Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

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Benedict
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 23 Jul 2017, 05:04

Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:Anyway, I personally would probably avoid the Karma thing all together. If someone died mid-campaign we'd have a chat as a group, then probably ask him to make a new character with some bonuses (depending on how much he spent so far) to bring him on par with the party.

Not so sure if there's a need for a mechanic to model that.
A "bonus depending on how much he spent so far" is exactly what that mechanic is. Karma also serves a couple of other important purposes. It incentivizes players to burn points, it's a nice feeling of "keeping track" of how long that character has been in play, and it takes some of the sting out of losing drive points for going against your drives, or paying off temptations because those points will ultimately still benefit you.
Agreed. I understand that Karma is a mechanic to reward players for being active by burning Drives to do things inside the campaign instead of fading out to the background. What bugs me is that I'd hate to tell a player with 20 Karma that he has to start from scratch because he MoFed 5 that Balance check while dueling on the edge of a 100-yards drop cliff or because I rolled 6 successes on that shot from ambush and got him in the eye when he doesn't have 3 Drive spare to pay "Not Quite Dead Yet" in either case. This is the reason why I'm unsure if Karma should exist as a Core Rule. Perhaps it should be a Lever instead.

And a question irrelevant to Karma. "Yes, but..." has been intentionally removed, or was left out by accidental omission? That was a very cool mechanic imo.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by nemedeus » 23 Jul 2017, 11:07

okay first, Agamemnon, i meant, keep karma per player per campaign. so no, not permanent per player forever.

second, why not just allow the karma to be spent as you would spend drive points on improving skills etc. when making a new character?
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 23 Jul 2017, 11:47

nemedeus wrote:allow the karma to be spent as you would spend drive points on improving skills etc. when making a new character?
I was thinking something similar.

Apart from the fact that there are certain steps where you get that +Priority bonus, there is the added problem that every Priority Tier is not equal, nor are Priority increases linear.

Lets assume a character who allocates 5/4/3/2/1. In particular he gets Class3 Atr5 Skill2 Prof4 Trait1. His Karma merits a +1 Priority. He allocates it to Prof4.

From 18 (cap9) he gets to 28 (cap11). He gets 10 extra points and the potential to Tap3 twice.

Lets assume he allocates those extra points in one Proficiency: Rank 10 Tap3.

If he had Proficiency Priority 4 and one Proficiency at 7+ (Tap2) the cost to get there with Drives if he was learning from scratch would be:

5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 - 2 = 57

Btw 57 Karma would get him to Karma +2 Priority.

If his Proficiency Priority was 1 (0 pts), +1 from Karma, he'd be at 6pts. Learning a single Proficiency would put him at 6.

If he was upgrading from scratch with Drive that would cost him

5 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 25

Depending on my choice a +1 Proficiency Priority bonus ranges from 25 to 57 Drive points. :(

Likwise we have similar situations with Attributes and Skills.

Class and Traits are even harder to judge. The +1 Priority bonus for Class when you go from Lesser Noble to Greater Noble is prolific. Not so if you jump from Low Freeman to High Freeman. Likewise Trait4+1 will give you 9pts (3 more), when every other choice (Trait1+1, Trait2+1, Trait3+1) will increase your points by 1.

By no means I'm implying that Tiers are broken or imbalanced. I just think that a Priority bonus due to Karma breaks the delicate balance you have established with the Priority Table.

My suggestion would be to allocate Priorities, and after you are done with the creation process, adjust accordingly using your Karma, burning it as pseudo-drive points to tweak Attributes, Skills, and Proficiencies.

If you think it is too much there are two possibilities:
  • Cut your Karma score in half before you start buying extra Ranks
  • Limit the max you can buy with Karma to half the maximum allowed by your Priority Tier
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by nemedeus » 23 Jul 2017, 12:04

Benedict wrote:Cut your Karma score in half before you start buying extra Ranks
was about to add that. i think it's a good rule of thumb to assume about half out your drive burning goes into advancement.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 23 Jul 2017, 12:10

nemedeus wrote:was about to add that. i think it's a good rule of thumb to assume about half out your drive burning goes into advancement.
Indeed. But even if you only burned for narrative effects and to resist temptation, that also merits a reward by my thinking. Because it furthers the story more than bumping a skill twice.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Agamemnon » 23 Jul 2017, 12:35

Benedict wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:Anyway, I personally would probably avoid the Karma thing all together. If someone died mid-campaign we'd have a chat as a group, then probably ask him to make a new character with some bonuses (depending on how much he spent so far) to bring him on par with the party.

