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Ian Cooper

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Ian Cooper last won the day on September 8 2019

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  • RPG Biography
    30 year veteran of BRP games including Call of Cthulhu & Runequest. More than 10 year veteran of HeroQuest (Hero Wars etc.). Published Gloranthan author. Active gamer with the Monday Nighters.
  • Current games
    HeroQuest: Glorantha, Call of Cthulhu, Fiasco, Puppetland, Numenera, The Clay that Woke, Microscope, Risus, Questlandia, 13th Age, The One Ring
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    London, England, UK
  • Blurb
    Software Developer in London, conference speaker, tabletop gamer, geek. Tattooed, pierced, and bearded.

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  1. At this point I assume it will be clean up, not major changes, yes.
  2. Just a quick update. The Core Rules book is almost written. We are just working through the examples. We'll need to edit and proof-read etc. after that. I'd expect the SRD to be pretty close to 1.0 after the examples have flushed anything out. We may get some additional feedback from beta testers etc. There are unlikely to be significant changes at this point - there may be some optional ideas in the Core Rules that are not in the SRD. So progress continues. Whilst the examples our underway, I am moving on with Worlds and Quests are book about genre packs, writing scenarios etc. The 'Advanced" GM's book if you like.
  3. In QuestWorlds, the credibility test and penalties serve this function. One of the most important parts of an extraordinary powers framework in QW is the description of the 'rules' for these powers. But I recommend against simulating these 'rules' with new mechanics in the game engine. All abilities work the same way in play, but an in-universe description of how those powers work should provide enough to rule as to whether such a use is credible in many situations, and the GM should make a ruling in others. Let's say you have a magic system were magic use is tiring. Glorantha btw is one such place. Can I go on casting magic all day without a rest? If it comes up in play as part of a story, we would ask 'is that credible?' If it is not, we have a couple of options. If this is a single contest describing your efforts, to heal all the plague victims coming into the hospital, it's just a higher resistance - it's unlikely you could do this all day. If we have a series of contests in close succession it might be a situational modifier from the GM to preserve suspension of disbelief: you're too tired to keep doing that without cost, take a penalty. Or, in QW I might give you a consequence on a victory where you used a lot of magic, a penalty that applies to future use of magic until you rest. (In QW we let you apply a consequence on a victory and vice-versa). Always ask: what story am I trying to tell? If this was a movie or a book, is this the moment that the protagonist's exhaustion from magic usage would come up? If you think that is something that should come up in this story, then apply it as above. But vanilla QW is not a resource management game. We don't track arrows, bullets etc any more than the pulp genres the game emulates do. QW emulates genres where the hero brandishing their revolver never seems to run out of bullets, until the writer decides in this scene, the framing will be that you are out of ammo. It's the rule of Indiana Jones's hat. He may seem to have lost it a lot, but its always back on his head in the next scene. If you want to add gritty resource mechanics, it's a toolkit and you should feel free to do that. That's the reason for an SRD, so you can drift the vanilla game for you. But the vanilla game is not designed around that. PS The Community rules have been simplified in QW, for exactly these reasons, they were an outlier
  4. As much as possible I recommend using the credibility test as the mechanism to enforce genre over new mechanics.
  5. You might want to check out the latest iteration. The SRD has been developed in the open: https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/master/docs A quick summary. TN is given by ability + modifiers. A modifier is one augment, a stretch, or situation. Usually GM just hands you a + 5 or a +10 GM determines resistance Roll D20 under or equal to your TN, GM under resistance Under or equal: one success TN exactly: two successes Fail: No successes A mastery or story point adds a success. Most successes wins, high roll if number of successes tie. Degree of victory is difference between successes. if that is zero it's a partial victory, you get the prize but there are complications, or a partial defeat, you lose the prize but gain something else. We think it's simpler, but compatible
  6. It's on my ToDo list. Not sure when it will happen though.
  7. A Butt-Kicker needn't be combat alone I think, they just want to roll dice to overcome the opposition a lot. It's doable, in the pulp style, in QuestWorlds. Imagine playing a Brick type superhero for example. The power gamer tens to be who support least, because system mastery does not give you so many dials to tweak.
  8. There is no language restriction on the SRD.
  9. PS The issue with Leviathan is that it lacked that thread. It hints at it, but it really needed that to be more than just a hex crawl
