O.L.D. Playtest Document: Book I - Characters (October 2014)

O.L.D. Playtest Document: Book I - Characters (October 2014)

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O.L.D. Playtest Document: Book I - Characters (October 2014)


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This 120-page document is the latest O.L.D. playtest document. It contains the character creation section, along with an introduction to the new magic rules. There are many changes from the previous document. Also included is the latest character sheet.
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  1. Primitive Screwhead
    Huzzah!

    Excellent, I have 4 weeks before my next playtest game session... time to dig in!

    In a quick skim:
    Page 5: Singular is "Die", Plural is "Dice"

    Fire Mage, Pg 56. Bluffing is listed twice in the skills section

    Speaking of, wasn't the plan to put brackets on skills that were placeholder/sets like [Magical Skills] and [Artistic Skills].. like you have on Page 66 for Wanderer?
  2. Morrus
    Having checked it a thousand times this week, and still the first thing I hear is "I found a typo!" I'm just putting my fingers in my ears and chanting "la la la can't hear you!" whenever anybody mentions typos.

    (Thanks - I'll hopefully get those for the next document).
  3. Vlagrate
    Do repeatable traditions increase in price as if they had multiple grades? Ex: would taking Wanderer 3 times count as taking a Grade 3 Tradition (6000XP=(1+2+3)*1000) or as 3 Grade 1 Traditions (3000XP)?

    On the same topic, are the experience costs set in stone? Because currently there is a mix of quadratic (cost*new rank) and linear advancement (traditions grant +1 or +2 to multiple stats and +1 skill rank) and the job of balancing the availability of each is dumped entirely on the GM.
  4. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by Vlagrate View Post
    Do repeatable traditions increase in price as if they had multiple grades? Ex: would taking Wanderer 3 times count as taking a Grade 3 Tradition (6000XP=(1+2+3)*1000) or as 3 Grade 1 Traditions (3000XP)?
    Nope, just 1,000 XP each time.

    On the same topic, are the experience costs set in stone? Because currently there is a mix of quadratic (cost*new rank) and linear advancement (traditions grant +1 or +2 to multiple stats and +1 skill rank) and the job of balancing the availability of each is dumped entirely on the GM.
    Not a word in the playtest document is set in stone. Please do playtest it! It's changed enormously over the last few months from playtest feedback.

    Those are the same as the XP costs in N.E.W.; choosing the availability is certainly something that a GM advice section could address. Traditions can only be obtained in downtime between adventures, though.
  5. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by Primitive Screwhead View Post
    In a quick skim:
    Page 5: Singular is "Die", Plural is "Dice"
    Incidentally, as someone pointed that out on the Kickstarter update also -- that's a find/replace error I missed. It is supposed to say "d6s" not "dices". An artifact of when tiers got introduced and then removed in the last couple of playtest documents, and d6s briefly stopped being the only resolution die type.
  6. GlassEye
    The Logic (LOG) description (p. 10) references Intellect and INT.
    The Mage tradition (p. 59) has a prerequisite of INT 4+. I'm assuming this is a holdover from the May playtest when Intellect was the prerequisite and should now be Logic instead of Intuition.
  7. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by GlassEye View Post
    The Logic (LOG) description (p. 10) references Intellect and INT.
    The Mage tradition (p. 59) has a prerequisite of INT 4+. I'm assuming this is a holdover from the May playtest when Intellect was the prerequisite and should now be Logic instead of Intuition.
    Yup! Thanks for spotting it!
  8. User_Undefined
    One potential gameplay issue I noticed. The fifth level of knight-errant make you immune to ranged attacks. Sounds great! Until you're an archer character and you GM made the villain a fifth rank knight-errant. Now your character is completely useless. Maybe you get a large defense bonus against ranged attacks or reduce the damage instead.
  9. Primitive Screwhead
    @User_Undefined ..excellent nom de guerre...

    Yes, immunity can be iffy in game design. I subscribe to Sean Reynolds Fewer Absolutes thinking myself. However I don't think the 5th level immunity to physical ranged attacks is out of whack... you can't get it until you have taken Squire I, Knight III, and Knight Errant V, it a pretty high level ability.

    Then there is the small matter of the 3MP Infuse Space spell {Phasing, the attack selectively passes through certain types of matter and ignores Armor and Shield SOAK values...}, so increasing SOAK really wouldn't help.

    Sean recommends changing immunities to a +10 bonus, in the D20 system. With the OLD math, that would be roughly equivalent to full-stop immunity in most cases... imagine a DEF of 38? It would take lots of luck and skill to hit that.
    So.. {thinking while typing here, sorry} I think converting any 'immunity' to either a +10 to defense or +3d6 to opposed checks could pan out.

