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Modeling Chronicles of Darkness

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Archivist    25

If this is covered in some BRP supplement I'm fine with that, just point it out!

  1. How would you model an alternate form with a consequence? For example, in Werewolf the Apocalypse, you have a monstrous wolf form, but it costs a limited resource to shift into it, and, once you do, you have a limited number of rounds in it before you're berserk and killing your friends. In Demon the Descent, you have an alternate form, but doing so "blows your cover" and makes it more likely that Angels will find you.
  2. So speaking of cover, how do you model a limited resource track? For example, Demons have "Covers", which they build by performing certain actions, and then slow

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RosenMcStern    676

I doubt that modeling these features directly would work well. The reasons, and an alternate suggestion, is as follows.

Revolution D100 is specifically designed to avoid the usual RPG techniques of "resource management" and "countdown timing". There is only one inherent resource, Life Points, and it is stricty reserved to Advanced Combat, becoming undefined and replaced by a Consequence proportional to points lost as soon as Advanced Combat ends. Countdowns are simply non-existent: there is no power, ability, spell or otherwise that lasts "X number of time units". This is a design choice.

A negative side effect of using your powers is, however, easy to model as a Consequence. Just apply an appropriate amount of Recurring, Permanent Consequences that the Narrator can only trigger when the player uses the power or alternate form (the effects of the alternate forms are the same as explained in the Totem of the Beast blessing, and are very easy to balance and adapt to your desired Urban Fantasy setting). For each (-) in the Consequence, the Narrator can give the Opposition a Bonus in a relevant non-violent conflict, or drain Life points by 10 in Advanced Combat, or apply any other nuisance, once. This works similarly to the Consequences attached to familiars and magic items for which the enchanter suffered some Resolution Point loss while enchanting, the only difference is that they are inherent to the character concept rather than the result of a conflict the player decided to run.

A limited resource track could be modeled with Positive Consequences, instead, but I really do not recommend doing so. The system is simply not designed to accomodate this kind of mechanics. It runs on other concepts than "limited resource management":

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pansophy    123

OK, so here's my take on the situation. I would use the 'Powers as a Freeform Trait' option. Give the Player character a Trait like 'Werecreature'. The player can use this Trait with any task that he can argue is plausible. Example possible uses: Melee Combat, Perception, Intimidation.
When the player decides to change into the werecreature form, he has to run a Parallel Conflict against an Opposition of 15 (with a Skill of 50%). The Recource Point Pool for the Player is his (WIL + CON)/2. This Parallel Conflict is active as long as the player is in werecreature form. Once the Conflict is solved, he changes back.


Every time the player uses the 'Werecreature' Trait in combination with a Skill, he also has to Roll for Effect in the Parallel Conflict, using his 'Concentration(Werecreature)' Skill/Trait. This represents the characters effort to keep the beast at bay and stay in control.
Once the Parallel Conflict ends (and the player changes back to his human form), one of the following outcomes are possible:

  • the player lost the Conflict: he adds a negative Consequence to his character, e.g. 'severe headaches', 'blood on my hands and clothes', 'no recollection of last night'. The character lost control of the beast and it went wild, roaming freely to satisfy its needs.
  • the player won the Conflict: if the character already has a negative Condition connected to the werecreature, he reduces the severity by one (crossing off one '-' bracket). In case the character does not have an existing Condition, he just kept the beast under his control - this time - and nothing else happened.

Remember, losing 11 or more points in a Conflict adds a Recurring condition, regardless if you won the Conflict or not. Also, adding a second sign to an existing Condition might warrant it to be changed to a Recurring Condition, too. Feel free to reword the newly established Recurring Condition to something more suitable.

Once the character has 5 negative Recurring Conditions, the beast inside takes over and the player lost his character to the dark side.

Basically, this process shows the struggle between using the werebeast's powers to enhance some rolls, and the possibility of losing the character to its nature in the long term. Since the Conditions are temporary (one time use) in the beginning, it is easy to keep the beast at bay at that stage. But once the character accumulated Recurring Conditions, the situation gets more and more dire.


Using the Powers in the RD100 book as Freeform Traits opens up a lot to role-playing. Our group likes to play more narrative and that is why we used the Advanced Combat rules only once. We stick to the Basic Combat rules all the time, as it allows for freeform role-playing,  fancy moves  and quick resolution. Combat is a fun aspect in our games, but it does not dominate them.

 

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RosenMcStern    676

Yes, but I also warn you that this would be a very advanced and sophisticated use of Conflicts. It is certainly possible, and covered by the rules of Secondary Conflicts, but it requires some level of comfort with the general rules. Which Pansophy has acquired, judging from his reports. It essentially involves keeping a Narrative Time conflict "open" while the rest of the adventure goes on.

Remember also that you can "challenge" a Consequence in another conflict to get rid of it. So your werecreature could try to counterbalance its dark instincts with an unrelated action (undergoing counseling, trying exotic drugs, etc...), with Narrator permission.

