


God I hate this though. It's accurate and it warns against pretty much everything bad in the book but it looks like poo poo.
That company puts a version of that disclaimer at the beginning of all their books. What a coincidence! You've reminded me of the first place I saw it, Fates Worse Than Death, which is a cyberpunk game where you actually are mostly just poor people trying to get by.

Comrade Gorbash posted:

Fragged Empires actually does crafting-as-downtime really well.
I really like FE's downtime system, and I think a lot more games need something similar.

Like in the New WoD, for example, mages thing is that they can beat anybody with preparation. But, uh, how do you measure or place limits on that? Downtime is the answer. I think a downtime system would also be a good way to give the PCs a cue that it's time to Do Stuff with their political faction, their domain, their mad science laboratory, etc.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

The 1984 game James Bond 007 had a brilliant abstract chase system (which might have been the first ever in an RPG), which worked with situations from running through a crowded slum to cars on a twisty alpine road to a space shuttle trying to evade hunter-killer drones. There was a distance that either increased or decreased (when it got to 0 the chase was over and the guy got caught) and the player would pick from a handful of generic maneuvers (double back, sudden turn, etc) and the GM would describe things narratively and include obstacles and complications. I don't have my books with me (work, lol) but I remember it being very clever and working very well (even if it was clunky in a lot of ways you'd expect from an RPG published by a wargame company in 1984). Chase rules have been a solved problem for 33 years, why is this such a shitshow?

e: NBA sounds like its chase rules are descended from JB007

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Freaking Crumbum posted:

oh cool, I was just wondering to myself the other day when Hostile V was going to pick back up reviewing books again.

any chance that, after what you've got pre-planned, you'll be going back to AFMBE? I was really digging the way you presented that series.
Oh yeah probably. I just wanted to do something to fix the hitch in my get-along that comes from taking a break.

(also ha ha planned yes I planned this I didn't just think yesterday "it'd be cool to do a Halloween thing, I have two games I could do for this, I can just do this on the fly" when I came home from work)

(don't do that, don't be like me, write this poo poo up in advance wholly and then post it because the hard part is the writing and when you write it in chunks like I do, it's real easy to just lose the momentum)

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Hostile V posted:

(don't do that, don't be like me, write this poo poo up in advance wholly and then post it because the hard part is the writing and when you write it in chunks like I do, it's real easy to just lose the momentum)

lol it's the opposite for me. if I tried to write an entire review before posting any of it I'd get overwhelmed by all the work and give up in record time. doing small updates per chapter/section is how I keep from burning out (also having a 3 y/o climb the walls means I almost never have enough free time to work on anything but bite-sized updates).

I do write an entire update at once though - like when I have time to review another chapter for Dark*Matter I sit down and write that entire thing out at once.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Just letting you all know that There's a Pathfinder humble bundle if you're into that.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


FMguru posted:

The 1984 game James Bond 007 had a brilliant abstract chase system ... Chase rules have been a solved problem for 33 years, why is this such a shitshow?

e: NBA sounds like its chase rules are descended from JB007

I wonder if it'd still be possible to find a copy of this game to review.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Just letting you all know that There's a Pathfinder humble bundle if you're into that.

This is the elfgames equivalent of being a drug pusher, and not even the fun kind of drugs.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Legend of the Five Rings: Duel Masters

A Duel is a formal engagement between two people, almost always caused by one challenging another, who accepts. They are fought for all kinds of reasons - exhibition matches, to settle arguments, to kill over generational grudges. Typically speaking, the objective of the duel is agreed on at the start. There are three main objectives commonly used in Rokugani duels.
To First Strike is a duel to see who hits. At the end of each round, if a character succeeded on an Attack action that did 1 or more damage, the objective is complete and the duel ends.
To First Blood is a duel to see who gets hurt. At the end of each round, if either character is Incapacitated, the objective is complete and the duel ends.
The The Death is a duel to see who dies. At the end of each round, if a character killed the other or inflicting the Dying condition, the objective is complete and the duel ends.
You can, however, go into a duel with intent other than the agreed objective. This is not honorable, but it's hard to prove. To choose any objective but the agreed-on one, you must either forfeit (Honor Rank*2) Honor, or stake it on achieving your objective, if the GM agrees your objective is not inherently dishonorable, such as talking your foe down.

