Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

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Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Agamemnon » 26 Jul 2017, 20:07

Minor update this week. The July 13th release contained the basic rules and character creation materials, and we've had a blast seeing what you guys have come up with. This week's update is a direct response to your feedback. It contains a number of error corrections and rules clarifications as well as some minor buffs to the characters themselves, with attributes, skills, and proficiencies all getting a little more love on the priority table.

Keep your eyes peeled, the next release is a big one. 

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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by nemedeus » 26 Jul 2017, 20:36

looking at the priority table, i have to say, i'm a bit confused. While i don't think getting more points across the board is a bad thing, i feel like the one thing i'd have liked most to have bumped up a notch are the trait points (like 1 point, at the most).

either way, the skills bump seems most excessive, particularly for the lower tiers. the extra 5 points are huge, so i definitely suggest lowering the Maxima. something like, T1 max 6 at the very most.

instead of bumping proficiencies, have you considered giving brawling for free at any proficiency tier? I'm thinking "at the maximum value of the next lower tier", so
t1: 0, t2: 0, t3: 6, t4: 7, t5: 9.
my reasoning is, it's safe to assume that so far, EVERYONE EVER will feel the need to dip points into brawling.
so yeah, that's just one idea i had a few days ago.

oh and, personally i think the biggest reason i felt attribute tiers to be so limiting is the fact that you always need two times as many points to reach a number in the derived attributes. i realized this earlier when i looked at my character sheet again.
honestly, i would consider giving the option to invest points in them directly (like, a small amount, no more than two or three i figure). instead of the extra attribute point every tier got, I'd give out two points to spend directly on derived attributes (at all tiers), to be added on top of their derived value.

other than that, really looking forward to what i hope to be emphases, maneuvers and combat in general!
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by thirtythr33 » 27 Jul 2017, 03:56

1 more attribute, 5 more skills and 2 more cp across the board.

I was finding builds to be very difficult in choosing the tiers, because I just really never had quite enough points to do it all. I figured that was the point. This buff is close to 2 entire more Tiers to purchase with.

25 skill points does see like an awful lot for someone at T1. Even someone with T1 attribute is merely "average". I like the idea of dropping T1 MAX to 6 for attributes and skills or even having them go MAX 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. With 25 skill points it's just too easy to dump 8 in something like Larceny, and still have 17 left over to put 4 ranks in each of Manipulation, Stealth, Streetwise and Legerdemain and one last point in Education to be literate to build out a perfectly serviceable thief with only T1 investment.

The thing is, you know when the points you are giving out are too much when noone is taking the top Tier. Did anyone take T5 Traits or Skills and say, "damn, 45 skills and 9 traits just isn't enough!"? From what I saw, everyone was taking high Attribute and Proficiency because the medium to low skill and traits were already more than enough. Most people seemed to take Traits really low because you get 2 to start with plus 3 which you can buy down to a single point. Who needs more than 5 traits? By giving out more skills at the low end, your just making it easier for people to get away with T5 attribute and T5 proficiency builds.

So I think the attribute increase was warranted, but not the skills. The CP doesn't really make much difference either way because the cap didn't change. If anything I would also decrease the Traits until people actually start taking Tiers in it. Someone at T1 might actually just have to suck it up and get nothing but their free background and character trait.

I don't like the idea of a free brawling proficiency. That's what tapping is for. There are plenty of cultures that wouldn't have Brawling as standard; like a lot of early modern dueling ones which see it as unsportsmanlike and barbaric. I like that street scum can put a high and mighty knight on his ass by fighting "dirty" if the castle trained dandy hasn't been in a real fight.

The thing that's worrying me about Brawling now is that it might be too effective outside the grapple. It strains common sense that someone could be better able to defend themselves with no weapon than with a sword in one hand.

