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Vile

AEONS Starter Playtest Files

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Thanks for the feedback, gents! Some clarification to follow:

STR seems like a more natural fit for a damage modifier than SIZ.
Big does, however, mean massive and the mass behind a blow is very relevant to how much damage it does. I think it's Newton's second law of RPG design that says that force = mass x acceleration, where strength is an adequate measure of acceleration.;)
D100 has always treated STR and SIZ as equal partners in DAM. The reason for choosing SIZ in AEON is essentially to avoid SIZ becoming a dump stat. STR is important to a lot of skills and one of the most frequently used characteristic rolls. The familiar 7 characteristics are used to ensure compatibility with other D100 products. However, all of them have to work for their space on the character sheet. On a more general point: in practice, there will still be cross-compatibility, because you will find that most creatures in AEON and other D100 games tend to have similar STR, CON and SIZ ranges.

I would consider giving full damage modifier on short ranges for missile weapons, and a range extension instead of damage modifier beyond short range.
That’s an interesting idea, but it would mean reducing the weapon damage for these weapons in order to stay within the ranges which work in the system. That, in turn, would make it more difficult to convert between different D100 supplements. However, the weapons tables are still open to adjustments at this stage, so this idea will be tried and tested to see if it breaks the system.

Is there a reason why you wish to move away from using multiple stats as a means of determination?
Purely for the sake of simplicity and the ability to calculate changes on the fly. One of the aims of AEON is to make the game more attractive to new players and referees, and “too much maths” is one of the most frequently heard objections to D100. With only one stat to worry about players will soon become familiar enough with the system to be able to do this off the top of their heads.

10% steps in Defense are rather high. Wouldn't 5% increments be better?
This is due to the one-stat modifier approach. The overall level of DEF will be similar, although there is more variation because INT, SIZ and POW do not figure in the calculation.

For humans I would see Stealth as a Dexterity based skill, but give a small negative modifier for a significantly above average Size.
DEX will remain the basis of Stealth. Again, the single characteristic modifier principle will stay for the reasons explained above. SIZ will not become an issue in practice, as larger creatures will tend to have lower DEX (although the Quickstart edition won’t have a creatures chapter).

The character generaion file has been updated, and the skills chapter (which includes the basic D100 mechanism as used in AEON) will be up soon. Again, thanks for your feedback, and keep it coming!

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Right, here is the skills chapter (go to the first post in the thread to download the file). Please have a look and don't hold back with your comments, suggestions, or spotting of typos. :)

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Right, here is the skills chapter (go to the first post in the thread to download the file). Please have a look and don't hold back with your comments, suggestions, or spotting of typos. :)

COMBINING SKILLS Two skills can be used at once on some occasions. In such cases, one skill is taken as dominant and the other as subsidiary. To determine if both skills work, multiply the chance of the dominant by the chance of the subsidiary. If the roll is equal to or lower than this chance, both skills work. If the roll is higher, but still within the normal range of success for the dominant skill, then only that succeeds.

I might be reading this wrong. Example?

SDLeary

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For example, Sneak 50% + Climb 50%. The character wants to climb a building, but he wants to do it quietly. Still, he's more concerned about falling than about being heard, so Climb is dominant. That means he has a (50% x 50%) 25% chance of climbing quietly, but he still has a 50% chance of climbing. So, if the player rolls 01-25, the character climbs and stays quiet. If he rolls 26-50 he still climbs, but not quietly.

Thanks for the query, SDLeary, because one of the points of this is to see where the examples are needed in the Big Book.

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For example, Sneak 50% + Climb 50%. The character wants to climb a building, but he wants to do it quietly. Still, he's more concerned about falling than about being heard, so Climb is dominant. That means he has a (50% x 50%) 25% chance of climbing quietly, but he still has a 50% chance of climbing. So, if the player rolls 01-25, the character climbs and stays quiet. If he rolls 26-50 he still climbs, but not quietly.

Thanks for the query, SDLeary, because one of the points of this is to see where the examples are needed in the Big Book.

Thanks Much. Thats the way I thought it would work. I think you might get a bit of flack from the "less math" types on the multiplication of percentages (or decimals), but I think it works out fine this way.

So far that is the only thing that I have come across that needed any clarification.

SDLeary

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I expect some people won't like the maths. It would be nice to have a rule that does this without multiplying percentages, but I believe this is the neatest way of dealing with it other than inventing a whole slew of skills like Horseback Archery or Amphibious Oration. My key design goal is to limit the amount of exceptions and special cases, so that every rule pulls its weight in the game.

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It would be nice to have a rule that does this without multiplying percentages ...

You should probably use an example which includes rounding, because

"up or down ?" often is a point which causes debates, and not all peo-

ple will think of the note on rounding at the beginning of the chapter.

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SIZ could be used to determine how many people can attack at the same time. The larger the SIZ difference, the more smaller ones can surround the larger one. There should also be a To Hit bonus against creatures that have a very large SIZ, especially at shorter ranges.

Tough to miss that Elephant that is 1 meter away!