    This doesn't really address your concern about a PC archer finding out that the bad-guy is a Rank 5 Knight-Errant... but hopefully at that level the PC is not a one-trick pony {unlike some NPCs at that level }


    Last session my players ran into some Sword-Wraiths who have a DEF of 28 and the 5th Rank Man-At-Arms ability to shield each other. They died, despite the PC's being virtually unable to hit them physically. The Fire-Mage handled them quite easily {if you could using up all his MP in the first fight of the day 'easy'! }
  10. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by User_Undefined View Post
    One potential gameplay issue I noticed. The fifth level of knight-errant make you immune to ranged attacks. Sounds great! Until you're an archer character and you GM made the villain a fifth rank knight-errant. Now your character is completely useless. Maybe you get a large defense bonus against ranged attacks or reduce the damage instead.
    You're right - it is a powerful ability. It's a (minimum) 10th grade ability, assuming the squire/knight/knight-errant progression, so it's very high level; and I hope the system encourages a bit of diversity in builds so the archer wouldn't be completely stymied. That said, I think that a single high level archer vs. a single high level knight errant would be an unusual piece of encounter design on the part of the GM. I will consider switching that to a high DEF bonus instead, though.

    I was considering an arcane-archer-esque tradition which required Mage III and Archer III to enter. It would be able to circumvent such things.
  11. User_Undefined
    Instead of an opposed check, I was thinking maybe reduce the arrow's damage dice by X (actual number pending playtesting). In effect, it means most arrows just bounce off the shield, but even the best knight slips up sometimes. The archer might damage him, but it would probably take some luck dice and trying to stack as many exploits as possible. Another question would be would the immunity count during an ambush. Flavor-wise the ability is there because the knight knows how and where to use his shield, so I'd say that the ability only works when you are aware of the archer. RAW the knight-errant can't even be sniped by an enchanted seeking arrow fired from across the continent.

    EDIT: Slightly more positive, I'm liking the new traditions and exploits. I get they're going to be some of the last things added, but more variety is always appreciated. The idea of a warrior monk with an amped jump height, Death from on High, and Opportunist Stomp makes me giggle.
  12. Primitive Screwhead
    ? Knight Errant V: When you have a shield equiped, any physical ranged attacks suffer a penalty based on the size of the shield. 1d6 for bucklers and small shields. 2d6 for medium shields. 3d6 for large shields. 4d6 for tower shields.

    I don't like the idea of reducing damage dice simply because it is a new mechanic that is roughly equivilent to increasing SOAK.


    I would think Arcane Archer would more be Mage III and skill BOW III; Mage Blade as Mage III and LongSword III. Each rank of these advanced traditions would have a specialize Path(s) that only they could learn and an exploit that is essentially "You may make a normal attack with your weapon and deliver the spell effects as part of casting a spell. The attack deals normal weapon damage as well an any spell effects. Charm/Compel/Transform effects must beat the targets mental defense in addition to the physical defense when delivered by a weapon."


    Warrior Monk....Ha! I just watched a very silly (B- or maybe C+ level) movie that had a Demon Hunter whose name was "Astounding Foot".... His attack was to jump really high and then his 20' long invisible/force foot would smash the target into a pancake!
  13. Vlagrate
    Out of curiosity, how much playtesting has been done on the progression system itself? I remember that the original document gave you a die per 2 points in a score, but groups wanted to reduce the sheer number of dice being rolled, which resulted in the current attribute-to-dice scale.

    I'm decidedly unhappy with the progression rules thus far, because players need to go through 2 separate formulas in order to get an extra die. The thresholds at which a character gets extra dice are 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 21 & 28. Assuming cinematic advancement costs and starting attributes of 1, the XP investment thresholds are 0, 5k, 20k, 54k, 119k, 230k & 405k respectively. Skill costs follow a similar curve.

    Granted, there are derived statistics or prerequisites that involve most attributes, providing some benefit between new dice, but only a handful of skills are involved. Whether or not the investment into individual stats is worth it between dice+ thresholds, advancing skills or attributes directly quickly becomes cost prohibitive, especially when advancing traditions is an option.

    Granted, traditions can only be advanced during downtime (which precludes their purchase during single-adventure campaigns), but given how much XP is required to acquire meaningful advancement in either attributes or skills, how many parties will have such an amount to spend in the middle of an adventure? For that matter, how much time is required to learn a new skill or advance an attribute?
  14. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by Vlagrate View Post
    Out of curiosity, how much playtesting has been done on the progression system itself? I remember that the original document gave you a die per 2 points in a score, but groups wanted to reduce the sheer number of dice being rolled, which resulted in the current attribute-to-dice scale.
    On the dice pools per attribute - craploads! The current table is the result of a LOT of playtester feedback over several months.

