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Topics - kryyst

Pages: [1] 2 3
1
Other Games / Skyrim
« on: November 11, 2011, 11:30:40 am »
Shall we start the discussion?

I'm not going to do a full all encompassing Review of the game. It's huge, my time is limited and there are already many good reviews out there. So instead I'll just keep updating this thread with my observations and interesting experiences as I go along.

I've started my journey into Skyrim (360 version). Unfortunately I've only had a chance to play for about an hour which was enough time to make a character get out of the intro area and do a little exploring.

Comments so far:
Graphically it's a definite improvement from Oblivion. Everything has more detail to it. The level designs feel more organic in every way. Ruins are crumbling, bricks are missing, stuff is scattered around a tunnel will change dimensions as you walk through it. Oblivion did this pretty well, but Skyrim just does it much better.
.
.
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Now here is the biggest change (at least in my opinion) 3rd person. The game is fully playable in 3rd person. So far I've flipped between 1st and 3rd and I actually find that not only is 3rd person playable I prefer it to 1st person. Running around in 3rd person shows off your character and his armour. Not to mention a better sense of your surroundings. Combat in 3rd person also is completely possible and fun as is general interaction in the world. So 3rd person fans rejoice. Skyrim will work well for you.

You can read the rest of my comments here

2
Other Games / The new Deus Ex - Human Revolution...
« on: August 31, 2011, 05:28:42 pm »
Rocks on toast.

The graphics, mechanically etc... are all good and do what you would expect.  The augmentation (xp system) gives you lots of options on how you want to round out your character.   Combat is deadly, you need to watch you ammo, enemies react when they hear gun shots and it feels fairly alive.

What I'm really enjoying about it though is the story and the exploration.  The game has a main story but has lots of side quests that criss-cross all over.

For example, I ran into an informant that gave me a lead on how to get into the weapons store at the police station.  So I sneaked into the police station (no small feet) found the weapons stash and looted it.  But during all of that I hacked into some computers and that found out some other information to look into.

Then as I was following another lead I ran into an undercover cop from my past that I agreed to help take down a dirty copy.   Which I had inadvertently already dug up some info on.

It's a far more focused and concise game then say Oblivion/Fallout.  Yet still gives you that sense of reward for exploration without those elements becoming a total distraction.

3
Not a huge surprise for people that followed some clues.  But it's official now.  FFG has the license.  They are launching a card and miniature game out of the gate.  But are planning on an RPG and who knows what else.

A co-op card game and what I'm betting is going to basically be a Star Wars re-skin of Wings of War, given what happened to that title.

4
Other Games / Blood Bowl Team Manager - Finally
« on: July 20, 2011, 10:55:19 am »
Well FFG took their sweet time about it.  But they have finally updated us on the Blood Bowl Team Manager card game.  I'm a fanboy, no denying it, primarily of Blood Bowl but also generally of FFG's production values at least and the fact that generally they also get it right.

FFG Blood Bowl Team Manager announcement

5
News and Adverts / Sword Noir RPG now on sale
« on: April 07, 2011, 05:24:35 pm »
Sword Noir
   
From Sword's Edge Publishing

Description
Hardboiled sword & sorcery-it's Conan seeking for the Maltese Falcon, it's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in the Big Sleep, set in Lankhmar, it's hardboiled crime fiction in the worlds of sword & sorcery.

It's Sword Noir.

Inspired by mashing up the novels and stories of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert E Howard, and Fritz Leiber, Sword Noir: A Role-Playing Game of Hardboiled Sword & Sorcery is a new RPG from Sword's Edge Publishing. In it, characters' morals are shifting at best and absent at worst. The atmosphere is dark and hope is frail or completely absent. Violence is deadly and fast. Trust is the most valued of commodities-life is the cheapest. Grim leaders weave labyrinthine plots which entangle innocents. Magic exists and can be powerful, but it takes extreme dedication to learn, extorts a horrible price, and is slow to conjure.

Now is the time for your characters to walk down mean streets, drenched in rain, hidden in fog, and unravel mysteries, murders, and villainy.

Available through RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.  Currently $4.99 for the PDF with the Print on Demand to follow.

Head on over to http://www.swordsedgepublishing.ca for some sneak peeks:
- of the art;
- multiple opponent rules;
- Qualities;
- some characters and early artwork;
- the Appendices which include the character tracker, pre-made characters, the character sheet, and a map of the city of Everthorn;
- and an example of combat in Sword Noir.