You may also, at any point after the Assessment check, end the duel prematurely by surrendering. There is no social stigma to doing so, but you lose, and most forfeit whatever was agreed on - Honor, Glory, or possibly even your life in a duel to the death. So why surrender? Well, it's a way to get out gracefully and unhurt in low stakes duels, or you might be making a political point, or you might think it'll get a better outcome in the long run than fighting and losing would - or even fighting and winning, maybe.

Duels are structured. At the start of each round, even the first, there is the Staredown. You may bid Strife to increase your Initiative. Each participant secretly chooses a number between 0 and their Composure, then simultaneously reveal them. Each suffers that much Strife and adds it to their Initiative this round only. Whoever has the higher Initiative at that point goes first. Duels last until the objective is achieved. During a duel, opponents start at range 2 from each other but are thereafter considered to be in range of all of their foe's attacks and techniques until the end of the duel, when they return to range 2.

The following actions are usable in a Duel:
Center: You carefully watch your foe and prepare to avoid them. As a Support action, make a TN 1 Martial Arts check using the appropriate skill, targeting one character, and secretly choose a Ring. If you succeed, the TN of the target's next Attack check targeting on you is increased by (2+bonus successes) until the start of your next turn, and when your opponent acts before your next turn, you may reveal the Ring you chose. If their check used it, they take 3 Strife.
Provoke: You try to draw out a reaction from your foe and get them to overcommit. As a Scheme action using one readied weapon, you may make a TN 3 Martial Arts check using the appropriate skill, targeting one character. If you succeed, the TN of your next Attack action targeting them is reduced by (1+bonus successes) until the end of your next turn.
Strike: You attack. As an Attack action using a readied weapon, you may make a TN 2 Martial Arts check using the appropriate skill, targeting one character in range of the weapon. If you succeed, you deal (Damage+bonus successes) physical damage. You may spend 2 Opportunity symbols to inflict a crit on the target with severity (Deadliness).

If your Strife goes over your Composure during a duel, your opponent immediately gets to make a Finishing Blow. This is an Attack action that interrupts whatever you were doing - including resolving your check, in which case it happens after Strife symbols are counted but before Opportunities are spent. You can even interrupt a Finishing Blow with a Finishing Blow. If the Finishing Blow succeeds, it causes a crit with severity (Deadliness+bonus successes)*2, and any other effects of the Attack action used also resolve as normal. If the Finishing Blow achieves the duel objective, the duel ends immediately, otherwise it picks up where it left off, right with the interrupted action. (The formula might be (Deadliness*2)+bonus successes. It's not totally clear.)

Once the duel ends, you begin resolution. Some duels are clear, with one samurai dead and the other unhurt, but most are messier, and so the duel's judges must declare a victor. (Duels always have judges standing by to score them.) Each side gains points based on how they did. First, whoever achieved the objective gets 3 points. Then, whoever struck first gets 3 points. Then you get points equal to the Wounds you dealt to the enemy, and points equal to the severity of the highest crit you dealt, after reductions. If you killed the enemy in a duel to the death, you get 14 points. If you suffered an Outburst, you lose 2 points. If you were seen to cheat, you automatically lose. Once points are counted, you compare them. If point scores are equal, there is no victor. If someone wins by 1, they are a narrow victor. By 2, they definitively won.By 3 or 4, the victory was absolute and they earn 1 Glory. If they win by 5 or more, it was no contest, and the winner earns (loser's Glory Rank) Glory. If you lose a duel to the death but somehow survive, you are expected to kill yourself. If you don't, you must forfeit 20 Honor and 30 Glory. This is rarely done, but it does happen.

Most duels are fought with katana, as this is the socially approved dueling weapon. However, the duelists may use any weapons they agree on. Archers often prefer bows, while the Unicorn are known to enjoy wrestling, and shugenja might even fight with magic, though that is exceptionally rare and considered to be rather rude. Certainly, it is generally expected that both duelists will use the same kind of weapon. Any appropriate skill may be used for the Assessment check if it's relevant to the duel, and any Attack action may be used to win, rather than just Martial Arts [Melee]. As a general rule, however, using any weapon but the agreed-upon ones causes you to lose (Honor Rank) Honor, and if the duel is public, also (Glory Rank) Glory.

Most shugenja schools forbid their members from dueling to the death, as shugenja are so rare and valuable. This stricture is not always obeyed. Monks spar often for practice, but rarely formally duel, as they see violence as rather unenlightened. However, some monks are more militant than others. Monk duels tend to be unarmed, but sometimes armed, usually with staves.

