Mechanics Updates

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by Diana DiFalisci on Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:03 am

Dr Adventure wrote:I would wait for expansions for these nations to come into their own in this case- focusing the main book on the first five trait-based nations.

I find myself strangely alright with this. That limits the base game to "central" Theah, considerably cutting down on the amount of ground we need to cover. I can see how the others would come up, such as mentioning the Vodacce-Vendel trade war or lack thereof, but those can be limited largely to fluff, I should think.

I think we can get the players to dance to our tune and still preserve the open-point system. Academies, sword schools that favor certain types of characters or conditions that we want to promote, and nation or type-specific advantages can all be tools for this. As for working out the kinks and finding the exploits, I can say with reasonable confidence that the group working on this project now, and what few possible future inclusions I have heard mentioned, can find and exploit every loophole quickly enough to close them off or leave them open as suits our preferences. I am a munchkin, for all that my namesake character is a wits-based social machine.

But I love that point-buy system. Predetermined numbers always seemed so anathema to me, and most of the players I know locally feel the same way. When I introduced 7th sea up here, they were all over a point-buy system that wasn't the squamous horror of most hyper-flexible games.

I'm inclined to risk it. We're good players, good gamers, and I know that our glorious leader has enough good ideas to fill many a volume on this project. So far, I'm wholeheartedly in favor of what I've seen start to get nailed down, and hope to have my own small contribution to the mechanics up by this weekend. I say we go for it and leave that flexibility in.

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Seen it.

Post by Dr Adventure on Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:30 am

My thoughts on the 'open point buy' are conflicted. The unfortunate nature of a completely open character creation is specialization. While its good to have a well rounded party of adventurers who each are the pinnacle of their role in the party, and conversely its awesome to be that character that knows everything and is only 1-2 un-kept dice behind ALL of his peers. These builds WILL occur with the proposed system as it stands.

Don't get me wrong here- that's the essence of player-freedom that we all want to add to the game, but given enough time the 'perfect' builds for each type, and even each type within nation will appear leaving certain schools and nations behind.

I don't want to see a game in which the Eisen heavy, Avalonian sorceress, Vesten fighter, Ussuran pyrem, and the Castellian duelist are the standard. By this I mean that these parties come straight out of Pathfinder's game logic engine- "There is always a perfect X"

I would propose an approach that would encourage the Pathfinder bunnies to build things that we want to see in the setting; If we want to see a nation played more often it should have a bonus that is more valuable to a character. For instance, if we assume that the combat system is unchanged from last edition, fighting characters with finesse, brawn, and panache are the top tier. Those with wits are not as proactive in combat naturally, and those with resolve make those with wits seem proactive.

I would pick the big three to have Finesse, Brawn, and Panache in this example, and would probably make some tough choices and go for the iconic nations of the game (eisen, montaigne, and castille) they are geographic neighbors, completely separate feel, and are in regular conflict with each other. I would leave wits and resolve to Avalon and Vodacce, this leaves out the Venbdel, Vesten, Ussurans, Cresent, and Cathayans. I would wait for expansions for these nations to come into their own in this case- focusing the main book on the first five trait-based nations.

This would limit the scope of the main book information to the nations in conflict with each other, but would allow our products there-after expand the world in a very real way! A way that if we seen appropriate content (npcs, background, etc.) will pre-sell the upcoming releases to our initial customers. That is something that can be tracked by forums and conventions, places where we can decide the order in which our project will grow.

Do you guys think that we can use the open-points system while luring the gamers into playing the iconic characters we want to see in the game? More brazenly, do you think that we can find the kinks in our game that players will want to take advantage of and predetermine what munchkins will play? I would sleep better at night knowing what the munchkins are playing; If we can nail down the munchkins we can fill in the rest of the content of the rules system to allow the actual role-players a game that they can sit at a table with a munchkin and not feel left behind. That would broaden our audience considerably.

