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Author Topic: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP  (Read 74630 times)

Mishihari

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #585 on: November 23, 2022, 01:03:43 AM »
Savage Worlds is way more of a toolkit and the math at its foundation not quite as simple* as it appears at the surface (a friend and I have been beating our head against it for quite some time); particularly compared to single die linear distributions.

*The math is based on the better of two dice, often of different sizes/types, that can individually explode if you roll the maximum result on them (which is also more likely the smaller the die type is (i.e. 25% chance with a d4 vs. 8.33% with a d12) and with margins of success based on increments of 4.

What are you trying to do with the math?  That sounds a little complex but far from intractable.

nielspeterdejong

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #586 on: November 23, 2022, 02:06:00 AM »
This all sounds stupid on all fronts, and like a typical TBP shit storm.

But I am surprised to hear ACKS was written by someone who worked for Milo whats-his-face. What the hell is that all about? No wonder a slice of the roleplaying game community thinks the OSR is full of alt-right fuck wits. It only takes one or two prominent people like that to catch your attention.

ACKS? Is that this roleplaying game? https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/99123/adventurer-conqueror-king-system Is the game itself any good? I don't care if a person is "controversial", as long as they make a good game. Also, by the standards of many on the left, we are all controversial here merely for being nerds XD

Yes. That is ACKS. And ACKS is an excellent game. Better than OSE, in my opinion.

I agree. OSE is a a B/X STRICT clone - even the typos are kept. ACKS is streamlined/expanded/improved B/X. But then again, so is LotFP, BFRPG, my Dark Fantasy Basic, etc.

I think I will call this "the B/X paradox", because B/X is my favorite game but I like every improvement on it more than the original (I do NOT consider AD&D or 3.X do be an improvement over B/X, BTW, so I'm probably still missing some parts of my definition...).

EDIT: The B/X paradox:
https://methodsetmadness.blogspot.com/2022/11/the-bx-paradox-also-ad-paradox-minimum.html

I've only ever played D&D 3.5 edition, Pathfinder 1E, D&D 4th edition, and D&D 5th edition. How does it compare to these series? Is the way it plays comparible as in that it also uses D20's?

And what are OSE and B/X ?

B/X is classic D&D (Moldvay's Basic D&D and Cook's Expert D&D). OSE is an exact copy with better organization.



ACKS, Dark Fantasy Basic, BFRPG, etc., are streamlined versions of B/X rather than exact copies.

Alright, thank you! I will look into going either ACKS or Savage World I think. I did love the detail and customization options from Pathfinder (which is basically D&D 3.75), so I might go with this option: https://peginc.com/store/pathfinder-for-savage-worlds-core-rules/

Aglondir

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #587 on: November 23, 2022, 02:39:13 AM »

Chris24601

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #588 on: November 23, 2022, 10:23:50 AM »
Savage Worlds is way more of a toolkit and the math at its foundation not quite as simple* as it appears at the surface (a friend and I have been beating our head against it for quite some time); particularly compared to single die linear distributions.

*The math is based on the better of two dice, often of different sizes/types, that can individually explode if you roll the maximum result on them (which is also more likely the smaller the die type is (i.e. 25% chance with a d4 vs. 8.33% with a d12) and with margins of success based on increments of 4.

What are you trying to do with the math?  That sounds a little complex but far from intractable.
Trying to figure out the best armor and weapon damage values for a sci-fi setting given that it doesn’t use direct hit points but damage vs. a threshold and every 4 points you beat it by adds an additional effect/wound.

In a linear distribution against hit points this is easy; 2d10 damage is about 11… if you want a mook to drop in about two hits and they have DR 5 armor, then set their hp at 6-12 and you’re done. A hero can be modeled just by giving them greater hit points even if they have the same gear. Regardless, shots with the 2d10 weapon can eventually bring anything with DR 5 armor down.

In Savage Worlds though, instead of hit points, the threshold for damage is increased by individual vigor+armor and heroes (wild cards in game lingo) often have the same toughness as mooks and must rely on a roll granted by a consumable resource to possibly reduce damage (you need a 4+ on your vigor or wild die to reduce a hit by one level with an 8+ reducting by 2, etc.).

