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Jakob

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Jakob last won the day on November 22 2016

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About Jakob

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    Senior Member

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  • Website URL
    http://swanosaurus.blogspot.de

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  • RPG Biography
    Been a writer for German Edition of CoC; played lots of RPGs since 1984. Co-owner of fantasy bookshop Otherland in Berlin where we hold montly RPG nights.
  • Current games
    RuneQuest - Adventures in Glorantha; Lots of one-shots with different systems, among them OpenQuest.
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Blurb
    Loves reading new rules, hates learning them!

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  1. Jakob

    Why does cyberpunk refuse to move on?

    In West-Germany, punk was still a big thing in the 80s - but generally, you're probably right. I guess the 80s were the times when punk already had become pretty commercialised ...
  2. Jakob

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    @Rosen McStern: Sorry, mixed that up!
  3. Jakob

    Living Up to Mythic Aspirations

    That' s probably a point - I've been playing RQ3 back then, and we never used Glorantha (since there was practically nothing Gloranthan published for the German translation, which we were using). So RQ was first and foremost my system for "gritty, swingy, with a potential to get to either do something badass or die screaming for everyone." I can easily get that together with real-world mythology like the Odyssey or the Ilias, much better than any D&Disms. If it hasn't been such a good match for Glorantha back then, I would suspect that this has been rectified with the new edition. I've been playing it for a while, and my character seemed pretty badass from the get-go on a mundane level (though she still has good reason to get very nervous about a fight against a troll ...), starting with Battle Axe at 95 (now 103). And while Glorantha has been presented to me as a world of great heroes and powers like Herak and the Crimson Bat, I don't experience them as such a dominant factor, and wouldn't consider their existence (or the ability to go head-to-head with them) as the core of what feels "mythological" about Glorantha. EDIT: Thinking about it, I guess I got the original post wrong - sorry about that. I took it as the general demand that "mythical role-playing" needs to be high powered, when it was in fact about the very specific expectations generated by certain RQ supplements that I don't own and haven't read.
  4. Jakob

    Living Up to Mythic Aspirations

    I actually consider everything mentioned features, not bugs, with regards to mythic play. If you look at the Odyssey, it is certainly not characterize by Odysseus having tons of HP, killing cyclopses left and right and succeeding at resistance rolls against siren's song. It's characterized by him being a smart and somewhat ruthless guy who keeps running into trouble, but who also knows when to tie himself to his ship and when not to pick a fight with a giant monster. I'd say that works pretty well with most BRP games.
  5. Jakob

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    If I remember correctly, Revolution is capped at 100.
  6. Jakob

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    Revolution has "Advantage" which is similar to a Special success (no criticals, though). You succeed with Advantage when your ten die is higher than you ones die - this means that the chances for a succes with advantage increase exponentially the higher your skill goes. I actually really like it, it is elegant, avoids additional math, and you get a sizeable extra benefit from being really good at a skill.
  7. Jakob

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    I think a connected question is whether you consider dice-rolls representative of someone's performance - that way, it actually seems more consistent to say "the lower the roll, the better you perform." But I have moved away from that assumption anyway. Performance can be part of it - but especially when a quite competend PC fails or even fumbles, I tend to interpret such a result as some fluke event that impedes the PC - a fly in his eye, a loose stone ... If you look at it that way, a major part of the die roll just represents a number of more or less favourable circumstances.
  8. Jakob

    Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

    It's really strange - I prefer "roll highest within the margin of the respective succes level, and you win", since it minimizes adding/substracting numbers, and I never had the slightest problem wrapping my head around. Since I'm neither a programmer nor a math person, I'd suspect that it may be simply a matter of overthinking the whole thing in one way or the other. Maybe it helps to think of your skill rating as a target number - that 's the potential you wan't to reach, but if you're overreaching, you'll fail ... of course, the problem remains that critical are on the lower end of the scale (though one could use the "doubles are criticals" approach or even the advantage approach of Revolution d100 to solve that problem). In the end, I don't care that much - owever, subtracting two-digit numbers doesn't come as fast and easy to me as substracting one-digit numbers, so I tend to avoid it. And since BRP games are practically my go-to-systems for most cases, I can hardly accept the suggestion that "they are not for me anyway."
  9. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    Of course, sorry about that! Another rules comment: I think fighting with two weapons has already been discussed as rather advantageous with its extra action. I'd suggest just dropping any specific rules for it - two weapons simply give you flexibility, a shield has the bonus advantage that you can use it to parry missiles; also, if you're disarmed, you still have the other weapon. For attacking with both weapons in one round, you can simply use an all-out attack. Some thoughts about the bestiary (whether as a book on its own or as a part of a cleaned-up version): Maybe some more advice on how to handle typical player character races like dwarves, elves or ducks - especially how to use the point-buy characteristics method for them. Regarding that, it might be useful to not only list the average characteristics, but also their range in the monster stats. What I would really love to see, if there is a separate bestiary, would be spot-lights with immediately playable additional material related to some of the creatures. For example, give us a generic dragon, but also a specific dragon with stats, a map of his lair and a list of his treasures. A specific werewolf along with a sketch of the village he lives in and how he keeps his dark side a secret from his friends and familiy. Nothing in-depth, just a page or two each, but with a focus on adventure hooks and practical play-aids like maps and short descriptions of places and people. Keep it true to "monsters are people, too."
  10. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    Well, the bonuses for good role-playing are actually in the 2nd edition, even though in a very minor way - I was actually suggesting to do away with them.
  11. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    Going through the book, I've found a few more things that I always thought could be changed slightly - most of these are simple matters of preference and probably not very important, but nevertheless: Modifiers for skill tests: I'm a big fan of the "use only significant modifiers" philosophy, but I don't like +/- 25 as a step. It just makes the math a little more complicated - why not stick to modifiers dividable by ten, like 20/50, 20/40, 20/40/60 or something like that. Calculating 38+20 is just a little bit easier than calculating 38+25. Also, I'm wary of suggesting "good role-playing" as a factor for granting a bonus on a roll. People tend to view all kinds of different things as "good role-playing", from good problem-solving to cooperative spirit to playing you character to the hilt, possibly at the expense of everyone else at the table. In the end, a bonus for good role-playing is simply a bonus the GM can give if he likes what a character is trying to do for one reason or another. This doesn't quite ring true with the BRP rules principles for me. It's a very small thing, basically a sentence of little consequence to the rules, but I have made horrible experiences with discussions about "good role-playing", and I feel a little rush of panic everytime I read those words. However, I'd love to see player-controlled passions as an optional rule (if I remember correctly, RoH has them, but OQ2 doesn't). I'd suggest having them work similar to RQ:G, where the player can decide to roll on them and they have a positive effect on a success and a negative effect on a failure.
  12. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    I think Newt mentioned somewhere that he wouldn't get around to writing more Gatan material in the foreseeable future. But I suspect the three-book option might involve folding Gatan into the d100 worldbuilders book as a kind of extended example. EDIT: to be honest, what I consider most important is that whatever ideas come out of this thread don't create a "River of Heaven Companion" situation for OQ, where some new element that is planned for a new edition/refresh becomes a roadblock to the whole thing (and maybe further OQ products). So while I'd love a new edition, it's probably important to keep the project managable.
  13. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    BTW, the notion of a unified magic system for OQ is at the very least interesting - it seems like a big break with RQ/BRP traditions, but I'd still like to see OQ3's take on it.
  14. Jakob

    OpenQuest what would you change?

    First of all, it's always good to hear some news on OpenQuest! I'm really in three minds about the question - I think I tend toward the OQ3 option, simply because I already have OQ2 and while it is close to my sweet spot for a go-to d100 system, it's still not quite there (not that I'd know where exactly that sweet spot lies ...). So getting something a lttle more revamped simply means a chance of getting something new out of it. I've been playing RQ:RiG lately and reading a lot of Mythras, and while I like both, I still want something more lightweight for my own GMing needs. OQ2 works, but OQ3 might turn out even better, so let's have that! However, I guess I'd also prefer to get everything in one book ... still, this is a secondary concern, and I'm a sucker for bestiaries, so of three books means an expanded bestiary, I'm all for it. Things I'd like to see changed: Make it a little more consistently customizable - it has awlays bugged me that the idea that you could specialize a little more in magic or in general skills seems to come in only as an afterthought ... also, it never really made sense to me that you just get skill Points in divine magic or sorcery for free by choosing that you are a priest/sorcerer. Why not pay for that with build points? That's the minor thing that comes to my mind first - there's also major stuff like taking a page out of Delta Green and removing SIZ, or a return to the "learning by doing and by finding teachers and spending seasons on training" approach that I thought I loathed, until I recently found out that it's quite intriguing. But I guess most of these ideas would mean turning OQ3 into a different system, which in the end might make little sense ... EDIT: And if you ask me, make it B/W. For some reason, most black and white books by d101 games look great (especially C&T 2nd), while I don't really like the design of the color books (RoH, OQ). EDIT 2: I also quite like the renaissance take on major wounds/hit locations (though not necessarily on hit point totals before you die). Basically a "get a hit location when it matters, and without an extra roll of the dice."
  15. The more I hear and read about this project, the more promising it sounds. David Brin (expecially with his Uplift books) is a good touchstone for hard sf that doesn't go over the top with scientific detail. There's far too little rpg stuff in that vein out there; I'd say that River of Heaven, another BRP game by D101 games, comes lose, but feels a little undercooked ... something along that lines, but with a little less space opera and a little more hard sf, authored by Chris Spivey and in current chaosium quality might really turn out to be something quite unique on the rpg market.
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