View Profile: Steven Barker - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th December, 2018, 10:10 AM
    I'm pretty sure you still can have leadership as a skill. Skills are a keyword system, so you can have anything as a skill, subject to GM approval (both for picking the skill, and for applying it on any given roll). In addition to mental defense, you are likely to be able to add it to CHA tests when doing things like making speeches, and maybe some tests when you're bossing people around.
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Thursday, 29th November, 2018, 12:12 AM
    Hmm, I'm not sure I'd like giving Stoic that much power. If a stiff upper lip can undermine instant death effects, it risks breaking suspension of disbelief. I'd hope for a GM to say "No your stoicism can't help you survive being vaporized by that battleship's lasers. Make a new character." Of course, they might handwave it a bit. "Sure, you survived falling from that airliner 30000 ft with no...
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Saturday, 24th November, 2018, 06:25 AM
    In N.E.W. a bunch of the standard ranged weapons have both the Heavy and Auto traits. However, the Heavy trait says that means you can only fire it once per turn. Is that really intended? A limited rate of fire makes sense for a few of the exotic heavy weapons that are more like cannons or rocket launchers, but not at all for the futuristic versions of machine guns. A high volume of fire is the...
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Friday, 23rd November, 2018, 02:51 AM
    Ah, OK. It should probably have the word "natural" taken out of its text then, since that word is otherwise used to mean "doesn't stack with real armor". If it just said "you gain +2 SOAK" (like the N.O.W. version of Alcoholic does), it would be a lot clearer.
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Thursday, 22nd November, 2018, 10:25 PM
    Hmm, I just bought N.O.W. yesterday (Black Friday sales started early!) and I see that the Alcoholic trait has changed slightly from how it was in N.E.W. v1.2. It now gives you +2 SOAK all the time, and just vaguely asserts that you do a lot of drinking. You don't need to be specifically drunk to get the bonus, so it's now pretty much what Tough-as-Nails wishes it could be, with only negative...
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Wednesday, 21st November, 2018, 06:37 PM
    One of the reasons I enjoyed making this list is that traits are a great way to come up with character concepts. Especially the ones that are not too good, and don't have much synergy with themselves. To make those traits work, you really need to make a very specific character build, which can have interesting thematic consequences. Want to use Flamboyant? You need loads of REP, but you also need...
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 10:34 PM
    While I certainly agree that it should be possible to intimidate with your strength, the way tests are written in the rules are for the GM to ask for a specific attribute to be tested, and then the player can suggest an applicable skill to combine with it. It's not really clear that a player can suggest testing a different attribute (though of course the GM can allow anything they want).
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Tuesday, 20th November, 2018, 09:11 AM
    Hey everybody, I was chatting with some of my fellow WOIN players about Traits recently, and it inspired me to do something I'd been thinking about for a while. I have rated all of the traits against each other. Since a lot of traits have situational bonuses or tradeoffs, this isn't a strict ranking. Instead, I've got several broad categories to put the traits into. I'll say a few words about...
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  • Steven Barker's Avatar
    Monday, 19th November, 2018, 06:52 AM
    The "Assisting another character" box on page 143 of N.E.W. gives two options for players collaborating on a task. For very simple tasks where their contributions simply add together (such as combining their strength to lift something), you'd add their base attribute scores together and form a new pool based on the total (adding a skill/equipment dice from only one player). For more complicated...
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Friday, 23rd November, 2018

  • 12:02 AM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post WOIN Trait Tier List
    (Alas, Tough-as-Nails is not clarified, and I'm still not really sure what "a +2 natural Soak bonus which stacks with any other Soak scores you may have" means.) Basically a blanket +2 stackable SOAK.