6
This is based on a one shot I ran, it was for WFRP 3 but the system doesn't matter.

The setup was basically a riff on the Conan movie.  They were a bunch of thieves recruited by the King to go to the damned Spider Temple and kill his ungrateful whore of a daughter who was set to wed the head priest.  Hopefully killing the head priest in the process.

So the players scout the temple.  It's relatively (for theives) easily scaled dome shaped temple and based on previous knowledge they knew there was an opening at the top as well as a garbage shoot, in addition to the main entrance of course.

The group consisted of an Elven Archer an Elven Swordmaster and a Pit Fighter so they were more then equipped for combat.

Just to recap because I'm still shocked.

Here's how I expecting things to possibly go

Option 1
Climb the dome shoot her in the head and run.  Fighting some guards on your tail and losing them in the city - how hard is that seriously?  This solution was fairly obvious and admittedly seemed to simple.  So I truthfully wasn't shocked when they didn't go for it.

Option 2 - This is the route I was expecting and basically planning for.
Want a little more challenge..... climb in the garbage shoot, kill the spiders, climb the center pit - surprise and kill her.  Then running away and losing any guards on your tail in the city...

Option 3
Even more challenge bribe some traders to let them sign on with you to gain entry into the temple, easily disguising your gear within the trade goods or simply by playing the role of caravan guards.  Then once inside sneak off into the complex.  Work your way up to the dias directly (or via the spiders) kill the princes and escape either through the empty spider pit or by killing the spiders depending on the turn of events.  Followed again by running away and losing the guards in the city...

What really happened - and I was totally unprepared for.
Threaten some traders, ambush a bunch of cultists, walk in the front door attack the guards avoid/run from more guards (in the sense that I didn't want to just kill you off right away) run down to the spiders - kill the spiders then bugger off to live another day.  Failing to kill the princes in the process and definitely putting the whole place on alert.

I know, I know you can never predict what players are going to do....  But seriously take the damn bone some times...

Now this is just my most recent runnin and I admittedly in the player role have done some stupid things.  But what is it that often drives players to just avoid the simple and tend to overly think things and go it the hardware.  Years of mistrust in a GM?  To many early years of badly written modules, a general belief that stems from other entertainment that there's always a screw job or possibly just that players tend to think they are more clever then the GM?  Maybe (likely) a combination of all of that rolled into one.

Then again maybe I'm just alone in this and everyone else games run smooth as butter, extremely logically and generally downright clean.

7
This is just a loose observation based on the general themes of many threads on here as of late.

But say what you will it would appear to me that the current edition of WFRP seems to be doing pretty much what many of the other companies have been trying to do or get in on.  Now I'm not specifically talking about the exact details which some people find hit or miss, but lets review.

1) Box set
2) The most important character rules are easily accessible through cards to the players
3) Abstract, none grid based movement
4) Interesting dice mechanic that does more then justify pass/fail
5) Potential for a minor collectable element should they pursue it
6) Very high quality production values
7) Mid level in the light/medium/high rules intensity.
8) The intention is for a more seamless blend between story and mechanics

Probably some other elements but I think those seem to capture the core lately.  Now I'm not 100% suggesting that the game hits each of those perfectly, that's as debatable as arguing what your favorite colour is.  But it certainly attempts to hit all those points.

8
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / New WFRP news
« on: August 04, 2010, 10:50:24 am »
Fantasy Flight games put out their upcoming list for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for the rest of 2010 and into 2011.

There are some interesting things coming out.

While half of it is expansion material and adventure stuff that I'm looking forward to.  There is a more interesting development.

They are putting out hardcover rule books to cover the current game that contain everything you need to play (except the dice) without using cards, trackers etc....  It sounds like that means they'll just have all the card information printed out in the books in what likely will be a more traditional way, like feats/special powers/spells like in D&D.   I don't know how they'll be handling the trackers currently, if it's just numbers on a character sheet or some new way of dealing with things.

On one hand this could make many people that have been reluctant to latch onto the current system very happy.  It makes the buy in a little easier and centralizes the mechanics which could make certain things easier.  

Based on the current release schedule the bits format isn't being dropped in the immediate future.  We've got several new boxes coming out for it that continue support for this version of the game.  Also the Hard Cover books still use the same core rules but will have some supplemental rules that are needed to play the game without using all the bits.  This may be something as simple as a bigger character sheet with areas on it that you just drop counters onto.