I don't think allowing direct investment into derived attributes is a good idea at all. If you were going that road it would be better to just move some derived attributes to the basic attributes section and adjust points accordingly. The discussion of how many basic attributes to have has been done extensively in other threads. The one good thing about having so few base attributes and so many derived ones is everyone is building in the 3-5 range, because there are so many bonuses at rank 4.

Typo: p53, 59, 61, 63, 65 the heading in top right is printed twice.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by EinBein » 27 Jul 2017, 04:35

nemedeus wrote:looking at the priority table, i have to say, i'm a bit confused. While i don't think getting more points across the board is a bad thing, i feel like the one thing i'd have liked most to have bumped up a notch are the trait points (like 1 point, at the most).
Mh. Not sure. Let's see how it turns out. I got everything I "expected" out of the current trait scale.
nemedeus wrote:either way, the skills bump seems most excessive, particularly for the lower tiers. the extra 5 points are huge, so i definitely suggest lowering the Maxima. something like, T1 max 6 at the very most.
I gave The Boy a T3 in skills, and I think they feel more "complete" now (competent in half a dozen important areas) while still having potential. This is exactly what I think a T3 should be. So about right for me. Thumbs up!
nemedeus wrote:instead of bumping proficiencies, have you considered giving brawling for free at any proficiency tier? I'm thinking "at the maximum value of the next lower tier", so
t1: 0, t2: 0, t3: 6, t4: 7, t5: 9.
my reasoning is, it's safe to assume that so far, EVERYONE EVER will feel the need to dip points into brawling.
so yeah, that's just one idea i had a few days ago.
There will still be concepts without any brawling proficiencies maybe? Dunno, actually I gave Brawling to all of my characters, but they all are some sorts of half-professional to professional fighters...
nemedeus wrote:oh and, personally i think the biggest reason i felt attribute tiers to be so limiting is the fact that you always need two times as many points to reach a number in the derived attributes. i realized this earlier when i looked at my character sheet again.
honestly, i would consider giving the option to invest points in them directly (like, a small amount, no more than two or three i figure).
Interesting idea. Though it increases tracking complexity. Actually, when I had to add that new attribute point to The Boy's profile, I was inclined to push his Perception to 5, as this would befit a "nature character" maybe. But when I saw that his Grit would remain 3 (due to Brawn 4 and Will 3), I decided to increase Brawn instead. Because even if I imagine him as a bit weak-willed (or average-willed actually), I didn't want him to only have an average ability to "endure hardship" in general, which would also not fit to my concept of a swamp-guide. So a separate way to push his Grit without being forced to add to his Brawn or Will would have been welcome here. Anyways, I don't know whether it warrants the additional clutter...
nemedeus wrote:instead of the extra attribute point every tier got, I'd give out two points to spend directly on derived attributes (at all tiers), to be added on top of their derived value.
I'm personally a huge fan of the additional point. It makes the characters feel a tiny bit more powerful, while not making them super-heroes. I made this comparison table of BoB scale to SaS scale:

Image

On the lowest tier, you had average attributes in BoB with two slightly above average. In SaS former draft, you were average all over. Now, you have at least one above-average attribute (Brawn for a woodcutter, Cunning for scribe, etc.).

From that on, the characters only get better, but compared to the human maximum and human norm, the improvement curve is smoother and potential remains to be a thing, even on the highest tier.

And now I wouldn't be forced to pick T4/T5 as a fighter in order to handle one good or two average foes...
nemedeus wrote:other than that, really looking forward to what i hope to be emphases, maneuvers and combat in general!
Me too!
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Benedict » 27 Jul 2017, 04:43