A Skirmish is a battle between a limited number of people, no more than a few dozen at most. They also tend to be far, far less formal than duels. Assessment is with Tactics, and characters act in Initiative order, with ties broken by lowest Honor and then ascending from there. Skirmishes can last as long as needed, but when one side is clearly losing they tend to retreat - the dishonor of doing so can be expunged, but death can't be. In Skirmishes, distance is measured in range bands. When you set your stance at the start of your turn, you may move up to two range bands. At the end of your turn, if you have not yet moved this turn, you may move one range band.

The following actions are usable in a Skirmish:
Assist: You offer someone else a plan, insight or moral support. As a Support action, you grant assistance to one character at range 0-2.
Challenge: You challenge a foe to single combat. As a Scheme action, you may make a TN 1 Command check targeting one character at range 0-5. You must stake 10 Honor and 5 Glory on the challenge, which you forfeit if you intentionally avoid fighting or sabotage your target's attempt to participate. If you succeed, the target must accept or decline. If they accept, they stake 10 Honor and 5 Glory, which they forfeit if they take any Attack or Scheme actions before the end of the round. At the end of the round, you and the target enter a Clash. If you win the Clash, all of their allies gain 3 Strife. If they decline, they forfeit (Command+bonus successes) Glory and you gain 1 Void Point. (More on Clashes later.)
Charge: You close distance. As a Movement action, you may make a TN 2 Fitness check. If you succeed, you may move (1+bonus successes) range bands, max 6. If you succeed, you may spend 2 Opportunity symbols to choose a target in range of one of your readied weapons. They take (Damage) physical damage.
Guard: You protect yourself or an ally. As a Support action using one readied weapon, you may make a TN 1 Tactics check targeting yourself or another character in range of that weapon. If you succeed, you are Guarding the target until the beginning of your next turn. Increase the TN of Attack checks against your Guarded target by (1+bonus successes).
Strike: You attack. As an Attack action using a readied weapon, you may make a TN 2 Martial Arts check using the appropriate skill, targeting one character in range of the weapon. If you succeed, you deal (Damage+bonus successes) physical damage. You may spend 2 Opportunity symbols to inflict a crit on the target with severity (Deadliness).
Use Skill: As an action, you make a skill check to do something you've described to the GM. If you succeed, you get narrative effects as discussed with the GM.
Wait: You wait. As a Support action, you may declare an action you will perform if a specific condition is met before the end of the round. When that event happens, you do that action, using the Ring matching your stance. If the condition is not met, you may perform one non-Wait action of your choice at the end of the round.

At this point the game explains silhouette and range bands. Silhouette ranges from 0 to 5, and you can't carry a combination of items with silhouette greater than your own without making checks. Silhouette 0 is handheld items, cats and small dogs. Silhouette 1 is children, Nezumi, large dogs, goblins and Zokujin. Silhouette 2 is adult humans, Ningyo and Kenku. Silhouette 3 is horses, Naga, Rakshasa and Trolls. Silhouette 4 is Ogres and elephants. Silhouette 5 is dragons.

There are seven range bands, and they're abstract. They also get wider as you go - Range 0 and 1 are close, Range 5 and 6 are not. Range 0 is Touch. You are no more than arm's length away, close enough to grapple. Socially, being that close is impolite most of the time. Range 1 is Sword, the optimal range for swordplay. About 1 to 2 meters, close enough for most interactions. Most skills with a manual aspect require you be at Range 0-1. Range 2 is Spear, the best range for polearms. About 3 to 4 meters. Range 3 is Throw, the optimal range for thrown weapons. About 5 to 10 meters. Range 4 is Bow, the optimal range for missile weapons. About 12 to 100 meters. This is about the edge of earshot for most people. Range 5 is Volley, the outer edge of missile weapon accuracy. About 100 to several hundred meters. This is about as far as most people can see and pick out any real detail. Range 6 is Sight, the maximum distance with which once can interact with a person-sized target, and even then minimally. This ranges from a few hundred meters to several kilometers. To move a distance of range 6 or larger, usually a narrative time journey is needed. Effects have both minimum and maximum range, usually - so if something is range 1-3, it can hit only in that range, and not range 0 or range 4+.