Realistically the bits method of expansion will eventually come to a point where very few new bits are needed.  We don't need a never ending supply of new careers, that's just silly.  Perhaps 10-20 more careers (few basic with the bulk of advanced) would basically round out the set. New action cards are welcome but not really needed unless they were planning on making this game an LCG where new action cards trump old action cards. That I think is something most would agree is a bad idea. We don't really need more location cards as there are already plenty and a few here and there in some adventure box sets rounds it out.   We don't really need more status, wound or other misc. cards for the most part.  So other then the priest box set and maybe one more box set to finish off advanced careers (both normal and magic using) the card based line is largely complete when it comes to the mechanics of the game.

That means all that's left is supplemental rules, settings and adventures. Supplemental rules don't need to be on cards, they never had.  Setting books wouldn't need cards beyond maybe some setting or item cards and adventures don't really need new cards either. Gathering Storm has a few unique cards but really they aren't needed.  They could have just put out the scenario in pure book format and nothing much would have been lost. This will become even more true after the next few card releases come out.

The important part is that FFG is supporting WFRP they are rounding out the bits game very well with a few critical boxes that fully flush this version of the game. The HC books will be easier/cheaper to produce and easier to stock for retail, which is important to some stores.  Some gamers will definitely prefer the book version of the game.  We bits lovers, who would never consider playing that way now, can't ignore the fact that they probably have a player or two in their group that wouldn't spend money on their own box set but likely would pick up the Hard Cover rules. Personally while I have no intention of buying the HC version of the book I'm hoping that it does come out in PDF format because that would actually make a PDF version of the rules usable on their own.

In the end the Bits and HC versions based on the information on hand create two versions of the same game and should get all the rules to the same spot. Then they can concentrate on putting out setting/scenario material in one format that works well with whatever medium of the game you prefer.

Lastly for people wanting to do convention style gaming the HC version will make that a lot more palatable.  Speaking personally the thought of random strangers touching my bits gives me the cold sweats.

9
Someone posted this up over at the rpg geek and it left an impression.
Quote from: Nathan R

Your examples of the possibilities of the narrative potential of the dice results revolve around combat. Not to dishearten anyone from a good dustup, but to incapsulate other aspects of a character's interaction with the world, described with immersive, exciting narrative.

What really matters is what’s worth 'fighting' for. A conflict emerges when a character needs or wants something that requires overcoming opposition. Opposition can be anything from convincing someone to your point of view, to an actual fight. A conflict represents a break in the normal flow of narrative. The dice should come out only when a conflict arises. There has to be some consequence to failure that someone cares about.

Once you have crystallized your intent, the players and the Games Master will set the stakes. This is built on risk vs. reward; the more you’re willing to risk, the more reward you can earn. The Games Master explains what happens if the roll succeeds or fails before the dice are rolled. Success always means that the intent you declared succeeds exactly as you described, narrated via the results in your dice pool. Failure is defined by the Games Master. Failing does not always just mean you do not succeed.

The whole conflict is a collaborative effort. Both parties have to put their Intent first. That's what drives play, and that's how players determine what they get out of winning a test. But it's equally important for the Games Master to communicate what their stakes are, so the players know what they’re risking. This has to be negotiated too. Whenever you pick up the dice, there should be real reward involved. Since that's the case, there's got to be real risk too.

Its important to make the point that in traditional ‘reactive’ role playing, ‘Narration’ of the characters actions is just a less focused version of Intent. The player states his reason for doing something and then tests an appropriate ability to perform the task. If the roll is successful, the player gets his Intent.

This is a real 'hidden' potential of the system. Try it out when your players are in conflict, but aren't in combat: see what rolling the bones can come up with to guide your narration!

I agree, Warhammer RP has taken a quantum leap, and it's a little disarming to most folks until they actually play.


The conversation was base on a review of the game and in particular about the functionality of the funky new dice and it got me thinking.  What's he's describing is stock narrative game play straight from the forge.  In particular games like Dogs in the Vineyard thrive on it, but it's seen in plenty of other swine RPG's as well.

The interesting bit is that he's bang on with how you could run these types of encounters.  Now of course it's just a style and you could run any RPG like that, but I think the dice and actions in WFRP 3 do lead to this style of play perhaps a little better then a simple pass/fail mechanic.

