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Messages - nDervish

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Quote from: VisionStorm;1129367

Yeah, I wouldn't even bother naming every god in the world, cuz like I mentioned in my last post the specific gods people worshiped in real life religions could sometimes vary from land to land, giving way to too much variability. Sometimes these were essentially variations of the same gods, other times they might be unique to certain places--perhaps carryovers from older cultures that settled those lands but were conquered by migrating warrior cultures that became more dominant.

Of course, that's based on the presumption of a real-world-like arrangement where every culture has its own gods, which may or may not actually exist.  But there's also the option of a setting where the gods are real and have at least some minimal level of communication with humanity, such that every culture knows of the same gods.  Different cultures may call them by different names or emphasize the worship of one god (who is more in line with their cultural values) over another (who isn't a good fit).

The Elder Scrolls computer games are a good example of this kind of arrangement - for the most part, everyone worships the same Nine gods, although there are some deviations - the Dunmer of Morrowind have their own separate Tribunal of three ascended gods, the Thalmor insist that Talos/Tiber Septim is not a god at all, and so on.  And then there are the daedra princes who, again, are recognized by pretty much everyone and have their own daedra cults separate from the worship of the Nine.  But, if you add up all the gods and daedra princes, you end up with about two dozen specific deities, which is not an unreasonable number of names to come up with, even if the god mainly known as "Akatosh" is called "Auri-El" in ancient elvish texts, and "Alkosh" by the Khajiit.

Quote from: GeekyBugle;1129077
You all miss the point, atheism is the lack of belief, of faith, no faith needed when you KNOW they exist. What difference does it make calling them aliens from mork?

And you're missing the other side's point.  Yes, the character KNOWS they exist - but the character does not believe that they are gods.  Sure, Thor is sitting over there and he's insanely strong and can call down thunderbolts, but I know a 20th level barbarian who's insanely strong, too, and a 12th level wizard who can call down thunderbolts, and they're not gods, so why should I consider Thor to be a god?  Is it just because he can both be strong and call lightning?  (Nah, I also have multi-classed friends who can do both kinds of things, too.)

Quote from: Chris24601;1128496
Technically they did NOT have or deal Mega-damage... they just had so much normal damage and damage capacity they were effectively MDC critters.

1 MDC = 100 hp/SDC (structural damage capacity). SDC attacks on MDC structures though always round down, so if you hit an MDC structure with 99 points of SDC, the MDC structure takes no damage.

...and this is where I think Savage Rifts really screwed the pooch by translating MDC to "Heavy Armor" and MDC damage to "Heavy Weapons", then using the standard Savage Worlds HA/HW rules for it.

What that does more-or-less right, and I assume is what gave them the idea to do it that way, is that Heavy Armor can only be damaged by a Heavy Weapon.  Any attack without the HW tag just pings off, even if you're hitting 1 point of HA with a million points of non-HW damage.

What it does completely wrong is that HA/HW doesn't change the damage scale.  Against someone without HA, there's no difference between a 2d6 HW attack and a 2d6 non-HW attack.  So, if you don't have MDC armor, getting punched by a glitterboy (Str+d6 Mega Damage) is no worse than getting stabbed with a shortword (Str+d6).

Quote from: Theory of Games;1128737
Serious harm and TPKs need to be cleared prior to execution.

Quote from: Itachi;1128822
What game does this?

Tenra Bansho Zero, for one.  Despite its heavy use of metapoints (the aiki/kiai/karma cycle), it actually still manages to play pretty trad in practice... except that PCs (and major NPCs) can't die without agreeing to it.

The way it works is that you have a certain amount of Stamina points, and you're KO'ed if they run out, but you can reduce Stamina damage received by checking off wound boxes.  You have a few Light Wounds (reduce a little damage and you get +1 on all rolls while you have a Light Wound), a couple Serious Wounds (reduce more damage and give +2), and The Dead Box (completely negates all Stamina damage from one hit and gives +3 to all rolls).  You actually die if you run out of Stamina and your Dead Box is checked.  If you don't check the Dead Box, you can't be killed in combat, period, no matter what.  The idea is that, by using it, the player is saying "this fight is over something important enough to my character that he's willing to die for it", which both allows them to die and gives them the best power-up because they care that much about it.  (TBZ is designed to emulate high-action anime, which is why they have the reverse death spiral.)

Quote from: Itachi;1128822
Metacurrency used for rerolls exist since ever. Shadowrun is here since 1989 and it already had karma pool.

Ah, yes.  Another classic metapoint blunder:  Using the same pool of points both as XP and as a means to buy rerolls.

(In 1st edition Shadowrun, at least.  2nd edition split it up so that 90% of your karma went in the "this is XP" pool and 10% went into the "metapoints for dice manipulation" pool.)

Quote from: Theory of Games;1128737
Also, the appearance of "Meta-Currency" allowing, chiefly, bad rolls a reroll.