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by Diana DiFalisci on Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:52 am

So, I know that talk of costs for skills and stats and the like is being bandied about, and so I thought I'd spit into the wind and throw up an idea. Feel free to shoot it full of holes with prejudice, won't offend me.

I heard the idea of using a single set of points rather than XP and HP as separate things, and I have to say that I love that idea. The conversions were a mess and it made it very hard to assess characters after start-of-play. But what to do? I also heard talk of using L5R's model, which to me takes some of the flavor out if we switch to ten stats instead of five. But maybe we can sort of cheat it. This is the idea I had, and this is just an idea. Like I said, if it sucks, kill it. I won't get territorial.

All heroes start with two dots in each of their five traits, plus a third in the traits that is peculiar to their nation. They also start with a pool of [X] experience (I'd use 150 as a guideline, but GMs can alter to taste, since its all one pool in this theory). Further dots in traits are 8x next dot (Rather than the current 5x dot). This would, at the guideline level, keep players from overloading on traits because it would be prohibitively expensive (almost exactly 2/3s of your starting points), and in turn would put more reliance on skills.

As for skills, if we're using XP at character creation, under this model I'd actually posit using the same costs that skills have now: 10xp to buy it, and 2x dot to raise it. You could build a moderately competent adventurer with a broad breadth of skills this way, or a smooth-operating specialist, but not both. A lot of the extraneous skill purchases that plague the game now will disappear, since the build-your-own model makes stacking skills a lot easier if that mechanic is remaining. No need to buy riverboat pilot, sailor, and (insert strange niche skill here) to stack a three in balance anymore.

Thoughts?

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grumble

Post by Herald Z on Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:26 am

grumble... dat -er - um dog dare
Big guy tells me My name is spelled Grimmik
mmm time to go fish'n eerr

just a palyful jab from the crazy old man from the woods

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by Diana DiFalisci on Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:04 am

I'm not sure that the problem is so much with the stats as the way the stats are applied, which is largely a combat-centric problem. I think that doing the L5R dual-stat approach might be needlessly complex, as we would then need to rebalance everything, incorporate the new stats, and deal with ten numbers instead of five, without losing the flavor of 7th sea. But if we can fix the stat application, I think the cost and line for stats might not have to change much, if at all. Our favorite Falisci spymaster may have stumbled on a combat fix that applies the stats very differently, and in the process holes Grimmik-school under the waterline.

Arguendo, assuming that we use 5 stats instead of ten, I would counsel holding off on whether the costs need to change until after we see how they're re-applied so that their usefulness can be assessed. On a purely personal note, I really, really dislike the stat spread idea where you only have so many dots. That seems like it would defeat the purpose of a point-buy system like 7th Sea, and takes some of the customizability out of the character creation process.

I'll hold off on explaining the new combat system until he has a chance to refine it, as I don't want to steal his thunder or pre-empt anything he's considering. Non-massed combat is his bailiwick, not mine.


Last edited by Diana DiFalisci on Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:27 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by The Dread Pirate Ted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:44 pm

The fundamentals of basic combat work and work well. The only major issue with it is the same one with mass combat, it can be really really slow and time consuming, but honestly with a game like seventh sea that may be an inherent problem that is unassailable. With D&D you only have a few things you can do with a combat action, move, attack cleave ect...with seventh sea it's more open ended. I can mook brutes, I can attack the villain using one of my school knacks paired with a master ability, or I can spend a drama dice and shoot the rope holing the barrels upright taking the whole lot out. It's a problem but I'm not sure one that's actually fixable. But yes, crawl before we walk. Still have a stat system to figure out as well as character creation.

Regarding that, I've been playing with creation and an even conversion from current HP's to exp at start is clunky at best game destroying at worst. 3-1 leaves a character un-playable on the low end, and any more leaves them near broken on the high end. If we want to keep a consistent mechanic for how xp is spent and used through out the game from creation to death then we need to tackle the stats issue first. Three ideas have come up thus far on that front. First one which I'll need someone else to elaborate on is taking the dual stat system from L5R and applying it to 7th sea. (Bad gamer I am, I honestly don't know the system yet.)