thirtythr33 wrote:1 more attribute, 5 more skills and 2 more cp across the board.
Indeed. Now I have to remake all my characters. :| Just kidding. :mrgreen:
thirtythre33 wrote:25 skill points does see like an awful lot for someone at T1. Even someone with T1 attribute is merely "average". I like the idea of dropping T1 MAX to 6 for attributes and skills or even having them go MAX 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. With 25 skill points it's just too easy to dump 8 in something like Larceny, and still have 17 left over to put 4 ranks in each of Manipulation, Stealth, Streetwise and Legerdemain and one last point in Education to be literate to build out a perfectly serviceable thief with only T1 investment.
I agree that a Cap spread per Tier for Attribute and Skill should exist, similar to Proficiency. Been playing around with numbers and the one I prefer would be 10/8/7/6/5. T1 should really hurt you. Now Skills T1 can get you 3 7s in there (Tap +2) and still have 4 points to spare.
thirtythr33 wrote:The thing is, you know when the points you are giving out are too much when noone is taking the top Tier. Did anyone take T5 Traits or Skills and say, "damn, 45 skills and 9 traits just isn't enough!"? From what I saw, everyone was taking high Attribute and Proficiency because the medium to low skill and traits were already more than enough. Most people seemed to take Traits really low because you get 2 to start with plus 3 which you can buy down to a single point. Who needs more than 5 traits? By giving out more skills at the low end, your just making it easier for people to get away with T5 attribute and T5 proficiency builds.
I think that the Trait Tier spread is the most unwanted one. It's a +1pt per Tier affair, with +3tps for top. It's not that it's bad, it's that all the others give a whole lot more. Don't forget that Traits are not that cheap. Both my characters here are T1 Traits. With the new table I might be inclined to go T2 or T3. When the trade-off is 5 skills/2 attribute for a 0d/1dT, well, its not that desirable.

In general I have been thinking that Traits should be 4/6/8/10/14 or something similar, Trait costs adjusted to that, and perhaps a cap per Tier on how many Traits one could get.
thirtythr33 wrote:If anything I would also decrease the Traits until people actually start taking Tiers in it. Someone at T1 might actually just have to suck it up and get nothing but their free background and character trait.
As I explained above I disagree. Unless Atrib stays 15 (cap5) and skill goes down to 15 (cap5) or something similar.
thirtythr33 wrote:The thing that's worrying me about Brawling now is that it might be too effective outside the grapple. It strains common sense that someone could be better able to defend themselves with no weapon than with a sword in one hand
Don't forget that Brawling covers Daggers and Striking besides Grappling.

Also note you have to grapple the dude. When he has a weapon in hand, that warrants bad things for you.

Image

Karma stayed the way it was. With the increased Atr/Skill/Prof tiers its making things worse.

Layout: (pg35-pg36) Larceny header should be after Language Fluency table, not before.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by thirtythr33 » 27 Jul 2017, 05:14

Benedict wrote:I agree that a Cap spread per Tier for Attribute and Skill should exist, similar to Proficiency. Been playing around with numbers and the one I prefer would be 10/8/7/6/5. T1 should really hurt you. Now Skills T1 can get you 2 7s in there (Tap +2) and still have 6 points to spare.
The idea is that 8 is top end of "normal" and 10 being amazing. A more flat 10/8/8/8/6 seems fine, but I also would be fine with your proposition.
Benedict wrote:In general I have been thinking that Traits should be 4/6/8/10/14 or something similar, Trait costs adjusted to that, and perhaps a cap per Tier on how many Traits one could get.
People are already dumping traits down to 1 and getting frigging emperors inquisitor status comfortably. If you increase it to 4 base, why would I ever need to spend more points on Traits? The way to stop people dumping something is to DECREASE the points you get, not increase it. That way it's too painful to skip, and they have to actually PAY for what they want instead of just getting it for free.

You really can't put the T5 traits above 9. The way it's set up now, being a leader of a national faction costs 10pts, which means you have to use T5 social class to get +2d faction and T5 Traits to be able to afford it (well, technically now you can just add an enemy national faction). Then you get 1 trait left over to take a Claim to the throne with a bunch of conflicts. I'm pretty sure that's intentional. If you give any more than 10 Traits, you can be a national ruler without even having to be a noble which I don't think is intended.