Fall damage works thusly: You make a Fitness check (TN 3, Air 1, Earth 5), and reduce the number of range bands you count as having fallen by (1+bonus successes). A Range 0 fall makes you Disoriented. A Range 1 fall is 4 physical damage and you're Disoriented. Range 2 is 8 physical damage and Disoriented. Range 3 is 12 physical damage and Unconscious. Range 4 is a severity 10 crit and Unconscious. Range 5 is a severity 12 crit and Unconscious. Range 6 is a severity 16 crit and Unconscious.

We also get a terrain explanation! Every terrain feature occupies a number of range bands around a particular point, determined by the GM. It could be just range 0, or much larger. In Mass Battles, terrain features affect the cohorts occupying them, and damage is dealt in the form of attrition instead. The following terrain qualities exist:
Dangerous: It's on fire or freezing cold or jagged rocks or whatever. Whenever a character performs a check while in Dangerous terrain, they take physical damage equal to their Strife symbols.
Defiled: It's tainted by evil. At the end of the scene, anyone that entered Defiled terrain must make a TN 2 Fitness or Meditation check. Failure means you get Afflicted on the Ring you used for the check.
Entangling: It's mud or briars or deep snow or so on. While in Entangling terrain, the TN for all checks to move and all Movement actions increases by 2.
Hallowed (Element): It's spiritually tied to an element. While in Hallowed terrain, the TN of Meditation and Theology checks using the aligned Ring are reduced by 1. Shadowlands critters and Tainted people increase the TN of their checks to resist the effects of Meditation or Theology checks of the aligned Ring by 2.
Imbalanced (Element): It's got a distinct absence or disquiet in one element. While in Imbalanced terrain, the TN of Meditation and Theology checks using the aligned Ring are increased by 1. Shadowlands critters and Tainted people decrease the TN of their checks to resist the effects of Meditation or Theology checks of the aligned Ring by 2.
Obscured: It's dense foliage or darkness or cramped or whatever. While in Obscured terrain, you can't see past range 2 of your position into Obscuring terrain, though you can see out of it if within range 2 of an edge. The TN of all Attack checks targeting characters in Obscured terrain are increased by 1.

It should be noted - Water assessments can often 'find' terrain that the GM didn't intend to be there. The GM is encouraged to create Terrain on the spot for these characters to take advantage of, such as dew-slick grass on a steep hill becoming Dangerous terrain, or so on, even if it wasn't before.

Now, damage. Damage is either physical or supernatural, and is reduced by the appropriate Resistance. Any that's leftover is gained as Wounds. If you take Wounds in excess of your Resilience, you take a crit with severity equal to the source's Deadliness. (If not directly stated, invocations have Deadliness (caster's Ring+caster's Strife), maho have Deadliness (caster's Ring+caster's Wounds), kiho have Deadliness 8, extreme temperature have base Deadliness 5 but can vary upwards over time, falls have Deadliness based on distance, and heavy objects hitting you hard have Deadliness (silhouette*3).) You can never have more than (Resilience+10) Wounds. When you hit that level, after any crits are resolved, you become Unconscious. Any further wounds are not recored, but still cause crits. After a full night's rest, you heal (Water Ring*2) Wounds.

When you suffer a crit, its severity is the worst it can do to you. After finding the severity, you make a TN 1 Fitness check, with a Ring of your choice in a narrative scene or your stance's Ring in a conflict. If you succeed, you reduce the severity by (1+bonus successes), to a minimum of 0, then consult the crit chart. If you reduce it to 0, all that happens is your armor becomes Damaged. 1-4 is a Staggering Strike, and based on the Ring you were using for the check, you get one of Immobilized, Dazed, Prone, Disoriented or Bleeding. 5-7 is a Crippling Blow, and based on the Ring you were using, you get one of Injured Arm, Injured Jaw, Injured Leg, Injured Ribs or Injured Brain. An 8-9 is a Devastating Strike, and instead of a condition, you choose a Scar Disadvantage based on the Ring you were using from among Fractured Spine, Lost Eye, Lost Fingers, Lost Memories, Maimed Arm, Maimed Foot, Maimed Visage or Nerve Damage, and you are Bleeding. A 10-11 is a Maiming Blow, and your Scar Disadvantage is one of Blindness, Cognitive Lapses, Damaged Heart, Damaged Organ, Deafness, Lost Hand, Lost Arm, Lost Leg or Muteness, and you are Bleeding and Unconscious. 12-13 is an Agonizing Death. You are Bleeding and Dying (3 rounds). 14-15 is a Swift Death. You are Bleeding and Dying (1 round). 16+, you just die.

