The King is Dead, Long Live the King

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Agamemnon
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The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Agamemnon » 13 Jul 2017, 13:55

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Today we are happy to announce that Sword & Scoundrel has begun its beta release cycle. If you haven't poked around our site lately, we've updated our information to bring you up to speed on on what you can expect. 

For the first official release, we have a handful of goodies for you in our downloads section. The Sword & Scoundrel pdf contains the first two sections of the rulebook, detailing both the basic rules and our updated character creation system, weighing in at a respectable 70 pages of total content. With character creation now more robust and flexible than ever, we want you to dig in and show us what you come up with. 

To aid you in this task, we've launched a series of character creation tools. In addition to the expected print character sheet, we've optimized a variant for form-fillable use in two versions, one including a character creation worksheet that auto-calculates and populates as you go. Finally, our comprehensive Roll20 character sheet has been approved as a community sheet and is now available for selection when you create a Roll20 campaign. 

Thanks for sticking by us this long. You won't be disappointed. 
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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nemedeus
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by nemedeus » 13 Jul 2017, 14:16

YES! YES!

but something i notice right away:
In the Untrained Ability Checks, under Proficiencies, you reference the tap value before introducing it. (also, does this mean defaulting is no longer highest proficiency/2 ?)
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higgins
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by higgins » 13 Jul 2017, 14:23

nemedeus wrote:(also, does this mean defaulting is no longer highest proficiency/2 ?)
Correct. While arguably less realistic, it's MUCH less of a mess to mess to account for, especially for those new to the system.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 13 Jul 2017, 14:24

Looking good... will dive right into it (along side the World War II skirmish game I´m studying now).

Do you guys have a schedule for the release of the combat chapter, AND the magic chapter also (which I´ve very interested in reading to see how S&S approaches the subject in the context of the milieu).

And major congratz on the tremendous work on the Character Sheets.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Agamemnon » 13 Jul 2017, 14:31

higgins wrote:
nemedeus wrote:(also, does this mean defaulting is no longer highest proficiency/2 ?)
Correct. While arguably less realistic, it's MUCH less of a mess to mess to account for, especially for those new to the system.
Also less of an issue than it might seem. Before, moving from Sword & Shield to Sword & Buckler was a default. Moving from Polearms to Spears was a default. Brawling to Daggers was a default. On any of those, you would have lost half your die pool. So technically within the same weapon system, you now have 100% default, because all sword stuff is handled by Swords, polearms by Polearms, you get the idea.

Moving between weapon types you lose a little more than you did before (albeit not by a huge margin. Rank 10 would have given you 5 dice before, it now gives you 3) but on the other hand we've given you more points to spend at character creation relative to the number of proficiencies available and we entirely circumvent the "I bought this at rank 4 but now my default for it would have been 5" headache.

In all, a net gain.

And yes, Emphases as they existed are coming back and have been planned for accordingly. They will be part of the optional advanced combat stuff.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Agamemnon » 13 Jul 2017, 14:35

Double posting because I can:
thorgarth wrote:Looking good... will dive right into it (along side the World War II skirmish game I´m studying now).

Do you guys have a schedule for the release of the combat chapter, AND the magic chapter also (which I´ve very interested in reading to see how S&S approaches the subject in the context of the milieu).

And major congratz on the tremendous work on the Character Sheets.
Next major release is going to be all the stuff that isn't the advanced conflict systems -- encumbrance, wounds, wealth, all that.
After that will be melee and ranged combat and the skirmish system.