To expand on his point a little.  Lets take the simple scenario of talking your way past a guard.

You set the intent - Talk your way past the guard.
You set the Stakes (risk/reward) - If successful you get past the guard if you fail the guard is put on alert.

Now this works fine in a traditional game with a pass fail roll.  However in WFRP 3 now with those funky dice that event can get more developed.  You could get delay results, boons, chaos or comet results as well as simple pass/fail.  Using the rules they could very easily help lead to a more interesting story event then initially brought up.  Perhaps you succeed but are delayed meaning that some opening got missed.  Perhaps the guard lets you through only to call in aid and set a trap on your return.  There are lots of ways you could interpret the dice results beyond.   That's before you even factor in any action cards some people may have.

Yes, I know any GM can create that narration but, and maybe it's just me, but I've always prefer it when the system supports it mechanically.  What's interesting is that here we have a mainstream commercial product that has a rather narrative game mechanic built in.

You can easily play the game in a traditional action/reaction style of play but I think this potential narrative approach could really be interesting.  It's something I'm certainly going to try from now on and see how it goes.

So I can't help but wonder, what the forgies are thinking.  Here we have a high production value game game that's being put out by a huge publisher and not only does it, in many ways go against swine principles but at the same time it plays within them.

10
We had a chance to interview Jay Little about WFRP 3So we took it.

We didn't really get into any nitty gritty stuff at this point, because we collectively hadn't had any play time with the game when we did this interview.  Mostly it's just about how he got involved, his background what he sees as the strengths of WFRP 3 etc...

About half way into it there's an interesting discussion on the general gamer society and their sense of entitlement and the some how false sense that you and your friends have to stop playing the current version and play the new one.

We also tried to get an answer on why they chose to give this new game treatment to WFRP and not their own IP world that Descent, Runewars and Runebound are based on.

Overall he seemed to be a geek at heart and generally enthusiastic about WFRP 3.

11
I've been thinking of getting an Ebook reader for my PDF RPG's.  Just wondering if anyone has experience with them and if they work.   I've only ever been able to test e-readers before with regular print books so no fancy graphics just plane text.   I have no idea how well they'll hold up to say a pdf version of a multi-layered full color version of a PDF'd RPG.

12
As the title suggests you can buy PDF's of the core books for WFRP 3.0 individually or as a bundle.  The books alone won't do you much good if you don't have the rest of the cards and dice.  But as supplements for players it's handy.

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=68990

$8 just for the core book, that may be enough info for someone who's still really on the fence to help make a more informed opinion.

13
Fuck me I'm a convert

Finally had a chance to play this new version.  It's quite a change from, well any other RPG I've ever played.  It's still definitely an RPG even with all the boardgame like components.  But the mechanics play out in a boardgame like fashion.  I mean you still are absolutely free to dictate your actions and generally react and behave as you would in a traditional RPG.  However you can also use action cards to augment what your doing.  So instead of just attacking you may have an action card that can be played to perform a special attack or you may not even attack at all you could bolster your allies look for weakness etc... Lots of options on these action cards and they really fit the setting of Warhammer and worked well with the whole story telling experience.

The dice pool mechanics took about 30 mins or so to get use to but then it was very quick to work out and make your pool up.  The pool mechanics are very freeing for a GM because positive and negative modifiers are not absolute which means you are more free to use them.  For example in past versions of WFRP if you handed out a -10% penalty that was pretty significant to new players often lowering their already low 35%(on average) chance to 25%.  However now adding a penalty dice only potentially increases the difficult there's only a chance it'll cancel out an effect.  It's really very useful in making the narrative more impactful without really hindering players.

Other nice changes the initiative system is fantastic.  Unlike most other RPG's where everyone rolls init then takes actions in turn.  You still roll init but it's a group initiative.  Which means that the group gets to decide who acts when.  So even if you rolled the lowest initiative you may go first because it's more beneficial tactically for the group.  It's really cool and it's benefits were immediately apparent on the first round of combat.  It allowed a couple archers that rolled lower in init to get off some arrows and pepper the enemies before the melee fighters moved into range.   Now other rpg's often have mechanics for holding actions and the like to still allow for this but it adds extra book keeping to the whole thing.  This way you roll init once and everyone just acts to their advantage.