Monday, 8th October, 2018

  • 10:40 AM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post Some comments and questions about O.L.D.'s Magic system
    I've just come up with a new question, and while it is not strictly magic related, that's the context it came up in, so I'll stick it in here. Can you use the free universal exploit you get during character creation as a prerequisite for one of your starting careers? The specific example I was considering is taking the Arcane Secret exploit to get the Secret of Undead so I can be a Necromancer. While I know that I could take the exploit in place of some other career exploit (e.g. as part of my origin), it would be nice for my character concept if I could use the free one instead. Technically no, as you don't get it until later, but if the GM were to allow it I don't think it would break anything.

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2018

  • 04:36 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post Some comments and questions about O.L.D.'s Magic system
    Thanks for your answers so far! Yeah, that's the section were I saw it before. It's listed there, but not in Fantasy Careers anywhere. It's not in any of the skill categories, nor listed by any career as a career skill. So how do you learn spellcraft? Itís a [magical] skill. Or you spend 3 XP.

Monday, 1st October, 2018

  • 11:00 AM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post Some comments and questions about O.L.D.'s Magic system
    Wowzers. That will take a lot of unpacking! That's a LOT of questions! :) OK, here goes. I doubt I'll get to the end today, but I'll try to make a start. I'll skip the general comments and try to focus on the questions. The "spellcraft" skill is mentioned early in the section, but it's not on the main skill list, nor is it a career skill for any career. Is that an error, or is it referring to [magical] skills by that term? The spellcraft skill has a section on page 156. It is knowledge about magic, as opposed to magical skill. Spell durations are all specified in minutes (if the effect is not instant). But the combat rules explicitly leave unspecified how long a round is, and thus how many rounds there are in a minute. That seems like it will make it hard to distinguish the value of a 5 minute duration versus the 1 minute duration you get for free. If I summon a creature for a minute, will the fight be over by then or not? How can either the GM or I tell when the creature should go poof? A ...

Monday, 27th August, 2018

  • 06:32 AM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post A few more miscelaneous WOIN questions
    Hmm, I guess sonic weapons are exclusively anti-crystal then. One other question I realize I forgot about: There's a mention on page 97 of NEW that psionic damage can do stun damage. Is that a general thing (all psionic damage is stun), or is it only done some specific psionic weapons are non-lethal (i.e. the psionic chainsaw)? It says "some" psionic, electricity, and phaser modes.

Sunday, 26th August, 2018

  • 11:21 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post A few more miscelaneous WOIN questions
    A few quick questions: When a Marine Cadet (the NEW career) gets a "rifle" from their Light Sleeper career exploit, is that a ballistic rifle or can it be any kind of rifle (e.g. a disruptor or phaser rifle). How about exotic rifles? Can the rifle (or the Kevlar vest that you also receive) be higher than normal quality (e.g. to match the character's skill level either before or after their cadet assignment)? Any kind from the basic list, not the exotic list. Standard quality. Is the current omission intended? Yes.
  • 07:24 PM - Brian I quoted Steven Barker in post A West Marches NEW game
    I'm curious what your plan is for the players getting around in space. Are starships going to be available for free (or on lease, or something) to groups of starting players? That was one of the reasons I had suggested a one-system exploration area, the ships required to shuttle around are a lot cheaper, and won't require many specialized skills to use. They'd also be less capable of long-duration support for an exploration team, which leads me in to my next question. Great questions and guidance - thank you! So, to your point, shuttles will or can be available to starting PCs. Mainly Bossman, Vosh and Skylarks. I'd imagine they'd be available primarily on leases or patron-based loan/mission use, but depending on PCs, someone(s) could own one. The primary base of operations is the Kiwi-Washman system. With two habitable planets, the space station, and untapped asteroid belt and gas giants, there's lots of possibilities, as you've noted. Are there going to be civilized worlds in the area we'r...