Related to this is that damage dice explode too… I’ve seen 2d8 score a 27 for its damage result before. And weapons routinely have an armor piercing quality that can reduce the value of armor worn and armor can have a trait that reduces damage before you apply AP to it… oh, and there’s an unarmored hero rules that grants +2 to those rolls to reduce damage by spending a finite resource.

Oh, and raises… when you beat the target’s defense by 4 or more you get to add another d6 to the damage (which basically amounts to a 50-50 shot at dealing an extra level of damage given how the system runs on margins of 4).

There’s also the fact that the relatively small die sizes used for task resolution also meant a rather small window for viable difficulties and odds of success past the single digits just crater even for the extremely competent.

So, when you say 2d8 AP 2 vs. a toughness of 8 (5 from vigor, 3 from armor) that reduces energy damage by 4 points you can calculate odds for a “shake” (lowest hit effect level) and varying levels of damage easily enough… but make the toughness 9 or the AP 1 or 3 or change the dice to 2d6 or 2d10 and it can swing the numbers much much more than you’d see in a flat distribution with ablative hit points.

Which makes it a pain in the butt when you’re needing to design a whole set of weapons (pistols, rifles, SAW equivalents, knives, laser swords that aren’t stupidly OP*, personal rockets, light rail guns, etc.) and sets of armor for the setting that behave as you wish.

Now, throw in the variability of small sample sizes. 50% in a 1000 tests might result in 45-55% in a hundred tests and 30-70% in the half-dozen rolls a player might make in a single combat and what on paper looks fine feels like a TPK dealing monstrosity because there is no assured way to mitigate the extreme results in the way an ablative hit point pool can absorb an outlier or two.

I’m working with it because the GM likes the system and its swinginess, but there are times the variability gets too wild even for them.

* laser swords in SWADE core look like they’ve been statted by a fanboy who believes the Star Wars radio drama’s line that a lightsaber can cut through anything without resistance literally (never mind Vader should have lost his arm again to Luke in ESB when he took the shoulder hit to his armor or Qui-Gon not instantly cutting through the blast doors at the open of TPM) because the values assigned are ridiculous; Str+d6+8 with AP 12. For perspective, a 75mm tank gun has AP 6 and does only slightly more raw damage (4d10).

Mishihari

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #589 on: November 25, 2022, 04:46:22 PM »
Savage Worlds is way more of a toolkit and the math at its foundation not quite as simple* as it appears at the surface (a friend and I have been beating our head against it for quite some time); particularly compared to single die linear distributions.

*The math is based on the better of two dice, often of different sizes/types, that can individually explode if you roll the maximum result on them (which is also more likely the smaller the die type is (i.e. 25% chance with a d4 vs. 8.33% with a d12) and with margins of success based on increments of 4.

What are you trying to do with the math?  That sounds a little complex but far from intractable.
Trying to figure out the best armor and weapon damage values for a sci-fi setting given that it doesn’t use direct hit points but damage vs. a threshold and every 4 points you beat it by adds an additional effect/wound.

In a linear distribution against hit points this is easy; 2d10 damage is about 11… if you want a mook to drop in about two hits and they have DR 5 armor, then set their hp at 6-12 and you’re done. A hero can be modeled just by giving them greater hit points even if they have the same gear. Regardless, shots with the 2d10 weapon can eventually bring anything with DR 5 armor down.

In Savage Worlds though, instead of hit points, the threshold for damage is increased by individual vigor+armor and heroes (wild cards in game lingo) often have the same toughness as mooks and must rely on a roll granted by a consumable resource to possibly reduce damage (you need a 4+ on your vigor or wild die to reduce a hit by one level with an 8+ reducting by 2, etc.).

Related to this is that damage dice explode too… I’ve seen 2d8 score a 27 for its damage result before. And weapons routinely have an armor piercing quality that can reduce the value of armor worn and armor can have a trait that reduces damage before you apply AP to it… oh, and there’s an unarmored hero rules that grants +2 to those rolls to reduce damage by spending a finite resource.

Oh, and raises… when you beat the target’s defense by 4 or more you get to add another d6 to the damage (which basically amounts to a 50-50 shot at dealing an extra level of damage given how the system runs on margins of 4).