There is a thing now called the stance meter.  It's a mechanic to show how cautious or reckless your acting.  It's a nice little tool which alters types of dice your rolling typically increasing your chance for success but potentially making you succeed but act slower, or succeed but take fatigue/stress.  It's a nice little tool that adds flavor but personally I could take it or leave it.

The rest of the board game like mechanics basically just are a set of various types of counters and tokens so that you can visually track things on your character sheet instead of using paper and pencil.  You can use them as much or little as you like.

Now as for actual flow of play.  I would say that in terms of speed this game isn't any faster or slower then previous versions of Warhammer.  In the 4 hrs we played we had some story based situations and a couple combats.  That's pretty normal for a night.  Combats themselves take about the same time to play out.  However the actual events of combats change.  So instead of having two opponents trade blows back and forth whack-a-mole style.  Instead each phase of combat took a little longer but felt like more was happening.  I have to say that I prefer this style of play.  The whack-a-mole feel of combat feels very dated and something most RPG's have just been held over from legacy rules.  Combat in RPG's has never really been a simulation it's always been abstract and WFRP 3.0 is just one more step in abstracting combat into a story and with the dice and action cards I think it does it rather well.

Overall I'm not going to say that WFRP 3.0 is better then past editions, it's just different.  There are some things it definitely does better and others that are a wash.  I did enjoy it and am looking forward to playing it again and can see playing it in a long term kind of way.  I can see the potential in WFRP 3.0 and despite all previous hesitations I had those have been calmed.

Now as for a critique of the actual context.  For $100 you are getting less overall world content then you did in previous games, less careers, less world options etc... However you get more content for those that are included.  Each career feels more full, the existing magic sections are more interesting, the actual core mechanics provide for more options.  The components themselves look great and work well together.  So $100 doesn't seem like to much for what you get.  It's less of A but more of B.  Also as the product line continues and it looks like there is no chance of that not happening the missing parts will get flushed out.

14
Other Games / Dragon Age: Origins
« on: November 05, 2009, 11:23:34 am »
Ok Lets go.

I've got it for the 360.

Graphics are a little lack luster.  I like the size of the characters on the screen and the environments are cool.  But everything looks a little chunky and the colours/lighting don't pop out.  I have to say, it's dated looking.  The animations though are fairly decent and the sound effects are good and there are lots of voice dialogue.  Apparently the PS3 version has better visuals but choppier frame rate.  The PC version is best of all if you've got a good pc that can support it.

Gameplay the 360 version controls well.  If you've played KoTOR or Mass Effect on 360 then you'll feel at home.  I much prefer this then point and click as it makes the game feel more action based and I've grown to prefer that to point&click play.

Combat is more action based then previous games.  You have more freedom to run about.  You press the button to swing and the animation of the swing lets you know when you can swing again.  Alternatively you can just hold the button down with a target selected and go at it.  You have special attacks that you can attach to other buttons and trigger them as well.  You can have two weapon sets to flip between and if that's not enough you can pause combat to issue orders to your party or let the AI control them.  So far I've been letting the AI do it's thing (as I'm not particularly attached to any of them) and it's been working well enough.

Inventory management isn't bad.  It works well for handling equipment between the party but it's a little clunky looking compared to say Fallout 3, which provides more information on the screen at once.  The ability to flag items as junk though and then auto sell all your junk at once though is awesome.

The story.  Haven't played enough to really get a grip on it.  However so far it feels pretty organic.  Let me explain that.  In past Bioware games you generally knew exactly where you had to go.  Hell you practically only had one place to go.  You'd go there, they'd give you a quest, you'd go to the next pointer etc... There were very little other things to do that cropped up along the way and the whole time it felt like you were a dog on a leash.

This would be the opposite to games like Oblivion and Fallout 3 where you are basically unleashed into the world with little direction of where to go.  You stumble into quests, people proposition you for help, you are free to choose what you want to tackle and often how you want to tackle things.  The game flows very organically around you.

I'm happy to say that Dragon Age has much more of this organic feel to it.  It feels much more like a breathing world and less like a game on constant pause waiting for you to do something (that is still often the case mind you, but it doesn't feel like that).

Overall I'm very happy with Dragon Age thus far.  It's not the best looking game, not in a long shot and it's got a few rough edges.  But if things continue to progress I can easily see myself putting the 50+ hrs into this game that they say are typical for an average play.