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Aha. We have a new entrant to the forums. Good to see you in here at last, Richard!

Good points about the effects of SIZ in combat. I am currently polishing up Combat, which is next in line for release, so there will be some consideration of this.

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After an unreasonably long wait, the first draft of Combat is linked in The First Post! Be merciless, as this is probably the chapter that will require the most rigorous testing of all. Any action reports will be most welcome!

fencing.gif

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Hmm ... I seem to misunderstand the Strike Rank system. :?

Imagine a fighter with a Short Sword in one hand and a Dagger in his other hand.

The fighter has a DEX of 7, which gives him a DEX SR of 5. Adding to this the Wea-

pon SR of the Short Sword, which is 2, he makes his attack with the Short Sword

at Strike Rank 7.

Now he wants to make his second attack with the Dagger in his other hand. The

Dagger has a Weapon SR of 3, and since he has to add 3 to SR for the attack with

the weapon in his off hand he gets DEX SR 5 + Weapon SR 3 + Off Hand 3 = SR 11.

But this goes beyond SR 10, and since the attack may not carry over to the next

round the attack is lost.

Are you sure that - as I read the rules - it should be impossible for a fighter with an

average DEX to fight with Short Sword and Dagger ?

Another point I doubt is the use of a bow in underwater combat, because the prob-

lems of a wet bowstring and the water resistance against the arrow reduce the effi-

ciency of the weapon. I think that some types of especially prepared crossbows may

work well under water, but I would not see much use for a normal bow.

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No, you've read SR right. AEON only uses DEX to determine base SR, in line with it's principle of single-characteristic attributes. Remember that DEX 7 is quite a bit below the 10-11 average on the 3D6 curve - is it reasonable that someone unusually clumsy should not be able to coordinate two weapons in combat (and note he's just outside the range)? At the moment I'm inclined to think it is. But this will require a few trial combats to test whether it works in practice. Thanks for throwing this up, I'll pay particular attention to that now.

Heh, yes, the underwater combat bit will need toning down. A few things may have slipped through from a more generic base set of rules, which doesn't account for AEON's ancienticity (if that's not a word it should be). You certainly don't want to get those composite bows wet ... :o

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You're right that SIZ is struggling for a reason to exist (it's always been marginal, even in other D100 systems) ... there may be some changes to bring it back from the brink. I am currently evaluating whether SIZ would make a good basis for hit points instead of CON. Signs are good so far.

If I were in charge of another, more radical, iteration of BRP, I'd probably lose SIZ as a characteristic entirely and make it more a trait (I know!). It would do something like simply modify HP and damage bonus, as well as a few skills.

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... is it reasonable that someone unusually clumsy should not be able to coordinate two weapons in combat (and note he's just outside the range)? At the moment I'm inclined to think it is.

I see your point, but in this case it would seem easier to me to state a minimum DEX

for combat with two weapons (for example DEX 9+), because so the player could see

immediately whether his character can do it and would not have to do any strike rank

calculations to find it out ?

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If I were in charge of another, more radical, iteration of BRP, I'd probably lose SIZ as a characteristic entirely and make it more a trait (I know!). It would do something like simply modify HP and damage bonus, as well as a few skills.
I did consider that long and hard. In the end I decided to keep SIZ as a characteristic because in actual play there are quite a few things it comes in handy for (especially once you get away from the link with height). By making bonuses and attributes dependent on only a single characteristic, and re-jigging the purpose of those characteristics slightly, I think I've managed to strike a balance where all the characteristics are pulling their weight without resorting to artificial 'balancing'.

I see your point, but in this case it would seem easier to me to state a minimum DEX for combat with two weapons (for example DEX 9+), because so the player could see

immediately whether his character can do it and would not have to do any strike rank calculations to find it out ?

Not really, because that DEX 7 character could get in two attacks with a longer reach weapon, e.g. two shortswords. Another core value of AEON is to avoid extra 'single-purpose' rules, and in practice I don't think there will be much of an issue with working this out. Come to think of it, I don't know many PCs with a DEX of 7! :P

I should point out that the Full Rules have a lot more explanation attached, but perhaps this is once again an area where the Quickstart can use a touch more. As I said before, part of the goal of the playtest is to flag areas that are unclear, and I'm very pleased to say that is exactly what has been happening. The Quickstart edition is meant to be minimal, but it must also be legible.

Thanks for the feedback, gents, it's greatly appreciated. :)

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I think this sentence could use a clarification:

Hafted weapons may be damaged themselves, but do not damage other weapons.

For example, a Great Axe or a Halberd could well be seen as a hafted weapon,

and it could certainly damage a sword.

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The reason for this rule is that parrying weapons will normally contact the shaft of an attacking hafted weapon, rather than its business end. This is obviously a simplification, but about as complex as it is possible to go within the rules. Thus, if a sword parries and axe, the axe may take damage (depending on the result of the attack and parry rules) but the sword will not regardless of the rolls. If both weapons were axes they would not damage each other.