  10. So here is what happened. We could not figure out how to write an adventure for Traveller. It was our first RPG. What did you actually do? I think the designers didn't really know either, because all the early adventures, Shadows/Annic Nova, the Kinunir and Research Station Gamma are essentially dungeons. Here is this place described on graph paper, go explore it. Traveller moved away with two key supplements. The first was Twilight's Peak. Twilight's Peak was fairly revolutionary in that it essentially pitched Traveller as a hex-crawl game with a mystery, and a dungeon at the end of it. So it became a little clearer, that you played Traveller more like a D&D Wilderness sandbox (today we would call that a West Marches game), or for this board, like Griffin Mountain. But Twilight's Peak also leads from CoC, a mystery that you follow and the layers peel back. And CoC gave us that, the idea that a good Traveller campaign had some kind of mystery that the players would uncover layer-by-layer. You can see the design not only in the Ancients for Traveller, but also in the broach in The Traveller Adventure. So the players are not just exploring the wilderness, there is a common thread pulling them. The second was 76 Patrons. 76 Patrons is a revolutionary piece of adventure design that gets too little credit. Now, Traveller is really an early story game, very light on procedures despite the gearheading in world building. And 76 Patrons was one of the first supplements to introduce 'Story Now' way before the indie crowd named it. You create a situation, that demands attention - " a young woman is being kidnapped in front of you" - and asks "what do you do?" of the players. But the book doesn't give a plot beyond that, the GM improvises from that, and the possible outcomes in the text. The text suggests rolling for the real story, I would suggest pick whichever one seems closest to the player's response. That idea, that you could run without prep and improvise was fairly revolutionary. But Traveller prep was low, fling together an profile, or just pull some numbers out of 1001 characters and you are good. It took a long time for me to understand the improvisational style that Traveller was encouraging with 76 Patrons and 1001 characters. Now I get it, but back then, we played dungeons.
  11. Why the jump to M2? Well, HQ has always had that jump to M2 there. It is useful because it represents the same thing as the old 'complete victory" or "complete defeat". It essentially says: try another way, if you want to defeat that. Could we just keep going up in 5s? Also Maths. Once you get past +M, it gets into quite marginal differences quite fast 10M vs 10 85% odds of success 15M vs 10 90% chance of success 20M vs 10 97% chance of success 5M2 vs 10 98% chance of success 10M2 vs 10 98% chance of success So M2 is really the break point for "you can't" But we will discuss the odds, and if folks want to use the extra increments for a resistance, of course they can
  12. Sure. Maths. This Any Dice programme is an update of the old HeroQuest one, but the math is not *significantly* different. One of the things you will be able to see is that in opposed D20 systems 3/6/9 doesn't really move the needle very much. it's about a 6/9/18 % improvement. If we move to 5/10/15 that equates to about a 10/20/30 % improvement. Given you get one augment for an augment to be meaningful it needs to be 5 or 10. You won't notice the impact of 3. Skipping the big jump makes it easier both in terms of math, and avoiding the large change in probabilities in one move. So I would move on from 3/6/9, it was well intentioned, because it recognized the way numbers work in opposed D20, but it was too conservative. That also means moving numbers back to 10 and 15 to make the same progression of advancement to reach a mastery. It does mean that a -10 penalty means you can't succeed with an ability, you need to try something else, whereas before it required a bigger penalty to do that. But again, that makes penalties more impactful.
  13. Thanks @Corvantir my design goal is to really extract the game we know and love, and as played at tables, into the SRD. By focusing on 'just the rules' it's possible to see them more clearly than within a text that is providing support and guidance too, and make them a more harmonious whole. We'll add back in the examples, advice etc in the Core Rules book. I'm pretty hopeful that existing games won't find it too hard to adjust.
  14. Another change up, but mostly it's reorganization of some existing material over a mechanics change. Two of the forms of long contest: scored and extended had been converging towards a common format from inception by RL, with just a few minor differences. With this change we factor out the common structure - a sequence of simple contests - as a long contest. We present that as the procedure, and then just have different rules sections for the differing tallying approaches. This simplifies understanding long contests as you only have to internalize one process. And it turns that even the chained contest can be poured into this structure. A couple of minor tweaks emphasis this commonality, although all the tallying approaches have some elements that are unique. https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/master/docs?fbclid=IwAR3ABnt-fpLx4IHpqZsrqAY2jHGJkqPPa0o1-yMHv2pM7tRIXsQnkamrWrg
  15. OK, tweaked like this: "A **group scored contest** continues until one side has no active participants. If you **defeat** your opponent you can pair with a new opponent. The new opponent might be unengaged, but might also be engaged in an existing pairing. When you pair with a new opponent, you begin a new **contest**. If your opponent is already engaged in a **contest**, you participate in the existing **resolution** points tally. Alternatively, if you are unopposed, you may choose to **assist**. Of course, you may be later engaged by an opponent who becomes free yourself" and there will be a note in the Core Rules 5.2 A Helping Hand In a group scored contest, when you join a contest in progress you use the existing tally of resolution points. This may seem strange, if you are fresh into the contest, but it reflects the fact that resolution points govern the overall outcome of that contest, and you link your fate to your companion when you join. Tactically it can be better to first assist to clear resolution points, and then join as a new participant. I think this is a lot more intuitive and really stops some of the edge cases that popped up with that rule I'll note that area effect is a credibility test in the core rules too Thanks, this is a helpful test case
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