Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

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Agamemnon
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Agamemnon » 02 Feb 2017, 21:28

myanbar wrote:Typo on the first paragraph of page 1
First, Song of Swords, then Band of Bastards
You people were Song of Steel, not Song of Swords.
What an embarrassing typo, yeesh. This is why we clearly have to disclaim the thing as raw text. This, you see, is why we changed the name in the first place. I wasn't going to bother fixing the typos on the public draft, but that one needed a fix. It's updated now.
myanbar wrote:Another typo, page 11.
default to a proficiency in that category at half it's normal value
The "it's" should be "its"
Same typo on page 16
made independently, with it's own Req
Also fixed.
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."
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by nemedeus » 03 Feb 2017, 19:18

Now that i finally had time looking over it...

1. was dice exploding removed entirely? (it seems to me like "tapping traits" makes less sense than "exploding because traits").
2. i'm sorry to say this but i feel like this new system removes a lot of the charm that i saw in BoB. I can't really substantiate that, it's just a feeling i have.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Agamemnon » 03 Feb 2017, 22:28

nemedeus wrote:Now that i finally had time looking over it...

1. was dice exploding removed entirely? (it seems to me like "tapping traits" makes less sense than "exploding because traits").
Exploding dice have presently been removed. After lots of testing, we eventually decided they A) make things a bit easy and B) make combat a bit swingier than it probably should be.
nemedeus wrote:2. i'm sorry to say this but i feel like this new system removes a lot of the charm that i saw in BoB. I can't really substantiate that, it's just a feeling i have.
If you come up with anything substantive, I'd be curious as to the why.
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: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by EinBein » 04 Feb 2017, 11:16

Actually, I've never been a friend of exploding dice, because they added that tiny layer of checking for 10s after each roll. Other than that, I feel a good vibe when reading the current draft, so am awaiting any updates from now.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by higgins » 04 Feb 2017, 15:18

Agamemnon wrote:
nemedeus wrote:2. i'm sorry to say this but i feel like this new system removes a lot of the charm that i saw in BoB. I can't really substantiate that, it's just a feeling i have.
If you come up with anything substantive, I'd be curious as to the why.
99% sure it's the dots. :D
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by nemedeus » 05 Feb 2017, 20:32

higgins wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:
nemedeus wrote:2. i'm sorry to say this but i feel like this new system removes a lot of the charm that i saw in BoB. I can't really substantiate that, it's just a feeling i have.
If you come up with anything substantive, I'd be curious as to the why.
99% sure it's the dots. :D
Yeah it's the dots.

In all seriousness though, i like the 1-6 range a lot, and i like dots, so those two things work well together. if i ever write something like BoB again i will probably stay with the Attribute+Skill and them have a range of 1-4/1-6 respectively (with 5th/7th special).

I'm pretty sure i'll like everything else about S&S; Tapping, the new edges and flaws, etc etc. Well, except the lack of exploding, i love that mechanic.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Korbel » 20 Feb 2017, 13:58

nemedeus wrote:In all seriousness though, i like the 1-6 range a lot, and i like dots, so those two things work well together.
Yeah I liked these things, too.

And I like the elegant relation between Wounds Levels and TN Shifts. One level of wound means one step higher on TN scale.
What are you guys going to after switching to d6? I'm curious, will you keep this current system with five Wound levels? Or maybe design a table with four or six levels?

With four levels, it would be something like...
level 1 - light, Impact only
level 2 - medium, TN goes to 5
level 3 - serious, TN goes to 6
level 4 - fatal, death or loss of the limb, physical tasks fail
But yeah, with this setup Blunt Wounds will have identical TN shifts as Cuts and Pierces, so it breaks the system of armor, so you would have to come up with varying AVs vs Blunt and other wounds...

With six levels, you reach this nice symmetry, where
level 1 and 2 - no TN shift
level 3 and 4 - TN 5
level 5 and 6 - TN 6
For Blunt, it would probably be level 4 and 5 for TN 5, and level 6 - TN 6. Or something.

Or are you pursuing something entirely different?
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by nemedeus » 21 Feb 2017, 03:23

Korbel wrote: With six levels, you reach this nice symmetry, where
level 1 and 2 - no TN shift
level 3 and 4 - TN 5
level 5 and 6 - TN 6
This is what i will be used iirc, although there will be no level 6 wound.
Personally, i like it.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Benedict » 25 Feb 2017, 10:44

Some feedback.
v0.1 wrote:Attribute: A character’s innate physical and mental capabilities. The core attributes are Agility, Brawn, Cunning, Perception, and Will.
The way I see it there are two physical (Ag, Br), two mental (Cu, Wi), and one hybrid (Pe). I really like it how you reduced the list from 8 attributes to 5 while keeping the symmetry between mental and physical. As for Social, I can think of all 5 attributes serving as a Social attribute under the right circumstances. Yes, even Br and Ag.