Second idea was scaling the cost of stats, 5x second dot 6x 3rd 7x 4th so forth and so on. This plan has the merits of addressing a number of the high end issues we've seen from grimmack school and anyone with a 4 or 5 trait early, it still runs the problem of stats at creation being dis-proportionally expensive compared to skills. We'd be looking at starting characters with average stats around 1-2 instead of 2-3.

Last we could take a streamlined D&D approach. Here's 7 dots assign them how you want, stats cannot be above three at creation except for the nation specific. Then stats progress as normal after creation. With this the three hundred xp at creation more or less balances to a current starting character.



Skills how they're costed out during normal game play seems about right. 10 for a new skill after creation and 2x dot going to. However that's subject to change based on what we end up doing with traits.
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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by Diana DiFalisci on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:35 pm

I don't hate it! The reason I went for size as the base rather than skill is to reflect that no matter how awesome you are, if you show up with a hundred guys and the other shows up with ten times that, you're probably getting absolutely smashed in a straight fight, but your recommendations about the commander skill are well-taken. Let me churn it through my think-stuff and see what I come up with. A happy middle ground might be (commander+size)k(Size) to reflect the absolute limit on damage you can do with your force. After all, a hundred guys can only kill so fast. I posit instead of size adding raises, thats where the knacks come in. In theory, having an advanced knack for commander that gave you a bonus to ambushes for example, would be more relevant to adding raises to pull of an ambush than having a force of incredible size. I'll work on it.

Question: Should Mass Combat be moved to its own sub-thread so as this gets refined down it doesn't take up a pile of space in this more general thread?

Edit: Moot point now. Since mass combat is seconded to basic combat so that massed combat will work with basic as seamlessly as possible, massed combat doesnt need a workspace until basic combat has a working model. Ill still poke at it in the meanwhile.

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by The Dread Pirate Ted on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:12 pm

I really like the basic concept, it gives a definitive end to mass combat. Army will eventually be knocked out. However instead of a size based roll and keep id go with commander or relevant nack + panache or wits. And commander + brawn/ resolve for soak, based on size of force/commanders style. Size of force adding raises to attack and soak, terrian, pre battle prep, other commanders also providing additional raises.

Currently updating from phone, apologies for typos and grammar.
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Get the Virtues and Hubri on the forum.

Post by Dr Adventure on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:46 pm

Someone make a proposal for fixed virtues and hubris's up here. We should all have a crack at breaking/mending them.

Also, its time to do the rough draft for points on the following:

Skills (I can do the rest if we can get a baseline for the cost of skills in comparison to the other aspects of character creation)

Traits (Lets fix the Grimmick problem)

Advantages (the spread and what influence each point level would represent)


Last edited by Dr Adventure on Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I'm not done yet!)
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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by Diana DiFalisci on Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:31 pm

Admittedly I'm just spitballing this together, but re: Mass combat, there might be a fix using a sort of magnitude system. If you look at armies as a form of weapon, with a character being the wielder, it might be possible to stream line it. Use Wits or Panache as your keep-stat, depending on whether you are commanding using methodical leadership methods (Wits) or daring lightning strikes (Panache). The rolled damage dice can be determined by the size and skill of the force, and "wounds" inflicted by one army on another is instead wiping out troops. Resolve and Brawn (For damage resistance purposes) are determined by magnitude, and all stats are subject to modification for things like Dracheneisen. Then you could resolve combat as between single characters, just on a much bigger scale.

Naturally, you cannot engage in massed combat without having a troop body of sufficient size to qualify as a massed unit.

Here's an example: Fauner Posen brings a force of 500 Swamp Dogs against a bandit raiding party. She's a very competent, traditional general (Wits 5). The bandits have 200 men. Since you can divide both forces by 100, we'll use 100 as the magnitude. This gives Posen 5k5, and the Bandits 2k3, since their leader is a daring rogue with a panache of 3. Posen attacks, coming up with a whopping 42 wounds. The bandits roll 8 for brawn, and proceed to take 38 to the face, for two dramatic wounds. This translates into losing half their numbers to the swamp dogs charge, which is not unreasonable considering 500 armored warriors just hit two hundred poorly-equipped bandits.