You may note that skirmishes and, when we get there, mass battles are much less lethal for most PCs than taking a finishing blow during a duel, though a clash can bring that lethality in. This is because of genre emulation! Characters are far less likely to die in a brawl than in a climactic faceoff. Dying in a skirmish generally takes a very determined and deadly enemy making a concerted effort - it's much more likely to be temporarily taken out and scarred, and this is intentional. Side note: if you would take a second instance of the same Injured Body Part condition, you instead suffer a Devastating Strike result. The GM may also decide that if you would take the same Scar Disadvantage twice, you instead become Dying (10 rounds), but that's optional.

Can you mitigate crits that'd kill you? Yes! Rokugani swordsmanship doesn't really encourage parrying, because it ruins a katana very quickly. However, if the other option is death...well, you can do it. When you take a crit, instead of making a Fitness check to resist the effects, you may spend 1 Void Point to parry it. If you have a weapon, the severity is instantly reduced to 4 and your weapon becomes Damaged. If you are unarmed, the GM may still allow this, but you only reduce Severity to 9 because that's your goddamn body part. If you are Unconscious, you cannot parry.

Next time: Conditions look grim.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




wiegieman posted:

This is the elfgames equivalent of being a drug pusher, and not even the fun kind of drugs.

Hey mang, just because I find Pathfinder to be a tepid pool of AD&D fanboy jizz that should not stop the charity from getting misguided dollars.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

PurpleXVI posted:

I wonder if it'd still be possible to find a copy of this game to review.
There was a recent fan remake (with all the Bond IP stripped out) of it called (I think) Confidential that came out a few years ago.

I still have my books but my real life is hella busy atm so I'm unable to review it for F&F right now.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

PurpleXVI posted:

I wonder if it'd still be possible to find a copy of this game to review.
Used copies aren't terribly expensive on Abebooks et al.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Just letting you all know that There's a Pathfinder humble bundle if you're into that.

To be fair, you can choose to give it all to charity or humble, just check "Choose where your money goes" before paying.

Of course, they're paired with Vampirella and all sorts of sub-core titty comics in case you were worried about them keeping it classy. Granted, some of them might be good comics despite that, I have no idea... but... Pathfinder crossovers? :v:

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 20:02 on Oct 11, 2017

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

FMguru posted:

e: NBA sounds like its chase rules are descended from JB007

I think it's a case of convergent evolution. It's not exactly revolutionary to abstract a chase down to the distance between two entities, and very easy to come up with. The weakness it has is that because it's such an abstract system, it's going to come down to a handful of rolls with some vague descriptions to contextualize them, which can feel too notional for some.

Mr. Prokosch
Feb 14, 2012

Behold My Magnificence!


A little late, but Spellbound Kingdom has some pretty good chase rules.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


wiegieman posted:

I think the party line on the lack of basic item crafting rules was that they wanted the game to be about adventuring, not day jobs, but I think they just forgot seeing how Runesmithing has a full system.

There's some nonsensical post somewhere from one of the writers about how if you want to put it in you should give the guy 10 silver of progress for each DOS he gets and eventually he'll reach the cost of the item and make it, but that's obviously the guy just posting something to shut people up.

I mean I already have a set of simple hacked together things from letting people make Monster Hunter weapons out of dead dinosaurs in Lustria for an Amazon game so I can just adapt that to metal.

I totally get not having a detailed crafting system in a game where most equipment is very broad, but I've got this guy putting all these points into Trade (Smith) and he's supposed to be a metallurgical prodigy, so letting him make axes and hammers and swords to put his runes on seems like what he wants with those investments.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Yeah. There isn't actually a shortage of decent chase rules out there, at least, no more than there are shortages of any other kind of rules. Savage Worlds did okay and it's a decade-and-a-half old. The fact that Starfinger goofs their mechanics is not because the is some endemic failure of chase rules, but more clearly indicative of bizarre or sloppy design decisions at Paizo itself - something, frankly, that is an ongoing issue they have.

Valatar
Sep 26, 2011

A remarkable example of a pathetic species.