So, Thumbs up on cutting Attributes down to size. :)

However.
v0.1 wrote:Derived Attribute: secondary attributes (such as Reflex or Trauma) derived from the core five attributes a character possesses. Derived attributes can only be improved by increasing the primary attributes that compose them. Derived attribute checks may not tap any of the attributes upon which they are based.
There are obviously 10 combinations (Ag+Br, Ag+Cu, Br+Wi, etc...). Waiting to see what kind of and how many derived attributes there will be. As opposed to 16 (8 Pr + 8 Der) BoB had. Especially some (like KD or KO) were too niche to my own liking.
v0.1 wrote:Skills: Characters may use the value of a related skill or the most relevant attribute, whichever is higher or more applicable. When substituting an ability in this fashion, all dice from that pool (including any from other sources) are rolled at FTN6.
This should be changed from "When substituting an ability in this fashion, all dice from that pool (including any from other sources) are rolled at FTN6" to "rolled against Req +2", or something equivalent.

Because
v0.1 wrote:Fixed TN (FTN): a static TN that is not modified by advantage, disadvantage, or any kind of impairment on the character’s part.
creates some awkward situations.

One example that comes to mind is this:

CharA has Agility3(+0T) Athletics3 and is injured (BTN6).
CharB has Ag6, Athletics0, and at full health.
CharA gets 3D vs BTN6.
CharB gets 6D vs FTN6.

As I write it, when trying to perform an Athletics (Agility) related action CharB performs better.
Not only that, charB continues to function equally well (or bad) across the Wound chart. :?
To make it even worse, Disadvantage is immaterial.
Full health, no advantage/disadvantage? 6D vs FTN6.
Lv5 Wound and prone (disadvantage)? 6D vs FTN6. :lol:

In order for CharA to perform equally well in this situation requires him to tap 3 dice (3 abilities 4~6, 1 ability 4~6 and 1 ability 7~9, or 1 abiity 10) into his Athletics pool.
But the funny part is that CharB can also tap, even if rolling at FTN6.

And two concerns
  • Given the above I fail to see how the "Ability+Tap" concept really beats the "Attribute > Skill" issue.
  • Really wonder why it came to the point killing the "Atr+Skill" concept, which requires as much narration as "Ability+Tap".
Surely I'm dissecting a draft here, I'm sure there is more to come. Still, at a first glance, I'm not really convinced. :|

Unless ofc I've misunderstood things or missed dsomething, in which case I apologize in advance. :)
Agamemnon wrote:
thirtythr33 wrote:Is the character sheet going to have two listings for each ability to show Rank and Tap (like dnd does for attribute and modifier) or are we going to be doing (divide by 3, round up) on the fly?
I'm going to have a little triangle with three circles beside each entry. You fill in the bubbles It will make it easier to see what you actually can tap into at a glance, and it's more visually interesting than writing 6 (2), 5 (1), etc.
That's pretty neat.

And a question/idea. Rank defines the number of dice that can be tapped from the Ability. Why not als odetermine the number of tappings you can get in that Ability pool instead of a flat number?

Tbh I'd hate to have situations where someone with Skill 1 can tap in 6 dice. I believe there should be more granularity.
Agamemnon wrote:
v0.1 wrote:Abilities can’t ‘double dip,’ across a cascading check. If an ability is used in any way on a check, whether as the thing being tested, tapped, or used as help, it can’t then be checked, tapped, or used as help on any future checks in that same chain even if being used by different characters. The same characters can help across multiple checks, however, they just have to use different abilities for each check.

<insert example, dude A uses Mercantile as the basis for the first check to cascade into a Stewardship roll by dude B. Neither dude A nor dude B can use Mercantile as a tap or help for the second roll because it’s already come into play. On the other hand, Dude A could always try to help with some other ability if they had one that applied>
I liked this quite a bit for solving the above neatly, but it also then prevents us from using cascading rolls as-written for, say, a foot chase..or some kind of crafting roll over time, etc.
Or solve a riddle/scale a sheer cliff when time is of the issue. Or enforce your opinion in a hours-long meeting on how the coming battle should be resolved.

Things that Full Contest modelled perfectly and handled with minimum fuss.