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Archivist    25

Good ideas.

I think I need to read through the rules again and then ask some more questions.

RosenMcStern, could you create a sticky topic for something like "How Do I..." for ongoing Q&A regarding "how do I do X in Revolution D100." Revolution D100 isn't super complex, but it's subtle, and not 100% obvious how to model every trope.

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RosenMcStern    676
42 minutes ago, Archivist said:

 Revolution D100 isn't super complex, but it's subtle, and not 100% obvious how to model every trope.

Yes, this is absolutely true. This is the reason why so many people find chapter 3 "verbose": it tries to explain what is already contained in the rules, but not obvious, by providing lots and lots of examples and "how to"''s that are not new rules, but things that are a consequence of existing rules.

Good idea about the "how do I..." thread, I will do it as soon as we are over with this Kickstarter.

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pansophy    123

A reason why we still stick to the Basic Combat rules (which I think are not basic at all). It makes more sense to get the 'normal' Conflicts running smoothly and embrace all the different possibilities. Fortunately our group has a lot of experience with narrative games (Cypher System, FATE, HeroQuest 2, Fantaji, Fudge), so the transition was not too hard at all. And reading all these other books about 'how to play the game' really helped a lot to thing outside the box.

@Rosen: when you are doing a revised edition of the RD100 book (as a hardcover, of course ;) ), maybe you think about renaming 'Basic Combat' to 'Narrative Combat'? IMHO this is a better fitting title, as the current Basic Combat does not have anything in common with the Advanced Combat rules. This way somebody who is not interested in the narrative side of combat knows he can simply skip that chapter without missing any rules - and the other way round.

Also, a bit more advise or a separate chapter for the Powers and how to use them in Narrative Combat would be great. Currently it is not easy to decipher if a rule in the Powers section is relevant for Narrative Combat at all. Not that it is unusable, but it could be easier to have a better separation between the two. Or maybe use different colors? I don't know ;) 

But now, get back to work on that Kickstarter! :D 

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Tanaka84    3
On 6/21/2017 at 8:52 PM, pansophy said:

@Rosen: when you are doing a revised edition of the RD100 book (as a hardcover, of course ;) ), maybe you think about renaming 'Basic Combat' to 'Narrative Combat'? IMHO this is a better fitting title, as the current Basic Combat does not have anything in common with the Advanced Combat rules. This way somebody who is not interested in the narrative side of combat knows he can simply skip that chapter without missing any rules - and the other way round.

Also, a bit more advise or a separate chapter for the Powers and how to use them in Narrative Combat would be great. Currently it is not easy to decipher if a rule in the Powers section is relevant for Narrative Combat at all. Not that it is unusable, but it could be easier to have a better separation between the two. Or maybe use different colors? I don't know ;) 

But now, get back to work on that Kickstarter! :D 

 

Agree on both ends, the basic combat section feels like an afterthought due to how little it interacts while  half the book (equipment and powers), which is unfortunate since its really versatile in comparison with advanced combat (which models tactical an "realistic" combat :) specifically)

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RosenMcStern    676

Why do you say so, tanaka?

The majority of powers and weapons do interact with Basic Combat, although the effect is less detailed and granular than what they would do in Advanced Combat - but this is normal, as AC is "more detailed" than BC.

Specifically:

- armour offers 1 or 2 points protection against Resolution Point damage;

- weapons do a specific die of Resolution Point damage;

- weapons with +1 or +2 to Might in addition to the attacker's Might do extra Resolution Point damage;

- two-.handed weapons still bestow a +1 to the attacker's intrinsic Might;

Powers have other important effects, for instance:

- Absorb Energy may still block elemental attacks if sufficiently powerful

- Confusion, Demoralize, Disruption, Dominate, Palsy, Smother and other direct attack spells do direct Resolution Point damage - useful with a physically tough opponent which lacks magical deenses;

- Damage Boosting adds to the weapon die, thus does extra Resolution Point Damage on a successful hit;

- Diminish or Enhance Characteristic may affect Might or starting Resolution Points;

- Fanaticism provides a Bonus to attacks;

- Grant, Improve or Suppress Trait may alter die rolls in a substantial way;

- Haste and Hinder influence Strike Rank, possibly allowing or denying preparatory actions;

- Heal and Restore allow the recuperation of Resolution Points on an Advantage defense roll;

- Neutralise Magic can be used to defend against a magical attack if you lack Willpower or another appropriate trait;

- Project Energy or Web can be used to deal direct damage to Resolution Points, like a weapon;

- Protection subtracts 1 or 2 damage when the target is hit;

- Resist Power may prevent usage of attack spell on a target;

- Shimmer still provides a Penalty to hit the target, possibly multiple times per round;

- Speedart does +1 Resolution Point damage for the additional Might, and provides a Bonus to the attack;

All these, and others, are effects that result from application of the rules, not freeform use of power traits. Nevertheless, you can still use powers such as Illusion, Form, Fly, Telekinesis, Teleport and so on to provide "narrative" bonuses in basic combat if you wish, but the majority of powers have non-narrative effects even in BC.