Lipstick Apathy

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah. There isn't actually a shortage of decent chase rules out there, at least, no more than there are shortages of any other kind of rules. Savage Worlds did okay and it's a decade-and-a-half old. The fact that Starfinger goofs their mechanics is not because the is some endemic failure of chase rules, but more clearly indicative of bizarre or sloppy design decisions at Paizo itself - something, frankly, that is an ongoing issue they have.

It's also fairly damning proof that they can't have done any playtesting whatsoever, given that anybody sitting down and actually trying to use those rules in a scenario would quickly say, "Waaaaait, this makes no loving sense."

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah. There isn't actually a shortage of decent chase rules out there, at least, no more than there are shortages of any other kind of rules. Savage Worlds did okay and it's a decade-and-a-half old. The fact that Starfinger goofs their mechanics is not because the is some endemic failure of chase rules, but more clearly indicative of bizarre or sloppy design decisions at Paizo itself - something, frankly, that is an ongoing issue they have.
Yeah, if chase rules were famously difficult or hard to get right (like senisible autofire rules, or a netrunning that is deep and interesting and doesn't create a minigame wholly separate from the rest of the party) I could understand it, but as I said, we've had workable chase systems for 30+ years now.

Another early game with a working chase system that I just remembered - TSR's terrible Indiana Jones RPG. Man, if your system sucks worse than one in the infamous IJRPG, you really should consider whether game design is the job for you.

Starfinder's multiple limp, half-assed, and broken systems speak to a fundamental contempt that Paizo has for its audience. We know you guys love wordcount and pagecount more than anything and treat nonfunctional rules as an opportunity to start houseruling, and that you'll buy these giant books full of complicated rules modules whether they make sense or not, so why should we care if the rules are any good or work at all?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I'm willing to bet that the people who like Pathfinder don't want "simple" rules or care about solutions other games come up with.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Tor remains Good Guy Khorne

The Kossar barracks are one of the most important defensive structures in the city, while also being the source of some of the worst petty crime and public disorder in Kislev. Kossars are the standing army of the Tsarina, and while they were originally a tribe of Ungols who fought on foot with bow and axe against their own people for the Gospodar, they've become much less ethnically isolated over the centuries. Now, any man or woman can join the Kossars, and thanks to Tsar Boris's proclamation while Katarin was a young girl, that person will be pardoned of almost any crime outside of worship of the Dark Powers as a signing bonus. This means the Kossars are full of former outlaws, fugitives from justice, or forlorn Kislevites who wanted to get away from their old life honorably. No Kossar is immune to charges while they are a Kossar, however, and their recruiting base means discipline problems are a great concern. When actually called to fight, they are talented, serious professionals; it's just that you don't want to be around them at any other time.

The Temple of Dazh is close to the Temple of Tor, and both temples are beloved of their Gods. This means the weather changes constantly in that part of the city, with momentary and violent thunderstorms being blown away by a shining, pleasant sun in an instant (then coming back again). The great temple is full of the scent of incense, with golden statues and icons of Dazh lit by the temple's many sacred, eternal flames. The gold and ostentatious dress of the priests would draw thieves in almost any other country (and probably do draw the attention of foreign ne'er do wells), but Dazh's flames are sacred to Kislevites and they know that trespasses against him might be fatal come winter. The Bright Prince may be a smiling Prince, but he is a Prince still, and he can be harsh in his retribution.

The traditional Salyak temple fell into disrepair ages ago, and the Sisters petitioned the main cathedral at Couronne for funds and priestesses to rebuild it. Instead, they got southern Shallyan sisters moving in and setting up the Shallyan mission, in place of the Kislevite version. It is a beautiful place of life and peace, with sprawling gardens and cooing doves showing the favor of the Goddess. Those who are wounded or sick are always welcome, and most of them walk out healed and hale. Those who are healed are charged nothing for the Goddess's wonders, though they are expected to tithe later in life so that others can be helped, too. Kislevites find the place a little annoying, and some agitate for a return to proper Salyakan values of operating soup kitchens and collecting charity, rather than all this nonsense with doves and healing miracles.

The Temple of Tor is built on a little artificial hill built out of good Kislevite earth specially imported from the wildest steppes. It is a squat, stone building with a simple timber roof and dozens of copper rods to attract the God's blessing. Bolts of lightning regularly strike the temple, and the few warrior-priests read the God's favor in the patterns of blue fire from their passing. A great silver statue of Tor, the only valuable thing he accepts besides weapons or armor, sits outside. It inspires the people of Kislev with its rippling, artfully crafted muscles, square jaw, and incredible axe. Tor remains a cool guy, and playfully tussles with Dazh to bless the skies above both their temples with their favored weather patterns.