Really, why did you kill Full Contest? That was a pretty cool mechanic.
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Agamemnon » 25 Feb 2017, 17:11

Benedict wrote:CharA has Agility3(+0T) Athletics3 and is injured (BTN6).
CharB has Ag6, Athletics0, and at full health.
CharA gets 3D vs BTN6.
CharB gets 6D vs FTN6.

As I write it, when trying to perform an Athletics (Agility) related action CharB performs better.
Not only that, charB continues to function equally well (or bad) across the Wound chart. :?
To make it even worse, Disadvantage is immaterial.
Full health, no advantage/disadvantage? 6D vs FTN6.
Lv5 Wound and prone (disadvantage)? 6D vs FTN6
Thirtythr33 pointed this out earlier and argued for the niche case. We've since appended
Sidebar: Voluntary Substitutions wrote: Under some rare instances, a character might be better off choosing to sub in another skill or ability even when they have the most appropriate one to the check. For instance, a character who has a req3 Education check but only 1 die in Education might be better off choosing to Substitute their 4 Cunning. They have a better chance of getting three 6s at FTN6 than the certainty of failing the check otherwise.
Benedict wrote:And two concerns
  • Given the above I fail to see how the "Ability+Tap" concept really beats the "Attribute > Skill" issue.
  • Really wonder why it came to the point killing the "Atr+Skill" concept, which requires as much narration as "Ability+Tap".
Surely I'm dissecting a draft here, I'm sure there is more to come. Still, at a first glance, I'm not really convinced.
Primarily, math. This has been discussed at some length elsewhere. In addition, attribute+skill under the old system was a given. You always and automatically got both. It is not a given now. Not every application of every skill will have an attribute to tap.
Benedict wrote:]And a question/idea. Rank defines the number of dice that can be tapped from the Ability. Why not als odetermine the number of tappings you can get in that Ability pool instead of a flat number?
That's a possibility. On the other hand, if you've dropped 8 dice into Lore: Herbs, but you only have 3 dice in survival, wouldn't you be annoyed that your prodigious herb lore isn't helping you in a survival roll scrounging for edible plants?
Benedict wrote:Tbh I'd hate to have situations where someone with Skill 1 can tap in 6 dice. I believe there should be more granularity
Given the math involved, I can't see it being a problem. You can only tap two of your own abilities into a roll. To get even a single die, it needs to be at rank 4. This increases by 1 at ranks 7 and 10. To get 6 dice the person has literally the highest possible human mastery in the two abilities they are tapping in. With normal characters, you're going to see 0-3 dice. To get a second die in tapping an ability, you're talking about 7+. That's professional strongman territory. They kind of deserve the benefit.
Benedict wrote:Things that Full Contest modelled perfectly and handled with minimum fuss.

Really, why did you kill Full Contest? That was a pretty cool mechanic.
It didn't work as intended. In about 85 or 90% of the instances we used it, the guy who won the first roll inevitably won the whole thing. There wasn't a resource pool to manage like there is in combat, so if you had the initiative and your opponent was at a TN advantage, the snowball almost always just worked in your favor. We're currently developing a replacement.
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: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Benedict » 26 Feb 2017, 07:32

Agamemnon wrote:Thirtythr33 pointed this out earlier and argued for the niche case.
thirtythr33 wrote:This lets you dodge the issue of sometimes forcing someone to make a worse roll for being more skilled.
(If it is untrained only, someone with Agility 6 medicine 0 is better at surgery than someone with Agility 6 medicine 1)
and
It can give you a last ditch chance at hitting higher Reqs now that exploding is removed.
(Rolling Agility 6 FTN6 has a very small chance of succeeding on Req 6, but medicine 3 at BTN4 has 0 chance).
Agamemnon wrote: We've since appended
Sidebar: Voluntary Substitutions wrote: Under some rare instances, a character might be better off choosing to sub in another skill or ability even when they have the most appropriate one to the check. For instance, a character who has a req3 Education check but only 1 die in Education might be better off choosing to Substitute their 4 Cunning.

They have a better chance of getting three 6s at FTN6 than the certainty of failing the check otherwise.
I'm aware of this. However that doesn't answer the fact that the untrained character performs equally well across the wound chart:
Benedict wrote:... Not only that, charB continues to function equally well (or bad) across the Wound chart. :?
To make it even worse, Disadvantage is immaterial.
Full health, no advantage/disadvantage? 6D vs FTN6.
Lv5 Wound and prone (disadvantage)? 6D vs FTN6
I get thirtythr33's suggestion. However, since BTN is wound-dependent, it creates this inconsistency: the untrained character performing equally well/bad no matter his wounds or disadvantages imposed.
That's why I suggest that TN should be left alone (3-6 is a very narrow place by itself), and handle untrained checks with increased Reqs.
Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:And two concerns
  • Given the above I fail to see how the "Ability+Tap" concept really beats the "Attribute > Skill" issue.
  • Really wonder why it came to the point killing the "Atr+Skill" concept, which requires as much narration as "Ability+Tap".
Surely I'm dissecting a draft here, I'm sure there is more to come. Still, at a first glance, I'm not really convinced.
Primarily, math. This has been discussed at some length elsewhere. In addition, attribute+skill under the old system was a given. You always and automatically got both. It is not a given now. Not every application of every skill will have an attribute to tap.
Depends on the skill in question. For example, the way Attributes are structured, Athletics is always a matter of Agility/Brawn (or both), plus anything else.