My Trait line would be more like 0/2/4/6/9. If you put 0 in traits, a background and a character trait is what you get for flavor. If you want some kind of position of power, you should have to at-least put in 1 tier to Traits. Plus now you get a more significant bump between tiers too.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by nemedeus » 27 Jul 2017, 05:23

i guess i was wrong about the brawling!

otherwise, definitely agree with the general sentiment.
Benedict wrote:T1 should really hurt you.
this.

i tend to make combat characters so skills and traits tend to be dump stats for me.

so, dunno if i prefer skill max 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 5, 6, 7, 8, 10. it doesn't really make a HUGE difference, but i can see the logic of the latter one, too.

so for traits i agree with nerfing the lower end, but i really think the mid to high tiers should be buffed. a progression of 2, 4, 6, 8, 11 would be okay, i think.

33 was faster:
thirtythr33 wrote:My Trait line would be more like 0/2/4/6/9. If you put 0 in traits, a background and a character trait is what you get for flavor. If you want some kind of position of power, you should have to at-least put in 1 tier to Traits. Plus now you get a more significant bump between tiers too.
i think that's really a bit too harsh. i think the bigger problem is that things can be bumped down so hard on the first place, maybe? and don't get me wrong, i totally see your point about factions now (and i also now get why they're so expensive in the first place), but... well, i have no good argument except traits are cool.
maybe have a tier based maximum on the cost of traits, as well? we have caps on everything else, too.

i stand by my point about the two extra points for derived attributes. maybe 1 to reduce the complexity. that or some other way to get more different numbers to show up here; most of the time, i get only a disparity of 1 across the board. maybe you could knock one down to bump one up? maybe make that a trait. would help customisation a lot, imo.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Siggi » 27 Jul 2017, 05:44

A thought on "On Second Thought".

This effect allows a player to perform a slow action (which normally would require a 2d6 roll) as a fast (1d6) action. And that's for a mere 1 Drive point. Isn't it OP?
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Benedict » 27 Jul 2017, 11:23

thirtythr33 wrote:
Benedict wrote:I agree that a Cap spread per Tier for Attribute and Skill should exist, similar to Proficiency. Been playing around with numbers and the one I prefer would be 10/8/7/6/5. T1 should really hurt you. Now Skills T1 can get you 2 7s in there (Tap +2) and still have 6 points to spare.
The idea is that 8 is top end of "normal" and 10 being amazing. A more flat 10/8/8/8/6 seems fine, but I also would be fine with your proposition.
nemedeus wrote:so, dunno if i prefer skill max 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 5, 6, 7, 8, 10. it doesn't really make a HUGE difference, but i can see the logic of the latter one, too.
Imho the main issue is that Tapping is not taken into account with the current Tiers. Nor with the previous ones to be exact. You can get Tap2 with Tier 1 as far as Attributes and Skills are concerned, and that really bugs me. Traits? You can get Tap3 with Tier 1: a Character Trait of 3d, a Background of 3d and one point to spare, and so on. Only Proficiency ties Tap to Priority. I believe all the others -- except Class obviously -- should follow this rule.
thirtythr33 wrote:People are already dumping traits down to 1 and getting frigging emperors inquisitor status comfortably.
I wouldn't call that RAW. There had been some stretchings of the rules regarding Traits over there proposed by Agamemnon to accomondate his vision of the game.

Don't forget that Meinrad has T5 Class: Greater Noble. Which means +2 extra Trait points, pushing it to +5. Or T3 Traits, whatever you prefer. Still it's a stretch to say that with current RAW people casually dump Traits and get OP combinations. I'm not saying they can't - I explained how you can tap3 with T1 Traits earlier - but sure as Hell can't do it casually.