There’s also the fact that the relatively small die sizes used for task resolution also meant a rather small window for viable difficulties and odds of success past the single digits just crater even for the extremely competent.

So, when you say 2d8 AP 2 vs. a toughness of 8 (5 from vigor, 3 from armor) that reduces energy damage by 4 points you can calculate odds for a “shake” (lowest hit effect level) and varying levels of damage easily enough… but make the toughness 9 or the AP 1 or 3 or change the dice to 2d6 or 2d10 and it can swing the numbers much much more than you’d see in a flat distribution with ablative hit points.

Which makes it a pain in the butt when you’re needing to design a whole set of weapons (pistols, rifles, SAW equivalents, knives, laser swords that aren’t stupidly OP*, personal rockets, light rail guns, etc.) and sets of armor for the setting that behave as you wish.

Now, throw in the variability of small sample sizes. 50% in a 1000 tests might result in 45-55% in a hundred tests and 30-70% in the half-dozen rolls a player might make in a single combat and what on paper looks fine feels like a TPK dealing monstrosity because there is no assured way to mitigate the extreme results in the way an ablative hit point pool can absorb an outlier or two.

I’m working with it because the GM likes the system and its swinginess, but there are times the variability gets too wild even for them.

* laser swords in SWADE core look like they’ve been statted by a fanboy who believes the Star Wars radio drama’s line that a lightsaber can cut through anything without resistance literally (never mind Vader should have lost his arm again to Luke in ESB when he took the shoulder hit to his armor or Qui-Gon not instantly cutting through the blast doors at the open of TPM) because the values assigned are ridiculous; Str+d6+8 with AP 12. For perspective, a 75mm tank gun has AP 6 and does only slightly more raw damage (4d10).

I take it back.  That does sound like a mess, especially the bit about variability.  I was hoping to offer some advice but without an in-depth knowledge of the rules I don't think I can offer much.  It doesn't sound impossible to manage, just a lot of work to get an initial handle on it.

tenbones

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #590 on: November 27, 2022, 06:54:55 PM »
While Chris2461 is not wrong... I think its getting bogged down in the possibilities rather than leaning on what's considered "established".

SWADE Core baselines pretty much everything from medieval weaponry to modern and futuristic weaponry against the core realities of what their stats mean:

d6 Vigor is what Average people have. Toughness is Vigor halved +2, so 5. There is no point in trying to "account" for blistering die-explosions, those are part of the game on purpose. 

When it comes to creating new Weapon and Armor - there are already good ceilings with predictable results in Savage Rifts (and sweet Jeebus, do you need to create anything more powerful than this? Heh what kind of game are you running?). I completely agree that AP is "arbitrary", which I take to mean "setting conceits". The lightsaber situation is VERY much arbitrary, SWADE is a system about tropes not "realism". So yes, it's a bit fanboyish to say a Lightsaber has AP12...

But that *is* consistent with the movies in regards to what a lightsaber is actually doing. Not every action on camera necessarily would map to round-by-round combat, certainly a Lightsaber hitting Darth Vader *could* do that, it's been established multiple times in the movies (Cantina, Wampa, Slicing off a section of a AT-AT walker). The Qui-Gon scene, to me, was a Dramatic Action in which the player would say "I try to cut through the bulkhead doors!" and my reply would have been "That's going to be a Dramatic Action and it'll take six successes to cut through - start rolling!) in which case that would tie him up for x-number of rounds. It's not a question to me whether the lightsaber could cut through - it's simply a matter of how long it would take.

Within the context of SWADE armor values are pretty consistent across their different settings, both 3rd party and Pinnacle's own.

Light Armor caps around +2 point, Medium +4, and Heavy at +6. There *are* exceptions to these norms but they're generally setting specific.

Modern-ish Weapons tend to float around 2d6 for Pistols and small caliber rifles, to 3d6 for Shotguns at close range, and large rifles commanding 2d8+. Their medieval weapons scale right alongside these numbers - Arrows are 2d6 for example.

