D20 Modern or Spycraft II? - Page 9
  1. #81
    Yea. Spycraft's levels don't really mesh with d20Modern levels. D20Modern tends to map everybody on the 1 - 20 scale, Ordinary/Hero axis.

    Spycraft ... the heroes are THE HEROES (all caps). Everybody else is, well, a skill bonus or two. Or a BAB and a damage save. The great unwashed masses are no threat to superspies such as they. As pointed out, many of the classes START OUT, at 1st level, being utterly unable to fail anything but a check at the very very top edge of "doable". They get, pretty much, a free "Take 17". Characters start out with a few more feats and a handful of class abilities tightly focused to their archetype.

    d20Modern characters don't hit their stride until 4th level, when they can choose to narrow down to an archetype. Before that, they feat up and collect a few general abilities where they wish.

    D20 Modern 1st Level "Soldier" - A kid just out of boot camp. He has some chops, but he certainly isn't Biff Rocky-abs: Man About Town.

    Spycraft 1st level Soldier - Sgt. "Tankbuster" Tankersly ... man's man with a smoking LAW on his shoulder and a cigar in his teeth. He's the Best of the Best of the Best, SIR! And at level 20 ... well, he's still the best of the best of the best ... he just gets a bigger rocket launcher.

    They're just VERY different types of games, on some really core-level points. Some people are just going to like one style of gaming over the other.

    --fje

  2. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAuldGrump
    Okay, fair enough. I don't think that either system is lethal enough to be realistic in that regard, but yes, people do bleed out a lot quicker from knife wounds that gun shots. So given that both are unrealistic, but D20 gives the blade a greater damage potential I can just about buy it. (Though this is also where I prefer VP/WP to HD, wounds are potentially just a bit more serious. But on a relative blades vs. guns scale as opposed to a VP/WP vs. HD scale you are correct. In a way we were having two different discussions.)
    Point of order - many edged weapons have the Bleed quality, so there's a reason for your competent pugilist to carry one. Losing one VP a round to a single damaging hit sucks


    And I check the Crafty Games website almost daily to find out if they are open for business yet.
    SO CLOSE. I'll be reviewing the final touches Scott and Patrick are putting on the site this evening, getting the final forum theme up, and then posting it (gods willing). Mark my words - I do NOT want this damn thing hanging over my head during my wedding/honeymoon (beginning this weekend!)

  3. #83
    Alex congrats in advance to you and your wife. Have a safe and happy wedding and honeymoon!

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAuldGrump
    I found Savage Worlds too... formless? for my tastes. It was overly simplified, and not what I wanted at all, at all. Savage Worlds ruined me for Savage Worlds gaming...

    The Auld Grump, especially the Weird Science rules. 'Just treat them as magic items' was not what I wanted, no not at all.
    To each his own. I read about it & followed it in the designer's notes, but I really didn't appreciate how much simpler it makes gaming until I read the revised book & ran a few sessions. My prep time is down about 90%. I think Shane nailed it with these design goals:


    Shane's design goals:

    As a Game Master:

    1) I want a game that it's easy to make up monsters, NPCs, magic items, weapons, etc. on the fly. If I have to look up lots of charts and tables, add up points (as a GM, not a player), and so on, it's too complicated.

    2) I want a game where "mooks" are either up, down, or off the table. I don't want to keep track of wounds for lesser NPCs--only important bad guys, villains, dragons, and so on.

    3) I want a game that easily handles vehicles. The vehicle rules in many games require a PHD to decipher.

    4) I want a game a non-gamer friend of mine can look at and understand *at a glance.* The basic rules for Savage Worlds can be described in one sentence.

    5) I want a game that has a "spine" capable of gaming any genre, but allows me to insert special rules to tailor specific genres. Horror needs detailed fright tables, for instance, and a pulp heroes game needs to be less gritty and deadly than World War II.

    7) As a GM, I want to roll *one* attack die for my bad guys to see if they hit, and I don't want to do any math to it. If three orcs gang up on a hero, I want to roll 3 dice, look for hits, and be done.

    As a player I want:

    1) I want a game that provides real depth for characters. I want to see my character grow, gain new special abilities, and even increase my skills and attributes.