I'm aware that this doesn't take into account non-commander PCs, and that Massed combat works on a completely different scale of time than, say, a sword duel. This is just a base from which to work. Thoughts?

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Re: Mechanics Updates

Post by The Dread Pirate Ted on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:32 am

Ideas and thoughts thus far spit balled:

Drama Dice, instead of them automatically converting into experience at the end of a story as current, have them convert based on use during the story. ex. They don't convert for activating a virtue or boosting a roll, however they do convert if used on something suitably epic, say declaring there's a cart full of hay under a window for a Daring pants less escape. In addition any drama dice unspent at the end of story do not convert into xp.

Hubris and virtue, a lot of them need a rework for balance and usefulness reasons, first ones that come to mind are perceptive and intuitive (2xp per session if you stay on plot). In addition there needs to be a reason in place for a player to take a virtue at creation. As it currently stands it's I can take something that will be sometimes useful, or I can take that third dot in wits and have another ten hero points to play with after that's bought. Idea is to have each starting character start out with one of each that activates and is used as normal. The book specifics from current ed such as Seiger cannot take a virtue and only get 5 for a hubris can be death with by making certain virtues and hubris's nation specific....it's an imperfect fix but its what I've come up with for the moment.

Other things that have come up in conversation that i have no specific ideas for fixes on:

Stats/grimmack school...ideas heard thus far proposed, either going to a dual stat system like in L5R making it more difficult to rank up each individual stat or making the final few dots in a stat proportionally more expensive

Adding another tier of combatant. villain, henchman, thug, brute.

School re balancing: (personally, most of the high end broken schools
*Bouche, goodfellow* fix with the stat issue addressed)

Boat combat....No idea on this one.

Mass combat...also no idea however I do like the engagement mechanic, it allows for playes to stay involved in whats going on amongst something large and fairly overwhelming (the reputation gains need to be minimized however). Largest issue with the system as of now is it can potentially go on for sessions with no resolution. It needs to be streamlined and resolvable within a session. I'd suggest placing the base mass combat rules in the core book and expanding on them in a later supplement for any players/gms interested in a more in depth military campaign.

Reputation system: As it stands within the 7th sea verse there isn't much of a global communication system, the big names it makes sense for the world to know about them, everyone knows Leon or Verdugo, but why mechanically should half the planet with a wits over two know who an Avalonian Pirate is? Its an imperfect and complicated fix, but regional and global renown. If you beat Posen in a fist fight, everyone in Eisen will know who you are, but sparing a few inish who fancy friendlies why would they know or care? first thoughts have regional renown convert by tens into global....reputation 100 in Eisen means reputation 10 globally.

Adding in other archetypes. Swordsman/sorcerer current, adding in possibly diplomat, merchant, courtier ect. Make swordsman schools attractive but not necessary for every player to have.

Sorcery: Every nation has one? Every nation has a Syren one? Are the Syren relevant? Does the bubble exist? Toned down mechanically? Toned up mechanically? (Again I have no idea on this one, only sorcery I've really dealt with at any length of time is Fuego and Porte, Fuego is fun and moderately useful, where as Porte seems to be a party trick at best. We need to decide where the Sorcery middle ground is, Zergstrom, Porte or somewhere in between.)

Galingan....No specific reason I just like the idea of a useful monster hunter school.

High end campaign and mechanic break down.

Dracheneisen. In short taking the full Hp Dracheneisen at creation is horrifically unbalancing.

Thoughts comments and ideas welcome appreciated and necessary.
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Mechanics Updates

Post by Lady Louisa on Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:54 am

Any mechanics that need to be updated, post your issue and a suggestion for fixing it here.
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Re: Mechanics Updates

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