Of the 3 (360, PS3, PC) the PC is the best version feature for feature.  It's got the best graphics, different modes of play (top down and over the shoulder) and also supports player mods.  The 360 and PS3 play the same but make trades offs between graphics and frame rate.  They also won't support player mods, but do have the official mods.  Personally I went with the 360 version because I just seem to do most of my gaming on the couch.  My computer could handle it but I find I just don't play on my computer that often.  So if I'm dropping $70 for a game I want to get it for the format I use the most.

I'm also seeing myself already playing through it again with a different character or even as the same type just to see how different choices play out.  They dialogue choices are probably some of the best I've seen in a CRPG yet.  There are some obvious good/evil responses.  But most of them are gray.  There are plenty of choices you make early on that have longer reaching results and it's awesome to see a game play out that way.

I'm playing a Dwarf Noble Warrior.  The Dwarf Nobles are a nasty group.  No wonder the Dwarfs are placed on hard times.  They are all a bunch of back stabbing bastards.  Not really any different from human nobles of the time I guess.  Only the Dwarfs have much smaller numbers and should be uniting not cutting thin.

15
Design, Development, and Gameplay / Wfrp 2.5
« on: October 23, 2009, 05:23:33 pm »
I've been spending a lot of time on reading through the WFRP 3.0 pre-release materials and (though I'm still cursing myself) even started into the official FFG forum.  While I've currently decided that WFRP 3.0 isn't something I'm jumping on.  Some of the ideas it's brought up are sinking in and I've started to see some subtle ways that WFRP 2nd ed could perhaps be improved upon.

I haven't committed much of anything to paper yet but there's been these dark thoughts bouncing around in my head and they aren't going away.  Which is more then I can say for any other RPG mechanics I've come up with in the past.

My goal (a lofty one) is to make a system that is easily meshed on top of WFRP 2nd ed as well as Dark Heresy (also for use with my own Hammer of Justice conversion).

Things staying the same


    * Use a mesh of WFRP and DH stat block.
    * Use the same general skills/talents though making some substitutions between WFRP and Dark Heresy.  This includes DH's rules for perception
    * General overall game - notice this is a big blanket statement.


Things changing

    * Adding in the group concept from WFRP 3.0.  Basically a character sheet for the group.  Players can add fortune points to the group template that other characters can draw on.  The group character also tracks fame/infamy and perhaps some other qualities.
    * Scrapping the percentile system (bear with me this isn't a decision I made lightly).  Instead, I'd change it to a Dice Pool Mechanic.  One reason for scrapping the percentile system is that the major complaint, and we've all seen it, is that starting characters fail at to many general tasks far to often.  Some of it is because common things like perception tests require a skill (which will be fixed ala DH rules). However generally it's because most starting characters have on average a 65% failure rate at most tasks.  While that assumes the default (0% modifier for the task being challenging) if you are always have to give +20 mods to help players along that in some ways does cheapen the purpose.  Also since it's percentile based the whoosh factor can be high.  So for all those reasons and because of other tricks you can do with dice pools I've decided to move to a dice pool system.  Stat blocks (for simplicity) would be made the same but your dice pool would be based on the 10's digit.  So a 35 strength gives you a 3 for your dice pool.  You then roll a number of D10's equal to your Dice pool.  Look for the highest value any additional 10's rolled add 2 to the value (so a 1, 10, 10 would equal a result of 12).  The base target number for a challenging (+0 test) is 7.  The difficulty could still be modified +/-3
    * Skills taken more then once give you +1 to the corresponding roll.
    * Degree of success failure is +/-1 for every point you beat the target number by for times when DoS matter
    * Fortune points.  You can give a fortune point to the party character which becomes a pool that anyone can tap into.
    * Group Initiative.  Each person rolls initiative but then as a group you can decide who goes first.  So if Bob the archer was the fastest Hugo the fighter could go first.  This is a simple strategy to help represent group tactics and reflect strategy.  It also helps to alleviate confusion that can come up from delaying actions.  However each character can still only act once in the round.
    * Ulric's fury wouldn't do additional damage but instead trigger a roll on the crit table.  By that I mean that if you roll a 10 and trip Ulric's fury.  Instead of doing 10+ damage your second roll would be a straight crit.  So you ignore the first 10 rolled.  Take the second dice roll add/subtract strength/toughness/armour as per normal and that the critical threat you cause.  This will make combat potentially more deadly then ever now, but also mean you can crit someone without nearly killing them first.
    * You can spend a fortune point to remove a critical effect.

That's all I've thought of right now.

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