I don't mind the "free reroll" metapoints.  They let you play a little harder without having to worry about accidentally killing off a PC and, really, they're not really anything more than a formalized, regulated system for fudging rolls.  Fudging has been with us forever, and there are plenty today who argue in favor of unrestricted fudging whenever the GM feels it's "appropriate", so I have a hard time arguing against reroll metapoints while the unlimited fudgers are still around.

What I object to are the more extreme variations, in which the metapoints rise to a full-on currency (e.g., Fate, an entire system which revolves around its "Fate Point economy") which is bought or sold in every game-mechanical interaction, or those where, instead of simply affecting a die roll, they're used as narrative control tokens, allowing the player to declare "It's no big deal that we're out of lockpicks *pays a Fate Point* my uncle's brother's niece's thrice-removed cousin lives a block away, and his cat brings lockpicks home all the time.  I'm sure he'll give us some!" and *poof!* it becomes true.

Quote from: Simlasa;1128541
Yeah, I agree with all that. Most of the TPKs I've seen were a domino of one guy or two PCs dying, and the others fighting on rather than running away. Sometimes (the giant rabbit!) seemed heroic... other times it was just down to some dumb assumption that they were 'supposed' to win.

What I find the most fascinating to watch are the times when the players are actively aware of this, but fight on to their doom regardless.  "These orcs are kicking our asses, we need to fall back and escape!"  A combat round later: "Bob's down!  We didn't think we could win this with him, but now we have to stay and fight to the end without him, or else he'll be captured!"

Quote from: Cave Bear;1128486
As DM's do you guys track initiative yourselves? Or do you delegate the task to a caller?

I'm a programmer by trade, so I tend to build basic database apps for whatever game I'm running at the time which keep track of character details, produce character sheets, and so on.  And one of the features I usually include is a screen that rolls initiative for everyone (PCs and foes alike), then lists them on the screen in order.  So I guess that counts as tracking it myself.

When I haven't had software support to deal with it, my usual tendency is to have everyone roll for themselves and then count down (or up, depending on system), relying on each player to announce when their initiative count is reached instead of collecting all the rolls into a centralized list.  This has some issues with players not paying attention ("Wait - we're on 7?  My initiative was on 11!  Can we go back?"), which I generally deal with on a "you snooze, you lose" basis.  (I don't actually make them miss their turns unless it gets to the end of the round and they haven't woken up yet, but I don't go back to previous counts, they go when they notice that it's past their count.)

Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1128335
I'm getting that by how I handle the flow of combat within the "group" actions.

Thanks for the expanded description!  Next time I'm running something where that type of initiative handling fits, I'll have to try to adapt some of what you've described.

Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1128335
It's a little chaotic, but I rather like the chaos

Managing the chaos is the #1 reason I prefer to GM, and the lack of chaos to manage is why I get bored after a session or two on the other side of the screen.

Quote from: Spinachcat;1128439
Please start a thread about IronSworn RPG!

Ironsworn is a PBTA derivative (albeit with the dice mechanic changed from a simple "2d6 + modifiers" to "1d6 + modifiers vs. two separate 1d10 rolls") with a focus on solo play, including some bits added on for tracking progress on an extended task and then rolling vs. that progress to determine whether the task is complete or not.  I don't know that there's really that much more to say about it, but I may have missed some subtler points because I haven't played it to any great extent.  (I'm not a PBTA fan and couldn't get over that aspect of the game.)

I can pretty confidently say that its impact hasn't been nearly as great as TimothyWestwind claims, though. It definitely seems to have some very enthusiastic fans, but it still remains a niche within a niche.

Quote from: Steven Mitchell;1128258
When the declaration is something like, "I'll hang back and start a spell," or "I'll charge the group of orcs by the doorway," people seem to avoid all of the negative stuff.  Since all I wanted out of a declaration was the general idea, that works for me.

If I'm going to do a declaration phase (I don't currently, but I have in the past), I want declarations which are more specific than that, because the main thing I want out of a declaration is to get rid of the "optimal play" pattern of everyone focus-firing one enemy into oblivion and then instantaneously changing to the next target as soon as the previous one drops.  I want declarations so that players will spread out their attacks to avoid the risk that the first hit drops the enemy, and then everyone else's attacks are wasted on beating the corpse to a bloody pulp.

I guess I'm also a fan of re-reolling initiative each round, and making declarations - especially for spells or withdrawal from melee - before initiative is rolled.  So it seems the main thing I want from declarations is that they be specific enough to have a risk that, by the time you actually get to act, your declared action may no longer be relevant, or no longer possible (e.g., you declared to cast a spell, but got thumped in the noggin before getting it off, so it fizzles).  In theory, at least, that encourages actual planning and strategy around the declarations, rather than every turn's action being "what is the optimal way to react to the exact situation at this instant?"

Quote from: Franko77;1128152
I'm really curious about this SJW thing as it relates to gaming. While I'm fully aware of the connotations outside of games, what with being out of the 'scene' for a while means that I'm not sure I get how it relates to games and gaming, what effects it has had on games in general.

Right now, on this very forum, we've got a couple active threads dancing around various aspects of the assertion that "(inherently evil) fantasy orcs are a racist stand-in for black people", which is a long-time favorite of the SJW wing of RPGing.