While we have a lot of notes on how magic will work, that's going to be a big undertaking so the goal is to get a playable game out and in the wild before we finish developing out magic. We actually touch on that a bit on the new Sword & Scoundrel page.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 13 Jul 2017, 14:41

higgins wrote:
nemedeus wrote:(also, does this mean defaulting is no longer highest proficiency/2 ?)
Correct. While arguably less realistic, it's MUCH less of a mess to mess to account for, especially for those new to the system.
Agree with Nemedeus here, especially since Tapping is a "new concept" to most RPG´s (in terms of designation at least). It would help if was explained before it is referred to, though in this case it´s not that big of an issue since one doesn´t have to jump a lot for pages to reach it. But bear that in mind.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by nemedeus » 13 Jul 2017, 15:19

Agamemnon wrote: And yes, Emphases as they existed are coming back and have been planned for accordingly. They will be part of the optional advanced combat stuff.
I CANNOT WAIT
thorgarth wrote: Agree with Nemedeus here, especially since Tapping is a "new concept" to most RPG´s (in terms of designation at least). It would help if was explained before it is referred to, though in this case it´s not that big of an issue since one doesn´t have to jump a lot for pages to reach it. But bear that in mind.
Uhm, i haven't stated an opinion. I don't know what you mean when you say you agree with me.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 13 Jul 2017, 16:49

nemedeus wrote:
Agamemnon wrote: And yes, Emphases as they existed are coming back and have been planned for accordingly. They will be part of the optional advanced combat stuff.
I CANNOT WAIT
thorgarth wrote: Agree with Nemedeus here, especially since Tapping is a "new concept" to most RPG´s (in terms of designation at least). It would help if was explained before it is referred to, though in this case it´s not that big of an issue since one doesn´t have to jump a lot for pages to reach it. But bear that in mind.
Uhm, i haven't stated an opinion. I don't know what you mean when you say you agree with me.
You identified a fact which, by correlating it´s components (X referred in Y before being explained), may raise unwanted difficulty in understanding the concepts involved (my interpretation of your words, which are in step with my own interpretation). If that was just a statement of fact without any meaning behind or reason other than making obvious statements well, then I was mistaken. In any case this is MY opinion.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by nemedeus » 13 Jul 2017, 17:08

Gotta say I really miss the "Pieces of Eight" Headlines (and the sidebars too, kinda).

I know Pieces of Eight has some major flaws but it was so... atmospheric somehow...
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by taelor » 13 Jul 2017, 17:54

I really like the new trait section. If other sections of the rules contain improvements on par with that, then that bodes extremely well for the system.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 13 Jul 2017, 19:11

I know that this release refers only to the Character Creation but this section alone, especially since it also has the core mechanics at the start, may lead to some doubts or misconceptions being made if one doesn´t read or know the BoB file.

My main concern is about the Pool mechanics. Pools are mentioned several times throughout the pages BUT they it´s never specifically mentioned how they are formed other than on page 5 under Ability checks, and then in a vage way unless this core mechanism was indeed changed, meaning the idea one gets from reading page 5 is that Skills and Proficiencies have pools based on their ranks alone, not adding the value of an attribute to it as it´s co-basic parameter. This is further reinforced by the fact that said page 5 states that pools are usually between 1 and 10. If we consider that Attributes and Skills now range from 1 to 10, with characters having values on some(attributes and Skills) as high as 6 or even 7 not being that rare to encounter on PC´s, and considering that a human will have a minimum of 2 on each atribute, stating that pools are usually between 1 and 10 is misleading, as the minimum would be on most occasions 3 and not a rare occasion to be up to 12 or 13 for the most "important", and potentially more used skills.

On BoB one could dissipate any doubts by reading the chapter 4, the section about Skill Pools. We don´t have that chance with this file, so it can lead to doubts and misconceptions, unless Skill and Proficiency pools are now just based on their respective ranks alone.

On the other hand, for those who have read BoB I´m finding it strange that "Expertise" now took an whole different meaning, from being a focus/specialization within the broader scope of a skill, giving a +1 die bonus in those situations, to being a type of "open" Skill that must be specified, concerning itself on how to do things. was the "old" expertise mechanism eliminated or just given a new terminology?
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by Agamemnon » 13 Jul 2017, 19:41

taelor wrote:I really like the new trait section. If other sections of the rules contain improvements on par with that, then that bodes extremely well for the system.
Huzzah! Positivity!