Not so sure if there's a need for a mechanic to model that.
A "bonus depending on how much he spent so far" is exactly what that mechanic is. Karma also serves a couple of other important purposes. It incentivizes players to burn points, it's a nice feeling of "keeping track" of how long that character has been in play, and it takes some of the sting out of losing drive points for going against your drives, or paying off temptations because those points will ultimately still benefit you.
Agreed. I understand that Karma is a mechanic to reward players for being active by burning Drives to do things inside the campaign instead of fading out to the background. What bugs me is that I'd hate to tell a player with 20 Karma that he has to start from scratch because he MoFed 5 that Balance check while dueling on the edge of a 100-yards drop cliff or because I rolled 6 successes on that shot from ambush and got him in the eye when he doesn't have 3 Drive spare to pay "Not Quite Dead Yet" in either case. This is the reason why I'm unsure if Karma should exist as a Core Rule. Perhaps it should be a Lever instead.
Alternatively, if you came into that situation and you felt so moved, you could as the GM go "close enough" and give it to them anyway. The entire game is a toolkit. You can ignore/replace it as you like. The trouble is that from a design perspective, it's easier for you the end-user to look at a system and say "we'll ignore this" than it is for us to try to write it in as an optional system. This is true both because of the roles it plays in the system and because it technically needs to be a thing on the character sheet. It's way easier to lever out than it would be to lever in.
Benedict wrote:And a question irrelevant to Karma. "Yes, but..." has been intentionally removed, or was left out by accidental omission? That was a very cool mechanic imo.
One of the things we learned in running Band of Bastards for a while was that the way the complications system was implemented it became a bit of a slog to GM. specifically, the requirements around "major complications" and "minor complications" became difficult to structure into the scene on the fly. The complications mechanic in this edition got a bit more structured, but also significantly easier to use in play. The trouble, of course, is that without the major/minor structure, Yes, But... is redundant. You already get a complication for failure, and you can already escalate in most situations anyway.
nemedeus wrote:second, why not just allow the karma to be spent as you would spend drive points on improving skills etc. when making a new character?
That'd be an easy lever for someone to decide. I think it would wind up taking significantly longer to make a character that way, though. By the time it's high enough to really matter, it'll be a lot of points to spend. As an amusing side effect, such a character will then almost always been objectively better than the character that died in terms of mechanical capability. Where the original character might have spent 75% of their points on advancement and the remaining 25% on effects, temptations, etc, the new character will always spend 100% of that karma on advancement.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 23 Jul 2017, 14:23

Agamemnon wrote:One of the things we learned in running Band of Bastards for a while was that the way the complications system was implemented it became a bit of a slog to GM. specifically, the requirements around "major complications" and "minor complications" became difficult to structure into the scene on the fly. The complications mechanic in this edition got a bit more structured, but also significantly easier to use in play. The trouble, of course, is that without the major/minor structure, Yes, But... is redundant. You already get a complication for failure, and you can already escalate in most situations anyway.
In all honesty, I'm a little confused now. :?

RAW Failure in itself carries a Complication.

If the Major/Minor Complication structure is axed, making "Yes, But..." redundant, doesn't that make the MoF table redundant as well?

I ask because the Margin of Success/Failure Table is exactly the same as in Bastards, sans the mention of Major/Minor/Compromise. If MoF1 means that "The character fails at their desired goal and introduces a complication for their troubles", what is the measurable difference between that and a MoF3 where "Something goes terribly wrong" if there is no Major/Minor Complication?

You could Resort to Violence in Bastards too. Which means the Complication for failing stayed, and even if you do succeed when escalating, you also introduce more Complications.

The idea with "Yes, But..." is that you already failed at the task, still you don't want to escalate, either because you'll fail again or you can't escalate, correct? The choice to count the task as successful but then "something going terribly wrong" (Major Complication) is a wonderful story promoter. At least for me. :D

In truth the whole Major Complication/Minor Complication/Compromise, Failure, All Sales are Final, Resort to Violence, and Tie Favors Aggressor structure and the way each piece interacts with the rest is one of the best concepts I've encountered in a game for ages.
Agamemnon wrote:I think it would wind up taking significantly longer to make a character that way, though.
If we are talking about a character with lotsa Karma, then yes. Still I believe not that long as to cripple game flow.
Agamemnon wrote:As an amusing side effect, such a character will then almost always been objectively better than the character that died in terms of mechanical capability. Where the original character might have spent 75% of their points on advancement and the remaining 25% on effects, temptations, etc, the new character will always spend 100% of that karma on advancement.
True. That's why I suggested to either cut down Karma to 50% or enforce caps on what you buy with Karma based on Priorities. Or even both. Still I think that 50% Karma to be used as Drive for advancement is the easiest method to tackle and the most fair solution to everyone involved.