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Mankcam    984

I've got nothing to add, except morale support - some great ideas spitballing here in this thread, very cool :)

Edited by Mankcam
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pansophy    123

Hey Rosen, that is actually a nice short overview about the Powers for Basic Combat. Wow, I like that! Why not inclut it to the next review of the book?
This rule set is getting better and better - thumbs up! :)

@Tanaka: I think the Basic Combat rules are written very tight and there is a lot of information in these lines, that can easily missed. It took me a while to fully embrace the rules - not because they are written in a bad way, but the terminology, amount of information and 'naturally loose' feeling of Basic Combat is something I really needed a 'fresh mind' for, to 'get' it. I think I read the whole chapter of 'Adventuring' and 'Basic Combat' four times now, but when flipping through these chapters, I still find bits and pieces I missed before.

Since I consider RD100 a rules medium system, I think it is normal needing time to get used to it. I can remember reading the BRP BGB over and over again, at least 10 times completely, before I considered myself knowing every rule - or at least knowing if it exists and where I would find it.

It is just a matter of repetition and time, which I'm willing to commit to it. This is a solid foundation of rules as far as I am concerned. :)

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RosenMcStern    676
2 hours ago, pansophy said:

Why not inclut it to the next review of the book?

Because at 256 pages the rule set is already big enough.

It is inevitable, as you stated, that you read it more than once to understand all the implications. We need to strike a balance between the number of explicit mentions of techniques for using the rules to handle all possible situations, and page limit in order to not scare people away. For everything combat-oriented I assumed that players will experiment with various Traits, Weapons and Powers in battle and discover these details by themselves. Non-violent conflict management is more elusive and I tried to put in as many explicit pieces of advice as possible.

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pansophy    123

Fair enough, thats what these forums are there for: to get the remaining questions answered. ?

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Tanaka84    3
15 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Why do you say so, tanaka?

The majority of powers and weapons do interact with Basic Combat, although the effect is less detailed and granular than what they would do in Advanced Combat - but this is normal, as AC is "more detailed" than BC.

Specifically:

- armour offers 1 or 2 points protection against Resolution Point damage;

- weapons do a specific die of Resolution Point damage;

- weapons with +1 or +2 to Might in addition to the attacker's Might do extra Resolution Point damage;

- two-.handed weapons still bestow a +1 to the attacker's intrinsic Might;

Powers have other important effects, for instance:

- Absorb Energy may still block elemental attacks if sufficiently powerful

- Confusion, Demoralize, Disruption, Dominate, Palsy, Smother and other direct attack spells do direct Resolution Point damage - useful with a physically tough opponent which lacks magical deenses;

- Damage Boosting adds to the weapon die, thus does extra Resolution Point Damage on a successful hit;

- Diminish or Enhance Characteristic may affect Might or starting Resolution Points;

- Fanaticism provides a Bonus to attacks;

- Grant, Improve or Suppress Trait may alter die rolls in a substantial way;

- Haste and Hinder influence Strike Rank, possibly allowing or denying preparatory actions;

- Heal and Restore allow the recuperation of Resolution Points on an Advantage defense roll;

- Neutralise Magic can be used to defend against a magical attack if you lack Willpower or another appropriate trait;

- Project Energy or Web can be used to deal direct damage to Resolution Points, like a weapon;

- Protection subtracts 1 or 2 damage when the target is hit;

- Resist Power may prevent usage of attack spell on a target;

- Shimmer still provides a Penalty to hit the target, possibly multiple times per round;

- Speedart does +1 Resolution Point damage for the additional Might, and provides a Bonus to the attack;

All these, and others, are effects that result from application of the rules, not freeform use of power traits. Nevertheless, you can still use powers such as Illusion, Form, Fly, Telekinesis, Teleport and so on to provide "narrative" bonuses in basic combat if you wish, but the majority of powers have non-narrative effects even in BC.

First Paolo, thanks for the reply, this what I love about Alephstar the most, you love this game and are always in touch with your fans!

Second, keep in mind that I fully recognize that this is a subjective opinion :P 

I guess that my perception is based on two aspects:

- First, if you want to keep the engine within the purview of basic combat, there is a lot of information in those chapters that you have to discard, and while you really learn the rules, it's not obvious what is supposed to go with Advanced Combat and what has to go with basic.

- As for the second one, some guidelines on how to handle powers in basic combat beyond "check the basic combat section" would have been awesome, in fact, that post right there needs to get pinned for newcomers to read :)
 

Having said that, my playtest session was fantastic, and I really want to write my own game using the engine.
Keep up the good work mate

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