Ahem. I'm glad. That was easily the most arduous section to put together and tinker with.
thorgarth wrote:I know that this release refers only to the Character Creation but this section alone, especially since it also has the core mechanics at the start, may lead to some doubts or misconceptions being made if one doesn´t read or know the BoB file.
The BoB file is not necessary to use the contents of the new draft, unless you're going to attempt to use it to backwards engineer combat in the time between now and when it is officially released.
thorgarth wrote:My main concern is about the Pool mechanics. Pools are mentioned several times throughout the pages BUT they it´s never specifically mentioned how they are formed other than on page 5 under Ability checks, and then in a vage way unless this core mechanism was indeed changed, meaning the idea one gets from reading page 5 is that Skills and Proficiencies have pools based on their ranks alone, not adding the value of an attribute to it as it´s co-basic parameter.
This is correct. That was the major impetus for a new draft, rather than a revision of the old draft. There's a thread somewhere about it where this was debated but ultimately settled upon. It's also why the tapping mechanic exists.
Sword & Scoundrel-0.1.2.pdf, page 5 wrote:Ability checks are resolved by gathering a pool of dice equal in number
to the rank or value of the ability (an attribute, skill, or proficiency) being
tested, usually between 1-10 dice.
The default assumption is that the totality of your dice for the pool comes from your ability's rank alone, save for what dice you might get from other sources (Getting More Dice, pg10).
thorgarth wrote:If we consider that Attributes and Skills now range from 1 to 10
Technically, the paragraph in question refers to abilities, which is explained as an umbrella term for attributes, skills, and proficiencies. Attributes range between 2 and 8 in humans normally, with a T5 letting you get up to 10. Skills range between 0 and 8 in humans, with a T5 letting you hit 10. Proficiencies range from 0 and... Whatever you want to spend them to, but at character creation that's going to cap out at 11 and you're not going to see any NPCs higher than that unless the GM has made some kind of very special exception. Thus, as the text says, this will usually be between 1-10 dice.
thorgarth wrote:On the other hand, for those who have read BoB I´m finding it strange that "Expertise" now took an whole different meaning, from being a focus/specialization within the broader scope of a skill, giving a +1 die bonus in those situations, to being a type of "open" Skill that must be specified, concerning itself on how to do things. was the "old" expertise mechanism eliminated or just given a new terminology?
The old expertise system was removed. This is another place where there was a series of threads discussing it. The TL;DR is that it seemed a weird fit for the direction and another situational +1 die bonus really wasn't worth the additional layer of stuff to juggle.

If someone wants to come up with another name for the skill, feel free to make suggestions. I'm not married to it, but it was fit for purpose.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by dysjunct » 13 Jul 2017, 20:12

It seems like the function of the old Expertise system could be replicated with Traits. Shouldn't be too overpowering due to the limit on tapping.
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Re: The King is Dead, Long Live the King

Post by thorgarth » 14 Jul 2017, 04:54

Agamemnon wrote:[
thorgarth wrote:My main concern is about the Pool mechanics. Pools are mentioned several times throughout the pages BUT they it´s never specifically mentioned how they are formed other than on page 5 under Ability checks, and then in a vage way unless this core mechanism was indeed changed, meaning the idea one gets from reading page 5 is that Skills and Proficiencies have pools based on their ranks alone, not adding the value of an attribute to it as it´s co-basic parameter.
This is correct. That was the major impetus for a new draft, rather than a revision of the old draft. There's a thread somewhere about it where this was debated but ultimately settled upon. It's also why the tapping mechanic exists.
So basically instead of just adding an attribute straight on we will now have to ponder and justify adding up to two tap values (which can include an attribute tap). I fear it will just add another cog to the wheels, with no real benefit, meaning making it more complex without any gain from my perspective, which seems to me odd given that the game design evolution seems to be striving for more simplicity.
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