If I missed it earlier I apologize. However one thing I've been thinking of is this:

Have one attribute (or the sum of two attributes/2 in some cases) determine the starting rank of a Skill.

Which means that Skill=X+Y (X=attribute contribution Y=additional training) and the check would be Skill+possible taps.

Similar to Core stats and Skills in Burning Wheel.

Two points about this approach.
  • Attributes don't necessarily contribute on a 1:1 basis
  • You can't tap in the core attribute


For example Athletics could be (Ag+Br)/2 or /3. Then you can increase it further as a Skill. Unless you "buy" the skill you perform at your base rating at reduced efficiency.

Ofc I'm not talking about a 30+ pages long skill list. 30 skills tops can accomplish the same thing equally well, if not better.

PS As I said earlier, I'm not that excited at the "Ability+Tap" as opposed to "Attribute+Skill". That doesn't mean I won't try it out, nor that I won't be kicking ideas around the place. ;)
Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:]And a question/idea. Rank defines the number of dice that can be tapped from the Ability. Why not als odetermine the number of tappings you can get in that Ability pool instead of a flat number?
That's a possibility. On the other hand, if you've dropped 8 dice into Lore: Herbs, but you only have 3 dice in survival, wouldn't you be annoyed that your prodigious herb lore isn't helping you in a survival roll scrounging for edible plants?
Benedict wrote:Tbh I'd hate to have situations where someone with Skill 1 can tap in 6 dice. I believe there should be more granularity
Given the math involved, I can't see it being a problem. You can only tap two of your own abilities into a roll. To get even a single die, it needs to be at rank 4. This increases by 1 at ranks 7 and 10. To get 6 dice the person has literally the highest possible human mastery in the two abilities they are tapping in. With normal characters, you're going to see 0-3 dice. To get a second die in tapping an ability, you're talking about 7+. That's professional strongman territory. They kind of deserve the benefit.
I'm not talking about a scenario where I have Survival 3 and Tap in Lore: Herbs 8, and my pool is 3 (Survival) +2 (Herbal Lore) = 5 dice.

I'm talking about the situation where I have Survival 1, Lore: Herbs 10 (+3d), and Perception 10 (+3d) and make that same roll at 7 dice.
Agamemnon wrote:
Benedict wrote:Things that Full Contest modelled perfectly and handled with minimum fuss.
Really, why did you kill Full Contest? That was a pretty cool mechanic.
It didn't work as intended. In about 85 or 90% of the instances we used it, the guy who won the first roll inevitably won the whole thing. There wasn't a resource pool to manage like there is in combat, so if you had the initiative and your opponent was at a TN advantage, the snowball almost always just worked in your favor. We're currently developing a replacement.
Valid point, even if I prefer it to a simple opposed rolls for some situations. The Full Contest is a personal favourite. The fact that you are working on a replacement is good. :D
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by dysjunct » 09 Mar 2017, 09:35

So... how goes the writing?
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by Agamemnon » 09 Mar 2017, 13:56

dysjunct wrote:So... how goes the writing?
Economics chapter (which desperately needs a sexier name) is done. Skills and attributes chapter is done. New maneuver spread is done. Proficiencies have been sorted out. Emphases are currently being hashed out -- necessitating that I finish the combat chapter again to make sure all the parts work properly.

In all, we're about 80% of the way to the document being as complete as the current beta one.
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: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by dysjunct » 09 Mar 2017, 23:04

Alternate economic chapter names:

Filthy Lucre and Its Discontents
Shillings and Schtupping
Practical Application of the Dismal Science
The Root of All Evil
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Re: Sword & Scoundrel, Book 1 (Not Even Thursday Edition)

Post by taelor » 10 Mar 2017, 02:23

The love of money is the root of all evil, at least according to the Bible. As the holder of an economics degree, I've always said that transaction costs were the real root of all evil.
GLENDOWER
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
HOTSPUR
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
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