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Ian Cooper

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Everything posted by Ian Cooper

  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
  16. I think one of the interesting points here is the somewhat vexed issue of someone joining in a contest with someone who is already engaged begins a new 'first to five'. Otherwise it would be fairly easy to treat 'area effect' as a credibility test for 'attack multiple opponents on my turn'. Given multi-targetting is pretty much a credibility issue, the problem then becomes new contestant is new 'first to five'. An area effect attack that does not help reduce someone to zero, doesn't really have any impact. Now in a big melee it probably would not make much difference to have new contestants simply wear away the same resolution point total, the issue comes down more to 'many-against-one'. Superior numbers tell quite fast in this kind of contest, because you can chip away. However, that may be fair, and provided the defender gets an exchange with every attacker i.e. not just one, this may not matter. I may change this in the new version. It's always been a bit of problem to explain in play 'no helping your friend by joining the fight is pretty useless. I'll ponder
  17. I only have time to track so many boards. The problem with this board is that we only reach the existing fans here. And whilst I **love** the existing fans, the next version really needs to get us up to FATE and PbTA numbers and that means new folks, who often find boards like this less friendly than FB. Also many of the Chaosium spaces are oriented towards BRP, and that has probably played out for **new** eyeballs, so I tend to spend more time on FB and Twitter to spread the word. I'll try to drop in, but it is easier to have on continuous conversation there.
  18. So, where are we now. So the change to contest resolution (count successes - mastery, story point, and big success are an additional success; compare; degree of victory from difference) has flowed through the text. I opted for big success to replace critical. It fits better with it not being the outcome or tying the GM's hands in narration. I looked at double, but it was confusing in long contests. Ranks became degrees. Now we have an easy calculation of difference between results built into the resolution - without table lookup - we have an easy way to have degree of victory. Because they are not named the avoid the trap of marginal, minor etc of implying a given narration of the outcome. And frankly, zero degrees of victory as 'victory at a price' sings nicely for me. I opted to have degrees 0 based, as it only makes long contest outcomes a little harder, and they are fine with a table to help, as you are going full task system at that point. I dropped the term 'score'. I think it was partially responsible for bloat, as really there are ability ratings and target numbers (which is what you get once you add bonuses and penalties). Modifiers are now explicitly stretches or situational modifiers, as every application of bonus and penalty (augments, hindrances, consequences and benefits) is a 'modifier' of some form. I cleaned up the text to make bonus and penalty more explicitly the common idea flowing through these. Some tweaks fell out of this work as well, as I was reviewing the text again, but mostly its just clarifying the text at points. Going to pause and back on to other work in the Core Rules book, which is close to done. I'm not expecting the mechanics section to be 'stamped' but we need to probably call it to write examples soon. Grateful for any read throughs. As always with an edit like this there are trailing remains of prior versions that need to die. As I am going to stop editing for a bit, your rule references should be correct. Raise an issue on GitHub if you can, or come over the forum on FB as I am only intermittently here. I added a link to Ludovic Chabant's hack of AnyDice on the README.md in the project, to make it easy to find. https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/master/docs?fbclid=IwAR0hkQdzXTJUaaUsNJ7f6ECLS67-LkKARYHlwg82DQc3LQ_kYT5TVLEHud4
  19. So we may have a fix for this. There is a pending change that you can see here: https://github.com/ChaosiumInc/QuestWorlds/tree/improved-masteries/docs We now choose to count the number of successes and compare them. So success => one success; fail => no successes. A critical, mastery, or story point are a bump, which counts as an extra success. They are all cumulative. So if rolling against 7m. I get one success for my M. Then I roll against a TN of 7. One a 1-7 I get one additional success. On a 7 I get a critical, one additional success and a bump i.e. two successes. On an 8-10 I fail and I get 0 additional successes. So my range is 1-3 successes, assuming no story points spent. I them compare against the resistance's successes to get the difference 0 = high roll wins; rank 1 victory 1+ = wins; rank 2+ victory But yes, we agree that was a problem we have been trying to solve for a while, and moving from bumping the result up, then comparing for the outcome, to *how many* successes did you get is better. It also works nicely with our preference to narrate PC successes on a defeat as "you were successful in using your abilities, but your opponent was more successful" If you are interested in the ongoing design process, FB is a better place
  20. I'm minded to drop the older rules in the Appendix btw. I think that they have become confusing for folks, and a pain to maintain
  21. Rinse and repeat for clerics. Write down what the feel is, figure out how to mirror that, rely on the credibility test over new rules
  22. I am just exploring this right now in the Core Rules Book, so great timing. My line is: ask what the 'feel' is over what the mechanics do. Try to emulate that 'feel' over the exact mechanics. So write down, how D&D magic feels: Fire and Forget More powerful spells for more powerful wizards Spellbooks are a valuable commodity because not everyone knows all spells They need material components that may be hard to find, words and gestures Then you can build something around that. In a lot of cases lean on the 'credibility test'. Agree how magic works and simply deploy a credibility test over new rules. So spells are forgotten once cast? Great, it's not credible to use the same spell without a 'rest' having occurred in game. Spells need to be learned and more powerful spells are known to more powerful wizards. You have a spell book ability, and you start with 4 spells. When you find a new spell it is a contest to learn it, and more powerful spells have greater resistances to being learned (using your Wizard keyword). I would not list spells - you can use the source material for names, but I would let the player make up effects on first use. But you could list a spells effects, but just treat them as a credibility test restriction Make sense?
  23. >since a fireball is traditionally an area effect Are they a mob? If you are treating them in game as a mob, i.e. despite being many of them, they just have one action, then the fireball targets all of them, but their resistance drops to that of an individual, instead of being pushed up for being a mob. So for example if you have a mob of Orcs, at a resistance of 20, but the player fireballs them, i might drop the resistance to 14 to represent the area effect nature of the weapon. > they are all individuals This is slightly tougher because you would need individual contests against all of them, and if you didn't knock them out, they would enter the contest with other members of the group uninjured. That doesn't really emulate what you are after, even if you just roll once and apply the results to everyone. In that case I would probably treat is as an 'unrelated action' use the simple contest vs the mob of orcs to determine their fate. In QuestWorlds I might treat a defeat for the orcs as half of them are dead, the other half are at -6 due to wounds, I might give the orcs a -3 if they got a victory to represent flash burns anyway. One of the changes in QuestWorlds is to let you give penalties on a victory or bonuses on a defeat
  24. I am going to try and address the issue of 'initiative' and parallel and sequential actions in the Core Rules. A summary would be: Either the story makes it clear who has the initiative or the PCs do by default. Whoever has the initiative gets to say what they do in an exchange first. The other side respond (however they wish to that). You roll for the exchange and the GM (as always) narrates the outcome. If you win the exchange, you most likely have initiative for the next exchange, presuming that makes sense in the fiction. In this way control shifts back and forth. There are exceptions here. Extended as opposed to Scored Contests use AP bids to figure out initiative in a group contest, so use that in preference there.
  25. We don't know if we'll do it or not. It all depends on reception to QuestWorlds
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