Note: If I was GMing the thing and wanted everyone (or at least most of them) to belong to the Hounds, I'd say something like "all get +1 Trait point on top of Tier pick which must be used to create the Hounds as a Faction". That doesn't mean that I am correct and Ag is wrong or vice versa. It only shows how context can lead to rules bending when all agree to it and do it in a consistent manner.
thirtythr33 wrote:You really can't put the T5 traits above 9. The way it's set up now, being a leader of a national faction costs 10pts, which means you have to use T5 social class to get +2d faction and T5 Traits to be able to afford it (well, technically now you can just add an enemy national faction). Then you get 1 trait left over to take a Claim to the throne with a bunch of conflicts. I'm pretty sure that's intentional. If you give any more than 10 Traits, you can be a national ruler without even having to be a noble which I don't think is intended.
That's why I initially said
Benedict wrote:In general I have been thinking that Traits should be 4/6/8/10/14 or something similar, Trait costs adjusted to that, and perhaps a cap per Tier on how many Traits one could get.
4/6/8/10/14, or something similar: The more I play with numbers around, the more I get to the point that the ideal spread would be something closer to 2/3/5/8/12.
Trait costs adjusted to that: meaning that some Traits should cost more, not less. And a note on costs. They are linear. I believe they should be greater the more dice you get in.
a cap per Tier: that I believe is the most important one. The most easiest way is to tie it to Tap.

And a note.
thirtythr33 wrote:If you give any more than 10 Traits, you can be a national ruler without even having to be a noble which I don't think is intended.
RAW nothing prevents me from getting T1 Class: Serf, T5 Traits: 9pts, and buy Claim: Kingdom. I'm just the true heir of the kingdom, and I was hidden away from the usurper in a farm 20 years ago.

My suggestion for Tiers would be something like this:

Image
A note on Caps. Tier 2 reads Cap 6~8. Meaning that max Tap could be between 1 and 2. That's for the team to decide. Every Tier between 2 and 4 could all have a Cap of 8/Tap2 and everything would still be peaches and cream.

Attributes are a hybrid between the previous and current Tier spread; Proficiencies are the same as the current spread; I explained the reasoning behind Traits above. Before anyone starts shouting foul, Skill tiers break down like this:
SKILLS wrote:T5: 10 @ 5; max singular Tap 3
T4: 8 @ 5; max Tap 2
T3: 8 @ 4; max Tap 2
T2: 8 @ 3; max Tap 2
T1: 8 @ 2; max Tap 1
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by taelor » 28 Jul 2017, 01:04

I'm interested to hear from Agamemnon or Higgins what the rationale for the change to the priority system is. I don't have an opinion on it one way or another at this stage, but I was happy with how my characters turned out under the previous one. I guess I'll have to get on restatting them up and see what I think then.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Agamemnon » 28 Jul 2017, 02:57

Attributes: the spread was a bit wonky, and t1 seemed like it was a bit too prone to turn out characters who were severely impaired in some fashion. You'd wind up with a character who had 2 2 4 4 4 or something. The increased points help alleviate that some, by at least letting the character be good at some small area at t1.

Skills: the original idea was to help give people more points to throw around so they'd diversify their skills a bit. Expertise, Lore, Perform, and Trade all cry out for people to take niche and oddball skills to add flavor to their character. What I've found in making characters though is that it never feels like there's quite enough skillpoints to spare for unnecessary skills. The question came down to "Should someone be required to take a T4+ in skills just to be a decent rogue character?" Einbein was facing a similar issue. So we bumped up the skills across the board. We discussed a cap and were considering that it might be more trouble than it's worth. In hindsight, it's probably going to be necessary if we want and try to force people to invest in multiple skills at any given level instead of just taking a couple skills and maxing them out.