Next: Loudly Shouting News of Foreigners

Thuryl
Mar 14, 2007

My postillion has been struck by lightning.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah. There isn't actually a shortage of decent chase rules out there, at least, no more than there are shortages of any other kind of rules. Savage Worlds did okay and it's a decade-and-a-half old. The fact that Starfinger goofs their mechanics is not because the is some endemic failure of chase rules, but more clearly indicative of bizarre or sloppy design decisions at Paizo itself - something, frankly, that is an ongoing issue they have.

One caveat about chases in Savage Worlds is that the vehicle rules are obviously designed with cars or other small land-based vehicles in mind, and will produce some increasingly weird results the further you get away from that design assumption. I tried to run a chase between two ships on open water once and there were a few times when I had to say to the players, "okay, the thing the game is telling me to do on this result makes no sense, so I'll make up something that does".

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Yeah, I ran into issues with air combat once, it's far from perfect.

Also, probably going to be a bit late with the starships chapter, I want to put a little more time into double-checking some things on the final pass before I post it, so it'll be late tonight or tomorrow.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.




It's like they read The Girl Who Owned a City, and instead of leaving with either thinking Objectivism is cool or more often that Lisa is a tiny tyrant in training, they leave 'It's not grim enough'

Terratina
Jun 30, 2013


Y'know been digesting the new L5R a bit more and it seems to have the problem of wanting its cake and eating it too. Not sure how high the dice pools go up but interperting them is going to take ages first few times 'round, especially with converting normal dice, and its fetish with codifying everything.

I like that it's trying to be more of a story game but story games need to stay simple, regardless of Fantasy Craft-esque ambitions of trying to be crunchy but throwing in narrative effects as well.

And yes I know it's a beta but the funky dice issue they're stubbornly sticking with is going to put a lot of people off. We'll see what feedback and more polish can do I guess. Until then, I'll be turning to FATE if I can get any players down for weeb poo poo.

On a different note, I give Savage Worlds' chase system a rating of OK. It was great to dick over the Blessed with initiative buffs out the arse in a very niche situation.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


At the very least it looks like a much more fun take on the setting and genre, mood-wise.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



FFG will never give up FFG dice. It's their thing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Mors Rattus posted:

FFG will never give up FFG dice. It's their thing.

What I don't get is, what does it actually add to the games?

Terratina
Jun 30, 2013


And now with a dice pool system they can move even more units!

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Hey mang, just because I find Pathfinder to be a tepid pool of AD&D fanboy jizz that should not stop the charity from getting misguided dollars.

Yeah that's cool, but we have a thread for that. (For RPG "deals", not for fanboy jizz.)

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Night10194 posted:

What I don't get is, what does it actually add to the games?

It's a proprietary game system. They're not terrible game systems in what they accomplish, having set successes, failures, and effects, but it's nothing special.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



FMguru posted:

There was a recent fan remake (with all the Bond IP stripped out) of it called (I think) Confidential that came out a few years ago.

I still have my books but my real life is hella busy atm so I'm unable to review it for F&F right now.

Close -- the JB007 retroclone is called Classified. I keep meaning to check it out. I used to have a copy of the original, but alas no longer.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Night10194 posted:

What I don't get is, what does it actually add to the games?

It adds money to FFG's bottom line.

If the question is "why did a company do a thing" the answer is inevitably "because they thought it would make them money."

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011



Okay, the starfinder logo, that's a joke, right? Because I found some starfinder stuff today in a shop, and it had a normal d in it. Am I missing this hard???

Also what the gently caress, those driving rules.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

DicktheCat posted:

Okay, the starfinder logo, that's a joke, right? Because I found some starfinder stuff today in a shop, and it had a normal d in it. Am I missing this hard???

Also what the gently caress, those driving rules.

It was a typo that ARB kept on using moving forward. The game is called Starfinder.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

I've just marked any writeup which wasn't complete and hasn't had a post since January as 'abandoned'. If this hurts your feelings or if you plan to resume one of the writeups, feel free to let me know.

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MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


I want to continue my abandoned projects but depression makes it hard to ever do anything constructive.

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