EDIT: Bear with me, this is going to be a bit on the longish side, and maybe a bit confusing too. :mrgreen:



To get +1 Priority from Karma you must get anywhere between 25 and 49.

The actual benefits per Tier when raising by 1.
ATTRIBUTE
  • T1 +1 Karma = +2 Atr points
  • T2 +1 Karma = +2 Atr points
  • T3 +1 Karma = +2 Atr points
  • T4 +1 Karma = +3 Atr points; Cap 10
SKILL
  • T1 +1 Karma = +5 Points
  • T2 +1 Karma = +5 Points
  • T3 +1 Karma = +5 Points
  • T4 +1 Karma = +10 Points; Cap 10
PROFICIENCY
  • T1 +1 Karma = +6 Points
  • T2 +1 Karma = +6 Points; Cap 7
  • T3 +1 Karma = +6 Points; Cap 9
  • T4 +1 Karma = +10 Points; Cap 11
How do these points translate if you bought said Karma increases through play?

Assuming average spread for Attributes:
ATTRIBUTE
  • Tier 1 (15pts) = A3 B3 C3 P3 W3
  • Tier 2 (17pts) = A4 B4 C3 P3 W3 = 16 Drive
  • Tier 3 (19pts) = A4 B4 C4 P4 W3 = 16 Drive
  • Tier 4 (21pts) = A5 B4 C4 P4 W4 = 18 Drive
  • Tier 5 (24pts) = A5 B5 C5 P5 W4 = 30 Drive
Assuming average spread on 5 Skills:
SKILL
  • Tier 1 (20pts) = 5 Skills @ 4
  • Tier 2 (25pts) = 5 Skills @ 5 = 25 Drive
  • Tier 3 (30pts) = 5 Skills @ 6 = 30 Drive
  • Tier 4 (35pts) = 5 Skills @ 7 = 35 Drive
  • Tier 5 (45pts) = 1 Skill @ 10; 4 Skill @ 8; 1 Skill @ 3 = 61 Drive
Assuming average spread on Melee/Ranged to reach cap
PROFICIENCY
  • Tier 1 (0pts)
  • Tier 2 (6pts) = 1st Melee3; 1st Ranged3 = 20 Drive
  • Tier 3 (12pts) = 1st Melee6; 1st Ranged6 = 30 Drive
  • Tier 4 (18pts) = 1st Melee9; 1st Ranged9 = 48 Drive
  • Tier 5 (28pts) = 1st Melee11; 1st Ranged11; 2nd Melee3; 2nd Ranged3 = 58 Drive*
*takes into account the Tap3 discount for 2nd Melee and 2nd Ranged respectively
I might be wrong and over-analyzing things. Still I conclude that a Tier Increase from 4 to 5 for Skill and Proficiency through Karma could equal an amount of Drive points that would get you into the +2 Priority Bonus range.

It's also worth noting that a character who had 25 Karma at the point of death would gain an equivalent of:
  • +5 Drive points if he took Attributes from 4 to 5.
  • +36 Drive points if he took Skills from 4 to 5.
  • +33 Drive points if he took Proficiencies from 4 to 5.
If he had 49 Karma at the point of death his bonuses would be the equivalent of:
  • -19 Drive if he took Attributes 4 to 5. (actually a "penalty")
  • +12 Drive if he took Skills from 4 to 5.
  • +9 Drive if he took Proficiency 4 to 5.
With the proposed tweak (use 50% Karma)
  • the 25 Karma guy would have 12 pseudo drive to increase Abilities after Character creation
  • the 49 Karma guy would have 24 pseudo drive to increase Abilities after Character creation
As shown very roughly below. X represents Karma and Y represents bonus.

Image

I won't argue that it doesn't take more time - it does. Still I believe its a better and more fair solution not only for the dead guy, but for his teammates too. Isn't it kinda unfair for the rest of the team when someone that dies at 25 Karma to get a boost in Skill or Proficiency equal to 30ish Drive points on top of what he spent?
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by nemedeus » 25 Jul 2017, 21:38

Another thing i just realised and wanted to ask about:
"I always/never" now falls under charater traits?
Or has the concept simply been dropped?
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by thirtythr33 » 06 Sep 2017, 11:42

I've been messing around with armor, and some things just don't add up right.