Proficiencies: t2 sat in a weird place. Given that the majority of characters who fight need at least two proficiencies (brawling+something) having 6 points to spend was off. It either meant that you invested everything in brawling, and were competent at it, invested everything in one non-brawling proficiency (like swords) to play some kind of foppish duelist concept, or you tried to split 3 and 3 in something. The rub is that Prof3 is still so low that unless your reflex is just off the chart, you basically never want to get in a fight anyway. Jumping to 8 points base alleviates this somewhat (you can get a 6 in your main and start learning one or two others, or you can get two 4s, etc). We then increased 2 points across the board because of the math.

Traits: No increase was necessary. From what I've seen, people already don't feel the need to spend points into traits unless they have a specific concept in mind (they want a faction, status, etc). As it is, you already get free traits and the much-requested Enemy modifier makes things even cheaper. If anything, one could argue that traits are too plentiful already and should be reduced (or made unilaterally more expensive), or that one or both of the free traits should be removed.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by thirtythr33 » 28 Jul 2017, 05:03

The thing I'm seeing here is a lot of people seem to have a different idea of what Tier 1 should represent. Should Tier 1 represent
a) a potentially crippling flaw in the character
b) a noticeable but manageable shortcoming or
c) not really be a problem at all

Each of these has merits.
a) Has the benefit of forcing characters to rely on eachother to cover their own weaknesses and allows for the greatest diversity of character concepts. On the other hand, someone might not fully realize the impact of taking Tier 1 and turn out not to enjoy their "broken" character. If the penalties are harsh enough (ie larger than the Tier 5 bonus), veteran players who understand the system might actually (shock horror) choose to play characters with arrays like 2/3/3/3/4 instead of 1/1/3/5/5.
b) Is kind of the balance of a) and c).
c) Results in the most "averagey" characters. This will lead to less lop sided characters and people are less likely to wind up with a character they don't like. Unfortunately, it kind of lets everyone do everything, resulting in a lot of characters that feel the same. Strangely enough though, since the penalties for Tier 1 are so low, veteran optimizers will always take builds like 1/1/3/5/5

Considering that we have Traits like 3d One Armed or 3d Dwarf to emulate seriously crippling character flaws, a good case could be made that the priorities shouldn't also have their own crippling flaws baked in. TROS was notorious for having really punishing Tier 1s, going so far as to give only 9 skill points at lowest rank or giving you a magic vulnerability for taking lowest rank in magic. That said, any of these would be a viable ways to make the game, depending on the intended feel. The problem is when you start mixing them together in the same game... Then things are open to min maxing and it gives a incoherent message.

Looking at the 0.1.3 Tier list, if I had to rate how I think each Priority sits at Tier 1 right now I would say that:

Social Class is in a). Assuming the GM will actually treat the player like the station demands and another player doesn't give them money. Combined with the Patron Trait to get equipment and a bit of social power, this could be a b)

Attributes is in b). You can make an attribute spread of 3/3/3/3/4, but that means you can't get 4 on any derived attributes. If you try to do something like get Grit 4, Perception 4 for combat you have to take an array like 2/2/4/4/4 and have 2 really terrible stats. You can play around those shortcomings though. It will hurt you on a few rolls, but won't really derail things like being a slave or noncombatant would.

Skills is in c) for sure. 25 is such a huge amount of skills that you can comfortably fill out an entire archetypes of the list at a good level. You can be a diplomat with 5 in Coercion, Manipulation, Command, Orate, Negotiation or you can be solid Soldier with 5 in Horsemanship, Warfare, Survival, Seamanship, Stewardship or even a full blown thief with 5 in each of Larceny, Legerdemain, Manipulation, Streetwise, Stealth. 5 in a skill at TN3 is 80% success against Req3, and that's before even considering help, drives, tapping, cascading and anything else. Plus, if you just want to be a specialist you can get up to rank 8 on Tier 1 and still have 17 left over to take 4 skills at rank 4.

Proficiency is in a). You have to seriously consider just running the hell away from a random street thug, or giving him what he wants. This can be mitigated down to a b) if you make yourself too important to hurt (Social class T5) or take a strong Retainer Trait to act as a permanent bodyguard.