    On the XP table - those numbers are mainly placeholders for now. There hasn't been much XP advancement feedback other than a few first-read reactions. Hopefully some
    will arrive soon! I imagine there's a close to 100% chance that particular thing will develop some.

    Granted, traditions can only be advanced during downtime (which precludes their purchase during single-adventure campaigns), but given how much XP is required to acquire meaningful advancement in either attributes or skills, how many parties will have such an amount to spend in the middle of an adventure?
    Depends on the adventure! Monster XP can rack up fast (the current N.E.W. Document has some examples), and storyline XP doesn't have any guidelines yet but should be a sizeable amount.

    For that matter, how much time is required to learn a new skill or advance an attribute?
    None at all - when you spend the XP it's instantaneous.
  15. Primitive Screwhead
    I actually think the current attribute to dice scale itself is working, however there needs to be tweaks on the XP side and a huge look at the spells that modify attributes and/or related dice. We definately need to retain the magical ability to alter attributes via Infuse/Drain/Move Force {strength}/Transform.. but the cascade effects of re-calculating everything {in combat} gets messsy.

    Take for instance an Infuse Earth 5. Easy peasy, your STR attribute goes up 5 points.
    Which may mean you get an additional Die, or maybe two. Your speed may go up. Your DEF might go up, or might not. You gain an amount to your carry weight. If you expect to have this cast on you, you need to do all the calculations. In my group the Cleric has this as a Mass Strength spell and everytime it is cast we spend a bit of time clarifying what the spell did to each character.

    If a BBEG hits the group with a Drain Earth 5, well.. the player couldn't forsee that so play would have to stop while everyone recalculated. The Archer wouldn't really be affected {AGI+END} while the Halfling Barbarian would be hit harder {and might lose a point or 2 of Speed}
    Which is, IMHO, how it should be.. but its a pain to do in combat.

    So how to keep the awesome level of detail in the spell where Drain Earth might not be as powerful as you thought even if it does hit, while not slowing down gameplay?

    Incidently, the Mental Def for creatures probably needs looking at as well, perhaps granting a bonus based on the level of sentience. Its almost not worth rolling vs animals since their Mental Def is so low. My recent foray into critter building the Drider Mage has the highest Mental Def at a 16... pitiful compared to the Physical Defence of the Monstrous Spider at 26 {plus a SOAK 10}
    At a minimum I would recommend that one half of the MAG attribute gets added to Mental Def ...highest two of INT, LOG, and WILL plus 1/2 MAG/Psi/Ki. Using this method the Drider Mage would have a mental DEF of 22 and would be much harder to affect than a Troglodyte or Skeleton with a Mental Defence of 10.

    Maybe just a flat +5 DEF for Brainless and +5 for the target being a type not equal to your own (Animal/Abberation/Ooze/Undead/Dragon/Humanoid.. with Monstrous and normal together} That way a Brainless Skeleton would have a Mental DEF of 20.

    Okay, I think I have wandered off track somewhere.. what were we talking about?
  16. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by Primitive Screwhead View Post
    I

    Incidently, the Mental Def for creatures probably needs looking at as well, perhaps granting a bonus based on the level of sentience. Its almost not worth rolling vs animals since their Mental Def is so low. My recent foray into critter building the Drider Mage has the highest Mental Def at a 16... pitiful compared to the Physical Defence of the Monstrous Spider at 26 {plus a SOAK 10}
    Is that because you're using your hybrid system. Old O.L.D. monsters and new N.E.W. attributes? Animals have high INT scores and lack of sentience increases MD. Non-sentience gives immunity.

    Using this method the Drider Mage would have a mental DEF of 22 and would be much harder to affect than a Troglodyte or Skeleton with a Mental Defence of 10.
    Eh? There's no drider mage or troglodyte or skeleton. If you want your homebrew critters to have higher stats, give 'em higher stats.
  17. Primitive Screwhead
    Looks like I need to re-read the N.E.W. monster creation rules
  18. RisTigger
    I just noticed this while helping a player make a mage, but all the magical traditions increase Intuition and some have prerequisites for Intuition. Why is this when magic now works off Logic? I get the feeling it's an accidental hold over from the previous play test document?
  19. Morrus
    Quote Originally Posted by RisTigger View Post
    I just noticed this while helping a player make a mage, but all the magical traditions increase Intuition and some have prerequisites for Intuition. Why is this when magic now works off Logic? I get the feeling it's an accidental hold over from the previous play test document?
    My copy doesn't say that. You might need to re-download it - I don't think you have the latest one.
  20. Primitive Screwhead
    I have the most recent version (created 10-22-2014, 12:09AM) and the Mage/Firemage both have INT prerequisites.

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