Friday, 24th August, 2018

  • 02:01 PM - Brian I quoted Steven Barker in post A West Marches NEW game
    Here's my setting idea. I'm not really looking to GM, so this is just my offering to the GM gods, to do with as they will. The Kiwi-Washman system has turned out much more friendly to life than anyone could have expected. It has not just one or two potentially habitable worlds, but a full seven planets with breathable atmospheres distributed between the Alpha and Beta stars of the massive trinary system. Several planets have what look to be the ruins of ancient cities on their surfaces. Not only that, but planets β IV and β V both show unmistakable signs of intelligent, technological life, albeit non-spacefaring. Because first contact protocols are incredibly cautious, it's not yet clear if these are lost colonies of some known species, or one or more home-grown intelligences. But clearly the system must be thoroughly investigated. The initial Federation survey of the system was conducted by Long-Range Survey Ship Marco Polo, but when the crew reported back how much there was to see ...

Tuesday, 31st July, 2018

  • 06:28 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post Healing and refreshing luck pools
    I've got a few questions about how some of once-a-day mechanics work in WOIN. Specifically, healing for androids and the refreshing of luck pools. There's an FAQ about android healing, but other than mentioning that you'd need the Engineering skill and Engineer exploits instead of Medicine and Medic exploits, it doesn't really mention if normal healing is available. Specially, I'm asking about this healing rule from page 173 the N.E.W. v1.2 book: There's no conditions on that rule in the book (you don't need to be receiving medical treatment or anything). Does it work for Androids, or is it only for biological characters? I think it could be justified as automated maintenance nanobots fixing stuff up or some other technobabble, but I'm not sure if that rule is supposed to apply to androids at all. You've nailed it. As it says, it applies to all characters (other than some undead types which have an exploit which explicitly forbids natural healing). My other question is about luck pool...

Wednesday, 25th July, 2018

  • 08:15 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post SOAK exploits and stacking
    It's really a shame the WRRD can't be more authoritative, so it could be the go-to source when two other sources contradict each other (like NEW and OLD having different versions of tough-as-nails). Though with the amount of new content you guys put out, I understand how keeping it fully up to date could require a lot of work (and thus isn't the highest priority)! Itís just me updating the WRRD Iím afraid. If NEW and OLD contradict, look at the version number. NEW is v1.2 while OLD is v1.1.
  • 06:33 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post SOAK exploits and stacking
    OK, if tough as nails is supposed to be an exception, that's great. But it should probably not use the "natural" term at all then, since that's the contradictory part ("natural SOAK" usually means "doesn't stack with armor"). If it just said "a +2 SOAK bonus" (as it does in the RRD currently), the stacking would be expected, not an exception. Is there any clarification for Battle Scars? It is a plain SOAK bonus in the RRD, but a natural SOAK bonus in the book (with no special language about stacking). Looks like the WRRD needs updating. v1.2 of the books is current rules iteration.
  • 11:13 AM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post It's the official WOIN character builder!
    This is pretty cool. A few things that are missing that would be very useful: Homeworlds (for N.E.W. characters). They give one free skill point (as well as shifting an attribute point around), so it's not something you'd want to skip most of the time. Exploits that grant skill levels. It can important to figure out those skills when you pick the career because they usually only add level 1 of a skill, and you might want to take more levels in later career picks. If you have to sort them out manually at the end, you sort of need to figure out the skill levels retroactively. Maybe even free-form skill entries? Some bugs: A typo: The Marine exploit "Battle Scars" is written "Battle Scares". A few skills have multiple spellings in different lists. I made a character who got levels in both "intimidate" (from the skill lists for the Police Officer and Detective) and "intimidation" (from the list for the Gangster). Fixed those typos. Thanks! Unfortunately, applying exploits autom...

Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

  • 07:49 PM - Morrus quoted Steven Barker in post Skills that could be in multiple categories, and skill/exploit intereactions in character creation
    Another question that I've come across, this time regarding Android characters: Do Androids under the current rules start with 3 LUC like everyone else, or do they start at 0 (but with the potential of gaining some points from careers and advancement)? The table in the book still has a "-" character on the relevant line, just like it had in the 1.1 book when androids could never have a LUC pool. If the attribute is still intended to start at zero but possibly grow later, using -3 might be clearer. Androids start at the same as everybody else.

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