Traits is in c) for sure. There is really no shortcoming from taking Tier 1 traits, you just don't get to have an army. You already get 2 traits for free and the 3 pts you get on top of that are enough to give you a significant Status or power. I don't know why a Tier 1 Trait should be able to afford things like a claim to ruler-ship to the kingdom, a captaincy of a local guard, or a national reputation. Just about the only thing it can't afford is a faction, but then you can split that cost between the party anyway. If you don't want 1 big trait, you can instead get 3 relationships or other small ones if you like.

In a strange way, this is coming back to a comment Agamemnon made about the Retainer Trait which I thought was funny.
Agamemnon wrote:A 9 point retainer would be be near-useless. That's like 2/2/2/2/1.
And I was thinking, near useless? really?.... there's not much difference between 9 point retainer and a fully fledged 15 point player character because Tier 1 sets such a high base compared to what each addition adds on top (for some priorities). Looking at the current system, I can get a 10pt retainer for 1 Trait (with an enemy) and build a bodyguard type character using the array 1/3/1/4/1

He's your slave, which works out as a good thing really. You have to pay for his stuff as a patron anyway so you might as well get the legal authority over them too.

Attributes I'll take Agility 6, Brawn 7, Cunning 2, Perception 3, Will 2
So i get BTV2, GTV1, Speed 6, Reflex 4 and perception 3 to help a bit

Skills, I'll just take 5 in each of Coercion, Horsemanship, Medicine, Teamster, Warfare because why not.

Proficiency take 9 in each of Polearm and Brawling, for total CP of 13 in each with GTV1 and BTV2

Traits take whatever relationship for 1pt and a 2d reputation that will help his coercion.

Sure, hes got weak perception and no ranged weapon specialization but he seems like he would give a lot of PCs a run for their money, and all that cost only 1 trait point. Mostly because it doesn't hurt at all to take Tier 1 in social class, skills and traits so you can focus on getting BTV2, GTV1 and a high proficiency.

That's a pretty minmaxed Retainer though, I'll admit. Trying to build a noble blooded squire for a knight would cost a lot more at almost no benefit.

EDIT: TYPO p65. Last sentence first paragraph missing capital at start of "Claims, factions..."
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Benedict
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Benedict » 28 Jul 2017, 11:00

Agamemnon wrote:The question came down to "Should someone be required to take a T4+ in skills just to be a decent rogue character?"
Depends what we term a "decent rogue". Let's suppose that a rogue like character needs a bare minimum of Larceny/Legerdemain, Stealth, Streetwise, and one social interraction Skill as far as Skills are concerned. That's four Skills.

When reading the Rank descriptions we get that
SKILL RANKS wrote:1 Dabbler
2 Novice
3 Apprentice
4 Journeyman
5-6 Master
7-8 Grandmaster
9+ Genius savant
With this scale in mind and Beta 0.1.2 Tiers we get
Tier 1 : 20pts = 4 @ 5
Tier 2 : 25pts = 5 @ 5
Tier 3 : 30pts = 6 @ 5
Tier 4 : 35pts = 7 @ 5
Tier 5 : 45pts = 9 @ 5

Meaning that a T1 Skills character can have 4 Skills at MASTER Rank. If he wanted he could get 1-2 skills at 5, and have others at 1~3 for flair.

With a T4 that same character could have 7 skills at Master rank. Or he could get those 4 Skills at Grandmaster Rank (7/Tap2) and 7pts to spare for flair.