Now where *you* as the GM and/or setting designer need to consider things are the corollaries of your weaponry. Special materials? High-velocity rounds etc. In almost all cases, Savage Worlds already has examples for you. Your Cyberpunk setting might not use Adamantine, but there is no reason you can't use those values for your Tungsten-alloy rounds. Or at the very least they can give you some common-sense guidance as to what the trope your magic alloy is supposed to represent.

Savage Worlds is very good about tossing the particulars to give both players and GM's options to express an action and make it cool and cinematic while the GM can thrown in countless monkey-wrenches into the process.

There are *always* going to be those exploding dice. But even there, you have in-game Setting Rules to mitigate the things you don't like. For example if you don't like exploding dice? Cap the results. There are setting rules where you can simply say no single shot can cause more than 3-Wounds in a single blow. Problem solved.

The worst thing to do is read the dice so literally that it seems silly rather than cool. Unless that's what you're going for.

There ARE some weird little math flaws - like the chance of rolling an explosion on a d6 is greater than a d8 with a wild die, but you can resolve that with adding Fudge dice. The margin is less than 1%... so if you care you can solve it that way.

Edit: Let me amend this. I MEANT to say the chance of hitting a higher Target Number 6 is mathematically more PROBABLE on a d6 than a d8. The issue, of course is that standard Target Numbers for Savage Worlds are 4. The glitch is *tiny*. See my post below (which is just me relaying Zadmar's analysis).
« Last Edit: November 27, 2022, 10:50:16 PM by tenbones »

Hzilong

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #591 on: November 27, 2022, 08:15:47 PM »
@Tenbones

That problem of larger dice having a smaller chance to ace has been giving me design problems for a bit. What do you mean when you say adding in fudge dice?
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tenbones

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #592 on: November 27, 2022, 10:40:32 PM »
So the Fudge system has these dice with + or - on them. They also have blanks. If you add one or two dice to each roll, it changes the probability curve and flattens it.

Fudge Dice

Quote
From Zadmar
Fudge Dice

  When making a trait roll, you may choose to roll one or two fudge dice at the same time. Each "+" increases the result by +1, while each "-" reduces the result by -1.

  Goal: There is a very small glitch in the Savage Worlds probability curve, due to the way that exploding dice work. Most people consider it too small to be significant (particularly when you factor in raises as well), but for some it’s a deal-breaker, so this rule removes the glitch.

  RAW: The glitch means that d4 is more likely to succeed at TN 6 than d6, d6 is more likely to succeed at TN 8 than d8, and so on. Constructs and undead are actually slightly more likely to get a raise when recovering from Shaken if they have Spirit d4 rather than Spirit d6.

Impact: Players who don’t care about this issue can ignore the rule, but for those who feel strongly about it this solution is pretty quick and easy to use. You can see the glitch here, along with the difference made by using one or two fudge dice, and a comparison for d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12.

  Note: Some people have expressed confusion as to how a fudge die would have any impact when it averages 0, so to clarify: A d4 is more likely to succeed at TN 6 than a d6, as mentioned previously (18.75% vs 16.67%). However, because the dice explode, the result of a d6 roll cannot actually be 6, it'll be at least 7 (6+1). If you roll 5, there's a 33.33% chance of a fudge die increasing the result to 6, turning failure into a success -- but if you roll 7, it doesn't matter if a fudge die reduces it to 6, because 6 is still a success

Again the glitch is tiny. My players don't even care, but I put Fudge Dice out there for anyone to use if it makes them feel good.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2022, 10:44:26 PM by tenbones »

Hzilong

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #593 on: November 27, 2022, 10:53:40 PM »
Interesting. I never thought of using fudge dice here. In practice it’s probably more annoying to me since I know the system better, but I think I’ll give this option to my players next time we run a SW game.
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tenbones

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Re: ACKS is now a forbidden topic in TBP
« Reply #594 on: November 28, 2022, 01:14:49 PM »
Yeah it's pretty genius. You never know tho, some players like rolling more dice. It's kind of a big joke when I grab the extra dice for emphasis to claim I'm about to pack the PC's Fudge on an important roll...

only to see the "-" come up and totally fuck up my roll.

Always a hoot.

Edit: to bring this back somewhat on topic, I have it on my to-do list to convert a lot of the elements of ACKS to Savage Worlds.