However, that has reminded me to point out that this rule also applies to unarmed attacks. A thousand eyes are better than one, praise be to Ils! flux.gif

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The reason for this rule is that parrying weapons will normally contact the shaft of an attacking hafted weapon, rather than its business end.

True, but I think the fighter with the halberd will hardly use his

weapon's shaft to parry a sword ?

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Aha, now you're talking weapons beyond the scope of the rules! These rules deal specifically with fantasy analogues of ancient weapons, so halberds are out. Hafted weapons in this context are basically spears, axes and mauls/maces. Even so, a halberdier would use the haft to parry incoming attacks - it's pretty much the only option available to him. Of course, he might already have dispatched the swordsman before he had a chance to attack. ;)

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Aha, now you're talking weapons beyond the scope of the rules! These rules deal specifically with fantasy analogues of ancient weapons, so halberds are out. Hafted weapons in this context are basically spears, axes and mauls/maces.

Well, then give him a one handed axe to parry a sword, which would make it

even more difficult to parry with the shaft instead of the head ... ;)

While I see your point, I am convinced that my players would ride this point

to death. However, I am not sure how the problem could be solved, one way

could perhaps be to make only one handed hafted weapons able to damage

other weapons, but not two handed hafted weapons and polearms with their

longer shafts - but then the rules get a little less simple.

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Hi Vile,

I've read the combat doc and have some comments/questions, which I'll put in point form:

1. Action: why an SR (0)? That gives eleven segments in a round – not 10.

2. Aim: How does range affect the way aim works with missile weapons? Is aiming equally effective at long range?

3. Attacking with 2 weapons: Why can't two attacks take place at the same time? One of my players likes to come up behind unsuspecting opponents and stab with both daggers at once into his sides. This is a tactic he used in his live-steel reenactments.

4. Dropping prone should take longer than sitting, no? For one, the distance from standing to ground is farther, and 2. It's harder to recover the ability to act when diving than when simply sitting or kneeling.

5. Rushed attack: I don't understand the distinction between skill and chance.

6. 'Most swords are cutting weapons': The implied setting is an iron-age one, then?

7. Bleeding wounds are a book-keeping nightmare, in my opinion, especially for the GM running several foes. Is there another way to do this other than HP attrition?

8. Similarly, I would drop the chronic damage from impaling weapons in game. They seem realistic, but too much to try and manage for a GM.

9. Fumble tables: These seem improved, but why abandon the 'higher number is worse' method of listing the effects?

10. Parrying: How do these rules apply when parrying with both sword and shield? Is the sword parry delayed and at -25% if the player has already parried with his shield? Or does each weapon get a chance to parry once unhindered?

11. Also, the rule for missile weapons seems to imply that a slingstone can be parried with a dagger. Is this correct?

12. Knockback: The One Ring handles knockback in an interesting way – the defender may reduce damage from an incoming attack by choosing to be knocked back. This makes knockback a defensive choice, rather than a side effect of an incoming attack.

13. Grapple: Does throwing your opponent break the grapple? Once you grapple someone, is the grapple carried over to the next round? Is it incumbent on the grappler to re-grapple the next round, or upon the immobilized person to break free?

14. Shields can only lose AP to blunt weapons? It seems unrealistic, as a duck-billed axe should certainly damage wicker, hide, or wood shields, no?

15. Ranged weapons: (Curious) Is there a historical example of an ancient long bow?

16. Mounted missile use: Longs bows, staff-slings, spear-throwers, and even short bows would be hard or impossible to use while mounted, no?

17. Armour: You should define the types. How is segmented different from scale and plate? What kind of armour is panoply (segmented or plate?)

18. At a glance, the armour values low compared to the weapon damages.

19. Typo in the armour table: 'leggin'

Keep up the good work! I really like a lot of what I'm seeing in here. :)

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Ranged weapons: (Curious) Is there a historical example of an ancient long bow?

Yes, the oldest examples of long bows are actually from the paleolithic age.

Spear throwers (the atlatl type) and short bows can be used well from hor-

seback, long bows only if they are designed for that kind of use (like some

asymmetric Asian long bows).

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Nicely done, Thalaba! :)

As I said, I'm expecting quite a few creaky bits to be exposed in this chapter, because it's probably the most complex system in the book. You've spotted quite a few things that need further refinement. Semi-historically the game is kind of pre-bronze age collapse, although the mix of eastern and western influences break down the whole 'ages' system somewhat. You're right that swords should really have been identified as cut-and-thrust rather than cutting. There isn't much description (e.g. armour, but also weapons) in Quickstart because it's basically only a 'rule' book. All the setting/technology assumptions will be in the big book, although the setting itself will not be detailed therein. Yep, rust has the right of it, even our old friend Ötzi was getting into the longbow-making craze (although as we know he didn't get to finish it). Armour values seem okay in playtest so far, they're a little lower than RQ3, more in line with RQ2, but weapon damage is also less than RQ.

Thanks a lot for some very useful feedback, I'll try and respond in more detail a bit later; in the RW I'm in tender documentation hell at the moment.

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