It's worth noting that with Beta 0.1.3 Tiers we get one extra Skill @ 5 per Tier (5/6/7/8/9/10). So I kindly beg to differ. Even with the previous Priority Table a T4 Skills made you a Grandmaster -- or a jack-of-all-trades. Certainly not just decent or average. :)

And a question. Why a T1 Skill Priority should allow you to create a character even remotely competent in any area of Skill, when Proficiency T1 makes you less able than a curious dabbler by default? Or T1 Class a man who doesn't even own himself?
thirtythr33 wrote:Considering that we have Traits like 3d One Armed or 3d Dwarf to emulate seriously crippling character flaw
One thing that struck me as odd right from the start is that Traits cover both Flaws and Edges, to use the old terms. It struck me as odd mainly for this:

Why would anyone get a 3d Flaw which costs 4pts, when he can get away with 0d at 1pt? Why a bigger disadvantage costs more than a lesser one?
Agamemnon wrote:Traits: No increase was necessary. From what I've seen, people already don't feel the need to spend points into traits unless they have a specific concept in mind (they want a faction, status, etc). As it is, you already get free traits and the much-requested Enemy modifier makes things even cheaper. If anything, one could argue that traits are too plentiful already and should be reduced (or made unilaterally more expensive), or that one or both of the free traits should be removed.
My suggestion was to make the Point/Tier spread more varied, increase Costs, and limit max Tap value per Tier. As I explained earlier, it's not consistent with the scale presented.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by Siggi » 28 Jul 2017, 12:24

No point in writing anything on top of what's been said. I'm with thirtythr33 and Benedict here.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel v0.1.3

Post by thirtythr33 » 28 Jul 2017, 13:12

Benedict wrote:
thirtythr33 wrote:People are already dumping traits down to 1 and getting frigging emperors inquisitor status comfortably.
I wouldn't call that RAW. There had been some stretchings of the rules regarding Traits over there proposed by Agamemnon to accomondate his vision of the game.

Note: If I was GMing the thing and wanted everyone (or at least most of them) to belong to the Hounds, I'd say something like "all get +1 Trait point on top of Tier pick which must be used to create the Hounds as a Faction".
Sure, and if I wanted to play a noble intrigue game, I'd give everyone noble class and 13pts to distribute.

But the point is that it's crazy what you can get for 3 trait points, especially by taking a major enemy or stacking other complications. RAW You could take a national 3d reputation, a 13pt retainer, 5 different relationships, be a captain in a 500 man faction or even have the status of the right hand of the king. while staying at T1 Traits.

Social class T1 is a slave with zero money. Proficiency T1 is a total noncombatant. A Traits T1 should be someone who is an island of a man, a recluse with with no family, friends, status or ties to society. Certainly not a captain or commander.
Benedict wrote:
thirtythr33 wrote:If you give any more than 10 Traits, you can be a national ruler without even having to be a noble which I don't think is intended.
RAW nothing prevents me from getting T1 Class: Serf, T5 Traits: 9pts, and buy Claim: Kingdom. I'm just the true heir of the kingdom, and I was hidden away from the usurper in a farm 20 years ago.
Sure, but you don't have any army or way to enforce it. In my full context, I was saying you need 10pts to have a royal claim AND also be a the leader of a nation wide faction to back it up. That should be the prerogative of nobles.

Anyway, here's my stab at the priorities table.

Image

Skills and Traits took a big hit at the low end and I changed some of the MAX and CAPs. I think 1 Trait point might even be generous but they are such a great source or character and drama that it would be a shame to cut them out entirely. You can kind of think of 1 Trait point as being equivalent to the 3 in the last draft, except now you have to have that powerful enemy in there undermining it. Or you tone it back and don't take the enemy.
Benedict wrote:Why would anyone get a 3d Flaw which costs 4pts, when he can get away with 0d at 1pt? Why a bigger disadvantage costs more than a lesser one?
You need atleast 1d to get a drive point for failing a roll with the penalty, which a 0d doesn't get you. But comparing 1d to 3d, the best I could come up with is that with 3d Ugly you will fail more social rolls than with 1d Ugly, and therefore will earn more drive points by not accidentally still passing rolls with only a 1d penalty.

Leaving the option open does make giving various maimings and injuries easier though. ie 1d missing finger, 2d missing hand, 3d missing arm.
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

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