Some minor stuff first:
  • the leather and gambeson sections mention "Pelvis" sections. Not sure exactly what it refers to. Hips? Groin?
  • Heavy/boiled leather doesn't have any way to cover armpits or hips. If these are included in "Torso", then the metal breastplate section need changing (where torso clearly doesn't include hips or armpits)
  • Note for counters or poleyns munitions needs cost reduced to r4 (at r5 its the same price as proofed)
More worrisome are the "any other single location" entries. In a lot of cases, you can lower bulk by buying each location separately compared to buying it in a package. For example, a breast and back covers ribs, abs, back and has bulk 1. Buying those separately has same coverage and has only 0.75 bulk. Similarly, full arms/legs and half limbs are lower bulk buying separately. In addition, the "any other single location" could be interpreted to be able to cover a slot like "face" and be far superior to purchasing a helmet at lower bulk.

In addition, when cashing out at character creation the prices are completely out of whack. Adding prices for armor drastically blows the scale out. Using the above example of breastplate versus 3x single slots, the proofed breastplate costs r5 but buying the same thing piecewise costs r12! That's more than a Full Suit! Why would I ever get a munitions breastplate (r4) + munitions gauntlets (r4) = r8 when I could just get a full suit (r6) for cheaper and just leave all the extra parts it came with at home? Trying to layer anything (like breastpalte, maille, leather gloves and boots) just comes out costing double what a full suit of plate does.

These two problems together, are making armor customization at character creation completely impossible. If you cash out, basically your only viable option is to buy a full suit of plate. If you allow people to then drop specific parts of their suit off, you get the problem of being able to game the bulk penalties by taking slots separately. Mixed armors is totally non functional right now.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Korbel » 11 Jan 2018, 13:27

It must've been raised somewhere, but I couldn't find it here in this topic. As a Low Freeman, when you cash out, you can afford a full plate suit? Or even go all in and make it proofed plate? Or I am missing something?
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by hector » 24 Jan 2018, 15:14

Technically you can, but it's practically all you own. Cashing out is selling your home and all your valuable posessions (aside from what you buy out of the coin). You have a suit of armour (with no helmet), a weapon, the clothes on your back, and maybe enough cash to keep yourself fed for a month. I would allow a player to do this if they really wanted to, but I would make sure they were aware that this could easily backfire horribly. Plate is great at keeping you from dying of a sword blow; not so much for keeping you from dying of starvation...
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 24 Jan 2018, 17:02

You need to cash out for 15 Coin, then spend 10 for a full suit of proofed plate (no helm). That leaves you with 5 Coin for anything else.

Note that when you cash out you don't get the listed Possessions.

In the case of Low Freemen this means: A couple pairs of common clothing; the tools necessary for your trade, if you have one; personal weapons not in excess of 3 coin. If you want anything from these you have 5 Coin remaining to buy 'em.

I agree with Hector - armor won't save you from hunger or disease. Note that there's also another consideration. Proofed plate armor attracts attention. Normally the kind of attention that a low freeman can't cope with due to his social standing.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Korbel » 25 Jan 2018, 09:10

Well I can imagine someone doing something like this. Low Freeman, cash out. 6 coin for munitions suit. 5 coin to get level 2 assets (as I understand, you're allowed to do so). So that leaves you with 4 coin, I don't know, buy some weapon, leave the money in reserve. With assets and reserve coin you don't really have to fear starvation, unless something goes really bad. During the game, you will hopefully earn enough to buy a helmet or whatever else you need.
Alternatively, just simply find a patron. Invest all the coin - full suit with helmet, proper weapon or two. And you're all set.
Well if the intention is to have most of the characters of low Freeman status, i believe is ok. Just found it quite surprising.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Benedict » 25 Jan 2018, 10:30

Korbel wrote:So that leaves you with 4 coin, I don't know, buy some weapon, leave the money in reserve. With assets and reserve coin you don't really have to fear starvation, unless something goes really bad.
Remove another 2 Coin for clothes lol. Otherwise you're running butt-naked in that plate armor. :lol:

That leaves 2 Coin for weapons. Viable options:
r1: Peasant Knife; Wooden Club, Quarterstaff. 1 Coin left.
r2: Baselard, Bush Knife, Rondel, Seax, Hanger; Battleaxe, Flail, Hatchet, Mace, Dane Axe, Goedendag, Spear. 0 Coin left.
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Re: Beta feedback: Initiation and Character Creation

Post by Korbel » 25 Jan 2018, 12:33

Arming garments are included, no worries. And there are Assets for your basic needs. Or your Patron, depending on how you set this up. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, plate armor is within the reach almost for everyone. So, there are no hard choices here. Low Freeman is good enough, high Freeman is even better. Yeah I know everything depends on the campaign, DM skills and so, but still.
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