Their other main darling at the moment is the "X-card" - basically, you put a card with a big "X" on it in the middle of the table and, if anyone starts to feel uncomfortable about the direction the game is going, they touch the card and, in theory, the game changes course away from whatever it was that made the person uncomfortable.  However, the rules of the X-card state that it is absolutely forbidden to ask the person what made them uncomfortable, so everyone else has to guess what topic to avoid and may guess incorrectly.

I also see occasional complaints about various companies/products going out of their way to draw attention to a particular NPC's (non-straight, white, and/or cis) sexuality, race, or gender, but I don't buy enough products to have personally encountered that, so I can't say how widespread it actually is.

Quote from: arcanuum;1127831
I really hope that it works with the Black Streams Solo Heroes rules. Do any of you think it does?

Quote from: Brand55;1127872
I haven't fully read the game, but it should still work with little if any adjustments. I'm more familiar with Scarlet Heroes, but I know that game was based on Black Streams. Importing stuff like the Fray Die should be no problem.

Also, the Drivethru page for Wolves lists among its features, "Full compatiblity with Stars Without Number: Revised edition, with guides for mixing content between the games."  SWNR (at least the full/paid version, not sure about the free version) includes a "Heroic Characters" chapter, which in turn has a "Heroic Combat" section, which is basically a compact re-statement of Black Streams: Solo Heroes.  So you should be fine.

Quote from: Marchand;1127773
I haven't come across a system I'm particularly happy with. I'd like to see a system that captures the ebb and flow feel you get from fights in cinema or from what little boxing I've seen. One side has the advantage and presses it until they try to land a telling blow, and either make it or fluff it and let the other guy come back. There's tension in the choice between playing it safe and gradually wearing the other guy down, or taking a gamble to put him down quickly.

Ars Magica 4th edition does something like that.  It still uses conventional initiative (d10 + modifiers, but modifiers are large enough that the d10 can become little more than a formality), but both to-hit and damage are opposed rolls (Attack vs. Defense and Damage vs. Soak, respectively), with the margin of success on the to-hit roll being applied as a bonus on the damage roll - if you choose to do damage.  Instead of doing damage, you also have the option of carrying that margin over to the next round and using it as a bonus on either your Attack roll or your Defense roll, thus allowing you to build up an arbitrarily large carryover bonus over the course of multiple turns until you finally blow it all to land a solid blow.

I've also read (but not played) another system which does what you describe - unfortunately, I can't seem to recall what system it was - by implementing a split similar to the split between "luck HP" and "meat HP" that some have implemented as house rules in D&D.  The "meat HP" are a static quantity for each character, but the "luck HP" are rolled anew at the beginning of each fight.  In order to inflict meaningful damage, your damage roll has to exceed your opponent's remaining "luck HP", but attacking "luck HP" is a different action than attacking "meat HP" and, when after you attempt to damage the "meat HP", they reroll their "luck HP", regardless of whether you do actual damage or not.  So the flow of combat would be that you repeatedly attack their "luck HP" to wear it down until you think you can successfully get through to inflict actual damage on their "meat HP", then the "luck HP" resets and you fence for position (wearing down the "luck HP") again.  The "luck HP" in this system is called Stance, or Poise, or something like that, making it clear that the process this is intended to model is that you're working to create an opening in their defense and then, when you attempt to exploit that opening, they reposition themselves, and cover the weakness you targeted.

But, then, neither of those subsystems are based on initiative, and neither game is OSR (in the "emulating early-era D&D" sense)...

Last D&D-ish game I ran was ACKS a few years ago.  We experimented with several different variations on initiative over the course of the campaign.  We started with straight "individually-rolled initiative and do what you want when your turn comes up", then tried "declare all actions before rolling initiative, roll individual initiative, and resolve the declared actions in initiative order", and maybe went through a couple other things that aren't coming to mind at the moment before finally settling on "declare spellcasting or other extended actions, roll side-based initiative with individual modifiers, act in initiative order".

The two things which were constant through all the variations were:

1) Initiative re-rolled each round, because combat is chaotic, not an orderly round-robin where you know that, after you act, each other combatant will always take exactly one action (and always in the same order) before you act again.

2) Individual initiative modifiers were always applied, even when using group initiative, because many classes have initiative bonuses as class abilities, and characters can also get bonuses from proficiency picks, and I didn't want to say that something which a character had invested scarce resources in (class ability or proficiency picks) would simply be disregarded.

Personally, I'm not a fan of D&D-style alignment, regardless of genre, but I do try to get PCs tied in to factions, religions, national loyalties, etc., which is also an effective way to generate interesting conflict and translates well into SF or other genres where absolute morality or clashes of cosmic powers aren't necessarily a thing.

Of course, the downside of this is that it's very campaign/setting-specific.  If you don't know what the Cult of Gajo-Eyia teaches, or the Denkhra people's relations with their neighbors, then "this character is a Denhkar acolyte of Gajo-Eyia" means next-to-nothing to you, while "this character is Chaotic Good" is understood clearly, at least in a broad sense, even to someone unfamiliar with the setting.

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