    2) I want a game that handles large battles fast. If my sergeant in World War II persuades the villagers to fight beside him, I want them on the table-top, not glossed over.

    Update: After going round and round on this one a bit, what I was really after was reasonable speed--but more importantly--ease. I just don't want to do a lot of bookeeping during a fight.

    3) I want my NPC allies to have names and at least a "personality" trait for each. If my Lt. in Vietnam needs to send someone to scout a hill, I want to know who's "Gung Ho," "Reliable," "Shifty," "Lazy," and so on.

    4) I want a little control over the dice--like Fate Chips or bennies--so the hero I've been working on for a year doesn't drop dead because of one bad die roll. Two or three I can handle, but not one.

    5) "Open ended die rolls." If I get lucky and roll that high number, I want to keep rolling and feel like I just conquered the world.

  5. #85
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    Too bad it totally falls down on player goal #1.

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Psion
    Too bad it totally falls down on player goal #1.
    And most of those other arguments are either exagerations (like requiring PHDs) or apply to any system...

    I mean, you want mooks in d20, just give them 1 hp. Most RPG systems allow NPCs to have names and personalities so I don't even understand that point (though perhaps since SW was originally based on a wargame, their Rail Wars mini game, he's comparing it to mini games). Large battles goes back to having mooks.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Psion
    Too bad it totally falls down on player goal #1.
    I'm not sure why savage worlds is in this thread at all. On topic, Spycraft 2 succeeds at this point...

    1) I want a game that provides real depth for characters. I want to see my character grow, gain new special abilities, and even increase my skills and attributes.

    ...to a remarkable degree. Just ran a 'Starcraft' game (Starwars using the Spycraft 2 mod started on the AEG forums). A two player game with Jedi's, one a Scout, the other a Soldier, both 4th level. Rocked on toast. They loved what they could do at 4th level. The jedi-scout tracked down the main baddy using his awesome first level Auto-tracking ability (essentially, unless you roll a 1 you're assumed to have rolled a 20+level). The Jedi-soldier with 2 feats felt like he was fencing and the combat script wrote itself.

    For myself the bad-guy npc creation worked to perfection. Took me 2 minutes to create from scratch using the guidelines from the book. Used assassin as the base and the final battle worked on multiple levels. This guy I created went down against two to one odds but not before getting a lucky shot in critical (which of course I confirmed by spending a GC action die, this being the final fight of the evening).

    After the session they got a chance to look at the even cooler things those same characters would be able to do as levels increased. Very much fun. You can develop character/story in pretty much any game depending on style of play, this is not dependant on the ruleset you use. For granular character sheet development you need a system designed to reward that style of play. Spycraft 2 does this in spades.

    Final Note from the evening: Exploding Action Dice work wonders for the players and the Spirited campaign quality only makes this better. Players also loved being in control of when to confirm the threat they rolled either using skills or in combat.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy
    I mean, you want mooks in d20, just give them 1 hp.
    Doesn't Spycraft 2.0 specifically contain mook rules?

    As for Savage Worlds... of the reactions I've seen to the game, people either love it to death or just go, "Enh." (Mine was the latter.) If the OP is curious, the freebie sample rules are on the PEG website (as the first person who mentioned SW already said).

  9. #89
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    To continue the SW drift...

    Quote Originally Posted by Psion
    Too bad it totally falls down on player goal #1.
    This was the main thing that turned me off about the game.

    E.g., many of the Disadvantages in the chargen system provide big rewards in exchange for roleplaying quirks that have no defined in-game effect. "Greedy" is a major disad, yet all it comprises is "Your character is really greedy." It may keep things fast and fun by leaving this kind of thing vague, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

    Anyway... back to the actual topic.

  10. #90
    I know in my case, it isn't an "either or" situation. Spycraft has plenty o stuff that shows up in my d20M game, as does some of Mongoose's modern-esque offerings and of course, plenty of 3rd party support.

    As someone who has enjoyed modern gaming at least as much (if not more) than fantasy since the late 70's, I really see this as a time where we have an embarrasment of riches as opposed to the past.

    Chuck

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